Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fast Day 99 April 25 2009 {Scooby Doo Lunch Box}

Scooby Doo Lunch Box

My father was a steamer trunk,
my mother a valise;
and I was born a duffel bag
my mother back-packed about,
fed me fat on shoestrings
and white wine with soles.

My grandfather a garment bag,
Granny a bargello
carpet bag from the Civil War;
They were at rest beneath
a Pullman suitcase stone
with their names inscribed.

I met a cosmetic case,
so hard, so fast, so zip!
shiny as unbroken mirrors;
she had a silver lining
and a special treatment
to make her spill resistant!

I played loose and free
with a black portfolio
whose locking envelope flap
she'd open only for my curiosity;
and then she'd say do not
write that check you cannot cash!

I wanted to be a club bag,
so louche, so beat, so hip;
I sang McCarthy's Mare and bade
McCue to stop the wilfull horse -
my heart was spinning like a top-
and the devil in wheels behind!

I ended up an appartchik
briefcase full of pulp
and papers better left unread.
I'm folded in half and fastened, then
unfastened - ouch! my velcro eyes!
velcro lusts! and all my velcro members!

My God is a matreyushka doll
layered inside itself;
an enigma wrapped like mystic teas
in tins from Cathay's labyrinths;
a puzzle carried in a humble hod
all the way from old county Kerry.

Quickly, quickly, Oh! to be
a faience colored thimble
upon the prick of noon! Not too late,
not too's time for lunch,
and peanut butter and J. on bread
from my lunchbox with pix of Scooby-Doo!

I woke up this way. So I wrote it all down.
Maybe it related to the tea parties of the clamorous hordes.
Maybe not.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fast Day 98 April 18 2009 {Jimmy Tomorrow}

Jimmy Tomorrow

The morning news on the cable,
plasters over everything like snot
or whatever nauseating lubricant
of economic theory
foots the bills
Conservative, bleached
blond bombshells sashay on screen
like Jessica Rabbit
and cover the news like cocoa butter
sunscreens with a rating of 15 or higher:
tea parties in Texas, and
who is Barney Frank?, and
criticise Obama, and
asian markets overnight, and
schemes and scams of
the poor and
the homeless, and
- for a breath she tarries-
another bank closing, and
the total is 25 for the year...and...
I go and shower and shave.
I don't need no news no more.
I feel which way
the wind is blowing...

..for when my daughter announced
she would wed her long-time friend,
I thought:
at last!
for just as this is
no country for old men,
it is also true that they need
to be
to each other...
especially now when
I measure time
from the engagement ring
that would have cost thirty K-
paid for by the timely sale
of an extra Jaguar he had hidden
against that rainy-day when
he'd absolutely need that Jag!-
to now, when they sense they'll need
no such extravagance...
and from house hunting for a place
nearby her mother here, where he would
would ask his boss to transfer him...
to apartment hunting in Capitol City:
first two bedrooms,
and then but one...
no chance of transfer,
since they let other people go...
and placed four hundred on forlough;
he has to stay on to do the work of four...and
they're wond'ring about the honeymoon
and that problematic
Caribbean cruise.

It is a commonplace
one's parents are perfect saints
until that time when you discover
that they are no saints!...
they're not even
very good at Santa Claus
or the Easter Bunny.
And this is growing up.
And growing up can be sad,
as sad as I
who watches my baby and her guy
slowly learn that the stories
about princes and princesses
standing upon a peak in Darien,
surveying the Pacific and Atlantic
wondering at the promises of America!
find the tooth fairy an old sea hag,
find Santa drunk with stolen loot,
and see Easter Bunny porno
on stage and screen and internet.

So I finished shaving and went to my job,
part time gambler and player
of black jack at the casino...I
got a system that can't lose.
When I get a bit ahead,
I'll go back and ask the boss
for my job back, and
they'll be glad to see me.
I'll stop by the cemetery
on my way
and visit my parents' grave...
now that
....spring is here,
( a short staccato of sobs)
I'll follow the horses, yeah,man!

