Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm not much for explicating a poet's work. I'd rather just present it. However, I will say this: I greatly enjoyed the personalness of Ursu's work in the midst of a larger world view. Apricots, icons, the cosmos, and her own presence seem to be in balance. Nothing overwhelms; everything participates in the picture of the whole. Ursu writes as a poet in exile, and thus her self-ness cannot take control.
And so here is a poem from the book that I greatly enjoyed.
Playing with the Mirror
by Liliana Ursu
I play with the mirror.
I do not set ships on fire, nor your hair,
fluttering free on another continent.
In my small mirror I try to capture
not my face, red after love,
nor the sad eyes of the icon
in my deserted house in Bucharest.
Here, in America,
my mirror reflects only a stranger.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall
who's the fairest of them all?
"The Moon above Agapia monastery"
the mirror replies . . .
One day someone will hold this same mirror
close to my mouth
to see if I'm alive.
From my last breath
the Carapathian mountains will come,
and the sea at Sulina;
my poems of gold will come
and my poems of clay,
and my young mother
giving birth to me
into blinding July light
into the medieval walls of Sibiu,
and I, giving birth to my own son, roses
buried under the snow.
My greedy lips will touch the mirror
as if in a last, earthly kiss,
an exercise of sadness, tragic and comic
in the innocence of the moment of my death.
I will taste apricots on my lips
which only dew from my mother's garden will cool.
I will feel on my lips
the words of my grandmother:
"Do not pick all of the fruit.
Leave some for winter's birds."
A Breugelian landscape rests quietly in my lap
like a spoiled cat,
while the mirror performs its duty,
and the TV set blares on and on
and I hear strange voices
announce from Venus:
"We have managed to make bread."
Someone in the cosmos
holds up a huge mirror
to see if we are alive.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Day-old dainty hollowed out
Shallow half island divan
Fill with any Danish blue
Barbecue mosaic plus deviled
French checkerboard build
Every other row dog-ear
Slices lavish ooze tuck under
Crumbled heap peach nest
Each split pitcher crisp
Celery hearts hot with bottled
Cold with thin sweet spears
Saturday, December 26, 2009
True prepackaged fresh quick-frozen
Meat penny speedy measuring spoons
Sanitary stick to it along the entire
Length of the carcass See Instant Meat
Old wives' tales then cool kettle
In any case bright red firm a yellowish
Cast as eleventh and twelfth ribs
Delmonico a large muscle closed
Backbone can be removed follow
Directions cover holds steam you
Will have time caution a timetable
Can only be approximate insert carefully
Keep warm while making Velvety
Thick as heavy Cream in spite of all
Your care strain HOTEL STYLE
A wedge bone use tongs as manufacturer
Directs a special hardwood plank you'll
Find it remove usually sold as one cut
Diagonally across the grain have meat man
Score skewers or string depending upon
Your schedule two to four days to marinade
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
So, I'm taking suggestions. I'd like someone comparable to Eudora Welty or Flannery O'Connor, but on the poetry side. Not Sylvia Plath, please. Not Sharon Olds. Not Mary Oliver. I like nature poets, but Mary Oliver is not subtle. I've read almost all of Louise Gluck. I'm open to translations. Help!
In other news, it's December 14th and my house looks not one bit like Christmas. Jocelyn has forbidden any decorating until the moment she comes home, Saturday, December 19th. I'm suspended in time until she walks through the door.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Most dreams contain messages that serve to teach you something about yourself. However, soon after you wake up to go about your daily routine, you tend to quickly forget what you dream about. The message in recurring dreams may be so important and/or powerful that it refuses to go away. The frequent repetition of such dreams forces you to pay attention and confront the dream. It is desperately trying to tell you something. Such dreams are often nightmarish or frightening in their content, which also helps you to take notice and pay attention to them.
Recurring dreams are quite common and are often triggered by a certain life situation or a problem that keeps coming back again and again. These dreams may recur daily, once a week, or once a month. Whatever the frequency, there is little variation in the dream content itself. Such dreams may be highlighting a personal weakness, fear, or your inability to cope with something in your life - past or present.
The repetitive patterns in your dream reveal some of the most valuable information about yourself. It may point to a conflict, situation or matter in your waking life that remains unresolved or unsettled. Some urgent underlying message in your unconscious is demanding to be understood.
