Saturday, May 20, 2017

Assignment

Bloodorange, the Big Boss,
assigned me to report on my own death, 
presenting a ticklish situation, both logistically and ethically. 

Cockrobin, my first journalism professor,
wrote "REPORT the story" on a blackjack and let me have it.
I saw stars indicating the edition with my byline on it, Chickpea, girl reporter.

Now, Bloodorange and I used to be a thing
until he undrowned his wife and family, up from the river, reborn.
I'm a loose end, an extra column, and the new ace of a dying profession.

Bloodorange is as crafty as he is cheap,
with two dicks that duel each other constantly, resulting in
his slightly gassy, somewhat bemused expression, commented on by all.

Concerned for my career, not to mention my mortal flesh,
I went to see Cockrobin, down under L Street where he lives in a funeral urn.
I kissed him by way of interview, and he bade me live just to spite his rival.

Like any good reporter, I wrote what I could long before deadline,
plumbing the morgue for basic bio stuff about myself, all news to me.
Then I composed several endings and demises, stored in a cloud like akashic records. 

Oh how Bloodorange and I used to dance, but now
one of his brats has killed me with a ball peen hammer, emerging from a high cupboard
to bash my brains in. How'd the little darling even get up there?

CHICKPEA, HOTSHOT INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, 
BOUGHT THE FARM TODAY, DONE IN BY LOVE AND AMBITION.
(Bloodorange hates vernacular, that's why I used it.)

The next afternoon, the newspaper folded,
journalism died, and Bloodorange became a Hindu,
reincarnated, single again, and using my skull for a doorstop at his ashram

Where the ideals are advertising revenue, and survival of the fittest.
__________

for the weekend challenge at Toads: the news.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review : "Lone Wolf"

Lone WolfLone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Some things about this novel bugged the heck out of me, first among them the seemingly mandatory shifting point of view. Does anyone write single POV anymore? This book changes POV every time there is a new character, doing so well past the mid-point of the book (and even at the end, but that was okay. You'll see.) There were several times when I had to flip back to remind myself who was the narrator of the moment.

Another thing I hated was the silly names. Helen Bedd? There's one chapter where it's Stupid Character Name Jamboree time. I didn't see any point to it, just Picoult amusing herself or something.

However, all of that said, there is a reason why I keep returning to this author even though she makes me nutty sometimes. She is really good at portraying families in crisis. In addition, when she chooses to write about animals, she obviously does her homework first and the result is both fascinating and enlightening. In "Leaving Time" it was elephants; here it's wolves. Luke Warren is a man who leaves his family for two years to go into the wilds of eastern Canada to insinuate himself into a wild wolf pack. What happens there, and what it ultimately means for everyone who loves him, is top drawer stuff. This novel is also about making an end of life decision. Who makes the call, and what guides them?

All in all, I liked the book and do recommend it, but with reservations if, like me, you aren't a fan of continually shifting narration.



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Friday, May 12, 2017

New Banana Town

In Old Mango City,
I wore the thrift shop jacket you like,
and the big shades.

I wore them up, in my hair
as if I were trying out for Queen of the Produce Stalls.
You dissembled, became incorporeal,

And slept with my better nature
behind my back. Remember that tune we liked?
Neither do I. I wish I could.

Here is my black top hat,
and my white gloves. Here is you, appearing again.
Ta-da, I say. You kiss me to make me shut up.

The buses are all out of service
on the road to Old Mango City.
An urchin brought me an orange soda and said it was voodoo.

So, sit here. On the curb with me.
I bet you never knew we were a post card; I mailed us,
addressed to our ghosts, postage due.

Don't be sad. I'm not.
I just always cry at beginnings, arrivals, being here in a new place:
New Banana Town--population you.
_____

for Out Of Standard.
 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rope 'Round A Heart

Rope 'round a heart
and the bell swings one--
a kiss like that isn't fooling anyone.

Rope 'round a heart
and the bell swings two-
one for the beggar man who watches you.

Three bell, four bell, five bell, six--
Nuns in the alleyway say mox nix

To you and your seven rope,
you and your eight--

Rope 'round a heart
and the gibbet bell prate.
______

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I Got Interviewed.....

....this time not for my poetry (though that's in there, too) but for my hobby. You can find it HERE.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Robins

Every year, robins nest at the side of my house,
They keep the world on its axis. They raise babies. That's it. That's enough.
This year, they began,
but were fooled by a warm February.
Now it is May and there were never any babies.
Something went wrong, though there's a heartbeat inside the wood.

Non-robins that never were
fly out and erase what is. Worms survive, but who cares?
Spring is here, with all its renewal, but it isn't right, the world has tilted.
Next year, will the robins try again?
Or will non-robins nest and create negation?

Wait and see.
By this time next year, I'll either be right here
or gone, under ground, in the teeming roil of things that are, are not, and never should be.
_____

For Bjorn's prompt at Toads. His treatise on physics was just blah-blah to my poor brain, so i wrote about a thing that expresses itself dually, and I hope that is enough.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review: "Once In A Great City : A Detroit Story"

Once in a Great City: A Detroit StoryOnce in a Great City: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is a book about Detroit at both its strongest and its most vulnerable. Detroit is my city; I grew up in its suburbs and have lived there all my life except for my 20s. And so, this book has a personal resonance for me.

Maraniss, also a native Detroiter, focuses his book on the period between late 1962 and early 1964. The book has a lot to say and reveal--at least to me--about such local figures as Henry Ford II ("The Deuce"), Lee Iacocca, Berry Gordy Jr., Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, Governor George Romney, Walter Reuther, and the Reverend C.L. Frankin (father of Aretha), as well as national figures such as Martin Luther King, Lyndon Johnson, and John F. Kennedy. The book is stuffed with politics, labor, the Motown sound, mobsters, sports stars, religious leaders, and all the movers and shakers of the time.

I turned 8 years old in 1963, and remember so many of these names and places, but through a child's eyes. I grew up hearing these names on the news, or around the dinner table--my father was a newspaperman who loved to talk about his work and current events--but after reading this book I finally understand who some of these people really were; they're no longer just names.

I found two aspects of the book particularly fascinating: the rise of Motown records, and the secrecy and planning that went on for years before the unveiling of the famous Ford Mustang. Naturally, there is much about race in this book, because it is at the core of the city's story. From my white suburban childhood, I remember well the adults around me being adamant about keeping the blacks out, and now I have read about the other side of that coin, people denied jobs, housing and education based simply on race. There is also much about cars, of course. My brother, nine years older then me, was a big "car guy", and because of him, I remember his enthusiasm and excitement about cars like the Mustang and Camaro.

On a personal level, perhaps the most poignant scene in the book was the description of the fire at the Ford Rotunda, an extremely popular tourist destination of the time,featuring cars, displays, and a huge Christmas bash which included live reindeer. I vividly remember going to what might have been the last Christmas event held before the place burned to the ground in November of 1962. I went with my parents and brother, and my brother bought me a little futuristic car. How could any of us have possibly known what the future would bring to the Rotunda, to the auto industry, or to the once vibrant and powerful city of Detroit? What a bittersweet read.





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