Saturday, October 31, 2015



One dark and stormy night…

Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
zombies were mooning
to children who scatter

When what to their wondering eyes did appear
a trick-or-treat turkey quite stuffed through the rear;
yet they hear

him exclaim as he gobbles in fright,

Scary Thanksmas to all
                   this dark stormy night!

©2015  Gobblin’ Merry Hollows  stephaniepope

Sunday, October 25, 2015


"Tartini's Dream" by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1824)

“A novel is like a bow, and the violin that produces
       the sound is the reader’s soul.”―Stendhal 

thy servant touched my ear
and stole my breath with skill

things I gave away, a violin
rapture in the heartbeat

that tongue speaks
I fall ill

anticipates my soul & plays
with such great art and still

thy servant moves my heart
at will

impossible to live without, I trill
& mime this instrument I can’t repeat

©2015 Sonata stephaniepope


The story behind "Devil's Trill" starts with a dream. Tartini allegedly told the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande that he dreamed that The Devil appeared to him and asked to be his servant. At the end of their lessons Tartini handed the devil his violin to test his skill—the devil immediately began to play with such virtuosity that Tartini felt his breath taken away. The complete story is told by Tartini himself in Lalande's Voyage d'un François en Italie (1765 - 66):
"One night, in the year 1713 I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I wished: my new servant anticipated my every desire. Among other things, I gave him my violin to see if he could play. How great was my astonishment on hearing a sonata so wonderful and so beautiful, played with such great art and intelligence, as I had never even conceived in my boldest flights of fantasy. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted: my breath failed me, and - I awoke. I immediately grasped my violin in order to retain, in part at least, the impression of my dream. In vain! The music which I at this time composed is indeed the best that I ever wrote, and I still call it the "Devil's Trill", but the difference between it and that which so moved me is so great that I would have destroyed my instrument and have said farewell to music forever if it had been possible for me to live without the enjoyment it affords me." 


1.  "The Devil's Trill" makes an analogy between the dream music heard by the dream ego and the power the sound has to overturn that state of ego soul; it is not unlike the one Stendhal makes about the violin's sound reflecting to the reader his own soul.  In considering the hard path of the inward way an individual is lead to overturn mass mindedness (dream ego) and evolve selfness out of selflessness consider the role art plays as you read the abstract and first paragraph of Francis e. Merrill's  Stendhal and the Self: a Study in Sociology and Literature. the dream is like a novelist. The novelist tries to communicate to the reader the way the dream does the dreamer an emotional and imaginative experience to which the reader and dreamer reacts respectively. The dream characters have no objective existence outside the dream pattern's display. This nothingness conveys a real something whose sound has a profound effect upon the dreamer's entire psyche-making. This may be something like what an encounter with wholeness in a selfless selving is like.  And then, the irrepeatable likeness of this like is what art tries to imitate.

Saturday, October 17, 2015



Since man's highest mission on earth is to spiritualize everything,   
it is his excrement in particular that needs it most.  
-Salvador Dali     


in the truth hides a hidden:

she walked in with the problem
and the truth of that thing

was  dissolving itself; some
where in some way was 
afraid of this resolving in herself remaining like a light made of
        the dark
what becomes a timely tale in unraveling a role
who told the way
a vision of uncertainty must know
it knew what flew
a sister with a sister
to a sister, making three
the one soul
and knew
the sole soul
tissueing the vision in what
tweened these sisters
and how it drew together
the affair
as if the excrement
of some imagining of air
still needed to
reveal itself
another way right there
and so, it needed three
the first, a veil
the next, a twin
the last, the shape it entered in
tore through the room, unwalled a space
hid itself just underneath a chair
to show the likeness in the like
of what it was -it was
a tissue of confusion in a heap of dis

a toilet paper caper
was a vision in a vapor
was a fusion to a fissure
of confusion and disfavor
when it waked into the bedrooms
of three sisters late one nite

a face, a facing, haunted allegory
reminiscing in the album of a dream
who dreamt this story? who
dreamt it blue, full of images
dreamt it gleaming
like some graphic mythopoeia
dreamt it
like it were a merely snoring living be-ing
caught there briefly in be twee-ing
through the chorus of the gloria
or like a living corpus will erupt the in-between
by calling down its night bird to the scene

it was
a slumber no one owned
a ground of dreaming just awakened
where it dreamt itself a story deeply staged
and where what dreamt into its mirror like a
figment of some fragment
was a fragment of some former kind of fray
left these performers a reminding disarray
and the performance of remaining just this way:

just like a toilet paper caper
like a vision in a vapor
like a fusion to a fissure
of an error thrice in flavor
dreaming through the bedrooms
of each sister late at nite

