Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I'm at the Apple Store waiting for a walk-in appointment to get my cranky refurbished Airport Extreme's noonies checked out, I'm blinded by all the whiteness.

I need Ray Charles shades and my new Airport is suffering from some form of extreme wifi dementia even though it's the latest generation! Can't blame its age. It's a baby. Wet behind the ears. But I can't get on the internet. Driving me crazy.

Apple genius pokes it, prods it, and says the unbelievable: Here's a new one. Take it. I said: But it's a refurbished one. I didn't buy it new. She said: Go on! And handed me the bag.

So, to celebrate, I went shopping. Call it caregiver therapy. Chocolate is good. Very good. I bought some snazzy track shoes so I can hit the ground running. I'll need it for this crowded week. 

Noise and light are still unbearable. Acute hearing sucks. The yapdog metronome next door, the tiny hooves of the keyboard, the soprano squeal of leaky faucets. The rushing blood singing in my ears.

Dear migraine, please go away, like the rain, to come again another day. When I have the time—belay that thought. But hey, no more vertigo makin' me dizzy! I'm staarvin' Always a good sign.

Let the chocolate-covered auras begin. Do we have liftoff?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dead iMackii

Woohoo! Ol' Lazarus is back in town. Took my dead elderly iMackii to the Apple Store. The Apple genius turned it on its side, she prodded and burped it, and lo! It fired right up. Who knew?

I brought it home. Nada. Turned it on its side, turned it face down on the bed, whacked it upside the head, then pushed hard on the plug and it chimed. Gawd, I love that chord.

It's the last chord you hear right before the Beatles begin singing "Don't Let Me Down" which is what everyone subconsciously thinks as they're pushing the start button. It also sounds like the last chord in "A day in the life" by the Beatles. I'd love to turn you on.....

Having a gurl genius rocked. She got me, and my passion for keeping old technology alive (and useful)—not like those other whippersnappers who want you to slip into the latest model.

Dear Ones, With the unusual sunspot activity, all electronics are particularly vulnerable due to excess EMS activity.

My myriad, peculiar, ongoing Mac woes are a case in point. I lost my USB ports in my MacBook. A static zap! I saw a spark (and heard a resounding SNAP!) when I plugged in my SD card reader. Luckily, I was able to do a PRAM hard reset, and restore my ports.  Didn't need to do a ful SMS reset. Turns out, OSX disables USB ports if there's too much of a "draw." TG.

If you're wearing shoes or socks, and working on synthetic rugs, plastic chair mats, touch some metal BEFORE you plug anything into your FW or USB ports. Barefoot on wooden floors is best. We've got another year of this extreme EM activity, so train up now! And scan the night skies for Aurorae Borealis!

We all just have far too much magnetism these days (and nights).

Maureen Carden says: Back to pen and paper, folks. Remember "letters"?

I say it's tricky to edit photos with pen and paper...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

POETRY INSIDE OUT translation workshop

YO NO SOY  (interlinear translation)
—Juan Ramón Jiménez

I am not I
I am the one
who is the one who is at my side
without my seeing him
sometimes I glimpse him
sometimes I forget 
about the quiet one, serene, when I speak
the one who forgives, dulcetly, when I hate
the one who will remain standing
when I die.

         published in A MOUSE THE COLOR OF MOUSE ©2012
                          Poetry Inside Out, Center for the Art of Translation

(after a translation from YO NO SOY, Juan Ramón Jiménez)

I am not I 
I am myself
who is following me
in dark dreams
and alleyways
sometimes from the corner of an eye
I catch a glimpse of her
sometimes I forget she's there
she's so quiet, serene, 
like the feathering of first snow
when I speak
she forgives me
when I'm filled with rage           
she appears
when I'm not all there
she's the one who'll remain
when I am gone.            

(interlinear translation)

I'm dreaming
I dreamed I saw you 
leaping toward me
o cottontail
and quail


dancing on the brink of the world
on the edge of the dancing world

         published in A MOUSE THE COLOR OF MOUSE ©2012
                          Poetry Inside Out, Center for the Art of Translation

(after a translation from the Ohlone)

I  dreamed you were a sliver 
of light glinting on the curve of the sea
On the machair, the rabbits 
cleansed their scalloped sand porches
while amid the lambs, the hares stood sentinel
I dreamed of you dreaming me
on the granite dome of Dun I,
at the center of the island
between a rowan and an oak
in a crevice at the well of age,
the falcon's eye, a distant sun
dancing on the edge of the world.

         published in A MOUSE THE COLOR OF MOUSE ©2012
                          Poetry Inside Out, Center for the Art of Translation

Bashō translation
(interlinear translation)

1. old mossy pond
frog jump
water sound

2. Venerable pond
Look! A fat frog leaping in
Kerplunk! Water sounds.

         published in A MOUSE THE COLOR OF MOUSE ©2012
                          Poetry Inside Out, Center for the Art of Translation

O PILLANGÓ—Tibor Tollas 
     homophonic transliteration from the Magyar

O butterfly, how you endlessly swirl and swoop
circuitously sipping breeze the on gilded wings, 
those flitting moments slipping away
your wings, a visage of false eyes and lost loves
as you wander, and so it goes, you're left
with a tisane of sunflowers in spontaneous gardens
tucked in folded fields and hidden lanes of the heart.

