Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays







And I've been practicing yoga. Okay. Not exactly practicing . . .

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wild Tights! Wild Tights! after Emily Dickinson


Wild tights! Wild tights!
Were I in thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Doha Climate Conference



Reading the news about the Doha Climate Change Conference and thinking about the idea of a seven degree temperature rise and what a seven degree rise by 2060 would mean, I feel so hopeless. It's nuts that so many people don't seem to want to do anything about this issue.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Week in Review








Musee des Beaux Arts
W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;. . .


Filling Station
BY ELIZABETH BISHOP

Oh, but it is dirty!
—this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match! . . .

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ode to a Fart (for Dan)



I was inspired by Dan Dyer's post about fart humor to write the above . . . Apologies to Shelley.

Ode to a Skylark


HAIL to thee, blithe spirit!
Bird thou never wert—
That from heaven or near it
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest,
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest . . .

Thursday, November 8, 2012

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'


And all of the Obama fans in the neighborhood are chortling in their joy,their signs still out, one house with balloons. We have slain the Jabberwocky who was trying to whiffle his way into our neck of the tulgey woods.

My Beamish Boy


Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Republicans Are Calling Today!


I can't wait for the phone calls to stop! I hear that the Koch brothers are behind the incessant robo-calls. The Koch brothers and every other super pac . . .

Waiting for the Barbarians
C.P. Cavafy


What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are due here today.


Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?

Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.


Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.


Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.


Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.


Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.


And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The paired butterflies are already yellow with August











A week ago it was between seventy and eighty degrees every day. People were saying we were having our second August, and sighing happily. I was missing fall, and also missing Maine and the real August.


The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter
BY EZRA POUND
After Li Po

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chōkan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever, and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?

At sixteen you departed
You went into far Ku-tō-en, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me.
I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Chō-fū-Sa.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Art of Screwing after Elizabeth Bishop


They say these campaigns are targeted, but I doubt it. I get several calls a day from the Romney campaign. I think everyone in Ohio is being bombarded. The same groups that called yesterday and the day before will call again tomorrow. I fear we are screwed.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chuck Berry


After another sickening week of endless phone calls, surveys . . .

Are you better off now than you were when Obama took office?

Yes indeed. I felt born again the minute Bush left the White House. And if Obama wins again, I will know I've been saved.

Click.


Jim and I went to see Chuck Berry, a retrospective, in Cleveland. It was off the charts. So many great performers: Ernie Isley, Merle Haggard, Rick Derringer . . . Chuck Berry at 86 was mind-blowing.


Monday, October 22, 2012

I Hear America Screaming


I Hear America Singing

by Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand
singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or
at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of
the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows,
robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.







Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ben Jonson



Inviting a Friend to Supper
by Ben Jonson

TO-NIGHT, grave sir, both my poore house, and I
Doe equally desire your companie :
Not that we thinke us worthy such a guest,
But that your worth will dignifie our feast,
With those that come ; whose grace may make that seeme
Something, which, else, could hope for no esteeme.
It is the faire acceptance, Sir, creates
The entertaynment perfect : not the cates.
Yet shall you have, to rectifie your palate,
An olive, capers, or some better sallad
Ushring the mutton ; with a short-leg'd hen,
If we can get her, full of eggs, and then,
Limons, and wine for sauce : to these, a coney
Is not to be despair'd of, for our money ;
And, though fowle, now, be scarce, yet there are clerkes,
The skie not falling, thinke we may have larkes.
I'll tell you of more, and lye, so you will come :
Of partrich, pheasant, wood-cock, of which some
May yet be there ; and godwit, if we can :
Knat, raile, and ruffe too. How so e'er, my man
Shall reade a piece of VIRGIL, TACITUS,
LIVIE, or of some better booke to us,
Of which wee'll speake our minds, amidst our meate ;
And I'll professe no verses to repeate :
To this, if ought appeare, which I know not of,
That will the pastrie, not my paper, show of.
Digestive cheese, and fruit there sure will bee;
But that, which most doth take my Muse, and mee,
Is a pure cup of rich Canary-wine,
Which is the Mermaids, now, but shall be mine :
Of which had HORACE, or ANACREON tasted,
Their lives, as doe their lines, till now had lasted.
Tabacco, Nectar, or the Thespian spring,
Are all but LUTHERS beere, to this I sing.
Of this we will sup free, but moderately,
And we will have no Pooly, or Parrot by ;
Nor shall our cups make any guiltie men :
But, at our parting, we will be, as when
We innocently met. No simple word
That shall be utter'd at our mirthfull board
Shall make us sad next morning : or affright
The libertie, that wee'll enjoy to-night.