The Internet of Trees

The more I travel, the more I understand how one group, or even one person influences another person who in turn, starts up a new way of living or a discovery that changes everything, or a revolution. But we don’t learn about the collaboration, we just learn the name of the last man standing.   We are taught history and in fact, everything, as separate as discrete objects to be studied in separate classes, at different times.  We need to do it that way of course because the volume of information is otherwise overwhelming and we need an educational organization system to manage it all.

But as we age and connect more and more, those silos of knowledge and information start to  merge.  It’s rather fascinating.

Here is a long video on the idea that the tree of knowledge, the tree of anything, is giving way to the web of knowledge and the web of life:

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Drinks at the Last Cafe – Part I

Some took pictures with damaged phonesDrinks at the Last Cafe, a dystopic poem
buildings flayed alive
collapsing away from the center
A pattern of worn dominoes hit by an angry child

You had to be quick of course, to see the photos
the cities that became just place names overnight
A rescued laptop hooked to a generator with a minute and a half of charge left
one minute on a rogue site
thirty seconds before the corporation shut it down.

It’s not true that we all died.

She met him right after.
Her parents stayed dead in the back of the dank theater
she was too slow when the carts came by
Bring out your dead.
Tired of rat
she dressed in leg warmers and a top hat
picked her way to the Last Cafe In The City

Call me Sam
he huddled over a beer
smoked his last.
Alone? Worried about the Goblins?

It was always so dark in the alley behind the theater where her mother worked.
It was difficult to imagine how that hard light
penetrated so deep between the V of black vertiginous buildings
the flash of white puncturing the small TV

the children stopped chanting
Eat your Rat
It’s Low in Fat
the terror gangs stopped shooting
didn’t want to do the other side any favors.

She knew she couldn’t stay another day.
Sam finished his beer. How old?
Fifteen
Shit, thought you were 18
They all want me to be 18
We do he agreed.
He helped her order everything that was left.

California, he announced to her and the empty dishes
Sam unfolded a large map, a complex origami project.
This goes back to when it was terribly normal
to drive forever, cars blackened the country
Like buffalo –

It will take a few seasons, he cautioned
Gold Coast, Swimming Pools, Movie Stars
South is faster, you sure?
She knew about seasons – swimsuit season, flu season

He scooped up a computer, three loaves of hard bread
and the girl: top hat, leg warmers and a pink tutu

Once they cleared the domino buildings
the sun, a basketball orange suspended mid-dribble
on an intractable asphalt sky
motioned them to follow its everyday death.

They encountered others – anyone with only a few things
to carry, escaped the quickest
some survived, although they didn’t know it at the time
traveling west served as a last act of defiance.

She told Sam stories
to fill in the silent trudging towards the flaming sun
how she felt trapped between buildings
that squeezed daylight into switch blades of light

the Goblins yelled from the shadows
back and forth, trading a persimmon for an apple
Buy, buy, buy
Don’t be afraid her mother ordered
but don’t eat.

hand size strawberries,
cantaloupes the size of her head
buy buy buy the Goblins
dressed in same kind of clothes and shoes
as she –
Her mother
wore fantastically high platform boots
swayed from booth to booth in her short dress
An uncertain tulip, the stalk too weak to hold up the head

buy buy buy.
Computers glowed at the stalls; displaying web sites with stories,
tiny children held up gigantic strawberries
grapes, bananas, it’s all good, grinned the Goblins,
all organic. Natural. Certified.

No, no we will find the cans. Her mother said
dragging the girl from the fruit.
We’ll find the kind already
chopped up into bite size
bits and pieces, stored in aluminum recycle, reuse, reduce
they pushed the cans home in metal carts with broken wheels.

now the metal carts are filled with bodies.
Bring out your dead.
Did they eat the fruit, the dead?
By the time she knew, it didn’t matter
and the Goblin market was gone.

