frivolous friday



on my christmas wish list ....

Madness, Rack, and Honey 
by Mary Ruefle

The book is a series of essays on the craft of writing by poet, Mary Ruefle.  Weston Cutter of The Kenyon Review writes:

... here’s the first paragraph of Ruefle’s intro to Madness, Rack, and Honey

 “I never set out to write this book. In 1994 I began to be required to deliver standing lectures to graduate students, and the requirement terrified me. I was told the students preferred informal spontaneous talks, but I am a rotten and unsteady extemporizer. I preferred to write my lectures because I am a writer and writing is my natural act, more natural than speaking.” 

Ahem. Ruefle, in the intro and in all the essays in Madness, Rack, and Honey, confronts this duality, the split pullings of wanting to write, wanting to say things, and finding the act hard at best, seemingly impossible on some days.

~ A Few Excerpts from  Madness, Rack, and Honey ~

~ from the essay Kangaroo Beach:

"Isn't all art irreverent? It is irreverent to create that which doesn't exist; the newly made thing flies in the face of the already created and as such is based on negation (what already exists is simply not enough!), but born also out of the greatest reverence for all that already is. When Borges, visiting the Sahara, picked up a little bit of sand, carried it in his hand and let it fall someplace else, he said, "I am modifying the Sahara," and he wrote that this was one of the most significant memories of his stay. What Borges did is what we do when we write poems after millennia of poem writing. We aren't saving the Sahara, we are modifying it, and you have to be irreverent to think you can modify the Sahara in the first place, and sincere in your attempt to do so." 

~ And ~

~ from the essay On Beginnings:

~ Or ~

~ from the essay Twenty-Two Short Lectures:


Eighty-five percent of all existing species are beetles and various forms of insects.

English is spoken by only 5 percent of the world's population.

One of the greatest stories ever written is the story of a man who wakes to find himself transformed into a giant beetle.

~  I can't wait to sink my teeth into this book!  ~



now THIS is the poetry of love ...

johnny and june cash

Read more HERE
from House of Cash compiled by John Carter Cash



Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor —
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes —
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.
~ by Dorianne Laux
from What We Carry

happy alburquerque turkey day

Sing to the tune of "Oh My Darlin', Clementine"

Albuquerque is a turkey
And he's feathered and he's fine
And he wobbles and he gobbles
and he's absolutely mine.

He's the best pet that you can get..
Better than a dog or cat.
He's my Albuquerque turkey
And I'm awfully proud of that.

He once told me , very frankly
he preferred to be my pet,
not the main course at my dinner,
and I told him not to fret.

And my Albuquerque turkey
is so happy in his bed,
'Cause for our Thanksgiving dinner...
We had egg foo yong instead.



the churkendoose

Story and Words by Ben Ross Berenberg,
Music by Alec Wilder Written in 1946
Ray Bolger as The Churkendoose;
Orchestra conducted by Mitchell Miller



don't tell anyone

We had been married for six or seven years
when my wife, standing in the kitchen one afternoon, told me
that she screams underwater when she swims—

that, in fact, she has been screaming for years
into the blue chlorinated water of the community pool
where she does laps every other day.  

Buttering her toast, not as if she had been
concealing anything,
not as if I should consider myself

personally the cause of her screaming,
nor as if we should perform an act of therapy  
right that minute on the kitchen table,

—casually, she told me,
and I could see her turn her square face up
to take a gulp of oxygen,

then down again into the cold wet mask of the unconscious.
For all I know, maybe everyone is screaming
as they go through life, silently,

politely keeping the big secret
that it is not all fun
to be ripped by the crooked beak

of something called psychology,
to be dipped down
again and again into time;

that the truest, most intimate
pleasure you can sometimes find
is the wet kiss

of your own pain.
There goes Kath, at one pm, to swim her twenty-two laps
back and forth in the community pool;

—what discipline she has!
Twenty-two laps like twenty-two pages,
that will never be read by anyone.
~ by Tony Hoagland
from Poetry (July/August 2012).



It could be the name of a prehistoric beast
that roamed the Paleozoic earth, rising up
on its hind legs to show off its large vocabulary,
or some lover in a myth who is metamorphosed into a book.

It means treasury, but it is just a place
where words congregate with their relatives,
a big park where hundreds of family reunions
are always being held,
house, home, abode, dwelling, lodgings, and digs,
all sharing the same picnic basket and thermos;
hairy, hirsute, woolly, furry, fleecy, and shaggy
all running a sack race or throwing horseshoes,
inert, static, motionless, fixed and immobile
standing and kneeling in rows for a group photograph.

Here father is next to sire and brother close
to sibling, separated only by fine shades of meaning.
And every group has its odd cousin, the one
who traveled the farthest to be here:
astereognosis, polydipsia, or some eleven
syllable, unpronounceable substitute for the word tool.
Even their own relatives have to squint at their name tags.

