Today it’s been three weeks since my close encounter with a Jeep. You would think it gives me a lot of time for poetry, but I’m finding it hard to concentrate on anything serious. I did come across this poem, though, which I am passing along:
The Blessed Angels
How much like
angels are these tall
gladiolas in a vase on my coffee
table, as if in a bunch
whispering. How slender
and artless, how scandalously Continue reading
One of my poet friends who doesn’t live nearby, sent me this this morning. It did cheer me up after a very dispiriting week.
If you have your health, you have everything
is something that’s said to cheer you up
when you come home early and find your lover
arched over a stranger in a scarlet thong.
Or it could be you lose your job at Happy Nails
because you can’t stop smudging the stars
on those ten teeny American flags.
I don’t begrudge you your extravagant vitality.
May it blossom like a cherry tree. May the petals
of your cardiovascular excellence
and the accordion polka of your lungs
sweeten the mornings of your loneliness. Continue reading
Since my last post, I had an encounter with a Jeep while riding my bike. It didn’t go too well for me, and I’ve been rendered pretty immobile with injuries to my right foot. Luckily, that’s all, and according to the amazing physicians at Highland Hospital, there will be “full functional recovery.” But the process is long and difficult.
Through this all, Larry has come through as a stellar nurse, caretaker, and cheerleader. Not only has he taken on most domestic chores, he is a rock when I am down. Plus, he’s so adorable! I love this photo.
I am lucky to have an ally in this chancy life.
One of the projects sponsored by Poetry Society of America is short poems posted in panels on NY subways. Larry caught a glimpse of this one, exiting the train:
Like peas in their
green canoe, like
in a row, sit
drops of dew
along a blade
of grass. But
subject to their
weight they slip
if they accumulate. Continue reading
In New York I went to see an exhibit of drawings by Picasso, Klimt, and Schiele. Schiele, who died at 28, saw Klimt as a mentor, but took his erotic drawing further, I think. These certainly seemed like the best of the show to me. I wonder what it is that makes a line on paper come to life?
I have been traveling, which is why no poem this Monday. The highlight of my trip has been two days at the University of Tulsa, meeting with students and faculty, and participating in a presentation called Poetry, Tyranny and Memory with Jacob Howland for the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities. It focuses on the poetry of Osip Mandelstam and Tadeusz Borowski, and you can see it here.
The first eight minutes are about upcoming programs at the Center, so you can start at minute eight.
Here is one by Joseph Stroud–one long exhalation of description that opens at the end. To me, the title adds a little twist to the poem–life itself is so strange and gorgeous, we don’t need to look further than the road we are on for poetry. Though I have no way of knowing whether that’s what he meant.
A bit late, a bit short, but…
Bread and Stars
Bread is in my lap,
Stars are far, far away.
I am eating bread looking at the stars.
I am so engrossed, don’t even ask—
Sometimes I get mixed up and instead of bread
I eat stars.
translated from the Turkish by Sidney Wade and Efe Murad
And so it’s time again for a Monday poem, when I just posted last Monday’s! Today, a poem on Arthritis, which I never thought about when young. But well described by Carol Moldaw, along with other strands of thought. Carol will be reading in October for Marin Poetry Center.
“Save your hands,” my mother says,
seeing me untwist a jar’s tight cap—
just the way she used to tell me
not to let boys fool around, or feel
my breasts: “keep them fresh
for marriage,” as if they were a pair
of actual fruit. I scoffed
to think they could bruise, scuff, Continue reading