Blast Away Fat
Her mother read the article out loud every night.
Her mother’s arms
were held together in the middle
by a knob of bone.
The camera adds ten pounds; she tapped at the cover of Glamour
The girl wondered if mother would look better
if she held a camera up between them.

Burnt out days. Sam muttered.
the poets are always right.
It just takes time.

Continued next week.  Subscribe!

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Death Watch

Grief makes you hungry

Not for justice

for taco flavored Doritos
and bags of the new bites –
bite size comfort candy in
Reese’s, Heath Bar, Rollo, Goodbar
Yellow bags of tasty trash, we unconsciously eat themammonia sunrise by Catharine Bramkamp
by the handfuls
between hours of watching
the rise and fall
of scattering breathing by
the loved one

cookies
more chips
a bowl of “Cowboy Casserole”
that by law
should be filled with rattlesnake and buffalo
we dared my brother-in-law to eat a spoonful
he only found lima beans

The Mexican restaurant down the street
plays the soccer game loudly
followed by juke box music of an artist
who is big in Mexico City
but just background noise tonight
the noise carries comfort
California normal

it’s not a matter of questioning
the order of the universe

in a half hearted attempt
fruit was offered one afternoon

we looked up at the sky
and asked for the potato chips
the cupcakes
those cookies with coconut and chocolate

sugar to serve up more tears
life is so fucking short
pass the dessert
we will eat that first.

Catharine Bramkamp
From: Ammonia Sunrise

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Our Town Tuesday

“Does anyone ever realize lifeOur Town Tuesday
while they live it…
every, every minute?”

What if we lived one day a week
Not looking for the meme –
Hump Day
TGIF

Not focused on its end
Getting through
Getting it over with
Finishing up
in favor
Of a better future
that more Special Day

Stay in this day – Our Town Tues.
(#OTT)
Please note:
The oatmeal – steel cut or not
The song on the playlist
The mustard between the winter vines
Unbroken shoelaces

Thank:
A place to go
A voice who answers
Electricity and hot water

Acknowledge the pennies
From the cashier
as if
It were your last sentence

Celebrate the ordinary
the sky held overhead by mysterious forces
The earth that this morning, remains still.
Air – Flush toilets – Delivered mail

Realize life
In this least important day
This Tuesday
Like a saint
Like a poet

It will be important enough.

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Don’t Overthink

Around the corner from my house is an art studio.  For $35 I spent three hours cutting, pasting and painting, activities I cannot achieve without adult supervision.  What I needed was time to pull out of the writing and my head and work with just instinct and my hands.  I’m not the only writer in the class who needs this kind of work.  What do you need to do to shake it off, and get back into your groove?

Art journal page

During

Art journal page

After

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I Make Lots of Plans

Poem, I make lots of PlansYou know the theory: if you want something really badly, make other plans and it will appear. It’s like when you want the children to do A, but they refuse and do B. Ignore them, and work on A all by yourself, they will hustle right over (whitewashing a fence comes to mind).  So if you want to get pregnant, find that perfect job.  If you want to move, fall in love in situ.  Never fails.  Okay, once it failed. I made other plans in January and it’s April and nothing has happened.

Don’t listen to me.

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The Price of Knowledge

Poem, the Price of Knowledge

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Use Broken Poetry

Use Broken poetry

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Traveling Light

I’m traveling light this week.  I travel with my husband and with my mother, sometimes separately, sometimes together. And I always travel light – one carry on, one briefcase (I’m carrying a Think Tank LilyDeanne bag – love it).  What do you carry?  That’s the big fat metaphor of course, what baggage Traveling Lightare we lugging around?  What can we leave behind? How many shoes, really can we wear in three weeks?

Travel light, you can go faster, farther and if you’re like me, you’ll end up carrying your mother’s luggage anyway.

Now that’s a metaphor.

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I Thought there was Only Tomato

Poem by #CatharineBramkampwriter

I did!  I thought there was just one kind of Andy Warhol soup. Which just shows that a person can’t know everything about modern art or pop art.  I share my surprise with you.

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