Thursday, October 24, 2019

Donna Fleischer - insert poetry everywhere anywhere here

This is another installment of “Poetry? I just don’t get it.”
A series where I post a poem or group of poems by one author,
followed by anything the author wants to say about the work.

Today’s poem is " insert poetry everywhere anywhere here” by Donna Fleischer.

I became aware of Donna’s poetry back in 2011, when a haibun of hers was posted on Don Wentworth’s blog “Issa’s Untidy Hut,” along with a brief explanation of the mysterious world of haibun. You can read it here.

This led me to her chapbook, indra’s net (which can be found on scribd here ). What I like about her poems is how they effortlessly intertwine essay and poetry (and maybe some theory thrown in). And how, like Paul Celan, she weaves words together to make a new one, or give them a new context.

 Watch for interesting theoretical or scientific words. In the poem below she uses the word “chthulucene.” I love the word (you can find one definition here). And great lines like this (both funny and insightful):

“…so throw out metaphor and all the –isms, except/maybe prism, for lights sake…”


Her chapbooks include< Periodic Earth
(Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, CO, 2016)
and Twinkle, Twinkle (Longhouse Publishers, VT, 2013).
And she has a lively blog called “word pond”
which can be found here.


insert poetry everywhere anywhere here.

Bar-do teachings say when the dead person walks into the sun, she sees no shadow;
when she looks into a mirror she sees no reflection; when she steps out of the stream
she has no footprints. In this way she learns that she is dead 

P l a i n s   I n d i a n s
smudge stick
Sage smoke chant
begin in  
placewithoutlight  to feel
space. Where is head where is toe?  crawl
until upright with your spineonly support
ignore comfort place your self into your hands
weep, tear off the shirt you wear
for kaddish  L O S S
of  interconnective tissue
feel destitution danger utterly alone
without coaching experts, fall off your
shoulder, ego principality, wagon.

Do Not Act. Only Feel to feel only
pain comes first when surface gasp breath from
numbness, shock. It’s ok to creak a whimper,
stoke heartburn, shiver. Takes a long time for self-loathing
numb nerve endings to Feel again. Ditch the exquisited hormone
transparent acquisitive authority dome aggression.
Let it take 49 days, why not? Begin to bring into making to see lights of

p o i ë s i s    poiësis poiësis poiësis poiësis poiësis    p o i ë s i s

A bio-poetics with microbiome inches along the cell wall where&when osmosis occurs; each cell feels from its edges, its margins, that the marginal is radical, feels that its life depends on information passing thru. If a body ignores this, or has the wrong code, suffering, anguish, dis-ease, pain ensue. To break the fear code is to die to it, all light gone. 

Scared by your own shadow
guilt is nothing throw it away your
you is nothing throw it off

Utter sound
from the mockingbird
make one step at a time
Rhythm illumination, l-0-v-e begins
In nothing
In dis-order, off-guard
In surprise, bewilderment
dis-informed with feral Involvement in
cartographic Mnemonic nodes where too hot or cold;

For weathervane breath make
chthulucene poetry friends;
Start in   Some where to make being
Stretch despite yoga make anti- to make space for
Public community dis-comfort
We need so little to grow human people

How to keep the flame alive
In a bicycle basket or one
in the contextual
crook of your arm
it is a shit world when the body
politic kills all we would love

it’s not an as if this this so throw
out metaphor and all the –isms, except
maybe prism, for lights sake  let’s ignore titles,
awards, commendations experts,
LifesDeaths the only mapapp

C’mon man see, there’s so little left
and you have way too much right?
we only need a bit, to share most just let go,
even only a little, let
let what is


The End of the World Project, two volumes, Moria Books, IN, 2019

Commentary       The End of the World Project’s editors, Richard Lopez, T.C. Marshall, and John Bloomberg-Rissman called for submissions on the theme of — how does one write in the face of the unspeakable, of ongoing ecocide? — and I wrote the poem, insert poetry everywhere anywhere here.

It invoked most of what I have sensed, perceived, learned, and experienced, conveniently summarized here as a lifetime of being with who and what I love — music and reading, writing, and studying Ecology, Daoism, Radical Feminism, and Poetry. These have been and remain my emergency backpack and GPS for survive-thrive frequencies: Aldo Leopold, America’s first ecologist, warns us that to be an ecologist is to live in a world of wounds; Lao-Tzu’s Daoist teachings dovetail with the scientific discoveries of ecology; Adrienne Rich’s oracular poetry inheres in the title, insert poetry everywhere anywhere here.; Heriberto Yépez’s ethopoetics stretches our beings all the way back to Lao-Tzu’s view of the world as tzu-jan, translated as “occurrence appearing of itself ” or in the Pacific Northwest painter, Morris Graves’s words, “we are the stuff we are walking through”; Donna Haraway’s “Chthulucene” pushes us away from the “Anthropocene” human into an end of world now where we live with and learn from the myriad others with whom we share Earth.  Thank You. 

Donna Fleischer

Donna Fleischer


< Periodic Earth Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press, CO, 2016.
Twinkle, Twinkle  Longhouse Publishers, VT, 2013.
indra’s net  bottle rockets press, CT, 2003, out of print and available free to read at Scribd.


Intimate Boundaries  Self-produced from film negatives, offset web and sheetfed presses, and perfect-bound, Hartford, CT 1991. This collection of the poet’s early poetry includes the six poems for which she received the University of Hartford 1987 Creative Writing Award for Poetry, Virginia Hale, Ph.D. and George Michael Evica, Ph.D., judges. It may be purchased from the poet.

A Sampling of Poems Published Online

MayDay magazine.  November
Otoliths. Again; World Cross Over
Poets For Living Waters.  Mountain Meadow #71
Otoliths. A Meditation on the Unexpected; sugar finis
TRUCK.  On Barcelona
Contemporary Haibun.  Kingdom of the Pansy
Poets For Living Waters. Haiku; The Golden Scorpion; Darwin’s Urn
Back Room Live!. Photobooth Northampton
Contemporary Haibun. Petersen Field

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