Tuesday, October 31, 2006


the father
the boy
who twirled a baton
tipped in red
while the father
long rods of fire
snuffed out somewhere
past lips
and over tongue
hidden behind teeth
yellowed from nights
tasting sulfur
as giants and dwarfs
with floppy orange shoes
into dollhouse windows
dangling toes
between me and the boy

and i was nine again
over hot coals
from the grill by dad
who bet ten bucks
i couldn’t do it
and i said i would
if he would
and i did
and he laughed
wiping his hand across his mouth
me standing there in burnt feet

with time came a vision
branding his back
as skin sizzled

his fingers
tapers in a church
that i lit
one by one
snuffing each flame
so he’d smolder
before me

Chella Courington
From _Oregon East Magazine_ (vol. 37, 2006)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Creative Writing Community Online

Dear Poets,

Following is a notice of an online Creative Writing Workshop at Cerro Coso Community College and facilitated by Professor Gary Enns. During the next couple of weeks, guest poet, Sterling Warner, who teaches at Evergreen CC & has just come out with a new book, will comment on posted work. This CWC is a productive, supportive community of writers and critics. Please
check it out.

The Online Creative Writing Workshop
with Poet Sterling Warner
October 29-November 11

All are invited to participate online, contribute creative writing,
discuss craft, and/or ask the poet questions, so encourage your
students to join, and log in yourself! Feel free to forward this
message. Here are some directions:

1. Click the CWC Moodle site link on the following

2. Follow the directions on the right of the screen to
CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT and become a participant.

3. Email me here to let me know that you've joined. I
will add you to the workshop group so you can participate.

From: Gary Enns

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What is Poetry? Video including me

Here's a video of three poets in the Santa Barbara area made by Jonathan Cline.

Go to http://current.tv and search for topophilia.

The first video that shows will be "What is poetry?"

Watch it & vote.

Thanks, Chella

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

my poetry for a change: Immaculate

heavens, i haven't posted for more than six weeks! "what happened?" you ask, dearly faithful reader. well, august turned into september: students, essays, committee meetings knocked & i answered. but now i've returned to gravity & light with my own poems, newly published & ready for blog exposure.

disclaimer:btw, these are long lines arranged in couplets. if the format breaks the lines into long/short, know that the short lines belong with what's above it.


Mama warned me if I slept with a boy before marriage the Virgin Mary would snatch
me away. Where to I was never sure. Maybe New York or Los Angeles. To a bedroom

of satin--sheets so smooth I’d slide into Heaven. Tony was my first. Tall with a dimple in his
chin, he liked to pinch my butt up the stairs to civics. Twenty-four steps with him right behind.

In March he gave me a broken heart on a silver chain. Kept the other half in his front pocket.
A good luck charm he said. Never thought about being swooped up by Mary when I kissed

Tony. Felt him grow in my hand like giving birth to something I wanted to know.
Mama believed virgins hung the moon, though not a soul in our family ever stayed that way.

Cousin Raylene was living proof. Did whatever she wanted. The Virgin never messed with her.

_Soundings East_ vol. 28, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006).