Friday, April 29, 2011

On Warm Weekends


On Warm Weekends

Tourist season
is the reason
there’s anything here.

Raucous racing
boats drag down
the highways on hitches.

Aboard their decks dwell
the cowed, bored upper-middle-class
who fled their suburbs in Suburbans.

They’ll pee their names in the lake
and show off their fake tans
while drunk; then go home.

Such beauty and stupidity.
Economy has a sardonic
sort of humor.   

One Mistake


One Mistake and You’re Back
I have been busy this year. The garden
stretches clear around
the back.

Radishes, carrots,
cucumbers and garlic, tomatoes,
potatoes, beans and basil,
rosemary, lavender, bolting cilantro,
a hybrid tea rose, lilies, flags
and peonies—
so many things, all
in the race to grow.

Winter was heavy, full
of sleep-inducing snow,
and then the flow of the melt
combined with spring rains
left everything soggy and cold.

Two days of ninety degrees!
The flowers, at least, began
to feel bold.

So eager they were, that when
the heat broke they
almost choked in their hurry
to die back.

Now the ground warms slow;
so does all the garden. Fool me once;
fool me twice.

But the sun shines
and we grow
to reach the sky.

Best Pasties Ever

Ahh, April. It seems like it's been raining for one hundred years, and so last night I whipped up some down-home comfort food. Warning: Those of you afraid of calories, stay away! I have a feeling this will clog even the most hearty of arteries...or at least make you wear your fat pants for the evening.

Feel free to alter the recipe to suit your leftover needs. Also, if you'd rather use all fresh, canned, or leftover veggies, simply adjust the sizes of the veggies to suit the cooking time required for the dough (or is it a pastrie? hmmm...)

Best [Chicken] Pasties Ever

Difficulty: Moderate

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup cold water
extra flour for dusting

1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (leftover)
1/4-1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup frozen  corn
1/4 cup frozen  peas
1/4 cup frozen carrots
1 small potato, chopped
1 tsp crushed coriander
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 pinch celery seed
2 hefty pinches of paprika
1/4 cup chicken drippings/gravy/melted butter  (approximate)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
butter for serving

plastic wrap
rolling pin
large non-stick cookie sheet


In a large glass bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut in the shortening with hands or pastry cutter until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Slowly stir in water until you get a doughball. Wrap the doughball in plastic. Place in fridge while prepping.

Preheat oven to 350. In another large bowl, mix together chicken, onions, corn, peas carrots, potatoes, coriander, rosemary, celery seed and paprika. Add any other spices you may wish. If using chicken drippings, lightly drizzle the bowl; mix. If using gravy or butter, wait. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Remove doughball from fridge. On thoroughly floured surface, pound out dough and separate into six doughballs. Flatten each doughball and roll into 6-inch circles. Dust non-stick cookie sheet with flour.

Place even amounts of meat-and-veggie mix onto the dough circles. If using gravy or melted butter, drizzle now; be careful to not add so much that the dough is effected.

Fold the dough circles over the meat-and-veggies. Pinch the edges closed like pie crust. Poke each with a fork (I do three fork pokes per pastie). Place on non-stick, floured cookie sheet. To promote browning, brush tops with a bit of milk (optional). Bake at 350 for one hour, or until pasties are done.

Serve with a bit of butter melted on top and nice thick beer. Delish!


[This is another from the no-longer-existing recipe page.]

In honor of spring, I thought I'd put up one of my favorite grill options, even though currently it's snowing lumps easily the size of silver dollars...I've honestly never seen snowflakes this big before. Still, it's a good day for grilling. Because it's always a good day for grilling!

I've set this for two people, and since it's a grill recipe it's easily adaptable. Avoid frozen products on this one.

Yummy Grilled Dinner

Difficulty level: Moderately Easy  but involves BIG FLAMES

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour (maximum; depends on weather and grill type)

2 med-large pieces of meat (not fish), room temperature, set on paper towels
2 one-to-two foot sections of tin foil
1 baggie Dutch Yellow baby potatoes, halved. They come in a mesh baggie in the smaller-sized section of your produce aisle.
1/2 onion, sliced julienne or chopped very large
2 handfuls green non-leaf veggies (your choice, but try to stay away from watery green veggies like zucchini; this method will turn them to mush)
1 handful baby/baby-cut carrots
2 cups shredded Mizithra cheese
1 garlic bud, split into cloves and peeled
8 tsp dried thyme (this is a guess)
4 tsp dried rosemary (this is a guess)
2 tsp onion powder
salt (coarse if you have it) 
1/4 cup cognac
long lighter/matches (careful!)
Generously dust the meat (on the paper towels) with the coarse salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp onion powder per side, per piece, and 1 tsp thyme per side, per piece. Set aside.
Halve the portions of onion, potatoes, green veggies, carrots, garlic and Mizithra. Split these halves onto the two pieces of tin foil. Fold the edges up so to create a Tupperware-type shape. Drizzle very generously with EVOO. Sprinkle pepper, 2 tsp thyme and  2 tsp rosemary in each packet. Shake 1/2 cup Mizithra in each packet. Close the packets by folding the edges of tin foil together, carefully sealing out all air. Grill the packets for approximately 20-40 minutes, at approximately 400-425 degrees; you may have to check the packets frequently, especially on windy days. 

