Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 31 Sheffer Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft

High in the ramparts he yells, "Serf's up!"
English king hates everybody, Imams,
witches, whatyagonnado but go all out
which serfs do, not to negate
or make them any deader
plunging from above a newsy header
magic middle ages rise off pages, let
imaginations wallow warrens legit
under stone cutouts sunlight min-
imum downstairs. Will we get even?
Stevenson or Charlotte with the web
the castle or the palace of the rani
not do over not recorded not reset
a pox, Black Death, a fishing license
finder's fee of how this west was won.
Oh posh and fie oh black tooth tabby
stones askew akimbo you misstep
who leapt this one time only
holy moley all time jolly on the urn
Walt's lilac fragrance by the stoop
yawp the rooftops say I do
Lemmings lean towards their leader
I conjure them cuz I'm a reader.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sheffer 1/28 Crossword Puzzle: A Poem Draft

Micky Minnie's cousin winged afar
stared at the cartoon sky you sobbed
off-limits now, taboo, another area
cordonned off, fat pettable rope for loge
your chubby hand swatted, lonely, pal
eyes blooming shamed as critics blast
the cornball that you love. Oh liar liar
you pretend and bend to kiss the ass
deconstruct the Hutt and blanch at Babe
but you're a skipping girl across the quad
a tide of stupid tears that do not ebb
oh flow you do and even knowing error
you breach the dam you are not fussy
Owl and Pussy fine with you - so do you ail
and fail, as flightless as the emu
never honored in the east
once dead no resurrected cult
surround your dresser scratchings, each
underlined passage, no referential pastas
shaped to the likeness of your baths
give us this day no madelaine but oreo
for you adore the Cheshire not Prussian
blues. Oh bake me in your Keebler kiln
and let's be done eternity's no fun our
brownies almost done so take your ease
you're one in thousands or in ten
and I will love you always silly dolt.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Aretha Franklin sang "My Country Tis of Thee" in a fabulous, Detroit-made hat! See the Detroit Free Press's article here:

THEY ARE NOT MILLI VANILLI! Read New York Times article here:

I forgot about the cool url-invisible highlight function available to me at blogger. Live with it. I also failed miserably to understand my husband's mini-lecture on how light particles can transmit data instantaneously. I do understand that light can be both particle and wave, and read Ellen Gilcrist's novel. See, what you do is to clone the particles, then line the clone pairs up in the right order in two locations and if you give one of the pair one form by looking at it the other pair member does the same thing, giving you the same sequence of 1s and 0s in the two locations, presently a distance of 2 meters. But how do you keep them in the same order? He mentioned fiber optics, electrical cable which corrals electrons, the printed circuit board with its obedient silica bits. Yeah, but this is the man who dreamed a transistor in a cowboy hat was after him.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In this morning's P.I., I say casually, this morning's P.I., as though it doesn't have a noose around its neck, but I digress.

This morning's P.I. brings happy poetry news - Mike Hickey, elected Seattle Poet Populist for 2009, gets a front page spread in Life and Arts. A few years ago, Mike put out a call for books - local prisons he had discovered had nothing in their libraries. He took up collections and took car trunkloads to Monroe and elsewhere until he was turned away. Sorting through the books, shelving and cataloguing them was too big a strain on resources he was told. All this to say, Mike champions reading and writing and loving words.

Towards the end of the article, we learn that not everyone is a fan of the Poet Populist Program, and it's guess who, someone who writes for The Stranger, the paper whose job it is to remind us that we are indeed all in junior high and that we are not emphatically not in the popular crowd, even though we may be poet populist or whatever. The Stranger's writer wrote, as quoted in the P.I. article, "Public poetry is almost always very bad. Think of Poetry on Buses, a program that consistently produces the worst poetry any of us have (sic) ever read." Unnecessary roughness, I say, and a little nasty of the P.I. reporter to report this gratuitous aside that assures me that if the Stranger's writer sent a poem to the Poetry on Buses program, it was not accepted. Here's my take on Poetry on Buses. I love it. I love the gigantic poet-upon-poet reading that celebrates the new round of poems on buses and I love the torrent of poetry writing in classrooms and kitchen tables throughout the county that precedes each deadline. And I love that poetry rides the buses, is read instead of ads on buses by thousands and thousands of people.

