Monday, June 30, 2008

Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft 6/30/08

Cogito ergo sum was not the first idea
that I thought I had because someone
else wrote it in a book. A polished peg
pounded into another hole in my real
piecemeal *honk* deal. Let me mewl
and you'll lose another hour. From ova
we get aardvarks and us. The alga
doesn't need to love another to divide.
Cleverly, the egg ejects a single peep
as you breakfast with your paramour.
From rock, shock and water we sprang
ta da, I digress, have you been burned?
Today we'll lose another hope to fog.
Good god, you think I'm paranoid --
How can you grip a girder in a daze?
We all fall down, our secrets outed --
weep and pull the china down for tea.
I read the book of life or did I skim?
Don't grind millet for your parakeet.
So many things to do that I do not
want to do not want to do. Id itself
parrots me for we are parallel
as endless lines or ground to meal.
If I had a hammer I'd challenge Thor
in a greasy downtown garage. Are
there any more non sequitors to
set upon this tray? While she sups
he sops up wine stains with a pad,
She says, think before you speak.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm organizing a bookshelf: "The Homeowner and Mold" -
Botany? Kitchen remodeling? The simplest task perplexes
me. "Cinderella, Cinderella," my mother used to say. Noah
only had two of everything. Plants were never mentioned.


Having sprained a tendon, he says, "Make me a cocktail!"
In the poem, I know how to do this, Mrs. Boston, into
muddling mint leaves and decanting spirits into a crystal
carafe. I bath olives in vermouth, pimentoes in the seed-
less caves, withoug smudging my magenta acrylic nails.


All About Eve vs. Three Faces of Eve


When I was a child I couldn't sit like a tailor,
knelt on my sleeping feet in Camp Fire Girls,
twirled my hair into knots, ripped off my nails
and slid the parings between my teeth. Years
later, one poked out through my upper gums.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sheffer Warmup 6/26

The editors tell you, send us your best
work, roundhouse punchy riffs. Bags
line their hallways, nearly audible baa
as gofers pass, out the door for aloe,
anything not to slit another envelope
sifted with dry powder, s'more ague,
another ardent poem who cannot act.
Well-heeled wannabes try Barcelona,
Roma, Prague. You watch bumblebees
in three hues suck lavender nectar.
Impetuous flitters, they ignore your
patient attention. One ducks in and out
from mauve foxglove, Bartholomew
Cubbins in miniature. Are you two?
You've booked passage on a freighter
but it's too late to discover yourself
exotic in a far port. Another girl with
glamorous ambitions who will not do
the work. The Kerala produce counter
stocks basil, carrots, bunched cilantro.
Its fragrance clings to fingers, lines
your pores. You want to be remade
but you don't know into what. Poems
bleat oddly from beside your chair.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sheffer Crossword 6 25 Practicing Scales, Staying Nimble

Sunset, dock, a woman about to clip
her nails reflects that money can buy
such pedicures in peach tinged spas
this peach from the dusk bloomed lake
pinking these tanned hands she used
long years ago for scales but now to
trim grape and Virginia Creeper vines,
this act she will soon consummate as
light holds her, softens her gently.
Next door they mouth Nefarious white,
think they've imagined her, forks
glancing off tough hazelnuts in salads,
second glass, slightly looped, early
season, no yellow jackets to shoo,
fruitstand watermelon, corn on the cob,
awash in spinach, beans and snap
peas, staked tomatoes only yellow
blooms. Juniper shadow looms and
blots her shadow. If she were stoic,
she'd think, so what, this fading, dry
witted, dry eyed, no whimpering plod.
She recalls when every new idea
discovered her, an exotic orchid
hard and shiny as painted toenails.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sheffer Puzzle 6/24k (!)

You make my heart sing mild
cud chewers that we are. She
watches baseball players chew
from mounds and outer fields
as from the Sound salty odor
seeps into stale Cracker Jacks
caw shadows across Jumbotron
another catch botched in haze
yet another coach scrapped.
Take me out to the ball game
seventh inning what else to do
Screen blinks NOISE!, we yell
approaching train horn blasts
jets rumble from above clouds
gods at nine pins, Moose dance
on dugout roof in the land of
war canoes, evening sun aura
slanting across the stands, bus
brakes on Fourth Avenue South,
ahoy, we cry, ye Mariners.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sheffer 6/23 Puzzle