When the veggies are 2/3's of the way done, place the meat onto the grill. Drizzle with EVOO, grill (obviously this depends on the meat how long you want to grill it). Flip when lightly browned, do the same on second side.

Just before the meat is done/cooked to ideal temp, get the lighter ready, and splash some cognac onto the meat. *WARNING: STAND BACK.  Let the cognac burn off and finish browning the meat. If the flame of the grill does not flare without help, light the cognac yourself with the lighter. Again, STAND BACK while the cognac burns. Flip the meat and repeat on the other side. Have I mentioned to STAND BACK? Allow the meat to finish browning.

By now the veggie packets should be done; simply gather everything and serve with the remaining Mizithra sprinkled all over.

*Note: The Mizithra will not melt in the packets like softer white cheeses; without monitoring the temp however, it will burn. So will your eyebrows if you get too close to the cognac, by the way.

Cheater's Curry

I realized just posting recipes made much more sense than making one huge recipe page. So here is my cheater's version of a spicy-sweet curried rice dish, packed with veggies.

Bonus? If you choose to rinse the brown rice beforehand, save it and use that rice water (within two days) as a face tonic; it's chock full of nutrients.
Curried Rice with Onions and Greens
Difficulty level: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
2 tbsp cayenne evoo
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
2 tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (up this considerably if you only have regular evoo)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cloves
1/4-1/2 an onion, chopped
one or two generous handfuls of greens/green veggies, uncooked
salt to taste
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Dump in the rice and one tbsp of the cayenne evoo. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, add the remaining cayenne evoo, the onions, and 1 tbsp of the curry. Stir, and cover again. Simmer for five minutes. Add greens and remaining spices; stir and cover. Simmer another 5-10 minutes (if using leafy greens, stir and cook with the lid off to avoid overcooking; for regular green veggies, cover to simmer). Remove from heat, fluff, and let stand to cool. Salt if desired. Yum!

***If you don't have access to buying cayenne evoo, it's relatively simple to make yourself. Just mix the evoo with some ground cayenne in a lidded jar for a couple of days (leave in a dark, temperature-controlled location) until the blend has nice, spicy smell to it. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Peach Cobbler Gone Meaty

**I'm early! I'm early!  Wooo!-- Of course it's competely unedited, but I wanted to get this up before the whammy! feeling I'm currently experiencing fades.

This week's TCE prompt was "This might not be the best time for getting philosophical."

I dove into completely uncharted waters for this one, and even if it's still wonky in spots (which I shall try to fix), it was a lot of fun to write. Hope you have as much fun reading it! Contains mild swearing**

 Peach Cobbler Gone Meaty

If Credence Peaman had even the slightest bit of imagination, he would have stopped flat in his tracks, caught a taxi, and went straight to Lambert International to fly himself back home where he was safe and sound. But, as per usual in stories such as these, poor Cree had only one smidgen—a very tiny smidgen, at that—of imagination, and it was currently employed in the replay of Molina’s fine, fine hit during the game that afternoon, thus pretty much ensuring a twist of fate at which we readers can only shake our heads.
But yes, Cree’s imagination.  What a beautiful hit,  he thought to himself as a taxi drove past. Looking up and down the cobblestone street—you see, he rather liked that all of St. Louis’s downtown was cobblestone—he wondered which of the shmoozy looking lounges would have vegan-friendly meals.  A thick dirt-colored Shetland eyed him nervously, dancing his forelegs and whinnying when Cree crossed in front of the sleek carriages in which tourists liked to take rides.  But Cree paid no attention. Horse just doesn’t sound good tonight, but maybe I’m wrong, he thought to himself.  Then he wondered why exactly he thought that … and warned himself that days reserved for baseball should not be used for philosophizing. Cree continued, as we say, along his merry way, whistling the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Soon, but not quite soon enough for Cree, he was seated before a nice meal of supposedly vegan-friendly rice and such, in a fairly small, hokey sort of bar with lots of garish neons and loud live music in the adjacent room. The music was loud almost to the point of being obnoxious —in fact, the late-afternoon, early-evening crowd seemed to him a great deal of loud, almost obnoxious types of people, though obviously loyal to their little local joint. This meal, however, was seriously lacking, and did not inspire any grand feelings of loyalty in Mr. Cree Peaman. He looked around for his waitress. Ahh, there she was, talking to the tiny old lady with the brown-gray hair cut in a bowl shape at the end of the booths by the doorway.
 “But I swear it, I do, I tell you,” she was saying insistently, her hands laid square beside her untouched food as she spoke to the waitress, “me and my cats, you know, we’re all each other has, I tell you, and they just, well, I tell you, they just aren’t acting right. I tell you, they just aren’t acting right!” And the poor waitress nodded patiently, smacking some gum.
“Yes, Ms. Helen, I believe you. But how is your chicken? Does everything taste alright?”
“I’ll tell you a story; that’ll prove what I’m saying to you. I tell you, they just aren’t acting right. I think it’s moving to this new apartment next to the hotel; all sorts of people, you know, and animals, well, I tell you they just sense things. They just sense things.”
“Of course, Ms. Helen. You just let me know when you need something.” Cree raised his hand for the server, but Ms. Helen pulled her back before she could move too far away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NAPO's Belated

