Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rice Rejects McClellan's Book ...

and Pebble Lake Review rejects yours truly.

I just don't get it.

Tides of My Hair, Where I'm Pendulous & Dank, and Coughing Up Dark Bits are among my best poems ;)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Carruth Haiku

A few haiku from Hayden Carruth ...

Why speak of the use
of poetry? Poetry
is what uses us.

Ah, you beast of love,
my cat, my dove, my spider
-- too late I'm natured.

A hard journey. Yes,
it must be. At the end they
all fall asleep.

Your tears, Niobe,
are your children now. See how
we have multiplied.

So be it. I am
a wholeness I'll never know.
Maybe that's the best.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Big Long Haiku Sequence

I ended up in the jury pool yesterday for most of the day and didn't get around to posting any haiku - soooo - he is a little make up for yesterday. Pretty nice. Special for Bill.

Gabriel Rosenstock Farrera (2003)

A gunsaku (haiku sequence)written in the Catalonian Pyrenees, April 2003

dying winds –
faint mountain path
to a disused church

by so many buttercups
how sober – the horse

April sunshine –
the raven announces
the end of the snows

with each call
the cuckoo
melts the snow

as though tomorrow
may never dawn –
all day, the swallows

an old fortress?
cow dung baking
in the sun

how sweet the grass!
the mountain horse
not yet slaughtered

mountain stream
hurrying, hurrying
where to?

somewhere in the fog
the little bell
around the horse’s neck

the cuckoo –
is she counting syllables?

old man singing in the field
drawing down the sun
all over the valley

the patient mule, standing,
what does he think
of the sparrows?

feeding time –
the old man
singing to the rabbits

one crisp sound –
voices of sparrows
dripping of melting snow

thin mountain air
everywhere: rock crevices
empty walnut shell

snowcapped hills –
the foal’s mouth
flecked with mare’s milk

old tower-bell
in Farrera de Pallars –
when will you speak again?

the squirrel
(on a tree I do not know)
has a brother in my land

the woodpecker –
first thing at morning –
is a master

you are out there,
somewhere, on silent feet,
wily fox

why look to the left,
the right? – impossible to say,
the simple sparrow

clothes left on the line
have been revived -
pure mountain rain

dark clouds leaving
for the next valley –
aroma of strong coffee

facing a blank page
and the snows of Farrera –
Pure Land is clear

talking literature all night
the wine in the glass
becomes still

creaking of floor boards –
reports of a war
far away

midnight –
no sound
from the horse’s bell

chilly morning
an eagle’s talon
nailed to the door

a lone lamb bleating
the sound carried
from mountain to mountain

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lucky 13 - Anniversary

What? Again with the 13 thing? Yes, those of you who frequent Poor Fool know that awhile back I was bumping into the unlucky number everywhere ... was laid off on the 13th, in the Pine Wood Derby my son's car was entered as 13th, he came in 13th - there have been lots of others I posted but don't recall right now. And yesterday, another run in.

May 20th was my 13th wedding anniversary and wouldn't you know it, the day came with a surprise, something I have never seen before in all my years of backyard bird watching. A Common Flicker (this image from Google) played and played and ate for a long time on my back patio and I watched at the window soaking it all up. Here's to lucky 13. I love you Texas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Otty's 1st Birthday

Last Friday, Otty and a few friends celebrated his 1st birthday.
It was a quiet ceremony and lasted about three minutes. He was served a peanut butter cupcake (pupcake) with doggie treats baked inside. Afterward, there was a special birthday bath that made him puffy.

3 Haiku by June Jordan

I gathered these together from JJ's Collected Poems (Copper Canyon).

Black men sleep homeless
Freeze far away from Iraq
still sleeping still men

Bay waters rolling
birds glide above broken rocks
I am not alone

Trumpet wine sneaks in
dressing up the window screen
tendrils wreck the wall

Monday, May 19, 2008

Whit Teaches Otty the Fine Art

of sulky puppy face ... you'd think it'd be the other way around, but no.

Haiku Week

Great news, I finally got Have You Never Been Mellow by Olivia Newton John on my iPod. Even better news, all this week (promises promises) I am going to be putting up haiku or Approximations as Robert Hayden calls his:


In dead of winter
wept beside your open grave.
Falling snow.

Darkness, darkness.
I grope and falter. Flare
of a match.

Not sunflowers, not
roses, but rocks in patterned
sand grow here. And bloom.

