Friday, June 28, 2013

The Last of Us is Awesome

On the cusp of gaming's next generation, with E3 having just unloaded rounds of variegated technological goodies (and horrors) into our optic nerves, one would expect developers to be putting all efforts toward the future - in the case of Playstation, looking ahead to the Playstation 4 while abandoning its seven-year-old predecessor like a quickly dying planet.

A supposition that couldn't be further from the truth. Case in point: The Last of Us.

This latest Playstation-exclusive game, which has players navigating their way through an America twenty years deep into a population-whittling infection outbreak, is arguably the console's most masterful game to date. It is potent in ways heretofore alien to the world of gaming, giving the Playstation 3 not only one of its most enthralling and immersive experiences, but its last one at that.

Delving into this acclaim-arrayed swansong, there is an unmistakable quality on every level.

Click here for the full review.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Predator's Progeny

No prison dispirits like lineage,
the bars manifesting as imparted traits
too like the beast who sowed my seed
in cruelty and disgrace.

He prowls while two unlidded moons
roll and plumb the dark for sheep,
for guardless napes whose pallor's
only half the treasure of their bleat.

The wise by which this tyrannist
now scours through prey like crackling flame
I've known since memory 'gan to etch
his savageries upon my brain.

Back ere cradle lost its use,
he lurched his toothy silhouette
into my room and left his mark
upon my pierced and weeping neck,

a foundation he failed not to water,
sprinkling the screams of mother and kin
'pon heart too spongy, piece-by-piece
feeding them to his sin.

Now, youth seems but a wisp,
a labyrinth whose horror I thought I escaped,
yet every day the mirror displays
more of that predator's bearing and face.

He skulks, his wake of vampirized husks
an affront to every value I hold,
but what is the good of abhorrence
when cast in the aberration's mold?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Antipathy and Grace

Three times Paul implored The Lord
(in prayers availless to his pain)
to succour his body of its thorn.
Grace God spake and 'twould sustain,
a balm that seemed to ease him, yet
how long ere grace eclipsed his bane?

For I wake and crave comeuppance,
that Babylonian wrath
that whittled a god-king of his substance.
I'm crushed 'twixt fleshy paragnaths,
a body more millstone than machine
drowning me on its graveward path.

Nothing unburdens this lifelong weight,
this thorn metastasizing its bulk
like stone only Heaven can immolate.
In Christ I have joy, and yet I sulk;
heart drug down into the dirt
for all the living refused by this hulk.

So when does grace supplant disdain?
If this weight-enfeebled vessel
is the ship in which I must remain,
I pray that grace would come and nestle
peace's satiety in me...smiling
through the dint of sifting's necessary pestle.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


In the moonlight, she looked like some kind of reptile. The way vertebrae jutted a highway down her back. The sinuous shadow fabricating a tail down the back of her leg. The toppled spines of her purple-dyed mohawk, plastered to her cheek with sweat.

I probably could have found something better to do at 4:00am, with the night's worth of absinthe and rum still striking matchsticks in my fingertips, but...I couldn't help but notice the similarity. I grew up with iguanas. I'm familiar with the shade of their scaly detritus.

Pale, like her.

They say don't help nature, but she was a basilisk straining to shed, her pallor pleading for fingernailed help.

Who was I to deny her?


Three blinks and two rheumy fingertips reminded Isaac of his piercings. Specifically, the battalion of lymph with which his body harangued the rings in his face. His body didn't want them there, in his lip and eyebrows. For three years, his immune system fought off these intruding pieces of metal with crust and pus…a substance no different from the crystals he woke to mine from the corners of his eyes.

His eyes. What was his body trying to tell him?

Butane-blackened spoon in hand, he fully intended to listen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review of 'VOLCANO+THE SEA' by Free Dominguez

Free Dominguez is no new name around these parts. Some may know her from her work with Kidneythieves, the industrial rock band to which she has lent her voice for more than a decade. As 2012's (.Unearth.) demonstrated though, Dominguez is also a superbly competent soloist, a truth further emphasized by the album's follow-up, the newly released VOLCANO+THE SEA.

A rousing testament to the efficacy of Kickstarter and other crowd-sourcing platforms, Free Dominguez's third album greets the listener with a clarity and sophistication rather uncommon among the subgenre of independent, fan-funded music. It is a more complex adventure Dominguez takes us on this time. Where (.Unearth.) was comparatively subdued - a stripped-down and ambience-heavy composition - VOLCANO+THE SEA is a wild and energetic venture that puts the array of Dominguez's inspirations on display. It is still entrancingly atmospheric, but there is much more muscle veining the ghost this time around.

Click the link for more on this new album.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eternity, to Live or Die

"'Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him,'" (John 3:36).

In unrepentance, we willfully consign ourselves to a God-less eternity...but do you really know all you are reserving for yourself? Why invite Hell when Heaven is an option? Be freed of these deceptions that have you hastening toward Hell with a smile on your face and a veil over your eyes. If God is not in your envisioned afterlife, what joy do you imagine you are saving for yourself? God is the essence of goodness - all that we cherish and enjoy, the very ability to enjoy, joy itself, comes from Him. You reject God now in life, you certainly won't have Him in eternity. You forgo everything good, and for what? A maintained delusion lasting, at most, 80 years? 70 years without a conscience before God's conviction comes demanding you pay for your lifetime's tab? The tab that Christ already paid, but you refused?

Do not believe the pandering lie propagated by a world eager to please and deceive. The hard truth: there is no karmic afterlife...there is no God-less, eternal serenity. There is either eternity with God in Heaven, or eternity apart from God in Hell. Those are the only two options, and your choices made here in your life this very day will indicate your destination.

Please, do not throw yourself into that perpetual severance. You are loved and desired by God, and by me as well. I want to see you in Heaven, when the passage of death turns me over to eternal life and the Kingdom of God. More so, though, whether you acknowledge it or want you there. You may not call it Heaven, but the tranquility you internally yearn for and frame your ideal afterlife's Heaven, the perfect unity with the God who made you and shaped you. You want it just as much as I do. Please, align yourself with Christ and take hold of the afterlife He is offering you. There is no other. We either live with God, or we die without Him. What will you choose?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review of 'Ballet the Boxer 1' by Ours

It's been five years but it is finally here, the new album from that absurdly underrated band that has spent more than two decades lurking in the basement of alternative rock music. Of course, I refer to Ours. Fans have been patiently waiting for Ours to return to the studio since 2008's Mercy: Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy, and, after a successful pledge campaign that garnered the band about a third more than they requested, Ours' fourth album (fifth if you count Sour) has been unleashed, and it is glorious.

Read why at the link.

Friday, May 3, 2013

What the Westboro Baptist Church Fails to Understand

The Westboro Baptist Church has taken it upon themselves to once again proclaim God as a revelrous tyrant with an insatiable bloodlust, hoisting their picket signs over yesterday's death of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman.

There is something the WBC is failing to take into account, an essential part of God's nature and scripture that they are willingly ignorant of. Look no further than the following two excerpts that make obvious what the entire Bible, read contextually, testifies to.

"He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance," (2 Peter 3:9).

"Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die?'"(Ezekiel 33:11).

These verses stand to defy the WBC's ongoing tirade of misrepresentation and hatred. Just because something is someone's right, that does not make it a pleasurable one. God is the Almighty and supreme Judge and thus, can and does bring all humanity into judgment. Where in these verses (or elsewhere) would one infer God enjoys doing so? God does not enjoy human death, no more than one would enjoy sentencing their own reprobate son to the only fate left him after a lifetime of spurned council. All of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The worst "sinners" among us are no less children of God than the most righteous...and the death of a child will never, NEVER be a joy to its father.

