Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gray day alert

We're long into January with no signs of winter letting up!  The Lake is almost completely frozen- I follow this information as if I were a meterologist or an ice fisherman.  It's important because once this simple phenomenon happens, there is a promise of sun!  No more lake effect snows, at least not from Lake Erie. 
   Monday the snow reminded me of walking on squeaky sand on the beach at Perdido Key and the sun (first appearance and last in days ) made me think of the line "glittering salt diamonds".  So here's the post of the poem, Formentera, which will be appearing in "Barcelona Ink".  Formentera is a small island in the Mediterranean near Ibizza, but nothing like Ibizza.


The slow walk
to the cemetery of strangers,
car doors slam
onto private pain.
The ageless old dressed
like little black dolls
their full skirts
swirl in the burning sun.

Good Friday church bells
compete with Guantanamera
sung off key.
Tourists, weathered sailors,
a preponderance of children
inhabit the new money mad
don't stop till every inch is sold realm,
but still bound sheep
hobble over stone fences
fig trees grow horizontal and
goats strive for the
tender top leaves.
By the sea,
salt flats lie shallow,
leave behind
glittering salt diamonds
on white sand.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Barcelona Ink

I'm so pleased 2 of my poems- Formentera and Immigration will appear in February.  I feel like I'm in great company.  Great news in the middle of a long cold winter slog.

Friday, January 14, 2011

How do I leave comments on a blog?

How do I leave comments on a blog?

The Latvian Ladies

Last weekend I went to a lovely wedding but there was just one problem (una pega we'd say in Spanish): the groom has a possibly life threatening illness.  Only the Latvians can (as my sister says) mix love and death.  Or perhaps there is always the shadow of death behind us or hovering just in front.  Anyway, that brings me to my poem which was written about my uncle.  He was a tall scarecrow skinny man who played round after round of solitaire and made his own cigarettes with a plastic machine.  Here's to Antons:

The Latvian Ladies   
The Latvian ladies
fry up liver, body warm
from the butchered pig
its stink of singed hair
still hangs
over the kitchen
and they chatter.
He won’t last
til the carrots are brought in.
My uncle, thin,
fades in their eyes.
The ground hard,
not yet frozen
yields bitter greens and
small forgotten potatoes.
My uncle’s body worn out,
to be shed as easily
as the fallen leaves,
dry and brittle underfoot.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jet lag week 1

I left Spain one week ago and now am back in the pure white abstract landscape of Buffalo, NY.  Why did you come back? More than one person asked me and as I was looking out of my ice covered windows, I myself wondered why.  This is my third winter back after twenty years in Spain and by far, the hardest.
This is the quintessential American rust belt city, or even American city per say.  That means a city drained of what makes a European city so attractive- people out on the streets at all hours and public spaces to walk to and enjoy. 

The Lake

Something in me
loves a bus.
Starting at birth.
my father brought me home
in early November snow
on a bus.
There was Marilyn, circa 1956
all Bus Stop glamour,
and in Cleveland,
the sleek Greyhound sign,
recalls Edward Hopper
and the dusty 1930’s.
 “You have a blessed day”
the new goodbye as I board
wondering how to do just that.
Ashtabula, Erie, Buffalo
and all points east,
their vowels satisfy.

Something in America
so hates the city,
it bleeds out
 a slow death
 of the  light
and sound
and life
of this lake.