Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
she drove me raving mad
Did I ever make her happy
or did I make her sad?
Languid, lovely Lisa
was it by fluke or guile
That oh so much was hidden
beneath that cryptic smile?
Was it good… or was she faking?
Guess, I’ll never know
That snarky little smirk, you see,
was all she’d ever show
She kept me off my balance
with that furtive sideways glance
She played me like a string guitar.
I never stood a chance
Posted over on Versebender
Listed as #29 over on Magpie Tales 59
A flatulent Lisa is teasing
All those who find her so pleasing.
She's caused a sensation,
With subtle quantitative easing.
Martin T. Hodges
Posted over on his site Square Sunshine
Listed as #32 over on Magpie Tales 59
Her father sent her off to wed
the husky son of a hundred counts.
He took her in his arms, she bled
her credentials out upon his bed.
Six strapping sons, three dead at birth
four daughters later, the silence mounts
a siege before what’s left of worth;
the sea, the sky, the endless earth
Somewhere beneath the castle floor
the masons are bricking the crypt of counts.
The catacombs are quiet once more;
just the faintest echo behind a door.
Posted over on her site Verse Escape
Listed as #42 over on Magpie Tales 59
The Art Of Health Care
Sometimes when and where you least expect it, answers to our most complicated questions are revealed and we are left to wonder why we didn't think of them sooner.
For the Obama administration and all of our "elected" legislators, the plan for our so-called national health care issue has been found in Italy.
The Italians, (who have not been able to maintain a stable government in decades, if ever) just might be able to provide the United States, (where a stable government can't seem to find answers to fairly direct issues), guidance for dealing with our national health care dilemma.
Sicilian professor of pathological anatomy, Vito Franco of the University of Palermo, is a medical expert in the "study of famous subjects of Renaissance artworks", according to a story by Jeff Israely on TIME.com, January 9, 2010. Professor Franco studies the characters in famous master paintings and presented his conclusions of their illnesses at a congress on human pathology last fall (2009) in Florence, Italy.
Professor Franco has concluded that Mona Lisa suffered from xanthelasma, which is the accumulation of cholesterol under the skin. Who knew? From the painting he determined that she had a fatty tissue tumor called lipoma on her right hand. And that diagnosis without x-ray!
Think of all the money the health care industry could save with more "medical experts" like the good Professor Franco. Imagine the savings workers could enjoy with lower insurance costs. Corporations could save millions (billions?) of dollars each year on
coverage for workers.
All it would require is a canvas, a brush, oil paints, a trained eye and good glasses!
Now if Professor Franco could only tell us how to diagnose a bloated bureaucracy.
Rick Burnett Baker
Posted over on his site Efficient Agony
Listed as #41 over on Magpie Tales 59
There are days
when the sun goes down
like a fist,
though of course
if you see anything
in the heavens this way
you had better get
your eyes checked
or, better still,
your diminished spirit.
have no fist,
or wouldn't they have been
for a thousand years now,
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind -
Instead: such patience!
to let us continue!
little by little,
the voices -
only, so far, in
pockets of the world -
suggesting the possibilities
Behold, how the fist opens
~ Mary Oliver ~
Posted over on Panhala
April 3rd is my wedding anniversary. I once stopped in Honolulu at the airport coming and going to Australia in 1977; my only visit to the islands. Melva did the whole island hop thing with her parents when she was 11 years old. So we decided that our 18th anniversary was special enough that we would take her Spring break, April 1-8. and fly over to the big island of Hawaii. We found a lovely cottage bungalow on line from VRBO, thanks to the urgings of our daughters, who know about such things. We will get the cottage for $ 75.00 per day; such a deal! Our kids gave us a guide book, and I have sifted through all 250 pages of it, and we tentatively have planned all eight days. The island is 222 miles around, and like 70 miles wide. One of the mountains we will visit is 13, 800 feet tall. We, normally, do not take very many pictures on our trips, but this one might be the exception. Aloha and Aloha!
I Had a Wife Like That Once
Who is this woman, Mona Leezer?
Sexy eyes, for all that seezer.
Adored and bored
She keeps her lovers in the freezer!
