ELIZABETH KERLIKOWSKE : You should be writing a better poem right now
NORMAN J. OLSON : Travels May 18, 2011
contemporary international poetry - for your reading pleasure,
poetry from new and established poets and essays on writing

All the fine arts are species of poetry--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

You should be writing a better poem right now Travels May 18, 2011 Shells  
POETRY requires a mature audience ENTER only if you are 18+ under 18? GoTo Games

You should be writing a better poem right now
I wrote a list of all the painful self-defeating things I say to myself when I'm alone. You should be writing a better poem right now. I took the list outside to burn but it wouldn't light in the wet May wind. Fire hemmed the paper's edge twice then fiMmled to a singe. I pictured the list burning flat, organized absolution as each item disappeared. But I had to wad it up and twist it to make the air caress those words and catch, and then with its hollows and corruptions the paper burst into blaze so quick I couldn't hold it contemplatively and meditate on my flaws to disown them. I had to drop it on the rake which grilled my self-loathing, consumed by flame then smoke and slid onto the wet patio like an ashen turd which sent up a smoky stink amazing for one small piece of paper so noxious were my thoughts.
link to poetryrepairs
I have many things to write unto you but   I will not write with pen and ink
--JOHN the theologian



You should be writing a better poem right now Travels May 18, 2011 Shells  
POETRY requires a mature audience ENTER only if you are 18+ under 18? GoTo Games
Travels May 18, 2011

Sunday I got back from my latest trip… it actually started April 30 with a flight to Houston where Mary and I met up with a friend (and her ex husband from whom she is “happily divorced for 15 years”) for a dinner and a bit of sight seeing in Houston… we were treated to a gourmet dinner on the patio of a beautiful restaurant overlooking the manmade canal in Woodlands, Texas on a gorgeous warm evening…

we stayed in a cheap hotel by the airport and on Sunday we took the bus to Galveston and got on the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Sea… this is one of the very large new cruise ships and holds about 4500 people, passengers and crew which for comparison is maybe a thousand more than the Titanic held… for comparison, the Voyager of the Sea is 137,276 gross tons, 1020 feet in length and 156 feet in width… compared to the Titanic’s 46,328 gross tons, 882 feet in length and 92 feet in width… so, even by modern cruise ship standards, it is large… though there are larger ones… since I am prone to seasickness and must take a pill every day, I like these large flat bottomed ships as they seem to rock less than the older slimmer ships…

my favorite place on a cruise ship is the outside deck beneath the life boats, often called the Promenade Deck, usually deck four or five… on a modern ship… there I can sit outside and draw or read, listen to the crash of the waves against the side of the ship… look for dolphins (saw several) whales (saw none although sperm whales are commonly seen during this cruise) and flying fish… (saw a few)

anyway, the cruise was two weeks from Galveston, Texas to Barcelona, Spain…the first 8 days were at sea days without ports… by the eighth day, it was too cold to sit outside and draw, but I found a nice place inside for that day… Mary and I walked three miles every day either up on the jogging track at the very top of the ship or, if it was too windy on the more sheltered promenade deck… every evening, there is a Las Vegas style show in the theater… the music is mostly musical theater and is okay, but it is a real treat to see the beautiful young men and women dancing as only the young and graceful can… and there is live music all over the ship in bars and lounges in the evenings so fun to stroll from the folk singer to the Latin dance trio… etc… so, eating lots of great food, spending quiet hours walking or sitting on the promenade deck reading and drawing, enjoying entertainers of various kinds… 8 days flew by like the “windblown spume from the tops of the waves…”

the first port was in the Azores which are small islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean… we hired a taxi for $60 for a beautiful drive all around the island and up to the top of the extinct volcano… everywhere were great vistas of the brilliantly green hills which were cut into fields and pastures for the Holstein dairy cows that were everywhere… on the sides of the hills and mountains and there was almost no place on the island from which the sea could not be seen in the background… it was very pretty and the town was kind of like a slice of old fashioned Portugal… relaxed but stylish… and the people were very friendly…

then, after two more days of sailing, we were in the Mediterranean Sea… and stopped at Malaga, Spain… I did not know it until we got there but Malaga was Picasso’s birthplace, so there is a Picasso Museum there and much is made of the famous painter… it is a lovely city, very clean and easy to walk around in… we went to the Malaga City Museum which was a small museum with some Roman artifacts and other historical stuff… but it also had a side room with a number of Picasso drawings that apparently had been donated by Picasso’s friend Sabartes… and as a person who does drawings, it was fun to look at these works in a quiet, unpretentious setting… and though I have never been a huge admirer of Picasso, he certainly defined the art of the last century and was a master of the contemporary idiom if there is such a thing anymore… well, I enjoyed seeing the drawings… which all seemed carefully and caringly done – which I like…

