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Mary
13 February 2014 @ 12:48 pm

I had a slow year in publishing new poetry, although I won the Elgin, so that's okay.  Here are my Rhysling eligible poems for 2013:

POEMS PUBLISHED IN 2013

If We Are Alone

If we are alone, this galaxy is ours.

We can explore, exploit, destroy, or plunder.

We will find worlds that orbit other stars;

the universe will still be full of wonder.

If we are alone, they will not hear us call;

the rocks of other planets will lie mute.

We need not safeguard creatures huge or small,

nor share the worlds with sapient or brute.

But humans will forever feel alone.

Why, we will ask, is ultimate truth veiled?

Are there no other beings, just cold stone?

And we will wonder if the gods have failed.

From world to world it may be ever thus

unless they, too, are searching, seeking us.

Analog, May  2013

******

Peach

This peach business, J. Alfred --

what's your issue?

Do you need to use a tissue?

Afraid of soiling your formal array?

No doubt the hostess would be aghast

if her fruit bowl were disarrayed by one of your low caste.

Or is your dental bridge too loose?

And you would die of shame if it came away

or if you slobbered the peach juice.

If the latter, J., don't even think of apples.

Of course ladies who talk of Michelangelo

would offer a tangelo

and not mere apples at this time of year.

They'd sneer.

(Champagne and tea and cocktails, never beer.)

No question, they would scorn a man who is afraid

of walking on the beach with a mermaid.

Maybe you're concerned the peach

would give you bad breath, J.

No way.

Onions, peaches --

entirely different creatures.

Or --  you think the peach is poisoned!

Good call, J.

Think of that!

I'd offer a bit to that cat

the one that curled around chimneys.

Best of Ohio Poetry Day 2013

(Ohio Poetry Day does not have a website)

**********

Cats Are Poetry

Cats are poetry, this we know.

Mahasamahtman is working on becoming a Sanskrit epic

with lots of animal gods and worshipful mice

though presently he has settled in a basket

where he eats all the slant rhymes that fall from my laptop.

Azrael (subtitled Le Floof) is a Japanese Noh drama

translated by some stylish flapper-poet

into 1920's slang.  He resents the implication

that his pounces and end rhymes are feminine

because after all, Noh drama doesn't rhyme.

And right now he's scratching the door of my bedroom,

wants to try on my red kimono and steal my katana.

Tyrael?  Tyrael has himself confused with a sonnet

though he has fifteen lines

and loses the meter while licking my head.

He slams like a door, but only when hungry.

And ah Lurker.  Sweet ancient Lurker

once the queen of the whole anthology,

nay, the whole National Library of Felinoetry,

now beset with gaps gnawed by literary critics

in the fabric of her antique manuscript.

She, oh distinguished she, believes in compression

for she was once an Senecan revenge tragedy

and is shrinking herself down

first to a ballad

then a cinquain.

Her fur is gray and terse

soon she will be a haiku

then just an on-gi.

On Velvet Feet, Poet's Haven, Spring 2013

*********

Five Senryu for Isabella

motionless

exquisite fur, eyes, and tail

a purring sculpture


a child totters forth

she greets him with dignity

do not toy with me!


she is blind

but walks so softly

she sees you first

a blind cat

a fearsome swordswoman

invisible blades


she lies at his feet

purring worshipfully

but we know who's queen

On Velvet Feet, Poet's Haven, Spring 2013

 
 
