poems, etc.

Zelda's Inferno exercise Feb 3: warm colors

Zelda's Inferno writing exercise, Feb. 3: "writing down the spectrum", using a "warm" color

red orange -
gas heat warming us
electric coils in the toaster scrotching bread

red orange -
I had an Orioles jersey when I was a kid, number 5, Brooks Robinson

red orange -
crayola fusion, the big box had red orange and orange red, subtle shade differences

red orange -
the big drainage ditch near the woods where we played as boys, layers of clay, blue, white, red orange

red orange -
I stop on the sidewalk between the supermarket and the liquor store to look at the sunset behind the Asian grocery across the street

red orange -
tempera paints in art class, each in their own little cup, orange and red mixing, rivulets of one entering into the other, interpenetrating

little things you see

At Leadbetter's...a little while ago, it was crowded, standing room only when I got here...a dark haired blue-eyed lovely sitting near me pulled out a small box, I thought cigarettes, she turns it over and out comes a crayon! It's a box of like 8 or 10 crayons. Outstanding, I have to comment to her, tell her I salute her. A scene that will end up in a story somewhere, definitely.

possible bits of a song

possible bits of a song:

you haven't read my poems yet
how can you say you love me?
you haven't heard me singing yet
how can you say you know me?

don't tell me you don't understand
the things I think and feel
I write them down for the world to see
My soul stands revealed

you haven't seen me dancing yet
how can you say you love me?
you haven't felt my fury yet
how can you say you know me?

Zelda's Inferno exercise Jan. 13: working from wacky street names

Zelda's Inferno exercise: we passed a paper around and wrote down wacky possible street and place names, the used a few as a jumping-off point for a writing exercise:

palmer's mill, satanwood lane, elephant parade blvd, plumcrest place, bear ridge rd, puppydog lane, flaming meadow ave, lincoln ave, cloudleap, ailsa ave, gumdrop lake, quail run ave, state st, psycho street, shakedown st, maple st, 3865th st, pi-th st, insulator drive, barley blvd, vegetarian lane, roundtree, cruelty free lane, ADHD circle, hell way

Somewhere between Flaming Meadow Place and 3,865th Street, a man waits in the shadows at the mouth of an alley, waiting for something. He's not sure what, but he'll know it when he sees it. It's raining lightly but it's a warm day so he doesn't mind, the damp seeping through his clothes to his skin cools what his body has absorbed during the week-long heat wave. He watches the water swirl around his feet, it's been raining long and hard enough now that the water runs clean, all the dirt and oil and little bits of trash have already been carried off downstream, into the sewer hole. By the tip of his right boot, there's a joint in the concrete surface of the alley. As the stream of water hits this,sometimes a little vortex, a little whirlpool, forms for a while, then dissipates. Then it forms again. He wonders if it's correct to call it the same one when it reforms. He thinks about how that question applies to life and death, to the idea of re-incarnation, stuff like that. He thinks about stuff like that a lot, which is how he came to be waiting here, in this alley, for something, he doesn't know what.

Zelda's Inferno exercise Jan. 6: deep questions interview

exercise: asking each other "deep" questions, recording only the answers. From Karla:

something that I can't touch...something beyond the senses but I can still feel it

I was a bunch of bouncing balls in a toystore with laughing children

inspire, affect, travel, see lots of new things, feel lots of new things, novelties

to hell and back to heaven to the spirit world to france and germany and england and ireland and antarctica, the whole globe, the core of the earth, a black hole...turkey, close to the Muslim world...

don juan...the oldest person on earth right now...somebody who's lived a thousand lives

Revised as a pseudo-poem:

it's something I can't touch but can still feel
it once was a big basket of children's play balls, big and bouncy and rainbow-hued
it inspires, it affects, it travels - it's been to
to hell and back
to heaven to the spirit world
to france and germany and england and ireland and antarctica,
over the whole globe, to the core of the earth, to a black hole
it's older than anyone
it's lived a thousand lives

where the hell did this year go? the endless joys of home ownership

So where the hell did this year go? Ok, sure, I spent a quarter of it out of the country - about a third(!) of the year traveling total - but still, wasn't I just lamenting not having a date for last year's New Year's celebration, and then getting frustrated with getting the idiots at the body shop to replace my car window after some vandal broke it out?