My dream isn't nightmarish, though! It's fun. So fun that often I know I'm dreaming and delay getting up so I can keep playing around in the dream. The details vary, but it always involves a large house. So here it is:
Gene and I own a large house on a creek. It's more like a hotel in size, but house-like in character. It has three floors and a balcony overlooking the creek. We have just moved in. All our friends are there and we are having a party. I keep finding more and more rooms. The creek is flooded and I am anxious to see what the property looks like when the water is down. In last night's version there was an historical building across from our house, a high school. We had no other neighbors. The front of the house faced the town, the back faced the creek.
There are more details, but when I wake up all the versions of this dream blend together. I don't know what message the dream is sending, but I sure enjoy encountering it! Maybe it's saying buy a bed and breakfast. I just don't know!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Because I didn't stop reading when I first wrote this, I have 21 Best of's and a screwed up numbering system. But that's okay. I really enjoyed Liliana Ursu's Angel Riding a Beast.
0. Angel Riding a Beast - Liliana Ursu
1. How to Be Perfect - Ron Padgett
2. Rhode Island Notebook - Gabriel Gudding
3. Wheeling Motel - Franz Wright
4. Scary, No Scary - Zachary Schomburg
5. The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan - Ted Berrigan
6. Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry - Alan Dugan
7. Leaf Weather - Shira Dentz
8. Love is a Dog From Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 - Charles Bukowski
9. Alphabet - Inger Christensen
10. The Mercy Seat: Collected and New Poems 1967-2001 - Norman Dubie
11. The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke - Rainer Maria Rilke
12. House of Poured Out Waters - Jane Mead
13. Selected Poems - Mark Strand
14. Without A Philosophy - Elizabeth Seydel Morgan
15. Wild Iris - Louise Gluck
16. Duino Elegies - Rainer Maria Rilke
17. The Branch Will No Break - James Wright
18. In The Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-1990 - Frank Bidart
19. The Catfish - Franz Wright
20. Address - Franz Wright
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Individualism is slowly filling my rooms. Or quietness. I'm not sure. My dream Thanksgiving is a fine meal with a small group of people, A hike in a National Park. A book of poetry. A glass of wine in front of a fireplace. A rocking chair.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Granted, there is no standing still. Gene turned 50 yesterday. We feted him on Sunday. A party guest from his before life was amazed that he prepared part of the meal. You cook more than grilled cheese now? Other old friends posted pics of his before life on Facebook. Hilarious party pics, but not the man I know. DDL mentioned once the idea of reinventing yourself again and again, but I think whether or not you consciously decide to reinvent yourself, you are reinvented. I suppose the conscious part of the equation implies you have some input into the process. I mean, surely one does get to make a few choices here and there. But then after you make a choice you're in the thick of it and there's no telling how you're going to come out on the other end. Perhaps you'll be a fabulous beef brisket chef.
I have arrived somewhere, too, but I'm not sure where. I believe I'm still looking for my luggage, wondering where to stand.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
painter, missionary, poet
prince, theologian, trader and explorer
queen, inventor, marshal, mathematician, painter, artist
composer, writer, governor, general, neurologist, anarchist, neurologist, social worker, physicist, commander, politician, philosopher,author, psychologist, actor, sound engineer, politician, director, laureate, sculptor, Queen, actor, pioneer, player, secretary, diplomat, historian, singer, painter, biochemist, Bishop, player, cricketer, actor, conductor, actor, musician and composer, actor, player, decathlete, player, actress, senator, player, skier, poet, comedian, singer, author, player, director, politician, actress, coach, actor, architect, producer, player, songwriter, player, director, Governor, musician, scriptwriter, politician, politician, musician, politician, Minister, owner, actor, actor, coach, player, criminal, player, daughter, reader, actress, footballer, presenter, actor, entertainer, cricketer, diver, singer, drummer, personality, player, composer, musician, actress, actress, singer, guitarist, actress, coach, player, actor, guitarist, actor, player, singer, singer, player, footballer, skater, actress, humorist, Rapper, actress, actor, footballer, swimmer, player, stuntwoman, player, actress, footballer, wrestler, musician, wrestler, singer, player, cricketer, player, player, player, player, player, actor, novelist, actress, singer, actress, actor, actress.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Descartes had his dreams
