memorial for a brilliant woman

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Poetry Thursday

since my ride is running late (see message below) I'm posting this ol' thang- about sex. There may be a later (better) version, but this is what I found first- It was published in the Melic Review

Sex with Martha Stewart

is white paint on hospital walls,
sterile, silent, no distinction
between corners or ceilings depth,
indeterminate distance, all’s well
in the openness of a waiting room.

First kiss perfunctory, patient.
Lip-to-lip, eyes open, strange
arms in proper places-
cotillion and Arthur Murray
taught us this: observe the form.

Draw back, unbutton her crisp shirt,
slip linen skirt slowly to the floor, reveal
white lace lingerie, soft, sensible,
she stands before you, shoes and silk.
You want her now, like this, quiet,

waiting for direction, lilac-scented.
Place your hand over her heart, feel
her skin warm to your touch, lead her
to your room, if you ask, she will
undress you, slowly: instruct her.

Go by the book, one she didn’t write,
lay her on the bed with shoes still on,
disarm her, sit across the room,
naked, not speaking, not responding,
observe her face and gestures.

She will do what you wish, you have
aroused her by inattention, misdirection.
She is not virginal, nor are you,
there may be things she can teach you.

Above all, do not remove her shoes.
The dashboard will be closed until July 29th, unless I score a friend with a laptop at the West Virginia Writer's Workshop in Morgantown- I have been assigned David Wojahn as a workshop leader- he's a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University here in Richmond, ain't that a hoot!

Maybe after this when he sees me at readings, he won't have that vague I-think-I-know-you-but-I'm-not-sure look.

Apologies, sir, if you read this and I have mistaken your expression.

It's always fun-

I just cashed in all the change in the house, I barely have enough cash to go-

but I'm going- (the best part is my family is here at home!!!!!!!)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Poetry Thursday

Alba Hosea, reformed

she has been raised to fear God
and does, until it no longer matters

when the world takes her in as she is
she folds up her heart, hngs it on a string

around her neck with other miracles:
sand dollars, a vial of Jordan River water

she sleeps with prophets and soldiers
taming nausea with ginger root

helping others to rise up from bondage
but not convinced of her own need.

strung out sometimes, she is made
of thin wire, slipping down drainpipes,

rabbit holes, on banana peels to learn
everybody struggles with false gods

but only the real ones win at the last
and croquet is hardly ever involved.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

To poets who say I'm not part of the revolution:

Don't talk to me about change

I'm not in a good place right now
and this is not a good time for you
to hand me a platter of metaphors,
tropes, and poetic anarchy, not that
anytime to come will prove better.

You see, I'm like the ten year old
bed wetter who can't get it right
on any kind of consistent basis,
all he can tell is one morning
he's dry, the next he wakes wet.

I like the sequence of five lines,
four verses or more, occasionally
a pick-up couplet at the end
mocking a sonnet, creating out
of a din something orderly.

My words are perfidy and pomp, not
revolution in shaky compromise,
To get this far, I once carved a road
you can't see because it's common
now, everybody goes that way.

I was a child, then I held the hand
of a child. Reach out, it's your turn.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Acceptance from The Hiss Quarterly for Dreaming Freddie Mercury. It's the 'Sanity is a One Trick Pony' issue due out August 1 or thereabouts. Yeah!

2 acceptances and 3 rejections- and a bunch more still out!

AND while I'm on the subject of good news-

Carolyn Kreiter Foronda was sworn in as the next poet laureate of Virginia! She is a wonderful poet and I am proud to count her as a friend. Congratulations, Carolyn!

more poems by Carolyn: Eclectica poem, more info...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Poetry Thursday

Inspired by Ad Tacitum: Renderings from Tacitus by Kevin McFadden
posted on Poetry Daily July 6, 2006

Ad McCartney: Renderings from Paul McCartney

I spent my early life
upstairs on a bus
before they built the road
off the straight and narrow
chasing the running stream
in the heart of the country
where the holy people grow.

There wasn’t any reason left
in the town where I was born
beneath the blue suburban skies,
the fool on the hill
can be heard across
the even landscape.

The silver vibration of a note
in the hall of the great cathedral;
something inside
without a suitcase,
creeping like a nun.

I don’t care how I do it
I will hold you as long as you like,
and when I go away
don’t ever ask me why.
Set aside arrangements to be made
as each green blade stretches for the sun.

Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics 1965-1999, Paul McCartney
Pages referenced to the Norton hardback edition, 2001

Stanza 1: 23.1, 23.5, 23.13, 26.15, 27.5, 28.4, 28.10
Stanza 2: 32.19, 39.1, 44.10, 49.29, 58.3, 59.4
Stanza 3: 79.5, 86.6, 110.7, 111.5, 111.6
Stanza 4: 128.3, 149.5, 154.1, 154.18, 162.7, 174.3

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Small white rectangle, baby pink half,
the big one the color of Texas clay-
I’ve taken every remedy I have, in spite
of these tokens I still twitch and itch
all night till sunrise backs the blinds,
lightens the air. Under my bloody eyes
are half moons, bruised apple slices
where mischief must have been done.

Not by dancing, though this gown
is not the one I put to bed in
and my slippers are frazzled dull,
unless you’d call a toss and turn a jig,
a furtive pace a worn Whitsunday Ale,
the path to bathroom, kitchen sink,
and hall a shadowed tour of this house
where aegri somnia would be welcome.

I’m up and dozing, misled by a mantra
given in a head shop thirty years past,
my Kammatthana a work in progress.
I am distractible and a sorry pilgrim,
like a fat woman who nibbles at meals
found later gorging from cast-off plates,
there is no sense to the harm I do myself,
as the sky turns the color of baked brie.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Obituary (if you get to the main page, search the Obituaries from the San Francisco Chronicle" using "Talcott")

There may be a few of you who remember when William Talcott came to Richmond (96 or 97) and did readings at Borders on Broad Street and Barnes & Noble when it was at Willow Lawn. He came to Trinity Episcopal School and spent a day with my creative writing students (mostly remembered because we had to meet in the senior lounge because he was a chain smoker and had to leave constantly to go to the edge of the woods-off school property- to smoke).

He wrote "Benita's Book" about his long-term affair with another man's wife, edited the excellent magazine Carbuncle, and was a good friend of Andrei Codrescu.

We had quite a friendship on CompuServe, he was a wonderful person and poet, full of life. I had been thinking of him recently- I lost his email ages ago.