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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Art poetry
and childhood
were chased
out of her music
when her
stepfather married
her mother,
an abusive child
who belt-strapped
the man
and made
roulette play
Russian mother
with a gun.

She left the age
at house sixteen
Initially leaned
visual shadows
but sunk
into arts,
painting, photo,
once again
when a man
became pregnant
like her
birth father
and she
couldn't marry
a job

My abandoned
dreams could
hear me
making a racket
My memoir wrote
in my soul
Then a show
watching one night
a shaman in
my story-box (TV)
calls people
to help chants
and dance

The spirit
of it was
me coming
to poetry
A telephone
said to
an interview
The artist
can be
difficult of
a role

Source: Edmonton Journal (because there is no Sunday edition, used Saturday's again), April 19, 2014: Arts & Life, Section D3, Article - re Edmonton Poetry Festival guest poet, Joy Harjo, "Truth-Teller embraces language" - used 3 or 4 paragraphs

Select a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article as
your source text. Switch the first noun with the second noun, the
third noun with the fourth noun, and so on until you’ve reached
the end of your text.


  1. Ha. Esp loved the game Russian mother!! But the rest is good too!

  2. I was beginning to twitch as another name disappeared and another. Glad to see you.

    I like this prompt for the unexpected juxtapositions and phrasings evoked. Your poem is full of them and it all makes sense. I like that, too.


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