Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Durham Oldmixon’

Fragments of Skye

July 24, 2012 2 comments

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

 

My eye is often drawn to places or objects in ruins, broken pieces, incomplete things.

 

Feather on Sea Stone (Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye)

Feather on Sea Stone (Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye)

 

Carrageen on Sea Stone (Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye)

Carrageen on Sea Stone (Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye)

 

Hollowed Crab on Sea Stone (Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye)

Hollowed Crab on Sea Stone (Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye)

 

It seems to me that all art comes through a process of fragmentation, someone putting a frame down and breaking some part off from the rest. And that our perspective is always fragmented, as no one can see or understand a whole. But when we focus on fragments, we are not striving for wholeness. Maybe for acute awareness.

*

Katherine Durham Oldmixon is a past contributor to and guest editor (with Lucy Kempton) of Qarrtsiluni. Her recent poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, The Normal School, and Improbable Worlds: An Anthology of Texas and Louisiana Poets, and online in Solstice Literary Magazine and Poemeleon. Katherine teaches literature and creative writing at historic Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, and for the UNO low-residency MFA program.

La Guadalupe de Juan Diego

August 7, 2010 1 comment

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

after Tepeyac

In the way of saints, disproportionate—
clay-colored skins, icon haloed in flames

of indigenous red-gold, the woman
wears a veil of stars on a Mexican-blue sky,

its underside like rare grass, her robe spun
cotton of red roses, and the man sprouts

green wings, arms emulating the native
moon, his hands clutching her gathering hem.

He is only half a man, with no need
for anything below waist to hold her.

Her eyes look aside, as if she’s ashamed
of religion’s power, but so seems he, his vision

cast on earth below, his head bowed down,
bearing her above their up-cupped crescent.


Download the podcast

Katherine Durham Oldmixon (website) recently edited a special issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review dedicated to ekphrastic poetry. Her chapbook Water Signs, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, was released in January 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Katherine lives healthily and happily in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Arturo Lomas Garza.

Marina, La Malinche

July 14, 2010 7 comments

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

I could fold my tongue into a hollow
reed, pretend I’m an amber butterfly

pressed into the neck of milkweed florets
dripping nectar through my waiting channel.

I could push my tongue to palate, swallow
like a wood thrush gathering sand grit, cry

evensongs until the skin-pale moon forgets
our Mexican sky for another continent.

I could roll my tongue like the snake below
the feathered body who struggles to taste dry

desert air; I could thread cactus spines to whet
native spirit or teach mother tongue to pray;

I would hold my tongue, but to survive must
speak. My father sold me destined to lie

with a man who crossed our oceans to let blood
and tongues mingle. Let me keen lullabies.


Download the podcast

Katherine Durham Oldmixon (website) recently edited a special issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review dedicated to ekphrastic poetry. Her chapbook Water Signs, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, was released in January 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Katherine lives healthily and happily in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Arturo Lomas Garza.

Gladiator (Rome 2009)

May 27, 2010 2 comments

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Roman Gladiator by Katherine Durham Oldmixon
Click image to see a larger version.

 

Katherine Durham Oldmixon (website) recently edited a special issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review dedicated to ekphrastic poetry. Her chapbook Water Signs, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, was released in January 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Katherine lives healthily and happily in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Arturo Lomas Garza.

Healing Buddha

March 8, 2010 Comments off

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Healing Buddha by Katherine Durham Oldmixon
Click image to see a larger version.

Katherine Durham Oldmixon (website) recently edited a special issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review dedicated to ekphrastic poetry. Her chapbook Water Signs, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, was released in January 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Katherine lives healthily and happily in Austin, TX, with her husband, Arturo Lomas Garza.

Categories: Health Tags:

Aliens Among the Brittle Stars

January 27, 2010 2 comments

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon

Our false fins agitate motes
in turquoise sunbeams, in salt
currents that sluice oils
from our skin into the waters

where mantas raise their velvet wings
near a chorus of nun-gray angelfish,
as the shadow of a nurse shark
passes before our masked eyes.

Rush-hush — waves moan above
our bodies, above the delicate life
of brittle starfish we watch crawl
over beds of coral bones.


Download the podcast

A former qarrtsiluni co-editor (with Lucy Kempton), Katherine Durham Oldmixon (website) recently edited a special issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review dedicated to ekphrastic poetry. Her chapbook Water Signs, a finalist for the New Women’s Voices Award, was released in January 2009 by Finishing Line Press. Katherine lives healthily and happily in Austin, TX, with her husband, Arturo Lomas Garza.

