Mosaics Poet Profiles: Kimberly Fujioka

I’m excited to present the work of another author from Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Women (Vol. 2)…Kimberly Fujioka.

Kim has been writing since she was a child. She wrote her first novel while she was tossing Hostess Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs off the back of a dump truck at her uncle’s farm. The cows in the pasture all grouped around the dump truck overflowing with day old cakes. If farms were a microcosm of the world, there would be cows who follow and then there would be one who might be named Polaris who would crawl up the apple tree to reach the golden apples, the one who from the vantage point of old age could see the slaughter house in the distance. Kim knows the benefits of aging since she’s almost 60 and has finally started to take herself seriously as a poet.

Kim has written and published book reviews, essays, and poetry, and she has published in print and online newspapers, magazines, literary journals and the anthology, To Japan with Love: A Travel Guide for the Connoisseur.

Kim taught English (ESL) at the university level for 30 years in both the U.S. and in Japan. She wrote several nonfiction books on teaching that are on sale at Amazon. You can find Kim on social media at the following accounts: Book Review Blog, Twitter, and her personal blog. She offers one poem:

The Glass Blower and Me

There is a shape I am searching for,
or is it a process?

The outcome is always the same, and I ask
“Is it love or art?”

I’m thinking if that mountain village, north of Fujioka City in Central Japan,
the glass blowers raise the long hollow metal rod to their greased lips
and blow.

The other end is immersed in blue fire.
Those of us standing around cannot see the glass formation
we are told is inside the stove’s belly,
but we believe it’s there.

We stand around the glass blower, who delicately twirls the hot, metal rod
between his gloved fingers.

We watch and wait for his masterpiece of glass to emerge from the oven, when
he taps me on the shoulder,
leans down to grease my lips, and lifts the rod
up to my mouth.

But I am too eager, sucking in more air than my lungs will hold.
He steps back, moving the blow rod away from me.
It’s noisy in this studio, so no one can speak over the roar of the fire.

We communicate through our eyes.

I look up into his eyes.
He puts the metal rod to my mouth and I try again.
This time I use the breath that is only mine.
He places the rod in my hands and moves slowly toward the stove,
peering in through the small window.
Looking over his shoulder at me, he gives me the okay sign.
I let my breath out slowly and steadily, then he cuts through the air
when it’s time for me to stop.

I don’t know what I’m doing, but he guides me through it.
It’s only him—the glass blower—and me, and my desire.

We enter the blue fire,
unable to stop,
even though I am afraid.

Source:
“Body, My House.” Pilgrimage Magazine 35.1 (2010): 40-41.

Advertisements

Mosaics Poet Profiles: Audrey T. Carroll

Audrey T. Carroll is a Queens, NYC native whose obsessions include kittens, coffee, Supernatural, Buffy, and the Rooster Teeth community. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Fiction International, So to Speak, Feminine Inquiry, the A3 Review, and others. Her poetry collection, Queen of Pentacles, is forthcoming from Choose the Sword Press. She can be found at http://audreytcarrollwrites.weebly.com and on Twitter. She offers two poems:

Darling Daughter

When they want to cleave your bark to read
your rings, hack away at your outermost with
steel    edges,    accuse    you    of   a   petticoat
conspiracy that you are a part of because we
are all a part of it from the age when we pass
notes in our pastel bubble writings, then you
tell them, dear child, of the female narrative
not born of temptation & sin but of the
blood of your blood singing out

                   from

                             one generation to the next.

Two Clowns

               For Mr. & Mrs. J

No stranger pair born
than the head doctor
and her ward
Tragedy granting the doctor
every reason to fall
and with a ward so charming,
How could she resist?
Years of attempted murders
both have survived
switching which side of the gun
each was on, who got
the last laugh
And that’s what today is all about:
Laughter in the madness
at the madness
surrounded by enemies of enemies
for a person who would
kill or die for the other,
laughing the whole way
and her ward with the red
smile, who mostly likes her
Sometimes
Never have such a perfect pair
of clowns been joined
To a future of many
Successful plans
Endless riches
Smile upon smile
And may you both
Finally
have that single thing
you want most—
Freedom to run the streets
Freedom from the knight

 

Sources:

“Darling Daughter” originally published in So to Speak Journal.

