Prompt 4: Archival Memory II. Poem

Archival Memory II

You bathe in forms I’ve never met

But if memory serves                           without the sugarcoat,
When you were in writer’s halls, singing villanelles, offering odes,
and cornering quatrains with your lacy sestina,

The marine lab held me sway, chambered in Nautilus pompilius,
casting nets deeper than darkness, her bioluminescent waves.

Come Spring, my algal mats were a riot of bubbling pigments
much the way cherry blossoms bloomed in your haiku.

And how can I hold it against you? The courage you held for two.
While I scribbled verses on graph paper,  you doodled lips on fish.

Archival dust made us both sneeze.


Tara Linda, c. 2018

NaPoWriMo Prompt #4: to write about an abstraction in a concrete way.  This poem is a rewrite of a poem from 7 years ago, about something very abstract: regret. And perhaps a bit of jealousy.  It’s one of those pieces that when I first wrote it, began to open a door  to a feeling I’d yet to articulate: that I became a scientist instead of a poet. And that somehow, a certain poet I knew was farther ahead and better equipped than I. Revisiting this poem now, this topic, was easier. I felt more like an observer than a participant, I could open the door even wider, filling in more specifics than before. I loved studying science. And poetry! And I have no regrets. I know now that regardless what my path has been, marine science enriched my life. And of course, studying poetry and music in non-traditional ways, has made the poet within stronger and more defiant than ever.  I can see now too, what a waste of time it is to compare ourselves to others. Don’t do it!!  Thankfully, our paths all differ wildly. We should celebrate this.


Return of Muse 887

Of course I left you
deep          in New Mexico
that endless drive         a sea
of  mesas

the San Juans just in       view
you stopped for      dinner in Gallup       fried tacos Sopapillas in honey those visions
the ones that follow into       dreams        portal
from a picture

I knew I would leave
well before      sunrise          before
you made that        unnatural
turn          due north, RR 371
at Thoreau.

Don’t be mad      there was no     sign
besides        only one can fit     down
the sipapu*            at once

     Tara Linda. 2016

*Hopi word for the small opening in a Kiva; opening between worlds.





Sappho’s Muse


Muse awoke

You promised me a poem

I faltered…no time-

Then read your Sappho! she whirled

Leave your fragments, crumbs to Air!

Tanka. ©Tara Linda


I’m enjoying this awesome new book~ Searching for Sappho by Philip Freeman. I like it because in addition to offering her poems, it presents her fragments within a cultural construct; what could have been happening in and around Sappho on Lesbos and elsewhere in the region, notably Sparta and Athens, as she was living and writing? What could have influenced and inspired her? What were the marriage ceremonies that she wrote so much about? What is a possible cultural basis of the last Sappho poem found- as evidenced by other neighboring Greek writers, existing histories (that were not burned), and the writers who came later quoting Sappho in their poetry courses and writings in ways more complete than her found fragments show. What is news to me is that while she had her detractors, yes, there were more who respected her- masters, Aristotle among them- who held her poems, songs, and words as a supreme example of a highly skilled poet who equaled and surpassed the writers of her day, in voice, complex Greek forms and technique, as well as output.  This book is a fast read; highly recommended. Even if your Muses spurn you for not wanting to put it down to write for them. 😉




Celebrating Frida: The Art of Frances Perea

Every year, I post something around this time, to honor Frida Kahlo and her birthday… This year, I want to see Frida through artists’ eyes. So I’m asking several guest artists to talk about Frida as they see her, as they channel her~ her life’s experience and work~through and into their own art.

Every year, I  post something around this time, to honor artist-icon Frida Kahlo and her birthday (July 6). 

aafridaBirthdayArtist: Frances Perea

Last year’s post, was about going to the Mission to see the new documentary of her years in San Francisco. I posted some of my favorite photos to commemorate her life with favorite quotes.

50a42deb5b232cade08d884ee5ce25c1The Year before- I posted a very cool video showing Frida in her world; a day in the life.


