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Archive for October, 2011

Here is my attempt for this week’s Poetry Jam. What’s cooking this week? Write a poem which uses the following words:

laugh  laundry  ghost  edges  beer

I’ve tried to fulfill the assignment and the result may be the worst poem I’ve written since I started this blog (believe me, not my worst poem ever, because some of those I wrote in my younger days are real stinkers).

I’m terrible with humorous poems and I tried to go that route with this one; then I decided, what the heck, I’ll let it be what it is. Not too happy with the result, but as I’ve said before, the shit can get pretty deep around here so it’s good practice not to take myself and work too seriously.*

If you are new to my blog (maybe came via Silent H, Deadly H?), welcome and please look at some of my other poems via the Category column to your right. I swear I usually do better…..

Ghosts of My Grandmothers Hanging Laundry

I love the laundry,
it is true,
I always have,
I always do

The sheets hang like ghosts
in autumn’s fading light
sins of my fathers
labors of my mothers
precede the
rhythm of my days

My grandmothers make sharp edges
with hot irons

Sometimes an uttered curse
up to God or down to Hell
rarely a laugh
the labor long
with diapers
and stained undershirts

Oma didn’t drink
because alcohol
was a demon
walking side-by-side
with the soldiers and the bombs,
Meine Opa’s
fists livelier with every slug
from the bottle

For my Jewish Grandma Elsa,
ceremonial wine

And me?
Do not I love the laundry?

Jeans on the line,
and genes from my fathers,
slugging my beer
‘til I can’t drink any more

I love the laundry,
it is true,
I always have,
I always do

October 16, 2011

*Dear Readers–the trick of setting you up for disappointment is not new to me. I understand this robs you (and me) of a fresh ear to my work and a genuine, untainted discourse in regards to it. It’s an old behavior of mine and I pull it out here consciously. Perhaps a woman of greater character and strength would have let the chips fall where they may. My only defense is I don’t do it often and I’m pretty strong most rest of the time (you know I’ve got a pair of brass ovaries, peeps!). I love you, my dear readers; don’t forget it!

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Brookfield Farm carrots–the best carrots I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as a child, carrots were the only vegetable I’d eat (okay, potatoes, too). It’s also the only vegetable one of my daughters eats on a regular basis, so knowing that the carrots we get in our CSA are out-of-this-world good-tasting and organic to boot is a deep satisfaction. Farmer Dan said the carrots got too much water in late summer so they would be small, but this week, I assure you, they were completely normal-sized, if not even larger, than a couple of weeks ago. The flavor is earthy and robust when they are at their best. I want you to know I just held back from making any length-in-inches carrot jokes, too. Like seven of them.

Corkscrew Carrot

Toothpaste tubes, lotion: I can squeeze toothpaste from a toothpaste tube for up to 3 weeks after all of the other members of my family are ready to discard it. I LOVE this. It makes for more counter-top clutter in our shared bathroom because the rest of my family has moved on to their shiny new toothpaste tubes, but the knowledge that I am using the very last bits of a product makes me very happy.

I also cut near-empty lotion tubes in half and use those for a couple of extra days. Good stuff! This model of using up the very last drop can be applied to all manner of consumer products in your household. Unless you go rogue and make your own toothpaste, hand cream, laundry detergent, dish soap….

All righty, then….It’s time for a rare mention of something political on twinklysparkles:

OCCUPY WALL STREET people!!!

Is this the jammin’est thing going in our country today?

This morning, the first headline that caught my eye was an urging of the OWS movement to get THE PEOPLE, as in WE, to move our money to small, local banks and/or credit unions. While this can be complicated and may not work for some businesses with international banking needs, it also can be quite simple and if the free market works, open up more options for all of us, including businesses with international banking needs.

You think the oligarchs are scared? You bet your sweet bippies! Read on, my friends.

Concrete change, change in which an individual can make a choice with what matters most to the political world, may be simpler than we’ve all thought. What matters most? I think this says it rather well:

In a related vein–if I haven’t been completely clear about it before, you should also know that I love Sharon Jones. When I found this this morning, I loved her even more.

