Friday, June 6, 2014

To The Ectoplasmic Man

To The Ectoplasmic Man


I saw you rise up
exit the mouth as a stir
in the air, the silvergreen breath
of all things impossible to prove.

You were the fox with nine tails
the kindness of strangers
memory's ghost bible
there on the bison-culled prairie
washed by a ruined lake.

I kissed 
your hot mist,
iced smoke-ring lips
unbuttoned my flakjacket
in the bullet rain;

called it the thing
it could never be
in a season of snow blindness,
dancing the spiral skipstep
of time's vertical jump-rope.

I lost you in realtime
in the harsh, in the fail
in the acid dissolve of
day after day, of unwanted things
that come closer with each

unwinding push away.
I lost you to grey
real dark, real stone,
real blood pounding its tempo alone.

Yours, as always, J.

~June 2014

posted for     real toads

Friday Challenge: Lost Art
Herotomost(Mexican Radio) otherwise known as Corey Rowley, asks us to indulge in a spot of that lost art, letter-writing. This is one that never got in the mail.

 Image: Spirit of the Forest, 1890, Odilon Redon
Public domain via


  1. I always feel like I am stepping sideways into another dimension, darkly fantastical, when I read your poems. Here losing your heart takes on surreal possibilities.

    1. Thanks, Kerry. That dimension seems to be the only place I can write from lately.

  2. First off, I think that chick from Vikings is super hot and I like that picture on the side of the page. Now, with that off my chest......that pic is really creepy/cool. Where on earth did you find that. The whole feel of the poem matches the sepia tones of that pic perfectly. The rise and fall of the hearts wants and undeniable sound of the ice giving way with a splash that no one else can hear. This was mesmerizing and all Hedge. Thanks for writing today, I am always inspired after reading you.

    Yours in Eternity,


    1. She is! She has totally supplanted Xena as my role model. ;_) The illustration for the poem comes from an artist I really like and found a few years back--I've used his work many times for my poems--if you follow the credit link, you can check him out. Thanks for the challenge, Corey--it's always good to see your wild amphibious self hopping at the pond.

  3. A smokin' hot write, Joy.........the rising up and exiting of the mouth definitely grabbed my attention......what a fantastic poem to read at 3:55 on an otherwise uneventful afternoon. Brilliant.

    1. Thank you Sherry. Welcome to my world. ;_) It's always like that here. :P

  4. I'm thinking you know all about 19th century spiritualism and the whole ectoplasm craze, blobs of white nothing coming from the mouths of subjects, and so on. You introduce it deftly in your opening, and maintain throughout. What an absolutely original and striking metaphor to use in a love letter/poem. Then there's the language here, which just blew me sideways: "memory's ghost bible", unbuttoning the flak jacket, the "spiral skipstep".

    I wonder how many loves and connections have been lost to the gray of every day? Many, many, I would guess. *jumps fruitlessly, trying to grab the bar that you have set so ridiculously high*

  5. This poem sounds to me like it could operate from the zone of the eternal soldier: his/her aloneness and personal terrors on the field of battle.

  6. Hi Joy, such an interesting and powerful poe. At first, I read it as a letter to a lover lost--a kind of narcissistic lover that one wants to believe in and can't--and who cannot sustain the day to day--real life stuff. But then reading it again, it seemed to me to be a much more interior poem--the Corazon to really be one's own heart and the poem rather the saga of one's own dissolution in the acid of day to day. And that is very poignant--perhaps even more so, if signed with your real first name and not initial. Many beautiful phrases--the silvergreen breath of the things impossible to prove, the vertical jump rope of time (I may have these wrong as writing from memory), the bullet rain and bared flack jacket, the acid dissolution all that impossible pushing away-- K.

    1. I meant poem, not POE! Ha.

    2. Of course the lover's could be one's own heart's version of love taking shape--or what is formed when spirit exhales and is carried with that sigh. k.

    3. Thanks--and here, POE is always a supreme compliment, not a typo. ;_) I like your idea of the heart itself speaking--this one was indeed about love more than one particular lover, about the losses that seemingly must come with time and eat things up. I think that's where the saying 'the good die young' comes from--anyway, appreciate your in-depth reading and reactions, always k--best of weekends to you.

  7. Wow...Hedge, this is warranting of a true wow here. This is shape-shifting, time-traveling, multi-dimensional...magical in a word. The closing line is thunderous. Excellent, excellent work.

  8. As you're wont to say, I could quote back but then the whole pen would be in the comment.

    Other's have noted the timeless, perhaps pre-industrial tenor, except the railroads are what killed the bison. Another case of, if you build it, they will come. Roads have always - always - been the harbinger of change, or doom, or desecration.

    So yes, I like it, inasmuch as one can like watching the sky inevitably tumble. ~

    1. Thanks, M. I really appreciate he roads insight--and agree. Anything that spreads the vermin of humankind has an adverse effect on the rest of the planet--that is our unfortunate curse as thinking monkeys. The railroads, even the barge shipping on the water-roads of the Great Lakes, was horribly destructive--and definitely I was off into that oddly naive, acquisitive, materialistic yet alienated world of the19th century here, with the ectoplasm ref--it's amazing viewing the complete obvious phoniness of the staged effects how many people raptly believed that gauze rolling out of the medium's mouth was some essence from another plane and not saliva-drenched cotton.We are as infinitely gullible as we are rapacious.

  9. wow...quite moving..a reckless love, opening the flack jacket in the bullet rain...i love the description of them upfront...the ghost bible/cat of 9/kindness of strangers....very mysterious lover you have there....its cool...

  10. Love letters don't get mailed much anymore, the medium lost perhaps, taking with it the madness of hearts at distance ... "Corazon" is such a fine slot to send this through, like Wallace Stevens sending his imagination to a weird bit of happy strangeness. The insides of the insides of love for which real-time can't equate or fully measure (though the actual counts). Maybe the letters don't get mailed, but that doesn't mean the conversation doesn't continue. Your image and title makes me think of Jung's comment that the great gods have become the wee people of folklore, still animated and teeming though from our garden lives instead of the classical heights. Maybe in scale with our own humility. Poetry too reduces or revises or grows down to this strength. No more ambrosia, but a nice spot of tea.

    1. Thanks, B--deciding on the address was perhaps the most difficult part of this. The unmailed letters often say all the things that couldn't otherwise be said.--they are naked, and we just are not able to trust enough to strip that way most of the time--but the unstated is part of every conversation, especially ones of intimacy.I like your ref to Jung--very apt. Happy Sunday, and thanks again for reading, as always.

  11. May not have been posted .. however we are the lucky recipients of your post!

  12. A surreal journey of a lost heart....Of course no one could write this but you. Amazing imagery.

  13. "dancing the spiral skipstep
    of time's vertical jump-rope."

    Loved that image! The last two stanzas are powerful and perhaps a warning for us all to not let things get too grey - to fight for a bit of magic in our lives.


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