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Posts Tagged ‘words’

password

I could tell you my password

I could whisper it in your ear

in what manner would you use it, what threshold would you cross?

I would not like to see the new film, the one that is sublime and exquisite

my bones used to spiral within me, exquisite and sublime

born perfect

bones perfect

password protected

crossing into the next threshold which has its own rules of perfection, laws by which I cannot abide

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

greetings, if I have any readers left

just playing around with words right now

it’s been so long

nothing doing but snow again in Western Mass

how’s by you?

 

 

 

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The Underside of Sleep

1. verba volant

the words play tricks on us at night
fireflies flashing in a summer field

connect the letters
to spell summer
before the lake forms from the ice melt

before the hickory nuts fall open in the road

when the earth plumed sulfur

2. autumnal

sounds like tumble

the morning turns pitch
and smooth like onyx

hematite, marcasite
black-mirrored minerals
hard iron oxides

The last blood
trickles out at the wrong time of year

late summer crickets
a static
to the traffic

3. winter

Sleep sifts
like snow drifts
inside my head

When I wake
and open the doors
a mound of snow pours onto my feet

the way the beginning of darkness
pours out of me

4. carving infinity with a scalpel

I trace the sideways symbol
on the underside of my arm

the skin soft, spotless

the rain sounds like an animal

spring rushing in

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*this is a response, if not an outright explanation, which I had so wanted to avoid, to yesterday’s post

Lying in bed at night, the words come. Sometimes. Sometimes they are good words. Sometimes the words fit together well, bodies in motion, perfect Olympians. Maybe the sound is what holds them together: weir, withy, wattle. The time, the meaning, those can be binders, too. If I am lucky and my brain is on, the words fit together in ways that make sense to me and better yet, in ways you see that I didn’t. Peter Weir the Australian director. A withy basket, something I will never make or use. A wattle fence, woven. The book Cold Mountain which has these words in it. My friends who sang on the soundtrack. My daughter who read the book more than once, more than I did.

Repository? I just threw that in because every surface of my house is covered in clutter.

I thought of being silly. I thought of the types of poetry prompts that facilitators of workshops give out to students: use the following words in a 20-line poem: weir, withy, wattle. Use the photos: I am a rusty mermaid. I have rocks near my hands at all times. Do them separately, do them all at once.

I thought of the fun of my blog, quizzes, idiocy, random sensations floating together to meet in the language centers of my brain some nights.

Fuck it. It’s all bullshit to me. Sometimes the words come, unbidden. Sometimes they make sense. Sometimes you play with me. Sometimes you don’t. But that is what I am after. Come. Play. With. Me. With. The. Words. Of. Our. Choosing. We all win.

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Howdy, loyal friend. I’ve had a rather busy day and a bit of a sad day; this is in part why this post comes quite late. Not my favorite thing, such a late Thankful Thursday.

But, you know, I’ve come up with quite a lengthy post. Can I get a witness?

My youngest daughter made an advent calender for the family this week. It is amazing. She is amazing. I am amazed at her mind and hands. Her abilities to think through projects and to create things of sense and beauty. Both of my girls have amazing abilities. I think part of this comes from their Waldorf education. Maybe some of it can be attributed to them having inherited good brains. Maybe some of it has to do with good parenting. I’m not really sure, but I’ll take it. I think most children are exceptional, so it’s not that mine are necessarily more exceptional, but they are mine, so I notice and I rejoice.

I didn’t grow up with Christmas in a traditional way, mostly because my father was Jewish and my mother, who converted to Judaism but not really (that’s another matter altogether) would not have Christmas in our house out of respect for my father. She had grown up with Christmas as a young girl in Germany, but it was during the war and she had a childhood-from-hell (I kid you not and am not exaggerating in any way, but that’s another story and perhaps not mine to tell). To further boost the eschewing of Christmas, both of my parents were atheists. We did have Hannukah for a few years when I was young, but because my father didn’t give a flying !@#$% about it, it didn’t stick either. My father, in spite of growing up in an Orthodox household in Hungary (maybe it was Reform and I’ve got this wrong), was basically a hands-off religion guy. He just didn’t care about it. I now am so thankful for this, but it wasn’t always easy growing up as the only kid who didn’t have a religion per se. Now where I live, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting* someone who’s at least a quarter Jewish, let alone half-Jewish, let alone a goddamn atheist. So FINALLY, for the last 11 years of my life, I fit in!

