Editor’s Note: I first met Kristiane Weeks when we both attended Flagler College. She always had a unique perspective on the material and we agreed on a lot of different approaches to academic analysis. We also shared quite a few instances of feeling like we were the only two people who had any idea what was going on. At the time, I knew Kristiane was a good writer but I had no idea she was a great poet. Well, now I certainly know for sure. I’m honored to be allowed to share her work on The Well Written Woman and help her gorgeous words be discovered. Below is a poetry collection of 14 pieces entitled “Cycles” and next week we will follow up with another 14 piece collection entitled “Fire Below”. Enjoy.
Use the loam to steal a touch from sky’s kiss:
already too much to keep craving. Stir around
tea, pray for pentacles or blue smoke. But
black sod is what’s tangible–they’ve been
trying for centuries to touch the sky…What
do you feel right now?– Sun is whirring,
whoring out the vast space between us…
Look down, think of the doe that used to
wander the woods behind your house, wonder
if it was lucky enough to get out of the
nimbostratus sky…Or was that doe your
hands wandering every night, now letting go?
It wasn’t like a moonbeam, or a scythe cutting
through leathery stalks—the process is a silent one:
car cruise-controlling on US-31, northward
into flat scapes and bleached cornfields, craving
cool ghosts of the mountains, striped limestone
and calcium from ground antlers and Cherokees.
His teeth are like stars, they only come out at night…
There is no proper way to ask you if you’ll forget
the loneliness of sitting on blue sand, delicate shell
crabs skittering by under white moon, open to all
the tender pain one can tolerate, or not. Who’s leaving
while there’s still time? Hexed skulls of cardinals,
wide paint lines across crevices, hands loose on each
other. To our bodies, everything is salient, it makes us
want to live a life without gray space… I just pray you
remember all the chain-smoking that night, fingertips
shaking like graves, the way nicotine wanders endlessly:
a manic ghost along hazy shore. It’s complexity you need,
so give your fear to the trees, give your danger to the lake.
Such Small Hands
From the fire, we make clay,
from the heartstrings:witnesses.
There is only one path we’re
going to follow–self-fulfilling
prophecies wrapped in magnolia
petals. Who doesn’t dream
of being stolen away?…Some-
where shiny and unfamiliar,
blame plumes and red legs that
go on for days–it doesn’t matter
if the feathers are from a crane
or the doll left behind decades ago…
Heart-chapel filled with matches,
drawing rings around the windows,
such small hands… If you tried,
dipped brushes into rose oil
and painted fire in your flesh,
you could survive it, too. Cut out
chemical scents of lye in the brain,
white-wash your bones, find that
person who causes the avalanche
without regret, but also find
the darling specter who drifts up
into the clouds–full and bright–gone..
At the Magic Beach Motel, stars keep shooting off
behind Eric’s head; pink yellow white, pink yellow tings
and tequila chain-smoke while he tells us about his Year 2012
Theory: Earth’s changing pull, gravity lessening some
shark trap grip on It’s infestation. More secretion, more DMT
produced by our already fucked-up brains, “heightened
sense of awareness” and magic mushroom mindsets—
Another sunset down the gutter, how every Floridian’s
night begins: antique muffled voices. All born unlucky
with skin, we rub salt over the shoulders, repeat daily…
I think of littering all my feathers behind, the world taking
a long drag, sigh heaving, ocean crashes somewhere nearby.
It’s Thursday after the psychic reader on Bernard Street
performs her fifth reading flipping Ace of Pentacles, then
she walks right into the Atlantic, pod of sea weed washing
up in her place… Mouths stay closed longer now, stretching
sands along shore, eyes increasingly doing more swimming,
learning to see with the moon in yawning lashes. I guess
there isn’t any hope, only a rusted oven needing some matches—
maybe it’s a better way of understanding the cast-iron pot we’re
stewing in: some of us tenderizing, some of us melting, drowned.
Ants trail so perfectly behind one another,
hole next to the door lets them wander
to the fridge day after day.
I watch your delicate hands work effortlessly,
grinding white pills with a pink plastic “Rewards
Card” from Dunkin’ Donuts.
You drag the card across the table
so meticulously, your rhinestone eyes focused
on the task before you, shaping powder just so…
It’s that time, again,
time to wonder if there was ever a day you
weren’t sitting at the table snorting
such and such in its linear path to your brain.
Lost in your cosmos, unable to notice all the open spaces.
You explain how this is what you need—
“the planet will be grinding on its axis with or without me”
and then your hair sweeps the table. I watch
the black crumbs file onward
as you bow your head in a moment of silence.
A line of dust soaring, a wave over your eyes. It’s that time
of day again, time to forget me, forget
the empires of ants coming to raid you.
How long will it be? Waiting to find
if it’s all in your head– some things
better leftindiscernible: translucent
neurons synapse different colors
in the neon, never again to think
of dark or unraveling tapestry.
Some cryptic mantra with no backwoods
to break the fall…We, locked
in decaying tongues, coming blue
before blood moon cycles, under
then above… I give you both my
hands. I let you out, you let me know…
The Moon and The Mind
Red monarch over her face, gray
eyes closing like a statue, no pupils
carved…You’ll keep on rising until
the sun knows your body–White
splatter across the moon, some fabric
unraveling from the craters years
from now. We made a pact to grasp
purple acrylics, smear petals
against our arms. Space cadet,
don’t be the one of us who falls
underneath the ground, night’s glow
is so high and ghosted when alone…
moats of cobblestone.
taller than me,
not taller than you.