I have retired to the Judge's Bench to consider the question. Thought about heading down to Leadbetter's or something, but goofed off on the computer until almost 11, and decided I didn't want to stink up my clothes with cigarette smoke. Not a trivial consideration when the laundry facilities are disrupted by construction and you have to rely on the laundromat.

Went to one last week. Odd how using a laundromat in some odd way makes me feel young, takes me back to when I lived in the dorms or apartment. Two notable things about this one. First, my first exposure to standard daytime TV in quite a while. Ellen Degeneres had on a kid with a talent for jumping, leaping over cars, whose great wish was to have his own Nike shoe and commercial - and I'm thinking, is this what we've come too? I dunno, maybe it's the contemporary equivalent of the Wheaties box - but as far as I know, Wheaties never used sweatshop labor...

Second, the bulletin board on the laundromat wall. All the notices, the ads, in Spanish. Every one of them.

Past few days - Solstice and Xmas stuff. Friday, Yule dinner at Joe's. Saturday, Hillary's Nth Annual Yule Party. Sunday, holiday party at Kyoshi Kate's. Monday, Xmas Eve, a firer and drum circle in the woods of Columbia, went to that with Jen. Tuesday, Xmas dinner with the parental units, then went over to visit with Kathy for a while.

Yesterday - tore up most of the utility/bathroom floor, four layers of old tile down to the cement slab. Went to Home Depot to scope out wall panels and floor treatment - returned today to buy the wall panels, which as it turned out I had to strap to the roof rack to get home. A bit more interesting that I planned. And I'm going to have cut them a bit to fit, and I realized I got the wrong adhesive - ah, the endless joys of home ownership.

Hmm, that's a good phrase for a writing exercise...

clogged drains; Buddha is a shit covered stick; Santa and Jesus

Spent time yesterday and today working on clogged drains, snaking out the main line (tree roots) and the shower drain (nasty hair clog). Besides getting a finger caught and crushed up a bit (power snake grabbed my glove, twist, crush - safety equipment gone wrong. Not serious but annoying) this got me splattered with sewage...and so I thought of the zen koan about how "Buddha is a shit-covered stick"

returning; Zen archer on the train; lit-up bamboo; "and so this is christmas" - Zelda's exercise Dec 9

East of Kyoto, on the shinkansen, against the dark clouds just for a minute the ghost of a segment of rainbow, gone by the time I grab my Z to write this down.

On the slow train to Narita (having missed that the express is reservation-only). Across from me a while back, guy with a Japanese bow, wrapped in cloth, quiver with tasseled ropes, older guy maybe 60ish, reading a thin book whose title began with the kanji for "bow" and "way" (tao). Next to him, one of the most cretinous-looking men I've seen in japan, unshaven, a dirty look about him, sucking his teeth, shabby shoes with no socks, arms crossed, disdainful of all around him. The archer carefully maneuvering his bow through the subway-hanger-straps (this is subway-style car, not like the one I rode in from the airport - called a "rapid" but seems to run as a local, wakarimasen?) This movie presented for my entertainment by It. Yes, It - bringing you the Universe for thirteen billion years, just like this.

On the plane. In airport shops, found little scroll-print of "thunder and wind" gods - Fujin - bought for Kyoshi Kate, one for me.

Yesterday. headed out to Kyoto. Had wanted to see a ceremony at Horin-ji, where they brinig old sewing needles and stick them in the "devil's tongue" (and I learned last night at dinner that "devil's tongue" is a dish made with a potato-like vegetable - the same? Don't know.) Looked on the map - ah, Horin-ji is Daruma-dera, previously visited. Great. So I head out there.

en route to Tokyo

On the plane to Tokyo, closing in now on Narita. Flew out of BWI to Detroit, going from there far far north scraping the ice cap on the arc to Japan. The view out the window...I always try for a window seat

My plane reading - Windblown World, Kerouac's journals. God how it blows on the embers of my writing fire! Blaze forth! I shall be writing on trains and in bars this trip.

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