Wednesday, January 23, 2008

1/23/08 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft

Do you guzzle or do you sip?
Ask around. Ask Roy, ask Dana,
let's go. Chop-chop.
Do you scream, rant, coo?
I'll know your answer by its odor,
your language by the lira.
Own disgruntlement or awe,
pay compliments or mortgages.
oh and so I'm Bambi
now, and what's the sum
of your parts? It's all enol,
grease monkey or mogul.
we've got enough rope
to you know go ape
among the sumac.
write AB or eta
we've sewn the same seam,
you, me, Morrison,
Archimedes and his screw.
von Leewenhoek's near
mirror, germs sending sos,
seen now, soon taboo.
Make me no Morse Code
and put me in no urn
send me to Oahu
in April or in Adar
I'd go there any sec.
Pull hard now on that prop
and throw out your meds.
Dig something living with that hoe.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oh my goodness, here's a video of the University of Miami Women's Crew. View it! My daughter the athlete is the Assistant Coach of this team. My heart swells and soars.
10/18/08 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Draft

Never marmalade always jam
the story of a life without leis
without ever calling "Fore!"
the ability to conjure ice
without opening your freezer, Aria
without costume, amen without evil.
We do not need the Mesozoic
to remember living in dens.
Oh sigh you say she's
not even trying to forge,
I don't know she roams
through this poem off a pier.
My dears, here's your eggs.
Pitch 'em mesdames
if you're so sure of who you are.
Are the planets only balls
hurled out of another era
unpremeditated, minus mesquite?
results dead without urns
and here's another beau geste
earnest in its way as essay
necessary in this heat as sari.
Did you catch them there that pair?
Do I need another messmate?
The answer once again isn't
no or I don't know go feel your oats
while you have the tune. Oh HAL.
House of me, chez
you you're never too busy
to fall down. Another round of I Spy?

Friday, January 18, 2008

1/1708 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft

All that cleans you is not soap
all who love cannot wed
all your alibis aren't ironclad
there are those who see thru
you raw as you are and hero
supermam tarzan liontamer emir
All who believe in NASDAQ have IRAs
All who listen don't hear mermaids each
lithe all impossible as psalms
When Scylla speaks does she rasp?
Do we care we're out of style?
On Donder Blitzen, Rudolph Cupid
and what do think of all this Wes?
I'm dangerous as moray eel
Hard pressed as an iron
near the Tannhauser Gate in the end
Don't we all seek Batty's sass?
All that underskins our ads
All the wincing of our age
All the treasures in your purse
All you love goes out of order
your dog and Depp, pals, Pitt
this is it (you knew I'd say) inmost
the utmost awful word now cool
now gone now charged as ion
All can get the wrong idea
All and any, Arnie, Anne
All the many loves of Sue
and you (groan) do you sort
wheat, chaff, doer from the deed?
Does it matter Mr. Mr. Mr. Mrs.?
All this fiddling all these eras?

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die. - Ray Batty (Rutger Hauer) in Blade Runner

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Last night I read at Hugo House where I haven't been for a year or so, not since the changing of management, but still it looked the same except the guy at the front didn't know me and vice versa. I was a few minutes early so there were barely any people and nobody who wasn't reading too, chairs around the little round tables, little stage with too high lectern and black wall behind, a line of wine beer and water bottles on the bar on the left side of the bar, kitkats, peanut butter cups and skittles on the right. A lot of us read. All WITS writers. Rebecca introduced us via anagrams of our names which was lively and fun. Not everyone timed their reading beforehand which always bothers me ever since a poet at Arizona AWP read forty five minutes so that Philip Levine had about ten without going over time. We were all women last night: poet, young adult author, poet, poet, poet reading memoir, children's nature writer, poet, and poet. Subject matter: Hanford Nuclear Reservation, high school love triangle at the Showbox, deep play, three gringas (putas) in Mexico, lesbians in Yellowstone's landscape, service dog coming of age story, Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans for so many, sex swearing and silent suffering. Time well spent.
Because I could not look you in the face
I used a macrolens and photographed your toes.
Our mother pretended you were like any of us
only lazy and trying to abuse her patience.
My sister who lived through worse she says
says you were diagnosed borderline paranoid
schizophrenic. At school they said you were
emotionally disturbed. The drill at home was we
ridiculed you, looked down our noses, ignored you.
my father pinned you down once in the kitchen,
a commotion of brussel sprouts and grunts.
Our father who as I was setting the table,
I lofted forksspoonsknives off a placemat trampoline
picked them off the floor and hit him again
but he wouldn't make a sound of his own at all.
He's a nice man my mother said, but
I sat in a chair and listened for hours. You
were downstairs yelling or playing your drums.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Today is Post #190, ten more days to #200. I may make cupcakes.

