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To Arena

to arena

            Corpus mortale tumultus
Non tulit aetherios donisque iugalibus arsit.

                        – Ovid

That day the beach crept up on us,
The tide a sideshow of seashells,
We began our sunburn early,
Soaked in warm beer against curly
Sails, a regatta of tassels
Thrown to a chalky blue chalice

Of sky. We drank and drank it in,
Your eyes going crazy with thirst
And whispering about your art.
I sought to touch your skin to sort
Out my feelings. Worse came to worst
And you dozed off mid-sentence, slain

By cervezas, college finals
And sand-strewn immortality:
So California left its mark—
White underbelly of a shark.
The running surf made us dizzy
As it swirled beneath us, runnels

That heralded a tidal wave.
Except it never came. Instead
Your white one-piece provoked a flush
Desire upon your slumber. The flash
Of flesh, your tapering thighs, fed
My eyes, a hurt longing that drove

Me out well past the surf. Earth’s curve
Swallowed up a ship to its mast,
And swam me to shore to search for
More than Crusoe’s evidence, more
Than Friday’s footprints…. I lost
You in the crowd—and lost my nerve

When I found the beach blanket bare—
As if you’d been absorbed and left
No farewell, except sun and shade
That marked your place. With sunset tide
As my witness, the shifting sift
Of sand had scattered you anywhere.

Oriole

oriole audubon

For SW-D, on her birthday

What pleasant crudities this May extends
Beyond the riddled weeds of latent spring—
Its azure heaven plays it coy and lends
Its crush to underbrush. A lightning wing
Ignites the fire-crack of smoky buds—
Now rendered aureate as Christmas trees.
Each second’s inch of fluted branch eludes—
Detains—and spills with orange melodies.

The spring in flood resolves its snag in nests
Among the greening limbs. A throbbing tune
Converts dactylics into anapests.
Staccato notes that span the Yucatan
Now reach with gumbo-limbo limbs that soar
And dive with arils big as Baltimore.

Five Tanka for Creation

800px-Flammarion

Ὅταν οὖν τι σῶμα κατὰ μηδὲν ἐξαλλάττηται
τῶν προϋπαρχόντων, ἡσυχάζειν αὐτό φαμεν…. -Galen

1
Photosynthesis
Before there was anything
To kiss or embrace,
Before our bed was warm with
Your soil or my seed — hunger.

2
Caress of plasma,
Hydrogen and helium —
Touches my face as
My giddy hands graze your thighs,
Heaven’s dizzying columns.

3
Tectonic spangle
Of plates on the lithosphere;
Your soft surf of breasts
Against my trembling shoreline;
You alone, tsunami’s love.

4
The original
Hertzsprung-Russell diagram,
This random order
Constellates your dark features;
Your fuse burns a comet’s tail.

5
Trout scales, clade branches,
Ascend in rainbow patterns —
Your body pulses
Shallows beneath coral cliffs;
Your eyes glitter dark, seaward.

6
Eukaryotic—
The foundation of all flesh,
Dante’s (h)O-M-O
Draws me to your deepest earth —
Creative, an act of love.

7
The cool part of day,
A sort of post-coital
Tristesse setting in;
For you walk in my garden—
So perfect, so incomplete.

May Day

bf6d59e2ce404839d3e9ff9e817b5c68

on the Occasion of the Marriage of Peter and Lauren

I
Lay by a sense of time, in all the works
And days that harvest out your bonds of earth
Under stars that will sift and shift like sparks
Resplendent, ever new as things that birth
Engenders deep within this bloom of May.
Now take again what time’s plenty bestows
And pluck this fifth-month day. Let no decay
Negate the moment. Build instead the rose
Deep as the hottest blessings of the sun:
Proposals are preludes to all the things
Enlightened in the asking. There’s but one
That gives an answer, shaded in songs
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring
Recalled in time: Lauren and Peter’s song.

II
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring,
The world has put its ear to earth, a kiss
Recalled in time: Lauren and Peter’s song

Is played with strings that circle squares. We bring
Our bodies to the dance, our souls in place,
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring.

