I’m touched to find a tiny book of mine, published in 1986, recently Book of the Week at http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/2016/10/17/book-of-the-week-eyebrows-of-geese/
Across the sky
Of returning geese
Vase of dried flowers
Before the mirror
Outside the window — prairie
Ache in my old scar
These were written at Ragdale, in the Chicago suburbs, were you could walk in a remnant of untouched prairie. The cover of the chapbook was done by my mother-in-law Abbie Winson, a forerunner of her later calligraphic work.
Ekphrastic Haibun: Remnants
For months my friend and I have exchanged quotes, jokes and news of our families. On more than one occasion she sent me cards she had made herself… a collage of paper flowers, lace and sequins on stiff card paper. I marvel at the suppleness and dexterity of the hands, now stiff with arthritis of this former concert pianist, who sends these miniature works of art, half a world away.
I am reminded of a postcard by Charles Spencelayh, an English painter, around 1920. Its title is “The Lacemaker (Mrs Newell Making Lace)”. Recently ,I sent her a packet of different scraps of coloured lace and some U.S. stamps to cover the postage she would need to send some more cards.
koi swim through
lacy blue clouds
It feels like an odd time to me–long warm autumn, election approaching, some of my life in stasis. And how are YOU?
My blog Miriam’s Well is a bit hungry for your work. Send me a short piece, a poem, a prose musing, an image, a haiku, just a bit of how you are, what you long for, what you appreciate…
I’m also happy to feature PUBLISHED work of yours with credit & links, so if you have a poem you like that deserves more audience–send it along.
firstname.lastname@example.org–send submissions both as attachment and in body of email.
Classic Santa Fe scene at the courthouse, and I enjoyed it.
Voting brings back memories of wet dark Novembers, polling place smelling of elementary school meatloaf and rubber rain boots. My mom would bring us in to the curtained booth with her, to extol the virtues of democracy and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
My dad was more of an autocrat. When I was in college, he’d send me an absentee ballot already marked–by him! I just had to sign and send it back.
So, last night I dreamed that Hillary Clinton sent Tres Chicas Books a poetry manuscript to consider. It was pretty good! My husband Rich said, “In your dreams, Mir.” Then I remembered more of the dream. I had looked at the poems and realized that if she didn’t win the book would sell less, but it was still worth it. Win or lose, at least she’d have a book of poetry. Rich said, “We all know what is important to you.”
on the street called autumn
in that light and
the parsley has
as has thought
into the future
and although my key
in the lock
to an empty house
it gives less sense
of the premonition
than the promise
of something else
In honor of this special place, and its special place in my heart, I’m re-blogging my homage from a half dozen years ago.
The Cafe Algiers was my favorite place to write when I was an undergraduate at Harvard. Despite the three meals a day provided to Freshman, I had a personal need, not shared by my roommates, to procure food elsewhere. I’d go to Nini’s corner and buy an apple, a “Cosmopolitan Magazine,” and a bag of peanut M & M’s. I wanted to feel like a person, not as if Harvard owned me.
Down a few steps into a dim smokey interior, the Cafe Algiers was full of the players of backgammon and scholars sipping bitter coffee. No doubt there were revolutionaries and cabals, and hotbeds of foreign student liberalism in the days of exile from the Shah’s Iran and elsewhere. Here I learned to drink ruby red grenadine and soda, to eat hummus, and to realize that cucumber salad would always taste better out than at home.
The waiter would flirt with me as a polite necessity. He’d say: “Maryam, that was my mother’s name…” I’d order another little dish of olives, and write in my notebook.
At that time,I cared more about where I wrote than what. I wonder if this hasn’t stayed with me. Perhaps all my journeys are just to capture again that perfect mixture of loneliness and a cold drink I had at the Algiers.
I so enjoy Zee Zahava’s work. And it is one of the wonders of the internet that I can read about her creative process on Facebook, find her new work, and share it with you in a matter of hours.
When I first became aware of the potential of the web my first thought was–I’ll be able to find my whole small press community out there. Which mostly proved true, but I didn’t realize I’d also form international community as well. And “the bronx” is a lot of fun to read, and I think it also contains an implicit writing prompt–to take the name of the place you were born or raised and repeat and explore it.
The poet writes: “It is a cold grey wet day in Ithaca, New York. I took myself out for lunch at Diamond’s Indian Restaurant. YUM. While I was eating I started thinking about a series of small poems that would all begin with the words “the bronx,” my hometown, and I jotted them down in my purple notebook as they came to me. Now I am sharing them here. Perhaps you will read on . . . .”
the bronx …. small poems
dad’s fear of the monkey house
he won’t take us to the zoo
sweet smells from down the hill
stella d’oro cookie factory
on the way to school a man
shows me his penis — i laugh
my father is well-known
in every chinese restaurant
1965 — blackout —
we don’t own a single flashlight
van cortlandt park boathouse
my first and last cigarette
i can sing two leonard cohen songs
before i get to school
friday night dinners at grandma’s
we never say the blessing
the first Burger King opens
dad forbids us to go there
every time i leave the apartment
mom asks are you prepared?
skating in the building’s hallway
the old people hate us
i refuse to pledge allegiance
to the flag
stop talking about Vietnam already
just a short subway ride
to Yankee Stadium . . .
but we are not
a baseball family