“Two Clowns” originally published in Crab Fat Magazine, Issue 5.

Mosaics Poet Profiles: Elizabeth S. Wolf

Elizabeth S. Wolf lives in MA with her daughter and several pets. By day she works as a Metadata Librarian. Through years of interesting times, her catchphrase was “just another chapter for the book”.

Many of Elizabeth’s poems and stories are inspired by events in the news or in her past. She writes because telling stories is how we make sense of our world, how we connect with our world, how we heal and how we celebrate. She writes poetry to find the sliver of truth within the overload of information.

Elizabeth has published poems in several anthologies (Merrimac Mic: Gleanings from the First Year; Amherst Storybook Project; Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Women, Volume 1; The Best of Kindness: Origami Poems Project 2016; Merrimac Mic II: Going with the Floes). Elizabeth’s poetry has appeared in the online journals NewVerseNews and Scarlet Leaf Review and is forthcoming in Peregrine Journal. Some of her earlier poetry is archived in the Valley Women’s History Collaborative, a special collection of the UMass Amherst Libraries. Today she offers three poems:

Dare.

Take chances.
Go to the wall,
and again,
and again:
as a hobby,
as a way of life,
as an exemplar,
as an apology,
as a beacon,
as a trust;
as you must,
as you must.

This Is The Way

This is the way
the world ends: with an orgasmic sigh
and a saxophone wail, with a howling dog
and a gibbering monkey
chanting their prayers, with
whistling teapots falling silent
and rustling leaves whispering
“nevermore”, with lights and sirens
flaring and lovers swearing
at each other, with children reciting the alphabet
backwards as their parents dance to
displaced tunes, and the sky soars away
as the Big Bang shatters into
thousands of lingering whimpers.
This is the way the world ends;
please stand by.

What If

What if today
there were no shootings.
What if today, there were no
beatings, even if dinner is
late or cold. What if today
everyone had enough dinner.
What if today, those who call themselves
lovers actually respected each other.
What if today, children were
seen and believed and
treasured. What if today
we greeted our neighbors.
What if today
is all the time we have;
what if today
is enough;
what if.

Sources:
“Dare” originally published in Methuen Life, Nov 2014.

“This Is The Way” originally published in Merrimac Mic: Gleanings from the first year, April 2015.

“What If” originally published in Scarlet Leaf Review, March 2015, and reprinted in The Best of Kindness: Origami Poems Project 2016 Kindness Anthology

Mosaics Poet Profiles: Caroline M. Cao

With the launch of Mosaics 2 on May 1, I’m continuing the April frivolity – more poet profiles! But this time, I’ll be sharing the work of my fellow Mosaics authors, from both volumes! The first poet in our series is Carol Cao.

Caroline M. Cao, though Florida-born, considers herself a full-Houstonian spiritually. During her years at the University of Houston, she was a devoted staff writer and satirist of The Cougar Opinion Column and Cooglife magazine. She is a current TV/Movie reviewer for OutLoudCulture and champions review-writing as both a scholarly platform and artform. In the meantime, she’s writing poems, stories, and sci-fic space opera screenplays. Or she’s just swing dancing with the UH Lindy Hop Club. She offers two poems:

 

On a Numb Brain

a bloodstream too feeble
dulling wits
weary slug-fingers fidgeting,
clawing tenderly on bedsheets and pillow.

I heed the molecules
of my sinking queen-sized mattress
nullifying my will to take pleasures

Kaguya at Leisure

My dad among
the surplus of fathers
whispered the stories of the struggles of suitors
spinning artificial silk
plucking fragrant-less camellias
carving Buddha’s Begging Bowl
seeking to make her
their new ming vase.

