Tuesday, July 26, 2011

dog days

I wake  
as if in a strange bed
the walls rearrange
themselves in the night

after too much coffee

I kick off my shoes
pace lingo-listless
between the lines
of the ceiling and floor

like a caged bird

I file my nails
twiddle my thumbs
sharpen all my pencils
sharpen kitchen knives

a knife thrower

must find satisfaction
in the crack of blade
after blade in wood
the fraying of splinters

as far as jelly jars go

they frighten me
Ball, Mason
those pot metal lids
so tight with corrosion

Tess Kincaid
July, 2011

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  1. your words always intice me to dream...

  2. Oh, neat! Thanks for: poem reading picture! A p,leasure.

  3. Is there such a thing as too much coffee?? lol


  4. Love it!
    One of your finest, Tessy.
    Unpredictable flow.

  5. Thanks, Phil. That means so much coming from you, my friend. x

  6. My wife has a great many of those jars taking up space in the shed.
    Hasn't used a jar in twenty years!
    I would like to use those jars for target practice, but, alas, then she'd used me for target practice!!

  7. I'm with Otin, is there really such a thing as too much coffee?

    Loved your take on this one... interesting transitions throughout your write.

  8. coffee and the thunk of knives into wood, yeah i get you...mason jars, its what comes in them that scares me...bad night, long ago...

  9. Interesting dream, Tess. The photo is so much like a dream, but I took it a different way.

    —Kay, Alberta, Canada

  10. Thanks, Kay, this one's not a dream, though.

  11. Wonderful stream of consciousness going round in cycles here, Tess.

  12. Illustrators; don't you love them? Any excuse for a naked lady!

  13. Your imagination and the way you make the words fit the vision is faultless.

    This is a poem I read in different ways and it gave pleasure in every way.

  14. It frustrates me to try and unwind a rusted metal top. The answer is plastics! Plastics is safe, without danger of corrosion. Beautiful verse!

  15. Willow,
    Coffee, sultry, stifling summer nights loosen the psyche to free flight of ideas.
    If not rest, at least poetry.

  16. Yup there is such a thing as too much coffee, well there is with me anyhows.
    Love this Tess.. you're so clever with words.

  17. darn fine writin
    super dee dooper
    you don't find carrots like that on every blog
    let alone one with the words feat and low man in it.

    on top of that
    and to the left right
    (see master of all masters for reference text).

    i like to take all the jelly out
    with a big spoon
    plop it on a flat plate
    and eat the jar
    before the jelly can
    plop flat and

  18. I love this, too. Very unique. : )

  19. I really like the way you laid out/broke up the lines. Love the idea of the lines of pacing between the ceiling and floor. the crack of the blade into the wood. Images and sounds both.

  20. Anxiety,anxious and visceral. Intent yours, observations mine so I like what this evokes as I read it.Well done mate!

  21. Tess -- fine piece -- enjoyed -- barbara

  22. You usual excellent poem Tess. But I have to say that when the walls rearrange themselves in the night it is after too much beer rather than too much coffee.

  23. Tess~ An overly caffeinated mind jumps around a lot... I love how you've presented this piece like that with such vivid images.

  24. Tess - loved the poem, but I must say the recording was a bit creepy. What were you really drinking?

  25. It's been nothing but dog days here all summer.

  26. Oh how you can paint a picture with your words...

  27. Nice one. What is it about jars that makes you hang onto them? I've got loads for the day I make jam or chutney, but I never do.

  28. Dog days of summer can make us as stir crazy in the South as the cold winters do you. I pace inside my air conditioned home.

  29. I liked this very much. Don't usually read before I write, got stuck. Perhaps your write will inspire me?

  30. As usual, Tess, clever and inventive.

  31. The lack of punctuation means that this poem can be read in many ways - most interesting and the imagery, as ever, is spot on.

