Friday, May 28, 2010

The Golden Record -- What Turns Me On!

When NASA sent out Voyager 1 in 1977, and Voyager 2 a little later, they sent with them this "Golden Record," just in case someone out there should happen upon it, sometime, somewhere. It contains greetings from us in 55 languages, pictures of us, people, animals, flowers. It shares Earthsounds, thunder, wind, rain, crickets, trains, birds, whales...and it contains upon its golden skin the music of Bach, his Brandenburg Concerto #2, Queen of the Night from Mozart's Magic Flute, drums from Senegal, Australian Aborigine songs, Chuck Berry, among others from China, Japan, and elsewhere....

Just the thought of this piece of us, traveling yet outward and further every second, through the extravagance of the universe, gives me goosebumps.

If you want to see everything that's on it, check out the link above! My Big Tent Poem (below) is part of a piece written years ago.

What Turns Me On?


(an excerpt)

And if the sun
should cool enough to freeze us
or explode to supernova
and thus incinerate us all
what alien ears,
on hearing a concerto of whales
a cry of birds
sent out in orphan Voyager
may celebrate our fragile hope
our itching curiosity
with what in alien delight
may pass for sacramental bread
and wine?

This Astronomy Picture of the Day Photograph is described: "Long before Stonehenge was built, well before the Dead Sea Scrolls were written, ancient artists painted life-sized figures on canyon walls" in Horseshoe Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA. This section of wall is called (because of the larger, dimmer figure in the middle) the HOLY GHOST panel. The sight of this, with the Milky Way stars of our own galaxy showing through a gap in the rocks, also turns me on, gives me goosebumps.

(photo and copyright: Bret Webster)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Big Tent Wordle


Look in God's purse
for hidden candies.
This is no delicate Evening bag.
She carries something simple, black,
crumpled. She will open it for you.
You may peek inside
where there are hidden treasures: zippers
and mysterious pockets. It's lining is
a caparison, a wild extravagance
across the back of an Indian Elephant
on the back of a mouse.
Ganash, on a lotus flower,
candies falling from his trunk into your hands--
a tincture of prod and noose.

Suspend your disbelief.
Feel the patterned lining of the purse
with your fingers for proof.
Fondle the straps
that lock the moon in its place
inside the black bag.
Capitulate to the futile terror of Her fecund
nursery of stars across the high,
steep walls that rise up
toward the clasp.

This is God's purse. Sapient, She will
soon fasten the zippers without a glitch,
doff the splendor, and open
a small tin of lemon drops
for our pleasure,
assessing Her role as Mother,
soothing us with linty candies from Her
simple handbag, wearing Her simple
hairnet, fooling us
with Her simple shoes.

(There. I think I used every one: purse, crumpled, caparison, tincture, pattern, proof, capitulate, futile, fondle, sapient, glitch, and doff. Did I miss any?)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Words for a Fairy Godmother

Listen, I have a confession:
my words think they are
the only beautiful things I have.
They are my lapis lazuli eyes,
my teeth-pearls,
my French damask tongue,
my Speed-E-Namel diamond nails,
my October-opal nipples,
my jade-green navel.
My husband cannot eat them.
My lover's deaf.
Listen, I have sinned.
For penance what shall I do
to bring money home
for milk and bread?
I have a confession: There are worms
in my dreams.
My words are all pigs-in-a-poke
believing that they're treasures.

Must I recant?

(Big Tent Poetry prompt #2 Words)

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Official Tattooed Lady

I thought it would hurt more
this needling and inking of pictures
coming to life on my skin

this black and blue here
across my heart
looks like an eye

could have been anything maybe
a bullseye for any sighting weapon
ah, hell, didn't I ask for this

sign up for it
didn't I pay
this here across my back

these flowers and snakes
look real, don't they
blood coils and green coils

if you look close you can see
something caught and dying
on those thorns, those fangs

that bifurcated tongue
this is how I make my living, see
I show the world what eats me alive

the little acorns and dollar signs
at the small of my back
they're for love and luck

and the little ladybug here
on my lip
they haven't worked yet

but who knows
why did I do it you ask
I want people to see

what I look like.

(This is what the world's most tattooed lady said when asked why she did it.}