Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Word Garden Word List--George Hitchcock


Hello poets, and welcome to the new and improved yet old-fashioned Word List, now with more Friday! Nobody seemed to be coming by mid-week, leaving the Word List lonely and mopey, so now it has new permanent digs--it will appear from now on on Friday afternoons. 

This week's List is taken entirely from a slim volume of poetry entitled The Piano Under The Skin by George Hitchcock. It's an amazing collection. Here's a sample, called On the Edge:

you're on the threshold he said
take the knife and cut the river
loose from its mooring put away
that syllabus you're on your own
all the monuments have been recited
too often it's time to trim
their beards and slaughter
their stone horses and what is
this tiny cyst in the middle
of the last crusade?

George Hitchcock (1914-2010) was a jack of all trades--an actor, poet, labor activist, publisher and playwright. The volume I have taken your List words from is from 1978. What we do here is to take at least 3 of the 20 words provided and use them in a new original poem. Then just link up, visit others, and marvel at your own incredible virtuosity! And now, your List:


The Mandolin, the Bouzouki, and the Oud


As we mount the scaffold
(and when
have we not been climbing?
let there be 
the marvelous kiss of a lively mandolin.
the wry, sensual bouzouki
at least, 
the mournful deep pool of the oud.

Let the hangman arrive
on a plumed black Arabian,
the doula with her arms around his belly.
(and when
have they not been so entwined?
Let her feed him Greek Easter bread from her fingers
with blackberry jam
and churned butter.
There is no word for him 
or us
to say.
Allow him these joys before his task.

Let there be wags
irreverent, wearing bright smocks.
(and when
have they not appeared costumed this way?
let them tell jokes and ribald stories
so that we might forget our aching knees and hearts.
Let them tilt back their heads 
lifting geysers of Athiri wine up to God
alone in His white pagoda.

Let the blind boy in his dusty thawb 
hand us grapes 
as we ascend.
Let him strike the gong 
announcing our circular travels.
(and when
have we ever left these stairs, even in dreams?
Let a young woman lead a gray donkey
peacefully across the streets we leave behind.
Let the sky be almost clear and blue
but for one cloud, one bird,
and one sun unblinking.

Let the rope be strong and well tested.
Let the holy man sleep,
his book falling from his lap like a restless child.
Let our memories 
explode like confetti,
and sleep like lions.
Goodbye, the world will say
and then again, always again,

for Word Garden Word List--George Hitchcock

Music: Zorba's Dance-Sirtaki

Thursday, February 2, 2023


 The Word List is moving to Friday. No one comes by before the weekend so I am moving it. I will post some time Friday afternoons instead of Wednesdays. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Visions of Code-y


Sitting in a coffee bar, I was hit on by a Kerouac simulation.
I am the nightbird genius mix, said FauxJack,
clearly hopped up on lollipops. 
Do tell, said I. 

So babe, what's on your emotional jukebox?
Some kind of dubious doo-wah Dada bop?
You're like smoke, there's rise in your eyes.
And you try too hard.
Auughh! Gutshot, right in the LOLcode. Want me to fade?

No, as a matter of fat, I've read all your graphic novels, FakeJay.
You're a real Ker-Ker-Karma Chameleon.
They call me Cat George, mama. Imma thicc throwback skellychaser!
You don't say.
Don't armadillo me, hard candy. 
This is love-a-rooni, jive jazz Nirvanaville, hep kitty.
Hep. Oh, I like that.

The double yellow asphalt ribbon is callin', Gypsy Rose.
To-go that java and jump immediate!
You're on, daddy.
Ergo the ersatz ecstasy, holo-hipster. 
Aw Athena, now you're blowin' a sweet riff! 
That's me, Riff Tin Tin. Awoooooooo!
You are off the leash! 
Faux man go. Let's split before the squares hack your dome, Jack.


Music: Eddie Harris Sham Time

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Word Garden Word List--Janis Ian


Hello friends, and welcome to this week's List! There is a book of poems I bought for a buck and a quarter used (it was a whopping dollar ninety-five new) when I was just in high school. It has traveled with me from my childhood bedroom to every place I have gone since, and I have it still. It's Who Really Cares by Janis Ian. My copy has a bright green cover with just the title in black, but newer editions have her picture and the addendum "childhood poems." Fair enough. I was a childhood fan.

The back cover of my copy has a picture of her wearing a hat I liked so much that I looked until I found one just like it and bought it. Fangirl much, Shay? Oh yeah. Here is a snippet from one of the poems in the aforementioned collection; it's the end of a piece called Poems For The Young Psychologist.

we were eating when daddy came
home from a long tiring day and
started complaining how come the
food wasnt hot and the
house was all dirty and he
turned to me and
opened up his mouth and
i said
dont take your frustrations out on me

Those who know me will surely be mystified why I liked such stuff. *cough* 

Janis Ian is, of course, most well-known for her music. Three of the words on this week's List are taken--one each--from the songs Society's Child, At Seventeen, and Boots Like Emmylou's.  The rest are taken from her book Who Really Cares. 

What we do here is to take at least 3 of the 20 words provided and use them in a new original poem of our own, Then just link up, visit others, and adopt an air of sweet accomplishment that will surely attract money, mates, and mysterious boons your way. Enjoy.

And now, your List:


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Snowblind Jane


I have thought of the gray cat for years now,
though the gray cat thinks of me
no more than a gray cloud would,
or a window pane,
or a key chain.

I leave my life in a dish for the gray cat to find,
but the gray cat is gone
like yesterday's breath.
Who knew I could hurt like this?
If I drop the dish, it doesn't even shatter.

The gray cat's main concern is the moon
and garbage and gray cats and food.
I was sick once,
and became more beautiful.
The fever fell in love with me, poor thing.

Outside myself at last, I hover,
asking what's wrong.
"Bring me my gray cat," I whisper, crying like a child.
Other Me laughs,
says you'll never come back

and were never gray,
                           never gray,
                                      never gray,
but black, dear, black.

shared with Sunday Muse #243

image at top by Jocelin Carmes

music: Once Blue Now That I've Disappeared

Thursday, January 19, 2023

American Girl In Euro Kicks


After midnight on the narrow street
high on a memory magnolia sweet
like a magnet where you don't belong
smiling lady sings a lonesome song

Across the plaza, under the bridge
where the cognoscenti live
down where a butterfly becomes a dove
what in the devil are you thinking of?

No mashed potato, no lime and gin
where the crows get black
sleep on the foxglove, dream of a peach
on a honey stack.

Hands like a swan's wing, feet like a hoof
slip the landlord, sleep on the roof
and in the morning, fleece the mark
mix with the rando's who live in the park

No chocolate candies, no baseball game
where the crows count six
collect the cats eyes, call off the dogs
keep the licorice sticks.