—Frederico García Lorca (interlinear translation)

The guitar sobs
it weeps, 
lonely in its cups
as dawn's empty glass
on the restless sea

—after Lorca's La Guitarra

The guitar weeps
it sobs, lonely in its cups
as dawn's empty glass
shatters on the restless sea
it is impossible to silence
the guitar, the sea, the tide,
the breath, respire, respire hondo
Be still, o restless drum
of my heart.

—after Núno Judice's A Luz de Lisboa

The light transverses the room
between two windows
it is always the same, mesmerizing light
while on the other side of the room
the setting sun that was once the rising sun
the two conjoined, rising, setting
and it is this intersection that confuses the eye
the blank stare that does not know
the time or the hour of that first light
and so I watch how it spans the gap
between both windows
as if it had no beginning, no end.

—after Núno Judice's A Luz de Lisboa

the wind enters the room with a flourish
wraps its tentacles around the curtains, tugs them
ghosts, as if from the corner of the eye
it becomes visible for a moment, then silence
the windows are eyes, or mouths for the wind
speaking in tongues as if from the east
confounding the delicate shell of the nascent ear

—after Efraín Huerta

with silence
the cat
creeps in
on little pat

—after Efraín Huerta

that he
called me
this boy
no mother.

(interlinear translation)
 No sé por que piensas tú
Nicolás Guillén

I don't know why you believe

soldier, that I hate you
since we are the same, me & you.

You are poor and so am I
I'm from the barrio, so are you.
Where did you get the idea
soldier, than I hate you?

It pains me that somehow you
forget who I am.
Crapola! Since I am you
just like you are me.


          —after Nicolás Guillén's No sé por que piensas tú

Mountain, why do you stand resolute
thinking the sky will be there, 
blue vault full of promise, freedom 
taken for granted, like venial lies.

Sky, why hide the silent face
of the mountain from us, keeping
secrets, a lenticular crowning
like a pale hackneyed haloed deity?

Godlet, why do you always insist 
upon your omnipotence when the mountain 
will surely disappear, worn down by 
the sky's tears, as should you.

—after Nicolás Guillén's No sé por que piensas tú

Monsanto, why did you poison plants
splicing genes and pesticide, calling it
progress, calling it  by any other name
than what it is: utter devastation.

Capitalism, when did the end result
become more important than life itself
and the ones who raised you up
became grist for wheels of progress?

Monsanto, Monsatan.

( homophonic transliteration)
           Nicolás Guillén

Hey hi ya hey heyo
sound the Congo slongo
Congo slongo beat
dancing hey hey diddledaddio

Mama drumba
sing me a pupusu mamba

the Black man sings and jives
the Black man jives and sings
the Black man sings and splits
Remember me
Hey hey heidio

Bopdiddybop bop bop
Drum the Black man falling down
Death of the Black man
Shit! The Black man singing
hey hey heidio

—after Nicolás Guillén's Congo Negro

Agó amé    mjambo    me llamo amé
repeat the drumtalk, the dumbek
the deep, dark drumtalk, dumbek
the heartbeat of the jungle, the Congo, 
the bongo drumsong of the heart, 
your name dances on one leg!

mama moondancer dancin' in the street
serenadiing me crossing the river
the darksong sings and snaps its digits
the darksong snaps its fingers and sings
speak to me, kiss my drumskin
Agó amé, mjambo amé   snap!

drum bumbek drum bumbek drum
drum on the dark one who goes down
the buried one, the one buried, buried crown
holy cow now how the dark one, shackled, is free
Agó amé    mjambo amé   your name!


—after Nicolás Guillén's Congo Negro

Ollantaytamo Ollantaytamo a mé
Repetirlo, sing me a river song, sing me.
Repeat the song of the Urubamba, Pachamana.
The melody of the milpa, o fallow milagro de Díos.
Pachatata, an ancestor storm shaking the mountains!

Who sings to me a blue song of the sky, who tied the sun
to the intihuatana? The jaguar, he purrs in the night
while the vicuña sleeps, while she sleeps.
The milpa terraces are burning, they are burning
The night wears a necklace of fire, grows old and dies.
Pachacuti, the stones rise up, fire devouring the mountains!

The temple of the moon devours the temple of the sun
Inti sun going down, the moon's children flock to the sky
while the Southern Cross drills a hole in the universe
Quidado! the Urubamba asleep, opens an eye, licks its lips.
Ollantaytamo Ollantaytamo a mé!


—after Nicolás Guillén's CONGO NEGRO 

Hey Mandu! Hey Mandu!
Play the sounds, play the mouth sounds.
The mouth music, use it, don't lose it.
Wet wool, dark as night, stinking of sheep
and urine pounding down the tweed!