NAPOWRIMO Days 24, 25 and 26 Belated,
and Day 27

Well, I got behind and have finally caught up, although a small part of me feels like I'm cheating since I used this opportunity to do a series of haiku. I couldn't resist, they're just so fun to write. Anyway, here we are, my belated NAPOWRIMO poems...

Midwest Spring

Each field waves clover
far in every direction.
Hares grow fat this year.

      Tough man stands in door
      before spring thunderstorming.
      Tornado shuts door.

               Feet of snow fell thick
               this winter, as did spring rains.
               The levies will break.

                           Ninety-five degrees,
                           forty-five degrees; who knows.
                           The rose skulks; grows slow.

Tuesday Teaser 7

Alas, I am terribly behind (yet again) on everything else, and only just remembered the Tuesday Teaser dealy-o. So sorry!

What, oh, what, you might wonder, did my lackadaisical bum read today (or rather, the eyeballs attached to the brain in the head atop the neck over the shoulders of the torso connected through the spinal column and a bunch of fatty muscles to the bum read today) ? Err.. well frankly, a great deal of boring shmoring things...anywhosers, later I treated myself to a bit of Douglas Adams.

Now, here's the thing. Perhaps you are like me, or perhaps my brain is full of root rot and I'm the only person to whom this ever happens, but I quite frequently remember reading things I have in fact not read.

Example: When peer helping a group of wonderful fifth graders, one day they realized I was this huge book geek who loved reading stories and hearing stories and telling stories. I was asked if I'd read the newest Harry Potter. Why, no, I told them. Had I read any of the Harry Potters? (At the time I think there were only two...) I said, you know, I think I have. Of course, yes, I remember now. It's the one with the boy in the cupboard, isn't it? Yes yes! They told me.

In reality I hadn't read a smidgen, not a page, of any Harry Potter book, and yet somehow I honestly thought I had, and it wasn't as if I knew it from the movies, as there were none yet. Who knows. This sort of thing happens all the time; I think I have read something, then when I actually read it  I realize I have never cracked open the said book in my entire life. Which is what I discovered after popping open my first H.P book. And it is also what I discovered this afternoon when I popped open The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

*Sigh* I could have sworn I'd read it. Yellow. That whole thing about "yellow;" I know it. How is it you know a whole chunk of a book and then realize you've never read that book? Bah! Incidentally, yes there is a movie, and no, the "yellow" bit does not figure into it whatsoever, if I remember correctly. Go figure. How's that for a priori knowledge, Kant? lol. I doubt that's what he meant, but perhaps on some level, literature is an instinctual thing. In my case I'm sure it's just an instance of a forgotten book club meeting or random airplane conversation, but still. It's nice to think such a thing is possible.

To continue. Today's teaser, from The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is.... (*dum dumm duuhhhhmmm*)

"`Oh, that was easy, ' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book Well That About Wraps It Up For God. "

Perhaps you can't tell it, but that's in the midst of a very funny part. Actually, the whole book is in the midst of a very funny part. I really like Douglas Adams; for anyone interested check out his [lengthy but worthwhile!] TED presentation by clicking the link in the top right of the page. Really an interesting guy.

That's all for now, I shall catch up everything very soon!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mosquito Weather


Did a lot of garden stuff this afternoon, between the storms. Can you tell? *laugh*

Mosquito Weather

The woods are agleam
with the sheen of spring

Wear bug spray.

Tea Time Sestina


This is my first ever sestina! It's more than a bit rough around the edges, but hey, that's what learning is all about, right? P.S. I'm having an awful time with the formatting, so I appologize if it doesn't look right on your screens!

Tea Time Sestina

When I was younger, my girlfriends and I would gather for tea 
on a summer porch facing a fine garden. There, the sounds of ceramic
and laughter, scents of scones piled with cream, the warmth of sunlight,
sweet of sneaked sugar cubes from the dish, jokes about the highway
at the edge of town which would one day lead to new lives and old age
left our hearts enamored with the future’s beauty.