No need for worry or for doubt,
Jealousy to fret about
When she fancies
Sweet romance, she
Chooses one and thaws him out!
Posted down under on Stafford Ray
Listed as #25 over on Magpie Tales 59
Trouble in Red
I’d probably be the weird one
who’d like only 2 of 4 orchid stamps
for the grand mass mailing
of invitations to my movie premiere.
And I’d probably wear a scarlet gown
to the premiere, but shouldn’t,
because everybody knows how
me in red always leads to trouble.
Boy howdy, does it!
And that’s all I’m sayin’ about that for today.
Posted over on her site Jannie Funster
Now Is The Time To Visit Egypt
Can you imagine the Pyramids without tourists?
There weren’t any.
When we first arrived there was a group of maybe twenty-five Korean Christians. All in identical red t-shirts with some slogan like “Asians for Jesus” written on them. Baseball caps. Comfy athletic shoes. Cameras hanging around their necks.
But they were leaving as we were arriving. And there was just me and my friend Daniela and a few Egyptians on camels and horses trotting around the site. Girls squealing as the camels snorted. An occasional Frenchman or German walking along snapping photos. Egyptian hawkers selling red green blue silver pyramid momentos. .Papyrus paintings of Isis and Horos.
And silence. The hiss of wind in our ears. The pyramids rising out of the little block of desert allocated to them. The suburban sprawl of Giza, now a part of Cairo, creeping like runaway weeds, spreading their vines to the very border of this antiquity.
And Hamid, the decked-out camel, jaws circling first to the right and then to the left, patiently stands in his festive blanket and dangling pom-poms in front of one of the most historic sights on earth, indifferent to it all.
Cairo was Cairo. A massive, polluted, over-crowded, traffic disaster. Life post-revolution the same as life pre-revolution. Touts touted, taxi-drivers sat in unmoving traffic, the Metro delivered its passengers throughout the city, people shoved their way into the already packed cars. The ladies of the “ladies only” car adjusted their head scarves. Big-eyed children held their mothers' hands and stared at the strange faces of the tourists.
People hussled to their jobs. Waited in lines to buy hot rounds of pita bread fresh out of the oven. Lived their lives.
But something had changed.
“Welcome to Egypt!” they sang out, smiling. At Tahrir Square hawkers sold the new red, black, and white flags everywhere. Pins. Momentos of 25th February when Mubarak fled.
“We are very proud and happy,” they told me. Person after person giving a thumbs up sign and saying, “Revolution.”
“It’s going to be good,” said Mohammed, our waiter at a restaurant on the West Bank of Luxor. “We are free now. Things are going to improve. We had our first election in thirty years. The military here is good. Not like the police. The military helps the people.”
In Luxor, Daniela and I sit in spotlights of sunshine, leaning against the massive papyrus-shaped stone pillars in the Great Hypostyle Hall in the Amun Temple at Karnak. For ten minutes we sit in complete silence. No one else in sight. Finally one German couple walks slowly through the pillar forest snapping photos.
And in the dim light of the Sacred Barque Sanctuary, six “new-agers” stand in a circle around the sacred relic. Their arms at their sides, bent at a forty-five degree angle at their elbows, fingers spread wide, they create an “energy circle” and eyes closed, absorb the ancient mystic rays.
But what is happening in Egypt is not mystic. As day after day a country dependent on tourism for 11% of its national income awaits the return of the tourist, the new-found glow of power and joy may soon turn to scowls and empty bellies.
And what was frightening was the information given to me by a Spanish journalist friend who lives in Cairo.
“Fifteen thousand people arrested by the military during the protests have not been released,” Eva said. “The people think the military is on their side, but two top military officials were reported as saying: ‘We’ll make them (the people) miss Mubarak.’”
In the English language Egyptian Gazette, an article tells me that police security guards have returned to the campus of Alexandria University. Another article relates that all “strikes have been banned under the new Emergency Act.”
“It’s all temporary,” the new Prime Minister says, smiling and reassuring.
Meanwhile leaders of the revolution attempt to go from protesters to politicians: creating “parties,” establishing platforms, discussing reforms. The “Islamic Brotherhood compaignes among the poor and uneducated. And the military tightens its controls over the people.
