Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Poems for the Other Half of April

Ok, this month was WAY harder than last year.  So yes, 30, was finally written, although I've been writing it in my head and heart for a few weeks. 

Poems for the other half of April

Sometimes we all look at the moon
And wonder
And remind ourselves of all we do not yet know

19. Beach
New suit new flip-flops
Packing car with what will be
Mostly unused stuff

20. Beach 2
Parking lot night mare
Rage against tourist filled cars
Spot found near Egypt.

21. Beach 3
No fire pits left
Mini hibatchi saves day
Marshmallows later

22. Beach 4
Spread out beach blanket
Lasts thirty seconds before
Sand encrustation

23. Beach 5
Sunscreen applied thick
Dreams of sun-kissed golden skin
Water calls, laughing.

24. Beach 6
Salty water up
Nose forced by nature isn’t
A good neti pot.

25.  Beach 7
Wave walking only
occurs when your feet fly up
Head under water

26.  Beach 9
SPF thirty
Never works against suns lips
Stained red kisses

27. Beach 10
Sun creeps down blue sky
Rays hit water flashing green
Bye red lips lover

28.  Beach 10
Heated skin cool night
Air chilled but not enough to
Stop marshmallow death

29.  Beach 11
Good bye sun and sand
Left red and sandy trudging
Moon lit beach sweet dreams 

30.  Home

When you said you were going home
It did not come as a surprise
But sadness crept into my heart
Knowing you would be far away.

Far away has been where you have been for a long time
And no one can blame you for being there
Especially when your puppy has been kept in a cage
By caretakers who refused to let you feed or water yourself
Kicked you every time you came near
And kept moving so you wouldn’t find them
So you gave it up when you had no other choices

We will all reach that point
Where aging parent s need the care
They freely gave to us as infants
You just didn’t have the opportunity.
So when he gave you something no one else could
A safe place to land
The choice was never a choice

And when you spoke your truth
About what you were returning to
And getting another puppy
That was really when I knew

So go home
Home to the place you once lived
Let those walls you daydreamed behind
Feed the fire that’s been tending in your soul
Let the carpets be the trampoline from which you launch
Grow the grass
Cut it with a lawnmower
Build a dog house
Make plans over beer and barbecue
And go get your puppy
Let him run in the grass
Feed him and water him well
Let him lick your face
We all know he’ll poop in the house and it will smell sometimes
But you’ll never regret letting him in the house to love you
The caretakers will come and try to tell you what to do with him
Some will be kinder and you’ll take what they have to say to heart
You’ll have to let him play with other dogs
It’s how they learn, sometimes the hard way
But know that ultimately, it’s your puppy,
That can grow into a dog
That stays loyal to you even when others walk away
Because you know who you are
And that was never a choice.

@2013 Jennie Olson Six

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

National Poetry Month 16 and 17


Inspiration lost
still putting pen to paper
hoping for the words.

Long time in the head

fracture spin think think think what did oh really not a chance to change mind spin splinter why how no no no and again repeat spin fracture think think ponder reality disconnect disconnected alone what no one likes me repeat spiral fracture think think react spin what again wait breathe pause spiral pause spiral think interrupt pause breathe past no now yes pause fracture interrupt breathe out let out not here not now think now feet ground root now breathe now think legs now head up breathe out let out not now now here breathe now let go now today good today breathe break a pattern breathe think breathe live breathe inhale now inhale yes exhale yesterday think yes breath yes now yes today yes everything yes life yes breathe yes.  now. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

5 stupid poems

Writing Fail

Writer's Block
leads to pounding head on keyboard
insane debates between the voices in my head
and full fetal position

yeah.....let's keep doin' that.


What is most unfortunate
is that I was not born with a shell
to pull my head and body into
to hide from that which threatens me.
Instead, I was born with soft skin
thin in places and bruises easily
my knees are permanently scared.
But I can move slowly
deliberately and with purpose
and remind myself I don't need
a shell to hide from the world
I just need too slow down and take it all in.

5 7 5

Adds to seventeen
Sometimes pure frustration leads
To a clear moment.  

Kevin Six's Famous Last Words

I would only have sex with her once just to say that I did.
You are to obey me in a Christian Household.
We live in a Christian household and you as a good Christian wife are to do that for me.
Pretty much anything that starts with "Christian Household."
In case anyone wonders why....

