Saturday, February 27, 2010

Because I could I spent the morning in the arboretum, walked it end to end, walked under the freeway where the powers have whited out the grafitti art again. I tried to skirt the muddy patch but hit the squelchy stuff that seeped into my shoe, but who cares? Then sat on a bench and stared out at the Husky men's crew in pairs across the bay, the white coach's launch like a white slip-on mule zooming past then waiting for them, bits of garbled instruction bouncing my way, and then an eight passed just off shore from me, its chaperoning launch loaded with several people in boathouse jackets and regatta suits, hoods up, hands in mitts while the men in spandex shorts and ultra max shirts rowed by pairs and fours and the boat wobbled, coach calling through his mini meg "don't worry about your set!" and then "just keep it confident." Some sort of drill that didn't look coherent to me, and then the cox said, "all eight in two." and I heard the thump, whooooooosh I love the sound of over and over as they moved towards the buoy that separates the lake from the bay. I walked away towards home.

At the wonderful William James used bookstore in Port Townsend I bought Ravishing DisUnities, which would be a terrific buy just to have that phrase in front of me, but which I have wanted since it is the collection of "real ghazals in English" (its subtitle) that Agha Shahid Ali collected and edited before he died in 2001. If you don't already know this, William James Books is the best place to find poetry since many poets and Copper Canyon Press live in PT. If you have a head lamp and wooly socks, wear them. The poetry shelf is at the back of the store and UNLIGHTED (is this a passive aggressive message? a fairy tale challenge for poetry's suitors?) and it is right next to the locked back door the bottom of which is ajar and wafts icy licks of outside air at your feet and ankles in a very unwelcoming manner.

Agha Shahid Ali has given I think the definitive pronunciation of "Ghazal" - here goes, without looking at my notes: Pronounce the "gh" pretty much like a French "r", then the whole word rhymes with guzzle. For those of you, you know who you are, who have insisted it is pronounced guZAL, you are wrong. And I bet your Lebanese friends are not poets.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Daily Crossword Puzzle Poetry Draft for 2/25/10

When I was fourteen hearing the Who made us rebels.
My friend with her cigarette like a prop
they made me sick, I'd rather suck on ice.
My friend had belt stripes across her back
I couldn't get the counselor to see
In charge of a forest she couldn't see the tree
the counselor I mean in the years of Cheerios and Namath
before you and I were so famous.
My friend was shark and I the minnow
Her mom was 30, maybe 32
my mother called their house a sty
so glamorous, it might have been Gabon
her mother hit in secret my mother nagged
heavier than a backpack crammed with opals
I wanted a polished golden oval
over my head I was over my head, albino
like my brother before anyone went online
before the spray-on tan before Opec and Iran
when I could vie with any child for tamest.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life is so learn as you go - I just succeeded in understanding the meaning of the trashcan icon beside each comment and was able to delete the offending "comcastcares" remarks. Moment of immense satisfaction.

As opposed to last night when I had to call my husband who was skiing (okay apres skiing) in Telluride, tv remotes lined up in front of me, to ask him the sequence of events with these vaguely phallic vaguely magic wand objects. I had gone through an exhaustive (I imagined) process of actions with all of them, in sequence, before my call. He was trying to explain to me what to do and I was trying to assure him I had done sophisticated experimentation when he stopped me and said, "just listen to me." I did and was able to watch the first ten minutes of "Johnny English" which I then put back into its Netflix envelope because it was either horrifyingly awful or not anything I was in the mood to watch. Okay, I will be judgmental. I would have to smoke a lot of nutmeg or banana peel to enjoy that movie.

Now for today's Daily Crossword Puzzle Poetry Draft

Slim chance we'll see an eft ooze from the slime
I watched a carrot once, to see if I could see it grow
but that was long ago when I believed what I read
or what anybody said
before the salamander, before the wheel,
when I swallowed everything with zeal
and never tooted my own horn. (I didn't even have one.)
That was the beginning, then came the age of linen
American salwar kameez and yoga pants
a stance not backed up by subsequent events.
Have I ever known what I have meant?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Daily Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft for 2/20/10 Crossword Puzzle

The glamorous sun shone today but now it's fleeing
the morning's frost must mean that we replace
bulbs we dug so happily on Saturday, Spring's arrival
not so sure as we supposed, how all the blossoms sag.


