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And this is how…

August 31, 2012

by Holly Anderson

And this is how it was for a long time and she was your only sister until she climbed that ladder and stretched out across the night sky to sleep.

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Pyroclastic     characterized by explosive gas, ash and pumice

Bastard Measure      odd point size (9 pt.)

Lapidation               the act of stoning

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Now the wine woman could change into any off-kilter or improbable thing or person she chose to with a simple ‘yip’ or by baring her teeth.

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No more ‘Chopsticks’ — now it was all Glenn Gould all the time.

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Sleeping under dirt blankets         Sleeping under ice blankets

Sleeping under chalk blankets      Sleeping under slate blankets

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Research Ellen Key, Swedish feminist Free Love proponent

wrote  Love and Marriage  1912

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I speak. I talk. I crow. I sing.

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Sregolatezza               intemperate immoderate debauchery disorder

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There are modes of intellectual and sensuous reality founded not on language but on other communicative energies such as the icon or the musical note. And there are actions of the spirit rooted in silence.
George Steiner, ‘The Retreat from the Word’

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They ate shark meat, drank rain water from their blistered palms
and listened to high church music from an unknown hell. Raw wound
sound ‘submitsubmitsubmit’. So difficult to submit. Whose metaphors
are these? Whose ghosts pack the choir loft that stinks of myrrh?

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This vehicle has been checked for sleeping children.

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Art is what you have to do when it doesn’t have to be done.

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Rt. 28 Economics:      Stimulus Sirloin Steak Dinner 7.95

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The tiny tufts of impatiens every six inches like cheap pink & white buttons
annoy in this half-assed spitting rain.

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Her name was Number. His name was Skin.

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Mordbrenner             criminal gangs that roved central Europe

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people here will give you food  /  threatening might get results  /  money here  /  stay away, people want you to work

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Picasso: This target on my eye might bring heaven closer. In my soft little slippers and my stained, frayed shorts.

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Thin Spots Galore touched the clouds/sky/weather from her 30-foot perch, an aluminum ladder named Doug.

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Stirred up the milk of amnesia.

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Goodhue County, Minn.  Research poetry barns outside Red Wing.

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Stenciled white paint    Breathing in leaves ashes…drawing the harvest inside us

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She put pine needle in her vein. She dreamt tree’s dream.

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Straight lines in the landscape help the aviator.

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Notebooks are the quarries of artists.


Author’s note: I’ve still got a file drawer full of notebooks/journals & datebooks that go back to the late 70’s. I randomly grabbed a 1980 lab book and a pocket-sized notebook from 2008. Working quickly I skimmed lines and pulled bits from both books and dropped them straight into a single Word doc without noting either year.

Funny how little my interests and obsessions changed in that 28-year period.


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Holly Anderson’s The Night She Slept With A Bear, published May 2012, is a collection of flash fictions and mesostics shipping with an original soundtrack CD written and played by Chris Brokaw from Publication Studio in Portland, Oregon. For more about Holly, see her page on the Mission of Burma website.

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