When the World Blows Up

When the world blows up
will anything need to be said
or remembered or done
other than to grab each other
and go....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

National Poetry Month - 9 and ten

You had blonde hair
buck teeth with a huge gap
big round thick glasses that welfare would pay for
and the development of self-consciousness
this would not go away for decades
and leave you with self-destructive tendancies
and deep shame of simply being alive
coming from the man who abandoned you
but was never really there to begin with
the one who would fail to pay for your braces
so your mother had them scraped off
and you watched them spread back apart
and grow crooked again.
But what this left you with
besides the scar you'd heal yourself
is a memory of you and your best friend
in the bathroom
trying to get her retainer to fit into your mouth
connecting paperclips with failed attempts
to keep your pretty together
and a reminder of when you were young
you were kind to each other
looked out for one another
and kept each others secrets
if only to give each other comfort
and show you what love really is.


Still dark still sleepy

Too soon for night to say bye
yet here calls the day.

@2013 Jennie O6

Monday, April 8, 2013

NPM 7 of 30 8 of 30

To A New Terrain

This shifting speechless
tearing new path left behind
all I didn't need.

Chicken Bones

The reminder of
there was a living being
you tore through and ate.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

National Poetry Month 5....maybe 6....


Denial isn't
A river in Eypgt if
you're swimming it....

The Zombie Apocalypse Came

You and I were not supposed to be friends
It was through our broken we stitched up bandages
made of marijuana, alcohol, methamphatamine and anything
else someone could offer us in exchange for things
teen-aged girls shouldn't be selling.

After intolerable, I started to get out
you had two birds in your nest born from neglect of the world
not giving their mother refuge from the horror she was born into
but you finally found your way out
and back to nesting
but it would not last.

Before I left for sunnier pastures
you started telling the truth again
letting the sweat and the shakes pour out
in my spare bedroom
I encouraged you to keep coming back
it isn't easy but it is the only way
but you chose your own option.

You've had a few last words:
"Your sister wasn't very tough, she couldn't handle the drugs."
"I heard her youngest was adopted by foster parents."

Then your picture
Identical to your mother at the age we met:
Dead, vacant eyes,
Swollen alcholic skin
Nothing left of the beauty once there
Just a mimographed copy of a woman
whose choices led to your abuse
who never got different
who never left you better
so you watched it all happen
her stumble-down drunk dance
with the poison which eventually took everything
and in spite of the breadcrumbs and interventions
chose to put on her shoes and walk right in them
Until you've stopped walking

Friday, April 5, 2013

National Poetry Month 4

Morning Meditation

Sitting for peaceful purposes,
I am flooded by the pain
of what we do to each other
and what we do to ourselves.

I am reminded of the idea
that evil is just the absense of good
and that we have forgotten
that we are the ones we are looking for.

If God is a reflection of the eyes I am looking at
then what happens when God forgets
who they are and what they are here for
so I remind myself, again, to remember.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

National Poetry Month Take 2 and 3

So I'm kind of using nature so far to create.  This poem was inspired  by this video

Once, we didn't fly.
We looked up and saw birds
and wondered how they got there.
We dreamed of flying,
knowing things went up into the air and fell back down to the earth
sometimes harshly.
Our curious natures kept us wondering
until we starting noticing
thinking, believing, and experimenting
until the day came that we learned we could fly too
a seemingly impossible task
left to our wonder and amazement
until the day came when we learned how to do it
like all of the other things
we came to believe in the impossible
until it became probable
into reality and being
which leads us all to wonder
what is next.

Black Crow
You wander in the woods of our culverts
pecking at your treasure, our trash
curious as to it's reliability as food
wondering who else might steal it.
Shiny black, eyes peering,
not really looking at me but aware
coveting your 7-Eleven slurpee cup
hopping to it's movement in the grass
protecting your find.
When we are all gone
will you be better off without us?

Monday, April 1, 2013

National Poetry Month begins Today!

And so it begins....enjoy

Outside my door
the fragrance of flowers
the buzzing of small bees enjoying their nectar
the chirps of birds
the signs of spring.
Noticing these I am content
with what the world is offering:
this moment.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Urban Yogi series - Take Two

I watched this video interview with Moby on his relationship with yoga.