We never had a Christmas tree at our house when I was growing up. We did, however, go to Germany when I was 4 and there we had a real German Christmas. I even remember live candles on the tree. And a fish in aspic which I thought was gross and scary.

We also celebrated Christmas at some friends’ in Canada after I was about 7. These became our life-long family friends who are more like cousins and aunts and uncles to me, especially since I came from a very small family and half of my relatives live in Germany. So, our family friends in Canada became family, period, and we did Christmas there for many years. Now isn’t that a kick in the nuts considering all I just said about Christmas?

Anyway, I have a long history of feelings about Christmas, but my children took to it with gusto. My youngest is still very enamored of it.

A few years ago, maybe 5 or 6, I guess we started to get the girls advent calenders. This was foreign territory to me and somewhat distasteful–too Christian or something, unlike certain parts of Christmas which I had been able to enjoy more easily and to separate from anything religious. There are certain things that are clearly pagan and so I could justify allowing and including and enjoying them even as a non-Christian, half-Jew. I think advent calenders aren’t really religious or pagan anyway, but something about them smacks of religion for me. Maybe the sparkly white kids and angels who are usually depicted all over them.

So, my Annie is away for the week at a class field trip to study geometry. She left the advent calender that she made for us so we could open a little tab and see a new picture each day. In spite of a troubled mind and a troubled world, in spite of death and sadness, I am especially happy that I have such amazing and beautiful daughters. And I LOVE the advent calender. SO MUCH.

Here it is. It is simply lovely (not too fancy) and organized, quietly beautiful and elegant, sort of like Annie herself:

I am most impressed by the way she had to measure it all out, line things up and use 2 pieces of paper in the planning and the way she drew a different secret tiny picture for each little window.

This is it, people, this is the satisfaction of being a parent. I feel blessed and filled.

See you soon I hope….g’night!

*An announcement from the management: Don’t tell anyone, but it’s Friday morning–so wrong since this is a Thankful Thursday post. But the management was up thinking about the phrase you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a (insert noun) for a good part of the time she should have been sleeping.

You know what I love? I LOVE folk expressions, not just idiomatic, but old-timey idiomatic phrases rarely heard any more. Heck, they are so rare that I only know about 3 of them. In any case, because I love cats and because I loathe the mistreatment of animals, that phrase is actually quite offensive. But it’s also rich and bewildering AND gets its point across like no other phrase I can think of. Can you help me? Is there another idiomatic turn of the language that accomplishes that meaning? And can you forgive me for using a string of words that is offensive? What if I do it again? Like this: you can’t swing a dead cat in the Pioneer Valley without hitting a massage therapist.  Not only am I half-Jewish, but I’m a massage therapist to boot! I now think I can retire that phrase. God is it offensive! What would the Dakin people think?

 

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introspection  spectacles

ticks  fleas

scabies  itchmites  black poodle

your dog has zee mange

German  French

romance

column

kiss

language

tongue

speak

say  tell

don’t tell  whisper

ear  sing

sing-song  song

schlong-dong

Okay, maybe it’s time to end this little game. That was real, yo!

How about this: things we don’t need:

organic massage*

weight-loss hot pants

Dancing with the Stars

“news” about Dancing with the Stars

TV

Reality TV

celebrity haircuts

celebrity dresses

celebrity suits

pantsuits

It is Wednesday, November 16, 10:24 pm in Singapore.

In less than a month it will start getting dark at about 3:30. The sun will set at around quarter after four.

It is already too dark at 4:15 every afternoon. It’s not even afternoon, it’s a bad joke. I am shocked by the darkness. I should be asleep like a farmer, every night at 5:30 pm, 6 at the latest.

