Saturday, February 14, 2015

Velvet Lives I Long To Try: Valentine's Day Posts

Photo by Robyn Beattie
Night’s obsidian!

Velvet lives I long to try,

One redwing blackbird.

Here’s a Heart Tree from Robyn (my title), and a Haiku I wrote in the Haiku Room for you…Happy Valentine’s Day. Other heartworthy news: Alessandra Bava translated Corridor, Sylvia (Part III) and Joan, 21 Century into Italian; read both versions of the three poems here at Patria Letteratura (poems published this fall in November Butterfly by Saddle Road Press).

And I’ve gathered a few prior Feral Mom posts on the subject of valentines:

Feral Valentines: Thomas, Nijinsky, Plath

On this anniversary of (Sylvia Plath’s) passing, Brain Pickings posted, The Quicksand of Existence: Sylvia Plath on Life, Death, Hope, and Happiness, pouring us once more through highlights of The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath (published back in September 2000), celebrating the whole, feral poet, with light of previously edited passages bringing Sylvia's passion and skill for hunting the moment down into focus. All is fair, as they say, in love and war: if you are going to love any girl, love all of her. Happy Belated Valentine’s Day. Read the rest of Feral Valentines here. (For more on Plath and an amazing Italian poet, see Alessandra Bava's post: Sylvia Plath and Amelia Roselli.) And for a bit of modern day Nijinksy, here's a link to a video of Sergei Polunin dancing to Hozier's Take me To Church in a beautiful sunlit studio (up at Elle).


Penina shares my sun, moon, and rising sign—our birthdays two days apart-- my “older sister”, 11 years my senior. The news of her father’s heart attack registered as a physical pain in my heart and I needed to make this for her. Her father: deep orange and red, poppies, monk, wise man, gentle. A beautiful, tall, strapping Samoan man with a large Samoan heart. He nurtured Penina, urged her to follow her heart and write. I intended to have many poppies, but instead, this is what came: a door, the spiral path to the heart. Read the rest of Thresholds here.

Notes from the Road: Footprints, Storefronts and Valentine Mimes


the mime his concentration
like the chased in a pair of lovers
lost to the now, so busy moving,
gloved hands ever edging the door,

or women their addictions of the moon,
marking their gardens with morning blood...Read rest of Notes from the Road here.

Sandy Frank
Winter Solstice Sculpture Poem:

Winter Solstice

Live long enough and you outlive
somewhere a lover, one you cast aside
or one you chased. One who didn't want you--
at least, not then--or one you cried to leave, but left.
No matter what the parting, there's a last meeting
in the eggplant black of dream...Read rest of Winter Solstice Sculpture Poem here.

Sculptures by Sandy Frank. A link to our other projects: Collaborations for Bread.

Sculpture by Sandy Frank
Additional News:

An Afternoon of Poetry and Poetry Movies:

I'll be in Sonoma County in March on November Butterfly book tour...I hope you'll join me for an afternoon of Poetry and Poetry movies featuring the work of Sonoma County Artists at The Occidental Center for the Arts Book Launch Series. Artwork featured in the movies will also be on display that afternoon. Free Admission. Refreshments sold. OCA is located at 3850 Doris Murphy Court, Bohemian Hwy at Graton Rd. For more info: see The Occidental Center for the Arts.

Upcoming Classes:

Wheel of Archetypal Selves: Lovers to Strength starts March 16 (in person)

I have had a beautiful time teaching Wheel of Archetypal Selves: Fool to Visionary the past month. Next class begins March 16 and runs through April 27: Wheel of Archetypal Selves: Lovers to Strength. We spend one week on each Major, writing our way into a deeper understanding of our lives as they relate to the archetypes. For an idea of the type of writing our classes elicit, here's a post by Marsha Rosenzweig Pincus, "Tarot or Not Tarot?" on her blog Her Own Terms: a post mid-life woman writing for her life. And for an understanding of how I approach the Tarot, check out Tarot for Two where I co-blog with Mary Allen.

Intermediate Blogging starts on April 7 (on-line)

This class picks up where our Beginning Blogging section leaves off, but all level of blogger is welcome to join us for ongoing blog support. We will cover growing blog network and connecting to one's tribe through social media and strengthening blogging habits. We also take a look at post titles and tags and vlogging (video blogging). We always create content while having fun brainstorming. Course is offered through San Diego Writers, Ink; sign up here.

Coronado Friends of the Library Author Event: 

and last but not least...a big thank you to my father; here's the November Butterfly write-up the Friends of the Coronado Library put together for a beautiful evening celebrating local authors last week. 

