Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

Please join me with your comments and make this a dialogue . . . and visit Susan's Poetry!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

World UFO Day

Today at Poets United, I included a poem of mine in Midweek Motif ~ Half Year and also World UFO Day.  



Consider the poem I wrote:

UFOs exist
only if we see them
which makes themquite
different from God and leaves
and friends and hearts
which cannot be
hidden

Once seen
even the worlds
of fiction are aware of
us watching and comparing
but UFO’s can even leave
alien visitors invisibly—
without a story they
cannot exit



Versus the one I revised and published as part of the prompt Midweek Motif ~ Half Year and also World UFO Day:


What Exists
BY SUSAN CHAST  © 2014

UFOs exist
only if we see them
which makes them quite
different from God and leaves
and friends and hearts
which cannot be
locked up.

Even worlds
of fiction have properties
of reality no matter how far-fetched
but UFOs from afar and their
uninvited guests—
(we are told) do
  not exist. 



What do you think?  "Hidden" or "Locked up"?  "Once seen" or "Even worlds"?  "Aware of watching" or "reality"?  

Which is more ironic?

What's your UFO story?






Saturday, June 21, 2014

A reflection on revisiting La Mama Ellen

Today at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads in Kerry's Play It Again Toads! one of the options is to repeat the Get Famous prompt for which I wrote the poem La Mama Ellen two years ago.  It's about international innovator Ellen Stewart of La MaMA Theatre Club in the East Village of NYC.  I reread that poem just now and find that I need make very few alterations to like it as much as ever and to publish it again. You can read it HERE.

The funny thing is that Ellen Stewart came up in a conversation last night when I explained to a friend that the most important personal progress I made in the last three decades was to recognize that my theatre work/art, feminism, and religion/faith were one and the samethat I find they are together now in my writing.  As we were talking, I realized that it was at La Mama that I lived the unity of the three that I was only able to dissect and understand a few years ago.  That, indeed, I had articulated itthough not in these exact words—on almost every page of my 500+ page dissertation.  When Mama Ellen had read it, she called me in Virginia to tell me that it would never get published.  She knew in 1989 what I would not learn until 1999.   I did not get tenure.  Now the event of leaving academia hardly matters to me. In fact it seems as right as the leading that took me to and through my PhD in the first place.  

Here I am.  Teaching at the college level and later in high school were both spiritual leadings that engaged me as completely as had every passion in my life.  I am a lucky person.  Writing is still the way that I think and examine, but it has taken the driver's seat rather than the back seat of the journey. I am writing about the link among spirit, politics and performance in a novel.  I have been limping along at it, often pushing it aside to write poetry instead. 

Today's revelations give that endeavor life. Today's thoughts resuscitate my passion for it.  I love the fresh air!



Friday, June 13, 2014

il gatto with nine lines

The Most Amazing Cats of Guido Vedovato!
See them here:  

In her blog Stelladilatta of 11/7/2013,  GIO writes:  "Guido Vedovato was born in 1961 in Vicenza. Self-taught, he began his artistic cariera in 1970, is a naive painter and sculptor. Its ...."


Guido Vedovato in his studio
CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia

I first saw Vedovato's work today in Fireblossom Friday: The Art of Guido Vedovato at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where the prompt is to write a poem inspired by his art.  His cats are unlike any I have seen before.  Go and look at them!  Here are my impressions:



il gatto
with nine lines


The solidity of its rising
over city scapes and its settling
into landscapes and rabbit barrows

Its weightiness hollowing welcome
from sofa and chair cushions, soft laps
and cardboard boxes—its hair blessing

Trees praise its loyalty; and a bird
dares charm it with song, training its tail
to dance snakelike in fields and hedgerows




Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

~

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman

     Today in the  Gizmodo.com article "A Computer Program Has Passed the Turing Test For the First Time,"  I learned that a computer has convinced a room full of human judges that it is a 13-year-old boy named Eugene Goostman.  At this moment the article already has 169 comments after only 8 hours on Facebook.  Many are concerned with the possible implications for cyber crime.  I am thinking of science fiction warnings from great writers like Kurt Vonnegut, and the implications for the human race.  I am thinking of Hitler and other attempts to purify race.  I am asking what steps toward peace destroy reasons to live?  Here is my poem in progress. In addition to the 2 versions below, I made a 13-line version for my prompt at Poets United:  Midweek Motif ~ The Number 13.  I hope I made it become more scary, a one-page horror film of a poem.

