Monday, January 30, 2006
Your feet sink deep into the gunk
coating Ma Earth, trapping you;
you, who would save the world for
another Walt Whitman, or a poppy
spreading its seed across untrampled
meadows, not K-Mart's new parking lot
or tomorrow's Trump Plaza.
Kent State was only a preview,
Charles Manson, a mini-holocaust.
Blood soon will be shed over gas masks
and bottles of clean water.
Our rivers will run red.
Rachel Carson moans in her grave,
but dumpyards keep filling
with last year's TVs
while icebergs melt
and hurricanes race through
A woman ducks into an alley;
struggles to reach her cardboard home
before night drowns the tired sun
and stars start their sad trek across
paths already vanishing beneath them.
(this poem was inspired after reading some of s.a. griffin's powerful poems about making things right with the world again..or wishing that we could.)
Sunday, January 29, 2006
So, today why not check out my blog at MySpace? My main blog remains here but I post occasionally there. MySpace is an interesting site with its music, bulletins and messaging system. Worth a peek. I recently read in Newsweek that MySpace now receives more hits per day than google, which is mind boggling. Turn up your sound. You can change music on your profile by going to the music link and searching. Sometimes, if you're lucky, an artist is offering a few song download. That's a nice feature. I created the background on my profile page from an shot over at the ocean. It's restful to look at when I go there.
Let me know what you think.
And have a good Sunday!
Saturday, January 28, 2006
when shadows grow long---those lost chances
fluttering away like wild molting birds
into somebody else's sunrise?
That kiss not taken.
No longer offered, either.
That one last arch of the back
before sighing, 'No more, this night'.
I have entered the Invisible Forest.
Flowers, men turn their eyes towards
the sunshine of taut bodies, pert breasts.
The Fountain of Youth gurgles just
over the rise and stampeding feet
trample past for one final gulp.
All around me the bulls are dying, but
why weep for what can't be undone?
My face is flushed, my hands empty.
Prufrock hands me his peach.
(poem in progress)
Thursday, January 26, 2006
I need a break. During the hurricane that hit this last summer, the front door blew open and now doesn't always close properly. The dog discovered this fascinating fact in short order by butting his head against it to test it. My husband came home late yesterday to find a neighbor running out to meet him to say that he found our dog wandering the neighborhood and our front door wide open. He knocked, got no answer, then stuck the dog inside and closed the door. I never knew a thing. Had my headset on listening to music. (Now THAT part's Michael Parker's fault for sending me music I couldn't turn off...hear that Michael?? No, don't stop. Don't stop!). At any rate, I was lucky. The dog was saved. No burglar walked into the house. A swarm of wasps didn't decide to come in and make a nest. It all worked out okay and I got to listen to enjoyable music without being mugged, stung or finding myself dogless.
And how was YOUR day??
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
paler than mine, like coconut pudding,
warm off the stove as mom used to make,
and so I tested it.
For me, it became a soft pillow,
smoothed itself into my curves,
offered respite for lonely arms and hands,
pleasured parts I do not wish
to speak of now.
I am dwarfed by the dark room,
reach out to touch the cooling contour
of your indent, damp evidence of our
past days together.
You had to get back, you said.
She would be waiting.
Downstairs, my neighbor sings off key.
she has never been with a man, I hear.
She sings as if the stars have not fallen
or the sun tumbled off the horizon
into vast gray oceans where Orcas sing
of white bellies and lovers touching
pale hands in the soundlessness of space.
Published in MiPo Bonsai Edition Print 2004
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Monday, January 23, 2006
The email from Dale's friend, Sharon, arrived last night. He passed away early yesterday morning, after a night of her sitting with him, holding his hand, singing to him. In his honour, I'm posting what is probably the most well-known poem written about death and loss, thanks to its use in the movie, Three Weddings and a Funeral.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Art: Time Has No Limits by Chagall
Sunday, January 22, 2006
One of the hardest concepts for me to explain to people is 'hitting the wall' with CFIDS in simple conversation or in cognitive chores. It's easy to understand being tired briefly after an intense physical activity, but not a mental task. I can start out a conversation feeling clear, 'normal', etc and, depending on how talkative the other person is, or how many different ideas they're throwing at me at one time, I start to fade slowly at first, then it hits. My mind is fuzzy. I can't follow what they're saying. I need to close my eyes and be quiet.
I've worked long hours until I dropped in the past, taken 26 mile bike rides, sailed all night with no sleep in rough seas. No fatigue, both mental and physical, has ever been his intense or this long lasting after a rest.
