Archive for October 2011

Occupying Wall Street looks hard in the A.M.

October 26, 2011

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Sorry–uploaded from iPhone so this is a bit manky and went out to subscribers too quickly. Fits the morning mood though perhaps.

Occupy Wall Street – Zuccotti Park – Monday Night (10/25)

October 26, 2011

It’s getting dark early and cold in Zuccotti Park, the site in the New York Financial District where Wall Street is occupied.

I have to confess that, as a rule, I don’t watch television news, but my sense is that the protestors are being painted by some channels (i.e. Fox) as a scurrilous bunch. I walk through the park daily and they frankly seem a fairly studious bunch–there’s a whole lot of computing going on, as well as sitting, talking, and checking out pamphlets, magazines and books at a corner devoted to a library.

In the evening, because there is no megaphone, the crowd repeats the speaker’s words for amplification. Walking by, they actually sound something like a congregation in a church, repeating a creed or prayer. The voices are that somber.

Here are some pictures from last night–the library center, those standing and listening to speeches, the food line. (Sorry, I don’t have a great camera, and I’m really just a passer-by.)

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“Here, Body” (The Body Is Not Your Good Dog.)

October 25, 2011

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I’m sorry.  There is an incurable goofiness about some of my drawings.   I did this one (based on Leonardo) for the recently revised poem below.  It is quite a serious poem and not really much about dogs, so forgive me for being misleading.

The poem is being posted for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night (Tuesdays) hosted by the wonderfully generous (and thankfully, humorous) Brian Miller.

Here, Body

The body is not your good dog.
It may sit, lie down, roll over,
but there’s a limit to its Rover
aspect.  No spank
will keep it from
accident; no leash
train it to the right; no yank
make it heel
feelings.

You tell it what to want, but
it will vaunt
its fleshly, furry ways,
sneaking food when already fed;
taking up all the room on the bed;
whiffing what should not be sniffed;
its passion aimed at but a toy–
here, girl; here, boy–
that can never love it back.

It will decay
though you say stay. Still,
you will love it,
this not-good dog;
for even as you scold and cajole,
call,
and despair
of calling,
you will find yourself
cradling it;
you will find yourself
in its arms.

For the Doldrum Days – Kelly (Gene)

October 24, 2011

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Antidote to a day with lots of not-so-much-fun stuff to deal with: Gene Kelly! Almost any song! Dancing along! (Singing too!)

(“It’s got to be a rose because it rhymes with toes!”)

(P.S. – the above picture is not meant to be Gene, who was too hard to draw, but Everywoman, more or less, in Gene Kelly garb.) Give it a whirl!

Magpie Tales – “Oncoming” (Sonnet)

October 23, 2011

This is a sonnet I revised in connection with the weekly prompt of the “Magpie Tales” blog, hosted by Tess Kincaid.  Tess posted a great photo of a city street, seen both from a car and in a car’s rear view mirror, but I have re-drawn the picture (above) to fit a little closer to my poem.  (Still, not a true fit, sorry!)

Oncoming

There were one, two, three, four, trucks and we’d hit
sparks, some devilish configuration
of torque and stone, radii and slip,
that spit the car from its lane as from
the sea, only to buck and plunge it through
the waves of semis; to the right, the poles
of overpass pulled us to some untrue
North, as if to catch whatever souls
the trucks might miss.  We were on a visit
to a grandmother, but I can’t recall
a later meal or kiss, only that minute
on the road there, the unreeling miss and haul
of grill, glass flashing glass, my father’s swerves–
the way space looks, time feels, when fate uncurls.

Poem by The Other? (who wants some cheese.)

October 22, 2011

dVerse Poets Pub, a wonderfully supportive website for online poets, has a poetics prompt today about writing in the voice of the other (hosted by Mark Kerstetter).  I have one very serious poem written from a very different perspective (the poem’s called Honor Killing.)   But the world is such a somber place these days, I wanted to focus on something lighter, i.e. a dog! And cheese!

So here’s the poem.  And below is a little fledgling animation I did some time ago which does not exactly illustrate the poem, but is close enough.  (Have a great and light Saturday!)

Sniff Becomes Him 

Sniff cheese sniff cheese sniff cheese above,
Sniff that pungent sniff I love. 
Sniff high faint clouds of that so dear–
Sniff cheese so far and yet so near.

Sniff bowl, oh holy hallowed
Bowl, sniff (howl howl) bowl, so hollowed
Now.  Oh please Oh please
Oh please, Oh please!
Oh wherefore art thou
Phantom cheese?