Remember this the next time you encounter one of the Westboro Baptist Church's hate-campaigns.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How We Yearn - 30/30!

And so we have reached the end, once again, my friends. This year has been fantastic. I've both read and written some of the best poetry I've respectively encountered/turned out. A massive monitor-to-monitor high five to any of you who have been writing along with me. Is your hand on the monitor? Mine is. High Five!

For today's poem, the last of NaPoWriMo, I have a poem about yearning and nature. I hope you enjoy! And thank you all for following and reading! This is by no means the end of I, Mosaic. There will be plenty more to see and read, but as far as NaPoWriMo 2013 is concerned...Adieu until next year!

How We Yearn

Can we disappear?
Can these emerald canopies rapture us,
turn our bodies to mist
and find nourishment in our vapor?
Can we follow these breath-dressed will-o'-the-wisps
and vanish,
souls stretching from xylem to root,
slaking chthonian thirsts
in soil and sky?
Can we just disappear?
We, so tired of these trappings.
So weary of fleshly imprecations,
longing for the breathless naught
of bark and squirming bitumen,
of water and pebble and moss,
of zombic fog and its stillness.
These webs that strew their jewelry
from limb and back again.
This stone-throated simplicity
singing choruses from the creek bed.
Heaven's own tranquility,
and our desperate evanescence.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Window - 29/30

Happy Monday, everyone!

Second to last day of NaPoWriMo. What to do to celebrate making it through? Hmmm. I'll have to plan something exceptional. Have any plans? What will you do to celebrate NaPoWriMo's end?

As for today, there is still poetry to write and read! This piece is unprompted, aside from the beach trip I am still processing (obviously).

A Window

A rolled-down window.
A sky more ballroom than ceiling,
clouds swaying their minuets through its dome.
The coastal brew of saltwater and fertilizer,
a piquancy shivering lungs and nostrils.
The chill of a breath blown through pine,
softening the sun's toasty burden.
Needle-furred tree limbs aquiver.
The countryside dappled with dappled hide,
jaws that while away the daylight.
A crow pecking Morse code in splintery wood.
An unknowable bulk slipping through the grass,
flitting between straw-gold overgrowth.
Glimpsed then gone.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Tides Roll On and On - 28/30

Back from the beach, and still with a couple more days of NaPoWriMo left.

Today's poem was unprompted, and is definitely on the rougher side of things. Kinks to be worked out eventually.

The Tides Roll On and On

This sea,
an infinitude of tongues
hungrily lapping at cornmeal,
casting its aqueous fingers
up terra firma's ankles, toes
contentedly swimming
in the kips of eels and hermits.
This sea,
an eternity of waves
endless in their repetition
but as distinct as the filigreed crystals
that filter down from out of the firmament...
Where did You sink the waterwheel
that sends these tides unendingly crashing
on the sand's particulate gel?
Oceans of incessant landward motion
powered solely by the motor of Your will,
for aeons uninterrupted
in the ebb and flow they throw
from depths unplumbed and lengths unreached,
bringing skeletal blessings
to patrons dragging their hearts through the beach.
an order Your order kicked into motion,
Your power reflected in an unchanging ocean.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Found Friday (NaPoWriMo Edition!) - 'Depression' by Lizzydragon

And so it comes to this. The last Found Friday of NaPoWriMo. It's been one heck of a month. I've had the pleasure to read some fantastic, truly box-sundering poetry, and I just know for every great poem I have read there are dozens if not hundreds of equal craft. So goes the world of literature. You can read all you can, and still not have read more than a thimble-full of what exists.

Anyway, for today's Found Friday, I have the dank and chthonian poem, "Depression" by the blogger Lizzydragon (my veritable blog-twin for her blog's name, Mosaic). It is short, but by no means is it brief. Rich and sensory, atmospherically asphyxiating. It is a great piece of writing. Here is an excerpt:
shards of a woman


stitched and laced and sewn
a jigsaw of hip and hand and lips
a monster

the trees dragged her down
Please do click the link and go read the rest, and leave some feedback! Not unlike the fruit bat vampirizing bruised mangoes, or a rechargeable battery snugly sucking electrons from a charger, we poets are sustained by feedback. Be sure to let Elizabeth know your thoughts on this and her other pieces!

And, have a great Friday!

PromethIsa - 26/30

It's Friday (again!)!

I'm on my way out the door, so today's poem is shorter than I intend it to be. This is a concept I will definitely be revisiting, because I am seriously digging what's going on here. For a later time. For now, you get the abridged version. Have a fun Friday!


The craggy tongue of the earth
slaking its thirst through blood-sodden soil.
Divine wrath wracking man's scapegoat
with pins to hold him down
and a beak in the bowels of his immortality.
A lammergeier preening organ meat from plumage,
the excruciating cost of transcendence,
the race of wicks drifting underfoot
at last alighted with flame.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Breakfast in Spring - 25/30

Happy Thursday, world!

As I am in the process of getting ready for a weekend-long vacation, today and tomorrow's poems will be on the shorter side of things. So today I have a haiku for you! Haiku, the fallback of every lazy poet!

Breakfast in Spring

Griddled-egg innards
dribble down an azure plate.
Nature is hungry.


Sorry for the brevity, you guys! Hope you enjoyed it all the same, and may you have a pleasant Thursday!

P.S. - I'm still taking recommendations. Is there anyone I should be reading? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Triolet of the Worm - 23/30

Welcome back for another day of poetry!

With today's entry, we are officially in the last week of NaPoWriMo. Anyone else feeling like this month only just started and now we're almost done? I suppose that's not a new feeling though...

Anyway, today's poem came prompted by NaPoWriMo again.
And now our (as always, optional) prompt. Today, let’s try writing triolets. A triolet is an eight-line poem. All the lines are in iambic tetramenter (for a total of eight syllables per line), and the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines. This means that the poem begins and ends with the same couplet. Beyond this, there is a tight rhyme scheme (helped along by the repetition of lines) — ABaAabAB.
Here’s an example by Thomas Hardy:

Birds at Winter

Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly! – faster
Shutting indoors the crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The Flakes fly faster
And all the berries now are gone!

Triolets were in vogue among the Victorians — all those repetitions can add a sort of melancholy gravitas to a poem, but watch out! They can also make the poem sound oddly gong-like. A playful, satirical poem, on the other hand, can be easily written in the triolet form, especially if you can find a way to make the non-repeating lines slightly change the meaning of the repeated ones. Here’s an example of a modern, humorous triolet, by Wendy Cope:


My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you.
Whatever you’ve got lined up,
My heart has made its mind up
And if you can’t be signed up
This year, next year will do.
My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you.
Happy writing!
This was a fun exercise. I am pretty sure I had never tried my hand at a triolet before, so it was a fun style to undertake. For my first attempt, I'm pretty satisfied with the outcome (even if it is considerably darker than I intended today's poem to be). Oh well, truth is truth.

Triolet of the Worm

Muddy crawl the worms of man
with gullets full of soiled thought,
chewing plans from worms with hands
muddy, "Crawl thee, worms of man!
There is no God whose judgement can
desire more than thou were taught.
Muddy, crawl thee!, worms of man…"
…with gullets full of soiled thought.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Multnomah - 22/30

Good Monday, everyone.

Whether it be coffee-induced or natural, I hope you're having an energetic and lively Monday.

Today's poem came prompted by NaPoWriMo, where we were encouraged to write something for Earth Day.
And now, the prompt (it doesn’t have anything to do with masonry and, as always, is totally optional). Today is Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and is now celebrated internationally. In honor of the occasion, I challenge you to write a poem in keeping with Earth Day — it could be a reflection on what’s growing in your garden, a modern pastoral, or a Marianne-Moore-style poem about an animal. Anything to do with the natural world is fair game. Happy writing!
To that end, I have today's poem. I was surprised, when I sat down to think of something nature-oriented to write, to realize that I had never written about Oregon's own Multnomah Falls. It being one of my favorite natural features, that was something in need of immediate rectification. And I quite like what came out of it. Hopefully you do too! (Oh, and if you can come up with a better title for this than 'Multnomah', please do let me know!)