In the 6th grade today, we read a poem in Wu-Yen-Shih Meter. Say that again, out loud, Wu Yen Shih. Ah, now here is the poem:

Pools and Wells

Rain pools heed no dreams,
but wells, deep, reach far,
drink earth's chill dark streams,
tell us who we are.

I just sought the poet by typing in the title and first half of the first line. The first entry is about Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man" (best musical EVER) :

young ones peekin' in the pool hall window after school Ya got trouble, folks, right here in .... Oho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street ...

Next is a Walter de la Mare poem reference:

George Herbert Clarke, ed. (1873–1953). A Treasury of War Poetry. 1917. 56. The Pool Rings his Bells. By Walter de la Mare ...

on to H.G. Wells:

And far away beyond the ditches and pools and the heaps was a forest on the mountain flank ...... “‘I have taken no heed of any news for many days,’ I said. - 440k -

then George Sand:

The Devil’s Pool George Sand The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction, Vol. ...... Despite the Cold LITTLE MARIE seemed to give no more heed to the child’s odd - 271k -

and from Lyrics and Comments:

Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow! Fear neither root nor bough! Tom goes on before you .... Sand and stone, and pool and dell Fare you well! ...

But I digress.

We continued writing Lunes in ELL classes which today was one large teeming noisy chaotic and productive hive. Here are some lunes by kids in the beginning and second level ELL classes (grades 6-8):

brick scream loud
chair fall down, cry out
loud, forgive brick.


ducks like rain
and Toyota Corolla in the
park as always.


Sun through snow
melt the cold of season
shine our day


I write my
story at my school and
at my house


I saw mother
in my heart and father
in my lung


sleep in New York
I will read in Monchasa
as you dream


the pretty princess
she is in the castle
she has toes


In Philippines there's
alot of fruit that they
planted and harvested


go to Africa
to the Heaven and boxing
the people's houses


Window is broken
wind is coming from outside
it is cold


Superman sleep flying
Batman sleep jumping and the
Spiderman sleep webbing


there's a book
that talks about a werewolf
that pushes rocks


These are all lunes, the rule for which is three lines, first line three words, second line five words, third line, three words

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

1/15/08 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft
Just So Story

When carpet was psychedic shag
green as your eye after a jab
from the boy behind you, a kind of mash
note for the tongue-tied, (his name was Carr,)
but he and the carpet belong ago,
like the Galicians' olla podrida
lost (it was food) to the French, or how alga
seem gone and then mushroom
green as a corroded room key
trapped where ogees
meet floor, while out the window mtns.
unless you, poor you, have gone to Fla.
And so this poem brays
memory, never keynote
or, let's face it, coming up for air.
We're off my dears to see not Wiz
nor stories of my childhood woe -
Stop writing on your notepad!
I'm here at behest of zest and color,
to load these words in this van
of sound and I hope sense, to mob
your mind with whimsy then scoot,
for I today ignore the padlock
to my deepest June Lockhart.
I'll leave the underworld to Odin,
I'll probe no plangent ache,
just what my dears is here to see
to do and what oh no is nono
I leave to you. She who woos
what wounds is not my favored spy
just so I'm here therefore I grew.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back in the classroom this morning, with a 6th grade class that's learning about China and with two ELL classes who have just published a book with 826 Seattle. 826 Seattle has just won a golden apple award from the State of Washington. Yea them. Also they have a space travel store for those needing to provision themselves. Could that possibly be correct?

