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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Welcome davis_agie_girl5

I am welcoming davis_aggie_girl5 to the group. We shall send her the oath of secrecy to fill out later, as well as the vow of fasting and abstinence required of us all.

On a more serious note, I am taking this occasion to remark that I am a great fan of comic books and graphic novels. I do not think I've ever mentioned it before. I have a trunk filled with Marvel comics from the 60's and 70's and an original Donald Duck (the large format). For myself, Carl Barks, the artist of Donald Duck comics in the 50's is nothing short of a genius. In fact, I was just re-reading some Watchmen and some adventures in the Halo series.

The android picture is an homage to Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons, and his store, The Android's Dungeon. Don't you just love the word "homage"? I can not get enough of its pomposity.

Humani nil a me alienum puto... Nothing human is alien from me, I reckon, pardner. (I had to through in the "I reckon... so as not to appear pompous.)


Fast Day 195 February 26 2011 {Viewing An Old Tree}

Viewing an Old Tree

Upon a hill I saw a tree
with snow and green garbed perfectly;
perfect in its height and span,
hitherto unseen by man -
offended by no mortal blade,
from whose wood no lumber made -
a tree as from the older times
from gentler days and gentler climes,
when his tribe filled the surrounding
mountains with his kin abounding:
men worshipped at this woodland chapel
oak and laurel, birch and apple...
awestruck by this proliferation
dense forests strung across the nation;
but in an age when we kill all gods,
this tree, I wonder what the odds
that it will live on and evade
the holocaust and clear-cut blade?
And as we creep along the brink
of empty hearts... Nature extinct!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aside: February 20 2011

My friend Ruth made a comment of the poem


Especially the final stanza, and that breathtaking line:
They have forgotten the wind-like face of earth!

I was going through some things this morning, and I happened across it and I read it and I said "Hmm. That is not a bad line. Wonder who wrote it?"
So I looked around in the comment, then in the poem for a hint or a reference. It sounded familiar but I just could not place it. It took about 5 minutes before I realized it was part of my poem! (I was reading it something like: ...especially the final stanza which brings to mind the line by so-and-so... that reminds me of this poem.)
She is awfully nice.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fast Day 194 February 19 2011 {On Talking to a Man from Maharahstra}

On Talking to a Man from Maharashtra about 
the Body of St. Francis Xavier Preserved in Goa, 
about Christians in India, 
and about Sectarian Fighting.

there are days when you just need a drink,
and today is one of those:
kick-my-ass day,
snake-in-grass day;
and I don't drink...
a chocolate eating day.

there are days when you just need some love
and today is one of those:
bleed-my-heart day,
fall-apart day;
but I'm alone...
ginger-cinnamon day!

Nutmeg and ginger, cardamon, clove...
float on spring freshets in the river
past my private glass pavilion
in old-time Goa
upon the sea;
anise, cumin and marjoram, they embalmèd me...
I saw every sunrise...  and sunset upon that sea!

It seems the world is so little changed
from my seafaring-gospel days,
I see no point to stay around
and totemic;
I seek now a funeral: be buried in the soil:
aphrodisyaks and curatives...  turn to holy oil!


St. Francis Xavier   Jesuit missionary to the Far East. He was named Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta to a wealthy family in Navarre. He was a co-founder of the Jesuits with Ignatius de Loyola. In 1541, he left Lisbon to serve as missionary in the Portuguese colonies oversea. On 11 December 1553, Xavier's body was shipped to Goa. The body is now in the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa, where it was placed in a glass container encased in a silver casket on 2 December 1637. 
It appears somewhat preserved, although by no means incorrupt.

Spices are metaphors:  new essences, aphrodisiacs, embalming agents, and oils to bless the holy dead.

This took me totally by surprise. It was the work of one fitful night and a morning.In our discussion about the body of St. Francis, we agreed that it might be best that he be at rest, no longer on display. Perhaps he is by now. I have not looked into it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fast Day 193 February 12 2011 {When Helen of Troy Was a Kid}

When Helen of Troy Was A Kid

When Helen was a kid at Jones Beach, she did not
launch a thousand ships, only four that followed her
around like her faithful dogs, who hung their heads out
the back windows of the sedan when old lady
Begley drove the kids down the Wantagh State Parkway,
- Helen under towels to avoid admission -
aerodynamic, art deco, Italianate
water tower: sandstone and multi-coloured brick.
Beach grass and sand dunes, umbrella-covered picnics;
just a suntan kid followed by a flotilla.

She grew up and she walked upon the street lights;
she jumped from traffic light to light;
she danced upon the jungle gym of fireworks
that carpeted the harbor, and made that beach sand
Klimtian jewels and islands of deco gold!
All before she went to live with dark myopic
Menelaus, the industrious, of Sparta far away;
he worked late – too late – at the Eurotan palace,
while fleets coursed the sea under her wings!
And Trojan princes pounce the wide Aegean!


Helen of Troy, whose face launched a thousand ships (according to Marlowe), as a kid in New York.
The princes of Troy refers to Paris, her lover.

Menelaus - king of Sparta
Klimtian - like the paintings of Gustav Klimt
Eurotan - pertaining to the Eurotas river of Sparta


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fast Day 192 February 5 2011 {City of the North}

City of the North

All the places in my dreams
are still down on the back lot:
the dark iron ore cities at night,
the flooding summer cottages,
hills of Donegall and Gdansk;
the reeds that flourish yet
where the city built a park
twenty years ago, or more,
I see them still bow and bend.

I see rows and rows of fam’ly,
and those malignant holidays
when my parents would give to
almost-strangers gifts I held
dearer than any gold ever
beheld by my staring eyes!

That ancient familial house where
the sunroom plantation blinds
were sunlight mandolin, slicing
the spectrum into discrete
stripes, which fell upon my juvie
skin and made it all tattooed
like heart of darkness Kongo
or Maori – and when I was
alone, I would nakedly
hunt the fox-stole of desire!

Nothing ever goes away,
save in my memory for a
rainy day, when the tocsin tolls
and we erupt from our dreary
routines, and rush like volunteer
firemen to a neighbor’s blaze…
some of us never hear the call.

North is the city with roads twain,,
somewhere in America,
somewhere oppression vanishes…
the  dark city finds its morning.

The winter is depressing at times. My golden city is in the  north, not down south. North of Lake Superior, I think, feed by two major roads, sheltered from the worst of winter's fury like a Shangri-La. I dream about it, I see the road maps at night.

juvie    -    juvenile

It is about the persistence of memory, the child's growing awareness of a split between parent and child - they are no longer one symbiote!, sexuality's growth, long sleep of life until we awake and going north to find my el dorado.

Dedicated to the actor, Mark Winkworth   (Adams Chronicles-type)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ㄚ琪 welcome


winter poems,
cold, cold landscape;
hearts are warm


I can barely remember my elementary Chinese from a long time ago, so I had to go back to the books and work on this, even as basic as it is. I actually know very little. Small small as my Nigerian friends say. (I did manage to restrict myself to 4 characters per line and probably have made a total mess of it!)