I started to perk up around his discussion of panic attacks.  There wasn't a name or a diagnosis or someone who ever recognized the anxiety and disorders I was suffering from in my early teens.  I would have had to been taken to a doctor or someone in a professional setting in order to diagnose them.  I would have also had to have professionals step in and do something in my immediate family and living situations.   In my twenties, the term was given to me as "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." 

While this might have been a 'oh he suffers from these things too and I relate' kind of post, it was when Eddie Stern asked the question, 'what was your life like pre-yoga and then after yoga' that I turned that question inward.  My life before yoga was being in a relationship with a man who was bi-polar, in a job that I hated and wanted desperately out of but didn't know what else to do, unhappy with my current lifestyle, overweight, smoking cigarettes, in recovery programs for addiction, just generally unhappy.  I'm not saying yoga made me happy.  Or that these behaviors changed overnight.  But with the yoga practice came shifts in my thinking and behavior.  I let the relationship go.  I had been going to school and took a theatre class, and became open to hearing the teacher say "I think you have some talent here and I hope you continue to develop it" and letting that be the mantra for my new career.  I started running, ran and trained for a marathon.  My life didn't get hunky-dory overnight.  Nor did I make the best decisions.  But yoga has helped me slow down enough to shift my thinking that something else could happen. 

One of Moby's gems in this video "There isn't an aggressively right way of doing things..." which pertains to his yoga practice and his outlook on life. Ahhh.  Thank you.  My practice and my life has evolved, during times of intense practice I've gotten injured, sometimes I need to slow down, back away, not do the things I used to be able to do.  It works with people too, intense relationships, slow down, back away, I can't be friends with people who tear me down or require too much of my time and energy to maintain.  It's a work in progress, this life.  It's a practice not a perfect. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Butter on Saltines

"Don't judge me" I said as I mucked my way through the kitchen.  "Don't tell me what you're doing because I'm dying to know" replied my uber curious and impatient husband.  Taking out the box of gluten free table crackers and smearing butter across them I returned back to write this.  My grandmother, Ruth, used to love to put butter on saltine crackers, add some peanut butter sometimes, and share this with us for a snack.  Growing up next door to her, we spent a lot of time with her patience and her peculiarities.  For the grandchildren she had, and would proudly name them all and count them, we always knew we were loved by her.  For my mother and my aunt, they did not experience her love or her pride in them growing up.  These were some of her peculiarities. 

Born into an immigrant family of sixteen children, she grew up in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley in California.    When the early 1900's version of the plague hit America, it took her Father and two siblings with it.   Recalling these memories, she would talk of her sister Elsa and show her picture to us.   Meeting my grandfather in bible school would take her to Washington state, away from her family.   With no prying eyes and no family to help her, she was left to survive my alcoholic grandfather's violent and abusive behavior, and try to keep her five children out of harms way, often unsuccessfully.  Until he died, she was subject to his violent mood swings and unpredictable and twisted behavior.  We never know what truly makes up a person's psyche or how one survives, but often these experiences make or break a person, and sometimes the pieces don't fit evenly.    

My brother and I spent time with Grandma, often over food.  She indulged in the craze of pre-made food from the Schwan Man delivery truck.  We would make home-made sodas, feast on their frozen pizzas and enjoy ice cream bars galore.  Perhaps it was from living in a depression, or living with a man who refused to let her have any money, but she loved to order food as much as make it.  At Christmas she would make her famous Mississippi Mud, a goey contortion of cookies, chocolate and god knows what but it was delicious.  Or her marshmallow rolls, some form of melted chocolate and marshmallows that she froze and would slice into pieces.   But most importantly, the Santa Lucia cake and the bownots.  Santa Lucia, a holiday celebrated in Sweden and other parts of Europe, was a holiday that she, my  mother and I started celebrating.  These traditions would often unite us.  It was sometimes her behavior that would divide us all.

When I was fifteen, troubled would have been a good way to describe it.  Living with her was a relief, until I found out she had read my diary and told my aunt the contents.   Privacy wasn't her strong point.  If you didn't answer the phone, she would come over and knock on the door, or the windows.  She would knock on my mother's window at night calling out "There's a good movie on channel twelve," knowing that she was in there with her new husband. She couldn't keep a secret, ever.  She would tell untruths or assumptions about people that were often hurtful.  No one ever knew why.

