Jan 14th Zelda's Inferno exercise

Sunday's Zelda's Inferno exercises:

1)"Texas hold 'em" with a "universe deck". A universe deck is a set of cards, each with a word. "Texas hold 'em" is a poker game where some card are shared in everyone's hand, and everyone also has their own individual "hole" cards. ("Hole" is probably not the right word, technically; sorry, I'm not a big-time card shark.) The exercise: use the dealt words in a poem.

shared words: spirit bite rumbling hot
hole: green floating melody

the green spirit of spring arises early
fooled by the hot January, robins and geese return months ahead of schedule

we have disturbed something

many of us rejoice in the absence of winter's bite
still must wonder if January is pleasantly warm what will July be like
(apocalyptic visions of ice melting, seas rising, boats floating down what used to be city streets)

a rumbling discordant note enters the melody;
even quiet dissonance drowns out song

the balance is delicate but not brittle
we have stretched out the fabric but not yet ripped it
I yet hope for snow

2) This is a variant on an exercise from "The Practice of Poetry" called
"Mother's Kitchen". I opened it up to you grandmother's kitchen,
great-grandmother's, etcetera. You also need something green and something
dead in the poem, and a female relative should enter at some time. "You",
the author, should not appear.

my grandmother sat in her kitchen with
her cigarettes
(Pall Malls, with her almost hideously bright crimson lipstick marking the burned down dead butts in the green ceramic ashtray)
watching soap operas and drinking Tab
(when I was a kid I thought every house except ours had a TV in the kitchen)

Mom tells us that her mother was vivacious, life of the party, a singer
but that was before the lupus that stiffened her joints, made her unable to go out in the sun
When I remember her it is almost always in that kitchen
either
sitting watching TV or
playing cards (solitaire or teaching my brother and me "go fish" or blackjack)
or standing at the stove
(in my mind almost always either either boiling potatoes or baking pie, cherries from the tree in the backyard, the tree I'd always climb, the cherries my grandfather would try to gather before the crows got them)

when my mother would visit
for that awkward combination of love and guilt and duty
they'd sit in that kitchen
sit at the table that now sits in my kitchen
and talk of inconsequential things

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