Life loops forward from the womb
odd isn't it to have emerged awed
out of that dark Eden to rise and ebb
as we all do, alas, all that we erect
falls away no matter how jealously
we guard, hate, cordon off, bargain.
It is summer with the heat turned
high sky gray trees darkening their
green leaves and shaking them at
every passing car. How far we have
driven past our welcome. We say
we'll never again and then repeat.
Coyotes stare from Arboretum
azalea shade, crows litter alleyways
beside dumpsters, asphalt fills
potholes and we are filled with mad
anxiety and sad seedless watermelon.
What have we done to chickens' DNA?
We wallow at the shrink's as peaks
lose glacial weight. What we knew
about the water cycle cannot comfort
now it's wrong. So much here to rile
kiwi whips tendrils toward dogwood
all vines lasso, pull, muzzle into and
through relentless and blind as moles.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Tip for Writing Avoidance

Ampleforth, England, Haryana, India, Attiki, Greece,
Coram, New York, Horsham, Pennsylvania: Hello.
(people from there the last few to view this site)

Sheffer Today

Six degrees of chemically compromised bacon
drip and droop above electric element hot as ire
another morning another homage to the ohm.
Thank you ancients for arithmetic, plus signs to obeli
to Euclid for geometry's enclosing certainties
prime numbers, times tables, elegant listings
I memorized knew holy bright colored locales
in my brain neurons branched and twined for
ever amen. However shaken I could never lose
this cultivated repetition, entry to communion
with ancient Greeks. Junior High Tillitype Editor,
I printed the Pythagorean Theorum on the front
page, ninth grade, no wonder nobody kissed me.
Cream cheese whitened knife swabs bagel
a twist turns bacon mobius strip, potato almost
browned thanks be to physics and the dam.
I will not take on horrors here, the what ifs now in
view that rues all math has made we are paying for
our physics our can do since it is there. I'm
aware. To shelter frogs, I'll place the broken pot
beneath gingko where soil stays damp, pledge
allegiance to gold splashed honey bees but
I will not shun our human push into aerials
our running past the edge. We all fall down,
get up get up we cheer the cyclist. This morning.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shefer 6 19

when golden waves of grain were hays
my beer glass wasn't made from corn
rats spanned Lake Washington, that
eerie underwater forest, scary seminary
east side echoing secrets madrona trees
for home sunset drive in bavarian gardens
open opposites and Ballard seemed Oslo
Issaquah backwoods Monroe felons
Smith Brothers and Carnation milk
Tillicum Junior High Lake Sammamish
Snoqualmie Falls, kinnikinnik, Tacoma,
Enumclaw, Puyallup, Yakima,
Swinomish, Skykomish, Wenatchee
Klickitat, Entiat, Wapato, Chelan
Walla Walla, Walawah, Hoquiam,
Cowlitz, Skokomish, Snoqualmoo,
Tulalip, Skagit, Muckleshoot, Makah,
S'Klallam, Nooksack, Nisqually,
Sook, Samish, Duwamish, Hoh,
Kalispel, Squaxin, Spokane, Lummi,
my grandmother Brownie Ethel
might have been Indian, taught fourth
grade. She died my mother said
"of a broken heart" my father engaged
to be married. Relatives maybe
S'Klallam lived in Sequim.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sheffer 6/18

My friend gyrated on the floor in front of the amp
I danced and guarded her as well as I was able
cables dangling from the ceiling not even a mat --
yoga and sushi the future, exotic food meant poi
proudly countercultural, dorm rooms never neat,
lived on wheat sprouts, undercooked lima beans,
bass pounding through my pelvis as if to gain
anything but orgasm made nonsense in that arena
(college cafeteria) and grass made me Glenda
everyone Glenda the Good, our arms gone wands
we blessed everyone everything, high as an alp
our power pulsing through the speakers, Tiny
Dancer, my friend upright and thrashing, the boy
with waistlength hair pulling me closer, it all
mattered and none of it mattered but matter
moving colliding like remnants of the Big Bang
in deep space grandiose colossal even my ear
Venus size widening ranging as if just to hear
were its tiniest ability as it licked up, sucked in
decibels as if sound was all you can eat spaghetti.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lifting the Veil

