Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Quick Rundown....

...of my week: (1) car problems, (2) car problems, and (3) car problems. We own four cars, two of which are driven by our older sons, and we had problems with three of them in the past week.
1. My wife was in an accident last Saturday when a guy blew a stop sign and she sideswiped him near the shore. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but she was very upset, not only because of the damage to her beloved PT Cruiser, but also because the policeman implied that she was at fault - she had the freakin' right of way and wasn't speeding!
2. The radiator went in the van I drive. Six hundred bucks.
3. The battery died in the car my one son drives, and my other son (the same evening, no less) locked the keys in his car and I had to rescue him.
It's enough to make you take the bus.

It's also been an interesting week because, while all this was going on, I had a medical procedure on Wednesday. No big deal, just one of those things they think all folks my age should have. All I'll say is they gave me some nice pictures of a certain internal region. I'd share them with you, but thought you might rather take a pass, so I won't impose them on you. Everything so far looks okay.

Not much poetry happening this week - I'm stymied creatively - not even the writing exercises seems to be working for me. I did judge an online poetry contest this week, which I sponsored, and though I didn't agree with the other judges on the final choice, the winning poem was rather brief and witty. I sent the winner ( a guy in Texas) a copy of my latest chapbook and the latest issue of Journal of New Jersey Poets.

Music: I still haven't figured out how to link a video to my blog directly, so this will have to do:
It's a video by Canadian artist Feist, who I'm really starting to warm up to. My son turned me on to this video, which is quite clever, and the music is great too. Check it out.

Poem of the Week: How about this one, which won the 2003 ByLine Magazine Short Fiction and Poetry Award. It's about my visit to the historic home of Walt Whitman, just a few miles from my house. Bye for now!

328 Mickle Boulevard

Walk through this city of noise,
of horns and sirens and shouting,
and find a nondescript two-story house
across from the bars and wires
of the new prison.

A guide invites you into a quiet parlor,
where you find rockers in every corner,
floral wallpaper in clashing patterns,
the Victorian style,
paintings and daguerrotypes
of somber men and women,
his friends and acquaintances,

and a photograph of him sitting
by the corner window,
the light catching him, illuminating
his great white bush of a beard,
the same light glinting off a decanter,
placed in the center of a jumble of pens,
papers and books.

Legend says he would throw money
out the window to passersby.
You can almost hear the neighborhood kids
whispering about “mad old Mr. Whitman.”
Yet he held court here in Camden those last years,
entertaining the likes of Dickens and Wilde.

Upstairs in the bed chamber,
papers are stacked all about the floor,
as though he has just taken a break from
the latest revision of Leaves of Grass.
A cane leans in the corner,
perhaps the same one he used to rap the floor
and tell his housekeeper to quiet
her infernal dog’s barking.

You half-expect the old Yawper to lumber in the door,
rumpled, wide-brimmed hat over his eyes,
and converse with us about
the restoration of the Union, the rights of women,
the bountiful apple trees in his back garden.

As you descend the back stairs to leave,
the stained glass window over the landing
filters the afternoon sun –
bright blocks of red, yellow and blue
wash you in color
like an old benediction.

1 comment:

chelle said...

great post!!! somehow we have our own similarity..a week ago, my radiator had worn out..then all of possible solution was just replacement...its vw radiator...well, seems that the problem was on the it works fine as if i had just drove a brand new car.. :)