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Thread: A Work in Progress

  1. #1 A Work in Progress 
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    A Work in Progress


    A thought keeps turning cartwheels in my head—

    like Susan Finnegan

    in the schoolyard

    in Sixth Grade—

    Sister Matthew

    watching wimpled

    while we played—

    the thought that I won’t know it when I’m dead—

    playing hopscotch—

    playing tag—

    jumping double Dutch—

    Capture the Flag—

    Amid the riot of that recess running out—

    her school skirt

    flouncing on the handspring—

    fluttering

    flaring

    flashing of white linen

    like a shout—




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    ***Other poems follow below***

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  3. #2 Study Aids 
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    with

    Audrey Hepburn

    as

    "Sister Matthew"



    Click here to enlarge


    and

    Irish McCalla

    as

    "Susan Finnegan"


    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge
    Jumping Double Dutch

    Click here to enlarge
    Grade 6 Once Upon a Time


    N.B.
    school recess
    In education, recess is the American term, known as "'break (break time)" or "playtime" in the UK and Ireland.





    ...
    Last edited by seneca; 22-03-2017 at 12:19 PM. Reason: add title

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  4. #3  
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    The Oddsmaker


    The odds that in an otherwise boundless void this anomalous pip of energy should matter in the least,
    let alone be the central moment of the universe,
    appear to be very long indeed.

    Confronted by the impossible state of affairs which reason discovers in the human condition,
    he recognized that “the heart has reasons reason knows not of,”
    and then set the line following his heart.

    By increasing the payoff to eternity,
    he made book against mortality,
    and Faith in Providence the smart bet.

    We're not talking about Jimmy the Greek.

    Click here to enlarge



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  5. #4  
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    Click here to enlarge


    the point of the pen

    and the shadow of the pen

    touch here at the word




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  6. #5  
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    the face is a mask

    to hide a chattering skull

    an elegant touch



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  7. #6  
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    Lata Mangeshkar

    I love you, Lata Mangeshkar
    I have always loved you
    I loved you before I was born
    I shall love you forever after

    Click here to enlarge



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  8. #7  
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    Lata Mangeshkar

    I hear you, Lata Mangeshkar
    I have always heard you
    I heard you before I was born
    I shall hear you forever after

    Click here to enlarge



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  9. #8  
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    Star Crossed

    for Rose Joan Blondell (1906-1979)


    Ah, Joanie!

    If only I could time-step

    we could do

    that old soft shoe

    just me and you

    swapping wisecracks on the breaks

    in black & white

    directed by Ray Enright

    for Warner Bros. in 1935

    and we could happily ever after be

    cheek to cheek and beaming

    in a heart-shaped iris out

    that pops open at infinity

    on the old shield in the clouds...


    Click here to enlarge


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  10. #9 Study Aids 
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    "the old shield in the clouds" in its literal sense

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  11. #10  
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    Benches


    He sat on one of the benches alongside the curb
    with his back to the avenue
    facing the park

    I sat across the sidewalk from him
    on one of the benches alongside the chain-link fence
    with my back to the park
    facing the avenue

    It was a sunny Saturday afternoon of some immemorial spring or summer
    I'd just come off the courts after three hours of three-man
    just cooling off and waiting for my friends to finish up inside the park
    Beside me on the bench I had my old grungy Voit
    still with a true enough bounce after a thousand Saturdays in the park
    although its positive grip was worn away for years of dribbling on pavement
    I was in cutaway shorts and a tee soaked through with sweat clingy and cool
    I wore white high top Cons in their own way also cool
    I must have been eighteen or nineteen

    He was overdressed
    He wore a flat cap, like a newsboy from the Great Depression,
    a sport coat over a cardigan over a button-down collar
    baggy trousers and brogans
    He worked his mouth continually in the absence of teeth
    his beaky nose and chin seemed to be trying to meet
    He didn't seem to notice me
    He didn't seem to be looking past me
    through the chain-link fence
    into the park
    either
    He seemed to be looking inward
    or back in time

    I remember him to this day
    must be fifty years since
    Even at the time I understood
    I was looking at myself



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  12. #11  
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    Dream For a Sunday Night


    I dreamed about Joe Coiro last night

    He was my best friend for a year and a half

    He was from Hester Street

    He'd been transferred and arrived with an aura

    tall and tough

    but good-natured all the same and golden and gone

    and graced with quick high color in his cheeks

    whenever he played stoop ball or ace-king-queen in the school street

    that great swooping pompadour mussed to a dreamy flop

    and all the girls flipped over him

    and I let him copy my homework

    Man! He hadn't changed a bit!

    Looked just like he did in Seventh Grade!

    Grand dream for any night

    but especially a Sunday night

    without commercial interruption



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  13. #12  
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    On the Uptown 6


    Always one's sense of humanity—

    on a NYC local train

    until it passes beyond the midtown express stations

    the hub stations where many get off

    and every car jam-packed with people of every description

    and most of them strangers

    all heading in the same direction for ten or twenty minutes

    for ten or twenty minutes

    body touching body

    faces facing faces

    staring or trying not to stare

    trying to hide in the head

    behind a veil of thoughts

    all shaken and shoved and rocked

    in a shared career of limited destiny

    railed and rigid and inevitable

    affording glimpses of beauty and mystery and pathos

    interpreted severally and secretly

    and rarely a word spoken

    except by the conductor's voice

    over a garbled intercom

    announcing stops and next stops

    and warning everyone to stand clear of the closing doors


    —is heightened

    and sometimes even deepened

    before one arrives

    and gets off

    feeling released

    and relieved



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  14. #13  
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    Cat Got Your Tongue


    One of my cats has been trying to speak English lately

    He’s driving me crazy

    God-awful sound

    Nmoh...hicque...horowgr...nmoh...

    I want to tell him he hasn’t the larynx

    Or the palate

    Or the tongue probably

    But I can’t speak Cat

    I haven’t the larynx

    Or palate

    Or tongue probably

    And I don’t know what I’m saying

    when I meow

    Funny thing

    Both of us know what we want to say

    We just can’t say it

    It breaks my heart to hear him



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    Only Child

    A cousin of mine sucked his thumb into his teens

    I was six years younger and didn’t get what all the family fuss was about

    My aunt, his mother, made the biggest fuss of all

    But all the aunts fussed about it

    None of the uncles did

    My uncle, his father, never said a word about it

    At his high school graduation

    my cousin stood six feet four inches tall

    his Yearbook nickname was “Stringbean”

    His sport was swimming

    He went to work with his father

    in the family trucking business

    delivering fresh fish daily

    from the Fulton Fish Market

    to stores and restaurants

    throughout the five boroughs

    When he died forty years later

    he was a husband, a father, and a grandfather,

    and weighed three hundred pounds

    He had a heart attack in his backyard swimming pool

    and drowned



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  16. #15  
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    Italian

    I love hearing people speaking Italian—

    I love watching their faces and their hands—

    It’s like they’re singing and dancing.

    La tarantella!

    Quanto sei bella!


    I wish I’d learned to speak Italian

    When I was a child

    When everyone was alive

    Oh I know

    I know

    It’s never too late

    they say in English

    But sometimes I’m afraid

    It’s too late in any language



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