I have spent several teeth gnashing minutes on the NY Times website hoping to be able to get the crossword puzzle. I even purchased a one year crossword subscription but none of the activities I tried allowed me to fracking play the game so I could use it as the basis of a poem on this blog. Dang it. Now I have to depurchase the subscription too since I have to purchase some fracking widget to allow me to play online which I DO NOT WANT TO DO. Troglodyte (is that the spelling? ) that I am I thought I could print out and play the crossword puzzle using my antiquated pen (G2 Pilot, black). Even when I pushed the supposed "PRINT AND PLAY" button, no dice. I am not even that spazzed and jazzed about playing crossword puzzles in the first place. I just have trouble finding words to make poems and so use the puzzles to get words to get me going as I don't actually think I have any thoughts or ideas of my own until borrowed words kick me into gear. This was a problem for Peter Sellers, or sort of this was his problem. He thought he wasn't a person really, and needed a character to play to feel like a person. See how that is the same sort of problem? Mine is much less dire of course, unless you are a poet. This morning I said hi to a teacher I worked with earlier this year. Outside her room on big paper is this quote: "I, like my poem, am a work in progress." One of her sixth graders wrote that in her journal. Oh YEAH!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Gorgeous day with the mountain visible as I drove my sister to the airport so she can go back home to San Francisco. I finally got out for a walk about 3:30, aiming as directly as I could given houses and fences for a water view. Some days, most days looking at water makes everything better. Now the sun is down and the white house across the alley gleams sickly yellow like sheets that have been bleached too many times over the years. I have a space heater at my feet so my leg won't spaz out. I went on the walk sans snow pants and sans uggs boots. This is to say I went walking around the neighborhood dressed like everyone else, which was a boon for my sense that I am on the mend. I still don't want to prepare to teach tomorrow however. I want to lie about on a divan and have someone peel grapes for me. They could throw them against the window on my command for example if I didn't feel like eating them.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I've sent off six poems to meet whatever fate.
airplanes, vans with zipcodes on their sides
cinched canvas bags, conveyer belts,
white plastic mail crates, dump and sort
then into some grad student's hands.

Friday, January 11, 2008

1/11/08 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem
DANGER, It's a Brutal One

Finger to the counter I flatten another ant
things fall apart Yeats said, in the gyre
and I hasten that, hand bone hard as boot
I don't wonder anymore, girl or boy
I've gone killer, made that evil leap
I'm a Jack or Kelly the Ripa
of ant murder, I'm the Capriati
swing on solenopsis invicta, also
they multiply like bamboo shoots,
skydive foam atop my black and tan,
my logic trail along the baseboard, you'd act
not blue as Wilson after Hudson,
more Wallace in his black watch,
forward thrust of cornered boar or sex
you'd drop that mein of lamb and ewe
social justice aint for ants dear, hush,
punch me that ant trap from my kit
I'm no Buddhist, my hands meet
ant gut not in prayer. This Ira
is my American life. They ride fax
machine, ring glasses, add curds
to yogurt. This no way to garner
kudoes, though I'm brazen as RAF,
I lift floured arms like my Aunt Ida
drop rolling pin in time
no prisoners in my brig
I kill, brutal as cousin Jennifer
each spiky hair another ouch
I'm Jason steering the Argo
into the fray, I go, all to no fro
you bet I'll beg you to abet
to suss out their nest
and squash them. Yes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

1/10/08 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem

Here are today's rules: begin line with down word, end line with across word,
when there is no down or no across, only use the numbered word that exists.
And we're off:

Seer, squinch your saggy eyes, swab
wine from your viewing globe. Trace
arcs to messages in my palm
behind your porch light. Loretta
Lynn of visionaries, read my leaves. I
Eat your wisdom true as Dots,
ale to my fish plate till I'm fed up.

Enclosed with SASE is hope ebb
Bebe pellet, lock of faded hair.
Best to you and to your ketchup.
Sealed aeorgramme for Eire
Yale locks twice twined then bolted
Birth certificate born to nee
I wish so hard to be enchanted,
ago is where I'd go
beyond the range of CBS
from post everything I resign
my new apartment I'll unlet
answer the future No
Relay regrets, let 'em repro
Eddy Sonny Ernie who've
skiied or somehow sped
pin dropped, dis-
encamped from now
robes billowing, that red
cellophane over Asia
Kin of old that ends.
back out inch by inch
HBO can't hold me
views of the polluted bay
okapis revived, beating odds
views of the sinister abbey
ply or two of tp I'll leave. I
had a chance at humor
prep the ecto plasma
call forth the asp.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Graffitti edit inside Madison Valley Essential Baking Company:

edit: (in red ink):
has left us.