What happens next in Egypt cannot be predicted.
But for sure, if the tourists don’t return, the entire
population will suffer.
The blue Nile continues its path through the desert and palmeries. White egrets swoop. Single-sailed feluccas glide gracefully into the sunset. And the people of Egypt await a new dawn of prosperity and freedom.
Posted on Facebook and over on her site Diane in Istanbul
This is the moment the baby, or, this site, takes its first breath. The New Moon is in Pisces. Because it's a new Moon the Sun is also in Pisces at thirteen degrees. In my energetic map, made when I took my first breath, this is on my North Node--in the Tenth House--a direction of becoming. My instincts, or what is familiar to run back toward the Fourth--which is home, ancestral burrowing. The Tenth is putting it out there. So, here it is. I have been pretty underground with my astrological study. Then Leslie Silko brought out her memoir, The Turquoise Ledge, last fall (available on Amazon.com) and in the Prologue announces me as a poet, AND an astrologer. Because of that--and other markers of momentum, I decided: it's time.
So here it is, a "coming out" of sorts--of this love I have for looking at energetic patterns and discerning from them. I have learned that the planets are beings. In my western education I learned that they were mere places. Planets, stars and other "heavenly" bodies have definite, distinct presences, attitude and react with each other, and us, in discernible manners. The Moon is case-in-point. Just ask anyone who works in a hospital or the police force about the Full Moon affect.
Please take a look around--and get ahold of me if you'd like some insight. You'll find quite a story.
Posted over on her site Adventures in the Last World Blog
From Against Professional Secrets
AN ANIMAL IS LED...
An animal is led or is pushed. Man is accompanied in parallel.
THERE EXIST QUESTIONS...
There exist questions without answers, which fill the spirit of science and common sense with uneasiness. There exist answers without questions, which are the spirit of art and the dialectic consciousness of things.
THE HEAD AND FEET OF DIALECTICS
Facing the stones of Darwinian risk that compose the Tuileries palace, Potstam, Peterhof, Quirinal, the White House and Buckingham, I suffer the pain of a megatherium, who meditated standing upright, the hind legs on the head of Hegel and the front legs on the head of Marx.
THE DEATH OF DEATH
In reality, the sky isn’t far from or near the land. In reality, death isn’t far from or close to life. We are always before the river of Heraclitus.
EXPLANATION OF HISTORY
There are people who are interested in Rome, Athens, Florence, Toledo and other ancient cities, not because of their past––static and immobile––but because of their present––lively and dynamic. For these people, the world of El Greco, the green and yellow robes of his apostles, his house, his kitchen, his crockery, are not very interesting. What do they care about the cathedral of Toledo, with its five doors, its seven centuries, its refreshing cloisters, its silver choir and its enchanting Mozarab chapel? What do they care about the Inn of Blood, where Cervantes was to write The Illustrious Kitchen Maid...? What do they care about the Palace of Carlos V, all of its stone and its distinguished coffered ceiling? The celebrated Castle of San Servando on the other side of the ravine might as well disappear in broad daylight. The tombs of the heroes and cardinals of the cathedral might as well disappear. The Munitions Factory in Toledo––what do they care!? The Tránsito Mosque, constructed in the XIV century by the Jew Samuel Levi––what do they care!? These passersby are utterly indifferent to history in a text, in a legend, in a painting, in architecture, in tradition.
While the guide explains the date and political circumstances of its construction on the Bridge of Alcántara, I note that one of the tourists becomes a disengaged schoolboy and stares at an old Toledan, who is just arriving home on the back of his donkey. The old man laboriously gets down, in the middle of his receiving room. “Ah...!” the old man snorts and begins to loudly call to the watchmen on the corner, so that they help him remove the donkey’s saddle. This happens on the street that bears the name Sponge Cake Oven Way or on that slightly rougher one called Don Pedro’s Path to the Chicken Coop.
These are the scenes that interest certain people: the historical present of Toledo; not its past. They want to submerge in the fleeting present, which in the end recasts and crystallizes the essentials of past history. That old man, seated atop a donkey, summarizes in his snort El Greco, the Cathedral, the Palace, the Mosque, the Munitions Factory. It is a living and transitory scene of the moment, synthesizing, like a flower, Toledo’s uproar and defunct deeds.
