Tag Archives: writing jam

Brightness Spectrum

The day seemed brighter than usual in the most uncanny of ways.

The creek could be heard flowing and the flies and bees buzz

was also heard more clearly than usual. But amidst all of these patterns,

there was something else fractured and marred beyond

any usual glimpse of what life could be or look like.


There was the stimulation of things unknown,

which is always there for the taking or playing with ~

but today it was more like the unknown of the unknown.

Unknowing squared. It’s not quite like a double negative.

Unknown and more unknown is just the unknown.


It may seem odd to ask, “what do we know

about the unknown?”–but it’s precisely that

kind of question that is needed at times.


The words tick on like seconds on a clock,

like bees returning to the hive,

like water flowing ever down, down, down.


The words themselves are sometimes the only clues

and today those clues are: brighter, fractured,

marred, stimulation, unknown, uncanny,

double negative, and even a few yet spoken.


If I could grind up these words to make a pigment

to paint with, these would be music more than color,

the music of thunder, the shudder of forces of nature

coming into contact and then departing or dispersing.


How could anything as broken as fractured stimulation

become the clue to some of the greatest mysteries of being?

How could something as uncanny as a double negative

serve a higher cause than the brightness of a day?


How fortunate to be inside the Rubik’s Cube of sound itself

such that even sound follows a brightness spectrum.

But there are days such as these.


Janice Sandeen ~ 26 March 2017

written while virtually “attending” the writing jam w/Daniel Ari

spoken at The Spoken Word Open Mic in Taos, NM @ SOMOS

Soft Time

[written during the last writing jam in Richmond ~ August 25, 2012]


there is nothing

oh so poetical

like the swim of sounds

all around

in the quiet holding

of silence perforated

by the most exquisite

traces of life cascading

from all braces and

otherwise non-races

of life arriving when

and how it does

gastric upheavals

sparkling weevils

squirm-ish peevals

trickling of sweet quieted voices

fountaining up like dampened water

and the metal keys

the piano of the wind plays

the heat flushes my face

what grace that pink

rose without any thorns

I wore my rose shirt

today just for you

and you and you

even the green of the

green envy and missing

leaves ~ all of us

in it together

this room

punctuated by soft time

no time only some odd

agreement we’d forgotten

about from another time

one without brave silences

held like holding your breath underwater

the eyes have it, but so do the ears

and so does the nose

nosing under

visiting the journey

that traveling could

never reach


‘On the Shore’

~ fifteen minute timed writing with a found starting phrase during a writing jam hosted by Daniel Ari, Richmond CA ~ October 23rd, 2011

On the shore, lapping up, the waters, amongst the grit of the sand and other things that are under foot. The grit under foot ~ stay there. It’s a visceral experience of staying with right now that feeds me, that calls me, beckons me to not divert the energy through thought, but to stay with experience, the connection with sensate beingness that is ground, ever present like the heat in my face now. A kind of flush that rises up as I sit with my own tendency to shift all too easily and quickly with what is, to what could be and now I recognize how dissatisfying that really is.

The questions are right there waiting, waiting to pop through, bleed through, but this time I’m experimenting with not giving them energy and instead going back to the shore of what I’m sitting with right now, the grit, wet and cool and coarse, under my feet ~ now anticipating the bell [the end of the writing period] and remembering we have more time in this round. Ah, I’d already gone into just a hint of measuring myself ~ good to see that it arises in me, too, not just others putting the measure out, putting the measure on me.

These grains of sand on the shore are right here under foot. Sand crystal touching cells of my skin communicating with no meaning needed to be conveyed, just being there. I stand and my legs meet my body, torso, heart, and the cosmos simultaneously. The peace of just being with, this feed me so deeply. Little else seems to feed me in this same way.

I am released in this release of being anywhere else than where I am right now ~ the belly both alive and on fire with itself, with the emotions there waiting to be digested, felt, and what else? I cant thing of how to say or write it, but I keep writing just as I stay right with what is calling me to be present here on the shores of feeling. And the questions lap up again and again, but they are gentle waves, not overwhelming. I can hear.

writing jam 1/30/2011 ~ Richmond, CA

Daniel and Lauren Ari hosted a writing jam this past Sunday in their home in Richmond. We, the pot, were stirred by each other. We wrote for about a quarter of the time after reading poetry together and sharing, too. This poem came out of that time together.

What allegiance, pen and paper,

ardour as ink,

this room and the empty space,

the bones.

If you could feel this poem

in a time where words never existed

and still don’t,

poets would know

what it was they were saying


And I would see and feel you,

yes, without yes and no,

remembering, without anything

ever forgotten.

Your standing ~ I see the texts you carry,

that which just gets to be itself

without otherwise being represented

~ ~ ~

Why did you take on

this kind of language, these codes,

when the taste of what resonates

has no bounds or sequencing

in its landing?