I have in me an idea of God
But it's fading
I will tell you
We were in the business
--------of rehabilitating dolls
Their site of origin
---------------long past bombed
Culls for the future
For whatever reason
--------------I painted the heads
Fashioned wire doll bodies
Spun cotton around wire
---------------into the loosest skins
When we spoke their bodies stiffened
Someone breathed logos
It wasn't god
Friday, November 06, 2009
-----------of the diesel frogs
A common crossing
-----------beneath the trestle
A boy stretched out like Jesus
-----------He already knew
The future engraving granite
----------into each of his ribs
Our hearts were really pumping
I watched a train churn slowly above us
Graffitied and loud
The engineer's arm waving
His face out of view
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
On the very lips of your intended
---------An aspirational cabal
Pink neon floating vacancy
The rope you are holding has torn
---------the flesh from your palms
Under mysterious circumstances
----------you have taken a room
Near The Inn at Grinder's Stand
---------------(now a wheat field)
A woman is moaning
A woman is always moaning
You have drifted
Beyond The Alleghenies
------------The aboriginal lands
This is the last call
You fear fire and bodies of water
The weather is dry
A horse has lost itself in the forest
Leif Erickson has landed in L'Anse aux Meadows
On the good side, rain is fabulous for writing. Last night my dreams came in words, pages and pages of words. I'm curious if other writers have this phenomena in their dreams. My words were like a novel. George Bush was being punched in the face. I mean, the dream was just like reading a novel. Turning the pages. The words streaming out of my thoughts. I guess you had to be there.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This is something called Endura.
Supposed to last a lifetime.
Whose lifetime, I want to know?
I tried to get up on the roof and examine the workmanship, but sometime in the last few years I've developed a fear. I couldn't bring myself to step off the ladder unto the roof. I helped put the roof on the house some 12 years ago, but now I can't do it. I think Gene might be secretly relieved.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The downfall of the trip was here, however. Truly the site of the finest truffles known to woman. I bought a box of truffles for the California chick and two truffles for Gene and me. My truffle promptly dislodged the temporary cap that is covering the tooth I cracked sampling chocolate chip cookie dough. No, I don't have a problem.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Downtown South Bend, IN
IUSB Faculty and Alumni writers (David Dodd Lee, Nancy Botkin, Talia Reed, Kelcey Parker and Clayton Michaels) will sell books and chapbooks at ArtBeat this Saturday, 9/26 in downtown South Bend. They will give short readings between 11:30-12:00 at the Key Bank Plaza, and their booth will be nearby. Look for the Literary Arts Collective.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Just this very week, Twitter has informed me I have two followers. Two people just waiting to hear what I have to say. To hang on my every bird call. Me, Charmi, on Twitter! And I've never laid eyes on them before in my life. Strangers! They just somehow were drawn to me. Smart girls.
Well, I guess, truth be told, I have laid eyes on them now, because they came with pictures. The first is a young woman from St. Louis who is apparently relaxing in a bikini in her pool. Ah, summer weather, I said. That looks fun. Of course a fun girl like that would be interested in what I have to Tweet. I am the queen of fun and full of Twitter! The second woman is also the fun loving type, because in her picture she has no clothes on at all. Ah, summer. Saucy girls. Of course they need me.
And so now, I am motivated. These women are apparently poetic in form and desirous of my greatest poetic thoughts to inspire their every move. I will Tweet my poetry to them and they will be amazed! I think I will begin with that book-long epic I am currently erasing. I just didn't realize Twittering could be such fun.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
In other news:
Once school started Jojo overcame her homesickness and is apparently having the time of her life at Humboldt. She's only calling now for things like money or computer problems...
Tom is back and forth between here and Kalamazoo. He's played enough gigs he had to buy a couple of new suits. As ZZ Top says, "Women go crazy bout a sharp dressed man."
Gene is a traveling fiend, earning all those reward points. He's going to wear his suitcase out.
