Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whoopee! We've Increased By Three

In honor of my sweet niece, Picket, who may encounter this situation standing in line at the Pig once she's become famous (isn't she already?) enough to be recognized there. Not a humorous poem, but one that will make you stop and think, especially about names and what they mean. (And aren't we still discussing a name for my OTHER niece, Amanda?)

The poem is all about appearance/reality as well. End of poetry lesson.
Men Who Buy Lunch At The Pig

His eyes are like a flame of fire. . .
and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. . .
-Revelation 19:12

Jeans raveling over their boots,
shirts hanging out of their jeans,
they wear their names stitched on
for forgetful men who pay their wages,
but one in line is startled when he is called
by name, as if he might have worn
the wrong shirt; then he resumes staring
down past the pocket that names him.

Chicken with potatoes and gravy and peas
scooped into sectioned Styrofoam plates
give-away day-old chocolate chip cookies
quarts of drinks for a gallon-sized thirst
and the essential cordial, two packs of Camels,

look lady, hurry it up will ya
the others are waiting in the truck
the boss is waiting, and I’m sick
of standing here waiting for you;
you should be the one shoveling dirt,
lady, if you can’t figure one simple price
the only way I’m going to have a good day
is to get out of here in time for a smoke

"Thank you, M’am," he says,
naming her with generic respect,
reaching for his prodigal lunch.
By the way, why didn't someone worn me that blogging is as addictive as nicotine? I'll work on the old notebook another day. Now I must crack the whip and get myself back to the writing grindstone! Thwack! thwick!

Monday, February 23, 2009

And the winner is . . .

Well, finding that word hasn't created much interest among Kathleen's Cadre (thanks, Sheila--we can try that for a bit and see how it slips off the tongue) but I think those who want to guess have guessed!

Goody for you, Ms. Magpie and Carrie--both of you have taught me something! I just don't know what I called the process. Maybe it was simply initial. I know it wasn't rubrics because my definition for that word would have been explanatory rules or guidelines, but it seems from my trusty Oxford English Dictionary that you are right on the money, Carrie. Couldabeen!

Since Ms. Magpie was so expedient with her answers, here's a boring little ditty for her:

Initial? Drop Cap? Who Knows The Word?

he early bird who won is quintessential;
a couplet for her has little potential
except perhaps to shred and further feather
her already brilliant nesting endeavor.

o why not string along a quatrain instead?
Then rip it up to sheet her frilly bed;
wallpaper the lamp, and stuff the pillows
with syllables that sound like weeping willows.

f meter and rhyme run wildly amuck, no matter.
They’ll pair up with other shining trash and tatter,
and become so comfy, so cozy, that Miss Magpie
must resist, lest her wings forget how to fly.

[Bah humbug! The copy and paste didn't keep the beautiful drop caps I worked so hard to create. Sorry!]

Meantime, have we settled on salamanda, Amanda? I like the wordplay. But do you like little critters? I actually do. We used to call salamanders mud puppies or spring lizards.

Picket is back! My blogging mentor!! Yeah--now we have a real blogger back blogging!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Baker's Dozen!!!!

. . .and immediately the Terrific Twelve Bloggerettes became TAH-DAH: A Baker's Dozen.
The oldest known source and most probable origin for the expression "baker's dozen" dates to the 13th century in one of the earliest English statutes, instituted during the reign of Henry III (r. 1216-1272), called the Assize of Bread and Ale. Bakers who were found to have shortchanged customers could be liable to severe punishment. To guard against the punishment of losing a hand to an axe, a baker would give 13 for the price of 12, to be certain of not being known as a cheat. Specifically, the practice of baking 13 items for an intended dozen was to prevent "short measure", on the basis that one of the 13 could be lost, eaten, burnt, or ruined in some way, leaving the baker with the original dozen. The practice can be seen in the guild codes of the Worshipful Company of Bakers in London. (from Wikipedia)


Meet our lucky thirteenth bloggerette, another sweet niece of mine, Amanda. (Girl, we have to re-name you! Amanda is too much like a real name. Think magpies and picket fences. While you're at it, work on mine, please!)

Shall we re-name our group each time we have a new member?

What's That Word????

Ever try to remember a word that used to roll off the tip of your tongue and now you can't even google it? (If you say, "No," I don't want to talk to you. Just you wait, sistuh! Your brain cells are dwindling just the same as ours! ) Well, another of my sweet nieces, not Picket, (I have dozens) wrote me this question, but I can't help her.

Okay, here's the question to my TERRIFIC TWELVE bloggerettes! Twelve, can you believe, a handy-dandy dozen? Welcome #12, Miss Magpie (drumroll, please) of the quintessential kind!

