Thursday, July 20, 2006

waving the hankie

well, it’s breaking my heart but i have to leave the blog for a couple weeks. yep, summer vacation cometh. the long hot drive, the expensive accomodations, the fun the fun the tolls and pit stops. did I mention the fun? well, i hope it will be fun. & i understand brittany is not too hot. at least not where the french are dying of heat at the moment. that’s bordeaux. brittany is supposed to be gorgeous. well they’ll just have to prove it to me. I mean, i’m from New Jersey for chrissakes.

Actually i’m more mountains than ocean but everyone needs variety.

I’m taking Norman Dubie’s “The Mercy Seat,” Martin Amis’ “London Fields,” Pier Giorgio di Cicco’s “Living in Paradise,” John Banville’s “Athena,” “The Best American Short Stories of 2005,” Elaine Equi’s “The Cloud of Knowable Things,” a copy of Barrow Street and the new copy of 32 Poems. I hope this will do me for two weeks. My mother, who is joining us, is brining me Kenneth Koch’s “New Addresses.” That's about as excited as i get.

I do hope not to be ripped to shreds by wolverines. Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here. Back in early August.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ruth KitKat

Ok, this is a really funny bit of navel gazing. I got this from Julie Carter’s blog. Let me know if you execute because I'll want to see it.

1) Your Rock Star name: Toto Kurzröder

(the name of first pet with your current street name)

Of course we all know there was a band named Toto, and it sucked. Throwing in the German street makes matters all the worse.

2) Your Movie Star name: Ruth KitKat

(first name of your paternal grandfather/grandmother & your favorite candy)

This one was tough. My favorite candy is probably Goldberg’s Peanut Chews, but I don’t think they make them anymore. So I just used the candy bar I eat 3 or 4 times a week.

3 Your Fly Girl/Guy name: S-Slo

(first initial of your first name with the first 2 or 3e letters of your last name)

Hmmmm, good name for a perfume or a brand of jeans. Or has that been done?

4) Your Detective name: Panda Blue

(favourite animal and favourite colour)

I am sure to get a lot of business with this one.

5) Your Soap Opera name: Jane Plainfield

(middle name and the city where you were born)

6) Your Star Wars name: Slo Ker Ste

(first 3 letters of your last name, last 3 letters of your mom's maiden name, & first 3 letters of your pet's name)

Isn’t there a female band named this? Or am I thinking of Sloan Kettering hospital?

8) Your Porn Star name: Jane A. Marlborough

(middle name, father's middle initial, and the street you grew up on)

This sounds inauspiciously wholesome.

9) Your Superhero name: The Blue Ubahn

('The', your favourite colour, and the automobile you drive)

Hell, look out! I don't have a license.

10) Your Ghetto name: SaNiqua X

(first 2 or 3 letters of your first name, -Shawn/Quan/Quita/Niqua, last name of whatever President or Prime Minister is on the currency you have in your pocket)

There is not prime minister or president on the "euro." It has no personality at all. It has been dumbed down in the name of compromise to become the most boring milquetoasty currency the world knows. I'd rather pay in buttons.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Friday we leave for vacation. I hope it’s fabulous, since it ended up costing way more than we expected. My mother is going to join us, coincidentally flying out the day before my ex-stepfather has cancer surgery. She still loves him. He’s a bit screwed up and now he’s gotten so old but he’s a sad and sweet guy. I am hoping he lasts a while longer.

We’re going to Brittany. I’ve never been there. Damned long drive. 50 euros in tolls each way, plus an overnight "somewhere." Spent the day packing since I have to work all week. Kids are out of school. I’m making them keep journals all summer. FORCE, DICTATION, whatever.

It’s too sunny here but not temperaturely unbearable. Got an email from an acquaintance in Lebanon that’s three-fifths coherent. Lord, I hope that shit will end.

dear Shareholders!

Our strategy is pure genius
Our strategy is #243-59-8
It is a ransom of wool for next to nothing
Our strategy is a white wolf in a loose clothing
It drools like the dickens
Our strategy is the magnetic north
Our strategy is the musk funk in bear rugs
It is a woman with one blue eye, one hazel
Our strategy says “Shampoo, rinse, repeat”
Our strategy leans back like a man with his legs open
It rivals the invention of canisters
It is that bitch you met at Christmas
Our strategy insinuates flesh you can’t stay away from
Our strategy reaches an impossible velocity
And speeds upwards

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Little Boxes

Last week I won a $20 Amazon gift certificate in a cento contest at Inside the Writer's Studio. It was so interesting to write a cento. It's like a collage, or scavenger hunt, or a roll of the dice. In some ways at the beginning the poem assembles itself. Then there's the luck of finding the right line, or there's the idea and going in search of a way to cement it.

