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The Journal of Lisa Marie Brodsky

My Chapbook is Available
08/14/2008 04:20 p.m.
Hi folks!
My first chapbook is available from Parallel Press. It's called "We Nod Our Dark Heads." It's about the time I spent working with Alzheimer residents and have gotten great reviews. If you'd like to purchase it for $10.00, go to the Parallel Press site, click on poetry chapbooks and you'll find mine listed under 2008. If you do order, let me know and let me know what you think of it!

Many blessings,

Lisa Marie
I am currently Blessed
I am listening to K.T. Tunstall

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She's Gone
11/08/2006 10:04 p.m.
Mom passed on Monday morning.

I have few words.

The folder "Motherlung" is about her.
I am currently Exhausted

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Legs and Love
10/13/2006 07:14 p.m.
I'm falling for K.... who is in a wheelchair... I'm writing a lot about walking and legs.... he is brilliant, handsome, kind, caring, beautiful... my rational mind says, why do you want to get involved with someone with a disability but then my heart says... it's HIM. I don't even see the wheelchair sometimes... I see HIM... and THAT'S what I want... his spirit, his soul, his heart. As for the challenges that will no doubt come our way, I say, I'm ready - bring em on!
I am currently Lucky
I am listening to Madeline Peyroux

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Just Show up and Write
08/20/2006 08:33 p.m.
(written in Borders, today)

Often times, our greatest feelings, experiences, lie in a land of paradox. I was in denial about my mother's mortality, yet I could feel the pain of her eventual passing. I told myself I wanted to take things slow in love relationships, but I'd end up kissing them that first night. I seemed to be in a rush to feel the end result of things. Get through the pain of grief and skip to the end. Skip the awkward in-between land of relationships (but also skipping the blissful beginning steps) and go straight to writing his last name after my own. Note: I no longer do the latter.

But I wasn't being in the present. I was experiencing two extremes of emotion at one time. Presently, my hand is shaking and my handwriting looks jagged and stacatto-like because, I think, of my medication. I notice my shirt fitting me better. The warm raspberry latte slides down my throat. Beyond the Celtic music I hear through my headphones, I hear a symphony of voices. My heels rest on the chair in front of me, here at Borders. This is my present.

I have two books on the table: Natalie Goldberg's "The Great Failure" and Thich Nhat Hanh's "No Death, No Fear."

I picked up Natalie Goldberg because I seem to be following her lately, following her and the pinon (pronounced pinyon), Taos, Katagiri Roshi, her repetative: "Shut up and write" that I remember from all the way in 1997 at the Antioch Writers' Workshop. Her Brooklyn, brash accent has stayed with me, especially yesterday as I drove from Chicago to Madison listening to her on audiotape telling me about her life, her questions, her answers.

I picked up Thich Nhat Hanh because the title of the book, "No Death, No Fear" finally spoke to me. I had seen the book before, but didn't think I had any reason to read it. Now, as my paradoxical thoughts near each other and finally combine into one explosive thought, I feel closer to that book.

What is going on in my head? I want to apply my understanding of death and life after death to my mother. In the same way I know I have nothing to fear from my own death or Person A on the street, I want to feel that way about my mother.

And amidst all the death thought strands exists the strand of wanting to write. Not necessarily poetry, but nonfiction. Something I've shyed away from all my life (except in the privacy of my own hand-written journal). It's always been fiction or poetry. But one concept that's been the same throughout the years is autobiography: the personal. I've always written about the personal. Now I want to write personal nonfiction. I feel ready. I do not know where to do this, if I should find a class, a teacher...but I hear Natalie in my head saying, "you know where to go, what to do. Just show up and write."

And that's what I'm doing now. I felt called to go out to get Natalie's book so I brought my notebook and here I am, excavating my own mind. I don't know if I will copy this into my regular journal (it's hard because I hate to hand write these days, though I'm learning to read this hyroglyphics I call my botched handwriting) or if I will type it up as a blog and if then, which blog? My journal blog or my memoir blog? For now, until I make that decision, it stays in this notebook.
I am currently Creative
I am listening to Celtic Requiem

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07/12/2006 02:24 p.m.
I just found out that Parallel Press, out of Madison, is going to be publishing "We Nod Our Dark Heads: poems from the Alzheimer's Home"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so excited - my first book published!
I am currently Awestruck
I am listening to ice machine

Comments (1)

The Sexton/Lowell/Plath Syndrome
07/08/2006 12:21 p.m.
Of course it's more than their syndrome, but many artists and poets have been in psych hospitals. I'm in one now. Think good thoughts for me?

I am currently Anxious
I am listening to air conditioning

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I Noticed
01/20/2006 04:07 p.m.
I noticed (and I've been reluctant to admit this for a long time) that my poems have killer endings. They can be quite good. And the openings are sometimes good... but what I really must work on is the in-between.

Kind of daunting.

I am currently Disillusioned
I am listening to Keren Ann

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Literary Vision Quest
01/19/2006 09:36 p.m.
I feel sad that there seem to be so many changes at pathetic. I still consider myself fairly new, so I'm at a loss as to what is going wrong. I love it here. I hope we can stay together in community.

So I found a cool site:


The Alien Flower.

It has many different parts to the website - including exercises you can try and essays to read. I read an essay by an MFA student that was brilliant and wise and I thought, "my god, was *I* supposed to think that way when *I* was an MFA?"

Charles Johnson wrote,
"have a feeling that the poet's role in society is like that of the tribal shaman, who is able to take the dangerous journey to the other world and bring back knowledge from the place of spirits. Do you see any truth in this?"

I love that idea. I'm going to adopt it as my own as I have often felt that writing has been other-worldly for me. A sort of mysterious vision quest. Perhaps a word quest.

What do you think?

I am currently Bemused
I am listening to my chair creaking

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01/16/2006 04:49 a.m.
This is a day that will stick to me like molasses for the rest of my life.

The day I found out my mom had lung cancer.

I have no idea what the future brings.

Except cancer poems.
I am currently Helpless
I am listening to Rose Polenzani

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01/03/2006 01:56 a.m.
I went to my fav. cafe and I wrote and wrote and wrote. I just started out by not censoring and soon it was three hours later and I had written more than 10 decent poems.

It feels SO good to be back!
I am currently Excited
I am listening to Regina Spektor

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