memorial for a brilliant woman

Friday, June 30, 2006

Poetry Thursday- I almost forgot-

Angelina Ballerina

Show your Fosse fingers
and watch the cha-cha start!!
Ultra-Black is the new pink.

Any dream will do what your head
says, think dark thoughts- you should,
nobody loves a goody-toe-shoe.

Even if you fuck up today, shut up
tomorrow. What doesn’t kill, will
codify the princess pea of anger

that keeps you up all night using
profanity. You know, twenty percent
stopped paying attention at ‘fuck’.

So do it for the rest, the eighty-P,
Angie-B, that guy you want is no more
than the sum of his farts, bless his

heart, you gotta have moxie, epoxy,
whatever it takes to enable you to
stick out in a crowd, not by his side.

Take all the Cadillac's in Texas,
line ‘em up and all you get is a line
way too long from here to who cares.

When you dance alone, it’s still a tango.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday


I don’t know where
my mother lived before she died,

with a blue lamp,
the what-not shelf,
a cartwheel of snapshots
out of sequence and filled
with strangers, daddy,
who packed an eclair
in my lunch box each morning

with unsweetened tea
in a thermos, to
promote independence.

A chair forgets
the shape of its owner, in time
a hand print fades, painted
over in Williamsburg Blue

there is a color
no one remembers
the sibilant chant, names
rustling through the willows.

In this foreign land,
I have forgotten the tune.

Monday, June 19, 2006

We have a team for the National Slam- it was a great time, a great crowd, and the team is strong- more later.

June 20th is my 25th wedding anniversary. My children are 22 and 18. I have lived in this house 21 years. I have lost 15 pounds since quitting my job March 17. My in-laws will be here for a visit in 11 days.

I have 44 poems in circulation to 14 magazines, 3 have replied, 2 poems accepted.

There are six peaches ripening in the kitchen, and one cantaloupe.

It is 10 days until I get another paycheck.

I feel empty and without purpose.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday poem:

Annabel Lee of Dumbarton

Mornings, weekdays, she makes the trek
from Azalea Avenue to Hermitage Rd.
with a blue visor and cane. We note time
from her locus on the curve. Too far down
and we’re late again, mid-way, we’re okay,
no specious excuses to be made at school.

Imagine that she sells tricks at Divine Magic
in the strip mall at the bottom of the hill,
or shoots pool at the Luxor Salon next door.
More likely she’s out for her daily exercise
a suggestion from her young gerontologist
at Westminster-Canterbury, senior home.

We depend on her to be our railroad whistle,
rooster, church bell that marks our passing,
in rain we are but a white Volvo slipping
through layers of time between concrete
and sodden clouds, no wizened beldame
to prophesy, recall jonquils, quote Poe.

If Annabel is not her name, it should be,
or Alice, who leaves us to wonder, does she
speak to ghosts at Upham Brook, soldiers,
the woman swept from her car by Gaston?
Anywhere you go around here, the past
intrudes, watches from the kudzu shadow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's raining, which we need, but I don't-

wrote last night while trying to settle myself into a state of peace

Daily obligations

performed without guile,
sans excessive history, spill
into meditation, medication
for the sin-sick soul, a balm,
not to be mistaken for a cure;
a tsouris- that which troubles.

Dishes, mail, errands, trash,
bedclothes, linens; reinforce,
drive the deeds as they come,
the days tumble unrecorded.
The art of doing simple,
the mastery in not losing

countless hours to broken sleep,
worry of what's to come, as
ocean turned to mountain range-
we are vast, hard to navigate,
ways set before our being, we are
lead to tasks, obligations, daily.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

read this- Kay Day's take on the state of lit-

The local James River Writers Festival doesn't list any poets (yet)- last year there were two 'panels' with local people, mostly (at least those that showed up). The best for me was meeting Reb Livingston-

wait- I just checked- there are SIX poets listed for 'panels'. Of course five are local and so well known around here I can quote some of their poetry- the one exception being Elena Georgiou - who I've never heard of but went to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts-

I may as well go to Dodge- it's the same weekend, I hear.
Well, tomorrow IS the big day- the daughter graduates from high school. 3pm (as does my friend Dave's in PA- big hugs to you and yours!)

