Posted tagged ‘pink’

Pink Tea Cup

April 25, 2015


Pink Teacup

The young don’t typically understand how the heart’s
a pink teacup;
they imagine something more bird, or if they consider
inner breakables, tend towards
the ceramic–a mug perhaps
with a jolly motto: “you don’t have to be crazy
to be me
but it helps,” or
“drink up me hearty–”

But as one ages, one feels the glass inside
grow thin, become bone china, have a harder time holding
the hot,
and the question one asks, increasingly,
is not whether the cup is half-full or half-
empty, but where the damn cup

Chipped at
the lip, fine-lined by fissuring cracks–
Who, one wonders,
would ever cherish the pink teacup
the heart has become; one hopes for a person, who,
when they look into their belled
swallow, takes joy in
a certain aubish glow–
aube being the French word for dawn,
which, if you are like me, seems a fairly reliable test, since
any one saying aubish is not likely
to raise their pinkie with
any pretention but
to be generous with their socks,
at least, so the chest that holds
that old cup


A rather odd, but I hope, entertaining draft poem for Grace’s prompt on With Real Toads to write about “pink.”  Actually, one of my personal favorites of my poems is a sestina called Pink that may be found here.   This is one of many poems and draft poems written each day this April 2015 National Poetry Month. 

 PS – this has been edited since first posting. 

Back To The Grammys Briefly – All Buff, Pink Singing Sideways (In the Shower)

February 1, 2010

Pink (Sideways) Under Sprinkler System (New Take on Singing In The Shower)

I never watched the Grammys before Sunday night.  I still have never watched the WHOLE Grammys.  (I wonder why.)

When did singers begin needing biceps as large as breasts as standard equipment?  (Sorry to be crude.  The Grammys tend to bring that out in one.)

Hard to imagine Judy Garland with biceps.  (Instead of shoulder pads.  See e.g. Judy in For Me and My Gal.)

Singers have long been good dancers.  (Imagine Judy Garland.)  But when did they have to become gymnasts?  (There was, I guess, Fred Astaire on the ceiling.  But I always thought that was a camera trick.)

Sometimes it is not hard to understand why much of the world (particularly the non-Western world, the muslim world) disdains (that’s putting it mildly) Western pop culture.

Yes, there’s a kind of verve.   Singing sideways under a sprinkler system is pretty amazing.  And the muscle tone is pretty darn spectacular.  And all the participants seem to clap for each other with admirable generosity.   Still, well….

Grammys – Live Blogging, Robotic Performers

January 31, 2010

The second time today that I was happy to close my eyes during a musical performance  (see prior post “Eyes Wide Shut”) has been the Grammys!  I have to confess to never before seeing the Grammy awards.  They were turned on in my apartment to see Stephen Colbert, who appeared all too briefly.

Since then, Jennifer Lopez has appeared in a dress empaneled with packing material, Beyonce has impersonated an angry robot, Fergy has been involved with even angrier robots, and tonsils have borne heavy impact.  Dancers have shown a great deal of  self-righteousness and a lot of breast and thigh.  Pink started off in a cut-up beach robe, and ended up in a be-ribboned body suit hanging from the ceiling in.  What was perhaps most amazing about her singing was that she could do it at all while sideways suspended under a sprinkler system.

Popular culture, amazing!  Is it really popular?!

Zac Brown Group won best new artist, and so far have also been the best just regular nice guys.

Oh wait!  Colbert just won one.  I take it all back.

Changing Gears – The Sestina – “Pink”

October 13, 2009

 I am retreating from the world of politics today  to the more ordered world of formal poetry. The sestina is an extremely “ordered” form of poem with a strict line structure that focuses on six repeating “end words,” (that is, the last word in each line.)  Thankfully, these end words do not have to rhyme.

There are six six-line stanzas, and six repeating end words.  At the end of the six six-line stanzas, there is a three-line stanza (the “envoie”), in which the six repeating words are used again, two per line.

The hard part is not just repeating the six words, but repeating them in the right order; each stanza turns itself partly inside out for the next one.  The music of the poem comes from the shifting, and sometimes surprising, echo of the repeating words.   If the meaning and tone of the words can also shift through the poem, a kind of irony can be found.

Here’s how the form works:

For notation purposes, I’ll assign each end word a number  – 123456.  That is the order of the first stanza.

The second is 615243.   The third is 364125, the fourth 532614, fifth 451362, and finally 246531.    You’ll notice that the last line of each stanza becomes the first of the next, the second- to-last line, the third, etc.  It helps to think of the stanzas as interlocking or clasped hands, with the clasp between the fingers moving up the hands with each stanza.  (I guess they’d have to be Anne Boleyn-style hands – six fingers.)

There are different forms for the order of the words in the last three-line stanza;  my favorite puts the words in reverse of their original order, meaning 65,43,21.

The form is hard, yes.  A tip:  once you’ve decided on your repeating words, write them down in the prescribed order for the entire poem.  (This means that you’ll have a nearly blank page or so, with just a column of numbers and words on one side.)  This list will not only help you keep your focus; it will also avoid the frustration of having a nearly finished poem that, you suddenly realize, did not quite follow the rules.  (If it’s a great poem as is, terrific.  But if you wanted to write a great sestina, this can be upsetting.)

It is useful to pick end words with flexible meanings and usage (meaning words that can be either nouns or verbs, even homonyms).   Commonplace words are easier, but less interesting.

I have to confess I have only written a couple of  sestinas.  They are long poems;  beginning one is a big commitment.  But a completed one is really quite satisfying.  Here’s one of mine:

(As always, keep in mind that pauses are intended to be taken only at punctuation breaks, not at line or stanza breaks, unless punctuated. )


Trees full of blossom, the night smells pink
though it’s black, a thick summer darkness
barely held back by window screen.
I hear dishes in the sink, a familiar clatter,
and think of the summer kitchen
of my youth (my grandma’s), where the women wiped

the dishes, too many for the rack, wiped
the oilclothed table too; the men, skin pink
from glossy food, escaped the kitchen
glare, slinking into the darkness
of the den, the chatty t.v. clatter
a sound fluorescence against the dim screen.

There too, we were protected by a screen
from bites, buzz, wing, and the wind that wiped
that stretched-flat land, a soft clatter
of night and grass and damp that blew towards the pink
edge of dawn, an engine of chill darkness
that was only truly blocked by the glow of kitchen

yellow.  I watched one aunt in the kitchen,
amazed that she never even tried to screen
her keen sense of life’s darkness.
When she looked at my grandmother, she often wiped
her eyes, and sniffing, face too pink,
cleaned with a banging clatter.

Though she was always a center of clatter,
that aunt.  She had a kind of two-walled kitchen
in her own house, open; and wore hot pink,
played jokes, charades, a half-hearted screen
of despondency, still, the good housewife, she wiped
the smallest speck from her counters.  Her own darkness

seeming inevitable, it was a darkness
she hurried towards, smoking, drinking hard, the clatter
of uncertainty (as to timing) wiped
her out.  In the meantime, she cleaned-—my grandma’s kitchen
after her death, and, at the Funeral Home, made a quick screen
of the corpse.  “That lipstick’s way too pink,”

she hissed, then wiped my grandma’s lips like a kitchen
stain.  Despite the clatter in my brain, I served as screen,
a guard in the blossomed darkness, as she rubbed off pink.

(All rights reserved.  Karin Gustafson)