Current Mood: poetical
Current Music: Bohemian Rhapsody
 
 
Mary
05 September 2013 @ 12:31 pm
It's getting to be old news now, but my LOVERS & KILLERS won first place for a full-length book for the Elgin award.  It was also on the Stoker ballot, plus one of the poems therein was a Rhysling nominee, and another of the poems, "The Hidden," placed second in the Dwarf Stars competition.
#
I'm a bit ambivalent about personal poetry; I don't always enjoy the raw confessional gushing I hear and read at poetry workshops and readings.  But LOVERS & KILLERS is a personal book.   Before my son, Jack Brizzi, Jr., died, I didn't realize how much his perspective had infiltrated my imagination.  Several of the poems in L&K are about scary conversations Jack and I had when he was growing up. "Gacy" is an example.  Some of his interests -- notably swords and SF movies -- are reflected in the poems.  One poem addressed to Jack after his death, "The Hidden," struck a nerve with a lot of people.  And, although I have always been fascinated by serial killers,  I don't think I would ever have been as interested in Jack Unterweger, the "Handsome Jack" of the opening poem, had he not shared a first name with my son.
#
Other work in the collection reflects my personal biases and emotional attachments.  My almost-religious advocacy in the exploration of the universe is reflected in poems like "Gift from Above" and "Diving into Uranus."  I get attached to causes, such as education and freedom for women in all religions, and poems like "St. Theresa and the Fuck Me Shoes" demonstrate that interest.
The lunacy of love, and how it can create or destroy life, also is a personal obsession of mine, as revealed in "Proxmire's Complaint," which is incidentally an indictment of dear old Senator William Proxmire, who could never see beyond the end of his nose to what was really important in scientific investigation.
#
And then there are poems I just enjoy reading out loud because they release my inner crazy lady.  One would be "Rapture."
#
Hats off to the brilliant other honorees:  2nd Place winner: NOTES FROM THE SHADOW CITY by Bruce Boston & Gary William Crawford;  3rd Place: COME LATE TO THE LOVE OF BIRDS by Sandra Kasturi  and the chapbook winners, 1st Place: OUT OF THE BLACK FOREST by F. J. Bergmann; 2nd Place: THE HOUSE OF FOREVER: SELECTED POEMS by Samantha Henderson; and 3rd Place: The Edible Zoo by David Kopaska-Merkel.  http://www.sfpoetry.com/el/13elgin.html
#
Enough.  I loved writing this book, and I hope to share it with people who share my peculiar tastes and who empathize with my passions -- and my losses.http://www.darkregions.com/books/lovers-and-killers-by-mary-turzillo
 
 
Mary
05 September 2013 @ 12:17 pm
It's getting to be old news now, but my LOVERS & KILLERS won first place for a full-length book for the Elgin award.  It was also on the Stoker ballot, plus one of the poems therein was a Rhysling nominee, and another of the poems, "The Hidden," placed second in the Dwarf Stars competition.
I'm a bit ambivalent about personal poetry; I don't always enjoy the raw confessional gushing I hear and read at poetry workshops and readings.  But LOVERS & KILLERS is a personal book.   Before my son, Jack Brizzi, Jr., died, I didn't realize how much his perspective had infiltrated my imagination.  Several of the poems in L&K are about scary conversations Jack and I had when he was growing up. "Gacy" is an example.  Some of his interests -- notably swords and SF movies -- are reflected in the poems.  One poem addressed to Jack after his death, "The Hidden," struck a nerve with a lot of people.  And, although I have always been fascinated by serial killers,  I don't think I would ever have been as interested in Jack Unterweger, the "Handsome Jack" of the opening poem, had he not shared a first name with my son.
Other work in the collection reflects my personal biases and emotional attachments.  My almost-religious advocacy in the exploration of the universe is reflected in poems like "Gift from Above" and "Diving into Uranus."  I get attached to causes, such as education and freedom for women in all religions, and poems like "St. Theresa and the Fuck Me Shoes" demonstrate that interest.
The lunacy of love, and how it can create or destroy life, also is a personal obsession of mine, as revealed in "Proxmire's Complaint," which is incidentally an indictment of dear old Senator William Proxmire, who could never see beyond the end of his nose to what was really important in scientific investigation.
And then there are poems I just enjoy reading out loud because they release my inner crazy lady.  One would be "Rapture."