If you are PETA or a particularly sensitive vegetarian, you may want to forward through the first 38 seconds or so of the video. But people, you must listen after that. Woody Guthrie turned R and B and interpreted so there’s no doubt about its message. Can I get a witness?

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Before Thankful Thursday gets into full swing, the management would like to alert you to the fact that several posts are now password protected; I am exploring new avenues for a few of my poems. I am not, however, ready to remove them completely. (There was one poem a few months ago that was and will remain password protected unless I can edit it to protect the innocent; truly, as it is about children.)

I love my blog and I love putting poems up here; I love the comment section if I’m lucky enough to get comments. At times I’m torn between blogging my poems and simply putting together a chapbook.

A blog is both mutable and stable (as long as one has access to electricity at some point…another irony of a blog’s “permanence”); the fact of the technology blows me away sometimes. I puzzle over it. Knowing that it is only in a nascent state makes it even more amazing and mind-boggling.

What I miss sometimes is reading words off of pages. The computer hurts my eyes. I get tired more easily sitting in front of a screen. I miss touching paper, but I love youtube. I love the speed and the tricks and the access, but I also love reading in bed at night propped up on my queenly down pillows with real paper between my opposeable thumbs and fingers.

On to Thankful Thursday. Some time. Later.

Ciao! twinkly

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I spent the morning “swimming” in 60-degree ocean water with a pack of happy teenagers, cleaning up a house rental top-to-bottom (that’s a lot of dishes and laundry, my pets!), and driving back home with me mum and a tide of New Englanders heading west.

Sun setting on orange-dusted tree tops, low rolling mountains layered dusky purple, tangerine, and gray…Oh, New England! Oh, Fall!

I love this song and began singing it to keep myself awake on Route 2 because, you know, it’s near full-dark at 6:30 now.

I learned this from my kids, but it’s nowhere to be found on the web so that I might share the tune with you. Perhaps my Annie and I could record it so you could hear it.

I would love to know if you know it, have heard it, know anything about its origins. I rarely ask for things from you, my doves, but I ask you now.

Autumn Roundelay

Here I sit and wait for you, ‘neath the spreading branches,
Cool the grass with shade and dew, sunlight ’round me dances

Ai loo lee oh lee oh lay,
How my heart is ringing,
Ai loo lee oh lee oh lay,
Songs to you I’m singing

Fall is in the air today, hear the wild geese crying,
Don’t delay, come while you may, snow will soon be flying

Ai loo lee oh lee oh lay,
How my heart is ringing,
Ai loo lee oh lee oh lay,
Songs to you I’m singing

The verses can be sung in a round. It’s the most lovely song, gives me shivers and tears

Happy Fall and Happy Deciduous Leaves Turning Color!

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Blue Skies Above, Low Tide Below

Gulls squabble in the shallows
where the fishing is best

I lie down in the low-tide waves,
stroke the sand

my arms sweep
like I am rowing in a shell
but I am not going anywhere today

the soft sand begins to feel dry
in my underwater hands

piping plovers
move one-mindedly
like ants or flocking blackbirds

I stand and look at the horizon
upside-down between my legs
the waves almost touching my face

can I orient to this strange world
where the sky flattens
and color disappears?

I lie back down on dry sand
cold on my bare back
and whisper your name to the blue above

I called and you came
my love

I called and you came

October 9, 2011

This week’s Poetry Jam directed us to write a love poem (I “missed” last week’s Poetry Jam, ie, couldn’t write an apt poem to save my life even though the prompt was a juicy one). Just something light and airy today, gott sei dank!

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Dear Readers,

I don’t have an iPod (RIP Steve Jobs) and even if I did, I couldn’t play it through my 2000 Toyota mini-van’s stereo system (see, I used the phrase stereo system, so you know the dinosaur part about me is true).

I bought the new Wilco CD yesterday and I played it in the car on the way to the high school open house I attended last night. I listened to this track twice, once on the way to the school, once on the way home. Wilco played this live when we saw them in Boston last month and it stuck with me…I kept wondering which song was that?

