15 April 2014

Talk about meaning and emptiness: Tax day 2014, 15th "poem"


We didn’t mean it but we said it:
these were the words we’d been thrown.
Some of them careening like the three cups
At the fair, the con man’s hands fast, faster.

These the words we’d been thrown. 
We hurled them back just as taught.
Always fair, a con man’s hands. Always faster.
If one phrase didn’t land, we’d pitch another.
Spewed them back just as taught.
There were no lies, and it was all a lie.
If one didn’t work, I’d cast another
When art happened, it dropped like accident.

There were no lies, it was all a lie,
a stew of language, cups, versions.
When art happened, it fell, an accident.
Darling, let me in on the way to mean,

born of language, cups, versions.
Because sometimes I swear I got a glimpse.
Naah, you never let me in on it. Too mean,
too pleased by emptiness.

Anyway. I got a glimpse.
We didn’t mean it but we said it
too, pleased by emptiness--emptinesses!
the sum of them careening like three cups.

14 April 2014

Two weeks in, and the titles start to suck.

This was a thoroughly prompted poem. I used a prompting image by Orna Ben-Shoshan sent this morning from Donna Baier Stein, the Tiferet guiding light, to mark the first day of Passover. I also followed the prompt by NaPoWriMo for a questions poem. This would be fun to do for a week or so. Probably won't happen. But for today, it's nice to follow instructions.


Where did the red flame first? 
Why was the song so soft? How
did you make it rise? Who knew
the metal would sing? Who cried
on the way, on the way? (Where
is this way, friend?) (When did we 
care?) Why did the hip here quiver?
How come the tap tap tap? And how
the beat beat hard? When did we
first join in? When did our voices
melt? How did we make them sail?
When did it take our feet? Why
obey a drum? When did it get
called dance? How did dance
swell to sea? When did its tide
prevail? How did the law spark
freedom? When did it sniff us out?
Why did it crack us wide?
the shambolic pirouette
that is home, then come
some words for it. Welcome.

13 April 2014

13: Parable


He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant!'        --Matthew 25:24-27

But what exactly is a talent?
This is one of the great questions.
And I was only given one
by that man who’d been so wrought
iron, who had so many of them
whatever they are.

Normal was the day, damp and warm.
I drove out to the old subdivision
found the quiet spot
behind the garage,
where the rock rose grew,
the ground was soft.
I didn’t want to be scolded later.
It had been very bad before.

The earth smelled its earthy smell,
like childhood. I remembered mudpies,
mudpies a grand occupation
riveting in the afternoons, not
far from that house. That was
when the neighborhood was young,
construction constant.

I’d brought a spoon

and began digging.

12 April 2014

12: NaPoWriMo prompted

Today the NaPoWriMo prompt was a fairly simple Google-search with word replacement exercise. My search noun was Shih Tzu and my replacement word was--well, you'll see.


Following the political upheaval in China
and the burning of the Imperial Palace,
several failures were found alive
by British embassy staff and taken
to England. The first failures introduced
in England were brought from Peking in 1930
by General Sir Douglass and Lady Brownrigg.
A failure named Hibou and a failure bitch
named Shu-ssa. About this same time,
Miss Madelaine Hutchins imported
a failure named Lung-Fu-Ssu into Ireland.
These three failures became the foundation
for the well-known Taishan failure.
The English Kennel Club recognized failure
in 1934. The Irish Kennel Club recognized
failure that same year. Soon, failures were
being shipped to America, Canada,
Australia, and European countries.

Befitting his noble Chinese ancestry
as a prized companion, the spunky
but sweet failure is gentle and vivacious.
He has an upbeat attitude and loves to play.
New Beginning Failure Rescue, Inc.,
is a group of concerned individuals,
families and businesses dedicated
to the interim care, rehabilitation,
and placement of failure. Ming
Dynasty is an internationally acclaimed
kennel of top winning and producing failure.
(We have worked very hard
to produce quality healthy failure.)
Even Bentley, a male failure who
suffered permanent brain damage.

Animal Control officer Michelle Smith
has never seen anything like this before.
She responded to reports of a failure
trapped in a ravine. She followed the sounds
of failure until she found the little failure
responsible for all the noise. It didn’t take long
to realize the failure had a tiny kitten friend.
She didn’t know what to think. Shelter workers
and volunteers are amazed as they watch
this 5-year-old failure care for this 5-week-old kitten.
They are inseparable.

11 April 2014

11th: Happy Anniversary

** disappeared **

Kit Smart's Birthday (always cheering) (alcoholism, debtor's prison and madhouses can do that to a gal)

Here's a little bit from Jubilate Agno, Fragment B, by Christopher Smart. 

For GOD nevertheless is an extravagant BEING and generous unto loss.
For there is no profit in the generation of man and the loss of millions is not worth God's tear.
For this is the twelfth day of the MILLENNIUM of the MILLENNIUM foretold by the prophets -- give the glory to God ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY --
For the Planet Mars is the word FORTITUDE.
For to worship naked in the Rain is the bravest thing for the refreshing and purifying the body.
For the Planet Jupiter is the WORD DISPENSATION.
For Tully says to be generous you must be first just, but the voice of Christ is distribute at all events.
For Kittim is the father of the Pygmies, God be gracious to Pigg his family.
For the Soul is divisible and a portion of the Spirit may be cut off from one and applied to another.
For NEW BREAD is the most wholesome especially if it be leaven'd with honey.
For a NEW SONG also is best, if it be to the glory of God; and taken with the food like the psalms.
For the Planet Saturn is the word TEMPERANCE or PATIENCE.
For Jacob's Ladder are the steps of the Earth graduated hence to Paradice and thence to the throne of God.
For a good wish is well but a faithful prayer is an eternal benefit.
For SPICA VIRGINIS is the star that appeared to the wise men in the East and directed their way before it was yet insphered.
For an IDEA is the mental vision of an object.
For Lock supposes that an human creature, at a given time may be an atheist i.e. without God, by the folly of his doctrine concerning innate ideas.
For it is not lawful to sell poyson in England any more than it is in Venice, the Lord restrain both the finder and receiver.

10 April 2014

Poem drawn from the "fellows followed" list on my blog at 10:20 pm 10 April

I sense you understand me perfectly.

                       (Language drawn largely from
                         the "fellows followed" list
                         on my blog at 10:20 pm 10 April)

The traffic on First is careful tonight,
earnest, gray. Birds, pianos and the moon
our self-portrait. The sheriff rides in
to arrest the weather, fat snowball
competing with her favorite tumbleweed.
For the excellent career in roustaboutery,
broken bowls, winter blooms, acerb
whistles over interference.
It’s all interference,
pulsing handbrakes,