god how about some prose in hip waders dude?!
and yet today was a good good day when I did well by myself and didn't eat crap or play mindless Text Twist which is to say not play but let the fingers fidget on the keys and stare away from anything that has to do with mind or heart or what I have to be a part of such as my mother's illness and my own dis-ease. ARRGH! Do you not totally want to puke over that one? I read 8th grade short stories over the weekend while also rereading CATCHER IN THE RYE. Oh my but Salinger writes so much better than 8th graders. One girl, there is always one every year, wrote a story that as I read it I spun off into the world she created. SUCH JOY! The teacher said to me, "I read one 15 page story, and gave you the other. I do NOT read 15 pages." The girl said to me something like "I need to be more concise." Different word. Juicier. More judgmental actually, like a longer piece of writing better not happen in that class. I said "who cares?" Here's where it meant something that I'm a writer in that class - I LOVED HER WRITING! She wrote about a future pacific northwest where there were some people, about a sixth of the population, who could alter their form. Everybody lived in the woods, where cedar and salal, vireos and robins lived so that I could see, smell, feel them. She said something about worrying her writing was cheesy. I said the line between great and cheesy is thin since if you write from heart your risk gooey. I praised the way she wrote about the characters hunting and eating beaver when they'd become coyotes. Very bravely animal. She understood, she got it, she was relieved. I soared like a shape shifter gone vireo the rest of the morning.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Well, shebang, I tried to delete ComcastCares without deleting the post or other comments, but old pretend guy wouldn't dislodge, so I have a nice ad for the compassionate caring comcast response. Do you suppose that response is triggered everytime the word "Comcast" occurs in a blog? HA! If one shows below this post, there's some evidence. Maybe I'll use code word COMPASSION instead of Comcast in future.

New York Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft for February 17

Drain the pond, sieve the scum
return to base, at ease
My kingdom for a purple pez
Dale Carnegie in a tutu
my syntax for your sintax
a scoop of chicken ala
haunted by Iris Murdoch
I'll swap you penny for a sap
and all the new releases
video store and netflix rivals
your email all for e.d.u.
your mother works at Jiffy Lube
your mother knew Daisy Miller
tell your mother you've rued
on the loose without the loos
a triumphant run of t-cells
tomorrow what is is not
just think of Rose Kennedy
lavender flower girls
your friend Boyann
it's all force and flit
your mother is a roadie
an you have all the xes.


Beautiful day outside. Onward.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New York Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft for 2 16 10

Look now as I display your temporal lobe
throbbing since you're late for this appointment
I judge you not for all your trips to Arbys
your preference for brussels over okra
look here your mind is stuck on Paar
you've hiked the wetlands, seen the heron
your youngest serves you cootie pie
subconsciously you're leied so now aloha
the end is near and all you want's a kiss
how old were you again? Here's Don Ameche
a couple PeeChees and now we're back to food,
a high school where you'll never win, amen.


Discipline's a thing that must be a useful tool
though those of us who cling to fossils, fool
ourselves that we're immune from need
to read anything but what we want - life's
an easy A and all our doubts are cured!
so maybe I'm absurd so go ahead and gasp
we'll calm the gods and milk the asp.


Yesterday I spent over three hours transferring auto payments from the closed account ("Did you order a playstation to be delivered to Florida?" "NO!") into the new one. Cards arrived on the back porch via FedEx. Somebody climbed a hundred stairs in rain when they could have come into the alley, but that's self sufficiency gone haywire. Once again, the worst company to deal with is Comcast. Every dealing I have with them and their awful automated system with its choices that have nothing to do with what anybody would choose I lose more tooth enamel. I have devolved into a jibbering steam engine before I speak to the first human who opens by asking me my secret word. I'll tell you my secret word!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Daily Crossword Poem Draft for 2/10/10

Jane Eyre, fangcasfare, baby bear I care but err
you're beautiful and I'm a fool, we haven't laughed for ages
I sing you green my little bean you answer back in umbers
I wake to rue for what is true I'm Kanga to your Roo
when you're blue my job to do is love you in our scenes
my stubborn head my sterile bed my micromanaged matter
my left hand's cold the topic difficult as tundra
scroll it back to where the sea lion caught that steak
I bought the soap the day we lost the skewers
and life's no sum as numbers and computers
that are so easier than breathing it's impossible
but sing your baby song and I will plod the stairs
a heavy wait or levity, in the end it's brevity
that will do you in, a penny for your g-men
your baby's palm a feather on my face.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Daily Crossword Puzzle Poem Draft for TuTu, 2010

Let's say you've landed at O'Hare
your head atumble with creepy graves, the fam
outside in biting wind, upset
though you will pay the handling charge
they ask after, you have rescued uncle
from some murky circumstance in Cork
teeny airplane wine and tinny tapes -- Harpo
in a tophat. Oh, stop that. Make a vow
the past as gone as USSR