Archive for February 2012

Davy Jones – I was an (embarrassed) believer.

February 29, 2012


Davy Jones—gone today at 66.  My condolences to his family.

And to myself.  The news makes me feel decrepit indeed.

Back in 1968 when The Monkees were hits, no one, not even a pre-teen girl, fooled themselves that Davy Jones was a great artist.  (I’m not sure that he could even play the guitar.)  But he was cute!  British!  Short!  Vaguely approachable!

The Beatles were putting out the White Album.  Great yes, but you weren’t sure you really got it.  (No pictures!)

In contrast–“I’m a Believer.”   You could jump up and down to it! On top of the couch!  In front of the Telly!

And there were the long but well-tamed locks. The doll-legged bellbottoms.  Wide hip-hugging belts!

You could feel excited, and yet still plenty safe, with a ticket on that last train to Clarksville.

So sorry to hear the news.

(P.S. Sorry too for my not very good drawing. I made it psychedelic to hide the flaws, not in any effort to characterize Davy as particularly psychedelic.)

One Too Many Days of February (Pasty Body/Soul Malaise)

February 29, 2012


I wake up today, the 29th, feeling subject to just one too many days of February.

When they said that you couldn’t have too much of a good thing, they weren’t talking about February.

Whose primary youth-formed associations (for me) are the birthdays of  a couple of long dead, albeit great, presidents–cut-outs of red cherries on school bulletin boards; silhouettes of flip wigs and curved beards.

Yes, these days it’s also Black History Month, and there are some great celebrations there, I suppose, but for me, it’s still February, as in, extremely Grey wherever I happen to live.

The weather this month has actually been quite beautiful.  (Evidence – photo from yesterday above.)

And yet, I still feel, not-so-deep in my February-frayed soul, my winter-pasty limbs, thick cloud, cold damp, and a malaise the color of sidewalk (with an occasional patch of stuck gum.)

And the big news of the day–Romney’s finally winning states he was expected to win up till recently–I’m relieved on one level, but it’s also hard to feel excited exactly–

Ruby At End of February Tunnel (Sorry, only Jello.)

February 28, 2012


Here’s a February kind of poem I’m reposting for dVerse Poets Pub open link night.  (The picture is at least new, and I’m  about as proud of it as one can be of a picture of jello–)


We flew out there, then drove.
My mother, who despised gum chewers,
snapped hers loudly, pushing herself up to the wheel
as if it were the chin rest
at an eye exam.

Though my grandmother lived in Minnesota, the hospital
was in Iowa. When the rental car crossed state lines—
another source of amazement—
my mother, who only drove set routes, had rented a car—
the road narrowed and curved and my mother
cursed all Republicans.

She took the thin gravelly shoulder as
a personal affront; the lip the tires
skidded against was even worse,
an insult to FDR.

At the hospital, my grandmother’s hair cast
about her face like a bridal veil blown back.
She was better already, she said, just
at the sight of us (but we sure shouldn’t have come;
it was too darn hard).
Then pointed to a cup of jello,
which was as crimson, faceted, as a ruby,
and, at first, resisted my spoon.
“Mama,” my mother said.

Enjoy the day!  And while you are enjoying it, check out dVerse Poets Pub and the wonderful poets there, and also my books!  Comic novel, NOSE DIVE,  book of poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, or children’s counting book 1 MISSISSIPPI.       

In Honor of Past Winners (Oscars with You Know What)

February 27, 2012

I didn’t watch much of yesterday’s show, but the nostalgic aspect, the self-referential aspect, the plain old movie aspect reminded me of some oldies but goodies.  (Sorry, if you’ve seen these before–)

In between your daily elephants, please please please check out, my comic novel,NOSE DIVE,  book of poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, or children’s counting book 1 MISSISSIPPI Pearl, below, likes Going on Somewhere, but Nose Dive is only 99 cents on Kindle.      

“Great Scott!” says Andy (“What ho, Marilyn?)

February 26, 2012


Move over, Ican

What say you, Marilyn?
Now that he kneels
before the True Icon,
with curves so ho
supreme, lids
silvered, cheeks
rouged, surface
steamy, the object
of heated
exchange all over
the word, spooning with
the Plebian, can-
noodling with
the Sublime.
Great Scott! says
Andy, can this really
be love?

The above is for Mag 106, Magpie Tales, hosted by Tess Kincaid.  My picture is based upon an unidentified photo, posted as Tess’s photo prompt, appearing to depict good old Andy Warhol.   I’m sorry that I cannot resist re-posting another version of Warhol’s icon/can below.

For The Love of Gorgon (Stone-faced Poem)

February 25, 2012


Dealing With Problems Head-On Was Not Their Strong Suit

was about the opposite of
Medusa, his stare
turning itself
to stone, without aid
of mirrored shield.
in the face of
that stare, usually
transmuted to dust, from which
a few small slivers
of heart
slithered frantically. 

being stone,

did not much care
for dust (a bleak future
for granite) while
became increasingly

trying to capture the
wriggles of what had
been her life
before they slipped
under the couch, or behind
the wainscoting.