Vapor-laurelled pine trees
lay these pathways with their branches,
Hosannas underneath the feet
of zenith-enthralled pilgrims.

Boughs overhead shade stones
reposing mossy and meditative,
while an ever-present chill prompts clouds
to crawl from patron throats.

This, Multnomah's bowered cloister
roaring with Charybdian prayer,
pouring its watery incense
pon the breaths of passersby,

inhalations never so fresh
as when nearing that incessant spring,
whose falls inspirit with similitude
to the One who authored the thing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Penguin Pride - 21/30

Happy Sunday!

I have a limerick for you!

Penguin Pride

I once heard a penguin opine,
There's no nesting finer than mine,
and wouldn't you know,
with the pride it did show,
it found itself facing a line!

For penguins are known to be greedy,
not caring at all for the needy,
so when it did boast,
the fault they all host
roused claimants a-waddle and deedy.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Found Friday (NaPoWriMo Edition!): Caleb Parkin - 'Apple 'Til Blackened Lager'

Back for another Found Friday! If you're keeping track, we this is the second to last of our NaPoWriMo edition of Found Friday. Ah...where does the time go?

This week, the poem that I just couldn't stand to not share with you came by way of Caleb Parkin, a self-described "writer and performer...writing...poetry, prose, fiction, storytelling, participation, installation and more."

The poem of note, "Apple 'Til Blackened Lager", was written under the influence (*nudgenudge*) of NaPoWriMo's prompt to "translate" a foreign poem, and Caleb just exploded with it. Here is an excerpt to whet your whistle.
Oh Satan’s liver debt – still, after lithesome,
after all of the angered daggers,
man guards its boiled ravens.
The language and tone of the piece are just outstandingly debauched. Influenced by the title, the entire reading of the piece begins to feel intoxicated and befouled. It is just a vividly fun poem to read, and a very well-written take on the translation-poem.

Well, as they were wont to say on Reading Rainbow, don't just take my word for it...

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Orangutan Garden - 19/30

Happy Friday, everybody! I just can't believe how quickly this month has flown by. Only one more Friday left in this year's NaPoWriMo.

Speaking of Friday, the Found Friday will be coming later today, but for now I have another poem for you. Sit back, slip on those Lewis Carrol-shaded glasses you have been holding onto for just such an occasion as this, and get your nature on.

The Orangutan Garden

Hirsute stones peek their faces
through primaveral wealth,
lichen-bearded and orange.
Gastropodous tear-streaks
lend melancholy to their gazes,
but these stones hold no sorrow.
Their stares cobble into smiles
that are only smiles to those eyes
that never fully open on waking,
dream-taught pupils plucking palimpsests
from behind the screen of nature's verdure,
pulling polycardiac madams from their burrows
and inviting them to teatime,
creating insect class systems of aphids and ladybugs
between petal-crenellated towers,
where angels are not uncommon
with their symmetrically painted wings,
where fiddle-shinned crickets and grasshoppers
cross their fragile instruments
and lend twilight those lullabies
born of insomnia.
It isn't that dreamers paint nature with farce;
they just peel back inanimate planes
to see the wonder already there.
In a willow's hecatonchirene hug
or a cobblestone's fuzzy-cheeked stare.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Polyamory (What the Heart Wants...) - 18/30

We're seriously eighteen days (and thus eighteen poems) in already?! This is nuts!

Today's poem came by way of a particularly terrifying dream, one on the more heartbreaking side of the spectrum.


Polyamory (What the Heart Wants...) 

When my heart started whispering hints
to the rest of me, I foresaw no fault
in its polyamorous desire. Go, love
whomever you must love. I
am secure in this, our relationship.

What I failed to consider
was the misericord-like pinch
I would feel between my shoulder blades
during those nights when the bed
of my chest was left empty,

the lightning striking down my arm
as it reached to turn bedroom doorknobs
without the selfishness needed
to complete the motion's
lifesaving twist.

I thought nothing
of my heart's want to wander,
but this…the sensation of my body
collapsing upon itself one
breath at a time

while this organ,
the most essential part of me,
pounds its exhalations
upon the body of another…
How could I have agreed to this?

My breath is shallow,
mere wisps of bygone laughter
and I can only sit beside the door
and hear my heart beat that song
I thought surely was only for me.

My heart,
I let you go
not knowing just how quickly
life would withdraw from my lips
without you there to redden them.

The fault is mine,
a bear trap of my own making
now gnawing away at my extensions,
for not telling you more plainly
how I cannot live without you.

The fault does not lie in your desire,
but in how mutely I regarded mine,
the uselessness of useful tongues.
Heart, please hear these whispers.
I will be here. I have nowhere else to go.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Creation's Ode - 17/30

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

What are you all up to this week? Doing some invigorating writing and reading? Hopefully so.

I seem to have overcome my NaPoWriMo slump. I feel like I've found my second literary wind, which is great because I was running on E there for about a week. I'm rejuvenated and refreshed today, though, so huzzah for that!

Today's poem came semi-prompted by NaPoWriMo, where we were encouraged to write a poem of greeting.
And now our (totally optional) prompt! Early on in the month, I asked you to write a valediction — a poem of farewell. Today, let’s try the opposite, and write poems of greeting. There’s lots of things you could greet. The spring? Your new stapler? A favorite classmate? An addition to the menu at your local cafe? The subject’s up to you — now get out there and say “hello!”
Me being the neo-hippy that I am, of course I used this opportunity to write about...nature! Of course! Nature is not a new topic, but at the same time, that doesn't mean it can't make for something refreshing. I feel happy with today's poem, and hopefully you will too.

Creation's Ode

it has felt like so much longer than it's been
since I last saw your cold crescent of nacre
peel off the night's pajamas
with the arc of your roving gaze.
I am too far off to hear them,
but I imagine the stars are lauding you with songs
comprised of dust and reverberation,
like nebulous wrist bones clattering their applause.

only the corners of Earth poor enough
to know your power come alive on these nights.
Your luminous runoff rolls pitch off of hillsides
and defines the dryads who hide in sylvan alcoves
with more clarity than the sun could dream.
You are the sun's dream, a fantasy
of grace and less-abusive light.
Stop moving for a moment and let us love you.

already you flirt with marigold mountains,
kissing peaks that reach to hold your pallor more closely.
Why leave so soon, as if you don't love the way
Earth traces your gait with longing? You are shyer
than one more analogous to beauty than Helen of Troy
ought to be.
Don't go yet. The rivers still ripple your image,
a liquescent portrait in hands too wet to hold on…

It's day again, and once again you are gone.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuskless Months - 16/30

Good morning and good Tuesday!

Been doing any good reading this month? Are there any poets I should be following? Toss me your suggestions in the comments.

As for today's poem, I took NaPoWriMo's prompt to "translate" a foreign poem.
And now our (optional, as always) prompt. This is an oldie-but-a-goodie and it ties in nicely with our featured link! Today, I’d like you to write a “translation” of a poem in a language you don’t actually know. Go to the Poetry International Language List, pick a language, and then follow it to a poet and a poem. Generally the Poetry International website will present a poem in its original language on the left, and any translation on the right. Cut and paste the original into the text-editing program of your choice (and try not to peek too much at the translation). Now, use the sound and shape of the words and lines to guide you, without worrying too much about whether your translation makes sense.