Categories: Health Tags:

Flying

April 30, 2009 1 comment

Poems by 5 Brass Tacks: D’Arcy Randall, W. Joe Hoppe, Judy Jensen, David Meischen, and Katherine Durham Oldmixon; video, “The Process of Flying,” edited by Katherine Durham Oldmixon with the assistance of Arturo Lomas Garza

Unleashed

She pushes off without the aid of wings, strokes
air to rise above the humming wires, above

the patchwork sharp-peaked roofs that block
their view below, skies breaking off the coast,

horizon lapping fenced backyards and hard-
pack, rainless grasses, bloomed-out morning

glories, the earthbound shouts that raise
their net of fear below. She does not thud

among the earthbound stares. Nothing
brings her down but a blue eye opening.

by David Meischen, with Brass Tacks

***

Dreaming

She pushes off years, stroking air
without wings, a humming body

rising above grasses and blown out morning glories,
rising over sharp peaked roofs below skies

broken off the coast of the everyday,
rising through the fluttering galaxy

because it’s evolutionary
to abandon land,

featherless among touchable stars,
tumbling hard those nights,

a blue eye opening,
a hard held expectation, wild.

by Judy Jensen, with Brass Tacks

***

Flying

It’s been years since I stroked air to fly
pushing off without the aid of wings

to rise above the humming wires
through gossamer and troubled flutterings

skies break from the coast of the everyday
red roofs green pastures capture living below

while I transcend, featherless,
rainless grasses, shriveled kale, bloomed out morning

glories and reach towards touchable stars
the soundest advice pipes weakly from the ground

but not once do I tumble to the sidewalk
thud hard against their reasonable concerns

even now sometimes I rise
pressing foot to pavement to catch the air again

by W. Joe Hoppe, with Brass Tacks

***

Flying

I once stroked air to fly—my wingless body
pushed off dirt to rise above young gnats

bloomed-out fantasies and morning glories,
to rise above the high wires humming,

the peaked roofs holding down the living.
Rising to skies that break from the coast,

past rainless grass and galaxies,
I followed evolution, leaving land,

featherless among the stars close
enough to touch. Shouts raised a net of fear,

although I never fell and even now
I still press hard to heel in expectation.

by D’Arcy Randall, with Brass Tacks

***

Flying

It’s been years since I stroked air to fly—
my wingless body pushed off dirt

to rise above gossamer humming wires,
blown-out morning glories, rainless grasses,

and troubling young gnats before my face,
to rise above the garden kale and cabbage,

over patchwork patches of sharp roofs
holding down the living below—

because it’s evolutionary to abandon
land, to glide among the cool, touchable

stars, above the earthbound shouts
that raise their net of fear below:

“Come down, come down before you fall to earth
where you belong!” but not once did I tumble

to the sidewalk, thud hard among their screams;
their upturned stares never reached me

those nights, nothing brought me to ground
but a hard-held expectation, a blue eye opening,

and some days still I raise my heels
from pavement and feel the familiar pull.

by Katherine Durham Oldmixon, with Brass Tacks


Reading by the authors, except for W. Joe Hoppe’s “Flying,” which is read by Dave Bonta — Download the MP3

Process notes

Brass Tacks is a circle of Austin poets who meet periodically to discuss and critique one another’s work. W. Joe suggested that if one of us were to volunteer a poem, we might take the workshop model to the extreme. Katherine offered an early draft of her poem, “Flying,” and the other poets went to work, while Katherine began putting together a video of the process. The 5 Brass Tacks agreed that she would coordinate the workshop and serve as the final editor.

Each poet then submitted a draft based on the original, along with an image of the marked-up poem. All agreed not look at one another’s poems until each had written his or her own version — but some “cheated,” and D’Arcy remarked that cheating really mutated the signature. In the next round, we tried to write a final, collaborative version. Although everyone worked with all five poems, each poet produced a “final” poem that varied little from his or her individual poem in voice, style and interpretation. David and Judy’s title hint at some of those differences. Katherine’s first version of the final poem attempted to stitch together the others, but couldn’t accommodate the strategies of compression or individual stylistic or thematic choices.

We learned that if we had chosen a collaborative project in which each of us produced a line (as in an exquisite corpse), a stanza (as in a renga) or a poem (as in a crown) we would each have something to point to as our own. We also realized that if we had begun with a poem to which none of us had an interior or original relationship, it would have been easier to write. (It seemed that either Katherine had to be the final editor or couldn’t be.) Finally, we realized that we had mutated the poem to create five poems, each borrowing substantially from one another, each our own.

Note on the video
The video, “The Process of Flying,” combines photographs by Katherine Durham Oldmixon of the Austin Kite Festival with images of marked-up poems in the process of collaboration by D’Arcy Randall, David Meischen, W. Joe Hoppe and Judy Jensen. The piano music tracks are from the GarageBand library. The video was composed and edited by Katherine Durham Oldmixon with the assistance of Arturo Lomas Garza.