Let us now turn to Elizabeth Alexander's Inaugural Poem, the most public public poetry we have to consider for four years. Was it equal to the task of following our new President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address? How could it have been? What could any of us have written that could have spun us further into that momentous moment? Two million people filled the space from the capitol building to the Washington Monument. How many millions of us watched on how many screens, how many of us together in this hungered-for moment of national unity, this collective at last after eight years collective celebration?

After getting up for morning after how many mornings and writing, Elizabeth Alexander stood in front of two million souls and spoke - declaimed - affirmed her poem and spoke her piece of this historic day. I say hurray. Oh I can bring pettiness to the table, carping, my own hierarchies of who should have been invited, my correctives for her elocution, and all the sour grapes that never blend into a satisfying whine. The New York Times has the transcript of her poem on its website. I say read it, more than once. And then get out there and walk forward.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Does this go out to anybody?
I can't see anything on my blog after December 13.
Perhaps I have died.
Perhaps I am a refugee from my own life
Perhaps it doesn't matter if I cannot see my new posts
Perhaps it is better for me not to see my posts.
This will expand my universe
beyond its constant me me me
that all of us are so bloody tired of
bloody danged tired of
perhaps I should go to England
except that I'd wear a size 12 there
which shows the depth of MY character.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day to cajole and wangle myself into compartmentalizing? organizing? but not trivializing or, by inaccurately analyzing, minimizing my experience in Chiloquin. Yesterday's Seattle Times carried an article, dateline Chiloquin, on the future of Train Mountain. The founder's widow, now owner, hopes to offer youth programs. Ride the miniature railroad! Sheesh, why didn't I think of this?

At Blaine yesterday, two classes of 8th graders played Acronymble and then I showed them how to write pantoums, using a past class pantoum as mentor text. Here are pantoums the classes wrote yesterday:

8A Pantoum

I opened the window and
saw Joe the ice cream man
ringing a bell
cling! cling! cling!

saw Joe the ice cream man
open the 7-11 door
cling! cling! cling!
He disappeared behind the Cheetos.

You opened the 7-11 door,
caught a glimpse of Joe before
he disappeared behind the Cheetos.
You heard the bathroom door slam,

caught a glimpse of Joe before
ringing a bell.
You heard the bathroom door slam.
I opened the window.

8B Sensory Extravaganza Pantoum

Shoes have a definat smell
opera music sounds melodic
ice cream cones tingle your tongue
my skin feels rough.

Opera music sounds melodic
the rainbow shimmers beside the pot of gold
my skin feels rough
dogs smell icky when wet

the rainbow shimmers beside the pot of gold
fire sizzles when you pour water on it
dogs smell icky when wet
bloated marshmallows ooze deliciously

fire sizzles when you pour water on it
ice cream cones tingle your tongue
bloated marshmallows ooze deliciously
shoes have a defiant smell.

In 8A, kids wrote pantoums fast enough, the class time is 80 minutes, that I handed out the Villanelle handout, read them "Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night," and gave them as homework having a general theme for the villanelle when we meet again Wednesday. 8B had a tougher time finishing the pantoum, so their homework is to finish the pantoum. I'll introduce the villanelle Wednesday.

In the afternoon, the two 7th grade classes played Acronymble and then I introduced the idea of transliteration. They study roots in these classes, and 7A remembered learning trans-, while the kids of 7B looked at us blankly when Kylie and I suggested they might have a clue to what "trans-" means. (across. Adults get the cheat sheet.)

EWRLOA Poem from Acronymble

Everybody wants radical literature on air
Elephants wandering really loudly over Asia,
Enterprising walruses riding Landrovers, (outsize animals.)
Ear wax ruling London, Ontario - ahhhh!

NELAMHF Poem from Acronymble

Nematodes elect large ant mayor
(how funny!)

FQMIRDTT Poem from Acronymble

Friends quiet me.
Reminder: don't tolerate taunts.

Follicles question meaning.
In radical departure,
twins talk.

QFAGON Poem from Acronymble

Quest for a gracious ovation now!

Quebec flyers arrived greatly overtired (nude.)

Quiet farts are going on now. - Harrison


Usually, Laura manages on fried ectoplasmic zucchini.


Off to work.