Thursday, June 27, 2019

Lady H. M. Ainsley-Billington--A Celebratory Retrospective

Lady Hortense MacFarquhar Ainsley-Billington, grande dame of the English stage, is celebrated as much for being as pale and sweet as a blancmange as for her operatic rendering of the timeless classic "When, In Momentary Slumb'r, My Love Doth Recline."

One can scarcely hope to catalog all of Lady Hortense's triumphs in this small space. However, no one will ever forget her command performance at Buckingham Palace when she gave a fist pump upon hitting every note of the impossible five octave "Bobby, Be The Bric-A-Brac On My Curio Shelf," prompting the attending Royals to initiate an instantaneous in-the-aisles hokey pokey break dance such has never been seen before or since.

A month later, once again lucid after an unfortunate episode involving character actor and sometime companion Fredo Pastalini and "just a smidgen" of Chinese opium, Lady H. wowed 'em at the Royal Albert Hall when she sang "My Boy Lollipop" accompanied by a revue of muscular and scandalously (un)clad male dancers. Pausing for a photo-op with Lord Hampstead, Lady H. confided that she was happy all the folderol regarding her tryst with "my little Hamster man" had died down, though of course her referencing it left Lord Hampstead seething and abashed while Lady H. appeared positively smug! 

Interviewed for this article, Lady Hortense opined that, in her view, today's "slipshod copycat noise" cannot hold a candle to the "passion and derring-do" of the electric folk emo metal which first launched her into the limelight. Pontificating quite charmingly on a range of subjects, she reminded this writer time and again of why Edmund Mumzet-Pagliatano bestowed, in Your Evening Calling Card that famous sobriquet "The Sublime Hortense" on our national darling, Lady Ainsley-Billington.  There is no other like her.
____

for Get Listed.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Blue Child In Motion

 "Blue...songs are like tattoos / you know, I've been to sea before" --Joni Mitchell "Blue"

When I was a child, I learned
that not much falls from a blue sky.
Bored by the blandly pretty and never satisfied,
I waited on storms like rescuers.

When I was a child I tossed
my minnow-thoughts to gulls I alone could see. 
By the cold waters of Lake Superior one summer,
I listened for my native tongue from every shell.

Later, I'm not sure I saw myself or my spouses at all
through the bottle glass I blew with every word.
From inside whales and outside of any map,
I did find saving grace in my own restless nature.

Now, it comes to me with the red sky at night,
that the Argo and the Dutchman fly
with my childhood gulls, and if I seem melancholy or far away,
it is because I am, and have always been

this blue child in motion on the electric air of my imaginings.
__________

for The Sunday Muse #61.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

June 21st (Green, Wild Green)

My yard is green, wild green
as generous as a lover two weeks past hello.
All of this profusion, it doesn't need me--
it simply is, bursting with itself because it can
and will
and must.

Not so long ago, these trees and this ground
was bare as an old steamer trunk,
empty as an attic. 
It didn't need me then, either,
even in extremity.
Any words or prayers I may have said were said
to comfort
my own mind. 

Lately, I find myself thinking
(as I sit surrounded by green, wild green)
about clouds that change their motion and mien;
about doors and blooms and lovers
that open and close, arrive and slip away. 
I wandered spring and summer until spring and summer were gone,
and now green,
wild green,
reminds me of what I never understand or hold for long,

leaving me lonely to the bone 
thorned by my own stupid and constant craving
in a garden of green,
wild green.
_______


for the mini-challenge.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

17

Icarus, always out in the garage,
him and Dad fucking around with their wax wings.
Dad says, don't fly too high or too low, 
but Icarus has clay ears, he just wants to impress some girl.

What do I know? I'm just his sister.
He'd sooner listen to a goat.
Up, up, excelsior! Higher! 
First he is a feather, then he is a stone.

Here's what I am gonna do:
Men always miss the obvious.
I will fly at night when the sea is calm
and the sky has no distractions.

Up here, I can't tell stars from reflections on the water.
Is this my skin or my wings?
It's quiet--nobody heaving anvils of what-to-do my way.
Is it hubris to have my own heart?

I don't know whether I am rising or falling,
but I am in motion.
The ground or the heavens will open,
and I will glide in, Girl Astronaut, Queen of the One Big Try.
_________

for Ella at Toads.