Through time lapse we see swallows leave the apse
post apocalypse in the unchurched northwest, Oc-
tober after aspen have quivered their golden hope,
oil vanished from schist and shale, that final nail
silent windup radio between pews, Boggle, mah-
jong, cards wilted from a dozen thumbnails obey
cobbled rules, water sip per point, no point to rite,
bathing, blathering darkness, cursing and candles,
crucifix across the doors, melted pennies in a jar,
celery wilted with the crisper, the last deer hunted
not what we wanted having sharpened the spear
a million ghostly echoes, no more gheckoes, bane
we are and not debatable now we're no longer high
preeners nothing left to glean all time to cogitate
we waffle, wait and trace the thousand algebras
of whose intentions we will never know but shout
to nobody between rounds, remember being kids,
burn hymnals, missives, bookshelves, hesitate
over needlepointed kneelers, DVD with Bob & Bing
empty birdnest in the organ loft mud smooth tiny
tracery, evidence accumulated always past tense,
debates dwindling down the dawn, wind onward
howling, miracle granola bar reduced to a single oat.
Cripes reveal these aren't those days and let us heal
deus ex machina, three Christmas ghosts -- levitate
don't leave us here! Frankincense, myrrh and magi
nave, transept, narthex, I do believe in fairies ere
we breathe our last for real. Deliver us from evil
Blue Angels screaming annunciation shaking stained
glass shattering laughter another bell for Adano.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sheffer 6 15

She rises every morning forgetting who she miffs
the thrall of new, more to withdraw at the ATM
there will be someone handing her a towel to sop
sauce from tiles for the starving children in India
if only we would help and hike them up, headstart
them there. Leave your shoes by her door or mar
this lovely fir under shag all those years as she ate
silently for fear of yelling, before the sitting in
at school. Sleek as a race horse, silky hair, to trot
out slogans, gorp, earth mother of counterculture
drudge for a cause, MS. Magazine to Mothering
she sings alto with Martha and the Good Things
Upstairs is where they locked the crazy women
or piled them, cord wood, on the fainting couch
but now she keeps her power and uses it on you
here comes another jingle jangle of her bangle
at your door. Are you finding any of this eerie?
There's more to creep you out than UFO's.
How will they dress us next? I'm sick of uplift
what did she love before she brought us ill?

Friday, June 13, 2008

This semipublic writing is similar to the 19th century automatic writers who, entranced, received their writing flow from the dead, the ether, or the mouths of gods. My sister left a phone message - writing is difficult for her, she says. She wonders if I write with flow, effortlessly, fluidly. I leave a phone message where I say that writing comes out in a flood but that does not make it good writing, only a place to start, that writing well is difficult for me too, that the fact she finds it hard means she cares about it. I receive a second phone message in which she says her boss writes "like you do" fluidly and that it is crap. I think I've been slapped. In our family we were raised to believe that people who do things do those things because those things are easy for those people to do. Once we found the thing easy for us to do we would happily float off to do it. In the meanwhile, it was not fair that all these other people were effortlessly out there doing whatever we might like to do but, alas, found difficult. I have not called my sister back.

I like playing at the morning poem, the glib fluidity of its unjudged coming into being. I don't think it is a poem, particularly. It is fun to free associate and see where my mind wanders. This rapid process pleases me. This is an engine rev, an "Italian tune up" as my husband used to say, gunning the car engine. It isn't so much functional as fun. What the hay.

Effortless Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft

Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx in swallowtail coats could ape
each other's any move as I watched them before I was Gam-
ache, when TV and Laura Ingalls Wilder were what I cried
about when I admitted that I cried. Socks slipped, wore burs
I didn't know where I got them, Lucille and Harpo so fluid
in black and white. I would have given up my colors to be
one with or of them, the couch safe with nobody home.

Africa was the dark continent, I cut its elephant ear
over and over, painted it orange, painted it green,
edges curled under by poster paint, plaster of paris
Washington state chalk white from rubber mold
flipbook cubes pencilled one by one to a huge cube
repetition the comforting rule. I laved my skills one
after the other did not have to think nor listen nor be.

Where would you hide if we were under seige?
We crouched under our desks in the room corner
that sixties wall of class windows threatening
that hard rain gonna fall, that hurricane, what
must have been the Bay of Pigs. South Florida.

I did not love Lucy so perpetually tripping into
trouble I tiptoed away from. She was brazenly
wrong and mouthy and unfazed by what lay me
flat in doses one one hundredth what she took
and stood and blundered through again and
again, themesong swimming under my door.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spanish lavender waggle their coxcombs
benign as a neutered rooster convention
sky is gray layered with gray highlights
like a woman bent on accepting her age
Northwest dogwood bustles with yellow
green flower sepals butterfly winged
over its droopy green leaves and I would
describe my mood this morning as lying
supine as the lidless garbage can across
the alley behind green potting soil bags.