What inspired you to write your first piece:

My father tells me the day I was born he took me outside to hear the melting snow. I wrote my first poems to please him; they were haiku written on the Illinois prairie. 

Biggest influence: 

My father, a musician and piano tuner, is a perpetual punster (rutabaga, archipelago, Winnebago). He kept an Underwood typewriter on the table for us stocked with a fresh sheet of paper and all manner of art supplies ever at our disposal. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Cat Cafe, A TCJWW Review, Mentor Doll Musings and a Poetry Circus for You

You’d never guess what a stressful month we’re navigating by looking at these two—our husky and the kingly baby, Sam, lounging in their select stripe of sun. They’re my joy spot in a month overflowing with extra laundry (washing machine broken), family frays with flying elbows (five family members plus ocean wet dog in tiny four-door box of a car since engine block cracked in van), the five us falling like dominoes to the flu, water coursing down our daughter’s walls (broken courtyard ceiling pipe), said water driving hoards of termites to plaster their wings across the slider, and more I won’t broach here.

by Padgett Mason
No shortage of love, as always, to balance it out--caught the 14 year old teaching the 8 year old kickboxing moves in the tub in order to faciliate sure shampooing of that 8 year old’s hair…and my darling sister joined me to check out the Cat CafĂ©, newly opened in San Diego (427 Third Avenue), where you can order yourself a mocha or a latte and head to the adjoining room to peruse the adoptable cats and the rainbow
psychedelic cat paintings—for sale-- by Padgett Mason (“pet portraits and funky felines” reads Padgett’s business card).

Here's my sister out in front of the Cafe; we enjoyed chatting with owner Tony Wang and noticed a healthy circulation of coffee-wielding potential cat adopters scoping out the cats. Tony mentioned the coffee and the art are local--and he's open to hosting more artwork.

Other high spots: Jenn Teeter-Moore reviews November Butterfly at The California Journal of Women Writers

Pryputniewicz’ Guinevere is opinionated and strong compared to Marilyn and is a direct contrast to the helpless heroine she is in medieval poetry.—Jen Teeter-Moore, TCJWW

I also attended a beautiful reception for approximately 300 authors at San Diego Public Library on January 30, thoroughly enchanted by the indigo light swarming the columns and the gold circle lattices crowning the ceiling. Wouldn’t you know just as the speakers started, I found myself more than mildly annoyed to be fighting to hear over the sound of my husband bantering with an acquaintance. Fortunately for him, I fell in love with the friend’s wife, a brilliant millenial named Ellen Gustafson whose book I’m on fire now to read: We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World.

This Friday, I join thirty authors honored at “A Night at the Library: A Celebration of Local Authors.” Hosted by Friends of the Coronado Library, the fundraiser goes from 6-9 p.m. at 640 Orange Avenue; $50 person includes food, wine, beer and a $10 voucher for Second Hand Prose bookstore. See for more information or call Brenda Jo Robyn (619)890-6148.

Mary and I wrote about the Universe Card and the Two of Wands this month over at our new Tarot for Two blog; I opened with, “I took a look at this month’s Thoth Two of Wands with its red-faced grumpy Tibetan doorjies set against a blotchy uteral pink mess of a background suffused with a Kindergarten sky blue and decided to focus on the Rider Waite image instead.”

And Mary opened with: “My card this month was the Universe.  I used to get this card fairly often about twenty years ago, around the time I sold my book in an almost magical way and bought the house I live in now with the advance.  Back then I thought the card was telling me that the universe was waving its big old wand over my life…” Read the rest of The Two of Wands and The Universe.

Why Mentor Dolls? 

Why do you use paper dolls in your Writing Past Fear: Free Your Butterfly workshops? When a friend asked, I answered in a post on my main website, Shadow Bags, Joan Swift’s Dark Path of Our Names and Mentor Dolls on #LivetheQuest:

Additional Links of Interest: 

 Sandra Hunter shares her stunning black and white xray ice scapes—at least that’s how I describe them; her interview starts on page 18 and she dives deep into the subject of exposure and agency despite trauma; she says, "Art is the axle tree," and discusses "exhilaration as form of meditation." ART Habens Review, Winter 2015

If you are looking for a new place to post a poem, give Christine Klocek-Lim’s new daily publication a try; she’s back, with Autumn Sky Poetry Daily.

And check out Nicelle Davis, such an innovative poet and performance artist, celebrating her latest book, In the Circus of You (a collaboration with Cheryl Gross) with a wild event in Los Angeles, at the Merry-Go-Round in Griffith Park. Here’s her guest post for us over at Mother, Writer, Mentor: Circus as Sanctuary.