Anyway I went combing through my wish list thinking I could get a couple poetry books. I did a little mix-n-match of titles and kept thinking there had to be something else out there to occupy me. Finally, after running into three or four separate references to the collage artist Joseph Cornell in the last month, I decided to get a book about him and his work. I love what I've seen of his, though I never have seen anything besides in pictures. Maybe next time I'm in New York.

The book I ordered is Joseph Cornell: Master of Dreams. There's an interesting article from the New Yorker about him here. The box above is "Medici Princess," one of his most well known "boxes." I took it from a site called Artchive. Click on it to see an enlarged image. I recommend doing so...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Wouldn't it be great if poems fetched million-dollar movie deals? Then poets wouldn't resort to writing novels. (Come on, you know you've thought about it.)
Well it could happen with a big enough budget: "The Saddest Lines".

Get a look at the male lead. Looks just like Mel Brooks, no?

Friday, July 07, 2006

all dogs all the time

As any dog owner can tell you, once you get a dog you quickly get to know all the other neighborhood dogs and face the daily, pretty much mandatory task of chatting with their owners. You will likely never learn the owners’ names, but you will know the dogs’ names, how old they are, spayed or not spayed, if they’ve just taken a shit or not. As with children, owners downplay the negatives, but you will find out a lot about the dogs’ bad habits: who chews shoes, who begs for food, who steals food, who doesn’t obey, who digs holes in the yard and who eats other dogs’ shit. It always seems to come back to the same thing.

Nanuck (English setter) – good boy! hippie couple masters
Bruno I (American bull dog) – bad boy! harried master
Bruno II (black lab) – good boy! italo bling master
Checkie (shepherd) – good girl! nice master
Billy (spaniel) – dull boy, self-satisfied master
Idafix (terrier) – naughty boy! same master as Billy
Cheyenne (golden retriever) – hyperactive (good) girl! neurotic master
Teddie (huskie) – sweet boy! elderly master
Lucky (black lab) – good boy! mellow master
Bambi (?) – The children operating this dog think it is a girl. They are wrong.
Gina (yorkie) – nondescript girl, indifferent master
Max (yellow lab) – good boy! pleasant master
Pauline (sheepdog) – good girl! nice master

Thursday, July 06, 2006

this is just to say

Thought I'd mention that Sara Kearns' new ezine, Siren, is out,
or up (?), or has been published,
or will materialize on your monitor
if you click the link.

Congratulations, Sara. I am really impressed! Good stuff, and a very nice look.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

& the living is easy


The tomato was hurled to earth
by the planet that concocted vaudeville.
Globular orb, buxom and dimpled
as a toothsome thigh. O musk bundle,
musk bundle, sanguine on the vine!
Tonight you’ll be paired with sweet basil,
prince of summer. Gingerly, I will pluck you
and not further disturb the crimson galaxy.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Waking was not easy.
Care of teeth and face.
Then dog walking, and drat the ironing.
There were supplies to ready, no writing time, no reading.
The tram was mercifully empty.
I remembered a bill I had to pay.
It turned 8.30, then 10.30.
There was the new employee from Norway.
There was lunch and Gerald Stern to read (both blessings).
The 3 o’clock of the soul, according to Sartre, then the tram to the city.
A handicapped girl on the tram with braids and a beautiful face.
There was the food shop in the department store basement.
There was the exit past the fine fragrance department.
The sun was strong.
I paid the bill.
Came home to an overjoyed dog. Her long walk.
Stilton and crackers. Dinner.
A few choice words to think over.
My kids falling asleep in my bed.

the straight dope

I asked jon pack about Birkenstocks, the Airbus A380, unmown lawns, peanut butter spead on chocolate and ear candles. Find out what he thought.

tip of the hat to Lauren!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

just get me the goddamned suitcase

July comes with its beastly heat. And did you know it’s National Baked Beans Month, National Ice Cream Month, Read An Almanac Month, National Foreign Language Month, Hitchhiking Month, Cell Phone Courtesy Month, Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month, National Purposeful Parenting Month, Roots & Branches Month, Women’s Motorcycle Month?

Cell Phone Courtesy Month has all my support. How come some people talk even louder than normal when they’re having a private conversation (in public)? Unfortunately, I guess a lot of people can’t be expected to be courteous with their cell phones because they don’t know what courtesy is to begin with. Making you wait while they take a call for 5 minutes. Or you're buying something from THEM and they're on the phone through the whole transaction.

Here’s one I heard recently involving a petite bleached blonde of around 40: Hey Benny … yeah I’m on the subway … going by Glauburgstrasse … you coming over later? … what do you mean why … I need the suitcase … Benny you were gonna bring me the suitcase … yeah I’m leaving tomorrow, I need the suitcase … Benny you better bring it … I can’t believe this … That was the deal ... Just bring it … you bringing it? … Benny don’t screw with me … Just get me the goddamned suitcase or you’ll be sorry.

Remember phonebooths? They weren’t only for the caller’s privacy, but for the sanity of the caller’s fellow man.

thx to Outta Context for the photo.
Related Posts with Thumbnails