For example, here are the first few lines of “Staden Glitrade,” by the Finnish poet Tua Forsström

Staden glittrade på avstånd, och
jag stannade. Det var så vackert med
anläggningar och terrasserade trädgårdar

I might translate this as:

Stadium trading glitter in the stands, our
jagged standard! There was so much made
of longing and of the tri-guarded tesseracts.

That might not make much sense, but it gives me some lovely ideas and images. Glittering stadiums, flags, shapes and desire. Those are some great ingredients for a poem!

Once you have your rough “translation,” you could leave it at that, or continue to shape the poem. It’s up to you. Happy writing!
For today's...weird piece of something (I don't go so far as to call it a poem), I used "EMPTY" by the Lithuanian poet Sigitas Parulskis, which can be read in its original state at the link.

Here is my super bizarre transmutation of that original poem....enjoy?

Tuskless Months

Morn basted toasty, he, toasty basted morn
matted bulk of rustic drywall and intravenous odors

of kelvins, many kelvins' viscous tusking
for Vishnu-mass, for seemly tracks, verifying
klepto prized motors
cleansed suckers necropolitan carp
posting smelly colonies

if sharks, if sharks' visitors
tussle, ranking nihilistic velvet
placards for inverted skeins, nickel
in tan jean sycamore necks

cackle-sighted haddock are
9, no, 10 volumes, or less, nakedly
nevertheless craquelure, also Uzbek
is suave mink, curious smugly

this delta, then, for better months -
Tuscany, visual Tuscany
drab as usual, named, pinging
knights, dragons, - new visa
bemused nutrias mourn mistakes

dear mother, dear Pakistani Sikh and elitist:
Kafka's past ka-boom came so serious I crashed us
in tuskless months before, and noses
for sermons never so sublime

since I crashed us
your many toasts are memory

Monday, April 15, 2013

Moss Makes a Better Lover - 15/30

Halfway to the finish line. Note to those reading: if you want to make a month fly by, do some activity every day for the entire month, or week, or however long you want to fast-forward. Writing a poem every day is like traveling through time at warp speed.

Anyway, today's poem comes by way of NaPoWriMo again.
And now our (again — totally optional) prompt! Today, I challenge you to write a pantun. Not a pantoum — though they are related. The pantun is a traditional Malay form, a style of which was later adapted into French and then English as the pantoum. A pantun consists of rhymed quatrains (abab), with 8-12 syllables per line. The first two lines of each quatrain aren’t meant to have a formal, logical link to the second two lines, although the two halves of each quatrain are supposed to have an imaginative or imagistic connection. Here’s an example:

I planted sweet-basil in mid-field.
Grown, it swarmed with ants,
I loved but am not loved,
I am all confused and helpless.

The associative leap from the first couplet to the second allows for a great deal of surprise and also helps give the poems are very mysterious and lyrical quality. Try your hand at just one quatrain, or a bunch of them, and see how you do!
Moss Makes a Better Lover 

Moss holds to dewy homelands with hair-thin fingers,
the commitment and gorillian strength thereof!
Only in déjà-vu and dream there linger
those vestiges of places I held with less love.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Myth of the Gods - 14/30

It's Sunday! By now you are all probably doing things you'll regret doing tomorrow morning when it feels like you're giving birth to a Grecian deity (I mean you'll have a your mythology...). Shame. On. You.

But while you're here, how about some poetry? Did I mention Greece up there? And deities? Well that segues into today's poem perrrrrrfectly.

The prompt at NaPoWriMo today was to write a persona poem.
And now, our prompt. Today’s should be fun — I hope. I challenge you to write a persona poem — that is, a poem in the voice of a particular person who isn’t you. But I’d like you to choose a very particular kind of person. How about a poem in the voice of a superhero (or a supervillain)? Comic book characters are very much like mythological characters — they tend to embody big-picture values or personality traits. Good or bad. Loyal or disloyal! (Heck — some comic book characters are mythologial characters — think of Thor). And like mythological characters, superheroes and supervillains let us tap into deep-seated cultural tropes. So go for it. Whether you identify with Batman, Robin or – gulp – the Joker, let’s hear your poems in another voice. Happy writing!
Persona poems are always a lot of fun, but they have to be written in the right way. In my experience, the persona poem will fall flat unless the poem transcends the persona and says something more. So, to that end, today's poem. I'm not going to tell you who the character is, but the game-savvy among you should be able to recognize it. Who do you think it is speaking here? Tell me in the comments!

Myth of the Gods

The things we shape and
christen 'gods' can be killed like
the men who made them.

This Olympic myth,
temple-extolled deities...
bleeding at my hands.

What god can be robbed
of its godhood? Who made Zeus
if not zealous man?-

hands too readily
capable of purging that
mountain of its host.

I am the axehead
at the root of Olympus,
striking for revenge,

lopping its branches
stroke by stroke, ichor-whetted
wedge shaking their thrones.

These gods die like men.
There is nothing divine in
the way they perish,

in the way their will
shatters without enforcement,
in their impotence.

My flame-fanged fury
wrings unwilling vermilion
from Olympus' gods...

Gods? Show me someone
who cannot succumb to death,
who rends death in twain

when it endeavors
to swallow their spirit whole...
who man cannot kill.

Show me the warrior
on whom Hades holds no claim,
and I'll show you God.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Raccoons - 13/30

Happy Saturday, everybody. Got some plans for this bright and springy weekend? Nature is coming alive for you! Go partake!

Today, I've got a haiku to give you a laugh and get you moving on your day. Enjoy, and get outside! Go live up your weekend for those of us who can't.


Raccoons and walnuts.
Do raccoons collect walnuts?
My dream lied to me.

Found Friday (NaPoWriMo Edition): RhondaK - 'Noir Murder Death with Whiskey'

Did anyone notice I forgot to do a Found Friday yesterday? No? Well good. Then I'll just slip this little blog right under your noses...

It's Saturday (but let's pretend it's Friday...)! Another Found Friday for you. This week's Found Friday comes by way of RhondaK, a self-described "9th Gen Floridian who paints funny bar signs and mermaids... [and is] also a Librarian and Pug-A-Holic."

RhondaK's poem "Noir Murder Death with Whiskey" was a noir-prompted poem that quite thoroughly blew my socks off (or rather, wooed them off with a combination of whiskey, monochromatic lighting and slow jazz). Here is an excerpt from the best poem I read this week.
There comes a time, your gin leg empty and your whiskey full
Your mind on a beautiful woman with a terrible story
You rush in to save her without feeling her knife at your throat
That is just a sampling of the poem's potent homage to the noir/murder mystery genre. RhondaK writes with a steamy atmosphere that reads as if coming from the mouth of Bogart. Brilliant noir. Go have a read and drop her some feedback!

Have a great weekend, too!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Macy's Rant - 12/30

It's Friday! That means the weekend is nigh! Well, for you all. I have to go to work tomorrow...wanna know where I work? Really wanna know? Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Macy's Rant 

You must think your customers are stupid.
You must think your employees are slaves.

These are the only reasons that can justify
the idiotic way you treat both of them.

Macy's, you're a piece of work,
and by work, I mean the work

of a dog squatting over someone's
freshly mown lawn.

Only you, with your rectum-incensed proboscis,
would have the audacity

to host a 1-Day Sale for 2 days,
and think your manipulation isn't showing.

Macy's, you've got a smile like a bus stop toilet seat.
There's so much crap seething between your teeth

I wonder if your toothpicks don't come
with plunger-heads.

Sure! Stuff your employees into unpaid shifts,
propped up behind registers like Botox-lipped

Sonmis (and no, you won't get that reference, Macy's,
because you don't have time

between your incessant pandering
to do anything that doesn't bleed someone).

I've worked routes through your labyrinth for years.
Nobody knows the master's business

more than the one charged with cleaning it up,
my cart and bucket in hand.

