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Julianza (Julie) Shavin

Our March 2017 Featured Poet

Kentucky-born and Georgia-raised, Julie Shavin adopted the Rocky Mountains as home in 1993.
She is a classically-trained pianist who began writing music at age 10. She attended the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University and Ga. State University; her
degrees are in Philosophy and English. A journalist, editor and licensed professional proofreader,
she became disabled in 1987, and has since devoted herself to poetry, music and artwork, though
she still sometimes freelances her former professions. Many of her artworks are enhancements of
her photographs, drawings and paintings; she is also fond of the Sketcher application, which
allows for creativity via the use of just one finger. She has four books of poetry; the last two
collections are Of Mortality a Music and This Grave Oasis; she is at work on a fifth book. The
Pikes Peak Arts Council has conferred upon her its annual Performance Poet and Page Poet
awards two years consecutively. She has taken 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in the National
Federation of State Poetry Societies contests. In 2016 she won the Mark Fischer prize, out of
Telluride, Colorado, and she publishes often in literary magazines. She currently serves as
president of Poetry West in Colorado Springs and describes herself as a synesthete of the worst
and best sort(s), has perfect pitch and plays cello with the city's community orchestra. She has
been an animal welfare advocate and activist and has four rescue pets. She has two daughters,
whom she considers her grandest masterpieces of all.

The Artist's Bookshelf


"The Artist's Bookshelf" is crucial to the The Artist's Bookshelf:
creation of art. These are the poems, poets,
novels, stories, authors, artists and art pieces - Robinson Jeffers, T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath,
that inspire their work.. Conrad Aiken, Anne Sexton, Dylan Thomas
- Dogville, The Sweet Hereafter, The Sea
Here are the artists/works on Julie Shavin's Inside (movies)
Bookshelf, that have inspired her work here. -The Metamorphosis, Kafka
- Nausea, Being and Nothingness, Sartre
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,
James Joyce
- House of Leaves, Danielewski
- Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury
- A Delicate Balance, Albee
-Picasso, Chagall, Heliker
- Leonard Cohen, Chopin, Bach, Gary Jules'
"Mad World"

Collection of Poems by Julianza (Julie) Shavin

Most Stellar Now Strange Solace

Wrecked Stars...K. Poddar Today


the stories keep turning to us for succor,
What the stars see the paths never leaning into forks
this pebble, Earth, without imagination
and what we see:
perfect pictures in a sleeping sky, the trout may not be biting,
no things real but some horse-sense ladders us downward
until we name them. in the gene pool
and go we gladly,
And how, a giddy decay.
as sudden as love flown,
everything shifts Take the bouquet of face,
in the kaleidoscope night: both a truant and true behest
Orion's arrow slays Gemini twins, bright uncertainty dancing there,
Ursa's dippers foil Chariot's path. fragrance rising,
And yet a marionetting of trees
do we betray ourselves climbing multi-hued tides of sky,
into a dream of heaven untorn? of bodies
Will our stars into their places
so far, so fixed, so chaste, and the loyal sea, ever with us,
so forged of fire exploding its white laughter.
we never burn?

Where Sleep Comes


Shelter's Vigil

The velvet-eyed jury


For a breath of air, keeps its doe eyes fixed.
I opened the back door The judge menaces, innocent as charged.
and saw that a giant swan had descended to Lifer!
our grounds,
initiating, possibly, a last winter together. Preening our pass,
we dig up caskets and hancock them,
I got up later, a surly prank,
to see it still there, dissing tired leaves, brown grasses of
a dumb and beauteous thing cynicism.
my wishing for a gray day This was then.
so thick and congealed,
nothing could slice it Now, this ever and everness.
except, perhaps, another swan A god or devil's burden, it seems.
come to shelter the first with mighty wings, The moon slaps some of its dark side into
shutting all down for the day. the soul's light.
Lament, one thinks,
I resumed my dark vigil, lament with joy the jostling bits of
pondering dubious futures supernovae,
and great swans quarks of continents,
still and barely shimmering air and gases that make of day an everness.
beneath the brave and believing trees.
But something naked of name spells sleep.
I say, this is my bed, where sleep comes to
die,
Terrible Joy forgetting the somber pledges ears made
when skin finally grasped infinity's edges.

