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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Sevenling Poem

Recalling 30,000 past lives,
the Buddha sat under a bodhi tree,
at one with all things.

My old laptop crashed,
the new Iphone drops calls,
technology drives me crazy.

It’s a short drive, will I choose madness or light?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The year (so far) in film, 2010

In the homestretch now before awards season, and a few enjoyable films are worth mentioning. "True Grit" will make for a terrific holiday outing when it is released during Christmas week. Jeff Bridges does a sensational job in the John Wayne role, and Hailee Steinfeld is sure to be nominated in the supporting categories, though her role is really a starring one. We laughed so much at the sharp dialogue that we'll have to see it again to catch the parts we missed. The ending is rushed a bit, but it is still an A to A-minus. "The King's Speech" is a wonderful story, with fabulous writing and the acting of Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter is out of this world. BAFTA's galore, for sure. "Black Swan" got mixed reviews in our house, with Barbara giving it one of her rare A's, and me thinking it was creepy and overheated. Hard to knock the training and preparation of Natalie Portman, however, and the ending made us gasp with ir's spot-on suddenness. "The Town" and "Inception" were crafty, smart films, but not the kind which Hollywood usually rewards. "Harry Potter 7-a" was disappointing and incomprehensible if you had not read the books. "Hereafter" bored Barbara but I liked it, thinking of it as Clint Eastwood's European fim. "The Kids Are All Right" was okay, but really just a soap opera. We laughed and enjoyed "Red", but is simply summer fare. We have not seen all of the notable animated films, but "Toy Story 3" did not let us down. The film most likely to be below the radar until critics' lists come out is "The Social Network". The story and characters are compelling and credible, which is good, given that it is based on a (continuing) real life drama. "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and its two sequels are must-see action for those who have read the books, and that includes about half the world now. There are many films we have not yet seen, and some of them will have to wait for Netflix, what with the holiday season and the Palm Springs International Film Festival hard upon us, but we'll be listening for comments on "The Fighter", "Somewhere", Another Year", "Winter's Bone", "127 Hours", "Get Low", "Waiting For Superman", "Biutiful", "Rabbit Hole", and "Bluie Valentine".

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Out there near the outskirts of life,
in the intervening spaces of society,
the places between the lines,
the ones which require imagination
and an urge to escape,
fit the artists.
At the crossroads of isolation and inertia,
the art for art’s sake crowd lingers.
No longer true bohemians,
they seek control more than abandonment.
Their art form calls, and they answer,
meeting at the nexus of talent and genius.
Persisting through failure on the path to success,
none of them really wish to starve.
Most want to find the yellow brick road,
preaching along the journey, defining taste,
making music to humanize the world.
They create so as not to stand still,
each work moving them forward
a millionth of an inch,
in one direction or another,
from the corner of meaningful and mundane.
Some will find their way home.
Most will trod the path unseen,
forever concealed from recognition.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday again

This week's two-fer prompts are to write a slow poem and/or a never slow poem. Here's my efforts

Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There

Every morning, the same cars drive by,
thousands of them, headed somewhere,
critical books to read,
important people to meet.,
serious work to do.

Every morning, the same cars drive by,
some with evil intention,
others in an opposite direction,
people and things to kill, or to save,
people and things requiring work.

Every morning, the same cars drive by,
most filled with dread, but some hope as well,
sometimes anger, sometimes joy.
Always, there’s work to do.
There’s work to do, always.

Every morning, the same cars drive by,
and one person sits, alone, with just one candle.
Sitting quietly seems hardly enough.
One light feels scarcely sufficient.
More must be done, more movement, more work.

Every morning, the same cars drive by,
alarmingly aimed at themselves.
One person, one candle, one practice,
hoping that the sum of the lights earth-wide
will work this time.

To-do List, 11.09.10

1. Shop for dinner
2. Pay bills
3. E-mail Mike
4. Vacuum & dust
5. Moisturize hands
6. Develop awesome personality

Monday, November 8, 2010

Words of the Day

My friend, Ken,sent me this. Awonderful set of new words.

Every year The Washington Post Style Invitational challenges readers to alter any word from the dictionary by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and to supply a new definition. Here are a selection of the winners:

Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

Bozone: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

Decafalon: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Glibido : All talk and no action.

Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic Fit: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Caterpallor : The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Looking For Comfort

That dream again,
the one where
you’re away,
just not there.
First an airport
I’ve never seen,
then a house
we’ve never been.
The phone won’t
work. Oh, now yes,
but your number?
I guess.
Wrong again
and now my legs
molasses bound,
my heart begs
for mercy from
this endless chase,
you’re never found,
not one small trace.
You’d likely think,
after forty years,
the dream would end,
but still it appears

Looking For A BCS Bid

A tough loss to MSU
left my Badgers feeling blue.
The mighty Buckeyes came to town
The Sweater’s team went upside down.
From Minnesota, we kept The Axe,
then took Floyd the Pig off Iowa’s backs..
A week of rest, Purdue stands no chance,
we might just make it to the dance.
The Big House remains in our way
and the Wildcats have ruled the day
in years gone by.
All that’s left is to fight and try
to make it through November’s tests,
to elevate above the rest,
To make it to a New Year’s date
In Pasadena, I can hardly wait.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Location, Location, Location

Here We Are

Here I am, at 66.
Book’em Danno died
the other day, just 72.
Natural causes they said.
Not sure where I’ll be at 72.
Not sure if I’ll be.
Man plans, God laughs,
No matter who you are.
No matter where you are.

