Monday, March 28, 2011

New Poetry, New Music & A Poem by Dorianne Laux

"The Book of Man" by Dorianne Laux, a poem from the book below.

"Horoscopes for the Dead" by Billy Collins, due out in April, 2011

"Wounded Rhymes," amazing, poetry/music by Lykke Li

My Catfish kitty, chilling peacefully on Annie's chair.

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Homicide Detective: A Film Noir

by Dorianne Laux

Smell of diesel fuel and dead trees
on a flatbed soaked to the bone.
Smell of dusty heater coils.
We got homicides in motels and apartments
all across the city: under the beds,
behind the doors, in the bathtubs.
It's where I come in at 5 AM,
paper cup of coffee dripping
down my sleeve, powdered
half-moon donut in my mouth.
Blood everywhere. Bodies
belly down, bodies faceup
on the kitchenette floor.
¿Donde esta? Que Sera.
We got loose ends, we got
dead ends, we got split ends,
hair in the drains, fingerprints
on glass. This is where I stand,
my hat glittery with rain,
casting my restless shadow.

These are the dark hours,
dark times are these, hours
when the clock chimes once
as if done with it, tired of it: the sun,
the highways, the damnable
flowers strewn on the fake wool rug.

These are the flayed heart's flowers,
oil-black dahlias big as fists,
stems thick as wrists, striped, torn,
floating in the syrupy left-on music
but the bright world is done and I'm
a ghost touching the hair of the dead
with a gloved hand.

These are the done-for, the poor,
the defenseless, mostly women,
felled trees, limbs lashing
up into air, into rain,
as if time were nothing, hours,
clocks, highways, faces, don't step
on the petals, the upturned hands, stay
behind the yellow tape, let
the photographer's hooded camera pass,
the coroner in his lab coat, the DA
in her creased black pants.

Who thought
to bring these distracting flowers?
Who pushed
out the screen and broke the lock?
Who let him in?
Who cut the phone cord, the throat,
the wrist, the cake
on a plate and sat down and ate
only half?

What good is my life if I can't read the clues,
my mind the glue and each puzzle piece
chewed by the long-gone dog who raced
through the door, ran through our legs
and knocked over the vase,
hurtled down the alley and into the street?

What are we but meat, flesh
and the billion veins to be bled?
Why do we die this way, our jaws
open, our eyes bulging, as if there
were something to see or say?
Though today the flowers speak to me,
they way they sprawl in the streaked light,
their velvet lips and lids opening as I watch,
as if they wanted to go on living, climb
my pant legs, my wrinkled shirt, reach up
past my throat and curl over my mouth,
my eyes. Bury me in bloom.

"Homicide Detective: A Film Noir" by Dorianne Laux, from "The Book of Men"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reading Henry Nouwen and Watching Tomatoes Grow

We're already having 80 degree days down here in the swamps! I have tomatoes on all three of my plants and my lettuce, swiss chard and spinach is ready to be picked. I plan on having 3 crops of tomatoes this year.

After spending over $600 at the vet on my kitty, Catfish, he's finally home and better. He had sand in his kidneys and bladder. If you feed your animals dry food from any major 'box' store, it's full of sand. The poor cat had to be catherized 5 times, then have an enema. He was one UNhappy camper when we finally got to bring him home, but he's better, eating prescription catfood and taking antibiotics. It's no easy task getting a pill down a cat's throat, let me tell you. LOL! I hope to be up and running at home soon. Catfish ruined my budget for a while.

Thank you all for your kind words. I've missed you all!! And now for some of my favorite quotes by Henri Nouwen, (Henri Nouwen, Born January 24, 1932 – Died September 21, 1996) a Dutch-born Catholic priest and writer who authored 40 books about spirituality.

