Black Hearts and Rough Cuts-“Pirate of his own Ship”

Restless! Full moon? Well, here I sit, occupying my ass, my life, my Self, entitled to that much surely, with discussions of earth shattering events and the nature of heartache, having recently survived colliding with a particularly hard, cold, black heart. I honestly believe that cleaning up one’s own back yard is the first step toward redemption, and ultimately, peace. Peace of mind? My friend Kyle observed, “The only hearts that can’t get broken are hardened ones.” Told him I didn’t find much solace in that. Then my buddy Dennis (E. Bolen) suggested that, “the hardened hearts shatter. It’s the soft heart that survives.” Yeah, but sadly, “shattered” describes perfectly how I felt. At least, I’m starting to use past tense, move forward, as everyone insists I must. Sometimes I miss the intrepid young woman who never looked back. Oy. I’m just tired of losing. Loss. Loss as motif. *sigh* If only people would do what we want. Like bendable Barbies. And Kens. But though it hurts to hope, I still hope. Bend. Accept. Guess I am soft. And curious. Aroused. Unmuzzled. Voracious.

Seque! Cohort Peter Babiak is teaching my poem Voracious to his English students at Langara College. I recorded it and emailed an MP3 which he said they listened to no less than three times. He sent  a picture of the class hard at work, pouring over the text, one girl head in hands. I felt sorry for them. Christ, I’m glad I don’t have to analyze it, and in no way feel inclined to do so, even if I had the time.

Survived Thanksgiving too. Since I must cook every day, I largely ignored the holiday as I do all holidays, or at least the seemingly mandatory rituals. I do enjoy seeing friends and family. At least people get a little time off and my friend Julie gave me some amazing homemade pumpkin pie before we sat down together to play music. We used to have a duo called Bent Tail. We will recover our originals soon, sang Down In The Willow Garden, House of the Rising Sun, tried King of the Road but the high parts were too high. I used to play it when I was busking but we’re both a little rusty. You wouldn’t think it had high parts, listening to Roger Miller’s version. Who knew? Well, I did but I forgot.

Nailing down details for Visible Verse Festival! Check it out. 36 moving treatments of literature and artists Britt Hobart and Rich Ferguson flying in from California, Alexander Jorgensen from Pennsylvania. I am excited. Several friends have bemoaned the difficulty of process, the inherent challenges of producing a videopoem. I went through a painful experience with my directorial debut, Purple Lipstick, editor absconding with the raw footage for an interminable time. Pure torture. I couldn’t even think about this episode for years, let alone write about it. But, we persist. Hope. Exorcise? Bend, surely. In any case, please find the nightmare depicted thusly:

Rough Cut

After enduring a gestation period
of eighteen months
and several bouts of incommunicado-ness
she dutifully reports to the clay eater’s

rat’s nest to defend her lump of art,
before he nibbled away all the footage.
She sings his praises, pretending
the indiscriminate cravings

and grinding teeth do not exist,
do not wear her down.
Meth-heads don’t generate, they spin
scratched vinyl, shoot blankly,

regurgitate turbulence, gnaw and brew
dandelion wine because it’s free,
free as roadside blackberries
and meadows of psilocybin.

Pirate of his own ship-
bachelor pad bouncy house,
sleeping in a pocket on the floor,
close to the cache

when he isn’t busy
snipping, sniping.
Under the red toque
a mind’s eye so muddied

it can see nothing
Bloodied images, frames, shots
blur unremittingly.

Recreate. Rework. Repeat.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
With no redress, no kind release,
she seriously considers murder.

2 thoughts on “Black Hearts and Rough Cuts-“Pirate of his own Ship”

  1. Great poem Heather. You can almost taste the anger. It is real and visceral. It gnaws like a rat through the wall, breaking down barriers, until Miss Scarlet with the lead pipe in the conservatory. At least that’s my guess.

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