I hope you're busy and happy, too, in these pockets of fall air.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Say the hummingbird's a home wrecker
Spider-cropped or furious
How else to account for
The missing orbs
The white fields of porches
Heather filling the salvage yard
My landlord is dying
The man in love with the idea
Of being loved
Is building an igloo
Sewing morning glory into the seams
The City of God segues into
The half life of urban decay
100,000 years out from the homeland
We're still dreaming
Of a mother tongue or a passport
To lush against our skin
Sunday, August 23, 2009
No fears, friends, my fat at this point is all my own and my baby equipment is gone, gone, gone. But I guess it is time to look around and see what has escaped my attention lately. Probably wouldn't hurt to lose the mama fat I've been carrying around for 18 plus years. Also, I need to figure out how to turn on my writing switch again. And I'm going to clean. That's as far as I've gotten, but I'm sure other squirming babies that I've been overlooking will appear. I hope they're friendly little critters and not biters.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
My landlord is dying
The man in love with the idea
of being loved
Is building an igloo
Sewing morning glory into the seams
It's a problem
The City of God segues into
the half-life of urban decay
100,000 years out from the homeland
We're still dreaming
Of a mother tongue or a passport
To touch against our skin
Saturday, August 08, 2009
They had to go, of course, I'd seen it
in their faces slowly changing from those
of children into those of friends,
from those of then into those of now.
And felt and smelt when they kissed me,
their skin, their hair, no longer intended
for me, not as before,
when we still had time.
In our house a world had grown of desire,
joy, pain and sorrow, in their rooms,
where they collected what they would
be taking with them, their memories.
Now they're gone I look out of their windows and see
exactly the same scene, exactly the same
world of twenty years ago,
when I came here to live.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
Come September, Gene & I will have both kids in college, near and far. I think I probably talked more about Tom's impending Kalamazoo move than Jojo's California move. Maybe not. However, California is further a way than, say, Kalamazoo. I won't be able to run over to California on a Sunday afternoon and take Jojo out to lunch whenever I want to.
I think it's the waiting that's bothering me. Jojo's bags are packed. We're all ready. Every last item on our checklist has been checked. Now we're just saying good-bye.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
"Hearing poems read, like reading them, is different from other encounters with language. Nothing else we read prepares us for poetry...
"We are better prepared for reading fiction because most of what it tells us is already known. In a poem, most of what is said is neither known or unknown. The world of things or the world of experience that may have given rise to the poem usually dissolves into the background. It is as if the poem were replacing that world as a way of establishing its own primacy, oddly asserting itself over the world."
Anyway, you might like to check it out. I'm mulling over the ideas of known and unknown, replacing the world, primacy...
I bought it used from Amazon and was amused to find that when it arrived it had a little Post-It note stuck to the cover that said "Random."
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Wants you to believe
It's all natural
The American lion much larger
13,000 years ago
Long legs parting
The American Serengeti
Great gods of evolution!
In the futility of calling God
Good in the particular
(or of calling)
In the wireless clicking of the centipede
Thursday, July 02, 2009
The neighbors are having at it
And you see in their moment
Swallowed and skittered
Could have made scene
Dark matter is thought to make up
Twenty-three percent of the universe
No one sees it
Fixation falls on the brilliant
Later you wrote
God's leveling the playing field
Eighty million trees
Is this cool or what?
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
A. They call it restorative. It has to do with patients who are being rehabilitated back after having strokes or some type of injury to the neck or the arms.
Q. Is there anything else that you do there besides assisting with the --
A. Sometimes I take them out and smoke them, because of the attitudes they have, you have to keep a log of that also.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Turning the page to summer proper, a new The Dirty Napkin is out, where Sarah and I each have a poem. I've been enjoying Sarah's poetry for quite some time now, so mosey on over there and check us out! Sarah is wonderfully intuitive with Emergency Substitutions.
As for me, I've got to down some more coffee and clean up this mess.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
On a side note, Clusterflock led me to photographer Claire Martin's site. Enjoy.
Monday, June 15, 2009
A. I was in a rock band, I got my girlfriend pregnant and I quit when, in fact, she was already -- actually she was cheating on her husband with me. That's what happened there.
Q. Is there any other part of your testimony that you feel needs to be corrected?
A. I mean, I've had a myriad of different jobs that weren't woodworking-related, you know, throughout that, you know, that musical band period when I wasn't working as a musician. There was one time where I was a worm farmer, which is one job you don't want -- worse job than a worm farmer, that's a worm rustler, because you have to stoop and they were on the other side. It's a long story.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
In the meantime:
My grandmother is wrapping up her final couple of days on earth. Years ago when she lived with us, she surreptiously snuck in dozens of flowers into my flower beds. She always was one to finagle her way. She's mostly comatose now, but Jojo visited and played some uke tunes for her last night. Safe passage, Gram.