I can see my own copy up on a high shelf.
I rarely open it, because I know there is no
such thing as a synonym and because I get nervous
around people who always assemble with their own kind,
forming clubs and nailing signs to closed front doors
while others huddle alone in the dark streets.

I would rather see words out on their own, away
from their families and the warehouse of Roget,
wandering the world where they sometimes fall
in love with a completely different word.
Surely, you have seen pairs of them standing forever
next to each other on the same line inside a poem,
a small chapel where weddings like these,
between perfect strangers, can take place. 

~ Billy Collins



happy birthday, soubriquet !!

May you never lose your wondrous sense of awe and curiosity !!




How was I to know
it would begin this way: every cell of my body
burning with a dangerous beauty, the air around me
a nimbus of light that would carry me
through the days, how when he found me,
weeks later, he would find me like that,
an ordinary woman who could rise
in flame, all he would have to do
is come close and touch me.

~ from Fast Gas, Dorianne Laux

xxx !!



I've spent the gas money on golf,
tossed chicken skin at the dogs,
and in one sitting,
eaten a box of Cheez-Its.
My wife is visiting her mother, and I'm staying
up until 4:00 a.m. and waking at noon.
I've called up Enrico's Bistro
for hot wings and beer,
thrown pizza boxes like Frisbees
across the family room,
and clogged the drain
because peeling a potato
over the sink is easier
than over the trash.
Tonight, I can't get off the couch,
so I'm watching a film
by Charlotte Zwerin
on Thelonious Monk.
In this black and white footage,
his wife Nellie is frantically
walking around the bed
to give him a belt because
he's taking too long to put on his socks.
Then the camera cuts
to Thelonious shining, dressed,
and buttoning his blazer
as Nellie slips him into his trench coat.
Thelonious at the piano, "I Should Care"
plays in the background
at an airport where they sit,
and he eats an apple, and Nellie waits
to wipe his chin with a tissue.
I've been roaming the house
alone all week, and suddenly,
I don't mind ten shampoo bottles
crowding the bathtub,
none of them empty,
laundry baskets sprouting flip-flops,
or junk drawers stuffed
with overpriced deodorant and make-up.
I might even be okay
with being dragged to the Dollar Tree
where my wife will take
fifteen minutes to pick out an air freshener.
Before she gets back tomorrow,
since the refrigerator is empty,
I'll leave a note on the door
for her to meet me at La Boulangerie,
that fancy French café she loves,
where I'll wait in the patio
until she appears, the hem of her dress
fluttering in the shadows beneath the eaves,
our table set with coffee,
open-faced mushroom sandwiches,
and strawberry tarts that remind me
of the tulips she grows
in the garden.

~ David Dominguez



frivolous friday


the lumineers ~ ho hey



the staves ~ winter trees


the staves ~ mexico



variations on the word love

This is a word we use to plug
holes with. It's the right size for those warm
blanks in speech, for those red heart-
shaped vacancies on the page that look nothing
like real hearts. Add lace
and you can sell
it. We insert it also in the one empty
space on the printed form
that comes with no instructions. There are whole
magazines with not much in them
but the word love, you can
rub it all over your body and you
can cook with it too. How do we know
it isn't what goes on at the cool
debaucheries of slugs under damp
pieces of cardboard? As for the weed-
seedlings nosing their tough snouts up
among the lettuces, they shout it.
Love! Love! sing the soldiers, raising
their glittering knives in salute.
Then there's the two
of us. This word
is far too short for us, it has only
four letters, too sparse
to fill those deep bare
vacuums between the stars
that press on us with their deafness.
It's not love we don't wish
to fall into, but that fear.
This word is not enough but it will
have to do. It's a single
vowel in this metallic
silence, a mouth that says
O again and again in wonder
and pain, a breath, a finger
grip on a cliffside. You can
hold on or let go.

-Margaret Atwood



sunday sermon




Almost a year ago to date, Alberto Granados left me a message on a post requesting help in identifying the title and artist of this painting.  He just left me a message yesterday saying YES!  It has finally been located on the internet, HERE:  Peter Nahum at the Leicester Galleries.

The painting is entitled:  At Evening Time - Study (United Kingdom, 1864)
The artist is George Elgar Hicks.

I am not sure who discovered it, but I am happy to receive the update.  A big thank you to all who attempted to identify and locate.



little clown, my heart

Little clown, my heart,
Spangled again and lopsided,
Handstands and Peking pirouettes,
Backflips snapping open like
A carpenter's hinged ruler,

Little gimp-footed hurray,
Paper parasol of pleasures,
Fleshy undertongue of sorrows,
Sweet potato plant of my addictions,

Acapulco cliff-diver corazon,
Fine as an obsidian dagger,
Alley-oop and here we go
Into the froth, my life,
Into the flames!

~ by Sandra Cisneros