Dad told it that way to the daughters’ bedsides
“Kaguya was sad,” the dads said.
What else was there?
But the river-tears of Kaguya’s father
with her mother rubbing his shoulders
and him borrowing her handkerchief.

Only I knew the
part of the story
where she bowed down
on knees,
worshipping the
birds, beetles, bees
neglecting the wooing
of the princes and courtiers.

The pear blossoms
weren’t in season
but ah well.
she considered herself blessed
that the blood Tsubakis
      weren’t in season
as she buried her face
      into the lilies.

That was before the era of her altars
and the bedside stories.

This was before she submitted
to the moon delegation
to ascend from Earth.

When she resettled on the craters
the moon glowed this portrait
of her ephemeral bliss.

Her lips appear the utter the overdue,
      “No. ”
which were always muted by the floral screens
of her earthly bamboo-palace.

Even then,
she does not look down
on her suitors bows
she pinches her nose
at the Emperor’s shrines
and its stale incense.

She smiles at daughters
      who inquire
      “What about her?”

 

Sources:

“On a Numb Brain” originally published in The Aletheia Literary Magazine, Spring 2015

“Kaguya at Leisure” originally published in Mosaics: A Collection of Independent Women

Launch Day is here!

It’s here, it’s here, the release of Mosaics 2: A Collection of Independent Women!!! You can enjoy the book in print or Kindle, and the Kindle price for today is $0.99. All our proceeds go to The Pixel Project, so please consider supporting this anthology – the second installment in the Mosaics series. (Did you miss Mosaics 1? Check it out!)

Mosaics 2 Cover

From my initial submission in December through our launch today, this project has been an incredible collaboration. With the guidance of Kim Wells and Pavarti K. Tyler, I’ve created my Amazon Author Page and public Facebook page, managed a Rafflecopter giveaway, and connected with dozens of creative women. All pieces in the anthology went through two rounds of professional edits, and the feedback I received was empathetic, constructive, and encouraging. This is a project that helps women writers feel the impact of their public voice – in Facebook groups, among their colleagues, and in the wider market of writers and readers.

Giveaway winners

Congrats to Emily P, Katie L, and Wendy C who each won a free Kindle version of Mosaics 2!

At tonight’s virtual launch party, I’ll be running another giveaway for a free Kindle version of another feminist anthology in which I was published, I Am Subject Stories: Women Awakening. Stop in and meet my fellow authors!

Special thanks…

To Kim and Pavarti for all their leadership and respect.

To Jessica West for her enthusiastic editing!

To Tim and JJ for their early readings of my essay.

To the friends and colleagues who were able to review the advanced reader copy.

And to all of you who follow this blog! As much as we writers like to imagine ourselves as beacons of solitary genius, working in seclusion, we write for our readers, for the collaborative audience who helps us to feel heard and valued.

Now, go out and get a copy of Mosaics 2! And leave us a review on Amazon or Goodreads!

Launch Day Giveaway!

On May 1, I will be celebrating my first official Launch Day! My essay, “Border Talk,” is part of the anthology Mosaics 2: A Collection of Independent Women! Mosaics Vol. 1 launched on March 8 (International Women’s Day), and I was so excited to celebrate with those authors. Now we’re gearing up for a second round of celebrations!

Look at our beautiful book cover!

Mosaics 2 Cover

(Image description coming.)

And this is the promo art for my essay:

Border Talk Promo Image

(Image description: Blue grey bricks outlined in an almost graphic novel style are contrasted with a dark black skeletal bare tree shadow. The words “Border Talk” appear in the upper left corner in a brush handwritten font, in red. “By Emily K. Michael” appears in the same red font on the bottom right.)

To kick off the festivities, I’m hosting a giveaway through Rafflecopter. I’m giving away 3 copies of the Mosaics 2 Kindle ebook! Want to win? Check out the info below:

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js