memorial for a brilliant woman

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Last night I dreamed I was dancing with Robert Pinsky- and telling him Gerald Stern told me he (Pinsky) was a terrible dancer- Stern told me that, too, earlier in the dream. Go figure.

Maybe I should stop falling asleep with poetry books over my face.

There IS a poem germinating about all this- how could there not be?

Did I tell you how much I am enjoying the book The Fever Almanac by Kristy Bowen??

Some of these poems take little slices out of me, like an eerie biopsy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another link to audio files- this is from the regular Sunday readings at Shockoe Espresso-

Jimmy Warner is still adding files, but one of mine is up-

it takes forever to load, then click on the arrow in the upper right hand corner, check the volume if you can't hear anything.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I can't find my "Pink Cadillac" poem about my mother's car, but here's another one about her - well, kind of- as a reply to my comment on C. Dale's blog. I wrote this in 1998, when my aunt sent me a picture a trip to San Francisco I never knew my mother had taken.

Picture of Mama on the Cable Car

Caught in a real smile, she was sure
she'd never see San Francisco
and there she was: tweed jacket,
hair done, ever-present red nails,
climbing off a cable car.

It took her fifty-three years,
everything up till then a gamble,
never winning very much, bearable
losses, a kind of streak that wasn't

If she'd been an insider, known
there wasn't much game left,
would she have gone back home to Vegas?

Cell by cell by cell, she was dying even then
in increments, but this isn't about that.

It's about snap-shot shoe-drop seconds
when what you always wanted to happen,
happens- right then and is so apparent,
so evident, the camera, for once
full of film, charged up and at hand
takes a picture, takes a REAL picture,
the kind of photograph strangers pick up
to examine because they want,
not knowing why, they want to hold it.

Moments that are too much of themselves,
we let them pass by, our imagination flustered,
like art we can't conceive buried in stone blocks.
Single-minded, we are half-blind,
when other possibilities smack us in the face,
we recoil in shock, then cower in the familiar.

You can't plan for this, no "shoulds" or "ifs",
choices come and go so fast
it’s almost out of our hands, almost.

When you smiled today at lunch,
I thought of Mama, knowing
the memory was worth a picture.
My camera was there in my bag
charged up and full of film.
I didn’t get it out, too afraid
of what it might see.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

hey! Vocabulary is important to me, dude!


It may not be my job to educate the wicked world, but when I'm writing a poem I will look all over until I find what I think is PRECISELY the word that's needed. If you don't know the meaning- GOOGLE is your friend or One Look or an actual paper dictionary.

Sure, I use too much slang and too many current culture references, but I also use rare words, Latin phrases, perplexing descriptions where I twist the definition into something else.

It's my job.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Part of the commencement address by Dana Gioia. chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, talking about how artists no longer have a dialog with the people.

"This mutual estrangement has had enormous cultural, social, and political consequences. America needs its artists and intellectuals, and they need to reestablish their rightful place in the general culture. If we could reopen the conversation between our best minds and the broader public, the results would not only transform society but also artistic and intellectual life."

Read the rest HERE- I hope you'll be glad you did.

thanks, Jilly at poetry hut

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hell's bells! I just did one of those tests and i came out as Barbara Stanwyck- all grit (93%) and no class (0%) no class at all.

I guess I'm not really surprised- why do I bother anyway??

What's that wonderful Woody Allen film with Tracey Ullman and they buy all that tacky furniture and try to take 'class' lessons?

I'd like to believe I'm a little better than that.
Come to Comedy Sportz tonight!!

10:00 pm I-Prov An all musical musical improv show with yours truly at the keyboard!!

$10- c'mon down!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You must read THIS

particularly if you read THIS

poetry doesn't suck- well, it can, I suppose- but it can also be what's needed right then, right now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A lot's going on in Richmond this week- get over to FlashPaperPoetry and check it out!

There's Cafe Gutenburg, the Haiku Death match at SlamRichmond and UR prof Brian Henry reading at Chop Suey's Von Gribley reading series.

And I won a prize!!

The Sopranos ending was fine with me, the way they did it kinda sucked- I thought the cable had gone out and then- credits with no music? What's with that? The music has always been such a great part (and the stupid Journey song during the last scene DOES NOT COUNT- that was lame).

John From Cincinnati was sooooo boring, I went back to watching the Tony Awards, which were slick and fabulous as usual.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Food Addiction

it’s not just a doughnut
it’s a fucking doughnut
even if you spell it donut
if you leave it sitting there
to go stale I’ll have to eat it
because it becomes a rescue
band of brothers kind of mission
boxed into the habitual.

first a bite, then the rest
then dabbing the sugar up
with wet fingers, followed
by the kitchen scan for
something else sweet,
the border breached,
power off
and I’m lost again

back to induction atkins
I go
looking for love
in all the wrong pastries

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

12:39 Wednesday, June 6. 2007

No significant thing moves through the air
though babies are born on Bremo Road,
a hand shake changes worlds in Dover, Mass,
a soldier from Iowa closes his eyes forever,
a husband betrays his wife at Burger King.

These are tiny filaments, loose hairs, sand
specks for the universe to take in, context
lost in the stars, where a heartbeat is too small
to matter, it may yet be the most important
result of random probabilities we can know.

A woman almost falls down a flight of stairs.
a scientist refines a process for growing cells,
a murderer stops to have another cup of coffee,
a homeless family walks into a church for help,
chaos sighs, rearranges itself again and again.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I can't seem to be able to give away one ticket to Big Head Todd and the Monsters for Thursday night Groovin in the Garden series- if you're in the Richmond area and want to go, I have one ticket- gates open 5:30.

Poetry is out of my head right now, or maybe everything else is intruding too much.

Friday night is the first show of the IProv music at Comedy Sportz with yours truly at the keyboard!!! Call 266-9377 for reservations for the 10:00pm show. Please come and clap for me (and the gang!).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

I know, I know-

tonight is First Friday in Richmond and oh-my the hoopla!

Art 6 will be hopping with the High School Juried Invitational-

Tomorrow, I'll be reading in Williamsburg at the Norge Library for the last Saturday reading of the year!! C'mon down.