And so the vision moved in waking
from one sister to another
to another in an other sort of way
and once one sister couldn’t sleep
and left her light on
unmasking all that darkness that she feared
it left the vision free to creep
into another sister’s sleep, where it proceeded
to awaken in her stare

this sister left her window open
before she went to bed that nite
where a darkness in the nite began to blow
onto the inside past her cheek
entered the window like a sneak
windy shadowings foreshadowing in sound
what fashioned there a double
made a doubling in air
what moved around; what made the door creak
kept it opening and shutting while she slept
then made her feel into the room
into a very anxious state
and twinned like some projection on the wall
what interfaced her with that light she saw
diffusing down the hall

she left her light on! (I wonder why)
and then she wondered if the other were ok
just then the wind blew (it made the door creak)
and suddenly this twinning of the very anxious stare
was somehow there and shimmering a sway
it made the mask move; it made the sleeper eeek
for although it wasn’t really there
a vision of this ghosting in that hue of air
began remaking out of nothing in this field
she left her light on! could not eschew
and this very way the shadow sister grew
showed how the thing meant to erase
and to banish without trace
was enter-facing as this other kind of yield

it made the mask move! the sister err
as if already she’d digested the affair
she’d gotten out of bed (to use the bathroom)
because (she thought) she needed some relief
it made the mask move; the darkness grew
became a centering for riddance coming, too
became re-membering with less
the scatological excess
an other vision to the nonsense
that her senses should address
she put the light on! caught here this haze
and the shattering
sent scattering a guilt left in the gaze
she put the light on! could not eschew
it was the very way the shadow sister grew
the holy mission here on earth, a making, spiritual in worth
of a fragmentary nature of re-turn (that turns through mirth)
and re-members her the other of decay

now this final gal’s the oldest of the three
she’s about to groom
in perfumes of impossibility
and this ground will be the measure
for what will accompany
the ghastly ghost whose guesting through them all
it leaves them (in its calling card)
an other kind of word
leaves them here embodying
a tearing no one’s heard
leaves them here the night dream
we never tissue clean
leaves them like the one that leaves
the seer with our lady who is
seeing through this scene

just now
the lovely one is thinking (as she’s stepping from the tub)
there are so many losses that my many losses scrub
how they bathe in me, and leave in me a leaving less in less
a scum in its belonging here again
never put together here again
see how such flesh re-turns me when it comes
steaming up the bathroom
streaming through this shroud
it comes as if it’s dreaming me out loud
gives to this, my person, what essentially is me
and matters to the gift itself that I shall never see;
this certain kind of blindness now befalls this certain drain
a certain kind that's kind enough to take away in stain
yet made me hear the haunted vapor tremor ‘neath my skin
hid me in its moisture where the mirror once tore in
became me in a gesture flowing through the haunted gaze
still seeking out some light there; hunting for some light there
beyond the dark, inside the dare, outside the way I am aware
the way I fear this lack and everything it takes
each body-piece in ruin holds my body to its wake
in seeing through my dreaming one -thus come
where I’m breaking in this breaking of the one
a hunted and a haunted life still softening and tossed
re-membering the body -the impossible that’s lost

she saw the light there
what made this universal joke
mattered here re-membering so much she never spoke
and yet, repeats in her our double nature’s foil
the one that tales as beautiful
as it now tales her soiled
with tears and tears of ruin through each look-
the lovely things of beauty specter beautifully spoiled

it mirrors the phantom, her body knowing dressed in dross
their senses for re-membering these mournings in her loss
while the presences now fill her limbs unsound
with the thing that grows and shakes
in her each time in passing round
the thing in her -in each of us
who makes

just then
she eyes along the edge above the tub a ledge
aligns aloft a host of elves or clowns
a group of spirit gourds a-ghost in grins
remembering her stepping through
recounts her steps through them
this flesh; ah yes, this flesh! the host that here’s it!
ah yes, these shapes! those grins that bare it!
and this the moment she will see these things
and bear them nakedly just then, and then
just then (a-ghost in grins)
noticing go they as she steps in
while she, so very unaware of them
now sees them by reflection in the glass
and all of her reflected then
what’s stepping from this bath -beware the host
when what embodies bodies you in brew
the host in whom the host in you rends clean
banqueting in gods in scraps in scenes
will shape them seeing you and seen:
the backward glance, the sweet Bauboo
the stepping down and in and through
the her-in-us be twee-ing that relates us and renews
hears YOU and in here-ing, sees
see? the edge-line holding back that laugh
see? the ridge’s furrowed corner drown the brow
see? she leaves behind what we become
in tub-lines holding back the flesh that falls
oozing dark in fluencies that guest
ghastly in the pipelines ghosted in our walls
and slumber calls