"You know, if you buy $100 worth of stuff you don't need,
you can get some more stuff you don't need for FREE!"

"Golly gee willikers! That's a deal
worth depriving my children of nourishment for!"

Macy's, I want to stab you in the face.
If you had a face to stab, I would stab it.

Just know this.
Every time you flush your unethical packing-peanut-crap

thinking no one will know how vile you are…
I'll be there to clean it up.

I know all your secrets,
you stupid, stupid company.

* * *

I'm not normally one for rants, but today's prompt (coupled with the absence of a paycheck that should have been in my bank account...) brought this furious little monster to fruition.
And now, the prompt. (Again, the prompt is totally optional). Today’s offering comes to us from Charles Bernstein’s list of poetry experiments. In particular, today I challenge you to “write a poem consisting entirely of things you’d like to say, but never would, to a parent, lover, sibling, child, teacher, roommate, best friend, mayor, president, corporate CEO, etc.” Honesty is the best policy, after all, so get it off your chest! And if you’re interested in the complete list of experiments, you can find them all here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Proposal - 11/30

Eleven days in and we're not stopping yet. How's everyone's week? Making it through the workdays? Hopefully today's poem will give you a life-sustaining chuckle or at least a smirk.

The prompt for today's came from NaPoWriMo.
And now, our prompt! Today I challenge you to write a tanka. This, like the “American” cinquain, is a poem based on syllables, with the pattern being 5-7-5-7-7. They work best when those final two 7-syllable lines contain a sort of turn or surprise that the first three lines might not wholly anticipate. You can string a bunch of them together to make a multi-stanza poem, or just write one!
To get you going, here’s an anonymous example from the Japanese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth:
On Komochi Mountain,
from the time the young leaves sprout,
until they turn red,
I think I would like to sleep with you.
What do you think of that?
That one makes me laugh!
I'm in a humorous mood, so I wanted to write something following that unexpected line of thought. So I give you, "A Proposal".

A Proposal (Tanka of Obliviousness and Impending Perpetual Solitude)

Now that we're alone
and I have some space to kneel,
I have a question:
Can't you tie your shoelaces?
No, why would I have a ring?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stowaway Angels - 10/30

Ten days in. We're a third of the way through! Hope you're still enjoying all these words I'm putting in your face, because there are still twenty days to go. Are any of you writing your own poems?

Oh, also, before we go any further, there are a couple new followers to thank. Debra Rymer and Jacqueline Czel, thanks for following I, Mosaic! Welcome to the wordiest place on the 'net.

As for today's poem, there was no prompt for it, just a simple little concoction of humor, observation, nature, and Heaven, subtitled 'A Rumination on Cherub Tails and Other Heavenly Matters'. Hope you enjoy!

Stowaway Angels

On days like these,
when the clouds drip down

to get a closer look at
our gravity-trapped habitats,

they settle their wet shawls
around the boughs of alpine

shoulders, where nested tenements
of down and other leavings

twitter and lilt that Hosanna
sung in airier abodes, none

on hearing, gazing up
to find tree limbs a-shudder,

expecting Heaven's
cherubs to boast such bushy tails.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Labyrinth - 9/30

A Tuesday to you, and to you, and to you, dear reader. I'll have you know that Tuesday is actually descended from "Tiw's Day", Tiw being a roman god of war. So, if you aren't warring today, you're not celebrating your Tuesday properly. Whether you war against your boss by leaving a paper clip in the copy machine or you declare war on a sandwich from Subway (and devour it most ferociously), hopefully you're having a great Tuesday.

Today's poem came semi-prompted by NaPoWriMo.
And now our (totally optional) prompt. I’m a sucker for a good mystery novel, especially the hard-boiled noir novels of the thirties and forties. There’s always a two-timing blonde, a city that keeps its secrets, and stuck in the middle, a man who just can’t help but rabbit after truth. Today I challenge you write a poem inspired by noir — it could be in the voice of a detective, or unravel a mystery, or just describe the long shadows of the skyscrapers in the ever-swirling smog.
Taking that cue, I couldn't get the image of a foggy, benighted city out of my head. So, today's poem.

The Labyrinth 

This city, this fog-raftered catacomb
of steel and towering glass, windows
illumed like eyes lining the whole
tentacular length.
These sentinels.
Has anyone grown in their shadow
and learned to crave the sunlight?
Pallid-irised people sating pupils
on ash and ticking fluorescence.
All have a characteristic shuffle,
the slow, downcast gait of one
hunting for something
These citizens,
their troglodytic gazes
untroubled by the heavens,
only looking up long enough
to leer at the bleary timepiece
shining commandments into the dark.
What necropolitan society could have
bred such dreamlessness?
By which empire's pride
did Heaven finally withdraw, taking
all its unrecognized beneficence with it?
That rapture, only recalled
in the scrawling of dead scribes.
Could any have known the rapture
to be more ellipses than comma,
more abandon than check?
How long had we strove with our God?
This consolation prize, this city
dim with the lack of its God,
grim in the tack of its gods'
chronometric enthrallment,
fluorescently buzzing tyranny
lighting our garden of earthly despair.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fingerprints - 7/30

Happy Sunday (or Stun-day, for those of you who spend your days killing Templars in Assassin's Creed multiplayer...sorry, still got yesterday's gamer-lingo on the brain...).

Anyway, you want to read poetry and I want to let you, so without further ado, today's unprompted poem.


Are these not your fingerprints,
these xenochromatic nebulae
spattering space
with the whorls of their evidence?

Are these not your fingerprints,
these elliptically dancing planets
whose circuits swerve perfect waltzes
through universal ballrooms?

Are these not your fingerprints,
these wandering mountain ranges
veining Earth
with their parabolic vigils?

Are these not your fingerprints,
these skeletal rings
whose canopies
cast comfort from their boughs?

Are these not your fingerprints,
these Heaven-scented essences
born dreaming of their homeland
and speaking its native tongue?

And these, these subatomic masterpieces
dictating life by their helixes,
mirrored contours craving
Each oV your name's fOur Letters-

Are these not your fingerprints?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Found Friday (NaPoWriMo Edition!): Jessica McHugh - 'Paper Boats'

 We're back for another Found Friday. Maybe it's all the poetic commotion of NaPoWriMo, but I've decided that for the next three Fridays, we'll be having NaPoWriMo editions of Found Friday. What does that mean for you, the reader? Am I demanding any life-altering changes? Do you have to mail me $5 as a subscription fee? No... not yet anyway.

Nah, what will be happening is every week I will be featuring my favorite poem from that week's worth of NaPoWriMo contributions. Obviously I'm not reading everything that's being written, so keep in mind there is plenty more brilliant poetry to be read (and to write! *nudgenudgenudge*). From what I will have read though, I'll post the poem that reached out and slapped me with the most verve and savvy.

Speaking of verve and savvy, I bring you Jessica McHugh. Her first NaPoWriMo poem of the season, titled "Paper Boats", can be found at her blog No Vacation for Speculation. Here is a sample:
On a night river, the travelers release their paper boats.
Floating from dock-town desks, they seek to thicken souls over feet
And touch worlds beyond atlas edges.
Read the rest of this lovely gem at her blog (seriously, clickity-click and go read it). It has a captivating, otherworldly whimsy that threads all of McHugh's work (that I've read so far anyway), but not at the cost of sentiment or emotional integrity. The poem has a lot to say about the art of writing and its place in society. But hey, don't let me tell you what the poem means. Go read it yourself, and explore her blog while you're there.

It's a nice place to get lost.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Antediluvian - 4/30

Hey, all. How's your writing going? How's your reading going? Hopefully your days entail plenty of each.