Most of my long time friends understand and respect this, but many still can't understand. If I say, on the phone, that I've reached my limit, I'm serious. I've reached it. I can't go through a ten minute, 'let me tell you one more thing' bit at the end. I've crashed. I need to go. Goodbye. Ta ta. Unfortunately, I've had to make the decision not to talk on the phone with some people for that reason. They've never gotten it and my explanation hits deaf ears. Fortunately, enough people DO get it. And it's much appreciated! Ditto for my working on things such as this blog, answering email, etc. I go to a point where not only does my mind no longer function clearly, but my fingers refuse to follow commands and I start typing gibberish. One reason I also rarely do IM. I hit the wall, then have to type repeatedly that I have to stop as the other person continues to type away, ignoring three 'I have to stop now' messages. When that happens, I have no choice but to simply type goodbye and sign off.
That blasted wall. I'm hitting it right now.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
The Thinking Man's Shredder
A happy marriage of stellar technique and edgy rock is at the core of Jon Finn's playing and teaching.
Article by Brett Milano
(October 12, 2001)
Photo by Kim Grant
"I don't think of myself as the professor type," notes teacher and guitarist Jon Finn. If you sat in on Finn's class on advanced rock improvisation 1, you might mistake it for a hot band having a jam. Dressed like a rocker in jeans and sneakers, Finn strums rhythm, taps his feet in time, and breaks into a grin whenever someone plays a tasty lick. The main difference is that he's got his students jamming on pentatonic scales that are too sophisticated for most rock players to handle.
Finn is a man on a mission. He's a confirmed rock'n'roller with amazing technical chops, and is out to prove that you can be a serious thinker without losing your status as a mean guitar shredder....Click HERE to finish reading the article.
If you have the Quicktime player, I'd recommend listening to his song, If Stevie Ray Vaughan Went to Berklee and Studied Jazz , linked in the site for slow and fast speed connections. I love it.
Any of us who are creative are influenced by the music we hear, either through its inspiration or by its appearance in the poem itself. Jon Finn...another musician to be your muse, perhaps??
If you were to choose just one piece of music right now, this moment, to inspire you to do something creative, what would it be?
If there's a piece of music you'd put on right now just to hear it again, what would that one be? Don't think. First impulsive choice.
Mine right now would be this beautiful blues piece a friend sent, A Soul That's Been Abused, from Duke Meets the Earl. Next would be the Hero's song another friend sent. Thanks, Charlie and Michael. Thanks, Lloyd, too, for sending me an actual copy of the Jon Finn song on this link above.
Edit: Andrew raised the question about research on music on human beings. While I'd seen informal writings about certain music and sound inducing meditative states or relaxation, here's a site with several links to scholarly articles on how music affects our brains.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Dale Edmands, webmaster of Kookamunga Square and poet, is close to death under the care of a friend and Hospice in California. I've known Dale online for over five years now, had become used to his email cards when something special had happened to celebrate or when times were rough. He was always there for his friends. He's weakening rapidly now from cancer. His friend reads him letters that pour in every day. Dale, my dear friend, you will live on in my heart.
Below is one of his poems.
Every evening I enter this tunnel called winter,
The new light at each day's end egging me on.
It is not a long drive to the school,
As if someone, or something has predetermined
The exact amount of time, and coordinated it
With the last stretch of musk melon sky
That highlights the barren hulks of trees
Surrounding the campus where shadows
Of students move in quick silence against
The night's chill. This is how the season
Will pass- Each month's weather splattered
On the walls of winter like so much graffiti,
A collage of thaws and cold snaps, snowfall,
And rain, unbearably bright days too frigid
For fun, windy nights with too many stars,
And a glowing monster of a moon, too close
To make use of the new Christmas telescope.
Until suddenly, on a late afternoon in April,
The lingering light at the end of the tunnel
Becomes a tunnel itself, an eternal portal
Through which all things must enter,
If this is why the sun returns to us again,
And our hands push forward an hour of time
With the swift and easy motion of a wing,
As if small shapes and sounds depended on it.
Copyright © 2000 by Dale A. Edmands
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
This is the beginning of the first poem in the journal...
Temperature has a headache
swears it won't rise to your occasion
Speeding patrol cars out of fashion
find enough time to spotlight your cold skin
Agony River just called collect
promises to flow to the front door in a few hours
Strange faces from the ongoing confusion
only make the decision that much harder
Pull the plug or mop up the bleeding deck one last time
in hope it will never show up again
Well, I'm off to the immunologist today (Wednesday).
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Wish me luck today!
