rehearsal.

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Flower of Life, by Frida Kahlo

Flower of Life, by Frida Kahlo

 

I.

 

When I looked

at her

how often

I saw the coffin,

how often

she lay

with a stillness

so lovely

I knew her fate

as clearly as

the sun and moon’s.

 

With a stillness

so lovely as

she lay in satin,

her youth

suspended the

time all around us.

 

How often

I’d rehearsed

her funeral

when flowers

willfully planted

and sweetly tended

were ripped

from young roots,

 

left to wither on

hardening ground

in the place

where mirrors

see out

and rain boils

to steam in

blue-hot starlight

before reaching

a thirsty earth.

 

Her flowers withered

and grew,

withered and grew,

comforting lies

convinced the

dedicated that

she’d always

grow back.

 

She’d always be there

somewhere,

withering and growing,

smiling a kind of smile

that gives you

something to

believe in,

 

dancing a dance

that makes you

feel free

just watching,

 

singing a song

without words

in perfect harmony

with the universal

cerebral hum,

 

always a step ahead,

just outwitting

the death

of that place.

 

(Infinite rehearsals

don’t numb the

cutting buzz

of a phone

in the quiet night

heralding the ache

of expectation

and emptiness

of a barren garden.)

 

II.

 

Hot stars

burn brightly

and die young,

showering

their beloved

neighbors

with gifts

more precious

than time –

 

igniting new

stars into being,

seeding their

worlds with

silver and gold,

seeding their

worlds with the

stuff of gardens.

 

 

“Pain is a flower. Pain is flowers

blooming all the time.” – Bukowski

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015

life as an onion.

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"White Onion" by Justin Clayton

“White Onion” by Justin Clayton

 

Brittle paper skin

crackles beneath

shaking fingers,

exposing the

glossy globe

of ivory white

with its longitudinal

striations of

spring bud green.

 

It is beautiful

and you are young,

unaware of what

lies beneath.

 

Smooth in

your palms

and heavy

for its size,

fair onion

has gravity

hiding beneath

this elastic layer.

 

Then comes

the knife.

Then comes

the truth.

 

Life is an onion,

each delicious layer

promising the

painful sting of tears.

 

 

Renee Novosel

Copyright 2015

All Rights Reserved

 

when the walls collapse

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Andromeda_Collides_Milky_Way

 

Maybe I was there.

Maybe you were there.

Maybe you and I

looked up at the stars

as the eyes

of infinite gods,

or the infinite eyes

of one god –

and we imagined

the possibilities.

 

Maybe we stood

at the feet of

rhythmic waves

as their rumbling

voices hinted

of secrets beneath

the arc of deep blue,

and we imagined

the possibilities.

 

Maybe there was

a time between lives,

before and after

everything was named,

when we witnessed

the ground beneath

our feet

and skies above

our eyes

without condition.

 

This meaning

without name,

value

without cost,

reverence

without judgement

is lost

when human eyes

are closed

and the blind

pursuit begins.

 

As if life’s beauty

itself isn’t enough

to satisfy

the reason

for being,

we shamefully define

that which

defies definition,

 

breeding foolish pride

with each steadfast

proclamation,

widening the rift

between man and nature.

 

Greed and power

construct the

revolving doors

of perceived reality,

keeping our

eyes on what

everyone else has

and our minds on

how badly we

want it,

 

but the universe

with its endless eyes

doesn’t blink

a single one

when we’ve

earned or

lost a million.

 

Our tiny order

doesn’t mean

a thing

when galaxies

collide.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Right Reserved

Copyright 2014

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