Sheffer Puzzled

The world as we know belongs to ants
they teem in soil and rotten moldings
their antennae pulsing towards their tzar
we load hatchbacks oblivious as our era
our thoughts moot they swim the moat
we scoff at their motions that seem rote
oil barrels loosed on seas begin to nag
how long till Baskin cannot buy caramel
life without the lightswitch. Ask Asimov
there's no foundation on your pc or mac
what you think doesn't matter a sob
invasive and vanishing we're managing
as children who bounce balls for jacks
how many ants does it take to lift a wig
go figure calculate spreadsheet sane
as a chasm in the Grand Canyon, gap
between continents and ice ages, your
teeth. Though we choke chain our Rex
charmed cast can't lure dead to our rod
caused disaster to all we have surveyed
have prayed and preyed down the Ohio
Red flag in the tree where I spied a Cardinal
animal spirit in the war canoe the ant
there too we haven't listened exoskeleton
glistens and pops under vibram we teem
tornado as trebuchet tosses another cow
analogy will not shore the sagging roof
profess love for all our profits. Amen.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sheffer Crossword Poem Draft

Every family has its designated imp
responsible for every upturned vase
ours was Scott yours may be Ivan
some guy in calvins to excite Leah
we seek novelty our men carve ices
children stashed in rushes on the Nile
always another parquet floor to mop
another chosen one another stepchild
sandwich maker, slave, or swami,
Who remembered the pastrami - you?
all this fuss as though we'll stay atop
once the fire dies we crave the smoke
our afterburner's on so step on it
what are you reading here - runes?
We're loony to listen - step down
have the dignity to demur. Oh dad,
oh datum, oh princess Stephanie.
Another cache for cacophony. Phony.

I saw "In the Land of the Head Hunters" at the Moore Theatre last night - my favorite part was watching the Kwakwaka'wakw bear dancer and thunderbird dancer dancing on the war canoes as they were being paddled. It was also wonderful to have a small orchestra in the pit playing the original score.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Before anything was extra or super and arid
conjured a landscape fit for camels, the ides
of any month struck a vernal fear, when keg
could hold pegs in a hold held to lee from lulu
of a storm or pirates, newt cast spells and nay
was what you didn't say and live. Belltowers
tolled time and cryers told news, to err
was as always human, and nobody obese
waddled the concourse towards WalMart.
Another era, more terra bent and firma
than ours ere belles and blunt bellhops
air above strung with stars in all night areas
not our all night neon light Taco Bell
or around the block to shop for feta.
When sun was neither brella nor kist

Monday, June 09, 2008

Layer the poems more says Hunger Mountain

I've heard it from the high up lama
I am changing my ways, breaking law
to stay the same, embrace my flaw,
overture overtones over, over rule
the flow of traffic in my vein lane
transfixed by what I thought tentacle
I'm wrong again my precious orts
unwanted. Let's off to the fish fry
and forget my smallfry talents.
Albert Brooks may be zany in Kuwait
who will undo what was undue
and who am I to think that's real?
in another reel we find him, Gene,
oh grace oh Kelly, hair tendril
in the center of that forhead, what
wouldn't I outdo for you? Out rob
outright out with poor tenants
strands in a vial prove me vile
sci fi ergo two crows on the wire
like shoppers above the aisle
whirl around this axis, lose access
to the man who admires us inn
crust secret layer betrayer lard
oh Fugart thou art not Tennyson
Fellow denizens lets hear it for oral
Janet Jackson up the escalade
another poem seasoned like stew.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Crossword Poem Draft from NY Times, June 2, 08

And, for example, I won't eat veal.
You can get seven bullies, an octet,
hire someone from the KGB or KAOS,
I won't back down, principled as Arlo
at the induction center or Mehta
facing a tuba player with a tin ear.
To provide another instance, an ogre
at the door, I won't let him in. Ties
me in a fancy knot, but keep an eye on
me and you'll see I'm for real. Jeez,
just hand over the comics section
and lower your blank blank firearm,
my clock is ticking and it's no Casio.
What's up your rear? I've gotta ask.
Not to get in front of myself, but as a
pig's gotta be suspicious of the apple
at a luau, I'm watching earth's orbit
and it's got a bit of a hump for a sphere.
See, what I'm saying is I know arts,
martial, and lately, disappearing.
It will take more than your watercolor
set to fill in these widening blanks.
Have you heard of the expanding
universe? Do you wonder what that
means for you? Two weeks, I'd say,
off your life based on last week's tally,
though calculation never has eased
disappointment so I understand your
angry stance here. Put out? Me too,
but get an air date, dude, and leave.
You're the Lone Ranger? I'm not Tonto
to let you run the show like an Earl
out of England or whatever ragtag
title you've imagined. You're atop
what, here? I'll check what's on tap
and you've got it, the lovely Rita
there too. So what you're a mole
a lot of people plead blindness, belly
ache, think the luge is just another sled.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Having to face my wall, my reluctance, my failure of nerve,
no excuses, nobody obstructing my path to the bathroom
or library, inner repository. Having to see how I stall and
cajole, what a discipline problem I tend to be. I don't want
to write, I'm too hot, I'm hungry. This chair's too short,
I don't like this table, people are talking downstairs, this
shag rug is too deep, too blue, too green. I'm feverish, I'm
edgy, the coffee had too much caffeine, my fingers hurt.

