Archive for January 2013

“Oath” – Ghazal

January 31, 2013



I will quit you for sure, tomorrow.
(It’s the day you’re with her–tomorrow.)

I will bind up lips, breasts; hold onto
my breath, with no kind of tremor, tomorrow.

My scuffed bag will be packed, sag on my back
with the stuff dreams make heavier, tomorrow.

I won’t let noon pass by, shadows longing
to tie, knot me to another tomorrow.

You’ll sneak into night house, not much of
a mouse, so sure of my cat’s purr, tomorrow;

slip into our bed whose palely smoothed head
won’t burn with tears’ fever, tomorrow.

I swear it, I say, as I did yesterday,
that all caring is over, tomorrow.

The above is a rather odd “Ghazal Sonnet,” posted for dVerse Poets Pub “Form For All,” hosted by Samuel Peralta.  Sam explains Ghazals very well–so check out his article.  The form has a repeated word, and a rhyming sequence, but I’ve added a  whole bunch of non-required rhymes because the meter just felt wrong to me.   

Oh yes–and you are supposed to put your name somewhere in the last line.  My name, for those who don’t know it, is Karin.  Caring? 

All I can say is that I do not think I lived in Persia in another life. 


January 30, 2013



Ian cried tears on to the hard shell of a dead crab
and knew in his heart he was finally a man–

So, she imagined him to feel at least, remembering
her own crustaceous wake-up, when a clam
she had singled out from the litter of bushel basket–
a clam that had smelled perfectly fine once far
from the ranked fillet of cod, had become
her pet clam, her very own dear, whose
smooth ridges she had brushed
(in breaks from the fridge)
against her cheek,
but who, in a betrayal
of pencil tray, school desk afternoon, had unnotched
into something as wet and pink and
vulvular as a disobedient
slave’s shocked

She had learned then
of the uses of shells and coldness, of the price
of using itself–the wages
of show and tell, reflected
glory–and if these lessons didn’t turn her
into a woman–she was six–they
did teach her what most women
know –  that you must safeguard that
you love–that pride goeth
before a fall–teachings that now pierced her
like the sunset pincers
she would pluck, if she could,
from her son’s puckered fingers–
for he was not yet ready
to be a man, and she, who thought she knew
so much, had not shielded him, but instead, callowly, had shown him
a quick-rotting taste of life trials, a tale
of pried consequences, a drowned cup
of salt and sand.


Agh!  Another draftish sort of poem for Isadore Gruye’s prompt on With Real Toads to write a poem that uses a line singled out as “promising” by publishing afficionado “Hamilton Cork”.  (I don’t watch enough TV to know for sure, but I think he is a made-up kind of guy!)   The italics line above is one of “Hamilton’s” lines.    Check out Izy’s great prompt and the other poets at Real Toads.


Now That I’ve Got Your Attention—

January 30, 2013

This post has nothing to do with the interplay (if any) between push-up bras and guns.

I just need to get something off my chest (which, believe me, does not look like that.)

If you, like me, favor stronger gun safety laws — universal background checks, limited magazines, control of certain types of armor-piercing ammunition (the kind of ammunition whose sale is opposed by virtually all police groups)–then, please, please, please, call your congressperson and senators and make your voice heard.

Nothing will happen on this issue unless non-NRA voices speak out.

Here’s a link that will help you find your representative:

Here’s another one for your senator:

(P.S. – to those of you who are against gun legislation – hey, call too, if you want.  I think your view is already amply represented, but I am urging civil dialogue between everyone here.  Getting your vote counted.)

For Some, Nothing Flows…(with elephants)

January 28, 2013


For some, nothing flows on these dank frozen days but elephants.


January 27, 2013



a guard in the blossomed darkness, as she rubbed off pink,
he turned from the gloom of what walled lay ahead, to peer
into her glow, watch her mouth the words, “no chances,”
between the wipe-away of lipstick, spit in their last
handkerchief, as if erasing the tracery of smile
could secure safe passage.

He wished it were so, and tried to count up luck
in corridors slipped through, but the garden’s indifferent growth
rooted him, despairing, into place, made him wonder,
as rose rubbed grey, whether they should not close
their eyes for this next leg, masking the whites
against thickening night, begging blind faith
to lift them above
stacked stone, flashed fire, blackest
boot-tip.  Instead, he pressed only his own
lips closed, clasping
her hand.


Here’s a very draftish poem that I wrote in response to Susan’s prompt on With Real Toads to write something that began with a last line of an earlier poem.  My earlier poem “Pink” is a sestina, that ends with this poem’s first line.  

It was an interesting, difficult, exercise.  I confess that this poem, which had about a zillion very different (and possibly more sensible) iterations earlier today, was influenced by my discovery that it is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I don’t pretend that this really expresses much about the Holocaust, only that this set me thinking along slightly different tracks.  

There is a beautiful and terribly sad pictorial essay in the N.Y. Times today about what happened to a couple, the wife Jewish, staying at an Italian hotel, after the Nazis came to visit.  The story may be found here.  (Again, the poem really has nothing much to do with this story, just caught in the atmosphere.)  

I am also linking this to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night. 



January 26, 2013

Junk News Speak


I try to skip the me-me-media
the talking heads of hair and tedia–
though it can be fun to watch those ‘dos
bob above their soundbite stews.

Still, the fact is there are those who will
shill and shill and shill and shill–
fake some outrage, mime some shock
though careful to keep every lock
of curl and bang and tress in place
while they fecklessly ape chase
of stories they tilt like a table
of pinballs whizzed right through the cable.

Instead I try to read and read,
or watch whole tapes, a whole news feed,
(Oh, sure I fail, sure I miss out–
there’s tons I don’t know much about.)
And maybe what I read ain’t fair,
But at least my news don’t come with hair.


Here’s a kind of silly poem for dVerse Poets Pub, hosted by the wonderful Brian Miller, on the subject of media.  I don’t read as much news as I should to be fully informed.  On the other hand, I do try to avoid TV news (don’t have a working TV), but I do get some news from clips!  And I think print media tends to be a bit more thorough and less narcissistic.  (That’s just my take though, and honestly, I don’t watch TV news so probably shouldn’t speak to it.) 

“Degrees of Separation” Friday Flash 55

January 25, 2013


Degrees of Separation

was her faithful
No Thisbe leaned more eagerly
into lover’s chink in wall than she
towards her
thermometer; its mercurial missives delivering
(‘twixt barred glass,relentless jamb) the warning of
chill, waxing of warmth, satisfaction
of indoors. She relayed
its caresses over her arms
bare or sleeved, as Weather, window-whispering,
would have them.


Pyramus and Thisbe is a tragic story told by Ovid and then (hilariously) Shakespeare (in A Midsummer Night’s Dream) about two lovers who were forbidden by their parents to meet, but who communicated through a chink in a wall. My Thisbe has no clear Pyramus, just Brrr… For more on Brrr…., check out the G=Man, Mr. Knowitall. He’ll give you a clear rundown.

And have a great weekend.