interrupts the thinking with a thinking juxtaposed
and soon our lovely lady knows
to settle with her best in chair
what chatter leaves to sisters fair
till one by one (as if on fire) these
other two retire
leave our lady here to doze
and the ghost free to disclose
still every bit unsayable of face
still needs of three, you see
to make the féte complete
the beast of heat that eyes
foreshortens in this space
before the body that preceded it in time
it hunts the one that it must always break
into the one that it will twin
into this one who shakes
and then repeatedly repeats this in our lady’s sleep
what moved around
outside the nite dream
shape-shifts in her its hunger as it hungers to invade
bathes there in another light the other bathroom shade
a purple glow of no-ing
into which our lady gazed

it was the bathroom (it wasn’t there)
it reappeared to her just underneath her chair
for when she fell asleep, the gesture grew
and the vision now appearing on our universal stage
was venting most relentlessly in rantings of enrage
a toilet paper strewn from everywhere
in tears and rips and rips and shreds of air
while the shock of seeing wakened her in fright

and so
this timely tale unraveling the roll
tells the way a vision of uncertainty must know
and so it goes; this slumber no one owns
ghosts a ground of dreaming which it dreams here deeply staged
a story in a story needing heard
a seeing past the saying for the words beyond the word
like a fragment turned through former kinds of fray
rearranges during performance to re-mind the disarray

Just like:

a toilet paper caper
like a vision in a vapor
or confusion in the fissures
of remainders in three flavors
waking through the bedrooms
of three sisters late one nite


Three sisters tell this story of suspense
with nonsense as the outcome of its sense
but narry can a soul explain the toilet paper roll in the morning with no tissue to dispense

©2015 Toilet Paper Caper stephaniepope


1. This author notated the line she’d gotten out of bed (to use the bathroom) in her original publication of the poem noting how it links the reader to a poem(no longer published to Letting Go, a poem containing the blessed and broken body motif as if that same motif is also being hosted here.  Because the artist notes this movement operates in-between the spatial (poetic) body-field of several of her poems, it has led her to explore the notion of stercoric creation whereby an ever withdrawing creator opens the space for a furthering of creative action and hypostasis through this absence and this empting, i.e.  'voiding' act.

The inspiration for the piece, in retrospect, indeed erupts such sense in this poet who considers the poem image as the depth-author of the poem. At the seminal moment the creation itself (in the form of three sisters as image-maker) is creating. Now these three as the one (image) that goes on to 'make' or 'create' amounts to a revealing and a reveiling of a hypostasis or new emanation. The mystery remains uncertain and unidentifiable, still unknown but not entirely unknowable. The artist further notes the idea of a stercoric chair in play and has gone on to explore how image doubling around this motif unveils additional meaning and sensuous potency for her (a graphic mythopoeia). She notes this doubling moves something inner and hidden into personal & conscious view while keeping it veiled from collective & public scrutiny. (a revealing/reveiling sense). It also has a dark trinitarian element. This causes her to re-turn images of descent in Christian theology (the artist, as were her sisters, was raised Roman Catholic) particularly digestion/stomach,  womb/genitalia, wake/quake/war, baptism/bath/moisture & the dark/the depths/the magical art. If you are interested in reading more here, you may want to buy David Miller's Hells & Holy Ghosts. (This is a reprint of an early book very hard to get.) More regarding the two chairs is provided at the end of this set of notes.

2.  The line, a centering for riddance coming, too links the reader to the poem Coming, Too (“Like A Woman Falling”, Arizona: Mythic Artist Press, 2004.) In one sense this reference link re-minds for this artist one of the "others"  being re-membered here as part of or belonging to the dark, other, pubic side of the excremental & public vision our senses need address.

Stercoral Chair & Porphyritic Chair

Sometimes I cannot help marvel in the twists and turns of soul-making, when one keeps one's nose close to the ground of images, how often they reward one with a good laugh. While researching scatalogical ideas, this artist began musing over the idea  that we think  of our commodes as 'chairs' (potty chairs) and even THE chair (The Throne). Upon closer scrutiny she discovers the linking of a seat of power/rule/moral order with a dung chair as belonging to one and the same ritual motion that confers divine authority to speak and act on behalf of the divine will although merely 'man-made.' I'm referring, of course, to the ritual that turns 'man' over into 'pope'

If you've ever wondered, the future pope sits upon a crescent shaped stercoral chair while a choir of cardinals sing psalm. In essence such a sing re-tells the old story of the dung nature and creation's fall into this mattering soul-thing. The Sing re matters the dung story (Shit matters, you see. Or this excremental vision is really what is making the good thing 'good.') The One Creates. And, that's good! And Creates. And creates. Creation itself is eXcess[ive].  That evidently is not so good.  The One becomes less and less nameable in kind, make and modeler of making. Creation itself lets go. (It floods!) Letting go, you see, is 'The Fall'. But, in 'The Falling' creation is that which will have always been what issues forth that never again tissues clean.