Too often we talked of movie stars and divine new cars, in regards to beauty;
brains stuffed with the fluff of pop culture nonsense. But during our teas
we tended to our wishes, hopes and dreams, befitting our age,
and so at once felt very young and very wise, and loved that the ceramic
tea sets and their elixir. One by one we grew up, and left for the highway.
Long and unknown, the road was inevitably bright with that warm sunlight.

We found the world a wide, wild place, full of all sorts of sunlight;
some dark and fierce, some blown open, some even pink with beauty,
(New England… Oklahoma… Paris),  making us drive our respective highways
blinded.  Babies. Studies.  Hubbies. Jobs good and cruddy.  And still, our tea.
Truffles and delicate eclairs shaped like swans. Roses on our plates. Gilded ceramic,
and the garden with fat pet rabbit beloved from childhood till old age…

each memory sweet as sugar, the secrets and the victories—and I’m a young age
still, for now. And when I am not, I shall build a porch to catch the sunlight
of the afternoons and evenings, and fill that bright place with the ceramic
remnants of people’s lives bought at estate sales; fragile, breakable beauty
of a mismatched sort, piled with delicate yummies to tempt those reluctant to tea,
perhaps a haven to even those prone to a life too full of the highway.

The day I build that porch may be far down my own stretching highway.
Each day it looks longer and fuller of hills; I think this must be age
hinting I’m finally becoming a grown up lady. Perhaps I should just drink more tea;
I’m determined to be young enough to not know what to believe of the sunlight
on my winding path. In that way, the stress of life becomes a taste of beauty
like bitter cocoa to the chocolate which melts on sunlit antique ceramic.

There are so many metaphors between life and tea. The ceramic
a participant in people’s lives, the drive of those lives down their own highway,
perhaps on the way to a tearoom to gather with friends (that’s true beauty)
and wonder  (when young) what will happen, and then (with age)
remind one another what did; the future and the past all aglow in the sunlight
shining upon a smart group of friends, enjoying a nice long tea.

This is why I love ceramic cracked with use and age
of some other person’s highway, dulled by some other sunlight
and filled with dreams of beauty and hope…such is tea.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wild Henriette

*Week sixteen, yowser! This piece is kind of meandering; it isn't where I want it to be yet but perhaps that's not something I should wish upon a poor, helpless little story. We shall see...

Prompt: "Women are like a different species or something."

Happy Earth Day, everyone. Go planting or digging!

Wild Henriette

Even when Henriette was a little girl, she had this thick and earthy strength about her which bordered on the unnatural.  Everything about Henriette was like this;  she ran harder, yelled louder, lasted longer, grew taller, played wilder, ate more, spilled more, laughed more, broke more, did more than any other little girl ever, real or imagined. She became a danger to have in the house. Bull in a china closet, the adults would say amongst themselves when the dire prospect of a sleepover presented itself. These were the same type of adults who said things like what doesn’t kill makes you stronger,  and strong paths, strong shoes, as if they had any idea of the truth of the matter. This last one was especially hard for Henriette to understand. Her hands and feet looked suspiciously like shovels, and shoes never seemed to last on her. But her life was always full of friends and of fun, so she paid very little heed to the mutterings. 
 Big and bold as she was, Henriette favored being out of doors amongst things growing as fiercely as she. Picnics, tree-house building, camping — you name it — Henriette was Johnny on the Spot.  On camping trips, for instance, she was often named the Firewood Fetcher (in part because it was too perilous to leave her near an open flame), and she was swift and sure about it.  One late afternoon, Mrs. M., the mother of Henriette’s dainty friend Joanna Mason, sent Henriette to go looking for firewood about as big as her arm.
“Sure thing, Mrs. M,”  Henriette had said, bellowing. And she disappeared into the forest, the smaller plants positively jumping out of her way as she struck off into the wild. The day leaned into dusk, and dusk leaned into night. Mrs. M. began to fret. She knew Henriette to be nigh indestructible, but one usually worries about an eleven year old girl in a strange forest under nightfall, if only as a matter of propriety. Then, presently and from a distance, strange crashing sounds reached the ears of the small huddle of girls around their teeny little fire. The crashing was growing closer and closer to the camp.
 “That’ll be Henriette,” Mrs. M. said, letting relief flood her voice. The girls shifted on their campfire logs. Not two moments later and Henriette stood before them, her dark hair sweaty and stuck to her freckly face as she dragged herself and her quarry up to the fire pit.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brain Fry


Alright, confession time: Perhaps before attempting to do a month long poetry challenge, I could have prepared myself, by, oh, maybe, you know, picking up poetry writing again, beforehand... *laugh* Derrr. This is suddenly like a 25 k marathon, when my tired little you-know-what can't even make a sprint happen with a gun to my head. Whew! Just a little longer than a week to go...