This year, I want to see Frida through artists’ eyes. So I’m asking several guest artists to talk about Frida as they see her, as they channel her~ her life’s experience and work~through and into their own art.  I’ll be posting a few artists’ work in the next week.

We begin with Frances Perea, an artist whom I discovered on Etsy (the global market place these days for art and artisan hand-crafted artworks.)  Everyday on Etsy, is a day to discover new photographers, sculptors, painters, collage artists, clothing and jewelery designers, you name it- from  all ends of the globe. And the community just keeps growing. I love seeing all countries represented, in all genres imaginable.  Crazy inspiring.

Artist Frances Perea: What I love about her work- it is bright, symbolic, colorful, meaningful, accessible coolness- the way, it seems, that Frida would have appreciated it too.


Tara: Hi Frances~ I was very happy the day I discovered your art on Etsy. Thank you this interview.  I’d like to start by asking, how you see Frida and how does she move through your work?”

Frances: “My depictions of Frida are generally fun and light-hearted. She was someone who lived life with zest after all. I think she would have found great amusement at our devotion to her. Occasionally I delve into the more serious side of Frida’s life, searching for an interpretation of her wounded heart as in my depiction called “Aqui Me Ahogo, Y Tu?”

Aqui Me Ahogo

Frances: “What inspires me most about Frida is the fierce tenacity she had for life in spite of the many difficult challenges she was faced with and had to live with. She was a living breathing work of art expressed in her dress, hair, jewelry, paintings and the way in which she opened her heart to those fortunate to have been in her circle of friends and family. She was also someone who was not afraid to speak her mind.”

Tara: I like your words “fierce tenacity”.  This is one thing I appreciate in so much art of Frida: certain features may show or symbolize a starkness or edginess- like her work- but it is so often juxtaposed in the bright colors of the Mexican culture; colors of celebration. This is what I cannot get enough of, in contemporary art that is influenced by Frida’s life.

Tara:  What is your favorite Frida Quote?

Frances: “My favorite Frida quote:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”

Tara:  Wow. Beautiful. What is new in your shop and in your creative endeavors soon on the horizon?

Frances: “The art I create currently featuring Frida, takes the form of paper doll collages.

Frida Doll-FrancesPereaSource

There is more to see at Frances’ Perea’s art shop here on Etsy– check her out: her evocative works are uplifting, compelling, and the prices are quite reasonable. They all make for great gifts.   


Best Last Minute Gift-Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar/CD! & Auction Winners

Are you stumped for the perfect gift? Are you ready to give up because youve missed posting that holiday gift? Wait! It’s all OK, because you are actually still ahead of the game for New Years!! Your friends and family will forgive all transgressions just for finding them the most unforgettable gift Ever!… the 2014 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar and CD!

Time to shout out winners for the silent jewelry auction to benefit Typhoon Haiyan victims: Margriet Schnabel for the Moss Memories earrings, and  JAK for – the 1920 Holiday Ball– Marcasite/pearl earrings. Yay! Contact me soon as possible so I can get your funds to CARE. Thank you for bidding & to Andrew Thornton for the idea. I will be dedicating other jewelry in my shop to continue raising money past the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, it’s that time of year again! Time to remind you that if you are stumped for the perfect gift, or if you’ve missed holiday posting deadlines, it’s OK, because you are still ahead of the game for New Years!!  Your friends and family will forgive all transgressions just for finding them the best, most unforgettable gift Ever!… the 2014 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar!

2014Accordion BabesCVR-sml

I’m pretty sure that this is the ONLY calendar on the planet that features 12 accordion-toting femmes~ real musicians, who front bands, write music and tour~ all while demonstrating in genres and countries worldwide, that accordions are officially COOL again! Ha! Imagine that! Producer Renee de la Prade seriously jumped the pond this year by including accordionistas as far away as Canada ;), Norway, and France. 