 After the death of my grandfather, her finances concerned all of her children.  She sent thousands of dollars to the Jim and Tammy Fay's and other televangelists.   Even when her children would tell her that widows were to be cared for by God and she didn't need to send money, she would sent it anyway.  She ordered constantly from mail-order catalogs, skin-care companies, and magazine subscriptions, hoping to win the big contests or just give the things away.  When we discovered her 'jewel' collection, a safe full of faux gemstones with no value, concerns gave way to realities.  She had spent all of the money from the estate.   She had long ago sold the car, thankfully, because her idea of stopping involved driving fifty miles an hour and slamming on the brakes.  And while she still had social security, she seemed to be bouncing checks every month.  My aunt finally took over her checkbook, discovering that she was still writing checks to televangelists.  She bought a $2000 vacuum cleaner with a 'lifetime guarantee', that lay broken and useless.  And she owed mail-order companies and local department stores. 

Owing money wasn't her only problem.  The trailer that she owned needed repair.  Because she was now in debt, she couldn't afford her own groceries.  My uncle started bringing her groceries every week.  My mother would bring her meals from the restaurant she worked at.  My other uncle had done so much work on the trailer and repairing and replacing things, they began to wonder if the trailer would hold up for her lifetime.  They arranged for a non-profit to do the repairs on the condition they would own the trailer after her death.  Soon they discovered she was no longer cooking, or eating, unless it was carnation instant breakfast or a meal from the restaurant.  They knew they no longer had a choice.  Her last few months before her stroke was in an assisted living facility, a nice facility nearby to everyone, but she was unhappy with that decision.  But when she woke up calling the nurses by her dead sister's names, their medical expertise gave her a few more months of her grandchildren by her bedside.  A blockage to an artery, long undiagnosed and permanent brain damage, possibly accounting for some of the unusual behavior, but permanent enough for a death sentence.   They knew it was her time to go when she told them that Jesus had visited her and it was soon after that she was gone.

It would be easy to remember only the bad parts.  But I believe that you can't always explain someone's life or their behaviors based on their experiences.  Like the fact that we would shake our heads at some of her behaviors.  But some of them were straight out of love.  When my mother's husband convinced her to sell our family home and we moved to another house, he abandoned a lot of our belongings.  My grandmother rescued my Little House on the Prairie books and toys out of the garbage and the rain. She didn't think it was right that he left them out.  And she knew how much they meant to me.  I look back at all the letters she wrote me.  As she grew older her handwriting became more difficult to read, her letters were often the same: what my cousins were doing, how proud she was, what movie she watched on channel twelve.   Her love often involved food.  Pictures of us, eating fruit leather when dehydrating was the new craze.  Or pictures of me with the Santa Lucia cake.  None of us can get the bowknot recipe right, because she probably left out a few ingredients, not purposefully, just forgot to tell us.  When my mother 'snubbed' me and told me to ask my Grandmother for her pastry recipe, it's still the one I use today. You could ask Grandma to show you how to make anything.  She loved to show you.  When she bought a hat weaver, she made everyone hats for Christmas.  We watched Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, over, and over, and over, and over again at her house.  Every weekend.  She loved making snacks.   Saltines with butter. Sometimes with peanut butter.  Patience is needed.  The butter needs to be soft.  Saltines break apart easily.  She was patient.  And often kind.  There are many pieces that make up a person.  It's the pieces of kindness that can stay with you for a lifetime. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


To Anya on her 30th birthday:
You with the imagined big tattoo of 30 across the face.
Not thrilled about being here
Believes somehow that the tattoo is visible to all
and that it perhaps means something.
Comparing yourself to others
who seem to be somewhere ‘better’ than where you are now
At 30.
You see, that 30, isn’t your 30.
Because someone else’s life isn’t your life.
These are the constructs of someone else.
These are illusions, not relevant to anyone, unless you’re comparing yourself to the arbitrary and meaningless.
For if you’re lucky enough to reach 30
you’re lucky to have made it at all.
Chances are you’ve seen some that didn’t make it
And those that didn’t make it in one piece.
And the sooner you realize that your dreams
do not fit into the perspective you have right now
because they are not arbitrary things
you will find out that you are not an arbitrary thing
defined by a number
because you can’t be. 
Because on this day
the universe brought you into being
 a light to shine on all the world
with gifts to give
Nothing less than amazing. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Two more times

