Saturday, September 26, 2015

O cheeses; Happy birthday; Staying after; Cagney and Hope; Banjo; All my relations

Limburger and onion sandwich on rye

O Cheese
by Donald Hall

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In the pantry the dear dense cheeses, Cheddars and harsh
Lancashires; Gorgonzola with its magnanimous manner;
the clipped speech of Roquefort; and a head of Stilton
that speaks in a sensuous riddling tongue like Druids.
O cheeses of gravity, cheeses of wistfulness, cheeses
that weep continually because they know they will die.
O cheeses of victory, cheeses wise in defeat, cheeses
fat as a cushion, lolling in bed until noon.
Liederkranz ebullient, jumping like a small dog, noisy;
Pont l’Évêque intellectual, and quite well informed; Emmentaler
decent and loyal, a little deaf in the right ear;
and Brie the revealing experience, instantaneous and profound.
O cheeses that dance in the moonlight, cheeses
that mingle with sausages, cheeses of Stonehenge.
O cheeses that are shy, that linger in the doorway,
eyes looking down, cheeses spectacular as fireworks.
Reblochon openly sexual; Caerphilly like pine trees, small
at the timberline; Port du Salut in love; Caprice des Dieux
eloquent, tactful, like a thousand-year-old hostess;
and Dolcelatte, always generous to a fault.
O village of cheeses, I make you this poem of cheeses,
O family of cheeses, living together in pantries,
O cheeses that keep to your own nature, like a lucky couple,
this solitude, this energy, these bodies slowly dying.

"O Cheese" by Donald Hall from Old and New Poems. © Ticknor & Fields, 1990


Say it isn't so


William Redding turned 15 last Sunday 9-20-15

Nobody's forgetting Dad


Staying After
by Linda Gregg

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I grew up with horses and poems
when that was the time for that.
Then Ginsberg and Orlovsky
in the Fillmore West when
everybody was dancing. I sat
in the balcony with my legs
pushed through the railing,
watching Janis Joplin sing.
Women have houses now, and children.
I live alone in a kind of luxury.
I wake when I feel like it,
read what Rilke wrote to Tsvetaeva.
At night I watch the apartments
whose windows are still lit
after midnight. I fell in love.
I believed people. And even now
I love the yellow light shining
down on the dirty brick wall.

"Staying After" by Linda Gregg from In the Middle Distance. © Graywolf Press, 2006


Bob Hope and James Cagney
We think we saw them sprinkling sand
on a cloud recently.



Peabody Parade, All-Frets Convention, St. Louis 2012.

A lovely colloquy by Happy banjo gentlefolk concerning Eddie Peabody.

A tribute to the human hands and fingers evolved in these musicians

and their mentor/idol Eddie Peabody
Run time 34 minutes

Dave Marty as younger man
playing Ain't We Got Fun!

Eddie Peabody

Raccoon editor's Grandpa Haynes Bunker
with his banjo courtesy of our wavering hand

Haynes was a clerk in the phamacy at dowtown
Clarke's Walgreen drug store.
(Where the Clarke Irish Restaurant now is)

Grandpa tuned in Eddie Peabody's radio programs for us weekly
and he would play along, with his open purple-velveted case
at his feet.

He often took his banjo with him when he walked to work
as he always did
to have it after hours when he played at the Kavanaugh and 
Democheetz's tavern on Main Street (where Divino Gellato's is now)



In Waukesha

For Native American Sunday tomorrow at the UCC
"All my relations"
We don’t think about it very much anymore
but the ghosts of native Americans might;
we walk, or alas, drive their ancient trading trails
paved many times over;
even our later inter-urban streetcar tracks
are now out of sight,

buried like their lightly-beaten paths
by time and poured concrete
and newcomers can’t get the gist of traveling downtown,
can’t figure these streets out because so many diagonals
cut through strangely, they say.

But it was all so simple then
for the woodland people
to follow their converging spoke-like paths
to the now downtown five points trading posts
No doubt

going through thick woods
from their outlying settlements,
intending to live forever in their homeland
upon which they trod so gently

Pioneers built great improvements
on their sacred burial grounds
and cannons stand in the library park
passing time’s additions, tentatively,

muddying the purer water of days
dim to us, unknown;

But not to the ghosts
who watched flowing streams
clear away many other silty stirrings
only for a moment hiding customary clarity

We are being watched by these patient spirits
these spector ‘savages’ who knew so much.
Their way to our downtown
is abiding.

(~ All my relations ~)




H2O pending