The same can be said of all the ancient cities, historical ruins and treasures of the world. One does not narrate history, or see it or hear it or touch it. One lives history and feels it live.
THE INTRINSIC MOVEMENT OF MATTER
Parallels exist neither in the spirit nor in the reality of the universe. It is but an abstract supposition of geometry. There is no room for a parallelism within the single and linear continuity of life. History and nature unfold linearly and, in this single, solitary line, human events and natural phenomena occur, one after another, successively and never simultaneously.
The parallelism of a railroad does not have a greater living reality than that of two lines drawn on a chalkboard. Two trees or two children born at the same instant do not constitute an effective parallelism either. In all these cases, the geometrical illusion does not sustain objective events, but participates in the nature of so many other fictions of the senses or abstractions of intelligence, like when we see, from a train in motion, that the houses are on parade or when, a burning stick is moving in a circle (see Pascal), we believe that we see and affirm an arc of fire, etc.
Life is a succession and not simultaneity. The apparent parallels of a railroad do not develop at once, but one after another. Men do not live together, but they occur one after another. Towns do not live together either, but occur. Plurality is a phenomenon of time and not of space. The number 1 is solitary of place. The number 2 and the subsequent single or compound numbers do not exist as objective reality, but as abstract suppositions of thought.
Life does not play out in various forms at once. But in various successive forms. A planet does not have a destiny different from that of other planets, but the same and unique end that all the others have managed to carry out. A stone meets a destiny identical to that of a mollusk, and it goes before or after a man, but not at the same time as he. If one could depict the evolution of life, it would be represented by a line of beings and things, with one at the end. In abstract terrain, beings and things unfold with an apparent myriad character. But this is not substantive reality. Beneath the illusory simultaneity of things and beings, reality, at the end, is solely a succession in the movement of the universe. The masses are more a parade than a crowd. The asyndeton surging from history is more a line than a point.
THE MONUMENT TO BAUDELAIRE...
The monument to Baudelaire is one of the most beautiful headstones in Paris, an authentic cathedral tombstone. The sculptor took a lapidary block, split it in two and fashioned a compass. Such is the frame of the monument. A compass. An airplane, one of whose wings drags on the ground, due to its great size, just like the symbolic albatross. The other half is raised perpendicularly to the first and presents in its upper half a giant bat with outstretched wings. Above this creature, alive and floating, there is a gargoyle, whose jutting, vigilant and aggressive chin rests and does not rest upon its hands.
Another sculptor might have chiseled the heraldic cat of the bard, so groped by the critics. He, who worked this stone, however, delved deeper and chose the bat, this zoological binomial––between mammal and bird––that ethical image––between Lucifer and angel––who embodies the spirit of Baudelaire so well. And this, because the author of The Flowers of Evil was not diabolical, in the Catholic sense of the word, but diabolical in a lay and simply human sense, a natural coefficient of rebellion and innocence. Rebellion is not possible without innocence. Only children and angels rebel. Malice never rebels. An old man can only become spiteful and grow bitter. Hence, Voltaire. Rebellion is the fruit of an innocent spirit. And the cat carries malice in each of its paws. On the other hand, the bat––that airborne mouse of the mausoleums, that hybrid specimen of the cornices––has a knack for height and the shadows. It is a native of the kingdom of darkness and also a dweller of the cupolas. Due to its dual nature of flight and darkness, it possesses wisdom in shadows and, as in heroic acts, performs the upward fall.
Translated by Joseph Mulligan
Posted over on Jerome Rothenberg's Poems & Poetics
Mona Lisa Smiles
he crept into the flat, having first
taken off his shoes outside the door.
with infinite care,
he put down each foot and froze
every time a floorboard creaked.
He hardly knew now what had made him
accept the woman's invitation
to come in for a coffee.
All he had planned to do
was to see her home,
she wasn't even his concern,
she had been his friend's date.
it would be morning.
The love of his life lay,
fast asleep, in their bed;
it was hardly worthwhile
joining her there,
he'd only wake her,
an inconsiderate thing to do
in the small hours,
he said to himself.