We land on
the other side.
Tap mute keys,
will play loud
in your palms
out of keys,
a spine, light
to find pianos
No color in obscurity: purple felt writes me
in the summer, I don’t write because
I don’t know where to send the words.
My fingers, they try to make messages
with numbers and my brain freezes…
Language, no one understands. Wet.
Listen to taps on the rooftops–then
the wind picks up. We are remains
of something long torn-apart,
dissection left to rest. Find mortar
from the energy exchanging between us,
friction-driven. The only glimmer left
that doesn’t need to be tested
for acidity: too much weight on my
ribs but you keep pulling at the sutures…
There’s no knowledge of why it happens.
Every night after five stars prick the sky
a ghost who doesn’t know its name
appears, playing an ivory violin. If you
don’t bring it to bed with you, its skeleton
won’t let you sleep ten days straight.
There’s No One in the Sky
I see two shooting stars. You see none.
On this night we remember to bring a blanket,
flat against Vilano’s shore. Broken shells
make sand beneath us, pulling the wave hips
whooshing alongside, sticking us together, pushing
from the shore—then a distant rumbling, clouds
blurring the horizon, muffled sighs. Up in the sky,
chariot points to the one fissure not filling with stars.
There’s nothing empty in all that penetrating velvet
blue-black when you gaze long enough: peeling
forgotten moments, emptiness comforting
the stiff breeze. There’s haze, each other’s sweat,
humid air. No lightning, just far-off shrimp boats
blinking red and cream. The lull of the shore’s
lighthouse standing higher than everyone, alone
on the peninsula, head forever whirring, searching.
Inhale scent of char,
air thick with burning
bark, miles of looming
white cedars. Asking
for it—stretched white
trunks for flames
to lick up. Blazes climbing
higher, starving embers
reach for starved leaves.
down the Florida-Georgia
line, plumes for a black
welcome sign… When
the weather channel
stops forecasting wildfires,
all I can smell are bones
ground into coquina streets.
A walk along the bay
that night brings whispers
of a singed town, pillaged
again and again,
coral and barnacle blues.
Here comes salt rain
with no resolution.
Michiana fog is thick gray, it sticks, mist
to the face. White-hot ghost, rising out
of the earth to mix with frozen particles.
October is the patina of the months,
pinewood along the tractor roads,
out-of-focus rainbows over tarnished
fields every other day. Orange glow—
too much time on land. Leaving us all
behind, seems a common way to go…
Then rolling off the tongue in frost, coating
heirloom tomatoes, black with crevasses.
Even they are crying, let me go.
Scent of wet rotting fir and burnt leaves
is replaced with white water.Gray fox
grazing the family corn-field in the shadows
of moon, teeth marks along Indian corn.
After first frost hits, he always takes the plow
(less rusted) and circles stalks, seeing his farm
from a redbird’s eye. He coils the growling plow,
shapes magician’s wands and Jack-o-lanterns
for the neighbors. This year I hope he paints me
a crystal ball surrounded by orchids, so when I
get lost debating the in and out door, orb-shaped
patterns will guide me to the cards
where I flip over Four of Swords, finding
the moon way too bright, singing, these shining
ghosts are all for me, but I’m not jealous at all.
Behind the Lake
Bottles of Tequila drink us up and leave us
alone, finished like an astronaut who drifts off
years ago, gray matter cut from goodbye—
Do you remember when you were a flood
and I was a crime hanging off the greens
of your body, giving you magnolia petals
big enough to cover all your shifting; feeding
you starstuff and glass, filling nothing…
Behind the lake you are a lark, spilling bronze
from coattails. Casting song deep into railroad
tracks they build a city over, use rusted beams
as haphazard foundations—origin story, every breath:
create and create layers of spongy peach shell
all to have them scraped and scraped away—
O, born to become skeletons, no growing back.
Architecture of the Earth
Adorn your eyelashes, paint
and napalm. Your ankles
lace up with scarlet ribbons:
ghost trail behind soft steps.
Carry this bayonet,
sewing needle through
your dress. You, shrouded
in new blue light on stage.
You can only see blue
light and the moon as it breaks,
tossed with dust and rocks,
it’sthick blood falling away
from us, down…Another shroud.
Now what do we do? Now what
can we do? We all prick lunar
pieces from the ruins,carefully
select what crumbs we’ll still
choose to believe in.
Kristiane Weeks is a Hoosier with a passion for the arts, something that Indiana is not famous for. She’s dabbled in all writing forms, but poetry and creative non-fiction are her niches. She’s currently a MA student studying Creative Writing at Indiana University in South Bend, set to graduate May 2015, with a BA in English from Flagler College in St. Augustine. Her poetry has been featured in Off the Coast, and her essay about St. Augustine was featured in Indiscernible Leaves, an IUSB Graduate school publication. She’s looking forward to continuing her education in creative writing on the west coast of the United States. You can read more of her work on her blog.