Poetry: Wistful Notes


I was there when it emerged
on our record player
Mom named, Victrola.

Faced battles with
courage, pup-love,
school basement dances
chaperoned by nuns, invaded
by my future.

I miss names like Judy and Denise,
Eleanor Rigby,
Barbara Ann, and Peggy Sue.
And Mary Ann, Marianne, oh, Mary Anne.

Smoke rolled
under sleeves in white tees,
cool as John T’s Greased
pompadour hair.

Tight pants, juke boxes,
hangouts, and rumbles.
Woodies that would pop-up
to say hello and embarrass.

Old-fashioned rock,
older now than ragtime then.
Oh, god. I remember.
That first album cover, long hair
would get me suspended.

The Beatles, the Stones, Dave’s 5, and
Monkeys Saturday mornings.

Magical times.
But the music owned me.

Spoke to my soul,
hot cars, fender skirts, moon hubs,
glass packs.
Hello Vietnam.

Slipped a hand under
smooth 70s soulful jazz.
Loved that shit.
Still do today.
I want it back.


Look both ways for them good ol’ days.
Mind the gaps between the notes.
That’s where the music plays.

Sammi’s weekender #158: downpour


I like beer and I like wine,
I like music, art, women, and raunchy poems
I like puppy dogs and kittens, and
I like friendly horses
and old goats like me.

I like to walk, and I like rain. No.
I love rain. The shattering thunder
of torrential bliss soaking my body
in orgasmo-epic proportions
of precipitating pleasure.

The French like to say, it’s like a pissing cow
as downpours of rain create life,
It’s like Bob Marley said,
“Some people feel the rain,
others just get wet.”


Look both ways and feel the rain, the music, and life.
Mind the gaps between drops. Breathe there.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 30)

Day 30 prompt: write a poem about something that returns.


No Returns

Metamorphosis allows change.
That second is gone, now that one,
unidirectional time is master
to the second law of thermodynamics.

We see light from stars
dead millions or billions of years,
no star, but what it made, its art
lives on and returns not to its source.

I can return to loves and thoughts.
I find old places there,
remembering, like ifs,
whens and thens.
We can never go back
to the time when entropy began.

Desire to control order creates want
as new appears, nothing comes back.
As replacements appear, they seem
to be returns from when. Chaotic decline
becomes change by hopeful judgment.

A baby cries as a mother sighs
while an old man dies, a widow
wonders why a universe goes by
forever without order or reason.


Look both ways with logic and reason.
The universe makes the rules.
Mind the gaps of chaos to separate truth from wishes hoped for.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 27)

Day 27 prompt: write a poem in the form of a review of something that isn’t normally reviewed. I reviewed my creativity muse.


The Myth of the Muse

Ideas come.
Mousa, child of Zeus,
sky fairy serving maybes
on Ouija boards of art.

Writing, creative inspiration,
poetry. It’s all work.
“Shoveling shit from
a sitting (or standing) position.”

My muse is not out there,
she’s in here (head, heart, soul,
big toe). This is not
Big Magic. It’s work. A job.

Try. Fail. Repeat. Erasing
is creative writing, drawing,
or painting (crafting). We’re all phonies,
and none of us are. Fear makes waits.

New ideas are borrowed reality.
Read, think, write, and a magic muse
will find life. Punch production clocks,
then make words, pictures, pieces.

I must self-muse: love it or leave it.
Buy the damn lottery ticket.
Go for the interview. Sign up.
“God helps those….” Who makes them?


Look both ways for inspiration
but look within for courage to work.
Mind the gaps for your impostor’s syndrome.

***

Note: quotes are Stephen King (shoveling…), and Dad (God helps…).
Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Big Magic.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 14)


Day 14 prompt: write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired me to write poems.


Dad never encouraged me to anything but obedience,
yet he knew funny limericks that made me blush
and he sang like George Burns, not quite as well.

O, the battles he lost.

Sister Mary Something Awful believed in god
and memorizing to exercise my brain like a muscle.
Walt Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain!

O, the battles she lost.

We committed it to memory, like a prayer,
in some later years of elementary school,
something I shall never forget.

O, the battles I lost.

Robin Williams’ emotionally charged role
in Dead Poets Society, the movie and final scene
woke sleeping poets buried deep inside me.

O, the battles we fought.

To my insistent denial, Sue said yes you can
while others saw poetics hidden within my prose,
as I read the confessions of closet poets.

O, the battles turned, still hidden.

When muse passed me a parachute, I jumped
and discovered endless fields of sounds,
words, and beats to claim as my own.

O, joy, the battle done,
when I stopped fighting,
the prize I sought was won.


To look both ways I must turn my head and see.
Mind the gaps for their good intentions.

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 6)


Day 6 prompt: write a poem from the point of view of one person, animal, or thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous, bizarre triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. After spending too much time searching the five-hundred-year-old hallucination on wood, I decided on one of two snakes from the left panel.


Blame Game

They could have blamed the moon,
or that unicorn, which never existed,
but no. Let’s go low, they said.

Talking creepy crawlers, snakes,
and fruit peddling serpents make
splendid scapegoats. Why not a goat?

We can’t talk, bark, purr, or bleat.
She points to me, he believes her,
and all hell (right panel pun) happens.

Pin it on snakes, they said. Scary,
but defenseless. Look at panel two’s
big party of naked fruit eaters.

We got the rap for all of that. Sinners
should blame monkeys. At least they
look and act like you people.

And what’s with the guy
growing flowers out his arse?
Who does that that? Not us.

So, what do you get? Panel three.
From a diluted old man
with bad acid in his enema.

