(First appearance: Facebook, Poets All Call group, 26 July 2015. Poet Joseph Arechavala had posted a challenge to “wrote about any subject in Shakespearean English.” I have lost count of the number of sonnets I have written, but I know it was well into the three-hundreds in 2010, so i’m confident that i’ve gone beyond “ccclxxiii” and may shoehorn this into the canon.)
when we are by possessions too possess’d
and risk a heart for diamonds and the like
that heart is sour’d. acquisitive unrest
gives satisfaction chase, but fails to strike.
yet when we are by love most full unraptur’d
and risk our life and fortune for such love
possessions immaterial are captur’d
and we are dyed with rainbows from above.
the risk of loss is real and in its season
that dreaded loss will come, if soon or late,
and though with wrenchéd heart we plead for reason
some life is reasonless; such is our fate.
with time we may enjoy what had been felt
and then into eternity we melt . . .
Sunday was a marvelous Birthday Pot Luck at the home of the Birthday Girl herself, Julie Elefante, and her Hun, Robert Lee. There was a literal Poet’s Corner where I sat next to the Funniest Man on Earth, Bill Campana, and across from the weirdnormal, staggeringly incisive Patrick Hare.
About five years ago I self-published LIVES of the Eminent Poets of Greater Phoenix, Arizona, Volume I. Eighteen local poets were portraitized and acrosticized by me. (Julie was one of them.) Not long after that I asked Patrick if he’d be willing for me to do a Patrick Hare page. He either graciously or grudgingly agreed–hard to tell sometimes. (I kid.) Then years passed, and I kind of fell off the Volume II rails, though I’d done more portraits than I had in Volume I. (Layout and finishing are lethal stressors, said the Drama Queen.) But when I saw Patrick at Julie’s, I asked him again, and he was kind enough not only to assent, but also to send me a link to his incongruous/hilarious nature videos, overvoiced by him reciting his poetry. (The link is http://www.Youtube.com/incognitocorp and I recommend the “Checkout Charity” vid for those new to Patrick’s performance poetry.)
The card of him above is what is known in the biz as a “concept rough,” containing the idea of an image without much care to the execution thereof. The card not of him is a poem I wrote this morning after I took the bus. It is also rough, but I needed something to perform at Jake Friedman’s UPTOWN P.E.N. event.
Got more to say but it’s late. This whole POST is a Concept Rough . . .
Today I’m going to a birthday pot luck for my poet friend Julie Elefante. I decided to write a sonnet dedicated to her. I thought that would be a good birthday present because, regardless of the quality of the sonnet, it would represent an expenditure of at least an hour of my life, which Julie is certainly worth, and more. But I had a little change left out of that hour, so I illustrated/calligraphed the last line of the sonnet.
god’s on it/godsonnet
to Julie Elefante
when god beheld the universe she’d wrought
it talked to her in many-colored voices,
it cheered and whined and folded want with lot,
and asked advice regarding need and choices.
then god, whilst folding towels and wreaking mayhem,
administered a word to undeservers.
the word was when, referring not to a.m.
but to creation’s dawn, its queues and servers.
then followed who and where, addressed to prey-ers,
who guaranteed a heated destination
with ‘prayer’ that preys on truth and mutes its sayers,
and god said why, and tried another station.
one final concept bubbled up to be
and god said what and proved her deity.
i drew a Horse
with smoother ink
and then a Brain
with which to think
so i’ll be Jett-ing out this gate.
Friends, a modern education is a slippery thing. There is less correlation between Knowledge and Credentials than when I strolled the campus of the University of Arizona, lo these 40-or-so years ago. Modern technology enables virtual attendance, making it unnecessary to meet anyone in a class, including the professor, if any. Where it will lead, I hope, is a gentle revolution resulting in academic freedom, including zero cost for the sincere seekers of usable Truth.
A SHEEPSKIN when you pass the tests
Cannot prevent a bod at rest.
And though you play a fine sonata
Don’t quit yer day job ‘less you gotta.
Employments sucks just like some vermin
Enjoyment’s there–just be determined.
May A C A D E M I A
Inclined/To chew our
Cud MAKE UP ITS MIND.
Finally, a very Happy Birthday to the lovely and talented Denise Huntington, former Sweetheart and fellow Index Card A Day participant. We parted ways a good five months ago, but I hold her in the highest esteem, and I am sure I always will. Hope your day is Fun, dear Denise!
Dick Van Dyke idolized Stan Laurel. They met in the early sixties. Stan declined to be on The Dick Van Dyke Show but watched the episode wherein Van Dyke impersonated him. He later told Van Dyke that it was the best impersonation of him he’d ever seen, but there were a few things he noticed. In the movies, Stan Laurel used paper clips as cuff links. He took the heels off his shoes to alter his walk. And “The hat was a little off.”
“I knew it. Yours and Ollie’s had flat brims. Mine curled slightly. I tried to find one like yours. I even tried ironing the brim on my derby.”
Stan Laurel laughed gently and said, “Young man, why didn’t you just ask me? You could have used mine.”
That’s the kind of guys they were.
PS: I learned all this today while I was reading Dick Van Dyke: My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke. My Steady Girl, Joy, owns the book and has graciously lent it to me. It’s a good read, the more so because the writing seems to be pure, unedited Dick Van Dyke, except, of course, for the Foreword by Carl Reiner.
May Independence thrive another two hundred and thirty-nine years, and more.