Monday, January 16, 2006
I see my CFIDS doc on Wednesday and he's an hour away. That means another longer than usual day, with vials of blood drawn for the vampires to drink later.
I had another one of those 'I'm worried about you. Why don't you write a happy poem' type letters today, too. I won't even get into that. I write what I want to write. I write poems of every mood and every subject. Right now, I feel like writing a poem about why I don't write what everybody wants me to write. I'm reminded of the poem title, or is it only a saying....poets aren't jukeboxes.
Leave me your thoughts, a site you enjoy, a poem you love...
I'll be back.
Edit: It occured to me to acknowledge Martin Luther King Day here, today. I attended the March on Washington the summer he gave his 'I have a Dream' speech. That day is one I'll never forget. I hope one day the dream comes true!
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Now...which one do you like the best???:-)
If you try this and post one on your blog, let me know. I'd love to see.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
your heart into old shoe leather one day,
shred pictures, sleep with the dog.
he must've been inside me a thousand times,
but who counts these things?
who thinks the time will come when
it's the last mouth against mouth,
the final creak of the bed, come midnight?
his footprints haunt my house;
they lead everywhere, yet nowhere.
he left before the plot had ended.
no silver dropped from a Roman palm.
no poison or beheadings or, god forbid,
a drowning, but
like a vampire, he has taken my blood.
my veins shred open like rice paper,
spilling bad love poems into the night.
i have no pulse.
i am as white as the winter's rain.
Friday, January 13, 2006
(click to enlarge)
The funny thing was that when I was MUCH younger and sailing in Martha's Vineyard, the members of a band playing at a place where we'd anchored and walked in to eat thought I WAS Joni Mitchell, come to give them their big break. God, I hated to see the disappointment in their faces when I told them 'not'. My hair was longer then and bleached lighter by the sun, my figure much like hers, and my cheekbone/eye area. Seeing the utter awe in this guy's eyes, it gave me a taste of what celebrities must feel like much of the time. Like you weren't of this world somehow. Someone not to be seen as you really were, clay feet and all. An uncomfortable feeling, really.
Oh, I'm growing my bangs out and they're driving me NUTS!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
(PS This tip just came out this morning. The site opened for me just fine at the crack of dawn, but has been busy as the morning begins. I suspect a good response to her tip, but hope this slowdown isn't an indication of their inability to handle a higher traffic load since it IS a neat program)
Here is Kim K's recommendation:
Clever is good
Let's face it. We all could use a little extra help sometimes. This is especially true when it comes to finding information.
That's why I use CleverKeys. It's a nifty little tool that puts definitions, synonyms and facts at your fingertips. You can also use it to search the Web or find products on Amazon.com.
Once you install the free program, it runs in the background. When you find a word you want to look up, highlight it. Then press Ctrl + L. Your Web browser will take you to the word's definition.
If you need more options, press Ctrl + M after highlighting the word. Then you're presented with a few choices. Now that is clever, isn't it?
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
It's not JUST a calendar! The Most Intriguing(and Sensual) Male Poets of 2006 calendar now on after-holiday sale!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
The art is by Itzack ben-ariel and is used on the regular non-java version on my website, too, with his permission. Iztack is an Israeli photographer whom I admire greatly. His work is also on the homepage of my site (with his permission) and on several pages throughout.
Denial was published in Verse Libre in 2003 and was chosen second out of 147 poems in the 2003 Free Verse Competion sponsored by Poets of the Palm Beaches, open to any full or part time residents of the county.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
A few years back, her sister died after a long struggle with ovarian cancer. Since it ran in her family, P had her ovaries removed as a precaution, under the advice of her physician. Ironically, not too long after, she developed another form of cancer in the same family of cancers. A cancer, doctors told her, with the same odds as ovarian. Chemo and other treatments would buy her time, just as it did her sister, but that was the best they could offer, short of the chance that she might be one of the few lucky ones.
I'm sharing the note, knowing that her direct presence in my life is far enough in my past now that her privacy is assured. I'm sharing it because I thought this note didn't affect me, but I woke up in the middle of the night in tears, unable to go back to sleep until far into the morning. I couldn't get my mind off her letter. I couldn't forget those days of innocence when we felt we were invulnerable, that things such as pain, suffering and dying were so far away as to not consider them.
I'm glad we can't see our futures.
The note (she knows of my own struggles with CFIDS):
As one warrier to another, ill health is the pitts. I admire how you hang in there in spite of many difficulties in your path. In Buddhism, you'd be considered a Bodi'sava(mispelled)-a being who is so compassionate that she seeks liberation and enlightment for herself and all beings. There just must be a higher purpose for all of your suffering. To think otherwise would be unbearable.
