Sunday, November 30, 2014

RIP - MARK STRAND



KEEPING THINGS WHOLE
Mark Strand

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

* * *

Friday, November 28, 2014

Shhhh......! (poem)



Torrents of words
waterfalls of words
spew from moist mouths
downpourings of words
sounds clash in mid-air
in whitecap crash
in noise drips from lips
radio spout
television gush
syllables hula
undulate, gyrate
in frantic deluge
mingling morphology
words slick with significance
fraught with enunciation
tsunami of complexities
oceans of meaning
of trivia
of need
surf spilling hot vowels
crunchy nouns
onto the sand
licking swirling slapping,
tumbling against
the island
of my
saturated
silence

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, All You Turkeys!



Actually a little wine should handle it!
Hope your Holiday is Stress Free too!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Amazon Author Page

Thanks to my old friend Alan Baird (a writer and computer genius) I now have an Author's Page at AMAZON.COM.

NO small feat, given my books are dinosaurs like me! But it is certainly fun to see them up there, light of day again

Author's Page - Clicky

Monday, November 24, 2014

Casanova (poem)



I wake up thinking of Casanova
He’s a hormone-hound, he is.
Doc says he goes for ladies
with big breasts, but in my case,
I fought to keep the girls and won.
He tried to get a grip last year
on my uterus, which used to teem
with estrogen, but he was shocked
to find no goodies there. I thought
our affair had ended benignly, but no.
Hello, he’s back, all smarmy
and grinning, with kisses along
my throat this time. Casanova
can’t seem to leave me alone. Be
careful when you pray for love
as you can be wooed right out
of the world by my guy, the big C.
I hear he’s fickle but never leaves
my side or alas, my nightly dreams.

##

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Writer's Group - At Last!

There were five attendees today at the new Writer's Group, and I am thrilled that we are finally getting it off the ground! All good writers too! I love the space, and our hosts, Euro Pianos Naples, couldn't be more welcoming and accommodating. Thank you!

North Naples/Bonita Springs Writer's Group- Clicky


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Horseflies by Robert Wrigley

from THE IDAHO REVIEW
2005 Pushcart Prize XXIX Best of the Small Presses

Deviantart by ehioe


After the horse went down
.....the heat came up
and later that week
.....the smell of its fester yawed,
an open mouth of had-been air
.....our local world was licked inside of, and I,

the boy who'd volunteered at twilight--
.....shunts of chawed cardboard
wadded up my nostrils
.....and a dampened bandana
over my nose and mouth--
.....I strode then

into the ever-purpler sink
.....of rankness and smut,
a sloshful five-gallon bucket of kerosene
.....in my right hand,
a smoking railroad fusee
.....in my left,
and it came over me like water then,

into my head-gaps and gum
.....rinds, into the tear ducts
and taste buds and even
.....into the last dark tendrils
of my howling, agonized hair
.....that through the windless half-light
hoped to fly from my very head,

an would have, I have no doubt, had not
.....the first splash of kerosene
launched a seething skin
.....of flies into the air
and onto me, the cloud of them
.....so dense and dark my mother in the distance
saw smoke and believed as she had feared

I would, that I had set my own
.....fool and staggering self aflame,
and therefore she fainted and did not see
.....how the fire kicked
the other billion flies airborne
.....exactly in the shape
of the horse itself,

which rose for a brief quivering
.....instant under me, and which for a pulse thump
at least, I rode--in a livery of iridescence,
.....in a mail of exoskeletal facets,
wielding a lance of swimming lace--
.....just as night rode the light, and the bones,
and a sweet, cleansing smoke to ground.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

River Rush (poem)

We drifted down the Colorado River;
the water moved in frothy brown
currents of monotonous music
that would linger forever in my head,
the heartbeat of a living
entity, that song, singing in my bloodstream.

The summer sun poured down a stream
of golden spangles, toe-danced on the river
waves, painted canyon walls with living
art -- red-rock abstracts aflame above brown
sandy banks on the shore. Far ahead
of our gliding J-Rig, we heard white-water music.

The rapids in the distance made loud music
against the quiet rhythms of the steady stream.
I conducted Prokofiev in my dozing head
as I listened to the swelling symphony of the river.
We floated until dusk, then camped above Brown
Betty, first rapid of the morrow, waiting to greet the living.

An owl hooted at sunset; a family of ravens living
in Cataract Canyon provided our dinner music
as we sat around a fire grilling brown
Idahos and cowboy steaks. Stories tumbled in streams
from the old-timers who had long known the river.
I crawled into my tent with ancient tales in my head.

As I fell asleep, stars in a black sky over my head
gleamed diamond blue. I dreamed I was living
with the Anasazi Indians beside a younger, bluer river.
Wild horses thundered across high mesas making music
with their hooves. Down the cliffs, in single files, streams
of Big Horn Sheep descended, fleece of desert brown.