Here's my current brain lapse: The first word in a line begins with a larger letter than any other one in the line or paragraph, such as the one in the medieval illuminated manuscripts; what is that called?

The first Bloggerette to answer this puzzler will win the prize of a personalized couplet written just for you!! Put your thinking hats on. . .

. . .tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. . .

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Visit to Mobile

Mobile and Savannah are twin cities! Perhaps Savannah is a little more humid and for sure it has more sand gnats, but a lot of things are similar. I spent the night with the Walkers (thanks, Sue and Ron) last Thursday night. All over the south those folks spoiled by temperate weather year round were whining about the cold. (Ivodean found an icicle at Melbourne Beach. Do tell. See this, girlfriend. It's the world's tiniest fiddle playing for you, poor baby, having to live in such a place!!LOL) But green, green, and more green was a telltale sign that Mobile had not been as cold as Birmingham. Can you spell spring? The Tulip Trees and Bradford Pears think it's spring already. As do my frilly daffodils.

Ah, Mobile. What a lovely audience for myAlabama Humanities Road Scholar gig "Nine Bean Rows: Planting the Divine Detail" workshop! Polly Pope guessed about 30-35 writers were there. I agree. And everybody was so willing to participate! Heartwarming, too. Joyce Scarbrough was a dear to arrange that meeting for me.

It was a little like old home week because these same folks were in the Christmas short story anthology which made a few waves in the Alabama literary scene in December. A bunch of them came up here for a signing I arranged at Jonathan Benton Bookseller.

The drive both on Thursday and Friday was gorgeous. Sunny, springlike. Coming back I stopped off at the library in Prattville where I'll have a reading in April. Even the library has changed drastically in the 18 years since we moved back to Savannah from our decade there. The reading room is now a lovely children's room. Downtown, too, is totally different. Hope' is gone and replaced with an upscale gift shop. Carol Brooks. The couple retired from FL to be close to children who live in Selma. Betty Clapper and I had lunch at Marchelle's ( a far cry from Quincy's--that and Jim's were the only two choices in 1990) or Betty did. I had vowed if I ever ate there again I would have dessert only. I had a chocolate/caramel pie that was huge and yummy. Prattville Drug is no more. It was there that I bought Nicorette Gum, lots and lots of it, and also wedding gifts. My personal card was kept on file there. As was the other Mrs. Tommy Thompson's, so our bills sometimes got mixed up. I bought a footed crystal punch bowl and cups there which I still use. A couple from our church, Julie and Don Edgeworth, have transformed one of the old corner buildings to sell and eclectic collection of antiques. We parked in back of a darling school supply store opened by Nancy Hefner. The name escapes me, but I bought Henny Penny for Victoria. I remembered the sky is falling story, but I hadn't seen that book for years.

Our neighborhood, Hunting Ridge, so swank-seeming in the 1980's seems a little overgrown, a little gone-to-seed now alongside all the newer, larger, more-modern houses further up and over the hill. Our two cherry trees in front are huge. All the azaleas which were big then are in terrible need of pruning, it seems to me. Too much foliage for the house.

As go houses, so go our peers. The sixties seem to be the door into a certain seediness. But I'm not going there. Not tonight.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Books, books, books. . .

They're here!

And I've had two readings/book signings already!!
First signing at Little Professor Cafe & Books!
You've read a poem already from TSD!
Would you like to hear what the poetry is like in The Nights, The Days? Well, get ready for something really different here: these poems are dream poems (yes, right from my real dreams--isn't that a scary thought) and each dream poem is accompanied by a journal entry from the year 2000 (even scarier) and many of my Savannah buddies are mentioned by real name. (Too scary.)

Here's a sample:

subtract and add

a man allowed his body
to be sliced off

here and there
to aid in the cosmetic
surgery of women
so many times
he was left lumpy

Wednesday, January 26, 2000 7:25 a.m. Fixed a nice lunch both Monday and Tuesday so that we could have a SlimFast dinner. I have dropped five pounds after three days of that, but I'm hungry and thirsty. Tommy and I are both desperate to break the mold of overeating which started at Thanksgiving and hasn't let up yet. Worked on the Bob poem. I think it's better. Courtney brought back the pool key and the other papers. She hasn't made a decision about the house. She also likes Betty's which is a one-level. Email from JV who shares my feeling about BR. Says he's a nice fellow. Says M is gaga over him.

I warned you! Pretty different, huh? I think I've fallen through the genre cracks again with this one. But since everybody is so consumed with weight loss at the beginning of every new year, I thought you might identify to some extent.

Questions? Shout them out!!

Message in a Blog

  About twenty Birmingham language arts teachers endured my holding forth yesterday in my current gig as a Road Scholar ...