Love & Blessings,

"Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasinly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family." — Henri J.M. Nouwen


"Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
And what you want to give me is love,
unconditional, everlasting love.
Amen." — Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life)


The soul of the artist cannot remain hidden."
— Henri J.M. Nouwen


Monday, March 14, 2011

Two Poems of Ryokan

The woods are filled with color here: yellow vining flowers, Dogwoods, Azaleas, Iris's and wildflowers. Ms. Spring is here. My heart is heavy for the people of Japan who are experiencing such monumental tragedy that I can't even imagine it. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

A beautiful tree blooming in the woods across the street.


"When spring arrives
From every tree tip
Flowers will bloom,
But those children
Who fell with last autumn’s leaves
Will never return."

~Ryōkan Taigu(1758–1831), a Zen Buddhist monk and poet who lived in Japan.


"I watch people in the world
Throw away their lives lusting after things,
Never able to satisfy their desires,
Falling into deeper despair
And torturing themselves.
Even if they get what they want
How long will they be able to enjoy it?
For one heavenly pleasure
They suffer ten torments of hell,
Binding themselves more firmly to the grindstone.
Such people are like monkeys
Frantically grasping for the moon in the water
And then falling into a whirlpool.
How endlessly those caught up in the floating world suffer.
Despite myself, I fret over them all night
And cannot staunch my flow of tears." ~Ryōkan Taigu

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Longings of Women by Marge Piercy

The Longings of Women
By Marge Piercy

The longings of women:
butterflies beating against
ceilings painted blue like sky;
flies buzzing and thumping their heads
against the pane to get out.
They die and are swept off
in a feather duster.

The hopes of women are pinned
after cyanide by rows
labeled in Latin
the fragile wings fading.
The keeper speaks with melancholy
of how beautiful they were
as if he had not killed them.

The anger of women runs like small
brown ants you step on,
swarming in cracks in the pavement,
marching in long queues
through the foundation and inside,
nameless, for our names
are not yet our own.

Be we are many and hungry
and our teeth though small are sharp.
If we move together
there is no wall we cannot erode
dust-grain by speck, and the lion
when he lies down is prey
to the army of ants.

From: "My Mother's Body", page 95


Well, I can now post photos on my blog, but I'm having trouble commenting on the blogs of others. So I'm reading all of my regulars, but have been unable to comment on most for some reason. I just wanted to let y'all know. I'm here and reading!!!

We've had major storms here for the past few days, flash floods and high winds so I've had my computer off and unplugged. My yard is a mess, but we didn't have any wind damage, thank God. My cats have drug up 3 baby Copperhead snakes the past few weeks and one live crawfish. LOL! I may have to call Billy the Exterminator (from the tv show) who is good friends with my nephew in Bossier City if it keeps up. We've seldom had poisonous snakes around here and I'm worried where the baby-mama is living!! I'll keep y'all posted on the reptile situation.

I have to say that Marge Piercy is one of my very favorite poets and this book above is a favorite, a real treasure overflowing with fabulous poems! Support poets and buy poetry!!

Love & Blessings,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dragonfly by Ed Pilolla

My BFF, Annie, gave me this book and it's awesome, just awesome, and not just because I love the title either. She and I had a fun-filled, fabulous visit for the four days she was here. I'll be blogging about it later...I'm still recuperating from all of our exciting, excellent adventures. :-)

Here is where you can find Ed’s Blog. I highly recommend that you buy the book. And here's one of my many favorite poems in the book:

Favorite Mug
By Ed Pilolla

Your day is like your favorite mug.
You fill it with the necessary stuff
to survive in this world.
Those days
let me be the seasoning.
Other days I get to fill it with your favorite brew
as well as mine,
vanilla and chai leaves and
inside jokes
and a dollop of raw honesty
and honey.

I will gently blow on your day
when it's too hot,
cup my hands to share in this warmth
and fill it with spirits along the way.
Never will I leave your mug
on the countertop with coffee grounds
at the bottom for days.

Don't judge me by my propensity to blast Van Halen
or how I casually enter the bathroom
to brush my teeth while you're peeing
and not pick up on that unhappy look on your face.
Judge me instead by how I thread my fingers through the handle
of your day,
lift the rim of your world to my lips
and drink in your story.

From: "Dragonfly" by Ed Pilolla, page 10