Friday, August 12, 2016

Days of Our Lives

South Yuba River
—Photos by Stacey Jaclyn Morgan, Fair Oaks, CA

AUGUST 4, 2016
—Michael Ceraolo, Willoughby Hills, OH

I reheat last night's leftover coffee,
go outside to get the weekly paper,
do the crossword puzzle,
drive to do a few errands

A few houses down the street
paid landscapers cut a lawn
that doesn't need to be cut
because it's been a dry summer;
I haven't cut my lawn
in almost four weeks,
still don't have to

A squirrel makes it way halfway
across a main road,
when it could have made it across
(possibly sensing the oncoming traffic),
and scampers back into the lane I'm in
I slow down as much as I can
without slamming on the brakes,
a thud tells me it wasn't enough
to avoid hitting the animal
I'm sad about that,
but later when I drive by
the squirrel isn't in the road,
I cling to the hope I didn't kill him

The state allows local communities
to impose a 25 MPH speed limit
in business districts,
                                a remnant
of the time when such allowance
was a necessary safety measure
because people actually walked
in business districts,
                               and a reminder
that laws that remain on the books
after their original purpose has vanished
will have new uses discovered for them;
in this case, a way to raise revenue
(side note:
                 if a city
has to put up signs telling people
they're in the business district,
it isn't really a business district)

I stop at Lyndhurst City Hall,
looking for someone I grew up with
who is now Service Director
to ask him some questions
for a future part of this poem,
he isn't in so I'll have to wait
for another day

Cleveland is playing a noon baseball game
at home downtown,
I watch on TV rather than sweating it out
literally and perhaps figuratively
The only drawback is the announcer,
he of the same name as an old typewriter,
sounding as good or being as informative as
that long-gone clatter
The game itself isn't memorable either,
but Cleveland does win,
with no figurative sweating

I read Carolyn Kizer's Proses:
On Poems & Poets,
an eclectic collection of essays and reviews,
with a memoir thrown in,
that I enjoy greatly,
the long piece on John Clare and his poetry
If I had read the book
when it first came out in 1993
and I wasn't familiar with Clare,
I would have sought his poetry right away

I agree with Clare
that weeds should be reckoned flowers,
a doe and her two spotted fawns
do also;
             they keep coming back to my lawn
to nibble those 'weeds' that have managed
to keep growing in the drought

The Olympics don't officially open
until tomorrow night,
the soccer competition part has started
and is being shown on several channels
I agree with the late Mike Royko:
can't watch a sport where it's a good play
to get hit in the head with the ball

Today is Fay Wray Day
on Turner Classic Movies,
I watch a silent classic,
Stroheim's The Wedding March,
which she is luminous in,
which I thought was going to end in death
after a surrealistic scene of skeletal hands
playing the title tune,
which merely ended in non-fatal tragedy

I plan to watch The Twilight Zone
but fall asleep and miss it

When I woke up I wrote this poem

 South Yuba River

There’s a backyard bunny breeder in my neighborhood
     I don’t know her but I’m going to have someone from ASPCA and PETA talk to her
     She needs to get her rabbits spayed and neutered because there are enough for adoption at shelters
     I do hope she figures something else to make some extra money from home—
     For instance she could sell arts and crafts—
     I saw in Del Paso Heights there’s a piñata maker selling out of his home garage
     Or one can sell whole fruit and vegetables as seen with vendors on our urban and suburban streets
     There are people who simply just don’t get this in the 21st century—
     animals are not unfeeling and inanimate “things” to make profit from in your home business
     and rabbits also have been found to be as smart as our pet cats and dogs
     they too deserve to be adopted as members of loving families and not bought and sold like mere objects

—Michelle Kunert, Sacramento, CA

 Yuba River 2

I saw a PBS documentary commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Berlin 1936 Olympics
     Even Americans who came to the games wanted to shoot a picture of themselves with Hitler
     Jesse Owens ought to have also asked to pose for a “selfie” with Hitler
     Hitler would have given the camera a pissed-off appearance
     but such a picture being published may ironically have given Owens endorsements he didn’t get after the ‘36 Olympics
     Owens may therefore not have gone bankrupt and not ruined his health by becoming a heavy smoker and drinker
     And maybe, after such an encounter with Owens,
     Hitler might have decided he kind of liked some American “Negroes” 
     Hitler might have apologized for the things he said about Owens,
     and might have offered him stock ownership in the German company, Adidas, whose track shoes he wore…   

—Michelle Kunert

 Self-Portrait #4

I keep getting things in my email from salespeople such as Groupon “flotation therapy”
          They will claim stuff like $40 for a normally $79/hour session
          In it, a customer lies “floating” in a spa tub of water and epsom salts
          and the person doesn’t swim or do any other exercise
          I wonder though if they make each client shower really good before
          which would be crucial if they don’t drain out the water after each customer
          For the price (one shouldn’t be paying anyway) to be floating in a tub of other peoples’ germs—
          like a lot of public parks' swimming pools—that’s just plain gross.
         Why not just do this in your own bathtub with the epson salt/herbal mixes found at the 99-Cents store?   
          I’ll spare the $40 for a good message instead.  

—Michelle Kunert

Today’s LittleNip:
The lamp once out
Cool stars enter
The window frame.

—Natsume Soseki

—Medusa, with thanks to today’s fine poets Michael Ceraolo and Michelle Kunert, plus intriguing photographer Stacey Morgan!

 Self-Portrait #8

Celebrate the poetry that lurks in your daily life!
Scroll down to the blue box (under the green box 
at the right) for info about upcoming readings 
in our area—and note that other events may be
added at the last minute.

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