Now prepare yourself! Here's my smashing haiku for the day. I know how wonderfully well written this is, and how perfectly it meets the rigid and aesthetically ideal demands of haiku, and so on and so forth...prepare to be amazed! *snort*

Brain Fry

Poem twenty-one:
April dwindles on and on;
few more, then I'm done.

Rain and Drought


Yet another day for experiments! Today I tried a diamante, a very deliberate concrete-sort of poem almost, but the focus is on the contrast of a thing. Here's what I scibbled; I'm still not sure about the shift in the middle:

Rain and Drought
scatters splatters;
muddy growth...remedies parched,
arid, windswept

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cadenced Landscapes

NAPOWRIMO Days 15,16 and 18--Belated

Very late and in no particular order, here are three more NAPOWRIMO poems. Hooray! Now I'm all caught up--poetically, at least. And no, the post title has nothing to do with anything, save I thought it had a pretty ring to it. *laugh*

Okay, no more hem-hawing. Here you go:


The gravy swirls into smooth bubbles which pop
brown across the stove top. Hot outside today, the air above
the stove is hazy; away from the burner the bubbles
murmur to a stop, but memories are always astir.

While cooking anything its hard not to think on things passed.
People of the past. Bridges burnt like plastic spoons left
in gravy pans while fixing up a pot pie. They bend till
they are backwards, beyond use.  So I cook for myself.

For any kind of sustenance can provide substance to the
most maudlin moments;  flake of the pie crust, shape of
mouths smiling through morsels of food, cold beers, wood table,
till suddenly the meal is over and the night creeps in upon the kitchen…

Dinner: scent of oven, bubble of gravy, cooking alone, the quiet of a hot
afternoon in a bridgeless country of spoons that can no longer stir.

The Numbers Game

Seven billion people in the world; seven billion chances to get it right. Growing every day.

Don’t Blink

If life were any
what would we
see at the
end of it?

Beauty queens in sparkling
gowns under spotlights?  Late
night skin-e-max? A clash
of MMA giants? Death of
our spouse?  Tickle fits and
(Sublime cosmic divine presence with the white light at the end of the tunnel and everything?!)

So just another gorgeous
empty show of beauty
and god in a moment?

Don't close your eyes
unless you must. You
might miss it.

Convoluted Sexism...Guilty

* Disclaimer: Contains mature content and an instance of bleeped cursing.

The Convoluted Sexism of Which I Am Guilty


I despise when men cry. Perhaps I shouldn’t. Perhaps you wouldn’t. But I unabashedly justify that I am a woman. This means that
I stamp and I scream and have trouble with mason jars; I dance, I plant, I brush my hair a  thousand times. I get my gory periods.  I cook. I fight. I love.

 How do I have time for crying? How does a man?
Crying is not for a man that I can stand for any length of time. No. He must abhor tears.
(And while we’re on the matter here, have arms as thick as my waist and stronger, a silent smile, a temper worse than mine and a cultivated mind. I write this just in case this man also reads poetry.) 

All strength, virility, spirit, discernment; this is what is for a man.

For I fear for a world where trained athletes cry over scores, or boyfriends over the thresholds of their girlfriends’ doors, or even the look of the woman becoming a wife, or the birth of a child in the laboring night
 (though these two are more understandable).

I fear it unsafe to stamp and to scream, to glare at pickle jars, to dance loosely in bars, admire the flowers I’ve arranged, to reconsider sideswept bangs; somehow irrationally, impossibly emasculating to the sex of men, for me to drip blood down to my thighs once a month, to cook coq au vin for dinner, to fight sweeter and love harder,
until I am no longer myself and a woman, but become an anomalous androgynous  wonder whore—that’s all I’d be good for—
with a misbegotten streak of smile when I’m pissed buy my groceries all in plastic containers not brazen enough to dance forget the garden and go to a florist let the salon pick my haircut sneak tampons ashamed fill the freezer with freeze dried flash fried frozen munchies
never fight never love all that’s left is f*cking and

true, it doesn’t make sense, but this is why I despise when men cry.


Tuesday Teaser 6

Well, today's teaser comes from Dandelion Dreams, by Edward J. Steinhardt. Apparently this was nominted for a Pulitzer.

These two stanzas come from Jeniffer III1595.

Stopping short

Of the human fort;
Scaling the citadel,"


Monday, April 18, 2011

For Fun--Belated

NAPOWRIMO Day 14, Belated

Warning: The following limmerick is terrible...but it was fun to write!
Oh, and it contains a curse.