The above is a poem written for a dVerse Poets prompt on “sculpture,” hosted by Victoria C. Slotto.
If you have any time this weekend, please please please check out, my comic novel,NOSE DIVE,  book of poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, or children’s counting book 1 MISSISSIPPI.  Pearl, below, likes Going on Somewhere, but Nose Dive is only 99 cents on Kindle.      


Correction to Post re Santorum and Ponderous Nouns

February 24, 2012

I’m afraid that my previous post re Rick Santorum and the use of ponderous nouns was somewhat confusing.  I was constrained by the fact that I was trying to play a game of writing something in 55 words.

I’m not really critical of Santorum’s grammar.  I myself make mistakes all the time, and would be hard put to speak publicly.

My concern had more to do with his grandiosity.  (And disconnection.)

Santorum throws out grandiose concepts and notions and words  without applying them in any truly sensible way to the facts at hand.

Using a noun “courage” to describe himself–rather than, let’s say, the adjective “courageous”–was to me another example of  his use of a high-flown concept without tying it down to the the object, fact, person, question at hand.

I admit that my point was a bit subtle.  But somehow that whole moment in the debate has been niggling at me.

Usage Matters. Santorum and Adjectives vs. Disconnected Ponderous Nouns. (In 55 words.)

February 24, 2012


“DESCRIBE yourself in one word.”



But  I think an ADJECTIVE was called for: “courageous,” “brave,” “inarticulate,” “idiotic.”

ADJECTIVES DESCRIBE, APPLY qualities to persons, things, circumstances.

Disconnected ponderous NOUNS sound grave (“Satan”), but, when spouted in alarmist gulps, don’t make sense; it’s not clear, in other words, how they APPLY to anything real, present.

The above is my somehat ponderous rant for Friday flash 55.  Tell it to the G-Man.  

Perhaps I am an overly sensitive grammarian–my own poor usage leads me to think I am not–but I also feel like I have more license to use words sloppily–I am not running for President. We won’t say anything about humility here.

Have a wonderful weekend and, if you have a mo, please please please check out: my comic novel,NOSE DIVE,  book of poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, or children’s counting book 1 MISSISSIPPI.   

“Determined” (To Write Visually)

February 23, 2012


Here’s a poem written for the dVerse Poets Pub Form for All challenge hosted by Blue Flute and Gay Reiser Cannon about writing visually (as inspired by the beautiful imagistic poems of the Chinese and Japanese.)   I am not sure this fits that bill, certainly not on any formal basis, but here goes.


Heavy-duty aluminum rods stand
steel straight though their coat of
red paint has worn
in places to a fatigued grey.
Staring into angled reflections
of storefront, he rests
against the braces that cup
his forearms, stretching fingers away
from plastic grips, fisting
and re-fisting free air. What he is looking for,
he says, is a coat, a jacket,
long enough to keep hips warm, but not so
long as to hem a stride
mid-hike, the fabric waxed
to shed rain; it should be green
softened by brown (a collar to turn
up against the wind) like a mountainside
mid-November, after the fall
of much leaf, before the fall
of much snow. The display
cuts light into square fluorescent grids
like nothing found in the wild.  A coat,
he says (not going in), that will fend off

(As always–all rights reserved.)

Also, please please please check out one of my books: my comic novel,NOSE DIVE,  book of poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, or children’s counting book 1 MISSISSIPPI.  Support a blogger!  Okay, let’s not exaggerate.  Make a blogger happy!)

Colvin Contrasted With Candidates (Sad day)

February 23, 2012


I just turned off the Republican debate to read more about Marie Colvin, one of the journalists killed in Syria today. She was a deeply committed and intrepid war reporter, working at the time of her death for The Sunday Times of London.

I do not know what the U.S. should do in or about Syria.  But I am struck, tonight, by the sharp contrast between Colvin and most of the Republican candidates.   (I actually kind of hate to put them all in the same sentence.)

In November 2010, at a Fleet Street church service in honor of slain journalists, Colvin described the role of the foreign correspondent: “our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice.”

Colvin was experienced in the horrors of war, to say the least.  She had reported from scenes of conflict in the West Bank, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Zimbabwe, East Timor and the recent Arab uprisings in the Middle East.  She bore witness to suffering, injustice, civilian casualty–the direct and indirect consequences of violence.   (She lost her eye, and temporarily her hearing, from a flare blast in Sri Lanka.)

And now, we come to the Republican candidates.  With the exception of Ron Paul (who, despite the occasional castigation of the crowd, expressed an awareness of the truth that war necessarily costs life,) the candidates seem scarily eager to flex military muscle.  Although they talk frequently of grand theoretical horrors (nuclear attacks), they seem cavalier about rather actual and all too commonplace horrors (plain old shells).  I certainly do not mean to diminish the horror of nuclear attack–it’s just that despite the seriousness of the threats, the candidates come across as unconsidered, macho, extremely inexperienced, almost courting confrontation in order to come across as tough.   Rather than viewing the horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice, in other words, one  senses bravado and fact-avoiding partisanship.

It’s extremely worrisome.  And somehow makes the loss of people like Colvin feel sadder than ever.