Monday, April 21, 2014

Slaughter House Rules and Timeless Poetry!

Before returning to poetry, I ask that you check out my interview at the Slaughter House with International Novelist, Richard Godwin. It was a fun interview.

I need to fill three poetry days, so I’m borrowing from a few classical greats. The poems I picked are from poets I wasn't too familiar with until now.

Charles Bukowski was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski in Andernach, Germany; his mother, a German native and his father, an American serviceman. After financial issues in Germany, the family moved to America, first making a home in Baltimore, Maryland and then settling in South Central Los Angeles. Time Magazine called him a "laureate of American lowlife.”

German by Charles Bukowski 

being the German kid in the 20's in Los Angeles
was difficult.
there was much anti-German feeling then,
a carry-over from World War 1.
gangs of kids chased me through the neighborhood
yelling, 'Hieneie! Hieneie! Hienie!'
they never caught me.
I was like a cat.
I knew all the paths through brush and alleys.
I scaled 6-foot back fences in a flash and was off through
backyards and around blocks
and onto garage roofs and other hiding places.
then too, they didn't really want to catch me.
they were afraid I might bayonet them
or gouge out their eyes.

this went on for about 18 months
then all of a sudden it seemed to stop.
I was more or less accepted(but never really)
which was all right with me.
those sons-of-bitches were Americans,
they and their parents had been born here.
they had names like Jones and Sullivan and
they were pale and often fat with runny
noses and big belt buckles.
I decided never to become an American.
my hero was Baron Manfred von Richthofen
the German air ace;
he'd shot down 80 of their best
and there was nothing they could do about
that now.
their parents didn't like my parents
(I didn't either) and
I decided when I got big I'd go live in some place
like Iceland,
never open my door to anybody and live on my
luck, live with a beautiful wife and a bunch of wild
which is, more or less, what

Khalil Gibran, born Gubran Khalil Gubran, was born to a Maronite Catholic family in Bsharri in northern Lebanon. They struggled with poverty, so he didn’t receive formal schooling in his younger years. After his father's imprisonment for embezzlement, they moved to the United States, settling in Boston. A school mistake changed his name to Kahlil Gibran. He is the third best-selling poet, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.

The Wise Dog by Khalil Gibran 

One day there passed by a company of cats a wise dog.

And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heeded
him not, he stopped.

Then there arose in the midst of the company a large, grave cat and
looked upon them and said, 'Brethren, pray ye; and when ye have
prayed again and yet again, nothing doubting, verily then it shall
rain mice.'

And when the dog heard this he laughed in his heart and turned from
them saying, 'O blind and foolish cats, has it not been written and
have I not known and my fathers before me, that that which raineth
for prayer and faith and supplication is not mice but bones.'

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales. His father was an English Master who taught English Literature and his mother a seamstress. Too sickly to fight in World War II, he wrote scripts for the government. In 1941, the Germans bombed Swansea and left a shell of a town. He came to New York to participate in a performance of Under Milk Wood, and died soon after from a combination of bronchitis and alcohol. In America, his resonant voice with Welsh accent made him famous along with his works.

Interview and Poetry,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chew on Change!

Sorry I’ve been slacking. I’ve been working on my novel.

This first poem is an Ode, which is a poem praising a person, place of thing. 

Ode to Chewing Gum

Privacy lost many days a week
sitting, suffering with different folks,
makes daily life seem so bleak,
we tend to wonder if it’s a hoax.

What can we say about little space
that revokes such good behavior,
while someone tries to put on their face,
and others recite verse to their savior.

Stench that rises from when they speak
leaves plenty to the imagination,
stuck in a cloud that makes us weak,
wishing away from civilization.

Only way to survive poisonous bouquet
search hard for a pack of chewing gum,
before it’s too late and we portray
the insufferable complaints of a bum.

A fresh piece of gum, we sniff its packaging
offer it out of kindness and care,
hope they can’t see what’s happening
and chuck it up that you like to share.

The chewing gum is a survival tool
for anyone taking public transportation,
important to keep with you as a rule,
so you can go on with your respiration.

This is an unrhymed poem called Sedoka. It is made up of two three-line katauta with a count of 5/7/7.


Change of scenery,
inevitable in life,
risk near or far from safety.

Appetite to move
leave behind the daily rut,
make dreams a reality.

Gum and Change,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Do Like Slam I Am

Today, I’m saving you from my crazy poems and giving you the opportunity to watch this hilarious slam poetry titled, "The The Impotence of Proofreading," by Taylor Mali. I was browsing around YouTube looking for some slam poetry and came upon this one. It's an older video. I admit that I’m not a computer reader or one who hangs out much on YouTube so if it’s a repeat for you, well then you have too much time on your hands. Just kidding.

The reason I chose this poem is because Taylor is a teacher advocate, my husband’s profession, and he gives his poems 100%. Slam poetry requires physical and vocal movement to express the poetry. Inflections, gestures to emphasize the point the poem is making. At least that’s how I see it. I don’t think slam poetry would work if someone stood at a microphone and read their poem in a monotone voice.  I give people credit for being able to do slam poetry, because it’s something I couldn’t do.

This video has some innuendos and words that might seem crude to some. If you’re sensitive to this kind of material, then I’d advise you not to watch it. For those who do watch, there are some misused and misspelled words that I’m sure many of us have seen on paper. I think that’s what makes this so funny and wonderful.

Slam and Proofreading,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cinque Terre This and a Cinque Terre That

Here is another invented poetry form created by Laura Lamarca called CinqTroisDecaLa Rhyme. That’s a mouthful. This is a 10-line stanza with each line having a 15-syllable count with a rhyme scheme of AABBCCCABC.

The name of the poem Cinq made me think of the Cinque Terre. It’s where we went on my honeymoon. 

Cinque Terre

Visions of such natural beauty goes beyond expectations
Designs sublime, magical to see, sustained generations
Hearts and minds amazed by the miracles brought forth in decor
Scenic nature, copies fail, originals we adore
Mountains, curves, straight lines of color, a glorious obsession
History of aged rock, earth corrodes, water makes impression
Creative arts are hard at work to find the right expression
Control moved from family to nation with declarations
Notable moments of love and war, bloodshed upon its shore
Its splendor holds strong; exists in peace away from aggression

Landscape and Emotion,