During our 15-minute Geometry “class” at the open house, I tried sneaking reading the lyrics, but no worries, my daughter will probably get an A, unlike me who flunked high school Geometry (or was that Alg II?). Sneaking lyrics wasn’t the only thing I did in high school to get into trouble and I can only hope my amazing, intense, creative, energetic, artistic daughter goes a better way than I did back then.

This song, I don’t know what it’s about, but I think this is the true gem of the album, the one for the ages. There are a couple of lines that kill the hell outta me:

Outside I look lived in/like the bones in a shrine–it’s immediate, sharp and soft at the same time, and reminds me of churches in Prague and I am cold for my father/frozen underground

I’ve lived without my father for so long, lived without knowing him for so much of my life, but I was missing him and picturing him yesterday. I pulled out a bin of old photos.

I forget the damage, you know, the damage of losing a parent when you’re still pretty young. I don’t grieve for him any more, but I am today. How death defines us, underneath all of the geometry and the words and anything else we layer on top.

One Sunday Morning

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
Oh, one son is gone

I can see where they’re dawning
Over the sea
My father said what I had become
No-one should be

Outside I look lived in
Like the bones in a shrine
How am I forgiven?
Oh, I’ll give it time

This, I learned without warning
Holding my brow
In time he thought I would kill him
Oh, but I didn’t know how

I said it’s your god I don’t believe in
No, your Bible can’t be true
Knocked down by the long life
He cried, ‘I fear what waits for you’

I can hear those bells
Spoken and gone
I feel relief, I feel well
Now he knows he was wrong

I am cold for my father
Frozen underground
Jesus, I wouldn’t bother
He belongs to me now

Something sad keeps moving
So I wandered around
I fell in love with the burden
Holding me down

Bless my mind, I miss
Being told how to live
What I learned without knowing
How much more that I owe that I can give

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
One son is gone

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“the spider spins a web each day”: Kate Richardson’s daily artwork–a small drawing or painting (sometimes rubber stamps, too!)–which you can see at eyespider. I have purchased 2 of her pieces (at reasonable prices). The last was the drawing she did on my birthday (this was coincidental, but I love the coincidence). Poke around, click on a picture, be amazed.

My Casabella pink rubber gloves. I don’t have a mirror in my kitchen, so I’m not sure, but when I wear the gloves, I suspect my lips are as pink and youthful as the woman’s on the box. She’s Italian, you know, and her lips match her kitchen gloves, all the while protecting her delicate, yet strong, world-wise hands from dangerous hot water and soap. When the gloves are new, they smell like vanilla, not crappy Yankee Candle fake-o, headache vanilla, but like genuine pink Italian vanilla. Bueno!

time for a dance interlude since we’re all in the kitchen doing dishes

♥♥♥

put your high-heeled sneakers on, don on your favorite pink gingham apron, and turn it up!

The unripe quince I picked from the neighbor’s yard. The shrub seems terribly neglected, but I have noticed it over the years and have seen fruit on it many times. The funny thing about quince is I have no idea how I know it. I remember walking in Ann Arbor, Michigan once and seeing a quince bush (is it a bush? should it be a tree?) and maybe my knowledge stemmed from that one time, before google, before I could have seen a photo on a website. Anyway, the mini-fruit is rotting now, though it was never full-bloomed yellow, only light green, on my credenza (yes, I said credenza!), but it smells heavenly–spicy, bright, and warm. I pick it up and smell it once in a while and will do so until mold forms, then pitch it into the compost bin. Fall is upon us.

sleep, which I’m staying up a bit too late to get enough of…

(okay, I’ll admit, in hushed tones, that maybe the gloves aren’t really Italian, but they are manufactured in the EU–says so on the box–and they are as stylish as all things Italian and don’t worry, I never pay full-price)

oh, if your pee is jewel-pink, don’t freak out! you probably ate roasted fall beets for dinner and simply forgot!

CIAO BELLA!

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