No Map, No Jud (For Judith Roche)

My elegy for Judith Roche has been published by the South Seattle Emerald:

Sunday Stew: No Map, No Jud (for Judith Roche)

See also:

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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1 Response to No Map, No Jud (For Judith Roche)

  1. The Red Queen (Elegy for Judith Roche)

    Your life wasn’t easy, filled with depths and heights,
    but the poems you scattered lined our pathways like
    crushed poppies, releasing a resin to soothe our pain.

    James Hillman taught you the Soul dives deep, inside
    the molten core, while Spirit’s like a rocket’s red glare.

    Poetry was your form of spiritual practice, diving
    and soaring to find the balance of longing and hope.

    At the bright red stop sign of reality, you clapped
    those ruby slippers and raced off, like a fire truck,
    to rust-shaded Mars, or, if held by gravity and duty,
    to Uluru in Australia’s fiery desert, just to escape
    into the longer wavelengths of a cardinal sunset.

    Drawn by heated visions of desire, you descended
    into Hades’ realm, but spurned the pomegranate.
    Returning, you followed your heart, throwing
    caution into that red wheelbarrow, where icebox
    plums lie underneath a mound of scarlet berries.

    Spiritually naked, you got sunburned and delirious,
    but it didn’t matter, since that way led to answers.

    Crowing like a rooster, you became the Red Queen
    in Wonderland, dancing madly in a lobster quadrille,
    requesting that all roses be painted your special hue.

    During this visit, the Cook baked you a cake,
    with cayenne, redcurrants, and cranberry icing.

    Finally, it was time to go – entering an antique
    red phone box, morphing into Wonder Woman,
    with tomato-colored boots and the Lasso of Truth,
    you’ve left behind your poems to guide us forward.

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