Hey Mandu! Hey Mandu!
In the Hebrides women once felted tweed
they waulked the tweed, they waulked it down.
Down down derry down. Down, down.
They beat out a drum song on the table.
They beat it down, twistitg it soleil with the sun!

Mouth music, mouth music.
Women's work from another time.
The dark cloth thickens its lips, toughens its weft
to protect the fishermen against winter's fierce bite.
It develops a thick skin, and a thirst for whisky.
The dark cloth sings wet lanolin songs
of whisky and lost sheep clinging to sea cliffs!

Who remembers the mouth music?
Now, it's nonsense uttered in gutteral tongues.
Lost translations of work songs, ancient songs.
Who remembers when time itself was mesmerized 
by the seasons set in stone?

We sit in a circle, in a college classroom 
on the other side of the world, no island sheep,
no North Sea hissing outside the door, only the freeway.
We're waulking a long snake of stinky tweed 
singing Hey Mandu! Hey Mandu!

The table thrums, the table is a bodhrán drum
for primitive, ancient songs of felted tweed.
The old women singing Hey Mandu! Hey Mandu!

—after Nazim Hikmet's Things I didn't Know I Loved

I'm sitting by an open window
waiting for the train, it's running late
waiting for the clock to trip over
like a deck of cards fanning itself
52-card pick-up, cowboys & Indians.

I saw the clouds gather like sheep
the bitter wind nipping at their heels
they cowered in the blue-vaulted sky
bleating piteously at all that open space
corralled by the jagged peaks and valleys.

I know I'll never pass this way again
the alps stabbing the sky, the train 
moans and strains on its tracks, humming 
like a lost mouth harp at twilight
the sour notes careening off cliff walls.

I believe that time stood still, frozen
when I ran down the tracks, almost 
missing the last one to take me 
to another country, the iron borders closing 
in on me, a life not lived.

I loved my freedom far too much
to be shackled by chains of marriage
to another country where women are chattel
my dowery of words enough to sustain
my art, my ephemeral vows, might flee.



Rasta teacherman bellows out 
in a metric monotone.
He sings a pejorative song 
of a preacherman
confronting hell and damnation saying
Thank you, thank you SO much. 
Have a seat. SIDDOWN!
Come sit with me now.
Come here, or get out of my room
Stand up, please. Don't move the chair.
Siddown siddown. Now.
Turn around, yes, you! 
Saying Turn around now!
to lazy boys waiting to enter 
the legal system
as inmates.


(American Haiku)


A life of paper, 
filling the bed, the house, 
orphaned words everywhere.

(take 2)
A life of paper, 
orphaned words filling the bed, 
the house, everywhere.


Autistic or artistic
the Asperger's question of creativity
Flip a coin.

In the classroom
the poets flute brings order
to writing mayhem.

The wind stole
the poet's green flute, jealous
of his song.

Over the garbage
the poet sharpens his pencil
with his wit.

In deep woods
a child thinks of fairytales
imagines wolves howling.

The teacher screams
Be creative. Do it NOW.
A condescending note.


Wind poppies dancing
sun, cream and fire combusting
in deep grass.

Poet counts words
arranging them like ducklings all
in a row.

Archway defines both
the shape of the doorjam
and liminal boundaries.

Riot of blooms
rosemary prays to the sky
in lost remembrance.

In spring, rosemary 
prays to a brooding sky
in azure remembrance.

By the roadside
paint buckets and snare drums
catch a beat.

Forgotten porchlight shines
captive starlight in a day
full of sunshine.

Porch light burns 
a baleful eye glaring at 
an empty sidewalk.

Tiger cat stalks
cabbage moth in a garden 
of shadowed delight.

Madeleines and mint
tea, remembrance of things speaking
in small cat tongues.

On Monday morning
counting words in 3s & 5s
American haiku looons.

Crepe myrtle petals 
seek asylum where royalty walks 
in purple stains.

A Catholic guilt
crepe myrtle petals seek forgiveness
in purple asylum.

In Arequipa lawns
jacaranda blossoms settled like birds
amid green oases.

After the storm
jacaranda blossoms flock like birds
on suburban lawns.

A lone blossom
clinging to an apple tree 
fruitlessly resists rain.

Lone blossom clinging 
to a branch fruitlessly resists 
the pounding rain.

Blossom fist grips 
a branch and fruitlessly resists 
the pounding rain.

Miriam's cheek smeared
with paint: good day at 
the art studio.

Fat couple walks
up the street in tandem
clutching a pizzabox.

On the dashboard
dried roses cackle like chickens
beneath my fingers.

Even in fog
bluejay tail feathers still sing
in scissored rhapsodies.

Against yellow adobe
agave arms itself with centuries
of blue silence.

Beneath the pyracantha
robins stagger like old drunks
in holding tanks.

The redwood moans
like a young girl when
the wind twists it.

Spring fig leaves
dress the naked tree with
small green hands.

Two crows patrol
the road looking for carnage 
on the line.

After a squall
white petals rim the puddles
like sea rime.

Laptop wi-fi scans
surveillance van #3 lurking
in the hood.