ch ch ch changes & lovin poetry


So I changed the blog a bit just to clean it up. In the world of WordPress this is called changing a theme. I can remember years ago when I first had the idea of having a website where people could come and read and then leave comments, hopefully have conversations.

I built the thing from scratch then. Much easier to use an interface like WordPress these days.

It’s pretty easy to switch back and forth between these premade designs so I’m not sure I will stick with this. But I have to say I like it better.

I picked up a couple books of poetry on impulse last week when I made my weekly library visit to pick out large prints books for my elderly mom to read in her nursing home.

I can remember in the sixties going to the public library in Flint and always stopping at the new book shelf of poetry.  I remember it now as being huge. I wonder how accurate that memory is.

I have somehow developed a life long love of poetry. I think it is connected inside me to my love of music, books and reading. I puzzle over how I got this way. I think the main thing my parents did to nurture this (that I remember anyway) was give me freedom.

They rarely censored my reading. Actually I’m not even sure how much they noticed what I was reading.

Once my Dad asked me not to play a Frank Zappa record because a woman in a monologue said the word, “Fuck.”

I find this amusing in retrospect when my Mom once made the startling comment to me, “I don’t swear. Your FATHER swears.”

I don’t remember hearing him swear.

Anyway, the poetry book I have been working on is “The Boss” by Victoria Chang. I am enjoying her poems. I love it that I picked her up randomly on the new book shelf.

I count 45 poems in this book. Eleven of them (again by my count, they are not numbered) take their titles from paintings by Edward Hopper. The poems describe the paintings and riff on them, either speculating on the circumstances or relating them to lived life presumably Chang’s herself.

Victoria Chang (2011)

This morning I began googling them.

Which brings me to my continuing point: if one is curious and seeks to understand shit and is alert to the pitfalls of bad web sites, the Interwebs is a wonderful place.

Looking at the paintings is very helpful in understanding Chang’s poetry.

I’ll close with a wonderful example.


by Victoria Change

Maybe the letter isn’t from a lover the letter is a layoff letter
a lay aside letter a lay into letter maybe the
letter says you are an employee of me and I certainly
expect you to come to the meeting

about me my two-year-old says me don’t have candy
me me me me my tooth hurts my head hurts my foot hurts me have
boo boo here
 and here and here and here
I can never see them these boo boos

cannot see anything maybe her letter is a DMV letter telling
her to pay the registration fee the license fee the
weight fee the special plate fee the city county
state fees the owner responsibility fee the smog

abatement fee maybe if the DMV didn’t send so
many fees the woman would be free to work in a
different building with a different window in a
different city for a different boss

1. Jeb Magruder, 79, Nixon Aide Jailed for Watergate, Dies –

I followed the original Watergate hearings as they were being televised, but I didn’t realize that Magruder had said that Nixon initiated them before he died. Who knows if it’s true? But there it is in his obit.

2. What Is This Child Doing in Prison? –

Good question in a troubling and well written report.

3. Sudan: Woman Sentenced to Death After Refusing to Renounce Her Faith – NYTimes

Can’t believe this is happening now. Sounds like something in the distant past, unfortunately this shit persists.

4. Ideology and the Court –

Some salient observations critical of our Supreme Court from a Letter to the Editor writer. I especially like his observation that “The fundamental problem isn’t left versus right or liberal versus conservative. It’s an inability — or at least an arrogant unwillingness — to listen authentically.”

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