And today's theme is "containment"


She’s wrapped in the security
of her inner tube, made whole
by his hot breath,
the water around her a mystery,
shaping her form, set by the
limits of her pool.
A hole in the water,
that’s all she might be,
were it not for his breath,
keeping her afloat,
in the pool, in the town,
in the earth, on this marble in flight,
in one particular speck of an
immeasurable space.
Who of us could see her,
held firm in his love, still think
there is no God.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back again..two-fer Tuesday

Leaving Sedona

As easy as a five-dollar whore,
we signed , we packed, we left.
Six years of second home,
not enough for regrets.
Neighbors, yes,
pals, a few,
friends, none.
It was a lovely scene,
still is, no longer
for our eyes.

Getting older now,
faster than we’d thought.
Time for urban life,
noisy, yet fresh and new,
dusty trails used up,
boots and bikes put away.
New parks and plays, museums too,
replacing canyon maps
with GPS, Dharma’s voice
leading us who knows where.

Get Ready, San Diego

Here we come,
ready or not.
We’re not those
hometown sailors
of your past,
the ones who
never leave,
more like Marines,
home from their wars
money to burn,
itches to scratch.

We’re thirsty,
parched even,
desperate for
a drink of alive,
eager for
new sounds and smells
so bring on the sirens,
let the trucks roar,
we’re taking
the freeway to
what’s next.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines Card, 2010

Hoping we’ll be old coots,
walking hand in hand,
less so from affection than
to help each other stand.

Hoping we grow old together,
sharing aches and ague,
passing gas without apology,
couldn’t hear that, could you?

Hoping we’re the ancients we love now,
some sagging, gravity the king,
my hair white, yours still red,
some vanity still reigning.

Hoping we’re the elders,
wise and otherwise.
Time remaining all that matters,
all arguments small-sized.

If that future’s not ours,
these days must fit our plans.
Let’s use them up completely,
in every way we can.

Let’s eat unwisely, sometimes
and drink more than is fair.
We’re not rich but we can act so,
at least one day each year.

Today’s that day, for certain.
Which other would we choose?
You’ll always be my Valentine.
You’ll always be my muse.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Valentine's Time

I'm working on a lengthier poem for my sweetie, but for now...

I love it when we kiss and
our noses bump and
we laugh

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Year in Film, 2009

In my experience, 2009 was an average year for films, with few peak experiences. Most of the contenders for annual awards would struggle mightily against past winners. Even the standouts (or, should I say, “my favorites”) won’t make my Top 100 all-time list, though they fair well against the year’s competition. My general release favorites included The Hurt Locker, Nine, Up, A Single Man, The Road, Precious, An Education, The Blind Side, and maybe, Up In the Air. Small films that I liked, were Captain Abu Raed and One Peace at a Time, a documentary. The Palm Springs International Film Festival was its usual…a fantastic experience, with delightful fellow film goers, from near and far, but also reflective of 2009, in general. Some superb experiences, made whole by the appearances of writers, directors and some actors, a few excellent films, many very good ones, and the expected clinker or two, most often in the case of a country’s submission for an Oscar. This year’s clear winner of the PSIFF “razzie” is Dogtooth, an offensive and inane Greek import, though it had competition from the unfortunate The Misfortunates. My favorite small film was Letters to Father Jacob, the most enjoyable epics were Bride Flight and John Rabe, and the documentaries were simply sensational: The Most Dangerous Man In America, Learning From Light: I.M. Pei The Great Contemporary Art Bubble, and The Art of the Steal to name a few. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo did not disappoint, and the theaters were packed with many who had read the book. Sony plans English versions of all three “Girl…” novels…unfortunately, this probably means we will not get to see English subtitled versions of films two and three on the big screen. Other festival films we were glad to see included Rabia, Mother, Villon’s Wife, Chameleon, Mediterranean Food, Air Doll, Slovenian Girl, The Last Days of Emma Blank, Glorious 39, The Swimsuit Issue, About Elly, The Over the Hill Band, Vincere, North, and Excited. Films I missed, but will be look for in limited release or on Netflix include: Nobody to watch Over Me, Red Ridng trilogy, The White Ribbon, War in Wintertime, Welcome, A matter of Size, For a Moment, Freedom, Only When I Dance, My Dog Tulip, Medal of Honor, The Other Bank, Today’s Special, The World Is Big and salvation Lurks around the Corner, and Waking Sleeping Beauty.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Greed Is Good

Grab hold of all the love available
squeeze it, cherish it, hold it tight,
be greedy about it, go ahead, be a hog,
and then, go looking for some more.

When you’re all full up,
let a little –or a lot- slosh over,
let it spill on your family, your friends,
and then, let some fall on strangers.

Get a grip on all the kindness nearby,
savor it, milk it, taste every morsel,
be ravenous about it, go on, lap it up,
and then, go looking for some more.

When you’re satisfied,
let a little – or a lot – be passed on,
let it go to people near and dear,
and then, let some go to strangers.

Go out - or in - and find some happiness,
wallow in it, feel it, be warmed by its glow,
crave it, cling to it, exult in your joy,
and then, go looking for some more.

When you’re contented,
let a little – or a lot - be shared,
let it be felt by the ones who mean the most,
and then, let some go to strangers.