Today's poem had no prompt. Just a look-out-your-window-and-write kind of day. A fresh rainy Spring day like this? This is exactly why every NaPoWriMo I turn out at least one completely useless nature poem. But maybe it won't be useless to you. Maybe you'll enjoy it.


As Spring preens itself with chlorophyll,
tends new plumage with inhalations
known only to Pelizzari and Pipin,
life crawls from tombic burrows
thirsting for the heavens.

The oak tree's seven-pointed stars,
veined in grey and liquescent xylem,
drink deep the sky's outpouring, while
soil instinctively churns itself into
something for cave-scrawled narration.

Amphibian diaphony bubbles invisibly,
and creatures more bristle than bone
frolic and paint new lines on creation
with watercolor-tails that know nothing
but thankfulness for this drip,

this blessed wetness, this restrained deluge
whose rainbow-forbade potential
still brings shivers to the giants
old enough to know
its chill.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Lusca - 3/30

Day three already? Time does seem to fly when you're surrounding yourself with great poetry. This year is going swimmingly so far. and if you're wondering why that was in italics, read on.

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today suggested writing a sea shanty. While I didn't do that, it did get me thinking about seafaring tales and myths and the like. So what I have for you today is a perplexing little ditty called "The Lusca". It started out as a simple typical British-English poem, but quickly became a different creature entirely.

So, enjoy...and just a hint as to how to read this: the lusca is the name for a Caribbean sea creature. Caribbean. Okay, have fun.

The Lusca 

A foitnaht deep in maym Julay,
da Lusca seeled tads rollin' haigh,
bellied wit' doze crew shanghaied
lak barrls off da poit.
Da sea it coofed its sahlty bran
lak dyamonds glown' by Liza's shan,
an' no man needed tirst fo' wan
on 'at cyask-swolln boit.

But clouds lak staavin' 'ounds arraved
an' palled da sun god's watchful eye
while watas 'ungrilay complad
wit' roas to sink de ship.
An' 'fo any seela o' sleeve could cra
to mohda o' god, da sea split wad,
jaws lockin' da feeted Lusca insad
Pie's unforgivin' grip.

An' so de ocean's lack of ships
each tam Julay's meridian hits,
when seelas stee wit' warma hips
dan doze de oceans tease, 
when watas seem to seede wit' lips,
when weeling vaices nun can miss,
meanin' to drag men to de abyss,
out on da moonlit sea.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hellow Tide - 2/30

Back for day two! You still with me? I hope so, 'cause I'm having a blast. As a reader and writer of poetry, NaPoWriMo is like some nirvanic concoction of Comic-Con and those fantastic Scholastic Book Faires we all used to patron in elementary school (Goosebumps books represent...).

Today, I employed the prompt provided at the NaPoWriMo hub, encouraging us to write a poem that is a lie.
And now, the prompt! Today’s prompt is drawn from an idea that Kelsey Howard gave me — that of a poem that tells a lie. I think you could have a poem that’s all lies (that could be very funny — full of things like “the sun is the size of a nickel”) or a poem that steadily builds to telling one big whopper. I can imagine these being very poignant, or very much like goofy shaggy-dog stories. I suppose it all comes down to what you want to lie about!
Following that suggestion, I wrote today's poem. It isn't something that really required a lie to be told, but the subject lent itself so well to hyperbole and falsification, I just went with it, and after yesterday's poem, I wanted to write something more humorous. Can't have it getting too dour around here, right?

Hellow Tide

A tiger's cat-o'-nine-tails-kisses
roused me from the realm of sleep,
cheeks abraded while nostrils caught
the perfume of the shore-spat deep,
freed of ebbing water's mask,
now pulling tears with fishy reek:
an ooze of ageless decay and salt
each time this tiger would speak.

So, what do you think the poem was about? What do you suspect was the truth behind the lie? Let me know in the comments! And happy writing/reading!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Found Friday: Jesse Parent - 'Hooked Cross'

Welcome back for another Found Friday! Hopefully you've all had a pleasant and enlightening week. If your week has been a bit of a drag, I've got a doozy of a poem that is sure to be the derriere-exploding boot you need to kick off your weekend.

If you need a bit of a refresher, Found Friday is the I, Mosaic way of bringing new and potentially obscure poetry to you, the loyal reader, because being a poet isn't just about generating's about supporting the brilliance of others too.

So to that end, I bring you a poem sure to knock you into your weekend with all the gentleness of an atom bomb. Here is "Hooked Cross" (also known as "The Swastika Poem") by Jesse Parent.

 From Jesse Parent's official website:
I have been a professional improviser since 2001, first dipping my toe into the water in 1992 while in college. I’ve also been a performance poet since 2007, when I first competed in the National Poetry Slam. On top of that, I have worked as a software engineer since 1995, which pays the bills and keeps my left brain well fed.
This poem is precisely what I love about poetry. Jesse takes something small here, the swastika, and makes it universal, writing a poem that reaches way past the item in question and addresses a bigger picture, and to shattering effect. The horror of the settings he unfolds from the swastika's perspective, contrasting the symbol's original and appropriated meanings, and the way he turns the spotlight around on the cross of Christ with that devastating gut-punch of an ending, is executed with a cleverness and conviction that hits me in all the right places. The power and emotion in his tone remind me quite a lot of Corbet Dean, another poet you will inevitably be encountering at a later point.

So what impression did this poem make on you? Love it? Hate it? Leave a response in the comments section!

And go do something fun this potentially sunny weekend. No need to be isn't winter that's coming! *ba-dum PSHH*

The Inquiry

An old poem from the perspective of Pontius Pilate, the man who sentenced Jesus Christ to crucifixion.

What fault called Barabbas from his procured vault
While flaying this other with legal assault?
What sin hidd’n within could this rabble have spied
For which this Nazarene so grotesquely died?
Why came no word to his accusers confound? –
Silent even when his blood a sea made the ground.
Never such a quandary in Rome have I seen;
Never have I held a gaze of such stellar sheen.
What was it inside me that stirred at his strength? –
Such power! Though stifled…seemingly somber at length.
Never in my multiple lustrums’ observance
Has my seat been regarded as so void of substance,
So free of performance beyond the taut strings
That seemingly brought to fruition these things.
These proceedings I ordered, the procession I sent –
What cause drove this swited scapegoat as he went?
As he staggered through the Via Dolorosa, the way,
More than just that gnarled cross upon him did lay.
What was it he bore that garnered such spite,
When every limb of the law found him naught but aright?
Did ever one such as this arise, come to preach? –
Speaking of a lone, loving god in our reach?
Oh, the thousand questions, to god, had I asked!
With what purpose was this man from Galilee tasked?
Any hope, any answer, I now only see
As a thin silhouette – Yeshua nailed to a tree.

Like Pilate, you may have some questions about the whole Easter thing. Coming up on Easter weekend, today is Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday when we collectively commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. People tend to wonder why anyone would call something so grievous 'good', and even though it has been heard before, the relevance of John 3:16 bears reiterating.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We remember and celebrate the crucifixion because it is the point in history when God proved His love for humanity. We all have an inherent brokenness that no amount of human effort has been able to mend. Humanity has been struggling with the effects of Eden's PTSD throughout all of history, looking for happiness and fulfillment everywhere, finding it nowhere. C.S. Lewis put it well in Mere Christianity when he wrote:
All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terribly story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
Can anyone really deny humanity's brokenness? There is something askew in our wiring, and it is not within our power to fix. If it were, we would have done so by now. The fact that we continue to repeat the same troubles and damages throughout all of recorded history proves that this problem is beyond us. Meditation is a booboo-kiss, religion is a band-aid, even humanitarianism in all its beneficence does not fill the God-shaped fragment missing from our construct. Humanity is broken, and no, that is not something we were ever meant to accept. When is settling for less ever a good thing? We were meant for more than...all this.

