Posted tagged ‘Manicddaily pencil drawing’

Moving the Piano

June 21, 2022

Moving the Piano

The wind blew so hard it seemed that it might lift the wood
like a sail,
but it only whipped at the pants,
of the two short men, who felt obliged, at that point, to prove
their own strength. The legs of the beast—that is, the Upright—
transfixed as a bull’s
at the bottom of a high stoop, bruised grass beneath it, and uneven
frozen earth. 

So, slowly, with arms stretched like cords,
legs braced, spines pushing a weight that pushed
back, flngers as clenched as at a recital, the men
shifted the dark wood—you could feel the ivories’ smirk—

Until they were in. 
The men laughed then companionably, bending back one hand,
then the other, and closed the door to shut out
the wind’s harsh howl.

Wheeled the piano now, well, more or less wheeled it,
to its allotted spot—it was like a small triumph
of the human spirit—
the making of our own


Another drafty poem. The pic was the only piano I could find (that I had made.) The one in the poem is an upright not a grand. Have a good day!

Can you fly? 

June 9, 2017

Pencil on paper, 2017, all rights reserved. 

Your Prompt Attention Requested

March 20, 2015


Your Prompt Attention Requested

Where are You, I wonder,
who Writes me as
Dear Beloved,
and who, in your Devotion to Christ and your
Departed, need
my Help.

Me (Dear Beloved) being the One
and Only
to Whom your Inheritance from Said late Dear Husband–
Hundreds and Thousands of [Insert Currency Here]–
will be Released,
if only I will Provide

You will then gladly TransFer
[between Forty to Eighty] per Cent, which
in addition to the Winnings notified to me yesterday
in the Microsoft National Lottery,
will Amount to a Tidy Sum, not subject to Duties,
as previously promised by Timothy Geitner, then Secretary of the U.S. Treasury,
from his yahoo3216 Account.

You write with the soft Tones of one
who wears a silky-synthetic Veil tied low
upon her forehead, but, still, I see you
as male, taut
as an Igbo mask, only the radii of eyebrows ringing
your forehead, focused cheekbones leaning
into a keyboard whose taps I hear
over the flap of papers
regularly re-awakened by a wooden
ceiling fan, their intermittent ripple held in place,
though not firmly, by a cup of light sweet coffee, which,
though sitting at a casual slant,
does not spill.

I do not write you Back, though you ask
so Little–name, Address–not even at this point
social Security Number–even though it is Quite Nice
to be called Beloved, to be promised Millions,
to imagine such
a fan.



A drafty sort of poem for Suzie Clevenger’s prompt on Real Toads to write a poem about computer Spam.  Maybe because I’m an attorney, I get many letters asking my help in releasing all kinds of large payments.

I have a flu–yech–so forgive late visits back and not-fitting photo.

Newsprint Past

October 26, 2014

Junk News Speak

Newsprint Past

There were times and places
when what you purchased
came wrapped in old newspaper
folded as neatly around–let’s say–
your nubby mandarins
as a steam-pressed collar buttoned
over an Adam’s apple,
only tied with a string
and covering everything.

At the end of shopping,
you might carry a stacked jam
like so many ironed shirts
tailored for people with trapezoidal
torsos, or if you lived in Great Britain,
fish and chips.

As you unwrapped
your fine print sacks, sitting at a table bare but for
peel curls, chip chips, you could, between whiffs
of orange or vinegar, peruse
an origami of ads, articles,
the snipped obits of those who some time recently
had died
and the whom they were
survived by,
phrases that kept
you company, quiet companions with interesting
while from outside,
came muted cries–
for those were also times and places
of open windows–not of anguish typically,
or not of extreme anguish–the crows of children
over rules, the hawking
of other vendors,
the banter of true bird, the
hum of machines
on the fly,

sweat nestling at the back
of your neck and inner arms, and,
if you were eating fish and chips,
probably also
your upper lip.

And, believe me, I am not in any way touting
those times –I am pretty sure
that while you were sitting there eating, some woman
in the background
was scrubbing pots, and some person of color
mopping stairs, and while there’s nothing wrong
with pots or stairs, scrubbing  and mopping,
they are not so great
as ultimate options, not to mention the fear stored in
closet shadows,
along with the broom handles, buckets, lye.

I’m just saying that newsprint seems a
helluva lot better to me
than plastic, no matter how
it’s used, and by plastic I don’t just mean
what now wraps all we buy,
but also what we see–that transfixed hair
upon the screen, the fake smiles,
smirks, the scooped pronouncements passing
as some synopsis of
the world’s long day, so much shiny
cheap, thin,
packaging, so much
to throw away.


This isn’t so much a poem as a rant.  I wrote it originally for Mary’s prompt on dVerse Poets to write about news – and am posting it on dVerse’s Open LInk Night

This is an old drawing, but seemed to fit. 

New York City – How Thoughtful

March 25, 2013


As many of you know, I am soon moving from New York City .  I have worried I will miss it.  Just yesterday, I was feeling especially forlorn, after dinner with a wonderful friend.

But, oh, what a thoughtful City she is.

I trudged down the steps of the subway station at 59th Street, Columbus Circle.

It is a cold, grey station;  last night, there were flaps of yellow tapes blocking off various lines–weekend construction.

The remaining lines all basically parallel each other.  Still, their platforms are at a criss-cross in that station.  If you are a train perfectionist–make that an impatient idiot–you stand at a stairwell in the vague middle of everything  so that when you hear a rumble, you can hightail it down (or up) to dash through some set of grey smeared doors just before they close.