He would lie down on the sofa
in their living room instead.
By the thin light of early dawn
filtering through the half-drawn curtains
he saw La Gioconda on the wall
above the sofa;
and he knew she knew.
Posted over on her site Friko's World
Listed as #33 over on Magpie Tales 59
ten dollars for
ten dollars for
a quarter of what
know, up to the
part when you
it was your
not someone else
very close to
you, but not
before the part
when you decided
to take the
left turn –
that would be
Yi Ching Lin
Posted over on her site Yi's Bits
Monday, March 28, 2011
I accidentally painted a picture once
and it came out real nice.
It was a really beautiful painting
Not the picture above,
that's a good one too,
but mine was really nice.
Everybody I showed it to thought
it was something special.
So I took it to a gallery.
The gallery liked it,
said they would show it,
but they wanted more similar work.
But I only painted the one.
And, like I said, it was an accident.
I only wanted to paint one -
to see what it was like.
They told me to stay in contact
and when I got enough paintings,
we could talk about a show.
The other galleries I went to said the same.
I never painted any more.
I took it home and hung it in my living room.
A few years later, when I painted the living room,
I took it down and stored it in the basement.
I forgot about it.
Twenty years later I found it again
while throwing out a bunch of basement junk.
I still thought it was a real good picture,
but I didn't know what to do with it.
So, reluctantly, I tossed it in the trash can.
But when the garbage man came by,
he thought it was real nice
and brought it to my front door
and told me he found it in the trash
and it was such a good painting
that surely it was in the trash by mistake.
I told him, if he liked it,
he could have it.
But he didn't want it,
so I took it back inside.
Later, while I was out walking,
I saw a yard sale and got an idea.
I went home and got the painting
and went back to the yard sale
and pretended I found it there.
I asked the man how much they wanted for it.
He said he didn't know and asked his wife.
She didn't recognize it either
but said "A hundred dollars"
I talked them down to seventy five
and took it home again.
I am still not sure what to do with it.
aka: Lane Savant
Posted over on his site Feel Free to Laugh
Listed as #44 over on Magpie Tales 59
Charcoal by Victor McGhee
Prince of Procrastination
“She is older than the rocks among which she sits; has been
dead many times and learned the secrets of the grave.”
---Walter Pater (1867)
Yes, it’s true, the lady is 500 years old.
La Giconda, Madame Lisa, widely accepted
by most to be the 24 year old Lisa del Giocondo,
wife of a wealthy silk merchant,
who sat upright for the half-figure portrait,
possessing that enigmatic smile, that barely
stifled laugh that critics have pondered forever,
searching for its impetus--pronouncing
and proclaiming her to be deaf, toothless,
in mourning, a highly paid tart, a victim of syphilis,
palsy or paralysis, or just a bizarre reflection
of Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci’s neuroses.
Da Vinci, reputed to be homosexual, never married,
and it was written that he possessed
“outstanding physical beauty”. Certainly Lisa never
received the painting. He started it in 1504,
worked on it for four years, and then left it unfinished.
He took it with him to France and only completed
it a short time before his death in 1519; dead
at the advanced age of 67. Mystery enshrouds
this dwarf masterpiece, only 30” tall and 20 7/8” wide,
and it only deepens as decades give way to centuries.
Did Leo paint his own likeness as a lark, or was it
his mother, Caterina, or his male apprentice
and possible lover, the roguish Gian Giacomo?
6 million people a year march down the Salles des Etats
to see her, pausing only 20 seconds to admire the
plucked physiognomy, Leonardo’s genius--
his techniques of contraposto, sfumatio, chiaroscuro,
and pyramidal composition, making his brushstrokes
almost indistinguishable, painted in medieval oils
on poplar wood panel.
The old girl, this tiny titan, has become
“The most famous portrait in the world”,
and it has had more homes and adventures
than a Dumas heroine. At one point,
Louis XIV moved it to the Palace at Versailles.
After the French Revolution, it moved to the Louvre.
Soon thereafter, Napoleon moved it to his bedroom
in the Tuileries Palace--and then it came back
to the Louvre. During the Franco-Prussian War
it was moved to the Brest Arsenal. In 1911
the painting was stolen. Pablo Picasso was one
of the two accused suspects. Two years later
they figured out that an Italian janitor at the museum
had taken it, and hung it on the wall of his apartment;
feeling that somehow it needed to go back to Italy.