Browns from the Dictionary of Color Words

Miscell. Browns
hazel: lt.
hay: lt.
brunet: var; lt-drk.
toast: var; lt-drk
tobacco: var; or-blk.
gazelle: var.
nut: var.
bay: neu; wrm; med.
olive: drab; med.
nutmeg: neu; med.
Van Dyke: rich; drk.
roan: prpsh; drk.
seal: wrm; drk.
beaver: v. seal.
burnt cork: rich; drk.
bistre: peppy; drk.
bitumen: or mummy brn:
once made from tarry remains
of real mummies;
now made from asphalt.

Browns can be drab, muddy, rich, dirty, warm, ruddy, rusty, nasty, dark, sordid, purplish, nut-brn, yellowish, reddish, orange, berry-brn, mottled or light.

Thanks to Robert Pfanner, Compiler and Editor, and Paschal Quackenbush, Color Consultant, and the National Writers Club who copyrighted this in 1941, not 1942, when presumably there may have been other matters on the national mind.

From the Introduction

All terms fall into one of four classes:

(1) those designating some thing or substance
having literary color-value
such as bamboo or cherry

(2) actual pigments such as cobalt blue
or cadmium red

(3) special names or tints such as sang de boeuf
or clair de lune

(4) miscellaneous terms such as Tyrian,
auburn, and jaundice

Color words tend to fall into two classes:

(1) true color-words or generic terms like
"red" and "yellow"

(2) qttributive terms like "flamingo"
and "jonquil."

"Henna hair" is acceptable;
"Henna red hair" is bad.
"Vermilion scarf" is good;
"vermilion red scarf" is bad.
"cherry red" or "copper red" are correct.
"Taupe purple is clumsy and vague;
more specific would be, "a warm soft taupe."
Only "Tyrian" can modify "purple",
as in the phrase "Tyrian purple."
"Flaming vermilion" is good;
but "flaming pink" makes nonsense.
One might write of a "brilliant magenta"
but never of a "brilliant wisteria".

Sunday, June 01, 2008

WWU Women's Crew has just won Division II Nationals for the fourth year in a row! I wanted to watch live online, but found the Duxbury Free Library closed for the day after I walked a half hour to get there, plenty early, so I walked home, got into the rental sports car and headed to French Memories Bakery, which doesn't have wi fi, Dunkin' Donuts, which doesn't have wifi. One of the kids working there said the "Big Starbucks" in Marshfield has wi fi. The shift supervisor gave me directions that omitted certain facts that put me behind time-wise, for example, do not take the first W 139 exit you come to or you will wander through a half hour of back country that, while pretty, is keeping you from watching the DII 4's final and the DII 8's petite final. I ended up having to buy a day pass to use the Starbuck's wi fi once I got here, which I think is insulting, expensive and highway robbery (hiway 139W, Marshfield, Mass.) I was able to "watch" the WWU girls (women!) win for the fourth year in a row. The first two Julia rowed for WWU, last year she watched in Tennessee, as intern coach for UW Women's team and this year she watched as assistant women's rowing coach for the University of Miami Hurricanes. There was an online promise to provide live video coverage, which I set up a login for and found not to function. "No video found." So, I "watched" the Jamco coverage, a cartoon update of the course, with <'s and team names put in relative position, as though they are racing right to left, with split times. I've got the Women's Div I Four grand final up on the screen beside this. 500 meters in, Washington (UW) is in first place. They won their heat, the only UW team to do so. They're ahead at the 1000, but had a slower split time than both Virginia and Brown, so things may change at the 1500. They'd better be pouring it on! Virginia is in first place at the 1500, with washington behind by .22 seconds. but with slower split time, so Virginia was moving on them, and, unless they catch fire on the sprint, they're going to be left behind. They WON, with a split time of 1:50.84, compared to Virginia's split of 1:52.71. Good for them!