Archive for June 2012

“Parkinson’s (Father)”

June 30, 2012

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Parkinson’s (Father)

My brain, see, now has to consciously
tell my feet to move.

I mean, he tries a laugh, your brain
always tells your feet to move
on some level, but now
I have to remind them how.

I do see what he means soon enough, as
my father, the opener of all
that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all that needs to be kept safe, targets
a key towards a door as
one might aim a dart, his forearm moving
back and forth as if to throw it,
though he pushes now–
here–here–trying spots about the knob
as one might poke
a needle into the fabric backing a button, pricking
one’s way to its eyes, or as one
might thread the eye
of the needle itself, poignantly.

But the disease progresses, as territorial
as Genghis Khan, and soon all
the buttons in his world are blocked, refuse
to be battened, will not even
be pushed down, until finally, his own eyes
seem locked behind the placket
of stiff lids.

I see the strain of forehead, the
conscious manipulation of muscle, nerve,
above struggling chest, until at last
the mottled blue of his pupils targets
our own.  I love you, he whispers, the opener
of all that needs to be opened, the keeper
of all things safe.
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I wrote the above for dVerse Poets Pub‘s Poetics prompt of “buttons,” hosted today by the indefatigably kind and creative Brian Miller, but I am also linking up with Real Toads for their Open Link Monday.

Secondly, a big apology to my father in absentia – I am not sure what that drawing is supposed to be- it looks nothing at all like my father, or even really like a man, or a button come to think of it.  But I was at the hairdresser today in honor of Nora Ephron, and that’s the drawing I made, thinking of Brian’s prompt.

Do check out the wonderful poets at dVerse and Real Toads, if you have the time, and also check out my books!  Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms.  Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, or  Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.

Park Bench, shaded, lit, leafy (night/day NYC)

June 29, 2012

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“Box” – Square Poem

June 28, 2012

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Box

I squeeze me, fitting into box;

squeeze all rounding, as sharpness shocks

me, rounding on even muted plaints,

fitting (as even sides) soul’s constraints

into sharpness. Muted soul’s clamped voice

box shocks plaints, constraints–voice noise.

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The above is a “square poem” written for dVerse Poets Pub “Form For All” challenge, hosted by Samuel Peralta, and based upon a matrix form developed by Lewis Carroll in which the poem reads both horizontally AND vertically, with the first line of the poem made up of the first word of each line; second line made up of all the second words, etc.  Sam has a wonderful article about the form, so check it out! 

In the case of my poem, PUNCTUATION is very important, as I only intend for pauses to be taken where punctuated, and not at the end of each line.  I tried to make my own recording to illustrate that but so far I haven’t been able to upload it.  (Probably for the best!) 

Aside from checking out dVerse Poets Pub, also check out my books!  (If you have the time and are in the mood for something silly or elephantine.) Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms.  Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, or  Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.

“Through Tattered Clothes” – Shakespearean (?) Sonnet

June 27, 2012

“Through Tattered Clothes Small Vices Do Appear” (Before Going Out Almost Anywhere)

Even nearing ninety, she changes,
then changes again; electric rollers
a must as twixt mirror, clothes, eye ranges–
“They just treat you better,” (some shoulders
padded, all lined) “if you dress up a bit.”

The sins she tries to hide: that she was poor
as a child; that she lived on a rick-
ety run-down farm that had no power,
no water–she switches to  yet another
suit, navy better cover for that farm’s house–
And her sister, never quite right (a shudder)
in an age when right (beneath her bright, bowed blouse)
was required–and all her lifetime’s care
of her– smoothed now beneath the just-curled hair.

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I swore not to do prompts for a while — just too busy–but here’s a sonnet (of sorts) written for Kerry O’Connor’s challenge on Real Toads to write something based on lines from Shakespeare and also posted to Imperfect Prose (though not prose) where Emily Weirenga writes about how we are held by thepast.   In this case, my title is taken from some favorite lines from King Lear (Act IV, Scene VI):

“Through tattered clothes small vices do appear;
Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks:
Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.”

World Financial Center At Dusk With Matching Basketball (Downtown NYC)

June 26, 2012

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“Actor”

June 25, 2012

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Actor

Silence falls like a velvet bell,
clapperless–a rehearsal only–
but reverberant, quivering
like a kitchen table
slammed to wall, slabbed
fist, smashed
bottle, strangled ululation of
throat-stoppered
sob–till “super,”
calls the director (like a conductor turning
triumphant after the loosening
of that final orchestral knot), “just great.
Take five, guys.  No,
better make that ten.”

Lights blink (gaze after
dark) and the younger actor, the one
who still holds a cowering
balance, left hand upon center stage, half-
topples, shaking his head, “whoa man, that was
smokin’.”
And the veteran,
because emotion can never
be old hat, reaches quickly
to his propped fedora, swiping below the brim, his forehead,
eyes, as he pulls himself across that bridge of
craft, which has supported his shape,
voice, the planned span of time and space, like borne traffic,
but where he truly reaches is
deep into the flow below that bridge, a burning artery
that runs from lungs to loins, through longing
and blood lust and
the softest murmur of the heart, this Lethe
where he loses himself
on cue.  So,
he wipes its damp
onto the back of one hand as he reaches
the other to help up his fellow player, hazarding
a smile.

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Poets! Question :  I have redone the first line about twenty times–I had “Silence falls like a velvet bell,” and I’ve now gone back to it!  I had had Silence knells a velvet bell,”  then “Silence rings a velvet bell,” “silence tolls a velvet bell,” “silence clangs a velvet bell,” “silence falls like the dome of a velvet bell==”  “silence descends like the dome of velvet bell.” Any thoughts?

I am posting the above draft poem for Tess Kincaid’s Mag 123 and also (unless I have time to write something new!) for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.  Tess posts a photographic prompt; the above is my version of it.  (The image is, I believe – though wasn’t conscious of when writing – from  Orson Welle’s A Touch of Evil.  I am not a big Welles’ fan and really was thinking of any actor.)  Check our both Tess’s site and dVerse for wonderful poetry.

AND, if you have time, check out my books!  Children’s counting book 1 Mississippi -for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms.  Or, if you in the mood for something older, check out Going on Somewhere, poetry, or  Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape.

A Pleasant Break – Still Lives with Dog and Elephant

June 24, 2012

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Sometimes, when tired or stressed, it’s nice to do something, make something, simple–say, a drawing of an elephant and dog, without even an attempt at particular meaning–hidden or obvious. Just elephant, dog, bowl of fruit, flowers. (I do worry a bit about the dog on that high stool, but am going to dispel those concerns for now.)