Now, the one letting go without material be-ing (spirit) who has no solid body(soul) and is therefore ghosting creation, (interfaces or) penetrates or begins mating with what it will have made  (its own fluid capacity for making) and creation itself also becomes creative; meaning creation begins making the most of its creative moment.  Creator, creation and creativity itself, these three go on to make new in hypostasis an emanation (a soul) that will both reveal, twin, and veil the ever X-panding originating absence ghosting creation.

So now, there has to be an Order of the One and one's order appears to assume responsibility for what the world-creative creativity wants in its making. It wants a solid ground.  A seat of authority. It wants its spirit and its body and a face to reflect itself. But, 'it' is an opus contra naturam, a soul-making. Its ground of be-ing, seat of authority, face, body, and spirit belong to this absence or deep space of shadow or what we now call, psyche itself.

Every future pope is merely man and part of this dung story I've just told. But, the incarnational and dynamic nature of ouisia and its arche over ethico-political creation provides men a social order and chair number two, the porphyritic chair (a god's seat of law on earth) Now the poor man trying to become more than that has been sitting in this crescent shaped stercoral way for quite a long time, but once he has been sufficiently sung over (and this chair shape and this length of time both were meant to show enough people he had a 'sufficient' anatomy to be pope in the first place) he will move to the other chair and receive the insignia of power to speak on behalf of the collective and objective divine creation absolutely. His name changes. He is now called The Pope.

Since the artist knows her own contribution of images to this story-in-progress appears in the guise of the second sister, the one who sits on the stercoral chair that doubles for the "divine" throne,  she cannot help laugh before the poem's hidden & humorous mythopoetic comment. (The artist's last name, also acquired by way of  ritual action, is Pope.)

The artist also discovers three meanings around the term 'porphyritic'. First of all, the word is Greek for purple. It reminds the artist of the third sister's dream in which the vision is bathed in a purple light. Evidently, this ghosting emanates from a creative authority of the highest order! Second, the term 'porphyritic' suggests Porphyry, a student of Plotinus. Porphyry writes a 15 volume treatise in condemnation of Christians (not Christ). Needless to say, only fragments remain. Perhaps the return of some figment of a fragment of Porphyry's treatise raging has returned to wake? The third sense for 'porphyritic' takes this artist in the direction of alchemical notions. It refers to  a red and white crystalline stone/ore. In alchemy red is to be contained in white. Navajo tradition refers to this vessel as 'the heart stone'. And this link returns the artist's thoughts to the poem, Coming, Too. The rhythmic scale  in the weighing of the heart is not about light against darkness good against evil god against man and man against nature. It is not a put down of the flesh, its mourning, nor its losses.. It is the lightening up of the heart's life itself. To be light hearted. That is what this soul wants to now eXpress. That is also what the spirit gourds, elves, clowns or avatars of the divine creation (this poem) grant. Spring is re-turning its creative flow singing this body. But. Who dunnit is no body's best guest!

Monday, October 12, 2015



How I was there the day Helga married you
yes, she married you, because you asked

I remember afterward the bells hanging
from threads, the threads themselves left
hanging, blew in the breeze.  They formed
a breezeway, a threshold crossing into an
old orchard, the pass through we all
passed through to gather
awaiting one important thread about to knot―
not left hanging, because she said yes

I had gone that day to the swap meet
I found my own set of bells
they too hang above now in threads
dangling just off my patio

as time goes by, threads have broken
bells have cracked and accumulate
on the ground in a basket below where
they once hung but more still hang
in the upper breezeway tiding through
windy weather just how well tied
some gatherings & knots truly are.

©2015 October Orchard Song stephaniepope

Saturday, October 10, 2015


THE COFFEE HUG by Niya Christine


during a time of rain

el bow’s el bowl
holds coloring

well-armed, well-used

for little bow(l)s that are
sing where raindrops ping and scar

©2015 WHEN Molly’s Moly Blooms (Get Ready for Rainbows)


1. For The Story of The Coffee Hug see the blog of Niya Christine 
2. For more on mythic imagination and mermaid soul see rainbow serpents and water spirits in "Becoming Mermaids".
3. For The Water Spirit & The Rainbow Body see Stephanie Phelps facebook post
4.  See Ric Scow Williams, October 9, 2015 poem, Scars from which the  following excerpt is taken

the water sprays
cloud flowers
blue table
a meal
of light of
stars & geese
a murmuration
do skies remember
how they looked yesterday
Helga’s hands hold the well used gloves