She has so many different cords (Center for the Arts-vocal music theater and art, Thespians, the school color cords) she looks like a de colores bumper sticker on a white car-

She made her dress out of remnants of white eyelet- made it today- it's gorgeous and cost her about $10 and $2 of that was for the invisible zipper- while we were at the fabric store the mother and daughter in front of us were buying for a dress project they were going to work on for the summer- if all went well "she'll make her prom dress for next spring!"

The daughter looked at me with THAT look- she's finishing up 5 costumes for the AnimeCon this weekend- Tokoyomew-mew- wigs, boots, elaborate costumes for herself and four friends. They will be awesomely hot, as her boyfriend said!

After getting ready, doing other stuff this weekend, and unexpected guests from out of town- not for graduation, just passing through- I was off kilter and tired so missed the Shockoe reading today and the art6 meeting. Such is life- my family comes first, poetry gets plenty of time-just not this weekend.

No Jam at Cafe Gutenburg tomorrow night- good thing- we'll probably take her out to dinner.

Tuesday morning I take her to get drug test and physical for her summer full-time job as a costumer for Parks & Recs/Dogwood Dell performance program.

Then I get some of my days back for poetry-

Tuesday night 7:30 pm Barnes&Noble Libbie Place
Wednesday night 6:00 pm Carytown books poetry group
Saturday night 8:00pm Womenspeak at art6 - I'm one of the readers

Y'all come.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's Poetry Thursdsay


By the time I get time
to call you, it’s too late:
you’re out on a run or
home where I’m never
sure if hearing from me
is what you need right
now with her and them
and supper needing to
be cooked, consumed,
cleaned-up after, her or
someone else craving
your voice for comfort
more, far away as I am
not really alone either
only lonely for an ear
to fill with what I can’t
or won’t say here, so
I dial seven of eleven
numbers, hang up, talk
myself out of the need
to ramble off in all the
directions I do whenever
we talk, if I can recreate
how I feel when you
soothe my restlessness
like nothing else can,
no one else does, I won’t
have to call right now,
too late, give myself
permission to wait till
tomorrow when maybe
I’ll get the opportunity
in time to call you before
everything gets all crazy
complicated like today.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A change of pace-

I want to recommend one of my favorite writers- Sheri Reynolds

Her first book Bitterroot Landing was recommended by a friend who did a lit circle for a women's group. I read it in one sitting, the people in the story were very real to me, I don't think I've ever been so affected by a book.

other books are: The Rapture of Canaan an Oprah pick- but please don't hold that against her, A Gracious Plenty, and her latest (long-awaited) The Firefly Cloak.

She has the most wonderful way of fleshing out characters, or maybe she knows many of the same people I do, past and present.

I don't think she's strictly a 'chick-lit' writer- I think she captures certain aspects of a southern life that few others have. She speaks to me. Read her.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Here is a WONDERFUL article on the state of narrative poetry.

Of course, the article cites Tony Hoagland- one of my MOST favorite poets.

read it- read it- then write!!!
Tonight's the last qualifier for the SlamRichmond event- the best of the best will compete in 2 weeks for positions on the team that will go to the nationals at Austin in August.

Austin in August??? Who thought that was a good place to hold a hot poetry fest???

It's a big world out there, plenty of poetry pie for everyone. Particularly here in Central Virginia, in America. Seven nights in every week, fifty-two weeks in a year.

Pay attention.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday poem:


She fancies herself an heiress,
a horsy sort with closets full
of Harris tweeds and skeletons,
sensible shoes, nubbly woolen socks.

BBC America is the only thing she cares
to watch, “Local news is so absurd!”
Names her cat Miss Marple, and each day
at four o’clock, they share scones and tea.

Never mentions any kind of family,
that crusty bunch in Pittsburgh
to whom she feigns an accent
when they call, she keeps it short.

They can have their coal and steel,
she writes poetry now about a cottage
where she didn’t live, a schoolyard
near a church she’s never seen.

Having recently learned to tat, each knot
starves a memory while cinching
in its place a lovely bit of fantasy,
shoring up a lacy fine facade.

An unsophisticated visitor might think
she’s UK born, not Pennsylvania poor,
a dainty London bloom transplanted,
widowed in a walk-up far from home.

Her obituary written, it hangs beside
the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ instructions
at her door. Then she’ll be as she wanted:
someone else, and something more.