For Fun
There once was time when I had fun with rhymes,
would even make lists of them during classtimes.
Then I got out of habit
--which nearly rhymes with damnit!—
and now write poems with rhymes that are crimes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gives A Human Touch


It Gives It A Human Touch

The rip of the rough and ready weed
eater is a roar. Before its
buzz, the poor reedy stalks shiver.
Guillotine of the garden;
death is interminably imminent
and inevitable. I prefer
the handheld method of felling
something. Of snipping the unwanted
with shears. Man to man
combat, so to speak; or rather,
woman to weed. No rip
 of machine, no motor
roar. Just a quiet day
and a wayward growth;
 a woman made of knees
and snips. A pile of tiny,
neatened deaths is much
more dignified in such a way.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Barking at the Cow--Belated

NAPOWRIMO Day 14, Belated

I decided I'd try writing a tanka today; I don't think I've written one before, and if I have, it was a very long time ago. The poor old doggie supplied the inspiration for this one. She gets awfully scared by the nieghbor's cows when she goes out to take a pee...*smile*

Barking at the cow,
the old house dog shakes with fear.
The cow munches grass;
chews slow and calm, for it knows
fear can’t make the unknown known.

I Don't Care for Math


As I mentioned in a previous post, I am terribly behind! Today I will endeavor to regain my momentum; I've still got Days 13, 14 and 15 to finish. But here is today's poem....

I Don’t Care for Math

A plain, white and plastic school ruler
yes, the kind which children use
(with the black markings of inches
and on the other side centimeters),
lies in every scholar’s desk –though as a guess
most deplore using it; wastes
the outdoors — this instrument beats
the young brain into submission.
Counting. Length. Dimension. Knowing
the measurement
of a Thing.
Few bother with the uninteresting
details; who decided the counts, lengths,
dimension, measurements; how many
Rulers make a mile of dark
pavement? The distance in a stride of
a Man? The pitch of a mountain peak;
pit of despair? Who decides? Why?
Science? Careful, I do not wish to entrap
us in both in the reasonings of maths I do not
understand—because it is a universal language
that is too smart for me, like understanding the
reasonings behind heaven and hell;
well, not quite. What Ruler then,
commissioned the ruler? What road
led man there? What summits were reached to
determine the world could be described
inch by inch centimeter by centimeter. Don’t get
me started on protractors. They
protract my interest until all is 
lost. What ruler can behold the pits
of a man’s soul?  It must be a very strange
Ruler, and very large. Forget first grade, for no
Man can ever behold that measuring.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Long Sun

So I'm terribly behind in the creative department this week..raraahhh! I'm not quite sure how it happened, but yet again I started writing one story for The Chrysalis Experiment, then part of the way through, scrapped it and began another. *sigh* The week fifteen prompt was "And neither have I wings to fly."

I apologize if any of this comes across as stereotypical or offensive; most of the capture narratives from this era are horribly, horribly one-sided, and so I did what I could and tried to make it as unoffensive (but, oh, storytelling-like) as possible.

Enough blabbering! Here you go; TCE story, week fifteen, fairly unedited as of yet. 

The Long Sun

The white man sat quiet between Grass Fire and Little Bison. The three of them stared into the fire, but the white man hung his head. He smelled like dead men and fire water.  Next to his guard he looked very small and weak.  But the day had been a good one, and celebrations would last long into the night, for it was a full moon and we had great victory in battle this day. The fire bounced shadows off the dancers against the mighty trees surrounding us.

Grass Fire and Little Bison were small among the Ni-u-ko’n-ska. Each stood as tall as the head of a horse, but no taller. Yet they were very great warriors. Their eyes shone dark against their skin, all the hair plucked from their faces far back so that the dark, thin crest of hair, edged with porcupine, showed their ferocity. Our people have long been two things; very fierce in battle, and very tall. Since these two were not very tall, they were very, very fierce in battle.
The little white man, much earlier in the day, showed himself vicious in battle and vicious in capture, injuring many of our best men, killing four without fire. It was a great honor to be guarded by Grass Fire and Little Bison, but he did not look to care.  He did not look to care for anything.
“In the morning the waters will rise,”  I said to Grass Fire and Little Bison as I walked over to them. “Too much rain this season. We can unbind him and let him roam; he will not get far until the time of harvest when the waters go home.”
“This man has treachery in his heart, Big Wind, and fire in his blood,” Grass Fire said. “He may bring bad fortune to us all if we loose him.” The silent of the two, Little Bison merely nodded his head once.
“That may come,” I agreed. “But Chief said it must be so. Loose him, but pick a runner to follow him, so he does not come to harm or bring any. He is ours until harvest.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Again In The Headlines


Japan, Again in the Headlines

I recall many things.
Set alarm for 4:30.
Fix those peep toe shoes.
Write a poem every day.

I recall I've longed
for Japan in spring.

What but that
should I write today?