1/9/08 Crossword Puzzle Poem

Line up your tools, coins for the slot,
ignore blower worse than faux pas,
remember yourself as not the ogre
you imagine when you're alone,
what's left of your dog in an urn.
Don't throw yourself off that pier.
For you no wretching roulette
or other *groan* predictable plan.
Into this your only turn let's insert
a dive in a tutu around the atoll,
tongue out as the clock strikes XII,
poof! No godmother with magic dose
ever ever ever. Oh yeah you'll ebb.
nobody but you can make you new.
Discard the guidebook, get on the Metro.
There will always be junk mail to sort
You're a member of the get set
You don't need to wait for some stud
enchanted evening in an exurb
rip off your own dotted bra
peace to ya we all croak in the end
rub their noses in it, your neb
with sense of smell pointed as awl,
cowdunglilacpinesap into the breach
carpediem gagme yes but lifegoeson.
Who cares you go on the outs
with you? Another olive for your omelette?
Oh yeah, it's boring to be so onto
you. So help the bees and frogs and cod
whose lights too are going to do it
you know what so on your navel keen
who have eyesearsnosefingerstoes keys
every breath through alveolar sacs.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

She said move me, move me
I'm locked up inside
Well, I didn't understand her
though God knows I tried
She said make me angry
But just make me cry
But no more grey morning
I think I'd rather die
from "No More Grey Morning" by James Taylor

I was thinking the last four lines and four seconds on the internet later had located the whole lyric. Miraculous. Xeroxing too is miraculous.

Thus it is that a mood can turn upward. Another miracle.

I am reading at Richard Hugo House with other folks from SAL WITS next week. Though I just popped miraculously to the site and do not see my name listed, which endangers that upward momentum, dang it. Even if I am not reading, things get cooking 7pm Wednesday, January 16 in the cabaret. More news on the subject in this blog. Cost: FREE!

Another free reading in Seattle, this one tomorrow night, January 10 at Seattle Art Museum. Very adult time: 8 to 9 pm. Curated by the ubiquitous Cody Walker, SAL Writer in Residence and Seattle Poet Populist. The theme is the perils of poetry, poets are Richard Kenney, Eric McHenry and Jason Whitmarsh.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm listening to the family iPod - found a recording of my sister and her soon to be ex husband on cello and organ - am listening as I type. Every time her playing is less than emphatic I think, ah she wasn't eating! which distracts from listening to the music as music. My eyes tear up by the second stanza when it's Mozart. Here's something by Lizst! And now, because it's Mark, something like the soundtrack to a horror movie. Mark is a post modern composer - atonal, sometimes anti-melodic, often off-putting, cerebral, sometimes beautiful in a non-gorgeous way. Now there are so many chords screaming out of the organ. Mark's hands are huge and double-jointed. And now, oh dear, it's raining, Jim off on his new motorcycle. Luckily he's wearing the Musto rainpants we bought when we took sailing lessons. Will he make it to Carnation to his brother's house or will he return home momentarily? I am relishing time in the house by myself, something I haven't had for weeks and weeks. It may be for another five minutes or two more hours. The uncertainty keeps me on guard more than I'd like. I'm up in my room with the door closed and the iPod earbuds in my ears, so what is the difference then from being here alone and having the family home and humming around the other rooms? My antennae are not wiggling at every odd sound, lack of sound, vibration, rumble, crash or breath. The organ and cello are racing after each other loudly, a music page loudly flaps, and now a crescendoed end. Here's its got to be a piece by Mark - sound of a cello bow against the wood of the cello, plink plunks, this is a piano now not organ, flick of melody, flitter of piano keys, emotional bow draw on cello, piano cleaning chord, cello question, piano arpeggio, cello playing in violin range, piano like stream, like scale playing, cello high high high, end chord on piano, high high cello drawn out note, multiple tiny statements by piano, cello note slurs, piano note slurs, four note phrases, smush chords on piano, loud chords on piano, cello melody line going low and resonant, five notes from piano, cello mimicking violin piano insistent, the pair twining separating, cello sweet and low, piano silent, piano climbing stairs with bo jangles feet, cello sostanza, piano and cello leap frog flirting, trading phrases back and forth, can you do this? this? together, faster faster loud and louder, random note leaps, chords, then paired note swerving on cello, drippy drops on piano, together, little chase scene, sweet chords, building tension, a man falling onto the bass end of the piano keyboard and silence.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

All shaky, having printed out five poems, written a cover letter, a SASE, and an envelope. Hope I make it up the stairs to the mailbox where I'll have to put the flag up, if I have any strength left.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I followed through with applying for my Visa for going to India next month, the part that is online anyway. I still have to go get passport photos and mail the application by some trackable means to the consular office in San Francisco. This trip is going to happen - I am going by myself to India to visit my friends and be far, far away and experience I don't yet know what sensations, which is the idea, idea, idea.