Sniff time not passing,
(Swiss, Cheddar, Brie?)
Sniff hours harassing,
(Oh my! Oh me!)

A Treat! (for Pete’s sake!)
For him who’ll wait
By door and bedside
Early, late.

Oh whimper/whine, I’ll beg no more,
If you’ll just drop some on the floor.
Egads! Yum Yum!  My thanks for this,
Sweet morsel of a moment’s bliss.

(Repeat till satisfied.)


Fridays Flash 55 (“Did you hear the one about the father, the daughter, and the….?”

October 21, 2011

Overheard in NYC 

Man, dark curls pulled back below
balance of thick black hat,
breaks from gentling lilt of
tuneful (if slightly breathless) Hebrew song,
to child, blonde curls falling forward,
anxious (despite song),
in his fully-extended arms (and pink), wedged
between careful pale-
fingered grasp and
trapezoidal cardboard box:
“Don’t worry, sweetie, we’ve got
the ukelele.”

(This is posted for Friday Flash 55 (Flash Fiction in 55 words), a fun excercise posted by the G-Man, Mr. Know=it-all.   (I’m going to tell him a thing or two.)

Apologies to regular followers:it’s the reposting of an earlier (not great) drawing, and story, though slightly expanded here.

Shaped Poetry? Gulp. “The Sweater Swallows”

October 20, 2011

I first posted this for the DVerse Poets Pub “form for all” challenge, hosted by Gay Reiser Cannon, of making a “Shaped” or “Concrete Poem,” and now I am linking to Poetry Rally.

 Agh. For me, making a concrete poem feels like hitting my head against a wall. (I’m just not a concrete kind of gal.) I should try it for exactly that reason, I suppose, but instead I’ve opted for more of an illustrated poem. (Yes, it’s a bit silly. I am, I guess, a silly kind of a gal.)

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Occupying a Very Wet Wall Street

October 19, 2011

J. Seward Johnson Sculpture "Double-Check" Bronze Businessman Under Cover (With Papier Mache Megaphone Behind--There is no permit for real megaphone at the park.)

Those in Zuccotti Park, down on Wall Street, were occupied by the very difficult task of staying dry today.  Heavy rain all day, and these guys don’t really have tents so much as tarps layered over sleeping bags.  These conditions seen particularly difficult for a movement which seems in part to have generated whatever general respect it has garnered simply through its staying power.

Occupiers seemed pretty cheerful this morning.  (When I commented walking by on the awful weather, one made the joke that it enabled them to offer free bottles of water.)

This evening looked miserable though.  Occupiers were performing regular human mike duties (the group repeats whatever the main speaker says to make up for lack of amplified sound) but all sleeping gear looked absolutely drenched.  Also no drumming to speak of.

Best light held by cameramen

Zero tolerance for illegal activities rules (sign shot in rain.)

Umbrella propped sideways to cover entrance to tarp-covered area.

Taboo/Provocative Sonnet? (“Spy Games” )

October 18, 2011

One of my (many) faults is a tendency to second guess myself.  In the world of online poetry sites, this tends to arise in the context of ‘why did I post that poem, link, story, or picture?’ when I should have posted a completely different one.  (The different one, of course, would have been much more cool, likeable, wowie-zowie.)

This past weekend, dVerse Poets Pub, a wonderful online poetry site, urged poets to post something taboo or provocative.  Needless to say, I spent all weekend castigating myself for the poem I put up (about an important seaside activity.)

So, here it’s Tuesday, dVerse Poets “open link” night, and instead of moving on, I’m going to post another “taboo” poem, a sonnet, in, I think, a Spenserian format.   I am also posting this poem for the Poetry Palace’s poetry rally.  Here goes:

Spy Games

We played spy games galore in the basement.
Running spy games with the boys, our bent hands
guns, till sweating we lay down on cold cement,
shirts pulled up, chests hard.  Not much withstands
the leaching chill of earth, the buried sands
beneath a downstairs’ room, except perhaps
the burn of nipple, the future woman’s
breasts.  Our spy games just for girls had traps—
some of us played femmes fatales, poor saps,
while the leader girl was Bond—0-0-7.
She hung us ropeless from the bathroom taps,
then tortured us in ways that felt like heaven,
the basement bed our rack, what spies we were,
confessing neither to ourselves nor her.


The poem is published in Going On Somewhere.  (The header is a detail from the cover by Jason Martin.)  Check it out!