Tuesday Teaser 5

I have an awful secret. Would you like me to tell you? *sigh* Alright. I can see that I must. But you, distant, possibly nonexistant but nevertheless dear reader, must do something in return: You must never tell. You must carry it to your distant grave.


How about now??


Okay. Here goes: I am a re-reader.  I do this all the time. Today, did I turn to any one of the books on my reading list? Did I go to the library and pick up those volumes I decided I wanted yesterday? No.

Instead, I got sidetracked during what was a somewhat productive writing section, seduced into the wacky and wonderous world of Anne of Green Gables. *sheepish face* There. I admit it.

Anyway, today's teaser is from a discussion between an exasperated Marilla and distraught Anne, because, well, the cake Anne baked for the new minister and his lovely wife is... a bit surprising. Much better, I suppose, than the plum-pudding-with-the-dead-mouse incident. If you haven't read the Anne stories, I highly recommend them. *laugh*

""Mercy on us, Anne, you've flavored that cake with anodyne liniment!" (Marilla)

"Oh, Marilla, if you have a spark of Christian pity don't tell me that I must go down and wash the dishes after this." (Anne) 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Long Gone


Long Gone

When I grow so weak that I don’t know I
am me, and find I’m lost in my own mind,
do not  hook me up” where I lie
and thus preserve my decline, as you’ll find
the true me will be long gone.

Don’t circle around my bed as I sleep
in fits, you drinking your coffee or tea
(perhaps trying not to weep),
for I wish to die nicely and neatly;
the true me will be long gone.

Long ... gone.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Evil Troll Laugh

My random thought today is that the NY Times article  just irks me. It really irks me. Bah!
For those of you who didn’t click the link, the piece concerns anonymity, mainly on the Web.  There you are,” Ms. Zhuo writes, “peacefully reading an article or watching a video on the Internet ,” and then, she continues, there appear the words of mean-hearted little trolls intent on turning your peaceful reading experience into something horrible and warlike and too awful to bear.
Get a grip, lady! Bet you got picked on in school, hmm? Poor thing. Oh, wait, me too!  And seeing as how we both apparently survived that, I fail to see how “trolling” warrants an entire article in the NY friggin Times, even in the opinion pages. Yes, she deserves her opinion, but it seems more like the type of thing to discuss at a dinner table, rather than something to be considered seriously.   
Soon, she attempts to smarten herself up, referencing Plato.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I like most of the Greek philosophers (well, not really Aristotle, but that’s a whole other post), but I don’t necessarily agree with them all the time. “Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly,” Zhuo writes.
Nope.  Morality comes from fear of death. It has very little to do with accountability. That smidgen which is formed in response to accountability is of the kind which comes from our Gods. Not other — ahem, anonymous — Internet readers. Give me a break! Besides, what kind of people are we if we are only good because we are under threat of accountability? The big questions of why we should or shouldn’t act a certain way are not answered “because I’ll be found out if I do it wrong.” Puh-lease.
Zhuo also references psychological studies. Talk about slant. First of all, what studies?  Conducted by whom, over whom, and in what instances?  I hate it when vague “studies” are references as credible support to a thesis; that’s sloppy writing. 
Soon, she expounds that road rage stems from anonymity. Absurd! Road rage (gratifying, isn’t it? lol) is that the driver/pedestrian/road worker/cyclist/squirrel/random cow you are mad at can’t hear what you’re saying, because you are in separate vehicles, and not because they don’t know who you are.  She confuses privacy with anonymity.
And by the way, anonymity is not a new concept. Sheesh. It’s not “relatively new,” either, unless she’s speaking in terms of geological times, in which case it definitely is. In fact, one could easily argue that one possesses much less anonymity now, than in any other age.
Besides, as even this authoress notes, there is a relatively simple way to avoid this problem of “trolling.”
But what?” you ask me, breathless.
Derrr — turning off the comment function! Or dare I even suggest—abstaining from reading those comments!
 Whoa. Earth shattering, revolutionary solution.
Gawd, almighty.
What I find even more interesting is the general tone taken to the laws drafted in response to these Internet trolls. I know my point of view is not held by everyone, and that is a good thing. But I do feel it brushes dangerously close to ignoring our constitutional right as Americans to make it unlawful to comment in certain ways.  Slander and libel are another story…but stupid little comments that most people skip reading? That’s a whole other ballpark, and ought to be treated (or ignored, rather) as such. Lumping all that together is a monstrous error.
Anyway, I find anonymity, to a certain extent, key to the Internet. Each day we learn more and more about how our Internet presence can influence a future hubby, employer, loan provider, whatever, for good or for ill. In that respect, the more anonymous one can be, the better, until we become more discerning in regards to the Internet as a populace.
I think it is important to remember that though we may connect with others via Internet, for business and pleasure and everything in between, it is not the real world. Take it with a grain of salt, folks. If you really get so terribly upset by trolling remarks, well…
Don’t. Effing. Read. Them.
If you are a parent and you worry over negative contact, take it upon yourself to control what your kid sees, if you can. I get that parents have a LOT of things from which they must protect their children, and explaining the pros and cons of how to navigate the Internet safely is bound to come into play somewhere. No, I don’t have a child. And I can only imagine how difficult it must be to deal with the perils a child can find on the Internet. But combining discipline with information and a running parent-child dialogue seems a good place to start, right?
If you’re a grown-up, and trolling nonsense isn’t ruining your career, I don’t see what the big damn deal is. By crying like a baby, the entire system is weakened, and everyone suffers.
 I’ll be hanged if I’ll see the First Amendment go out the window over somebody jerking off to his ill-humored little Internet quip.
The Internet is a source of information, in the age of information itself. By trimming what comes in, we trim what we get out of it. Laws against trolls? What’s next? In Areopagitica, Milton asks what we do to our sensibilities, if we censor ourselves from things which may [or may not be] unpleasant, or evil. He then basically answers himself — we shall lose the capacity to recognize these things for what they are, and thus fall victim to them more readily, because we won’t know the proverbial snake that bites us.
I firmly, firmly believe this. Firmly.
You cannot eradicate unpleasant or uncivil behavior. To think this is possible is idiocy at its finest. Even attempting to do so would open a Pandora’s box of badness. Lol. Who decides what is uncivil? How is it enforced? What happens to those who commit to those kinds of acts unknowingly, or on accident?
It’s not like we’re talking about murder! We’re talking about the comment function on webpages!
It just made me mad. Please feel free to comment and argue with me. But be warned, you evil, conniving, life-ruining trolls. If I don’t like your shit, I will delete you. Muahh, haaa, haaaa, haaaaaaa!