Hats off to the brilliant other honorees:  2nd Place winner: NOTES FROM THE SHADOW CITY by Bruce Boston & Gary William Crawford;  3rd Place: COME LATE TO THE LOVE OF BIRDS by Sandra Kasturi  and the chapbook winners, 1st Place: OUT OF THE BLACK FOREST by F. J. Bergmann; 2nd Place: THE HOUSE OF FOREVER: SELECTED POEMS by Samantha Henderson; and 3rd Place: The Edible Zoo by David Kopaska-Merkel. http://www.sfpoetry.com/el/13elgin.html
Enough.  I loved writing this book, and I hope to share it with people who share my peculiar tastes and who empathize with my passions -- and my losses.http://www.darkregions.com/books/lovers-and-killers-by-mary-turzillo
 
 
Mary
26 February 2013 @ 12:14 pm
I forgot this one, too.  Also Rhysling eligible.  It was in Sounds of the Night: February 2012:
 Sounds of  the Night

Venus again
by
Mary Turzillo

in the end,
when you start plotting how to kill him
without getting caught,
by phony tire blow outs
or organically grown poisons,
perhaps an exotic but slightly altered psychodelic, or simply
bludgeoning him with a stolen crow bar in his nasty sleep
She
comes and says,
Darling, you've gone and fucked it up
again,
you chose wrong,
and now,
I’ve given you ten
ten good times to fall in love
And you've used up nine.

####
 
 
Mary
My husband noticed these two poems (Rhysling readers take note, he says) appear in the beautiful zine ILLUMEN, Autumn 2012.  The issue also has fantastic poems by Marge Simon, Selena Martens, Lyn Gardner, Megan Arkenberg, s.c. virtes, Sandi Leibowitz, Gary Every, Rone Wisten, Keith Sikora to name but a few, plus reviews by Richard Fay and Shelly Bryant.
Foresight

He walks sidewalks, knowing he will step here on a
crack, there stumble on a clump of grass, tomorrow

he will get a job, next week knock up

his wife, the child will be ill-favored,


spiteful. She will grieve, but for
him there is no disillusion.
Gods such as he

know all but

can change

nothing.

Loaded Dice


I mean, it was awfully convenient,
that he was always an outsider:
Jew among Nazis, foreigner among Americans.

Suspicious, when you think of it,
that he used his tie as a belt,
that he was so spiritual in a vague way—

God does not play dice—

like he never really belonged here.

Yet unlike with Diana and Elvis, nobody wanted
to beatify him, maybe because he didn’t die young.

Suppose the whole light-speed limit was a ruse,
a way of keeping us here in the solar system.

He had to invent a whole improbable physics
to go with that: light beams bending, time warping.


Do you really believe that?

http://www.whitecatpublications.com/?wpsc-product=illumen-issue-17-pdf
 
 
Current Music: The Wall
 
 
Mary
12 February 2013 @ 02:48 pm
I'll be reading with Chuck Joy at Mac's Backs the day before V-day -- here's a poem from the book.  By the way, this poem is Rhysling eligible:

front_med_hq__53631.1343711782.800.600


Tohoku Tsunami


by Mary Turzillo



Taro finds a sea turtle


belly-up, helpless, tormented by thugs:


he rights it, cradles, gives it back to the sea.



Another sea turtle, immense


as from woodcuts of monsters devouring Kyoto,


walks out of the tide, finds Taro



dumbstruck, afraid.


But Fisherman Taro, doused with sea-spittle


grows gills.  



Come, come with me. The huge turtle


named Ryujin, sea kami,


tows him to ocean's root:



a palace refulgen


with kanju, chrysoberyls that make the tide fall.


and manju, alexandrine plates that make the tide rise.



The kanju are scales


the manju also


are scales.



The palace is a dragon.


In its deepest coil, Ryujin presents


Princess Otohime.  My daughter.



the turtle you returned to the sea.


Otohime's beauty sponges away Taro's recall


of fishing and Miyagi, his home.



Taro, Otohime's consort now,


lives in a palace.  It stirs now and then,


scales as chrysoprase, corundum, coils serpentine.



The drago


Ryugoju, seabed, origin, center,


coils jealous around princess and fisher.



Taro yearns to see his mother.


Otohime (salt tears) agrees, gives him a box.  Do not open.


He forgets to ask why.



The drago


ready to sleep years, centuries, aeons,


releases Taro.



Taro walks inland,


finds Miyagi's streets


buzz with cars, light-blaze, women in brief skirts.



He asks


have you heard of Taro, the fisherman?


Urashima Taro?  Yes.



A legend.  Walked into the sea


to rescue a turtle. Never returned


but his footprints on the beach were lined with jewels.



Taro asks of his mother.


That was long ago, they say.


She has been dead three centuries.



He sinks down.