We finished the firepit for Jojo's grad party last weekend and gave it a test run. I think it's pretty good to go. The grass surrounding it probably won't be growing too well by then, though.
I'm working on a 3000-page double homicide -- good stuff -- along with a ton of other work. I guess the trip to CA will be plenty paid for.
I dreamed of two owls last night, a brown one and a black one, both sitting on the road.
A black squirrel came to our birdfeeder yesterday and a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Unusual day. I've never seen the black squirrel in our neighborhood before. It was a young one with a glossy coat and tinges of red in its tail.
And that's the news.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Love is a vanity
The House on the Rock
(With her terra cotta windpipes)
He's flushed the gutters
She's feeding the bees
So much for walking
The soles of his feet
The light breaking loam
More luminous now
Than 10,000 suns
And Jojo's walking boot comes off June 19th, the day before her grad party. Very convenient, I think.
All this aside, I will get back to revising those poems. Think rain. In the meantime, go visit Naoko's blog. She is posting some great essays on her master's thesis.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Speaking of appearing with friends, I'll be joining Naoko in Passages North with my poems "The Teeth of My Existence Are Buried in the Wall" and "Seney."
Monday, May 11, 2009
They said you would be there
(And you were)
Whale eye clocking
The coastal demise
Where your saltwater
Mouth will be buried
Next to no one
The coral waving
Ashes to acid
The seagulls craning
Their necks side to side
Friday, May 08, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
She also tore the major ligament that stabilizes her ankle, which is what caused the fibula to break in the first place. Next stop: foot specialist on Friday, followed most probably by surgery next week and screws to hold her together.
As an added bonus, I took her shopping. She now has a great selection of skirts, since pants are out for quite awhile. What do men do when this happens?
Monday, May 04, 2009
Thankfully we had some nice breaks (hah). We saw John Kennedy later on Friday night performing at The Hearth and Kennedy's Kitchen Saturday night performing at Kate O'Connor's in New Carlisle. And we caught up with the Moyas, too. Awesome.
Sunday was too gorgeous not to be outside. I let the goats come in the backyard and do some goating, which generally consists of eating everything in sight. My job was to stand guard on the back porch with the hose and protect the hops plants and the flowers. Everyone went to bed tired and happy.
I'm hoping to get back into the poetry mode this week. I was really disappointed I didn't complete the month, sort of a mini failure, I guess. "Bad poet, bad." My stamina is poor. Ah, well. Onward. I'll borrow Jojo's crutches and begin to row.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
To the outskirts!
His simple insistence on sleeping
I started this poem on Saturday, but I got distracted by the weather and gardening and birds and whatnot. I was going to finish it today, but incredibly sad news arrived this a.m. My Aunt Kathy took her life last night. I'll simply say that she was one of the kindest women I've ever known and I'm heartbroken.
Friday, April 24, 2009
But who's waiting?
My father, I've noticed, was
Much taller when he was alive
Lately, I've been walking
Back and forth across the lawn
I'm leaving it to the vines
And the house for the chipmunks
The dead aren't coming back to save us
But still they come
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The bark from live trees
A plastic card falls
From your wallet
The birth right of refusal
The soup you've squandered
Beneath moldering sleeves
These aren't your arms
But pass the ketchup
The smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
In this telling it was a woman
who had wandered out into
a field and uncovered an
invaluable treasure. It might
have been sapphires. It might
have been pearls. Apparently
words were exchanged. Some
treasures have voices. Nothing
is known of the dialogue, but
years later the woman was still
unraveling her garments, looking
for pocket change.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
It's pure centipede
Enough feet for dragging
She wants a home
I understand they're quiet
The Predator Drones
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I've had a good visit with my brother Andy. He's heading back for California today. It's been three years since we've seen each other. His aphasia is still holding him hostage, plus, he can't hold enough disparate ideas in his head to play a game of Sudoku. (This knowledge hit me hard. He was a computer programmer.) He doesn't always hear all the syllables of the words we say and he continues to confuse his pronouns. Our conversations are interesting. However, ten years into this ordeal of having a stroke, he has comes to terms with his life. Physically he looks great. I suppose I might need to catch up and come to terms also.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
THE WITNESS: Boom boom. I don't do that no more. Sex, what else?
PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: We got that.
THE WITNESS: Sex and work, that's all I did. I cooked and cleaned once in a while.
PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: Did you have any hobbies?
