Monthly Archives: July 2014

Her moment

It is in the sounds
the leaves make when the breeze blows,
or in the solo song
of the catbird, after the wind dies.

There is a beginning, middle, and end-

to declare origin,
divine their pivot-

The end is always the absolute.

Recalling what came before-

She takes photographs-
framed with a delicate touch between
her thumb and forefinger
to record a point.

a reference to the during

where her moment breathes.

Vantage Point

The lights illuminated,
then passed her
on the serpentine highway,
as she kneeled in prayer;
people in their
own cars looking
at the road
and ignoring the eglantine
bush in bloom.
The poet, from his slant,
saw her lament
-the context in thorns-
and captured her tears,
knowing
she would never
read his words.

More Snippets

I was reminded this week that I could update snippets, those that I briefly discussed here back on February 14th. I did that because I felt like it, not that it was a regular featured aspect of this blog (most of which is just rambly poetry things).

What I am reading. I finally did finish reading The Monuments Men back in May. Interestingly, I read most of it while on a trip to Germany, when suddenly all the place names made much more sense. On the trip, my son, father, and I visited Neuschwanstein Castle, where one of the pivotal finds in the book takes place.

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I cheated a bit as well, since one of the in-flight movies was The Monuments Men. The book, as mentioned before, reads as a very dry account of events.The movie was a little better than I expected, given some of the luke-warm reviews that it received. I felt that it did a reasonable job of dramatizing, by combining some characters, making you a little more invested in their work and relationships. What you do come away with is a sense of dedication of these men, who weren’t soldiers and didn’t really fit in, but were very passionate about the art they were trying to save. And much respect goes to Rose Valland, who single-handedly collected information about looted art shipments while working at the Jeu de Paume Museum in occupied France.

So with that book finished, I have moved on to The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway. Billed as a time travel novel, it is something of an anomaly…at least to me…think of The Matrix, The Time Machine, Wuthering Heights, all rolled up into a historical fiction plot amid the political times surrounding the Corn Laws and Reform Acts in Great Britain, and about an unknown society of people who have the gift of controlling time.

What I am listening to: I am a man of eclectic tastes. Earlier this year I discovered The Decemberists and The Henry Girls. Very good working music…I’ve also become enamored with the soundtrack to Les Miserables, even the movie version in which everyone involved (even Russell Crowe) gives a very good accounting of themselves. And for another version, check out this video of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps performing an encore of their 2013 version of Les Miserables. Very, very, nice.

What I am writing In February, I mentioned that I entered an essay contest. This was sponsored by The Center for Homeland Security and Defense. My essay was not selected among the finalists. You can read the finalists’ essays here. All are quite good and well-deserving of recognition. If you’re curious/a glutton for dry reading/ really, really wish to read my essay, drop me an email and I’ll send you a copy. I thought about posting it here…but it doesn’t really fit the intention of this blog.

In other writing, I am looking for other poetry contests, journals, online literature blogs, and am still considering how to construct a chap-book. I haven’t had any great concept ideas yet, but I’m still interested in doing this. I know I need a reader/editor to help me with this, and I guess I haven’t found anyone suitable yet.

Any volunteers can email me. 🙂

smooth jazz at the Asian Garden

On Wednesday,
the piped-in music
is the dulcet tones of
a soprano saxophone, a theme
some clientele believe balances
smooth with the hot and sour soup
and the first plate of butter shrimp
with white rice, fried pepper squid, and
the hibachi chicken, stratifying the ambience
of a buffet; but the second plate,
picked and chosen
among the sesame chicken, and the
general tso’s,
and the chicken with broccoli
all taste
like a thin song
of tempura chicken (sans the
sweet and sour sauce) on the
front serving table.

On weekends, they serve dim sum
and there are family style meals
served in the banquet room. The music
from the erhu and the lute
is the the sum of the whole,
a way to return
the lever to its grounded point
while remaining on the fulcrum.