This is a rather dangerous game: you may end up missing both the train you are running towards as well as the one you were originally waiting for.  Still, to a true New Yorker, anything is better than patience.  (In short,  I stood on the stairwell with several other toe-tappers.)

Then came the Number 1.  Fine.  As I dashed/slipped inside, I noticed (vaguely) the conductor making some convoluted announcement about how this train would only go as far as 14th Street–normally, it goes all the way to the bottom of the Island, where I live–and that we should change at 42nd.

The 1 is a local, meaning that the trip to 42nd was slow; stops every few blocks.   The conductor gabbled on about changing, and as we began to pull into 42nd Street, there was, amazingly, a 2 Express also pulling in across the platform.

Wow!   Most of the train stood up.  Most of the train, in fact, leaned towards the glass doors, ready to run.  (We know from experience that we’ll never make it anywhere if we just walk calmly. )

And then, although our train stopped for a palpable instant or more, it suddenly began to lurch again, to stumble further and further into the station.

Shit, the main next to me (pale, unshaven,) cursed.  The other train’s doors were open now.

As our train stopped (finally), sighed (leisurely),–the doors still not open–the doors of the train across slid closed.

The man was really cursing as our conductor began to  explain that this train/ our train would now be making express stops only to 14th Street, and that if anyone wanted any local stops, they should transfer to the 2  (the express) across the platform.  (Of course, the 2  across the platform had already closed its doors.)

At last, ours opened.  People projectiled out.

But it was too late.  (Yes, the 2 just sat there a minute more.  No, it did not open its doors.)

I for one went back to my seat.  If we were going express anyway, we could probably catch up with the 2, I thought.
Except that we sat there until a couple of other 2s went by.

Fine.  Except  when we got to 14th Street, I stepped out to a platform occupied by a sizeable rat. (My car had ended up next to the garbage.)

I jumped back into the train, nearly knocking into the couple behind.

“There’s a rat,” I said breathlessly, and then, with amazing presence of mind, “you go first.”

Thanks God, the Express (running now on the Local track) was also in the station.   The couple, determined, scurried around the rat pillars and into it, with me glomming just behind. .

As I sat down on the new train,I wanted to tell everyone around me about the rat, but they were all tuning out (into iPods or studied disinterest), so I made myself hold in all the excitement.   Only now through the end doors of the car, came a scrawny and somehow flattened middle=aged  woman in a short leopard coat over jeans that showed her to be so knock-kneed that her shins looked like the prongs of a dowser’s fork.

I winced before she even started singing.  She did not have a tuneful voice; the song, moreover, revolved around the line “they can’t take away my dignity.”   (I could not help thinking that she herself was giving that away with two hands.  I knew that was unkind and also dug into my purse for some money.)

And then, at last, my stop.  I stepped gingerly onto the platform that held no rat but a splat of fresh vomit.

New York.

I did not know whether to say please (as in stop) or thank you (for letting me go.)

Worry During Wartime

March 9, 2013

Worry During Wartime

I listen to cheerful bagpipes–a silly indulgence
at dusk, a scissoring
of frenzied buzz, blurred knees, imagined whipsaw
of pleated plaid, swirl of too much
warmth swallowed, my forehead aching
at the sudden undertones
of those other bagpipes, the ones that
line up in plaintive rows,  inexorably even
in height of hem,
step,  drumbeat–a tuneless
six feet below turned
earth, church on green
or granite, too much warmth

Try not to think
about it.  Should think about it,
but try not to.

Draft draft draft poem for the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics prompt by the most wonderful Brian Miller and the also most wonderful Gretchen Leary.  Gretchen suggested writing to music.  I have. 


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.) 

Pearl Wants to Help Me Jump-Start

November 21, 2012

Pearl Gets Thoughtful About Nanowrimo.

Pearl is eager for me to me to move more quickly on my Nanowrimo project. I really do have to be careful of her advice though.  She has an extremely poor understanding of U.S. copyright laws.

Doing What It Takes (Pearl Just Doesn’t “Get” Plagiarism)

(Thankfully, she has no copy of Shades of Grey.)

Sad Evening for Arizona and U.S. – Caught in the Cross Hairs

January 9, 2011


Attempted Portrait of Gabrielle Giffords


I haven’t followed the lives and careers of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords or Federal Judge John Roll, much less that of the unnamed nine year old girl, all downed in the terrible shooting today in Tucson, Arizona.  I am sorry not to have paid more attention.

I haven’t yet been able to read much about Roll, but I find something extremely likeable in Giffords’ countenance; a friendliness, a lack of vanity, a straightforward intelligence.  (I think I may feel particularly drawn to her because she looks like she has the thin, overly-flat, hair that has dogged me my whole life.)

One can’t help but feel that the shooting was politically motivated;  the shooter (and possible accomplices) certainly may have lacked general emotional or mental stability, but the particular objects (liberal politicians) and means (guns) seem to be inspired by specific elements of political vitriol.   Giffords, in particular, had been metaphorically targeted by conservative groups for some time.  (She was, for example, one of those politicians depicted in the cross-hairs on conservative maps of districts to be won, propounded by those like Sarah Palin.)    Of course, none of those groups meant for this to happen;  I am genuinely sure that they are truly saddened.    Still terrible.


Pack-y-derm (Not)

January 5, 2011


A short trip tomorrow.  Very early.  Involves packing.

I hate packing.  It feels like a test.  The strange thing is that I don’t mind doing without, moderate discomfort, making do, but I hate to forget things, not to have thought of things, to have failed in my mission (in other words.)

Oh well.