Monday, February 1, 2016

Heart Poem and Illustration For Valentine's Day

I will be 47 years old Superbowl Sunday, but parts of me will only be 3 or 5 years old, depending on which of my surgeons you confer with. Blade Runner and The Terminator are less science fiction movies that documentaries to me these days, and it is fair to say having alien technology inside your body does change not only your physiognomy but your psychology and mentality in certain ways, sometimes ways one isn't even aware of for many years. It also effects those close to you. For instance, my heart clicks. Like a clock. You might wonder how long it takes to tune that phenomenon out of your daily existence, or if it just wears on one in eventually maddening ways like Chinese water torture or Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." The answer is both. For the first several weeks, even months after artificial valve surgery, your heart feels like it is going to pound out of your chest. Most of this is probably attributable to the sound. Typically one probably wouldn't be aware of the beating of one's heart, but being able to hear each beat makes it unignorable. 

Heart poem by Thomas L. Vaultonburg, illustrated by Jenny Mathews of Rockford Illustrating

I am torn between writing more about what it's like to go through open-heart surgery and have artificial parts surgically implanted inside one's body, and the lasting changes that makes in one's life, or just writing about what it's like to collaborate with an artist like Jenny Mathews. Mostly I'm just happy to wake up day after day and see she has drawn something new. In this case I am also happy to be able to collaborate in the process. Eventually I may write more about the ongoing process of becoming a cyborg, but for the most part I just find myself grateful and happy to be alive.

If you'd like to see new work from my life and creative partner Jenny Mathews almost every day, follow her Instagram. Go ahead and like a bunch of things there and maybe buy some of her art so she'll make me chicken wings this Sunday. Please Pinterest or share our work if you find it meaningful. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Poetry By Elena Botts


blithewood

when the trees shivering pyres of warm like color fire

and contemplation of bay so grey centered,

reflective of the sky (her eyes)

we, wading into the nothing.

into the there was an aftermath here once, there was a grand garden and a story, oh yes a story and the

brave blushing people in their finery and the flowers, all dripping hyacinth, dahlia, aster in flown stars of

summer fallen into the ground and even the sky was larger somehow but then

mansion brick might realize itself shocked whiter under the moon, even our little radiances as we realized

ourselves, impossibly standing under

the sky infinite

just bare somethings in the dark, just forever

always expiring, well better then! the unimaginable



later, i was dancing with myself.

when i'm away in the blue

night like to be a sound tucked into an outer dark. i dream of you

senseless and unbroken across the stars.

you're a miracle for nobody. something came true but it wasn't for,

it only was. and i,

and you.

in your absence, i dream of everything.

real, vivid dreams.

blossoms coloring the spine of my stubborn bends and unreality inflating my cheeks with a blue cold and

writing me dumb

into the dead sky. it's wintertime.

so you're vacant and meaningful, so you're

into the soul, so you're you,

your body in the rain. i'll go outside. i'll meet nobody,

motionful in the dark. you can wait there, nobody, you can wait,

counting the times your reflection passes you by in the puddling future of us shrouded

in the present of your presence of please stay awhile i care so terribly about you i think i might die

and come alive again in the dark it doesn't matter in the dark.

i am into the earth and for nothing too.

you are the story as it occurs. mostly, i am missing myself.


Poet Elena Botts



before the fall,

the sky in a lilac rose before it falls,

scatter the winter trees.

until quick the blue shroud

pulled over the earth and all of us under

expiring the breath of our bodies

into a dulled omnipotence.

maybe souls glow low in the beckoning

night shudders.

if this were a love note for you, it would get

lost in the ambiguity. but

it is a comparison darkness. if this were a letter

sent by sea,

it would be lost,

no one would ever read. a terrible and immersive blue.

it has me gone and nebulous.

but i can't spell my own

luminescence if this were written to

the moon and all the nighttime cars through the nighttime roads, headlight countryside,

the plummeting.

you're the only one in the dark

enough to make light.



i'm sad that you cut your hair

i remember how it was full of care dark dense.

the storm gathered itself up and left.

did the fierce life of your body undo itself

easy i think the plummet. is it somewhere, the locks i mean

but i could not care for them

still, i think, somewhere your loss degrades. maybe it soils a floor. probably, the wind.

the wind, probably blows you quickly nowhere, you, a nothing, into nowhere. i think of you often

i think of the blue under the bridges when i think of you i think of how bay grips the mind of sky and

pulls under, us, into a gravity

as you lose, as by falling, loss, as by

and in falling, there a simple suicide. a blue smear against

i'm sad that you cut your hair.