How to describe last night:  At a certain point I was watching a play happen on stage and it was like I was watching someone else's play, in the sense, I got caught up in watching the play.  But it was my play.  And I wrote it.  And these actors, that made choices that took risks and got vulnerable and showed me different pieces of the puzzle that made up Lavinnea, Caroline, Amy and we'll call him SteTVHew, WOW!!!  And the people that came, it's nice to have some in the audience that DIDN'T know me but came out to see this.  And the people that did come out to support that do know me or some of the other creative wonderful people that have been key in making this happen THANK YOU!!!  2 more times, tonight at 8, tomorrow at 2, $10 buys you a ticket in advance.  Thank you. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2 days out

So we're two days away from an audience.  And I'm going to rehearsal tonight.  There have been changes, some will get in  and some will not.  It's amazing that at this late in the game that everyone involved has been receptive and encouraging enough to entertain change.   And I've been coming up with the questions I'd like asked during the audience in talk backs.  There is a great article written by David Rush that talks about a model for post-performance discussion of plays and how writers should prepare and things that should and shouldn't be asked of an audience.  So I've prepared those questions.   Here we go! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

"Welcome Home"

In 4 short days, my play will be on a stage, with actors, in front of an audience.  It's taken 8 years to get to this place.  It's been an exercise in patience.  It started as an exercise in writing at CSU Summer Arts in 2004.   It started with a character named Lydia.  Then Caroline emerged in another writing exercise.  Lydia evolved into Lavinnea, Caroline's mother.  The funeral scene was the first scene written of this play.   There were scenes written, patched together and called a play.  It was read publicly at the University Heights Arts Festival in 2006?? in the Diversionary Space.  My friend Anthony read Lavinnea.  The audience, art walk patrons, laughed.  My friend John, a retired writer, told me to pay attention to that.  This was unpolished.  They laughed.  A lot.   I tried to rewrite.  I should mention now that the Summer Arts workshop was my first exploration in depth at playwriting beyond my one introduction to playwriting class at UCSD.  A second draft was written.  Bad execution of play and reading.  Killing off a major character didn't work.  Play went into hiding.  Kept writing.  The girls kept coming back to haunt me.  John kept bugging me.  Last November he called, cancer came back.  Last January, he produced a staged reading, this time at Twiggs, this time he heard some new stuff before he left us all.  It has now evolved into around 90 pages (we keep cutting stuff out of the play so I'm guessing at this point.)  You all get to see it Friday

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Short Story "Purple Cloud" Prompts for Writers

So I subscribe to Creative Writing Prompts blog. Considering the fact that I spent the first day of 2013 watching Serenity and the Walking Dead, sci-fi was a great prompt for me today.   Hope you enjoy:

She noticed a purple cloud floating toward her.  Unable to move, her heart pounding, eyes wide she knew what was next.  The hit from the nerve ray had left her unable to move and with the knowledge these were her last few moments.    So many times she had seen what was left of someone.  So many times she helped eviscerate what was left of the body.  As it grew closer she noticed the flecks of blue, pulsations and waves that intertwined in the cloud.  There was a strange yet deadly beauty to it. 
As it grew near, the noise started.   Buzzing, not quite like insects yet not like electricity either, growing louder as the cloud floated innocently towards her.  It reminded her of watching clouds across the sky in her home planet.  Clouds, beautiful and strange, coming across the sky, unsure of the malicious content they might contain towards the end.  Clouds that used to carry water contained acid, growing more erosive, then eventually, taking the skin.  These were her reasons for leaving.  Finding someplace else, possibly finding a cure for the ills of her planet.  But someplace else wasn’t always welcoming to others.  And they didn’t leave welcome wagons, in fact, they left bodies behind as warnings.  Don’t come back and tell everyone what we’ll do if they come.  But the desperate with no place to go can only keep moving.   
As the cloud moved near, the noise grew louder and the colors began to change.  She noticed the size of the cloud began to grow but there was a strange tingling in her feet.   The feeling was coming back into her body!  “MOVE!” her thoughts screamed, dragging her limbs until she got to her hands and feet.    Five feet to her pod, five feet and she might be safe from the beam, ‘five feet’ she hoped as she got to her feet and took her step towards the pod, seeing the shadow of the cloud in front of her, and then nothing.  

@2013 Jennie Olson Six