Saturday, July 2, 2011


Behind where I blog.
By Dorothy Parker

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
you might as well live.

One of my favorite poems yet.  I cannot wait to read more of her works.

Last night I hosted a night of Poetry and Poker.  We fired up the grill out behind the Boathouse (the name of our apartment building), we used the one that sits near the flagstone patio that Amy built.  It is such a sweet little spot.  We feasted on grilled burgers and sausages, grilled corn, coleslaw, tomato salad and an amazingly beautiful salad from lettuce that Amy grew.

After dinner we all sat around the table and shared some poetry.  Amy started us off with a piece by Jack Prelutsky called "The New Kid on the Block."  The kids in the room shared a few pieces, Lily read at least four of her original works.  Carol also read an original poem, with vivid imagery of a soldier's cemetery and reflections on war.  I found an old notebook from when Jamie and I lived in Bellingham and read the lyrics to one of Jamie's songs he wrote back when he was first learning to play the guitar.

There was lots of snapping and hushed clapping, you know poetry kind of noises.

At that point is was time for poker.  There were five weary, bleary stragglers left at the table and we all anted in.  Mostly, we played Texas Hold 'Em and at one point, about an hour in, I made a fatal mistake.

"Wow!  I think I might actually win my first game of poker." I said aloud, my self consciousness wishing I hadn't before the sentence was over.

The choice to fold on a crucial hand, where had I stayed in I would have won, started my decent into Loser-ville last night.  But how could I have known that Bob was working on a piece for the "Bluffington Post."  (a pun from Jamie last night...we contemplated pun month during the night.)

In the end, I lost.  And here, a poem on losing (sounds more like baseball, but still fitting.  And especially if you are a Mariner's fan...)

Losing the Game

On the face of this midfielder,
a saint’s passion.

Sweat brilliantines his hair
flat as a seal pup’s fur.

Thorns rake one knee, and fatigue
is a train whistle that never quits.

In his mind, the falcon of defeat
slips off its own hood

and sails into the vapory cold December,
hangs like a crucifixion over the field,

then slants down the wide thermal
of his shame. Today 2 + 2 is algebra,

and nothing will transmute
his base metal to gold leaf.

When crowd and players have gone,
he watches the sun set

under a tumultuous bruise of sky,
below the empty grin of the bleachers,

deep into the valley,
a ghastly, yellow bile draining out.


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