In the Woods

In the Woods

I lie in a bed of leaves. A salamander slips. Ants enter my ear. Dusk-mosquitoes feast. Sleep is coming. I am in the quiet. Still. A doe crosses the setting sun. Her shadow falls on me. She gazes, then flicks her ear. Scents of autumn: smoke from a far camp, freshwater lake, fallen trees, mud.

I am part of a landscape now. My bones will uphold nature. No one knows. No one will find my words, as I speak with the softest breath. I speak so that only God  can find me amongst his  creatures. There is no path—I broke no branches to get here. It is almost as though I flew! I left no trace of humanness in my wake. Identity gone and no inheritor. A great paintbrush in my hand spread white across the sky, erasing a storm.

I will die as the moon rises. This is good news! My chest tightens.  A great palm clutches my heart and releases it. A snake slithers near my ribcage. He comes to my mouth to share breath. I exhale all that is in my lungs. When will my last breath be? I tempt a kiss—the soft flick of viper-tongue. What does it matter now? More breath. In my nakedness, there is an unpleasant cold. My heart is rampant and pained. Gasp. Choke. Spasm. God, come, quickly! I shake apart my earth-coffin and involuntarily rise to my feet.

©2016 Clare L. Martin

War Footing

 

 

 

War Footing
 

Blue and rain-days long.
The leaking roof. Rats in the attic.
We are sodden, shuttered;
motionless in our apathy.
How do we become more than we are?
There is no palpable answer.
Only wind will tell us, in finality.
Now, we smoke cigarettes,
eat crumbs gathered
in the bottom of plastic bags,
scrape our palms for coins.
I have fallen in the trap of my eyes again.
It is winter and we fail in all our doings.
Dark mornings, we turn cold,
stepping onto the floor.
Naked into the bath.
Hot water to bring us from death.
Always evoked of our tears—mad
laughter as we rail at our leaders,
who only speak a barrage of sick
glory-obsessions. Bombs drop by ten o’clock.
We live radiated, aglow with grief.
We are on a war footing.
Every moment escalates.
I have taken your face out of memory.
I have replaced you
with a mushroom cloud, for solace.

 

 

 

 

©2016 Clare L. Martin

Poetry News

I have two poems coming out soon in the new Nixes Mate Review. My poem, “Eating the Heart First” is included in Eclectica’s “Best of” anthology which will be out soon.My poems “Seek the Holy Dark,” “Litany,” and “Woman in Prayer” will be translated into Italian by Alessandra Bava to appear in the magazine Patria Letteratura in the winter 2017 issue. My second full-length poetry collection, Seek the Holy Dark, will be released by Yellow Flag Press at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Washington DC on February 8th. I hope to see and meet many friends there to swap/buy books, hug, and talk in real life!

“Scarecrow”

scarecrow-exposed“Scarecrow”

Vengeful and proud, yet shaken
by the easiest wind
that crosses your cheek.
Have you counted your blessings?
They are not dollar bills
or coded secrets.
They are not maps or contracts.
They may be flesh and blood.
But how are you to know?
You have little vision,
blind as you are.
Your eyes and heart gouged
at birth by ravenous birds.
A father, hooded and scornful,
blazing with a cross-tongue—
your dire mother inflamed, too.
Still, you suffer bleeding wounds
but seek no salve or healer.
And we are your captives;
hunted, enslaved.
But know this:
Your bitterness
will not be our nourishment.
Your lashings will not wear us down.
All that we are is beyond you.
You are a scarecrow to us
and we light on your limbs
having seen you propped day by day.

Nothing to fear of you.

There is no death in you
that is not already promised
by God.

 

“Scarecrow”
Ink, crayon, charcoal on paper. Digitized, filtered. Clare L. Martin, 2016.

©2016 Clare L. Martin

Accompaniment

Herself as Landscape 1

 

Dusk. A line of tall pines.
Blue mist horizon.
Impression of a stark hill.
The feel of wanting
to merge two into one:
the viewer into the viewed.