Time now to get over it.
Past post-medieval art is fine,
slithering snakes are silent.


Look both ways, or with triptychs, three ways.
Mind the gaps, it’s where the story’s told and the pictures fold.

Click for link.

Sammi’s Weekender #144: sculpture


Cowboys look like Cooper, Wayne,
Marvin; or tall, thin Stewart. I seen
movies in the 50’s,
High Noon or Liberty Valance with
great songs.

Not s’posed to look like the sculpture.
The horse is right,
but the cowboy rock sittin’ is short,
round-faced with a big ‘stash and
no gun, holdin’ reins
lest Ol’ Buck runs off spooked.

The wrangler wears chaps and a jacket.
Reality ain’t movies, both’s art though.


Drop your blinders and look both ways.
Mind the gaps for, “The history of mankind is carried on the back of a horse.”


Sammi’s Weekend Prompt

***

A Sip and a Nib

The poet sits and stares,
then doodles and sketches,
wondering where this will lead.

A sip from the cup of wisdom,
a wandering stare looks
through a window, searching
for worldly ineffable words
of brilliant order, expressing
the unspeakable, describing
all indescribable forbidden things.

A pen finds the artist’s hand,
familiar fingers hold its frame
and place the nib upon paper.

It begins: a poet’s search
for perfection and beauty.

***

Look both ways through the window of inspiration.
Mind the gaps for perfect words. 

Sammies Weekend Writing Prompt 122 — Museum

Monet at Kimbell

Not a big fan of Claude,
I wanted the experience
of seeing his original later work
at the Kimbell Art Museum
in Fort Worth.

In Cow Town, I ran
marathons and we danced
at Billy Bob’s near the stockyards,
and went to see Elvis, Marty Robbins,
and two of our three were born there.

A shining light of cowboy culture,
the Kimbell is one of many
attempts to not be Dallas.
DF dubya is nearby and
Cowboys play football in Arlington,

where the Rangers play baseball
and Six Flags (over Texas)
amusement park resides.
But what is most important
is not the museum or foot races,
not the water garden or train station,

what matters most to me about Cow Town
are the memories. The comrades, the friends,
the scandals and the hanky-panky,
the music (up against the wall, redneck mother)
Oh Lord, I knew it all so well.

But gunna miss the Monet.

Look both ways between Dallas and Fort Worth (I love you).
Mind the endless gaps in between.

Fandango’s Provacative Question (FPQ) #35

Fandango’s Question: Do you believe public figures (e.g., politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors) — or anyone, actually — should be judged by today’s standards for their words or actions from decades earlier? Why or why not?

In the Summertime was written by Ray Dorset, of the group Mungo Jerry, in 1970. Some of the lyrics can be questioned for time and morals, but also for culture and interpretation. The song also says, Life’s for living yeah, that’s our philosophy, which I like. A few other questionable verses make the song neither sexist nor racist, in my view. Dorset is a Brit, about four months my senior, and an active Freemason thrice married with six kids and some grands. He wrote the song in ten minutes. (For what it’s worth.)

The more I think about this good person/bad person in light of the times topic, the more it gets wrapped in the philosophical tentacles of my own confusing need for a balanced, fair, and just (maybe perfect) world. Do I have any right or business judging anyone? What shall I make of people like Jefferson Davis? He was wrong as hell in my book, but not in his. He remains a hero to many.

I mentioned this kind of issue in a recent blog where I discussed the artist Jonas Gerard. Comments indicated that we can separate people’s behavior from their art, but in Gerard’s case, there is a petition to remove his art from city property. And it’s not decades old.

Can we separate the good from the bad, or does a tarnished reputation make all the good suddenly bad? Do I declare a song such as Dorset’s or Baby It’s Cold Outside to be evil because of someone’s PC interpretation? Do I get to declare someone’s art, writing, or music null and void after I learn of their human condition, religion, or political views? It happens a lot.

Charles Lindbergh fell from grace following a pro-Nazi Germany speech. A sample of many more: Cosby, O.J., Armstrong, Burr, Nixon, Haggard, Dixie Chicks, and (oops) another one bites the dust. Yesterday, I was reading about Philip Larkin and how his past may have tarnished his work. Does it? Should it?

I like the book/story about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde because it reminds me that we all have a dark side: that Jekyll was a good man, but Hyde was not, yet they were entities of the same person.

The answer to Fandango’s question is yes; but I’m sorry to say, also no. Yes, because by today’s standards (whatever those are culturally, interpretatively, or historically) are what we use to judge people today (not that we should, but we do). However, can we manage to form an opinion within the context of times past or some other mitigating circumstance?

Looking back on my life, I’m grateful that no nearby microphones were switched on when I said stupid shit; that no tapes or cameras were rolling when I did equally dumb stuff. While I don’t care or worry much about being judged, I prefer my lowest and worst moments be seen for what they were—not my standard, whatever that is or was.

I like learning that past heroes had weaknesses; dark sides mixed in with talent, wisdom, and intelligence. I have no time for idealistic nonsense. Right is right and wrong is wrong, but there are hundreds of grayish shades between. I’m not religious, but approve the idiom let he who is without sin cast the first stone. BTW, the song also advocates drinking and driving, or it seems to. It shouldn’t. So what?

Look both ways.
Beware not to place heroes too high on a pillar, nor allow your imperfect self
the hypocritical luxury of being the Judge, Jury, Executioner for others;
as so many fools before us have done.
Closely mind the gaps that contain closeted skeletons and dark secrets.

***

Pingback: https://fivedotoh.com/2019/08/07/fandangos-provocative-question-35/