*as a massage therapist extraordinaire, I take offense to the Groupon which advertises services for “organic massage.” AHEM and WTF? I want it stopped

[insert curlicue pause here to indicate change of subject]

or maybe use these: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tom Waits + youtube= falling down the rabbit hole

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‘Cause somewhere in the “Quisling Clinic”
There’s a shorthand typist taking seconds over minutes

I want to bite into those words and hold on with my teeth

I didn’t know Quisling (how’s that for an infamous eponym?) and had to look it up. I thought the word was quizzling, which I quite like. It would be akin to quizzical, like Joan was quizzical, studied metaphysical, but more like puzzling, like he puzzled ’til his puzzler was sore.

Here:

The sky had been cloudless and full of sunshine, so the afternoon’s quizzling rain made no sense to Jeannie Bright, Holden Elementary’s amateur weather-girl.

I’d love if each of you leave me a sentence with your particular interpretation, especially since my sentence is a rather piss-poor example. It’s hard to make up a good definition for quizzling!

(I won’t even tell you the other lyric I’ve had wrong all these years, but it’s when Elvis says “she takes all the red, yellow, orange, and green” I thought it was she takes all her radio unguent creams

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I am grateful for this day and that I have decided to push myself to give thanks each Thursday (more or less each Thursday and more or less thanks)

Glad that Hubby helped me fix yesterday’s poem’s formatting, which I had screwed up when left to my own devices, Mac and me. I needs my Mac Daddy.

How about lack of pretension and a sense of humility? It sounds pretentious to say it, but I love a lack of pretension. Innocence, the naif. Humility, humus, the dirt, the ground, the earth, what is lowly and below, what lacks ego. I am loving Jeff Tweedy’s old school lack of pretension, but also love knowing what a complicated person he seems to be.

Grateful for Woody Guthrie’s words channeled through Jeff Tweedy’s music and voice. I chose this version because it’s so like Woody. The studio version and the many live versions are often great (how can you fail with those lyrics and Tweedy’s voice?), but this is the most simple, humble, and lovely to me.

Woody had me already, for many years, and Wilco had me a bit, but this? It’s beautiful, so beautiful.

Here’s another. I always forget how plainly sexual Woody Guthrie’s words often are, but how in their simplicity, they are often much more –broad and encompassing, clear and honest; never missing. It’s the Garden of Eden, maybe without the shame, isn’t it?


“Remember The Mountain Bed”

Do you still sing of the mountain bed we made of limbs and leaves?
Do you still sigh there near the sky where the holly berry bleeds?
You laughed as I covered you over with leaves
Face, breast, hips, and thighs
You smiled when I said the leaves were just the color of your eyes

Rosin smells and turpentine smells from eucalyptus and pine
Bitter tastes of twigs we chewed where tangled wood vines twine
Trees held us in on all four sides so thick we could not see
I could not see any wrong in you, and you saw none in me

Your arm was brown against the ground, your cheeks part of the sky
Your fingers played with grassy moss, as limber you did lie
Your stomach moved beneath your shirt and your knees were in the air
Your feet played games with mountain roots as you lay thinking there

Below us the trees grew clumps of trees, raised families of trees, and they
As proud as we tossed their heads in the wind and flung good seeds away
The sun was hot and the sun was bright down in the valley below
Where people starved and hungry for life so empty come and go

There in the shade and hid from the sun we freed our minds and learned
Our greatest reason for being here, our bodies moved and burned
There on our mountain bed of leaves we learned life’s reason why
The people laugh and love and dream, they fight, they hate to die

The smell of your hair I know is still there, if most of our leaves are blown
Our words still ring in the brush and the trees where singing seeds are sown
Your shape and form is dim but plain, there on our mountain bed
I see my life was brightest where you laughed and laid your head…

I learned the reason why man must work and how to dream big dreams
To conquer time and space and fight the rivers and the seas
I stand here filled with my emptiness now and look at city and land
And I know why farms and cities are built by hot, warm, nervous hands

I crossed many states just to stand here now, my face all hot with tears
I crossed city, and valley, desert, and stream, to bring my body here
My history and future blaze bright in me and all my joy and pain
Go through my head on our mountain bed where I smell your hair again.

All this day long I linger here and on in through the night
My greeds, desires, my cravings, hopes, my dreams inside me fight:
My loneliness healed, my emptiness filled, I walk above all pain
Back to the breast of my woman and child to scatter my seeds again

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