Posted tagged ‘ManicDdaily drawing’

Drawing on home in time of refugees

March 19, 2017

Hey All!

I have not felt much like writing poetry in the last few months, but here is a drawing in pencil that I post in response to Brendan’s challenge on Real Toads to write, among other things, of home in a time of refugees.

Thanks. k.

ps –all rights (such as they are) reserved.


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.)

Pray, Let it Be Silent.

January 12, 2011

Prayer Lapel Pin?

I, for one, am tired of being told to pray for people.

Wait.  Before you misunderstand me–I’m not against prayer.  I really would like all beings to be free from suffering.

(Okay, sorry, that sounds Buddhist;  let me broaden it.)

I really am not against–let me rephrase again–I am actively in favor of prayer:  religious prayer, private prayer, meditative prayer,  even group prayer (in a religious or quasi-religious setting, or as part of a shared ritual or genuine uprising of community emotion).

But I am getting really tired of political-speak prayer, tired of politicians asking or telling me about prayer.

One more backtrack--I don’t mean prayer in the midst of crisis especially the brief but heartfelt, “our thoughts and prayers.”)  And I don’t mean prayer or other spiritual references by a political figure at a memorial service or a religious or quasi-religious event, such as President Obama at the memorial service for the Arizona victims.

Such references to scripture and prayer in such a setting and moment can offer true and appropriate solace, comfort, poetry.

(I don’t even have a problem with prayer breakfasts, if seeking wisdom and accompanied by, you know, marmalade.)

What I’m balking at are prayers, and calls for prayer, used as major portions of political speeches and commentary.  (Okay, in order to be clear, I guess I’m talking about Palin here, and Beck, and others who seem to use prayer frequently to make political points.)

I am disturbed, in part, by the feeling that the God invoked is swayed by numbers–as if He or She makes decisions by petition, popularity contest, votes.  This is a notion that I find insulting both of God and of those whose prayers are not somehow answered (i.e. lots of people, lots of times.)

Please, I really am not saying people or a politician shouldn’t pray for a loved one or stranger, for the country or the planet. But the ubiquitous political use of prayer in a non-spiritual and politicized setting diminishes its gravity; references to prayer begin to feel like a litmus test, a new form of flag pin, one more codeword.

I pray not.  (Amen.)

In Support of Mark Twain

January 7, 2011

The above drawing does not purport to be from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is complex, human, and powerfully reflects its time and geography. How can the present be understood without clear views of the past?

Waiting Till Christmas (For Christmas)

December 19, 2010

Not opening till Christmas.

The tree is in its stand, not yet fully decorated, but the perfect shape and size.  (This is more amazing than it may seem to a non-downtown New Yorker.  Although Battery Park City is a residential neighborhood, the tree guys only swoop down for a few hours on a couple of pre-xmas days–you have to be alert.)

Lights are up.

My messy closet is even messier than usual, a small stash of bags and boxes thrust to its side.

Cookies are planned.  Sugar has been purchased.  (Organic!)

The office party has been enjoyed, and with a commendably modest level of tipsiness.   (I have only rarely forgotten the teachings of my very first office holiday event, held at the  Copacabana on the same wintry day that Bar Exam results were announced.  One of my fellow first year associates was so pleased by passing that he ended up pissing against one of the club’s deep red walls, thus calling a close to his legal career on the same day that it officially began.)

We are, in other words, deep into December.

What makes it so hard to feel cheery?

Of course, there’s always the issue of personal chemistry.

And age.   (On the one hand, I can’t remember many of the details of last year’s Christmas.  On the other, the stuffing of annual tip envelopes for the huge building staff feels like yesterday.)

Not doing the caroling and Christmas concerts and other events that go with raising younger children–mine are grown–is part of the problem.

Just as I am about to slip into a seasonal morass of self-castigation and pity–hey!  I suddenly shake off societal expectations:  what’s so terrible about not feeling Christmasy for weeks in advance?

Why can’t I wait until about 5:00 pm on December 24th, when I hope to squeeze into the pew of the really lovely church we always go to (at least on religious holidays) as organ chords of Bethlehem and babes reverberate in my bones.  I have a pretty strong feeling that when I begin singing along then, I will, in fact, be singing along.

What’s so terrible about that?


Rilke on Freezing Early Eve

December 10, 2010

An early freeze on an early eve in early December.  I am stopping briefly in my frigid apartment on a day that has been go-go-go before I dash again into the outdoors cold, the subway, and then, I hope, the overheated snug of a birthday party, then, after the party, to a bus aiming for the greater than ever cold of upstate New York.

But it all stops for a moment, for a book, a present for the birthday girl/woman.  (I would really not mind getting the book myself some day–hint hint.) The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, a bilingual version edited and translated by Stephen Mitchell.  I’ve had other books that were selections from Rilke — I guess mine was Selected Poems. This is more comprehensive.

What I love about Rilke:  well, everything.  (What I don’t love about Rilke: not much, although sometimes I find the longer poems, a bit difficult to sustain as a reader.  But truthfully I have this problem with any long poem that doesn’t contain a clear narrative.  The Odyssey, for example, is okay.)

What I find especially remarkable is the blend of music and meaning.  I don’t read German enough to get anything but the sound; but the poems, amazingly, the same poems whose sensations and points and observations are so subtle and perspicacious and unique in English often rhyme in German, or slant-rhyme, and scan, and if not, still have a lilting haunting music (even in my halting pronunciation.)

And then, there’s “the vision thing.”  Rilke continually sees what is there, and what is not there, but what is, of course, really there, the “reflections upon the polished surface of our being”– only that’s not a good quote truly because he sees the core, not just the reflections, and he see that that is beneath or outside of the polish:  the gaze of Apollo in the headless torso  (“Archaic Torso of Apollo”), the shell of face of the woman weeping who has left it in her hands (The Notebooks of Malte Laurid Brigge), the ghost of his lost friend (Requiem.) He sees all these things (and they see us), then he tells us we must change our lives.

But I’m not quite changing mine yet.  (Got the book for someone else.)  Must run.

(ps – sorry this painting not really Greek!  Edited!)

More on Tax Deal – Moving On

December 8, 2010

My view of the deal has been pretty blurry.

Further to this morning’s post about the proposed tax deal between Obama and Congressional Republicans.

I am embarrassed to say that until recently I have only looked at the deal in extremely brief installments, both hands over my eyes.  The rhetoric about Obama’s “caving” has been so intense in the media (reported by some as a nearly shameful failure of will) that I  couldn’t stand to make myself read the details.

But finally, this morning, I listened to Obama’s press conference about the proposal;  his frankness, pragmatism and articulate good sense immediately made me feel better about him and the future of his presidency.

Now I’ve made myself read more details of the proposed plan.  Come on, people!   I mean by that, come on, liberals!  (I have a sense they are the only ones that read this blog.)  It’s not that bad.  The estate tax provisions call for the return of the Federal estate tax with a $5 million exemption and 35% maximum rates.  That’s pretty reasonable from both sides of the aisle.  Unlike the 2010 provisions (in which the estate tax is abolished but so is the capital gains step-up), the proposal favors the middle class.  It also covers some concerns about the increasing stratification of wealth.  (Although, frankly, wealth and income divisions might perhaps be better addressed through better education, support for families, and a shareholder crackdown on excess executive compensation than simply through estate tax policies.  Few really like the idea of of confiscatory estate taxes.)

The proposed deal is undoubtedly superior than any Obama will get after January.   And some are pushing to simply let the Bush cuts expire under their own terms, the ensuing stalemate would be a terrible quagmire.   (For which, Obama would be blamed no matter how many times Republicans voted no.)