But which among our million moments ring
The clocks to bring us round and feel the trace
Recalled in time? Lauren and Peter’s song.

The wine is pure, the bread is everything
That calls us to witness what will suffice,
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring.

The kiss that makes a mutual language sing.
So yours and yours becomes a single space
Recalled in time. Lauren and Peter’s song

Will play on — God bless and earth avow — these strong
And willing partner to a strident grace
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring
Recalled in time: Lauren and Peter’s song.

IMG_5715

KORREKTIV 2017 POETRY CONTEST WINNERS

Thank you all for participating in this year’s sonnet contest. Suffice it to say everyone was up for the challenge who submitted and suffice it to say that it wasn’t an easy decision to make regarding the winners. (Judges always say it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.)

First, here are the three Honorable Mentions – in no particular order.

Rose Thorn

Within the night’s expiring hour we lie,
Together, still yet sundered as by miles –
Unwitting, was it word or deed that I
Unfolded too ungently, joy defiled?
Tis true, they say: that every blooming rose
Doth hide beneath its blush the piercing thorn –
That every swain who guards the ambling cows
Singeth sorrow to the beckoning morn.
I feed my love upon thy favorite song –
The minstrel says that love is but a game
An easy guest, who bids farewell ere long –
And wonder, hath he entertained such pain?
And in my heart I know: thou’d not have fled
If this in time might I to thee have said.

Poison, “Every Rose Has its Thorn” – By Rebecca Bratten Weiss

****************

oops beer again

This sin I do to you in shame confess
That made thee sure this more than friendship be
And knowing not thy poor heart’s sweet distress
Did’st yet again make light of constancy
If now I can beweep thy outcast state
Mine own love’s strength thus to subside
No prayerful petition could abate
The wilting of what hidden in me lied
You played with me, thus I with thee dids’t play
And from thy catechizing looks I learn’d
By rote the bookish glances that today
Your gull’d heart thinks it has by spending earn’d
Forgive me for bending thy thoughts in pain
O cold conclusion! I did it again

Britney Spears, “Oops!… I Did It Again” – by Roguish O’Leary

************

mercury beer

At dawn when I arise the sun to greet
With forbidding dread its sovereign eye,
And tread my course with ever-failing feet,
My heavy soul doth seem content to die.
I hie me to the glass to there confer
With mine own visage, who cries out perforce
To heaven, and, as weeping boughs of myrrh,
The bitt’rest tears his pleas to thus endorse.
O, Lord, thou knowest well I have kept faith
With thee, this long and empty run of years,
Though weary time hast made of me a wraith,
Love’s ledger sadly fallen in arrears.
And so, I crave a boon from Thee above,
Canst Thou not find me somebody to love?

–Freddie Mercury, “Somebody To Love” – Courtney F.

**************

beatkees

Third Place:

Should I conceal myself ‘neath bluebird wing
As she gives song, and should the bird of dawn
Forsake his office – what a glorious thing!
Alas, he calls. I rise, I blink, I yawn.
I hie myself unto the lavat’ry
To shave. The razor, like ingratitude,
Is cold, and like a sometime friend gone by,
It stings; yet gladsome is my attitude.
Thou thought me once a brave and horsed knight
In habit white, but since discover’d me
A man, no more; an ordinary wight
Who spends not money, but good times with thee.
O be ye blithe and merry, sleepy Jean!
Believe thy daydreams, my homecoming queen!

The Monkees, “Daydream Believer” (written by John Stewart) – Father Richard Libby

*************

ain't no mountain

Second Place:

Recall when I emancipated thee
Thy trust in me thou could’st enumerate
I vowed that day to ever faithful be,
If thou should wist, in somewise be there straight.

Nor wind nor rain nor winters bitter cold
Mayst stop me if you feel yourself travailed
Thou art my destination and my goal
E’en if I’m cabined, cribbed, confined, assailed.
My love lives in the chapter of my bosom
Though miles might keep us both so far apart
If e’er thou need’st a hand to help thy dorsum
To answer in the method of the heart…

No mountain’s high enough, no valle so low
No rill so wide enough to keep me from you.