Jimmy Tomorrow knows the truth, but lives the pipe dream where he pretends to believe that things will straighten around, and he'll see his grandkids. But it is a dream that ends when he hears the sounds of slots, and lights of the Big Casino hit his optic nerve!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fast Day 97 April 11 2009 {Ulysses}

Ulysses Coming Upon His Old Dog, Argos


i am standing by the water's edge,
here i am,
here i am.
i am waiting for the sun to rise,
here i am,
here i am.
i am feeling the wet upon my feet,
it is not cold and I do not wish to move,
for she said she would find me here;
and here i am,
here i am.

i have been gone one thousand years
but here i am,
here i am.
paler than the dewy grass,
here i am,
here i am.
i shall leap into her arms
like a hungry sailor shipwrecked
jumps into discovered isles;
there i'll stay,
there i'll stay.

the wind has dried my naked body
where i stand,
where i stand.
more a reed than any man,
where i stand,
where i bend.
i shall go now to my palace
and seek that scarlet tunic that i love
and let it warm me thoroughly!
where we lay,
where we lay.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fast Day 96 April 4 2009 {Aunt Serena's Temple at Deir al Bahri}

Aunt Serena's Temple
at Deir Al-Bahri

Hatshepsut, she, egyptian pharoah
built a house of wilderness, a temple
like a folded protein, laced left-handedly
into the cliffs of father-mother Nile,
into the red face of the desert.

Ladies with eyes kohl-laden,
danced with intensity necrotic
at her father's wake; and when he was laid
to rest, all the sands of all the deserts
buried him and she, lady of barriya.

Serena honeymooned on the Nile,
lived in Shepheard's and loved erotic;
ate fustuq in the year nineteen forty-eight
while the fellaheen discovered
hidden temples of long dead queens.

Slim girls and passage to Egypt!
where flows the Nile's aortic
water from the highly placed heart of Ifriqiya!
and sail a felucca above the cataract
to visit at Hatshepsut's palace!

Now she descends into oblivion
and becomes an Alzheimer stuffed
toy to plop without much thought into a chair,
to sit all day, slightly askew,
slightly atilt, within an endless hall.

The hieroglyphs of temples!
writ large on limestone walls!
Serena now reverses the archaeology of time
and deconstructs and un-construes the sacred
words, reburying the Temple.

Where has Abu Simbel gone?
Drag the Nile for poor Philae!
All drowned, all buried, like forgotten memories
of Cairo in the postcards of her desire!
Every face is photoshopped.

The Ramesseum that was Serena
receives a cup of sand a day
to bury it again, no more to see bus loads of tourists
with her kohl-laden ancient eyes,
she dreams a language again unknown.

protein folding

notes:this is a poem on my Aunt Serena's experience with Alzheimer's. She had been in Cairo after WW II, having married an army fellow who had spent most of the war in Alexandria.
The image is the beauty of Hatshepsut's temple and all Egyptian antiquity is like the mind of Serena...and now we bury it into the oblivion of Alzheimer's disease.

Hatshepsut: ancient woman pharoah, who built the great temple at Deir Al Bahri . Deir al Bahri is usually translated as "northern monastery",but the name literally means "monastery of the sea".

wilderness: I read "bahri" as meaning "barri" , or "wilderness" - a pun

protein: the temple "folds" back from the Nile into the surrounding cliffs, as does a protein fold - left-handed or right-handed - like a biological fan.

kohl: eye make-up of ancient Egypt

barriya: wilderness again

fustuq: pistachioes

Shepheard's: very famous Brit hotel in Cairo

fellaheen: poor working guys, shoveling around the archaeological excavations

Ifriqiya: Arabic for Africa

felucca: a Nile sail boat

Abu Simbel, Philae: temples rescued from rising waters, and some not

Ramesseum: a temple, palace, or even a large burial place of the Pharoah Ramesses.
Ramesses is the Greek form of Ra Ms, which is the name of Ra, the god, and the root "m(e)s" which means "giving birth". It also is the root for the name of Moses, or Musa.