On the platform at
dawn, grey mailbags waiting;
a crated coffin.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Emily Said

Yesterday, in the kids/teen section at Borders in Canton, there was a sign up that read (in its own perky way) Books! The Safe Gift for Kids. I don't know about THAT. I mean what's more dangerous than an informed and well-read mind - besides dogfood these days. Reminds me of a poem by Emily:

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

So much depends on what kind of cargo's aboard that frigate, though. Ann Geddes books probably ARE safe. Captain Underpants, hell no. But seriously, I wonder how the good people at Borders think of books as safe? Who knows what kind of crazy notions them crazy kids might get in their heads once they get ta readin'. If frigates are so "safe" why do we have to suffer through news of some conversative clamp down (every year I hear of it somewhere) on certain books. Reminds me of the time, a few years back, some dip shits banned Of Mice and Men - I think it was in Wisconsin.

Them's fighting words my friends. And books are NOT safe.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008


"--man is dear to man; the poorest poor
Long for some moments in a weary life
When they can know and feel that they have been,
Themselves, the fathers and dealers-out
Of some small blessings; have been kind to such
As needed kindness, for this single cause,
That we have all of us one human heart.

The Old Cumberland Beggar

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What a %$!#@ Mess

Who knows why things pop into my head.

I have been Googling: “David mother stomach cancer suicide” for the last twenty minutes and finding nothing. It happened about ten years ago. I remember the son (a grown man) was named David. His mother lived alone and between the two of them they really had no money to speak of. Neither was employed so there were no health benefits. When the mother became ill and went to the hospital she was diagnosed with inoperable stomach cancer. A death sentence basically.

I don’t remember much more of the story except that over the next few days, between the two of them, the mother made the decision to kill herself rather than go through the ravages of cancer a die a slow death. So, one Fall day David drove out to his mother’s house with his pistol on the front seat of his truck. He took it inside, gave it to her, then walked back out and sat on the porch. A few minutes later he heard the shot and hung his head to weep.

I tried to put myself in David’s shoes when days later, the hospital contacted him to say they’d made a mistake and she did not have stomach cancer. I tried to put myself in the Sheriff’s shoes who arrested him and brought criminal charges against him.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dog Balls - as in testicles

I try to grin when I come across stories like this. I try. I try ...

To Ralph Liberatore, the thought of having his miniature pinscher Butch neutered was painful.

Was it concern for his vanity?

"Well, probably ... sure," says Liberatore. "How is he going to be looked at by the other dogs in the dog world?"

Then he heard about Neuticles - testicular implants made of silicone that would make Butch look like Butch again.

"And I did get him the right size," says Liberatore.

Since Neuticles hit the market, nearly 150,000 pairs have been sold.

Liberatore says support for the gems are split right down the middle.

"Women's ... two reactions would be 'eeeew,' or, 'He doesn't know any different,'" says Liberatore. "Guys are like, 'Really? Awesome! You gotta do it.'"

This is one case in television where less is more and here they are, and that's all you get.

And it's not just Neuticles. Like their owners, pets are getting all types of cosmetic surgery - breast reductions, eyelifts, and even fat removal. Most of these procedures are medically necessary; a more attractive look is simply a fringe benefit.

Pumpkin could hardly walk until she had 5 pounds of fat surgically removed.

"She's much thinner," says Pumpkin's owner Jessie Schultz. "There are days she looks like she's half her size."

Marjorie Dye's pooch Bode had a facelift. A hanging lip - prone to infection - was nipped and tucked for cosmetic and medical reasons.

"Cosmetically it just looks so much better so a little bit of each, and it's no big deal," says Dye. "You know, I've had my nip and tucks."

Liberatore admits neuticles are more about him than Butch.

What is it about you guys that think you need to replace these things on an animal?

"It's just a guy thing," says Liberatore. "A guy that has them, knows what they are and what they mean, and taking them away is very bad.

"People project certain things on their pets," says Dr. Alan Schulman, a veterinary surgeon.

Schulman is not surprised. He says pet owners are taking America's obsession with perfection too far.

"I think the money would be better spent if the person who wanted these implants went to therapy," says Schulman.

But Liberatore says he's pleased that Butch looks like a complete "package" again.

"I'm happy I did it - 100 percent," he says.

It leaves us to wonder if there are any limits to the cosmetic surgery phenomenon, or have we all simply gone nuts?

Our neighbors had a similar procedure done to their dog's ass (sorry, buttocks).

Here's the before and after ....

Friday, May 2, 2008

State of the Union - unemployment update

My efforts to get a freelance business going seem to be paying off. I am currently very active with three local agencies and among them I hear a lot of talk about securing regular hours (part time of course). That seems like quite a bit of work in quite a short time. (Back pat, back pat). The freedom at times is still too much. Much more accustomed to the old way, but I am coming around.

My pretty green and black business cards, and matching letterhead, just delivered so now I can do mailings and hopefully pick up even more business.

I am reading David Ray's Music of Time. Did you know he is fabulous?

One batch of poems out. Waiting, waiting, waiting ...

Have been fishing three times already with Whitman.

Coach pitch season is underway. (Note to self: don't ever wear work clothes to a game again).

Trying to decide what kind of fencing to install in the way back to keep Otty close to home.
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