surely it must be somewhere, your loss hidden underneath a stairwell i hope where sunlight steps carefully

through the afternoon and no one has to be anywhere,

i mourn your hair quietly all through the daylight hours i sit still in the staircase and tread nothing and

bathe myself with bare hands and no water in the waterfall ing of great light, of a simple god looking

down and smiling an unknowable smile but now i mean

the misery of an omnipotence that is no one

and he is no one. so where are you?

we are all gentle no ones treading or tossing because i remember how like a sea

it was when i craved to move fingers through the terrible quivering skiffs

destined for no place. i remember that night

when against the timbers we roamed motionless and you motionful, cupped yourself in your own hands

and i held you tight, inward, as though you might implode, a little star done in on itself all at once,

dying in rapturous light but then just a soft sigh of incandesce into the heavens.

you exhale, i respire. i hold no one. he is a cold body at dusk and

his hair cropped close and dull against the neck of him, the

always again i find you dying and then must save no body and i cannot even save no body so

i close your dead eyes and walk into a black, close night.



last autumn frost

the woodland architecture huddled up

into a mind of late autumnal

dreaming,

i cannot remove the lichen bodies

where they dwell in steadfast

frosted epochs

so i buried in the bay and froze my own

terrible bones, thinking of

eyes harder than any eyes

a blacker blue

than beacon soul shining outright and your pearly nose,

lined lips without miss you

don't care about the rest you just

rise away trailing

your left

whispered hand knowing what it is you know

when we fall upwards into a periwinkle sky

that can't or won't erase

the deadly stars of our fated minds,

held in but alien universes inside.



i've been talking to stars

i have no home but home of my heart not even four am aunt's blankets heaving dreams of nothing in the

ancient house, a mexican menagerie while che guevara the parrot is learning how to say good morning,

sam the monstrous cat needs your attention forever my grandfather has feeble magic, he is inexorable,

unmeasurable, uneraseable and soon he will be limitless although grandmother has already transcended

the realms of this world and the endless sunshine it becomes harder to move if only i were an idea.

i chose the mind space that is screen less windowing to the sky! was so beauteous! horrific! i was looking

for your black eyes in all the dumb boys moving like horses in the thunderstruck afterwards of rain,

restless come rage in the dirt with me young dear i do not know where i am knowing was a fond memory

drenched in sunshine, set out to dry on a childhood kitchen countertop my dad walks in talking the birds.

my mom raging her hands through six centuries time dispelled by you and me, she's still frantic

steering wheel and raisins in the oatmeal. she picks it off the floor while she's driving. miniature beacon

stoplights got nothing to say and the family cat. closing the doors it's always summer nightfall. we go

each to a dark enclosed space to sink our thoughts in outpourings. i just want to grab your heart with my

bare hands while mine was a vessel on its side leaking light.

gnight little moon and the stars too sorry for the black night sorry for always sorry for the care the awful

stare sorry don’t know what you're doing i walked behind the old building today almost wandered in

through window but someone's living there now stood between two windows in parallel for the first time

noticed the small tree in the middle my soul caught here once there had been something beautiful but the

ravages of world seem to keep us human useless always the heart ruinous being what it is we are here was

something beautiful before it was gone we couldn't keep the universe. but it was



we were in a perilous

even the moon, you

in your pale abstractions and i facing you whenever you spoke but less so for the words,

less so

and in this anything, there was something measured about us, an other realm that wouldn't become or

something about how your hands were different than how i thought they'd be but mine were the same as

you knew already with your black blue eyes transfixed and your motionlessness the way you were

easy speechless and i always so regardless like

when i'm with you i'll miss you to the wicked moon and so sail away

all undone on sheets reamed in starry schemes and fixed to mast pivotless wandering the unreedemable

blackness in which oh and even the moon was taken

for you, for you i sailed to the moon and never or ever came away again

as in an unbearable chaos that which made me, even the cosmos were caught

in love and in that moment of awe in what is was they were seeing, the beauteous,

the wide sky yawned and gasped

and held nothing, nothing

held it. nothing to keep us, me and you. nothing because the universe was so struck

it forgot

so all fell to a fabulous chaos,

and i never came back again for you or anyone at all.



i'm still here

i am so thinking of you

good morning you sweet thing.

so much so that breathing is new to me, your universe,

you, your stars.

i mean the unknown frames me,

keeps me.

let me be still and silent with you

just want to curl

sunshine/divine/your eyes

a side like a cliff face

your bones always like vertiginous

dear terrible earth, put me to sleep

you must be a stranger to be in my cloud because your stars are only of your own small burning

brightness. and my stars are only of my own. only one's own little light to love anybody.

as also i must be alien unto the earth else i cannot by beauteous broken know a thing for what it is

unless i am this strange soul light of no light at all but mine so i might

be in a place, the universe and then so

give everything of it.

that is, my light is only mine so that it be for you.