Thirteen (revised)
(read the final 13-line version HERE.)


Thirteen year-old intelligence is
quicksand and popcorn tricks,
fertile ground for video fashion
consumerism and hiding in conformity
as if self-doubt were bi-product
of the best days of opening,
puberty and bar mitzvah

Thirteen, she wants to walk through eighth grade
graduation unscathed--and
thirteen, they plug in a boy named
Eugene Goostman to fool human
engineer judges into believing he is
real as she, he too remembers the wounds
of junior high school competition

Picture a film combining the Thirteen
of piercings and hormones and
the thirteen of computer
intelligence cloned and  cloned
to replace the thirteens we birth
with ones of reason and angelic cleanliness,
requiring only oil and puffs of air, not food

Nor ice cream nor growing pains
nor parental pride, hugs, laughter—
a teen still learning, but not dance
nor how to be resilient
not youth who gets sick, costs money
or battles morality to discover what he or she
believes in with brain and heart

Picture a world in which corporate
wealth no longer needs life
to create life and to trudge
obediently to sweat shops
Picture a world in which tests determine
humanity’s worth as in today's schools
but without accidents of birth

Don't be fooled by promises of
more humane work, less abuse
and better working conditions—
think instead of empty homes
and upper classes deciding
to eliminate the rest, to smooth out popcorn
problems under the quicksand of greed.



Thirteen  (original)


Thirteen year-old intelligence is quicksand and popcorn tricks,
fertile ground for video fashion consumerism and
hiding in conformity as if self-doubt were bi-product
of the best days of opening, puberty and bar mitzvah

Thirteen, she wants to walk through eighth grade graduation unscathed
thirteen, plugs in a boy named Eugene Goostman fooling human
engineer judges into believing he is real as she
and remembers the wounds of junior high school competitions

Picture a film combining the thirteen of piercings and hormones
and the thirteen of computer intelligence cloned and  cloned
to replace the thirteens we birth with reason and angelic
cleanliness, requiring only oil and puffs of air, not food

Not ice cream nor growing pains nor parental pride, hugs, laughter—
A child still learning, but not dance or how to be resilient
Not one who gets sick, costs money, or battles morality
to discover what he or she believes in with brain and heart

Picture a world in which corporate wealth no longer needs life
to create life and to trudge obediently to sweat shops
Picture a world in which tests determine humanity’s worth
Like today's schools, but eliminating accidents of birth

Don't be fooled by promises of more humane work, less abuse
and better working conditions--think instead of empty homes
and upper classes deciding to eliminate the rest
smoothing out the popcorn problems under the quicksand of greed.

There has to be another way to peace besides breaking faith
and eliminating spirit, besides destroying warring 
nations, besides erasing God altogether and merging
all disagreement to make lives both easier and sterile.




Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast




Saturday, June 7, 2014

Maya Angelou Memorial Service: "A Celebration of Rising Joy"

The service I attended via Livestream this morning is available to watch!  It is full of sincere gratitude and love.  If anyone has been hurt by Maya Angelou, I hope they can forgive her in light of all she was and is.  A human being.  She was a messenger, and her messages are still here.



The service begins at 29:07 minutes.  
This morning, I  used the first 15 minutes or so to settle and invite God in.  Start where you will and enjoy the positive memories of many people who talk, sing and give thanks.