We awoke to the wafting smell of hot, brown
coffee. Hearts high, we loaded the rig, nosed ahead
into the high water. It swelled over rocks in streams
of foam in icy riot. We skittered like dice, living
proof of Nature’s indifference. Towering waves made music
of wildness in our throbbing hearts, rushed us down the river.

Today I feel forever wedded to the river -- my skin no longer brown
from the hot Utah sun, but the sacred music of motion in my head
keeps Promise living in the tumult of Life’s everyday stream.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Fix (poem)

Painting "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" by Lucien Freud sold at Christie's NYC for $33.2 million in 2008.


Laughter booms in the heavens
where God lolls on Her settee,
head thrown back, mouth open,
needle plunged into the sacred
vein of Her perfect arm,
a Junkie hooked on Endings.

Like an assembly of crystals
in the casket of a teaspoon,
my end will come,
melt in the heat of a fickle moon,
without a glint of gold on the curled
finger of my clenched fist,
without a freckle scattered
across the nose of a child.

Let the storm clouds rumble
in caravans across the vista,
like Arab caftans billow black
on a Saharan horizon.
No gentle partings,
let the aspens twist on the mountain,
and shudder like dervishes.

When I die, let hail slap
against rock, icy hands beating
on stony hearts in applause.
My tears can't rust rock. I’ll dissolve
like snow in an eternal rush;
I’ll disappear in an avalanche
of searing relief.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Holy (poem)

Under a midnight double moon
along a xyst overgrown with wisteria,
the ancients stroll in linen robes
mocking me with their song.
I have drunk deep of pain
thinking the seraphs would slide
out of the heavens on mercury rain
to save me. But the poison sits,
on my tongue like a wafer.

O those who professed love!
I cherish you, they said . Hallaluijia!
I will never leave you, they said. Hosanna!
I will stand by you, they said while
holding the chalice, tipping out
betrayals, anger and scorn. Amen!
All my years of seeking love
with fire ants at my ankles, while God
kills me with Sacraments.

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Remember

Photo from blacksoil.com


I remember swans in the municipal pond across the street from the Mamora Hotel in Port Lyautey, Morocco. I fell in love with them. One night they were strangled by drunk sailors and left on the lawn.

I remember deep red Maryland dirt with a log . It was at the height of a hot summer ; I sat against the log , swatted mosquitoes, and wrote bad poems. The red dirt soiled everything, even the paper. I thought that was an omen.

I remember looking in the bath house mirror at a public swimming pool, before changing out of my suit. A red faced girl stared back at me, all shiny-cheeked with dancing eyes. I wondered who she was.

I remember hiding under an oleander bush, dressed only in pajamas, at ten o’clock at night while the headlights of the car circled around and around, making my heart jounce with every sweep of its beams.

I remember thinking: this will be forever. (I wonder who created the word forever? )

I remember meeting the brazen black eyes of a young man on a subway. He was a workman in a dirty shirt, with grease on his fingers that held onto the same pole I clutched as we lurched under bright lights in silence. It didn’t stop me from marrying him and bearing his children before we got to the Christopher Street/Sheridan Square stop.

I remember that an oil painting of a beach with sunset that I did at aged 12 sat on a top shelf of our garage for a number of years, along with water bottles, foot lockers, and gas cans. When it disappeared I don’t remember, but I missed it.

I remember throwing a huge bouquet of flowers against an enameled Mandarin orange wall, after an abortion. Even in my agony I remember thinking how pretty all the colors were against that backdrop.

I remember seeing Swan Lake, my first ballet, and feeling like I just stepped onto Planet Earth.


*with loving homage to Joe Brainard

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ode to the Mid Term Elections, Nov. 2014

Photo by FreedomsFootprint.com


I love America! It's the only way to go!
Barbie trades in
Cultured Ken
for combat's G.I. Joe.

I love America! Praise be for the N.R.A!
My militia
Wants to kiss ya'
Lift those Arms to pray!

I love America! High school's such a hoot
If they tease ya'
and don't please ya'
load your gun and shoot!

I love America! Unibombing bliss!
Mailmen tarry
when they carry
packages that hiss.

I love America! Bring the masses on!
If they huddle
in a muddle
Ship them back at dawn.

I love America! Politicians tower!
England's reign
was just the same
As rich men's total power.

I love America. America loves me.
My vote's ignored,
my last reward--
anti-social security.

