The Jivin' Ladybug

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Carol Novack & Sheila E. Murphy



Is there any room here? Feet first wandered with wonderment as they emerged from breach.  Wriggling the little hipping and hopping: Asking: Any weather here? Asking innocent of quotation marks: Is there expectation hunger?


Answer:  The wish to grow with space, within without, like breathing.


How about simply a name in the room, of the room, if there is?  Is name a given?


Wallspace presumes forethought.

Birth like that comes named after past tense.

Imagine being.

Growth mentioned after.

Weather meantime has to be the thing we sus out as if no ideas but in parlance.

Daisies are not here, nor predicates.

And wheat to answer hunger.

Is there a prescribed direction to being born as an idea?

Room the same as rune in what way?

Feeling may append itself to pulse or else.

Commensurate with pacing, I release my tale.

Are you listening?


If I hold my own, I hear your breath. Quietly there are walls as entrances, exits, nativities, novations, expirations.


Breath entrances entryways with plant life of imaging

An empty room owns plenty space to showcase red, red poppies. 


Or opt for white mums humming mantras?

When the field clouded with poppycock and walls too

loud, do we not wish for mum oh mom, oh ohm?  To return home?


How different is mum from white wall? Fielding questions takes an hour of ingesting poppies, yet the hour hurtles west to topple infinity. Whatever rain now bows.


Plentiful and not loud placement of the spill.


One leaves one's average rate of tainting to the leveraged yet.

As slow falls closer to home plate.

Within this room is all the openness one will own capacity to ingest.

The life forms bleed into stray atmosphere. Is it time yet to be ready?


Look at shadow feign a blink that stays. Neutrality nonexists.

On purpose, predicated on delinquent skyshine.

In the middle of a sun spot.

Generous external precincts lamp into a feeding breast.

Causality becomes identical to symptoms.

On account of mercy's litter on pacem.

Sloe gin tapeworm almost better to ignite.

What if. The treason quaints out of neglect.


There is no summer spatulum, unless . . .

the walls were vacant of color,

barren of shadow and season,

void of atmosphere.


Can we allow a vacancy without mortgage or lease, no thing to own or dream, no home plate, no base? 

Can we even imagine not we, but otherness as otherness, white as white?   Dread of no thing drives to utter yes

As motion we are set to move.


Without causality, we starve.

logically ecology of feeling thinking ways of shaking selves downside up.


The woman named in conversation wore white roses,

her wreathes silk white,

A feast no color-to-arrive. 

News bandaged to approach starvation.


Feast extricates downside from sun. 

Is season equal to the thread of half arrival while the living paces life? 


Vacancy unless 

there was another

point to the association. 


The other woman named wore red roses and spoke of gynecology in white rooms, the abrupt as cold intrusions into interior space.


No positive news lifted the roses to her cheek she said:


My urn is vacant

and so I am light

to arrive

at the têtes a

têtes unless


hosanna ranks pale feathery long appetite. It was canary white, she said it tastes like prethought snow. In a moment of surprise, the other pointed to dimension, asking for response, repose. Asking for motion on the cusp of quiet. Stillness is the same not yet talk. The wool escapes the wheat. Until there's nothing there. Abruptness siphons off penultimate divergence. In a minute, said the holy one. The feast


takes years to come to

pass, then never



Then snap: pan on the woman in white she folds herself into unfanning her voluminous sleeves. No more flying, motion on the ledge of stillness. She surrenders to thoughts, tumors, hosannas.  Room turns dark.


Mind/heart won’t escape the body without protest, will not pour itself out of within. Time is nothing but mirage of moving, minus care or grace, propels divisions of progression, digression, regression, setting the alarm clocks, closing lids of coffins, opening and re-opening wombs. No matter.  It does not, is not. Matter is of moment, but no matter. Turn the clocks back in cold seasons, forward in the warm. There is only oh Susannah, open your thighs and eat the sweetmeat, meet divergence, second hand clock, the crow of the cock.  Tick tick, tock tock


There are no tenses

in Chinese

time never comes

or goes

to pass


How every quiet is belief amid its sleeping provenance? Regression to the mean means setting midriff in a slosh. Thigh high wheels churn just like syllables in the open cage of white. So far this room is eminent. Sleeves change the arms. Flight tempers motion, and the race to gild matter comes up at once. Metes out divergence a la ginger gravy. Storm signals momentum of external sums. Let's let the clock be innocent awhile. The forward motion of intended sleep reveals itself locked out of daylight. Whimpering becomes the juris prudence of unmitigated sun.


Here is here

is here



stowed within


made one


one integer of noise fills walls.


This room is in current affairs imminent and immense. Our voices resound, attempt to render mirrors void of gilded foreign deities. Some days the air is lyric and walls imagined feel soft blue as if not walls but sky with song. Caveat emptor: Res ipsa loquitor. Opening and closing is deceptive. Opine the implications of boundaries, symphonies of colors, spectrums of sounds. Flight may not be an option but within. Turn back forward turn back forward. Turn to and fro repeat. Repeat return non-stop until floor is the ceiling. Where no middle . . . ground is motion. 