THE WITNESS: I had kids.
Q. Have you been able to have sex?
A. It doesn't get up no more. I tried to do it with that juice, that Cialis.
Q. Were you having any problems with that before this accident?
A. No, I just had a baby.
Q. And that would have been three years before this accident?
A. Yes, it was working fine.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The August we failed
To notice Watergate
And dug a trough large
Enough to swallow Father
I encountered Darwin and
The Wallace Divide
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Say the hummingbird's
A home wrecker
How else to account
For the missing orbs
She'll carry it off from the porches
A touch of lichen on
The windows and it feels
Just like yours
Otherwise, have a wonderful Easter and try to send me some poetry writing vibes. I seem to be fading off into a springtime nap or something.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
I suppose it's statistical
The incidence of sapphires
Dripping dark in your well
I'm counting backwards
Past twenty-three empires
And the decolonization
Of the inner realm
Thursday, April 09, 2009
It's a casualty of the mind
to think death before sunshine
(I said sunshine)
The Amish horses, for instance
aren't dead in their fields
I could have been a Budweiser
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Pry from me
An open-handed moment
Tire iron and fist
Full of nails for mending
Those spinnaker hearts
Into the branches
Of wintering trees
(I'm feeling better about this process. I like the idea of writing crap, but then moving on the next day to more crap, instead of spending months thinking about one thing. If I can make it through the month I'll have a tidy pile to sift through, with maybe some things to keep.)
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Cirrus minus and swish of tail
We are distantly related
I didn't want to stare
Into your unbranchedness
Your fine covering pubescence
Others, certainly, have tried
Save the pieces
Bluff and bleed
Friday, April 03, 2009
The woman in the leopard
Print dress wants you to believe
It's all natural
The American lion much larger
13,000 years ago
Long legs capable of chasing
Down its prey
I believe in extinction
And the futility of calling
In the particular
Or of calling
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Grandfather cut timber at Fort Stewart
And kept a knife in his pocket, scoring
Oranges into sections before carefully
Peeling away their skin.
There's a salivary gland called the parotid
That runs diretly below the ear. I envision
Communication. Pavlov's ears
Beginning to twitch whenever dogs
Mark has posted a couple of poems.
And if you'd like a writing prompt, you can check out the Poetic Asides link I stole from Sarah.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Maybe the caterpillars
Will pay for the dying.
Grandmother is waiting
For the women with Scotch
Tape to escort her home,
Turn the compost, doctor
The rugs. I'm waiting
For the genius who stole the
Big Boy to come calling.
I'll say there was a painted
Circle on the roadway,
That I observed a puddle
Of blood and a tennis shoe,
But no nine-foot tall
Bare-footed statue, no
Miracle white Clorox-
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
A. Yeah, everybody in the restaurant -- when somebody is living on top of your refrigerator, have all their stuff packed up in bags on top of the refrigerator, you tend to notice that stuff.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The MacGuffin’s 14th National
Poet Hunt Contest
Judged by Thomas Lynch
First Place Prize $500
*Two Honorable Mentions*
1. Each entrant will receive one FREE issue of The MacGuffin that includes the 14th National Poet Hunt winners.
2. Staff members and their families are not eligible to participate.
3. An entry consists of five poems.
4. Poems must be typed on sheets of 8½ x 11” paper. Clean photocopies are acceptable. DO NOT place name and address on submissions. Entries can also be made electronically as an MS Word document on a 3½" disk or CD (PC format recommended).
5. Each entrant must include a 3 x 5 index card that includes poem titles and the contestant’s name, address, daytime telephone number, and email address.
6. There is a $15.00 entry fee. Please send check or money order payable to “Schoolcraft College.” Please do not send cash.
7. Poems must not be previously published, and must be the original work of the contestant. Poems may be under consideration elsewhere. The MacGuffin reserves the right to disqualify a work that is accepted elsewhere.
8. No entries will be returned.
9. Entrants wishing to receive a list of winners should send a stamped SASE.
10. Entries must be postmarked between April 1, 2009 and June 3, 2009.
Mail entries to:
The MacGuffin/Poet Hunt Contest
18600 Haggerty Road
Livonia, MI 48152
Winners will be announced in September 2009
First Place and Honorable Mention poems will be published in a future issue of The MacGuffin.