–“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye – William Lasseter

**************

can't get no...

First Place:

Alas, no satisfaction cans’t I receive
Though the attempt repeatedly I make
Whilst rambling in horseless carriage, without reprieve
Some gentleman drones counsel I shan’t take
Say I, I cannot find contentedness
Though heartily do I endeavor more
The flashing box promotes dementedness
Of a launderer whose tobacco I abhor
Again, bereft, unsatisfied, I cry
Whilst I bemoan the maid with eyes so fair
Who to answer my entreaty doth deny
Even a fleeting glance with me to share
Cheerfulness eludeth me ever
In delight I shall indulge myself never

-The Rolling Stones “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” – Karen Ullo

Congratulations to All the Winners and Many Thanks for those who participated!

And Happy Shakespeare Day!

p.s. I will be contacting the winners soon to find out where to send their prizes!

Stay classy, city of origin for WD-40

wd 40

I tend to think that’s not a typo at the bottom there. It’s its own enemy sometimes; in this case, it’s simply a victim of its own Man Size Pressure Pack.

Do fetuses dream of unborn sheep?

*young-philip-k-dick-600x744

An interesting and astute piece on all things “Phildickian” over at Chronicles:

But Dick also had a conservative side, represented by his strong (if heterodox) religious devotion, his distrust of large bureaucratic structures, and his longtime anti-abortion stance. In the last decade of his life, as he finally began receiving substantial amounts of money for his writing, Dick donated thousands of dollars to pro-life causes. He also wrote “The Pre-Persons,” a powerful story in which parents can abort any child under 12. Yet both the speech by Dick-the-hippie and the story by Dick-the-conservative are recognizably the work of the same man—both, in fact, were produced during the same period of his life. The first endorses rebellion, no matter how nihilistic, against a soulless apparatus of power; rebellion, at least, is human. And the story denies the government the right to define who is a human being, arguing that this will only produce a totalitarian system akin to the one the juvenile delinquents in the speech are rebelling against. One need not be pro-vandalism—or pro-life, for that matter—to approve of the underlying point.

*Dick and Percy: Separated at birth?(!)

240x240_bio_percy

Na Muintir: Three Fragments

muintir-na-tire-1954-large

                                              After Seumus McManus

(The Coming of the Gaels)

Let us sing of the coming of the Gaels,
         Three tribes like three streams, wandering
Across the wide lands of the East and South,
         Across the roaring body of seas, land
Of foreign powers and ways weird to Eire.
         From there came the Milesians though last
In order, first in war and rule.
                                                These were met
By bristling Firbolg and mighty Tuatha Da Danaan,
         When to these the Milesians beat their path.
All three were kin of Celt’s blood, who before
         The singing of songs separated to become
One tribe, they of whom we now sing our tune,
         The triple-headed river of wandering men,
Come from the East, the Gaels, warring down
         To the peace of a single river’s flow: the Gaels.
First the Firbolg came, and they from Hellas,
          Long enslaved but cunning in their escape,
Capturing the ships of their veteran masters,
         Outrunning the curses of Manannan MacLir,
They managed a beach head, and thereby good fortune
         Until the Fomorians, tribe of rovers,
With a stronghold on Tory Island, waged big war
         Coming down like birds of prey, across
The cold grey seas, white-tipped with chill wind,
         Come down from the Island of Tory, northwest.
Because of the Firbolgs, the Fomorians would work
         A petty worry in the wake of the Tuatha De Danann.
So came next these clever and skillful folk.
         Awed by the finery and execution of artful works,
[Read more…]

Redound thee unto mine own personage…

all-shakespeare-tragedies-ranked

Dappled Things took the bait… Heh.

With apologies to Dino

I’d Be Happy to Know I Was the Only One Who Missed This…

shotRemember_E_orcist03 jpg

From FOK Nick Ripatrizone

In related other belated news, the man behind the swiveling heads and green projectile liquids finds out if he was right all along…

ADDED: Well, now, this is something (else!).