My leg squinch glitch is under control thanks I believe to the wearing of long underwear and snowpants, which are keeping my leg warm thus not allowing the soft tissue to seize up and strangle my leg nerves which then jangle and ululate their painful displeasure causing me to be unable to move around. Not that I imagine myself at all an occupant of a diving bell mind you, mostly due to lack of imagination and the omnipresence of what we in my family have in spades which is self over dramatization. My mother, who sighs deeply and groans often when she is not using English to articulate her unhappiness that she has difficulty moving and is constantly in pain, amen, used to say to me, "Cinderella, Cinderella, Cinderella." Which meant, for those of you who had different childhoods that I was being a punk baby. I'm thinking of my mother because of our yesterday phone conversation in which she sounded old while trying to exude Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step acceptance and gratitude while telling me current event negative experiences of her friends I do not know while getting bluer and older sounding and I true to form let her.

But back to the rain and white-gray sky of our alley view. I've talked on and off about producing a newsletter to be titled "Alley Chat" which I still think could be fun. Our chicken neighbors could write a farm column. Next door our neighbors are redoing their kitchen lighting and adding an indoor trellis to help the kiwi vines (from our kiwi) and restore light to their kitchen since the kiwi are heavy and pulled the hanging lights out of their in-ceiling moorings.

We went with these neighbors (the lawyer and the ornithologist) to the New Year's Eve gala at the Palace Ballroom. The lawyer loved my white top Jim bought me for my birthday in Coral Gables, Florida, but felt my red shoes would have been cuter without the addition of the smart wool black tights. I am back again to my "keep the leg warm" regimen. I told her I used self control not to put a pair of long underwear (lime green for the visually inclined) over the black tights.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

NEW NEW NEW! I have added links! I have put a visual element atop my blog! It is so much easier to do these things now that the new blogger doesn't require the secret handshake of technological knowhow, though my brain could have used the exercise and I had resolved today to work out how to add links, not even realizing I could add the visual element. Happy, happy, happy.

Gray and rainy and rainy and gray today. The coach made it home to Miami last night, though my brilliant ploy of routing her through Baltimore to avoid Chicago didn't work as the plane stopped in Chicago on the way to Baltimore. First it circled in the sky for an extra hour so that the coach spent a moment panicked, wondering if she'd somehow gotten on the wrong plane. She got to sit on the runway awhile in Chicago over a "personal issue" that involved a police car and the removal of a carry on item and no further explanation from the flight crew. She also paid a cab driver $80 for the ride from Fort Lauderdale to Miami Beach. She could see the credit card machine by the driver's feet but he told her he'd take only cash so they had to go to the Publix Market where the ATM was broken so the coach went in and bought "some whole grains" and got extra cash. She didn't have the money for the guy to drive her the four blocks home so had to walk dragging her two full bags.

I am back on track for getting myself to India. I have so much guilt about doing anything that is just for me, and suddenly realized I had not applied for a Visa in the middle of the night. I still have not applied, but have seen that it takes 5 business days from when you apply, and have contacted my friends in Cochin so I can use their contact info for my India contact info. Maybe I should just go ahead and use the Radisson in Delhi. Oh but first I have to reserve the Radisson in Delhi.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New year, clean slate.

I am resolved to submit poems every Saturday of 2008.

After two members of my family told me I couldn't begin a resolution with a four syllable word, I told them my resolution was to step up. At dinner the other three members of my family asked what my resolution was and I said "to step up." The other members mentioned the longer version and my daughter asked for that version. Since the original hearers looked pained, I shortened it to "to act rather than react." Everyone noted that these were two different resolutions. I perused the dinner menu. My husband's resolution is to live more in the moment, my older daughter's is to change her default answer to questions beginning, "would you...?" from YES! ABSOLUTELY! to "let me get back to you on that." My younger daughter's resolution is to be kinder to herself. My son in law claimed not to have a resolution, though he said he has things he wants to do.

