Thinking of Shakespeare, Caught At A Closed Gate –

Posted April 24, 2014 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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Thinking of Shakespeare, Caught At a Closed Gate–

I hear him cursing “Zounds” (‘His wounds”)
at the dusk-dropped gate, its iron lattice,
even then, mottled with thick and thin.
He presses his forehead almost
into its rivulets, nipping cold, as
Hamnet of an instant pricks
his heart, like a foul hollow tripped upon
in the sluicing cobbles,
that little tiny boy—

How foolish to toy
with what is no more, he thinks,
knowing even as his next breath moves the rain
like a feather
that only one who never had a son
could think so
foolishly.

For his poor fool
is dead.

So, his mind works—words, stones skipping
across a river, light slipping
across a sea—figures
of speech that
from tossed ships
salvage their sails
for wings–
even as he pulls his own cloak, sodden–
(for the rain, it seems, has rained down
every day)–
closer than the night, and heads back
to a pallet at the theater,
looking up to the heavens
for signs of gentling.

 

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Here’s a draft poem for the 24thday of April, National Poetry Month, written for Ella’s (of Ella’s Edge) prompt on With Real Toads. Ella’s prompt was to write a poem based upon a sentence from a book. I opened up Bill Bryson’s book on Shakespeare— a section  that discusses the period after Shakespeare lost his young son, Hamnet. Of course, very little is known of Shakespeare’s feeling about the loss except through his plays. I’ve tried to incorporate very loosely some lines from plays, including King John, King Lear and Twelfth Night, and very obliquely, The Merchant of Venice. “Zounds” was a euphemism for God’s wounds or Jesus’ wounds.   The sentence that was the spring board is below:

“A separate question is why Shakespeare moved in this period to Bankside, a not particularly salubrious neighborhood when his theatrical connection was still with the Theatre, at precisely the other side of the city. It must have been a slog shuttling between the two (and with the constant risk of finding his way barred when the City gate was locked each dusk) ….” Bill Bryson, Shakespeare.
MY APOLOGIES FOR SLOWNESS IN RETURNING COMMENTS.  A VERY BUSY COUPLE OF DAYS.  I WILL GET BACK TO PEOPLE AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PATIENCE!

(PS – I appreciate that the photo has little to do with the poem!  Agh!)

 

Off-Season (Flash 55)

Posted April 23, 2014 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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Off-Season

Istanbul in our twenties, blonde
in the Blue Mosque, toes squishing
into piles of carpet smelling faintly
of toes faced
with overarching tiles, mosaics synced
in their mismatch, sprigs,
prayers, paisleys, but no eyes
except of the men
who watched us in and out
fighting about who would sell us
what we would not buy.

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A belated 55 for Mama Zen and also a poem for the prompt and photo of Lolamouse of With Real Toads. The wonderful picture, among others, was taken by Lolamouse at a shop in Portland, Oregon, but the blue amulets look identical to ones my daughter bought in Turkey a few years back, so I am guessing these are also from there. One process note is that it is my understanding that Islam discourages (or even prohibits) the depiction of sentient beings, which means that mosques do not have iconography of people’s faces but tend to focus upon geometric shapes or flowers or calligraphy. The “Blue Mosque” is a popular name of the Sultanahmet (or Sultan Ahmed) Mosque in Istanbul.

This is also some consecutive poem–23rd?–for April, National Poetry Month.

Estranged (Out West)

Posted April 22, 2014 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry

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Estranged (Out West)

She broke the everywhere flat
by interpretive dance, saying
“this time I’ve got a good one,
no, really–”
until he pulled to the side
of emptiness
and she jumped up, lay down, flailed,
a complex choreography enacting eggs
scrambled or banana smoothies
under construction.
He never could guess
that her collapse in two
showed the cracking,
her arches her unpeel,
the quiver (frying)
the whirl (time
in the blender)
but as the gravel poked warmth
into her bare
feet, arms, he would
laugh at last,

his throat echoing
the rough swish
of her movement,
all that could be heard in that desert
except the tick of the engine;
you know how cars do that sometimes,
after they’ve stopped.

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Another very drafty poem for some day of April National Poetry Month. I am linking this one to Shanyn’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub about road trips.

Epiphanies (of Sorts) around Easter

Posted April 21, 2014 by ManicDdaily
Categories: news, poetry, Uncategorized

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Epiphanies (of Sorts) around Easter

Easter, as a child, meant ham,
a family tradition,
which I thought back then
was a subtle declaration
that we were not Jewish
though I realize now
was probably the only big meat to hand as Spring sprang
when my parents grew up in Midwest farm country.

My in-laws in the East ate lamb,
which always seemed to me
a rather poor-taste communion with Him,
who taketh away
the sins of the world, blood pooling
on the platter,
but I realize now
was likely the least wasteful fresh meat
Springs.