She is soul-gatherer.
Where does she take him?
Or is he taking her? To the lake.
To the dark, wooded lake.
He presses his thumb
in the most sacred space.
Encircles her pleasure;
brings her to his merciful lips.
She cries out and loves him more.
Loves him to the brink of all desire.
She is shadow. She is glory all at once.
She is light embodied and then,
diminishes into glowing dusk again.
She controls the image.
She controls her body.

She places the image
at the font of the world
where holy is only seen
by unveiled eyes.

Bless them.
Bless them. Bless them.

©2016 Clare L. Martin

Mentorships

I give nearly 200% of myself during the eight weeks I work with mentees. I have numerous strategies to get creative juices flowing. If you find you need creative coaching, consulting on a creative writing project, editing insights, want to work one on one on your craft, or all of the above, consider engaging my services.Mentorships will be conducted through email, phone, and weekly consultations in person, if local, or via Skype link up to meet anyone across the miles.

The writing mentorships are structured courses that provide energetic and substantive relative-to-now literary conversations between the mentor and mentees. Great emphasis will be placed on craft and form.  The mentee should have expectations of fast-paced, rigorous writing and reflective, nurturing and honest feedback from a skilled and admired contemporary poet and publisher.

My second collection of poetry, Seek the Holy Dark, is forthcoming from Yellow Flag Press in 2017. My widely-acclaimed debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, was published in 2012 by Press 53. My poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Melusine, Poets and Artists, and Louisiana Literature, among others. I have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web, for Best New Poets and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net. I am a lifelong resident of Louisiana and edit MockingHeart Review.

I am also a visual artist and offer mentorships for creatives of other disciplines that address breakthroughs in creativity, the creative process, creative problem solving and honoring the self as an artist in a hectic, sometimes dystopic world.

Other unique approaches to customized courses may be considered. Inquire with Clare at the email below or by phone. The number is listed below as well. I will always be honest with you if I feel your need would not match well with my expertise. But I will try my best to brainstorm on how it could.

Specific goals of the eight-week course will be decided upon in conversation prior to agreements being made to engage with me. It is encouraged that the course is structured as goal-oriented to produce visible and viable results.

The fee for the eight-week course is $250 US currency, (non-refundable due to course limits, serious inquiries only), payable through PayPal or by check. The spots are limited due to the very intimate work and close personal attention offered.  For more information, please email: clmpoetrymentor@gmail.com or call (337) 962-5886

Source: Mentorships

Mentorships

I have another mentee! We shook hands and officially start Monday–even though I have already started thinking about the course.  I expanded my offerings to work with creatives outside of writing, too.

 

Mentorships

Poet, artist, teacher and publisher Clare L. Martin offers eight-week, one on one, mentorships with new poets/writers and creatives of other disciplines that offer the promise of a sustained relationship beyond the initial intensive generative and critique-based working relationship.

The writing mentorships are structured courses that provide energetic potentialities and substantive relative-to-now literary conversations between the mentor and mentees. Great emphasis will be placed on craft and form.  The mentee should have expectations of fast-paced, rigorous writing and reflective, nurturing and honest feedback from a skilled and admired contemporary poet and publisher.

Clare’s twelve-year track record of publishing her own poetry in both print and electronic literary journals and reputation as the author of two books of poetry give her insight into traditional and new media forms of publishing available to upcoming writers. Her guidance in these areas will be offered as well, emphasizing the importance of building meaningful relationships with editors in mutually respectful and beneficial ways. Challenges facing today’s poetry writers in the digital age will always be at the forefront of the conversations.

Mentorships for creatives of other disciplines address breakthroughs in creativity, the creative process, and honoring the self as an artist in a hectic, sometimes dystopic world. Other needs-based courses may be considered. Inquire with Clare at the email below.

Specific goals of the eight-week course will be decided upon in conversation prior to agreements being made to sign on with Clare. It is encouraged that the course is structured as goal-oriented to produce visible and viable results.

 

Session II (Booking ends November 21st)

December 5th, 2016 through January 18th, 2017

 

The fee for the eight-week course is $250.oo US currency, (non-refundable due to course size limits, serious inquiries only), payable through PayPal. The spots are limited due to the very intimate work and close personal attention offered. Mentorships will be conducted through email, phone,Skype link up, to meet anyone across the miles.

For more information, please email: clmpoetrymentor@gmail.com