All he knew is the dust of burnt offerings;


he is wayfarer in an arid, metallic land.



Bereft on a city curb,


he remembers the box


It will bring back my world.



He opens:


an echoing dragon sea-heart opens


The dragon's jewel-scales flex. First the kanju,



call the sea back to the dragon


so the tide sinks,


and folk wonder has the sea abandoned us?



The dragon flexes again


and his belly-scale manju rippl


and the water rushes inland.



All is awash, lights put out,


temples cars people crushed


as an anthill engulfed



until finally the vat opens


where the folk grow electricity,


irradiating Miyagi



with billion-jellyfish poison


and, not having sea turtle shells,


folk tumble, sicken, and die.



The sea washes Taro back


to the palace-dragon,


which coils, then yawns.



The princess closes the box.


But no man


can live three hundred years



Taro ages and fails, blood staining salt water.  He dies.


The princess weeps.


The dragon, flood-weary, sleeps.


(end)


"Tohoku Tsunami" first appeared in Lovers & Killers, Dark Regions, 2012

http://www.macsbacks.com/event/chuck-joy-and-mary-turzillo

 
 
Mary
front_med_hq__53631.1343711782.800.600
I'll be reading from Lovers & Killers, mixed with other poems new and old, at Deep Cleveland.  That's
•  Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour  (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deep-Cleveland-Poetry-Hour/107558519321001) on November 9, at  
• MugShotz Cafe (https:///www.facebook.com/pages/MugShotz-Coffee-Shop/221862961176638), 6556 Royalton Road in North Royalton.  Mugshotz is set a bit off the road, across from North Royalton Schools, beside Pizza Hut.  For some reason, it's not on Google Maps.  It's an awesome coffee house, however. Don't miss the boba tea and embarrassing mug shots (the police line-up kind) of Frank Sinatra and Elvis.  

LOVERS & KILLERS is about serial killers, treacherous love, all the stuff of nightmares, stuff you love reading about, but don't want to happen to YOU.  
Free entertainment, and an open mic.  Please come and read some flash fiction!
Write on,
Mary T.
 
 
Current Location: MugshotZ
Current Mood: heh heh heh
 
 
Mary
15 July 2012 @ 11:10 pm
My poem in December's NEW MYTHS, "The Legend of the Emperor's Space Suit (A Tale of Consensus Reality)," won third place in the Rhyslings. https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/the-legend-of-the-emperor-s-new-space-suit Congrats to the winners, Shira Lipkin (short form) and Megan Arkenburg (long form), and also to the others who placed, Erik Amundsen, Lyn C. A. Gardner, G. O. Clark and Kendall Evans.

 
 
Mary
11 July 2012 @ 02:06 pm
I can add Polish to the list of languages in which my work is now available.

My poem "Going Viral" (originally in Star*Line: http://www.sfpoetry.com/starline.html)  has been translated into Polish, by the brillant Mariusz Leś, and with a wonderful illo! Have a look:


 
 
Current Mood: translated
 
 
Mary
If you are a writer reading this, and if you have fond memories of Clarion, or any other writing workshop, or -- heck -- even if you always wanted to go to Clarion but haven't so far -- consider signing up for the Clarion Write-a-Thon. Here's the information:

We've signed up 63 writers so far
Help us meet our goal of 150
writers by June 24!

What is a write-a-thon, anyway? It's just like a walk-a-thon. But instead of walking, we're writing, and instead of making pledges per mile, we're making pledges per word, chapter, or story. Writers get support, encouragement and motivation, and the option of joining a team with a writing mentor! Those who care about the writers in their life get a way to show their support. And money is raised for a literally fantastic cause -- the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop. All donations are made through The Clarion Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, EIN #20-3114945.

Everybody wins!

Writing begins officially on June 24, and ends on August 4, same dates as the 2012 Clarion Workshop. Just by signing up, you'll get the bonus of providing moral support for this summer's Clarion Workshop students.

Writers, register now, set your goals, and line up support. Or get more info...   http://clarionwriteathon.org/writerstips/



Wait a minute -- sign up even if you aren't a Clarion grad or hopeful -- it's a way to get yourself to write a targeted number of words.
 
 
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