In the midst of WWII, in order to hide it from the Nazis,
it was removed and hidden in an Abbey, two Chateaus,
and some other museum.
At the Louvre it hangs behind bullet proof glass
because in 1956 a woman threw acid on the bottom
of it, and another woman threw a stone at it.
In 1974 a handicapped woman, angry at the
poor access for the disabled, sprayed red paint at it
in protest. In 2009 a Russian woman
threw a terra cotta teacup at it--and somehow
she has survived numerous restorations, touch-ups,
and scrubbings as the calendars pile up at her feet.
Nothing seems able to diminish its worth or allure.
She will hold court for centuries to come, will not
utter truth nor rumor, will never part those lips
and activate her dimples, will never reclaim
her eyebrows or lashes, will never fully reveal
her identity--she will remain an ethereal enigma
wrapped in smoky sfumatio, masked in mystery
throughout the coming ages, remaining smug
and clueless in a sparkling bullet-proof glass
case that reflects more of you
than it reveals of her.
Listed as #45 over on Magpie Tales 59
Would you like the Author to read this poem to you?
Mona Lisa Thinks Out Loud
I almost smile but Leonardo is a stern man.
'You sit still, Mona', he barks.
'Call me Lisa', I think to myself.
I am slightly insulted by his use of 'madam' to me. Suddenly, I want to be single.
Leonardo would want to show a bit of respect, my husband is paying him good money for this portrait.
Hmmm.. why did I agree to do this ? The babies filled me with female fear. I want to be painted while I am still considered young..Vanity has me trapped on this chair, listening to the brush strokes of Mr. Da Vinci.
That space in the hall of our house could have been filled by a painting of a horse or a dog maybe?
Instead, I sit...Leonardo barks....turpentine and sweat....
but I am a respectable wife and mother, I won't allow my train of thought to wander..., but what else is the sitter supposed to do?.
'Fold your hands, like this' Leonardo shouts.
'Keep your hair on, artist', I want to say, but fold my hands anyway.
He is so masterful, this Leonardo.
Artists are so mysterious and wonderful somehow.
I dare to peek at his hands.....nice.....my mind wanders...off it goes on it's own, fabricating a life where I am an artist's muse....a room with a bed....tangled sheets..no respectable pillar of society for the stern Lisa anymore....
I smile my half-smile.
My infidelity of mind is painted onto canvas for all time...
Posted over on her site Sort of Writing
Listed as #3 over on Magpie Tales 59
Twist of herringbone and tie,
guidebook anxious in your grasp,
we wait as charms dangling
in the bracelet of an afternoon queue;
synchronize watches, then pass
like bookends in the Salle des États.
A tangle of art and lust, our palms
flush, while lonesome eyes chiaroscuro
from canvas-covered walls
and bullet-proof glass,
frozen in Janson History gray,
monochrome, medievally quiet.
Posted over on her site Willow Manor
Listed as #1 over on Magpie Tales 59
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Have you ever been just curious orange? I found
myself in such a state today, stuck somewhere
between yellow and red in the colors that span
the vertex within the visible spectrum at the
wave length of about 585-620nm in a gamma-compressed
RGB collection of hues; ochre, burnt umber, cadmium,
burnt orange, saffron, all absorbing blue light--
thousands of shades and things and stuff; autumn,
fire, warning signs, Thanksgiving, Halloween,
India, compassion, the soldier of orange, popcicles,
bicycles, hot rods, muscle cars, sports cars,
all kinds of fruit dripping with fructose--
oranges, tangerines, tangelos, little mandarins,
grapefruit; vegetables like pumpkins, squash, peppers;
rusted iron, marbles, abstract art, bikini babes,
buses, taxis, trains--locomotives and cabooses,
canyons in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, tabby
cats, tigers, super heroes, sun sets and rises,
rocks, tropical fish, starfish, flowers,
butterflies, bulldozers, posters, and cemeteries;
all orange, all making me curious. I gathered up
some images to ease my pain. Enjoy.