I do love America. Someday we'll marry her.
But she'll be old
and very cold
to hearts that once were pure.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chilling Out With Buddha

for Diana rooming with me in the 90's

Photo from HiyaHeidiblog.com

A woman, once my childhood friend,
is living in my home—
a red plastic bucket
on the beach of my solitude—
at a time in life
when women over 50
flounder in salty, hot seas,
widowed, nests-emptied
of disinterested children
careers tapped out, beauty
fading under the yellow froth
of middle age

Some women have men
in their homes.
I question
the tradeoff of serenity for
the carnal, mortal man—
I catch myself fingering
old beads better buried—
infidelities sewn into sachets
at the bottom of the bureau
under folded silk nightgowns
while I, in flannel pajamas, get
my own milk at bedtime.
In the darkness of my kitchen,
Buddha stares back at me in the glow
of the refrigerator light.

I try to find the cadence
of co-habitation, the exact measure
of compassion, and patience -
a mini-rehearsal for soloist
to sing duet, but I am flat.
There is no music here.
In silence, bent over
the dark path to my kitchen,
I cling to a notion that if I
can share this house,
then, I will find my voice and sing.

Then, maybe she will leave.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Loose Fish cooks Indian food!

Decided to make an Indian dinner for guests, and prowled the internet for recipes. I kept coming up with the identical recipe on several different websites, so I went with it; they didn't give credit to any other website, so neither will I. Decided on the following menu:

Had a heck of a time finding ingredients, so I ordered the masalas and cardamon pods online and finally found canned lychees in Whole Foods.

Butter Chicken (slow cooker recipe)
Cucumber Raiti
Naan
Coconut Rice
Lychees with Ice Cream


Butter Chicken over rice: (with naan flat bread to wipe the plate with that sauce)

Photo from madarecipies.wordpress.com


-4-6 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
-1 onion diced
-3 cloves garlic minced I used a press
-2 tbsp butter
-2 tbsp oil
-15 green cardamom pods (I put these in a tiny plastic ziplock bag and poked holes in it. I had no muslin to tie them in)
-2 tsp curry powder
-1 tbsp curry paste
-1 tsp cayenne powder (this was not in my original recipe. Definitely needed for heat!)
-2 tsp tandoori masala
-1 tsp garam masala
-1 can coconut milk
-1 cup plain yogurt
-1 5.5 fl oz can of tomato paste
-Salt to taste

Saute onion, garlic and chicken pieces in large skillet until onion is just soft. Stir in tomato paste until blended. Transfer all of it into a crockpot.

Stir in spices, coconut milk, yogurt, and healthy dose of salt to taste, and cook on slow for 8 hrs. Discard cardamon pods before serving. Easy peasy (except finding the spices!) Next time I'll have some muslin or netting on hand for the pods, and will add the cayenne as it wasn't hot enough for my taste, but still wonderful! I served the butter chicken over coconut rice, but next time, I would just use plain rice. The spices killed the coconut flavor of the rice.

Cucumber Raiti

Photo from Kahakai Kitchen


I was really nervous about this dish. Didn't LOOK that particularly good, and I'd never eaten it before. But something said, go for it. IF I had used the cayenne in the butter chicken, this would be the PERFECT accompaniment to cool down the heat. It's absolutely delicious.

-2 cups plain yogurt (I used Fage 2%)
-2 cups grated English cucumber (the skinny English cuke is much easier to grate.)
-1 clove garlic, minced (I don't mince. I press.)
-4 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves only, finely minced. (Okay, once in awhile I mince.)
-1 tsp. kosher salt
-2 tablespoons golden raisins
-ground black pepper

Whisk yogurt until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, chill until served. (can be made day before)

Okay, when I make this again, and I will, I will add even more mint and more golden raisins. This is a wonderful combo of flavors and so suits the butter chicken or any other spicy dish as a cool down. Just a great find for me! And not at all difficult to throw to together. Don't be put off by the "saucy" look of it. Think of it like chutney or potato salad...it just has a 'loose' consistency.

Lychees with Cointreau sauce over vanilla ice cream

Photo from WeekendNotes.com


-1 11 oz. can litchees in heavy syrup
-2 slices of fresh orange
-2 tablespoons of Cointreau or other orange liqueur
-1 generous tablespoon of crystallized ginger
-Vanilla ice cream

Pour syrup from lychees into heavy saucepan and set lychees aside in a bowl. Add orange slices to the syrup and boil (watch it!) for about 10 minutes until syrup thickens. Pour over lychees and add ginger and liqueur. Can be made 2 days ahead. Let sit in fridge and flavors meld. Serve over vanilla ice cream.

When I make it again, more ginger and more Cointreau, I think. But it's so good. We didn't have vanilla ice cream and it was still good over another flavor. This might not be an Indian dessert, by the way, but exotic enough to entice me to use it.

The guests were enthusiastic, and I was thrilled! I have leftovers!