For my end, the chemo is a slow drag that ends in fatigue and nausea. My cancer marker is gradually increasing, which means that the chemo is no longer working. When the CA125 reaches a certain point, they'll switch me to a new chemo. All in all, I hope for another couple of years to live. In the meantime, I'm trying to organize my financial affairs, clean out the closest, and do some writing as time and energy permit. I need to get my spiritual life in order. I've felt alienated from God and in a spirtual strugge for the last several years.
Anyway, 2006 is another year and an even-numbered one at that. Six seems like a good number! Let's hope for the best.
With Warm Wishes
Ironically, while death has 'come out of the closet', for the most part, I still find that discussions about illness still make many people uncomfortable. Since I've been ill with CFIDS, I find myself still embarrassed when I say that it's been a very rough time. I know it's not what many people want to hear, based on the cheery replies back from healthy friends or acquaintances, giving me all sorts of remedies that they feel sure will cure me or announcing that if only I use my mind I can heal myself. Ages ago, Bernie Segal wrote that he had finally realized that the meditation techniques he taught helped with a person's quality of life far more than they 'cured' their cancers. I've found that it's the rare person who's not experienced some form of illness that I can talk to honestly and with no shame or stigma attached for no longer being able to be the person I once was. Rather, it's people like my friend or other friends who deal with strong issues, who have learned to listen. Listen without judgment or the need to play God.
(Art by Chagall)
Saturday, January 07, 2006
MIPO Volume 20 Issue 1
Click on 'contents' above the cover photo to get to the menu.
(You'll find me under Best of cafecafe 2005)
And hey, in this morning's email Niederngasse is out, too.
Bookmark them and take your time. Two great journals with a lot of things you'll want to read packed into them!
Friday, January 06, 2006
When I was growing up in a small town in the Carolinas, tent evangelists still wandered through town once a year and set up in a vacant lot next to one of my friends' houses. Most of the country people came in for these revivials. The town people stuck with their regular church services. One mischievous night, my friend and I decided to stuff the evangelist's car with some piles of dead grass that were in among the bushes at the edge of the lot. We honestly didn't do it in malice. I guess, like any kid who gets a laugh out of putting rocks in teacher's hubcap, we just thought it would be funny. I have to say that I've never heard such cursing as came out of that man's mouth. (No, he didn't laugh). Worse, he had a flashlight and started probing the bushes where we lay flat, terrified at this point, since he was also muttering what he would do when he found the S.O.B.'s who did this.
Thankfully, he didn't find us. It took him about five minutes to clear the grass out of his front seat and he drove off.
I went back to harrassing teachers after that. They were far less scarey:-)
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Part of a back tooth crumbled off out of the blue yesterday. The deadening shots turn me into a blithering fool and I'm already one coming off of the last antibiotic binge as of last night, so I'll be a double blithering fool.
Back on Thursday if I survive the chair.
At least I have a dentist who's good. I like her. That helps. A little. A tiny bit. Some. Kinda. I'm a chicken when it comes to the drill!!!!!
LITTLE HOUSE OF HORRORS REDUX~ Keep Steve Martin away from me.
EDIT: Was there three hours with the drilling , etc. The shots never deaden me enough so the drilling was hell when it got deep, but she had to shape it and finally we were to the part of making an impression of the tooth remaining. Have a temp crown on now. Go back in two weeks for the permanent one. Also have a headache and feel pretty lousy. I've been sleeping for the last two hours. Gonna lie back down. I don't think anybody's reading my blog today, anyway. Babble babble, she added.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Godspeed, Richard. We didn't end so well as friends, but we started that way.
Ellen Johns brought my attention to the fact that Issue 14 of Blackmail Press was dedicated to Richard. Read this page for more of his poems and links to his poems in previous issues. Well worth your time.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Through the brooding waters I see your
sad face elongate, pale to a rippling
sheet, so anxious in your search for me among
unraveled rope splices and green bottom stones.
Seaweed cradles my head.
Coral forms my rough cot.
Fish bend for their nightly prayers
at phosphorescent gown's hem.
You pine for a pink-cheeked mirage, dear heart,
her legs still wrapped, laughing, 'round
your waist; not this dead lover more
suitable for Chambered Nautilus or
finned thrashing playmates of the deep.
Taking pity, at last, I drift up
through the fathoms, press ectoplasmic
lips to your warm ones, murmur words
you've waited for these long months
of vigil, until Sirens circle to bear me
out to where only the bravest dare follow.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
You'll have to go to my website to read/see/hear it, since there's music and animation with it.