Thankfully, the God who made humanity loved us too much to leave us in our brokenness, doomed to eternity divided from Him and all He is (life, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, love, energy, blessing, goodness, justice, mercy...). Thankfully, the one who has the power to fix our brokenness - our sin - began and ended that redemptive process with the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

In Golgotha's bloody display, God denounced every thought and rumor of a distant, uncaring creator.
In the crucifixion, God brought Himself to a human level so He could bring humanity to a Godly level.
In the figure of Jesus, God took our brokenness to the grave, returning three days later with victory, renewal and perfection for those who choose to accept it.
God died temporarily so that we would live eternally.

This is the purpose of Good Friday, and precisely why it is indeed very 'good'.

Please, think on these things. If you feel even the slightest twinge of curiosity, inclination or even indignation after reading this, contact me in whatever form you choose. Comment, Facebook, email...have at it. The Christ's offer is as open to you now as it was when He spoke it:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Big Poetry Giveaway 2013

We're only a few days away from the beginning of NaPoWriMo, and I just found something that makes it truly worth celebrating (well...aside from the Fort Knox-ian wealth of poetry we're all on the cusp of...obviously.).

Susan Rich and Kelli Russell Agodon are heading up this giveaway that I am particularly thrilled about and excited to take part in. The Big Poetry Giveaway 2013 is essentially a chance for you, the reader, to stock up on some fantastic books of poetry while I, the blogger, get to give away fantastic books of poetry (and possibly acquire some myself in the process).

Read here for all the details, but what it boils down to is each participating blogger will give away two books of poetry to two lucky readerse once NaPoWriMo is completed, so at the beginning of May. The cool thing for me is that one of the two books can be your own book of poetry, and as I just so conveniently have one (Ars Golgothica: A Collection of Poems), this is quite the lovely opportunity for me, and for you, dear reader!

So, what will I be giving away?

Book one: Ars Golgothica, my aforementioned book of poetry, a collection long in the making and one I am particularly proud of.
Book two: Sunrise O'clock by Hillary Kobernick. Her poetry is like worship drifting from the whorled mouths of nature, transcendental and reverent, spirited and wise, like Hypatia taking communion. In other words, her writing is awesome, and you should want this book much more than mine.

The way to enter yourself is to comment on this post with your name and email address at some point throughout NaPoWriMo. It will be a random draw at the end of the month, one of the two books to two lucky readers who have commented here.

So, stick around throughout April! And don't just hover around my blog, there are a nice handful of other bloggers participating as well. If you're the luckiest person on the planet, that could mean about 12-15 books of poetry coming your way! You'll never know unless you enter...

Soli Deo Excelsior!

The Sign in Your Hand ≠ The Cross on Your Necklace

It's sad how the Gospel of love,
coming out of the wrong mouth,
can land on the ear
with all the love of a racial slur.

Would you mind closing your mouth?
There is no redemptive Saviour in your speech.
Your tongue has forgotten the taste of Golgotha's wine,
communing instead with acid and bile.

Please, refamiliarize yourself
with the face of the one you represent.
So long you've served a caricature of the Christ
tucked beneath your eyelids,

I wonder if you would actually recognize Him
if you opened your eyes and looked.

There is no ground for the leather-bound bludgeoning
you give those most in need of their Saviour.
The only thing Christ told you to do is love.
Love your God
and love your neighbor.
Love your neighbor
and trust their salvation to God,
remembering that love
is what cracked wide the stony tomb,
shaped stone into Edenic flesh.
No heart is too petrified for love, so love.
Love with the love that saw Christ turn away crowds
with stones in hands and adultery in mind.
Love with the love that made a banquet out of a basket;
give all that God has given you and know that
He is capable and willing to provide the rest.

Your God is love.
Please...prove it.
There is a world looking desperately for reasons
to refuse the offer of Heaven.
Do not be one of them.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

'The Lover's Return' Published in Tales of the Talisman

It dawns on me that, in all of last autumn's holiday-straddling haste, I never took the opportunity to announce the publication of my poem "The Lover's Return" in Tales of the Talisman, Volume 8, Issue 2.

Steven Wittenberg Gordon has posted a thoughtful review of the release at his blog, commenting on my poem in particular saying:
...despite its obvious imperfections in rhyme and meter, [The Lover's Return] still managed to move me with its macabre tale of love zombified.
As I try to write through my still-thrilled publication-high, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this issue. Not just for my poem (which is obviously hair-raising), but for the entire product. There is some fantastic literature here, especially if you have a proclivity toward speculative sci-fi and horror.

I am honored to have had one of my absolute favorite poems published by Tales of the Talisman, and I'm sure, if you have enjoyed my writing in any capacity, you will surely enjoy the clanking and gibbering tales you'll find nestled betwixt the publication's pages.

You can buy a physical copy here, as well as an e-book version here.

All My Friends Will Be There...

"He loved to pronounce a curse-- may it come back on him.
He found no pleasure in blessing-- may it be far from him," (Psalm 109:17).

Those who want nothing to do with God in life certainly would not expect to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. You wouldn't want to be there, so you won't be. You'll go somewhere else. Just keep in mind that everything good is in the God you have refused, and this other place is complete division from Him - from everything good. It is Hell for a reason. God won't be there, thus no light, no life, no air, no water - the source of all that is good will be at the party whose invitation you declined.

Do not let yourself be convinced of an uproarious, jubilant afterlife away from God, surrounded by friends who equally spurned the Gospel in life. Hell is for those who did not want to spend their eternity with God, but the alternative is not what the world would have you believe. There will be no liberty or friendship in Hell; those are characteristics of God. Suffering, no matter how many may endure it, is an entirely isolated condition, and you will be alone in it.

Do not let this eternity befall you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Song of Erebor

Sing with me of Erebor,
the kingdom 'neath the lonely mount,
the falls, the dark and glistering halls
where Thrór sat paramount.

Sing with me of Erebor,
the stronghold hewn in green and gold,
Durin's keep, where riches sleep,
magnificent and cold.

Sing with me of Erebor,
the plunder clutched by blood-red claw
when strew Smaug a seething fog
from twixt his dripping maw.

Sing with me of Erebor,
the mithril splendour of that home
unforgot but ever-sought
while khazâd wend and roam.

'til we claim it back from flame,
ever will we roam.

Monday, March 25, 2013

One Week to NaPoWriMo 2013!

By some time-bending alchemy, we are coming up on April again, and that means it's almost NaPoWriMo time (National Poetry Writing Month)! It feels like I just got done with last year's thirty-day writing challenge and here we are again, but that's a feeling threaded through all of my life lately. Time is passing faster, with or without our acknowledgement. Anyone else feel like they're stuck in a Futurama episode?

But yeah, NaPoWriMo! If that odd concoction of syllables doesn't mean anything to you, let me give you a bit of a refresher.

From the NaPoWriMo hub:
NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.
NaPoWriMo was founded in 2003, when poet Maureen Thorson decided to take up the challenge (modeled after NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), and challenged other poets to join her. Since then, the number of participants has gotten larger every year, and many writers’ organizations, local, national and even international, organize NaPoWriMo activities.
Thirty poems in thirty days may seem a daunting obelisk to surmount, but, as I told a close friend recently, it isn't about creating masterpieces. NaPoWriMo is, more than anything, an opportunity to jump-start your creativity and force your brain into a "feed off anything" mentality. It is great for anyone who would like to write more but never can get in the "right place" to do so.

If you have been trying to find an excuse to write some poetry, or are just curious what that magical space where your brain and imagination collide is capable of, I encourage you to take up the challenge. There are currently 190+ blogs, deviantArt accounts and Facebook pages committing to the challenge, and that number will only increase as the days to day one count down.

