Friday, April 27, 2007

Pink Lady and Lady in White

The other day, I watched that Southern Lady on the Cooking Network make Pink Ladies. They sounded gross to me---gin, grenadine, and cream. And if you're daring, an egg white. So, Thursday being my first bartender shift in a while (I usually cocktail), I thought, what the hell. And like the MR 4 Sandwich at Tommy's in Coventry (falafel, bananas, spinach, and curry), all that nonsense came out delicious. So the Buddha lesson for the weekend---looks can be deceiving. Sometimes what appears hideous is actually sensational! Try it, I dare you!!!

Too bad, I didn't put the Pink Lady on the menu for Suzy's wedding, it would have been a pretty Florida cocktail---but I have other recipes up my sleeve. She even asked for a poem, so for those of you not able to go, here's a taste. (Sandra has been inspiring me with posting poems on her blog)

for Suzy

I remember the night of your twenty-first birthday,
how you mooned me from our driveway.
Your bare ass lit in the streetlight,

you would be the first one of us to become mother,
before bride, that so often I thought it was you,
not me, who had it backwards,

or how we all tried to make sense, some kind of order,
as you, our girl in track suits
swished into a womanhood

none of us ever doled out for you,
the way we tried to predict each other
down cul-de-sacs into marriage

and pregnancies, all of us spinning
our own delicate dreams,
making promises over pitchers

in darkened bars---
we knew some things would change,
but we promised we wouldn’t change.

I think of you now as my plane lands in Dallas,
asking for this, your wedding poem from me,
for me to weave your life into symbols

and images, to collect grade school notes folded
into swans or faded snapshots of bright-eyed
freshmen, the way we painted stars on the ceiling

of a room we shared or tried to coax butterflies
into landing on our fingers at the conservatory
in Niagara Falls, the way the ocean rises to meet

the sky, or sky lays itself down, either in prayer
or slumber, rapture or necessity---
something unlocking as everything blurs

at the horizon and we cannot help our eyes,
fixed at the vanishing point,
trying to figure out this---
the ordinary magic
we call love.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Otherwise, An Iris, Wild....

I do love tag and since Sandra tagged me, here goes---Amanda McGuire first introduced me to Jane Kenyon when we were in Maj's Poetry class back at Kent. Amanda was one year older and was someone I admired greatly, so when she said I should read Jane Kenyon, she became my new favorite poet. What I continually love is the quiet flare. Her poems are like a favorite pair of jeans or simple cotton tank. Basic, but not boring---poems about living and really seeing the immediate world around you.


I also remember when I read Louise Gluck in graduate school. I was mesmerized by The Wild Iris. I was sitting at this coffee shop on Christopher Street and really felt pulled page to page---this was the first time I was introduced to a poetic series. Needless to say, I don't think my steam would exist if it weren't for these poems. In both of these women, I love the connection to the earth and to the process of growing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Last night I had a fantastic Shabbat dinner at Marcela's house. I remember when I met her and was so in awe of everything she has done---all of her travels, her ability to speak multiple languages, write beautiful poetry, and now I can add make the best chocolate mousse ever! A dinner like this makes me realize why I love Shabbat, because it brings people together, it creates a natural rhythm to the week. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Bobby about the importance of circles in Judaism and I had a similar conversation about the moon with Rabbi Muller and even yesterday in yoga, Rob talked about the fluidity of our bodies. I'm not sure where I'm going will all of this yet, but something is definitely spinning...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


My friend Sandra has been going strong with National Poetry Month---me, I've turned to the dark side and have been focusing on my fiction. I had thought I had been working on short stories, but silly me, it's a novel in stories. At least that's what Tammy has to say about it. I remember when I feared fiction, the precision of sentences coming after each other and having to construct a plot. The world of it seemed too large for me. With poems, a page or two was the largest world I could handle. And now it seems I like the deep end of the language pool---or maybe not even pool, but ocean, the way it pushes me to keep going towards that horizon that you know keeps moving further and futher away the closer you think you are getting.

Another new thing to announce, something that I have been hording and holding close is that next year I will be an Arts Fellow at the Drisha Institute in NYC. I mailed in my acceptance yesterday so it's back to big city, bright lights come August!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rainy Sunday Poem

Since it is National Poetry month and so goes the saying, April showers's the poem for the day from

From "Far and Away"by Fanny Howe

The rain falls on.
Acres of violets unfold.
Dandelion, mayflower
Myrtle and forsythia follow.

The cardinals call to each other.
Echoes of delicate
Breath-broken whistles.

I know something now
About subject, object, verb
And about one word that fails
For lack of substance.

Now people say, He passed on
Instead of that. Unit
Of space subtracted by one.
It almost rhymes with earth.

What is a poet but a person
Who lives on the ground
Who laughs and listens

Without pretension of knowing
Anything, driven by the lyric's
Quest for rest that never
(God willing) will be found?

Concord, kitchen table, 1966.
Corbetts, Creeley, a grandmother
And me. Sweater, glasses,
One wet eye.

Lots of laughter
Before and after. Every meeting
Rhymed and fluttered into meter.
The beat was the message. . . .

(for Robert Creeley)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm all about the Squash

and so is Ramona!

I think it's funny how much yoga has started creeping into the Ramona poems! Kimberly read a great quote about contentment today, about how we all have everything we need inside of us to be happy and it's a matter of using the resources we have to make ourselves the best ourselves we can be. And that we can only be ourselves. We can't be other people, so we should cultivate that which is already there and learn to re-see who we are.

I've been thinking about rabbinical school actually---again---I had actually gotten into the Joint Program at JTS and Columbia for undergrad but ended up at Kent State. Then I applied to HUC but got into an MFA Program so didn't finish my application. So I think it's interesting that like the yoga in Ramona, Judaism, is beginning to pull me back in some ways. This Friday, I'm going back home for services at Rodef and to visit with the Rabbi at Heritage Gardens before services---then back to talk to the Haddasah Brandeis Book Group in B'More. I've also got a Hebrew School visit lined up and will be teaching at the Havurah Institute this summer. And here's the icing---I was awared an Arts Fellowship at the Drisha Institute!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Busy Bee

A good friend of mine gave me a new nickname---Busy Bee! And as you can tell from my lack of blogging this week, I have been flower hopping or something. Was home for Passover and then immersed in my students' writing and then I was a serious Barfly this weekend working three shifts in a row!

On Friday morning I had a nice chat with Rabbi Muller (get ready for my rockin' synagogue reading on Friday April 14th at Rodef Shalom in Y-town!!! 5:30 p.m. for services)---he told me that the Talmud says that in a lifetime, you should plant a tree, have children, and write a book. I really like this idea of leaving a part of yourself behind for generations to come and doing this on different planes---the personal, the intellectual, and the environmental.

I think it is challenging to be aware of giving back and making the world a better place on a daily basis, so I like the idea of having a lifetime to essentially do good. And assessing yearly on the high holidays who you are and what you want to do in the year to come. I suppose one can do this without the thought of religion---and looking at springtime as a chance to clean and plant. This month's article from Real Simple by their amazing life coach challenges us to throw away 50 things---meaning that making yourself lighter physically will help you to become lighter emotionally. So here's to gardens everywhere, even if it is snowing in April!