long winter
children tantrumming their boredom
the uncaring snow tantalizes our suicides Forest of Few
our homes heady shelters turn to prisons
walls disrobe their colors
a white house in white Even in this desert city of ozone,
a palm pierces the sky
one must remember the terrible impulse spindly and green-eared.
that created our joy I sleepwalk to imagined heaven
that crowned their hairless heads beyond the hotel railing. How far to air
nothing is a childs fault we were fashioned for?
snow is not snow's fault Huge lights scream FITNESS CENTER,
violating low mountains.
still, rebellion clutches the throat
an opportunity to change venue An ambulance sings its mordant purpose.
sings from the sea Rem sleep might change something.
where palms grow and quick snails Yesterday's nap combined the baby's
inch to sustenance in snail time laughter
with a jumping giraffe, a giraffearoo,
when bound to another being a kangaraffe, I'll tell her, savoring small
one comes to understand the snail moments.
and not it may lust for thumbs
but it's doubtful a slime of night creeps up At this pay-by-the-week,
the white walls grown sad people distract themselves
and the mute and artful use of words with sleep, food, drink, other.
thunders in prison There are some things we are allowed to
a harmony of cobwebs say.
spinning and spinning midnight's promise Outside the airplane window,
an outline for a tomorrow clouds had scudded like cottony dresses,
wearing today's white name. or no, the plane whisked - does it matter?

Back back and back, like dismissed lives


or happily dismissed lives.
Topiary The things that don't show up in nightmares
show by day, the city so rife with us
who hears a thing?
Within this solitude Odd-sounding, perhaps,
my ghost-minions gather, but all thoughts of suicide left me
warp shoulders to a strange topiary. when I found myself alone in the forest.
I have known them forever, This very one.
their plumes of blue locution
let from pale lips.

A red-gray sky signals Tough Keeping


how much more winter, though
winter is never the whole story.
I try and turn from things The cat lies in his unassuming eternity.
that slink in at sleep onset, or at dawn On the shelf above him, a rabbit skull
like a flower that awakens just then. plucked from the prairie.
So small...brain the size of a pea! I'd
You come bedside, ask what I need. exclaimed,
Us, I think, that beginning, jolly, my lover utterly drunk on me
every dark now a eulogy to day. in the forever sun.

Since we are born of chains and Such a freedom in seeking the poor, poor
into chains, one would think dead,
nothing matters and yet it does. which is to say, I was likely off by a pea,
Soon the clammy night maybe two,
will spill its pearl of day, didn't care how many peas.
reshifting our solitudes, reckless, We prowled the tall grasses for bones:
without guile or relent. bovine skull, goat with horns intact,
huge vertebrae in a perfect stretched S,
antlers white as sin is white
when it must be white.
Changeling I see him now, strange decorated hero,
Frankenstein thing of confused and
threatening exoskeleton.
Today the mouth is a white box No one will ever love you like I do,
fisting its fury he said over and over again over time over
but the problem is not mouth but brain, the time.
black box, Four years gone,
and all the other boxes: prism of insides and still no keeping him mortal.
roiling,
this one anxious, that one afraid,
other in ribbons of regret.
The Baltering
It is such a day.

It is not up to the boxes, the way messages carry oxygen across the
not up to depth perception, pulse
all those equilateral triangles such that fingertips
that tell us where we are, that we are, teach us a reaching
but depth itself that fuels the white box until we are still alone
with its confounding this is how I am delicate,
it will last, will not last, not strong enough to arm a judge
worry not, worry more. in a fight to the death with dementia.

I want to crush the boxes, Let me admit it:


but what is the I that crushes? I balter in the living room alone
Another box, the God I fashioned from before a chorus of trees,
stars and sadness, which has gladdened me,
hope and demise, if not the universe. I ask,
flattened corners an earth to die for, live don't plant me in a garden
for. without your selves,
that is the plea.
I watch the sky on these sickest of days
as though only by watchers can a sky A subtraction is but hours
maintain, beyond our days
one lid open like in ease of death capillaries of dawns in which
pupil fixed for the next fight, we could lose ourselves
if lachrymose over the fact this may be the afterlife,
heaven seems to salute, even boxed, you know, the only one,
as it is, by galaxy, universe as no one has done the math

until finally rest comes, slow but gathering, we merriygoround now


like those little deaths, but innocent, it's all the horses know
pitpatting toddlers dragging their sleepers and irreversible
through and through and through the remember we tried reassembling the
rooms, patterened wall
release from pain, sphere of warmth, flexing the playground of our
like love is a sphere, alter egos
and finally and were lost, but lost,
lips close the circumscribed day, let us assemble now,
now colorless, shapeless, sweet, sweet and plant ourselves
changeling, in this life, this holy
amortal dove. and egregious sentencing.

Collection or Artwork by Julie Shavin