Hero Noir--TCE Prompt Fourteen

Well, I officially do not like this story one iota. Not one iota. Lol. I've spent days trying to get it right, but am just going to treat it as a flop and post it, as is. Spoiler Alert: Contains mild swearing and sexual connotations. 

The Chrysalis Experiment's prompt fourteen was "Come to me to feel my protection. Countdown to my revelation."

Hero Noir
I was born to a woman who came from the mighty Mississippi, on the flat crest of green land sticking out of the river just west of Memphis where the hawks like to hunt, the seventh of a line of brothers. When I was a youngun I got in heaps of trouble, right and left. Time was, I was always chasing one thing and killing another.  Snakes, wild hogs, deer.  Nothing in life was too fast for me. Nothing could stay live if I wanted it dead. 
My daddy said that if I lived I might come to be an even better man than him. He was a hard working railroad man; had hands so wide, wide and sun-browned like the river, that they cracked across the stretched and tired knuckles and when he sweat the water brought forth from his flesh looked like mud.  He worked at the railroad till the day he died, I heard tell.  Mamma was a good woman too, but off; difficult.  She tried, I can say that. Sang in the choir on Sundays and later, taught piano to the rich folks who drove out from the city. For a while there everybody said she taught the best gospel west of the Mississippi. Her sweet warbles slipped out the open door in the steamy summers, full of both the dust of the earth and the thick humid air blown over from the river, so well mixed together that that air would be heavy with a sweet goodness as tangible as molasses.  Course, she left not long after I was about knee-high.  Said she was thirsty, and that nothing Daddy could give her could quench that thirst. At the time I thought she’d been making to say something about God, and so I run outside to avoid a talking-to. Later I figured out she meant the river.  But I don’t hold it against her none.  Because pretty soon I left too. One day I was there, and the next I was gone. And that was such a long time ago. Long time.
Before the wars.

“I know why you left,” she said to me, leaning back from the table so to hide her face in shadows. “It is the same story you hear, from all over.” Her English sounded better than mine, but that accent.  That French accent.  Europe. Europe, again.  Because one Great War wasn’t enough.  “In times such as these, you are no different than the next man. There is nothing left that is original; we have seen it all and heard it all.”
“Oui.  All of us.” The way she moved her hand through the air I could tell she didn’t have nothing on the girls back home. But still. There were things to be done. Men to kill.One in particular. I just wasn't sure I wanted to kill no more.
“Well, I reckon you ain’t seen nothin’ compared to what I seen.”  It come out as a spat.  “Them naked Jews kissed my boots at Auschwitz when we marched in.” I didn't tell her any other details, like of the men I'd seen. The men, the men in the trenches, this war and that. “And I  guarantee you I’m different from any man you’ve ever knowed.” The first time round I’d barely been tall as a corn stalk, had lied about my age to get in and go to war.  Those heaps of men laying atop one another in the mud, country after country … that whole first year I throwed up every night outside the barracks. By now they just look like ants.  Little, crawling, muddy ants.  Soldier ants, ready to die.  “Ready to die,” I felt my mouth say.