So, if you want to write some poetry, or just want to sit back and absorb the participants' collective juices like Philip J. Fry with a barrel full of Slurm (I'm really stuck on Futurama today, aren't I?), I strongly encourage you to stay tuned to NaPoWriMo this April. Find some blogs to follow, or create one yourself and get ready to press those mindgrapes.

Poetic brain-wine is the best, we can all agree.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Poetry Experience

About a month ago I read a poem at my first open mic. I would have been glad to have read under any circumstances, but this particular night was so ideal I wonder if I'm secretly dreaming in some goo-bath matrix.

The open mic was part of a feature for Andrea Gibson. If that name doesn't trigger something in you, I recommend this and this immediately.

I had spent a good week beforehand preparing my poem 'A Letter to the Dance Pole' for performance, and my memorization paid off. After a slew of quality readings by other poets, I read my poem in an experience I only wish had been recorded in some way. Performing without slip-up or error, I left the stage elated and exhilarated, a feeling magnified by Andrea Gibson's encouragements afterward. The fact that my debut reading was in the presence of a poet whose work has contributed so much to the shaping and maturation of my own voice was unbelievable.

Needless to say, I've been itching to perform again. Which brings me to my question of the day: how do you prefer to receive poetry? Are you taken with spoken word, or do you stick with written poetry? Studio-recorded audio? Live performances on YouTube?

What is your ideal poetry experience?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Found Friday: Taylor Mali - 'What Teachers Make'

I'm starting something new here on I, Mosaic. Starting today, every Friday is going to be 'Found Friday', where I pull something poetically awesome from the world of the interwebz and share it with you, my loyal and verse-hungry readers. I can't promise it will all be new to all of you, but maybe at least some of it will be new to some of you...and that's not bad.

So, first up for the first official I, Mosaic Found Friday... "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali.


From his official bio:
New York City native Taylor Mali is one of the most well known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement. His life, words and mission speak of inclusion, not exclusion, which makes him an unexpected force among dissimilar wordsmiths.

After nine years of teaching in a regular classroom, Mali sought out a larger one, and he has performed and lectured globally ever since. Still a staunch supporter of educators and the art of teaching, Mali’s New Teacher Project has a goal of attracting 1,000 new people to the field of education through “poetry, persuasion, and perseverance.”

He is the author of two books of poetry, The Last Time As We Are (Write Bloody Books 2009) and What Learning Leaves (Hanover 2002), and four CDs of spoken word.

A past president of the nonprofit Poetry Slam, Inc., Taylor is one of the fortunate ones who make his living as a spoken-word and voiceover artist. He has also narrated several books on tape, including The Great Fire (for which he won the Golden Earphones Award for children’s narration).
This is one of my favorite poets doing what he does best: speaking truth to and about those who desperately require it. This poem grabs me every time I listen to it, and the revealing light it casts on both the realistic function and nonappreciation of teachers in our country is staggering. You probably thought of one or two of your own teachers while watching this, didn't you? I know I did.

Have a great Friday, everyone! If you happen to be a student, give your teacher/professor/instructor your best. They probably appreciate your efforts more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Poetry Day

It's World Poetry Day today! So, for those of you without the time to curl up with a nice volume of poems, or not able to stick some Indiefeed Performance Poetry podcasts in your ear-holes, let me leave you with a few lines to nest amongst your gray matter.

The pen longs to waltz

across the blue-veined ivory,
scuff its inky soles in struts

unlike any ere or after.

The pen longs to waltz
with vagabond digits

holding it like a trysted lover,

their tales wholly their own,
the synapses leaking down your limbs.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

For K.

Michelangelo, picking imperfections
from the
Pietà's lauded robes.
Da Vinci, grieving unseeable sins
in the strokes of his Last Supper.
Raphael, combing the Christ's contours
in singular displeasure.
Like any masterpiece, the reflection
bears no cruelty like its own,
possessing eye.

You saw age drag its talons
through the snow of your countenance,
convinced vampiric tendrils
were siphoning the spirit
from cheeks like supple peaches.
You felt coarse and brittle qualities
in those falls of raven silk,
locks whose softness yet lulls
my swimming fingers.

You saw skin robbed of its luster,
swore the sun had set on you
as if the star's blazing sway
was never followed by the moon's.
I won't negate your sorrows, but
trust, love, that your loveliness
exists deeper than the stained glass
of your swathing.

You are light shining through a kaleidoscope,
the sun dressed in marbles,
beauty made all the more so
by the brilliance illuming your universe.
You are bloody-Bathory lovely,
a beauty immune to time's gravity
shining from neath crimson makeup,
told by the cold, bemused mirror
in radiance and lust.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What to Do When the Oscars Snubs Your Favorite Movie

We stand on the brink of the 85th Academy Awards, staring into the abyss and finding Seth MacFarlane's smug mug staring back like Lovecraft's daemon swineherd. Like that darksome vision, it is not a terribly promising event we have ahead of us.

Many films are set to receive the academy's golden-bodied acclaim, true, but between Argo and Silver Linings Playbook, two movies that have been respectively sweeping the festival circuit, what hope is left us movie buffs whose favours lie elsewhere? 2012 was a year touting much more in quality and quantity than the Academy saw fit to recognize with their nominations and augurs to award with their Oscars.

One such movie is Cloud Atlas. I refuse to believe that I was the only one rocked six ways to Sunday back in the tail-end of October when the film came out in theaters. The time-spanning love story is an undeniable powerhouse of credentials, and its significance is not so easily dismissed, despite the critical squabbling over just such a thing. Did the directorial combo of Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis shoot beyond its reach with the film? The answer is immaterial. The outcome is an intelligent movie that transcends genre and medium, deeply moving any viewer that gives it the chance to do so. A more faithful and potent adaptation could not be accomplished. Is this not the exact kind of movie the Academy Awards was made for?

The fact that the movie is wholly absent from the Academy Awards' nominations is actually quite jaw-dropping. Several categories demand the film's presence simply on principle. How Cloud Atlas' breathtaking rhapsody of a soundtrack is not nominated for Music (Original Score), let alone a shoe-in for the win, is beyond the grasp of logic. There simply is no contest as far as its quality goes. Nevertheless, nominations have been made and Cloud Atlas is not among them.

So, what is left to do when you're staring down an Academy Awards ceremony that snubs your favorites?

This isn't the first year to do so. The academy denying the validity of films and performers is no new development. Just look to Andy Serkis, the thousand-expression'd actor who brought Gollum and Caeser to life in their respective The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He has received not so much as a nod from the academy, despite the fact that the lengths he goes to in his performances often surpass those of "traditional" actors. To pretend he is not an actor is absurd.

So what do you do? Stew in frustration while recognizably lesser films receive adulation? That's not what I plan to do. I have hope, and it comes in the form of a fro-headed five-year-old (alright, nine-year-old).

Beasts of the Southern Wild
. If there is any movie poised to win Best Picture based on actual merit, it is this one. The fantasy drama, led by the record-setting Best Actress-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis, is incredibly affecting with its cast and atmosphere. Beasts' surreal bayou, called 'The Bathtub', is so delectably rich and sensory, and its performances so genuine and uncontrived, it should be a clear shot to claim the categories it's nominated for. Its soundtrack, also, is definitely award-worthy.

Of course, if it doesn't win anything, it's nothing to get riled about. The Academy Awards is not the only award ceremony and, as with Cloud Atlas, just because a movie doesn't get an Oscar doesn't mean it won't or hasn't already received other equally esteemed accolades.

At the end of the day, it's just another award ceremony.

But there are always Academy Awards drinking games, if you need something to help you take that Durdenesque gut-punch of defeat.