the fifth stage.

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The Surreal House, by Francesca Woodman

The Surreal House, by Francesca Woodman

 One.

 “You are the house,”

she explained

while discussing

the somnambular wanderings,

dreamscape happenings,

inside of the childhood home.

         Home.

I live seven walking minutes away

and never pass it.

         Some say they

miss home.

         I avoid it.

“You are the house,”

said Therapist in

a freezing January room,

magnified white-hot

winter rays

penetrating the lace

curtains veiling

modest sacred pulp.

         (When dreaming

of wandering

through houses,

we wander

through ourselves) -

         and in the house

wallpaper was

thirty layers thick,

dead aunts

sat in familiar

wingback chairs,

parents were lost

like children,

and trash piled

to the ceilings.

         “You are the house”

with the dark curtains

and basement shower.

         “You are the house”

with the onion layers

and fruit cellar.

        “You are the house”

with the yellow bricks

and chalky mortar.

         “You are the house”

with the frantic eyes

and ambiguous borders.

Five.

They always made me uneasy,

but not this one.

This time,

the house

was as it was.

No strange rooms,

no unfamiliar decor,

no temporal trash,

no cerebral symbolism,

no shaking shell of a mother -

the house

was as it was -

plus something

filtered,

something refined,

plus something

pure and peaceful,

and it was mine.

 

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

on avian matters.

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Each morning

neighborhood crows

fly toward

a gently

rising sun,

 

hundreds landing

softly on the

highest hilltop

as our golden orb

slides into

watercolor skies.

 

Chattering of

breaking avian

news beneath

trees undressing,

they welcome together

daylight in

funeral attire and

with shrill songs,

doing a thing

that the human

in me can’t

help but join

in doing -

 

we marvel

in the sunrise

together.

 

Never minding

my presence

or admiration,

never minding

their bad reputation

for doing

dirty jobs,

never minding

their tenuous

flightpath

between

death and life,

 

they do their

crow thing

each day

and fly each

evening back

toward the sun

as it slips

into a fiery

goodnight.

 

Inhabiting the boundary

between heightened

existence and

ambivalence,

they’ve little

concern for where

November winds

blow decaying things

during the cold night,

 

rather they

sleep soundly

amongst the dead

before gathering

for tomorrow’s sun,

rising once again

upon a world alive

with morbid

avian purpose.

 

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

fruits and nothings.

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Kiyo Murakami

Kiyo Murakami

 

What does

it mean to let

come what may?

 

Formless words

dense with

abstraction

 

dripping with

the tart juices

of something

 

less than love

and greater

than reason

 

shock a tongue

expecting

the tickle

 

of sweet

fruits and

nothings

 

tasted and

whispered

after the

 

world was

asleep

and only

 

the stars

were

watching.

 

Bitter fruits

growing from

the soft petals

 

of decadent words

(with vibrant hues

and sweet aromas

 

that trick the bees

into yielding

poisonous honey)

 

are innocent

carriers of the

impolite pain

 

of sacred words

lightly thrown

into the face

 

of a one who

craves them

like breadcrumbs

 

toward the

eager beak of

a starving pigeon.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

a matter of perpetual creation.

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Star Child, by Juliette Crane

 

The carbon of my body

recalls the best of it all:

 

the time before

worry and loss,

the time before

hunger and pain,

the time before

good and evil.

 

The time when

atomic collision

was the long

and short of it.

 

When molecules

that would travel

far and wide

before becoming

you and I

and the skies

and the trees

buddied up

in the belly of an

elemental bakery.

 

A super-massive

pulsating, churning,

bubbling womb.

 

A hostile incubator.

 

Our celestial mother

martyred by iron

so that we

might live as

rearrangements

of her labors,

her reflection

eternally trapped

in the eyes of

those who

know her best,

reminding us

to never ignore

that we are

all born

together.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

persistent ghost.

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Skull - Vincent van Gogh

Skull – Vincent van Gogh

 

Head throbbing with

an inner knocking

and coffee sliding

down like

someone’s died,

the sunflowers

dance around me

in strangely cool

winds of a steady

summer rain

as I try desperately

to define the

abstract sadness

hanging heavily

around.

 

Willing this

intrusive pain

to dissolve in the

static of emotional

white noise

fails me,

as some emotions

aren’t soluble in the

deepest reaches

of mindscape.

 

They take root,

growing limbs and

creeping tendrils -

I navigate

around them

denying their

existence even

while they

break through

the meniscus

of thought,

blanketing the

waking world with

the leaves of

formless sadness.

 

Everything

everywhere

reminds me of

who and why it is,

the persistent ghost

of disappointing times

unlikely to leave

until it’s given

a proper burial

and paid its

proper respects -

because life

and people

and places

are never perfect

but everything dead

deserves a funeral.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

just enough fight.

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The Double Secret, by Rene Magritte

The Double Secret, by Rene Magritte

 

Riding memories

on salted ocean air

thick with loves

and pains of a

preternatural past,

the temporal space

is filled with

monsters and men,

perfumed nights,

sun-kissed cheeks,

and tired red eyes

hidden beneath

borrowed shade

as I move

through it.

 

With aching legs

and a soaring heart,

the prophecy

of pivotal change

moves with me

through humidity

and time,

proving itself right

despite jealous visions

and skeptical longings:

change happened

because I willed it,

accepted it,

embraced it,

nurtured it,

and because

it was time.

 

Here and now

the ghosts

of these nights

remain mournfully

hopeful sentinels

as I return

to remember,

and shall return

until the day

they are no longer

shadows of lives lost,

rather visions

of life gained -

 

the champions

of here and now

fighting for meaning

and honor

in a place filled

with senseless pain

and profound beauty,

eternally armed

with just enough fight

and more than

enough love

to get by.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014

 

 

 

the other half of weird.

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Aya Takano, The Light That She Yearns For

Aya Takano, The Light That She Yearns For

 

We met through a window

with the most dismal view -

 

everyday peering

through filthy glass,

waiting for

the moment

a peek of color

might flutter

by on hopeful air.

 

I’d nearly given up

on the window -

 

its cracks

too deep,

its panes

too obscured

by layers of

filmy residue

left behind

during neglectful

years and

thousands of

salty tears

shed amongst

the slinking

shadows hidden

between rays

of penetrating

starlight.

 

And then on

a typical day

of chronic

disappointment,

risking a glance

up toward the

hazy view,

I was greeted

by two orbs

of sage

staring sadly,

quietly,

knowingly

back.

 

Everyday I returned,

compelled by

curiosity and

comfort to

seek refuge

in those

deep pools

of dark pastel,

 

everyday feeling

less alone

in a world

where things

are broken

that cannot

be mended,

 

where years

of pain surface

as evident scars

that only the

scarred can see,

 

where love is

still possible

after a beating

heart is torn

bleeding from

its chest,

 

where two people

can seek refuge

from a polluted view

by finding completely

weird beauty

in each other.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014