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Most of my life I’ve been proud of my stubby,yet muscular, legs. I will always cherish being objectified, sometime in the 80s, by a girl in a car, who saw me walking next to the road and yelled “I LIKE YOUR LEGS!!” Long before that, when I was about 8 years old, I noticed that the bulge of my calf helped create a harp-shape in the negative space formed by lying down and resting my right ankle on my left knee.

Kindly Dr. Ash diagnosed me with short/tight ligaments early on. I will always be inflexible due to this. And I was often walking on my toes (we call it that, but it’s really the platform of toes and foot-ball) and I am sure that is why I ended up with heroically-proportioned calves.

Now I note, at first with dismay, and an exclamation of “Holy Crap!” that when I flex my calf muscle, it reveals the crepiness of my 61-year-old flesh. Forever in the rear view are my firm, un-lumpy limbs of yesteryear. The odds of anyone yelling their like for my legs are vanishingly small.

But dismay fades. My legs, bless ’em, have walked and run me tens of thousands of miles. In 1991 alone they ran 1,891 miles. In their prime, June of 1984, they ran 186 miles–more than 6 miles a day, 7 days a week, and this in a hot, hot Phoenix spring/summer.

So my poor skin has been inexorably stretched and strained; and the aging process thins and devitalizes the flesh. There is also sun damage, which is rife among citizens of Phoenix.

Georgia O’Keeffe grew more and more beautiful with each passing year. Her old face, which I saw in person in 1975, was a network of lines of power, a direct connection to cosmic revelation. Her eyes saw into and through all that drew her attention. ¬†Wisdom glowed in them, not to mention asperity.

The flesh reflects a life well lived–or not so well lived. Got Laugh Lines? Got Sourmouth? Time, and the process, will tell.

As for me, my “Holy Crap!” of initial dismay is now the “Holy Crepe!” of earned pride.

these words come through an addled head
whose attention is fractured by coughs and snuffs and muscle cramps

there’s relief on the horizon
for it was worse yesterday and worse yet the day before and much worse before that

but the illness bids me write
telling me there is something important i cannot say when well

telling me “in vino veritas” (in wine there is truth)
may take a back seat to “in malum veritas” (substitute ‘illness’)

telling me to tell you that illness is not all microorganistic in nature
that the body’s ills are more easily conquerable than the spirit’s

and that there is an epidemic
symptoms: hatred, blame, impulse to destruct, ungenerosity

and that each spirit must find its own cure
and in doing so will encounter a new symptom: despair

****
****

well, i’m going back to bed, for bedrest has been helpful
and i am going to love you all, unjudgmentally

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A couple of days ago I was at the Hideaway West bar & grille, and while there wrote a poem called “hearts are not flowers.” There was a fellow there who often asks me to look up various country & western stars to see if they are still alive. Diplomatically as possible I told him I couldn’t: busy on a poem.

Long story short–I recited the poem, to some applause. The bartender, Allisyn, expressed praise. Long story longer–I made a commitment to write a poem for and/about her. That is when I learned the exotic spelling of her name.

I know next to nothing about Allisyn, except that she does her job with intelligent competence, but I’ve bellied up to a slueful of bars in my adult life, and have seen some of what bar folk go through . . .

allisyn’s rule

“we tend to win,” says allisyn,
“when we dispel the gloom.
all is not lost, nor chaos-tossed,
when woof unwarps the loom.

“when tending bar, a superstar
must be both soft and hard.
the job has perks, but there are jerks
who’ll put you on your guard.

“but then a mellow femme or fellow
stops by frequently,
becomes a friend, and then you tend
with glad alacrity.

“and that is why the job that i
took on can make me smile.
nobody’s fool–sometimes i rule,
and then i rule with style.”

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In earlier posts there were prototype/preliminary sketches of Daniel. They were unsatisfactory. I showed them to Daniel and said so, and he was kind enough and interested enough to provide a couple of photographs for me to work from. The above index-card portrait is the result, which did seem to capture both likeness and personality to some extent. Daniel seemed pleased, and also authorized its use in this blog post.

The next in the series will be Erika, whose credo is “Live each day as if it were your last.” Please stay tuned!

 

all life is bathed in wavy particles except

that’s not right; words fail

“suchthing” might describe it better by not even trying to

for one suchthing allowed the existence

of the first and lightest few elements on the periodic table

enabling the energetic coalescence of stars

and a suchthing made the first of them eventually energetically die

and the deathpressure filled in much of the rest of the periodic table

and these such things eventually allowed the existence of grandkids

 

and in the spite of “the Big Bang” there is evidence that our “universe”

is but a localized phenomenon and thus “In the Beginning . . .” never obtains

no matter how far back we go

there’s no suchthing

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too restless to rest in peace

too alive for it to press as an issue

i and my mortality observe what must soon come

 

these words are one thing thought another learned

 

the harshness of audio

in telemetry

in the swiftly-pulled zipper of a body bag

drive us to many distractions

 

“alas” is wordsister to “love”

 

and death unnoticed by those he has claimed

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At long, long last I got my hands on some clay today. It has been many months since the last time. This is a little chunk from a bag of Dave’s Porcelain (bless Dave, wherever he is–I’ve been using his stuff since 1989) that is so dry from summer spent in my good friend Joy Riner Taylor’s garage that I’m having to reconstitute it in my kitchenette sink. GREAT to be One With Clay again!! Thanks to Joy for making it possible!

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