Sunday, July 30, 2006

Birthdays, Poetry and Porcine

I missed Rebecca Loudon & Teresa Ballard's birthday yesterday. (Stanley Kunitz's as well, but I don't think he cares.) Here's the poem I wrote for them last year, pieced from images from their poems and blogs. Teresa's Early Hours of Sky is one of the first po' blogs I read, appropriately, in the early hours of sky. The first entry of hers I read was under the title, "A Lonely Bird" or something like that, lamenting the vacuum of single-motherhood for a poet. Needless to say, it resonated, and sold me on blogging. Rebecca is one of my favorite po' bloggers, in fact almost first on this list of 30 exceptionally fine poets I found in my first year of blogging and reading blogs. It's so satisfying to do the "I told you so!" dance to so many of their accomplishments this past year, what with so many on this list winning awards and getting their first books published, such as Rebecca and Paul Guest, just to name a couple. (Congratulations, Paul! Nyah nyah nyah, I told you so!) Check out these poets. They are all excellent. And, a new list is forthcoming. One of these days, soon, I'll be updating my links and calendar. I'm afraid I've totally weirded out my template and I'm afraid to touch it. But I'll be guest-blogging for the Poetry Foundation at the end of August, so I'd like to do it before then.

Sorry, grrls, for missing your birthday. But it's nothing personal. I just messed up on the date of my anniversary. We have plans to go on a long hike today, but it's really tomorrow. Oh well, we planned to only celebrate it once in a blue moon, anyway. That's when we got the state in on our personal lives, on the Blue Moon. Like, I'll marry you "just once in a very blue moon." T laughed when I told him last night. We might just work on our fence today. I know it sounds weird ("I gotta million of 'em) but it's actually very romantic. Very symbolic for us. Something to keep the dog out of the new beds, our garden crafted out of the flat nothingness that was here when we bought the place. An abandoned project for a too long while.

Meanwhile, I've been too busy still filing, accounting, finding documents and letters. Whee! The great -- justify your life and career existence. I don't know what I mean by that, but some of you do.

I wrote 100 hay(na)ku poems for a hundred people buying the special art books edition of DRIVE. Each one a hand-written original. I really like them. They'd make a neat chapbook. Also they hold, and flow, together. Very cool. But, the whole idea is their uniqueness, that whomever buys the book gets a one and only LD poem to do with as they wish. But, here's one for you. This one is one of my favorite, because it makes me laugh.

The freeway,
A single vulture.

I've also been busy in said garden. Everyday, something else grown for me to care for; although, I'm my grandmother's gardener: "Throw it in the ground! Water it! It *likes* to grow." "She's a farmer. She loves/ the land, its ugliness" as I once wrote in a poem when I was about most of y'all's age. "It's a hard life, the life of a farmer," my good friend says to me after the hail last month. "The farmer's life is hard. It's tough to be a farmer." If anybody's been calling me, I'm outside. With the hummingbirds. Counting on a double rainbow.

Well, farmers like fairs. I had to go the other day. I had to go see the "Top Hogs", trained pigs. (Hey! Research!) My Memphis Minnie movie (script) is called "PIGMEAT: The Life & Times of Memphis Minnie" and the movie is framed by some key scenes with a personable porcine. I had to go meet the trainer. I had to see for myself what a pig could do. I LOVE trained pigs. I was a sucker for "Arnold" on Green Acres when I was a kid. And mourned the burning of the Babe pigs who were in the movies, due to the mad cow outbreak in Scotland. Sad, that. I once met a woman at UC Berkeley, much younger than I, who said: "I know a lot of awkward things about a lot of things. It makes for a lot of bad first dates." I know a lot of awkward things about pigs. I once got thrown off a blues list for suggesting that "Frankie Jean" was a racing pig, as Kid (MM) said in a long-lost interview. The guy from "Top Hogs" knew all about racing pigs. He claimed to have a pig who'd win if they held them now. (Actually, there' a festival or fair in some mountain town near here that's holding a pig race.) I was very excited to learn that this guy has a couple of 600 pound hogs, and a razor back. I'll have to find my link to a pic of a HUGE 15 ft long hog that someone caught in a swamp in Miss., or somewhere in the south. The story Kid told was that this pig was "the runninest hog the world had ever seen" and that, as a child riding on its back, she would almost lose the pig, so her father tied a rope around its neck and tied it to a stake so that it was conditioned to think that it was still tied to something when the rope was on, which was always. She said that despite the pig's old age, at that point during the Depression, she entered it into a race when she was back home and her sister's farm was in danger of foreclosure due to unpaid taxes -- and untied the rope. "Go on, Frankie Jean, go on!" The pig not only won the race, and 5,000 dollars (a fortune), it kept running and never came back. She paid for her sister's farm and bought a house for herself with the winnings. Anyway, so I was looking for running hogs (these jumped hoops and sang like Elvis) and a pig who could play dead. My son took some videos. I might ask him to cut me a clip I'll post to U-Tube. There's a great part where the "Einstein of Porcine" does math homework. It's truly amazing. Pigs are so smart!

Speaking of which, upon leaving the fair, my son turns to me: "The older I get (he's 11) the more I turn into Frazier." "Huh?" I said. "I mean, the more I don't feel comfortable hanging around the lower classes."

Sheesh. It was kind of a serious moment. But later, T and I (both dirt-poor kids) laughed.

Well, time to water. I have a east Indian feast for our hike. But we just might be lazy, stay here and work.

Here's to the humminbirds. And hogs. And, if you're in Boulder, make sure you catch the Top Hogs act: Porkchop and Mudslinger, the Einstein of Porcine, and the other pigs in the act, The Castaways, performing at the County Fairgrounds until next week. Tell 'em the Movie Lady sent you.

Rainbow Line


Blogger Sam of the ten thousand things said...

I enjoyed "A Birth Poem" and the hay(na)ku. Thanks for posting.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched a mockingbird, near the fence line at the back of my house, chase away two turkey vultures. The mockingbird was relentless, and wouldn't stop until both vultures were gone.

30/7/06 22:08  

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