Bitchin' Heuristics

Matthew Sturges, whose journal writing I greatly admire, has honored me with his “Daily Notable” designation. Wow. Coming from him, it’s quite an honor. He mentions my poetry reading entries below and that he secretly wants to be a poet. So do I Matt, so do I.

I’d like to use this brief blink-fast spurt of web-attention to highlight another web poet, my favorite, that deserves more attention than I. Back in 1995 I discovered the Internet, and back then Usenet was a much more happening place. I became an avid reader of the rec.arts.poems group, and I was drawn to the poetry of Zita Marie Evensen more than most any other poet. She is multi-ethnic, romantic, a chemisty/physics geek, and spiritual in a naturalistic way that reminds me of Edward Estlin Cummings, another all-time favorite of mine.

She doesn’t have a webpage, but you can find her stuff on the Internet with a judicious search of Google Groups’ archive. She has a history of posting poems since 1993. (Look at the messages that start with “zme:” Those are the poems.)

It’s interesting in that you can see the evolution of her revisions if you sort by date and then start with the oldest page of results. Something you cannot do with a webpage or a chapbook.

Her writing makes me smile:

i am one rainbow someone

yes, that’s who i am
i see no borders
i am a crossword genome
of cosmic stardust and
the elemental woman
i am very selfish
with my laughters and my pains
you have no right no right
to see my marble box
of calico agates and black stones
– i refuse to scream
or cry or go to
wide-web confessions
instead i will tease you
to laughter paint you
merry-teary words
teach you the heuristics
of love and loving
and dance with stars
at mind-warp speed

i am a rainbow someone
who knows who knows
i own my hurts
and you have no right
to share them
but silently ever
so silently
i will make sure
you understand

copyright z m evensen
28feb1999 — rev

I think in one of the earlier versions of this poem she used the phrase “bitchin’ heuristics.” Gotta love a woman who says “bitchin’ heuristics.”

And one more:

when i wander into groves
of monolithic sequioas,
kneel on worn dark pews
of medieval cathedrals,
and walk barefoot
in white-domed temples —

i have heated conversations
with gods.

how would i know prayer.



I love to mine the old Internet. The catacombs of cobweb sites from years past exude the boomtown idealism of the early Web and can yield unexpected delightful treasures . Zita Marie Evensen has been around since those early days, but she’s no cobweb. She is a hidden treasure and part of the vast vital history of the Internet. If I could link her from my page, I would. But the fact that I can’t is kind of cool too.

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