Sunday morning at Charlie Frias

Up ahead I see a man lounging on the pavement in shorts — no shoes, no socks, no shirt. Leaning up against a utility box, he is a white man tanned browner than a band aid. His feet nearly reach the curb, so I step off my bike and wheel it gingerly past him. We exchange good mornings, and I hop back on and head toward Tropicana Avenue to hang a left.

It’s warm out for my first trip to Charlie Frias Park in Las Vegas. Riding on sidewalks is legal here, so I take advantage of it sometimes when the streets have no bicycle lanes.
Continue reading “Sunday morning at Charlie Frias”

An uptick in butterflies

The butterfly was not a butterfly but two fallen leaves.

I had been seeing butterflies a lot lately, and so I thought this was yet another encounter.

Recently my local Cooperative Extension made an announcement on Facebook that there was an uptick in the insects’ numbers in the Las Vegas area. Now I wish I had read it.

I wondered if it had something to do with climate change, although the Extension had an optimistic tone in sharing the news. Continue reading “An uptick in butterflies”

It wasn’t really meat

The woman behind the counter said “pork” when citing the “pork,” “chicken” when mentioning the chicken stand-in and shrimp in reference to the shrimp replacement, without flinching.

This was an Asian vegan eatery, and she acted as if she believed herself. O, there was “beef” in the rice dish I ordered, as well. Anyway, the woman reminded me of Mrs. Baylock from the original Omen. I wondered if she delighted in her ruse. She also reminded me of Klimt’s women, or a Picasso sketch — I’m talking about those 1940s lithograph studies.

Overall, she was friendly but had Mrs. Baylock teeth and an omnivorous grin.

Lofty living with my cat

Flatiron Building

When my cat is on my bed there is nothing left for her to attain. In her feline world, it is the pinnacle of places in which to rest and roam.

My bed is like New York City, where there is nowhere left to go. Meaning, anywhere else is a step down. So you just park yourself and enjoy the view — in this case, a skyline of book piles — some of them hefty tomes resting vertically like architectural showpieces.

My book on contemporary collage art can be the Flatiron Building, while certain stacks of literary paperbacks — built with the biggest on the bottom to the smallest on the top — evoke skyscrapers of note: Central Park Tower.; the Woolworth Building; 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Continue reading “Lofty living with my cat”

today was like this

I’m so bored of reality
Nobody does anything interesting
Why do I always have to be the one to bring perspective?
I am burnt out on perspective
It’s time for the world to act
Mister, let me see what you are thinking
There’s got to be something compelling in that brain of yours
What about the smiling redhead who was sitting across from me just a second ago?
I wonder what she had on her mind Continue reading “today was like this”

i want to write in scribble

jean-michel basquiat

i wanted to write this because i wanted to write something new on my blog without having it necessarily mean anything. as i’ve stated before, why does anything have to mean anything (also see my declaration against question marks and other punctuation and style formalities) i just want to be pleasant and conversational overall so fuck it (it brings me joy to omit a comma)

last night, if you care to know, i had a dream of a giant skeleton hurling thru the star-speckled universe with its mouth agape. it seems a popular facial expression for many skulls worldwide. it brought to mind birds parched in summer, in a desperate quest for water, like i see often here in vegas. regardless, after the skeleton came the projectile of flames and smoke, hot on my path, chasing me thru space like a bee protecting its hive

have you ever wanted to kiss someone while they were speaking with you — you know those fleeting moments when you are overcome by adoration or lust. just a thought…

now that i see what i’ve done, all the words i have made here, now i would like to make this really long and meaningless. i find meaningless things are refreshing. i want to write poems about gum wrappers and empty coffee cups. i also seek out bad writing because it makes me happy and inspires me. these are people who have a literary voice without trying. like a baby picking up a paint brush and having at it on the canvas. have you ever watched an elephant paint. i’m finding that the best and most genuine art is regressive and primitive. see jean-michel basquiat for many, many examples.

i want to write in a sort of scribble. i genuinely feel it is closest to my truest literary voice. i strive for eloquent, conversational meaninglessness.

I Write But I’m Also a Collage Artist – And I’m Open to Commission Work (just sayin’)

I think this might be the first time i’ve mentioned my artwork on this blog, and it’ll most likely be the last. Still, i do collage art, and to me, that creative process shares many similarities with writing poetry. But anyway, i just wanted to invite whoever to check out my art website. I am open to commission work to do book covers and other visual elements for both print and online. The artwork already on my website also is available for such purposes. If interested, simply use the contact form here on this blog or the one on my art website. Thank you, and i hope you have an inspiring day.

— Cassandra Keenan

 

My great-grandmother lived into her late 90s

In my late great-grandmother’s building on Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx

about a block from my old Catholic elementary school
the stairs creaked like a rocker on the front porch
they had resonance as if empty crates walked upon.
A skunky amalgam of boiled cabbage and potatoes
still in their dusty, cratered skins always permeated
the air as I climbed to the third floor for a visit.
They were the smells of death and aging
but still I knew they were not emanating from my
great-grandmother’s since she was from Sicily (died in her late 90s)
and cooked accordingly. Besides, she did mostly baking:
Those cookies she’d make by the batch, we had named
them “rocks,” crafted with a thick chocolate glaze stiffened
to a shell, and the inside with nuts and dried fruits
and all the warmth and texture of the earth.
They had a shelf life of almost forever

Outdoor urbanite

eco-poetry oh is
that what it is called
earlier a twig did snap
beneath my sneaker

i followed 2 old ladies
to learn a new park loop
stretched to the periphery
out by montessouri street

for once i walked well past
the squeaky pedestrian bridge
and along the chalky drainage basin
near the drought-stricken ball field

it was so new to me
i took photos of the RV park
someone’s yard with a lot of junk
just over the concrete barrier wall

***

a pressed dandelion was found
inside the hardcover contemporary
American poetry anthology edited by
A. Poulin Jr. and Michael Waters

***

I studied Richard McGuire’s
sequential drawings —
a flamingo a sunrise
a wind-battered tree
bird cages and a butterfly
and bee on a runway;
an abandoned bike on a
route in the inner city
without a front tire.