The MacGuffin reserves the right not to award any Honorable Mentions.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Back at home, the frogs are chorusing and the osprey have returned to Potato Creek. Recent PU grad and longtime friend Marie Hamstra is now naturalisting there. Woo-hoo! Jojo, Max and I stopped in at the Hamstra abode on the way home to check out the pond Calvin is building for Marie. Yes, folks, he's digging that baby in the shape of a heart. Awwwww.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
They’re burning the prairie.
The white-tailed deer on
The edge of the fen, silent,
While you pick your way
Through sedge, milkweed
Casks, a violence of spring
Welling out of the ground
(Otherwise known as sinking. )
Tecumseh, for the moment,
Is out of town, and who knows
About his brother and those hands --
No -- arms he is holding up
Like Moses and his people
At the Red Sea, the waters
Escaping, the armies sure
To rise up out of
The history of glaciers
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
I'm hoping a few more things will be hung out to dry. AIG keeps surfacing here. No, Congress, President Obama, don't let them pay out their 100-some million in bonuses! You have a contract? Let them sue. Publish all the names of those people who are getting the bonuses. Come on, I'm trying to send two kids to college here and maybe fill my bird feeders.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
If you're lucky, all your money is in books. Or maybe a nice piece of land out in the middle of nowhere that you'd really like to live on someday. You might stop thinking about the resale value of your house and paint your walls any color you damn well please. Maybe America is going to start thinking differently about the whole money thing, but I kind of doubt it.
Gene and Tom put up a new clothes lines for me yesterday. I've been without for a while. I was bringing the blankets in at dusk while my neighbors across the way were having an animated argument about being pressured into signing contracts in their side yard. Other neighbors' bill collectors are starting to call me. "I'm trying to reach a party at ...." Sorry, I can't help you.
T-Bills crossed my mind, so Google helped me find this 2004 article from Slate. Then today's article from Slate is here. And Daniel Gross thinks we should take his advice why? It still seems like this game that Stewart was talking about.
If you're reading this from far away, you should know that Elkhart is five minutes from my house. Elkhart with 18.3% unemployment. But I'm wondering about all the different realities we're living in. And that's all I have to say.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
This Saturday, March 14th, 1:00 p.m., The Chicory Cafe.
The assignment: Write a letter using some historical figure as your persona. For an example, check out The Czar's Last Christmas Letter: A Barn in the Urals by Norman Dubie.
E-mails will be arriving shortly.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Spring is bringing the traveling season back. Tom & I spent a couple of days hiking in southern Indiana during his spring break. Gene is packing his bags for a short trip to Chihuahua next week, just in time for the spring drug wars. (This is what comes from having a passport.) Jojo is hoping her schoolwork is caught up enough that she can go to St. Louis in April. I wake up in the middle of the night and remember she'll only be living at home for a few more months.
It's going to be a hectic few months, but I'll schedule a writers' workshop soon.
Monday, March 02, 2009
AIG - It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know we'll be there for future rocket scientists.
"When it comes to your money, nothing about the future is certain. But for over 85 years, people have secured their financial futures with the AIG companies. Whether planning for college, protecting your family or saving for retirement, our strength and experience mean we'll be there for you, for generations to come."
March 2009 Los Angeles Times headline:
Feds give AIG $30 billion more.
"The additional resources will help stabilize the company, and in doing so help to stabilize the financial system," the Treasury Department said in an early morning statement.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I finally bought some Rilke, Duino Elegies. It looks like he probably is all that.
Here are some excerpts from "Fourth Elegy", without the proper formatting. Blogger just isn't helpful in that way at all:
when we're fully intent
on one thing
can already feel
the pull of another.
Hatred is always close by.
Aren't lovers always
coming to sheer drop-offs
inside each other
they who promised themselves
open spaces, good hunting
and a homeland?
you who loved me
for my little beginning
of love for you
I always lost track of
because of the distance
in your face
even as I loved it
turned into outer space
where you no longer existed . . .
Who shows a child
as he really is?
Who sets him among the stars
and puts the measure of distance
in his hand?
Who makes the child's death
out of a gray beard
that gets hard
who leaves it there
in his round mouth
like the core
of a lovely apple?
Murderers aren't hard to comprehend
to contain death
the whole of death
even before life has begun
to contain it so gently
and not be angry--
this is indescribable.
(Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies, Translated by David Young, W.W. Norton & Company, 1978)