Happily, the calendar comes with music! a 12 song CD featuring a tune from each musician in the calendar. And after 6 years of doing this- from posing, to sponsoring, assembling, distributing, and promoting with other accordionistas- I can attest (promise!) that this years musical compilation is the best yet. Seriously! Music ranges from rock, to jazz, pop, zydeco, cabaret and more surprises that will beckon your ear with every note. Unbelievably, this calendar/CD bundle of Joy is a mere $15, plus $5 Priority shipping (US only). Please order yours here: You will be supporting the arts and paying my heating bill at the same time 😉 

Here is my first photo submission that got rejected for being too artistic. 😉

Tara Linda 2014 AccBabes 6_10-med

And I am thrilled to say that I’m up-to-date shipping out my orders!! This is me, with more clothes on, mailing them from the road, in a tiny, cold town somewhere in the wild west. 

Mailing Calendars-CO

You can’t tell, but the building is about 20 x 20ft big. Wait, can you believe it?! Near the middle of nowhere in the wild west, they limit parking to 10 minutes? Shocking!

You can also find my music on CDBaby, I-tunes, and digitally nearly everywhere you look. Thank you, so much, for supporting a world with music. xox!

Que Viva Frida! Happy Birthday

Celebrating Frida this whole weekend in the SF Bay. Here are favorite photos, quotes, and excerpts from dedicated websites about her life.

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh

and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is

the most ridiculous thing.”    -Frida Kahlo

San Francisco is celebrating the life and legacy of Frida this weekend, her anniversary. Teatro Frida just showed a 1966 documentary of her time with friends here in the Bay Area, circa 1930’s, plus the first 1980’s Mexican film of her life.

Frida with flowers

Born on July 6th, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico, Frida’s life was rich with experience, art, and historic relevance- all overlapping a tumultuous time in Mexico when the struggle for social change and justice gained momentum.  (Sources: wikepedia, and Frida official website- Mexico)

The Mexican Revolution began when Frida was three years old in 1910. Frida, with her rebellious soul, always preferred to give her year of her birth as 1910 in order for all to associate her directly with the revolution.


Frida was blessed with a good home, committed parents, and an artistic father who was a great photographer. Challenges began for Frida in her early childhood, with a severe case of polio.


“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because

I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head

without any other consideration.”

Frida and Diego were married on August 21, 1929 and this “marked the beginning of one of the most well known and extravagant love stories known to humankind. The loving couple soon became iconic throughout the world. At first, Frida accompanied Diego throughout the United States as he was commissioned to paint frescos in cities such as San Francisco, Detroit and New York. Little by little, Frida started to establish her own prestige and fame and soon became world-renowned for her own work, personality, and authenticity.”


Frida broke artistic molds, shunned traditions, and demonstrated her unique expression through hard work as she developed her own style. In 1938, Frida met Andre Breton. He described her artwork as “surrealism of the highest level.” Frida responded by saying:

“I do not paint dreams…. I paint my reality…”

Andre Breton introduced Frida to Julian Levy, who helped her set up an exhibition in New York City in 1939, and subsequently in France. Frida became the first Mexican artist to exhibit her own work at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Though Frida’s life-long experience of pain was undeniable, the principal elements of Frida’s artistic life are considered to be love, joy, passion and creativity. Frida showed great perseverance for achieving her dreams and also showed her happiness, love and passion for life despite all the adversities she overcame. Frida was able to redefine her life through her art and she fulfilled one more dream when she had her first exhibition in Mexico City in 1953.

life-frida-kahlo“Frida lived life to its fullest in the most passionate of ways. Her iconic existence, unique expression and extraordinary artwork have provided humanity with continuing optimism, strength and courage for the future. She died on July 13, 1954, and left behind a legacy that will forever impact and influence the world regardless of age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity”:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
Frida Kahlo


Here is awesome footage of Frida and Diego at home. (SFMoma)