Younger daughter = the coach
Older daughter = the reporter

I got up this morning at 4:45, and drove the coach to the airport so she can go back to Miami Beach. She's going back with her Christmas snorkel, fins and mask so she can go out to the beach tomorrow to try them out. The shortie wet suit should get there in another week. Then she's going to sign up for SCUBA diving trips and find jillions of like-minded friends, some of them not tropical fish.

We went to the Palace Ballroom for New Year's Eve. There was a live swing band and dance floor. Since I've had the frozen thigh with nerve jangling I was worried I wouldn't be able to dance, but I did, to the slower songs. Jim wanted I know to swing me around in his mad unschooled style but resisted the impulse as much as he could. It would be fun to take some lessons and learn how swing dancing is done, though I don't know if Jim would find this fun. Maybe we'll find out. The couple next to us went to the Northwest Dance Exchange classes (maybe that's right) at the Swedish Club and said they were helpful and not frou frou or competitive. The classes were helpful not the Swedish Club.

One month from today I fly to India. Time to call that Indian travel agent and find out about flying from Dehli to Kochi, and about getting a car to take me from the Dehli airport to the Radisson Hotel. Yikes!

I've been having a rough time staying here on the planet, tracking my obligations and staying in touch hour by hour with not only what I'm supposed to do but what I might want to do. My mind is a bit of a mush. This reminds me of the woman in primal therapy who yelled at Mike, "How dare you accuse me of working against myself!" which was why every last one of us was in therapy, but sometimes it riles to have someone point it out. I have been working against myself of late, in the quest for "rest" or "a break" or "just a minute of freecell" that turns into vague hour after hour of carpel tunnel syndrome courting bland brain deadening activity that isn't doing anything. I think to myself if there is no god if by corporate and governmental decisions the bees are all going to die and we are all going to have to live in caves again if we live at all then what's the point of functioning? It's pretty hard to argue with that even though it's also danged vague and out there in the future or over in DC and certainly not in my laundry room where the dryer needs to be filled and turned on, in my workroom where the organizational tasks loom - for example I have no book ends so that my new glass shelves drip books at the edges, or at the post office where the stamps live. I will have to get into my biodiesel fueled beetle that is unwashed in the spirit of saving the planet and sloth and drive off in it to do my errands, return to work diligently at getting books together for 7th grade classes, and etc. The and etc. will include my new vice which is the doing of crossword puzzles from the seattle pi, not the seattle times. I do the Merle somebody yes Riegel (or Riegel, or similar) puzzle and thus emboldened embark on the new york times puzzle which I can do now Mondays and Tuesdays without fail, and Wednesdays I dependably can do more than half. Thursdays and Fridays it's Merle alone whose crosswords I can work out, though I still try the NYT. This is a guilty pleasure, a lesser literary accomplishment. I have my tiny delights, as when the answer to a question is "ode" - very frequent - or when it is, only once thus far, Pablo Neruda, written "pabloneruda." One way in which the crossword puzzle is a lower form of art.

New version of a very old sestina by me:

Chagall's Art

The big-eyed goat
rides sky beside a chicken,
brother bows violin
over Vitebsk, a man
aloft with Bella,
torah, Rabbi, angel.

They circle, all but angel
foreign to weightlessness, goat
freed from green, Bella
backfloating lilac, chicken
companionable as man,
varnished as violin,

audible as Russian. Vilin
hourglass, air-worthy as angel,
essential as the body to man.
This is so simple, the brown goat
a child's drawing, the flat chicken,
but for elegant Bella.

His brush caressed Bella,
as bow coaxes violin,
these chickens
vibrant angels.
His hand floats on her hand, man
Marc Chagall or goat

swimming scarlet sky, goat
giddy for Bella
dreaming man
towards this violin
summoning angels,
logical chickens.

In Paris's light he sketched the chicken,
etched the goat,
animals slaughtered next door, angel
rendered, la Tour Eiffel, Bella's
planetary gravity, violin
bird from a far world, this man

whose tears painted the chicken, bella,
who said in colors' threads - violin,
angel, goat -- the essential thing is art.

-Laura Gamache

ciao bella.