Move here

to there


there and back

and fro to this

to that be

as though a tipsy






When material (s tone t able) holds there still are spirit fresh rechargings in the ring around the wholly touched. E motion trembles even windsock as the breeze is breath. My own breath your own happiness the glint of sunlight here where body is not weighted body in light is not silk body part of spirit takes on room and room is the commodious young warmth that travels upward. S pace is pacing toward embrace. You want to be the thread that happens in accord with all the atmosphere that's here. That tops off and then rises further to the wind the actual. The motion deity. With implications patches what is ready to become unlatched.


Eventually nothing





But again what is other ness as other ness, foreign ness as foreign ness, self hood as self hood?  Not something you can grasp, a happy little riding girl thought to be blessed by gods, basking in sun on distant plane. In this corner, angles are acute and light, expired. A deadline missed, a moment held too long, the wanting of it. Over and over gyres roll, wheels in air.


My bones dissolve as I ungrow to become gone. S pace is stagnant here; no deities move the dust. The body is a knot of matter, matter of thought and its perspective, matter of heart so to utter not, the lyric has lost voice in shadowed room. Shadow is latched and. 


room is closed.


Come back


please with ease


when we are open.


Cracked open shade reverses latch. Matter is fact, while thought is ______. Prospective wheels already turn before completely no-t-iced. Sun turns yes upon its moon side. Carry me, says waft. Whatever lines are dead will be revived against the good grain of indifference. Dissolving ones grow tired astride the letter b. How come the heart? As slowly foreign as a deathbed, many simple planes give way. One b/asks. One withers. Tries to show. Is this divisible by two?


Commencement is the sure reality apart from some // thing // s // pun


Arroyo confiscates past tense


Some principio will yield prince text


On the other hand . . .


I shutter to think; draw shades. The room admits to no impediments: paper or tender, tabs, clips, quills; folders, printers, copiers, wills   Accommodating space, the mind of matter empties it self of deities and devils, clocks and seasons. Yesterday, when the rains filled the arroyo with dead loves, distracted hearts of women in conversation skipped beats and throbbed.  Today the women are indifferent, without thought. Home shopping loses its allure no matter they have tired of the letters I. Light fills their heads.


Do not show me


your hand.


Principles are passé


& I have no need to know,


although . . .


Women latch onto capture quietly deliberately with death polished to beauty locked out of shopping. Hope distracts from _____. If I close my eyes, the room will not be there. The paper and the shallow level of the floor will dampen deities. Still yesterday, the heart refills by tab as matter lists the sources of indifference. Again rain pocks the shutters and the skin becomes a conversation. Dry arroyo lockstep in the habits of another to accommodate. Refracted light a simple fall, the lure of being tired as though response could be accomplished by a quill.


Whisperish as past things


Drive on through


The places where hand




an offering and the room in which you travel accommodates its contents, oblivious to what is seen when eyes are latched and what is seen when eyes are open, refractions light, surged energy. The room is a contortionist, at times a cell, at other times, a pasture. No matter the habits of guards and cows, the woman whispering in the top berths. The dimensions are custom-made to fit, to resize and metamorphose, stretch and shrink like belly skin of women in and out of birth, may well


proceed to places

where neither hope

nor despair,


in place is meant (cement) to become cellular invokes a whisper from dimensions. piercing quiet births a thought made into virtue paired with here. a pasture fills whatever space one likes to veil with only modest eyes. content defines the women. then at other times, matter embellishes the well of quasi sureness. Stretching, just exercise or not at all vulnerability. the habits guarded by procession make a shift from fate to false hope. mantra clings to openness, although . . .


symphonic lace destined to fill

rooms already full prepare

to be on guard


for the shapes of things to come, modulations of space with on and off track lighting  affecting heart and lungs..  what is the content of things to be? and how recognize landmarks? one woman asks the other she cannot see.  hearing no answer, she shifts shape, speaks into mirror, modestly, moving without curriculum from false hope to the form of her intimate face, now oddly foreign and much too close; so close the eyes spread across the surface of the glass. but cannot stretch beyond the ovular dimensions of facade, by habit of gender, cling like lace curtains glued to windows by rain.  she asks: to whom shall we deliver the  mantra? but is there virtue in the utterance? perhaps one could wish


the word as a map


or a trap --


depends on




Sheila E. Murphy's recent book publications include: how to spell the sound of everything with mIEKAL aND (xerox sutra press, 2009), parsings (Arrum Press, Finland, 2008), permutoria (with K.S. Ernst, visio-textual art, 2008), and collected chapbooks (Blue Lion Books, 2008).



Carol Novack is the former recipient of a writer’s award from the Australian government, the author of a poetry chapbook, and publisher of Mad Hatters’ Review. A selection of short writings, “Giraffes in Hiding: The Mythical Memoirs of Carol Novack,” will be published in 2010 by Crossing Chaos. Works may or will be found in numerous journals, including  American Letters & Commentary, Caketrain, Diagram, Drunken Boat, Exquisite Corpse, Fiction International, Journal of Experimental Fiction, LIT, and Notre Dame Review, and in many anthologies, including “The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets” and “The &Now Awards: the Best Innovative Writing.”


The Jivin' Ladybug- A Skewered Journal of the Arts
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