So, with such food for thought nudging me,
I realized, today, Holy Saturday, that the child whose hands glove glow
in a Georges de la Tour painting, my absolute favorite
when I too was about that age,
is not a girl with her father, also bald like mine, but
Jesus himself with Joseph (“Joseph, the Carpenter”).
De La Tour’s Joseph,
according to Wikepedia, uses an auger shaped
like a crucifix–

And all this time, I thought it was simply
a strikingly beautiful painting, showing, amazingly, how light shines
in dark places and can be caught by hands
shaped by pigment, or
the love of it,
and can be fixed too
as long as the hues hold true
and are kept in place by the rabbit-skin glue
used to prepare the painting surface.

Which is something else we don’t really think of much–
the stuff of paintings,
like the sources of ham and lamb–
all flames of a sort that light us,
waxing our grip,
without, we hope, burning
our fingers–

But I wonder, today,
in this Spring sun
so much brighter
than a candle, how we redeem
the squeals, how
are they too deemed necessary?

All I can think of is the word
“painstakingly–”

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Here’s very much of a draft poem for some day of April National Poetry month. I’m sorry if I’ve worn out the Easter theme–but here it is. The painting above is by Georges De La Tour, “Joseph the Carpenter.” I do not claim any copyright in the photograph and think/hope this is fair use. I am linking to the open link night of with real toads. (Again, by the way, I am trying to return all comments, but it is a bit hard right now. I will catch up and I thank you for your kind visits!)

Easter Gloves

Posted April 20, 2014 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

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I am posting the above, with a typed translation below, as a shaped poem for the wonderful Kerry O’Connor’s post on With Real Toads. I have a great deal of trouble “getting” shaped poetry– in this regard, I extend my sincerest apologies to Hedge Witch–(Verse Escape)–for mucking up her comment box this morning with my confusion. She has a wonderful shaped poem.

Here’s the typed version of mine–

Easter meant ham and little white gloves, one
as pink as a tulip, the other white
as snow; Easter was like that–sometimes falling
in the harsh blow of cherry just blossoming–
I’d have to hold onto my new straw hat–other years, my mother
would glisten in her salmon-colored spring coat, a fish
out of water…

The minister had a way of torquing his hands
like a tense crocus or dragnet cage
to focus our attention, say, on the stone rolled away
from the tomb, but my eyes followed instead
the seams of my little white gloves worrying
that they were already smudged,
not understand that is the way
of stitching, to pick up in its threads
bits of the world, the dust
of so many stones.

The Ordering-of-Words Matters

Posted April 19, 2014 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , ,

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The Ordering-of-Words Matters

Candle light
can delight.
Candles toyed
can destroy.

Water flow–
what a flow!
Waterboard–
What? Absurd–

Elective shlock
electric shock–
Extraordinary rendition–
(as an extra,
rend his shin–)

Words used
word abuse.
“No torture.”
(Not er…true.)

What a difference
placement makes–
the space between
him, me, you.

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Here’s for some consecutive day of April National Poetry Month. This one has been bumping around in my brain since yesterday and serendipitously fits Sam Edge’s very cool prompt on With Real Toads to write a poem using/misusing language in an unusual way. Unfortunately, the misuse of the words above is all too usual.

As is usually the case with images on my blog (unless otherwise noted), the picture was made by me, such as it is. All rights reserved.

(Self) Portraiture In the Modern Age

Posted April 18, 2014 by ManicDdaily
Categories: poetry

Tags: , , , ,

(Self) Portraiture In the Modern Age

I sit
in front of my computer
squinting into
the screen.

Gallup asks me
to rate my life,
on a scale
of 1 to 10,

Then to rate my life
five years from now.

My answers are supposed to be
confidential,

meaning that only a select few
sitting in Omaha, Nebraska,
and their computer system,
now know
not only how I think the President,
Congress, the military industrial complex,
health care reform, various commercial enterprises
my employer and workplace and my exercise program
are doing,
but also
how my life turned out
and will.

(Participation is my chance,they tell me,
to “make my opinions count.”)

Sometimes I only need go up to 5–a half-life–
that being a world that I cannot imagine
without–you name it–Pizza Hut–Citibank–Ramada Inn–
and 1 meaning that I think the
pizza/services/rooms
really stink.

I picture these (presumably) Nebraskans
depicting me
as a series of checkered squares mounted
onto the sides of their cubicles,
not so much like the pixels of a super close-up
as the pattern of a restaurant tablecloth
tacked up over damaged sheetrock–

The cut-out is shaped
like a woman–as slender as the target at
a shooting range–only this one
is of a certain age group, i.e. her squares
intersect with other squares
perhaps of a different color–
but only with those that also do not frequent Pizza Hut,
are able to imagine a world without Citibank,
and can’t remember whether they ever stayed
at a Ramada Inn–

And yet, the squared curves
have a life, although, admittedly,
it rates below 10.

Were the questions interesting?
Gallup asks me at the end of each survey,
as I sit
in front of the computer,
squinting
into the screen.

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Ha.  Here’s another silly one for DAY 18!  Of National Poetry Month.  Posted for Brian Miller’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub to write a self-portrait.  I am, in fact, a proud member of the Gallup Poll.

And I’m sorry for the length–my editing capacities wearing down.  

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