  32. The dog days are keeping us all cooped up inside too much. You remind me of Maya Angelou's 'I know why the caged bird sings'.
    Ball jars always remind me of the poor lightening bugs trapped in them. They should all be set free to shine their beautiful lights.

  33. I loved this one! The image of the jelly jars brought back memories of afternoons at my friend's house and her mom making us help her can tomatoes! I used to hate it! Now I look back fondly.

  34. "the walls rearrange
    themselves in the night". Now that is poetry!
    As for jars and stuff, my advice is to quit writing your poetry in the kitchen!

  35. love love love the randomness. I am soooo feeling it today!

  36. I like the restless mood you have created in this poem. Wanted to pace the room after reading it.

  37. Giggle, Ford, I do write my poetry in the kitchen. It's starting to show, isn't it?

  38. Beautiful! I have been away from Willow Manor for far too long!

  39. "tt begins to tell,
    'round midnight, midnight ..."

    Those Mason jars are tightlipped, though.

  40. I love the poster, and yet
    it's rococo impressionism
    makes me randy, but would
    it keep me awake? I do not
    connect to it from your words,
    and it could be I am too thick,
    or using men's eyes; or maybe
    it is just another departure point,
    a place for more magpies to burst
    from, your words, that image, a
    vast world of poetic possibilities.
    Your run-on thoughts, described as
    an "unpredictable flow" take
    us on several journeys within
    the steamy illusionary fitful
    hours of non-sleep, following
    the midwest swelter of another
    dog day. I like the last lines:
    /those pot metal lids/ so
    tight with corrosion/.

  41. Glenn, my take on the prompt is from the star Sirius; the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot "dog days" of summer.

  42. I really love the opening stanzas. As for jelly jars - I'm with you!

  43. Beautiful frames of still life details. Kitchen is the perfect room for your writing. My favorite of yours, so far.

  44. Love your poem-- intense and beautifully crafted, Tess. Hope you don't mind that I linked today to an elegy for the Norway victims and will work w/ the prompt later today...xxxj

  45. “a knife thrower

    must find satisfaction
    in the crack of blade
    after blade in wood
    the fraying of splinters”

    ..you had me with those lines... wish i could have thought the same... adorable!:)


  46. I love the pace of this poem an the last stanza is AMAZING!

  47. A true fever dream from a master...thanks!!

  48. This one's something special, Tess.

  49. I spend far too many nights awake but it isn't the coffee that's responsible. I do love coffee - but it has to be strong..like a French dark roast - or Kenyan - or Sumatra, something like that. Sleep is hard to come by with all my aches and pains. I thrash and turn and moan...better to be up and reading your great poetry!

  50. was just contemplating exploding mason jars yesterday after reading an article about putting up preserves.

    sometimes the mundane kitchens of our dreamscapes contain more dread than a circus full of knife throwers...

  51. tight with corrosion - the words are visible!

  52. Thank you so very much for your lovely, generous comments, dear friends. As always, I appreciated your readership. You are the best.

  53. Just what is it about those lids? They feel funny, they sound funny.

    Your poem is perfect for the Dog Days of Summer!!

  54. i love this tess....

    happy to stop by today, my friend

    kary and teddy

  55. knifes are much easier to deal with than mason jars - tight and so resrictive....bkm

  56. Tess, A little syncronicity here. I published this account of my aunt's Oklahoma Farm featuring the old barn a few days before your post. http://grandmasunday.blogspot.com/2011/07/summer-visits-to-farm.html

  57. Dear Tess: Been feeling it; "tight with corrosion" too. Is it midsummer drone that makes the humid air combust? Do hope I'm not rusting; feel it though. I'd whip those nasty mason/ball jars too; saver than knives for the untrained knife thrower! Excellent metaphors for dolldrum heat!

  58. I love how your words paint such vivid pictures. Beautiful!

  59. Wow! That picture certainly pedalled your mind off down a side alley! Nicely done.

  60. Once the lid is open, let the pleasure begin – it is all good.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)