next to the cathedral was the actual Picasso museum… I was not eager to go there, but Mary wanted to see it and so we paid the 5 euros and walked through the exhibits… I saw one painting that was absolutely magnificent, a reclining nude… it was brilliant and beautifully done with a red background but, I did not jot down the name and in looking through images on line have not been able to find it… anyway, that is the problem with Picasso, he was so immensely prolific that among 300 very ordinary paintings, you will find one that is interesting… and so many of his works seem so sloppy, as if he did not care about the piece and was in a hurry to get it done so he could go on to the next one… much of Picasso just really is too quick and shallow for me… nothing there to hold my interest…

but, I know he had academic art drummed into his head by his dad, so of course, he rebelled against that… who would think he would have done otherwise? and spent his life trying to do everything but carefully done art… and careless can lead to happy accidents… but most often, the production of a careless artist is like the music created by a careless violinist, out of tune and not much fun to listen to…

anyway, I was glad I went and had a bit of a confrontation with Picasso who was forced on me by all my teachers back in art school in the late 60s… anyway, we sat in a park and looked at the flowers for quite a long time and I made two quick sketches of a bum who was sleeping on a park bench… hmmm

well, the cruise went on to Cartegena which is another very charming small Spanish city… we walked around the town for the three hours we were there and visited a wonderful local market, like an American Farmers’ Market with stalls of veggies and fresh meat and fish… lots of amazing olives to look at and sample…

then on to Barcelona where we had to hurry to the airport to catch a flight to Amsterdam so we could get back to Minnesota in time for Mary to go to back to work Tuesday… we got on both of the flights, no problem… and flying into Schiphol airport plunging like a cartoon plane through big fluffy white Rembrandt clouds, the Dutch countryside looked so green and beautiful, it made me want to spend some time there… maybe soon…

on the plane out of Amsterdam, the flight attendant told me I had to close the window shade because people wanted to watch the movies but, I kept it open because I did not want to miss the scenery and covered the space with a pillow so the light did not bother the movie watchers… and sure enough, somewhere over the ocean between Scotland and Greenland, the clouds thinned and I could see the vast woven blue ridges of the open ocean 36000 feet below… amazing… then we flew over icebergs by the millions and then breaking up ice sheets… then the jagged brown peaks poking up through the vast snow fields of the ice mountains of central Greenland… next, broken up pack ice, then the desolation of northeastern Canada, brown hills studded with lakes… across the bottom of Hudson’s bay and the eastern end of Lake Superior and back into Minnesota at 7:00 pm local time after about 20 hours in transit… glad to get off the plane and into my own bed…

Blog Search: The Source for Blogs
Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul - Plato

free counters

You should be writing a better poem right now Travels May 18, 2011 Shells  
POETRY requires a mature audience ENTER only if you are 18+ under 18? GoTo Games

Expatriates of stormy kingdoms Cast to a different realm Spindles, volutes, turrets Extraordinary univalves Lodged in temporary castles amond the vacillating swells- with stoicism sit, The children of the sea Awaiting their collection, momentarily- Frenzied winged and fingered creatures The flocking multitudes Ship corpses off to distant shelves With worms and platitudes Chambered nautilus repossessed Poets scrambling for stiff pens To toast the "Glory of the Sea" Viewed only now and then Tiger tritons trumpet Queen Conch in rose hued gown Bittersweet pieces rearranged Along the spiny crowns- Turbans, helmets, tulips periwinkled bonnets tossed At the fighting conch's finale Dollars and stars at cost The ocean has her fans Peculiar specimens Preferred by common hordes And in conchology's metaphors While fallen butterflies In states of metamorphosis lie Eternity crunching on-
Not a state organ: POETRYREPAIRS accepts no monies from federal, state, or local governments. We relie on readers like you.
Please contribute to maintain POETRYREPAIRS online. DONATE
You Take Advantage of My Good MoodTOP You should be writing a better poem right now©  ELIZABETH KERLIKOWSKE . EK is president of Friends of Poetry, a nonprofit group that sponsors the Poems That Ate our Ears contest for kids, a reading series at the Kalamazoo Public Library, and an ongoing mural project. Our eighth mural was completed last year on a downtown building. She teaches at Kellogg Community College.
MID  Travels May 18, 2011©  NORMAN J. OLSON: poetryrepairs cover artist for 2011
Shells]BTM Shells ©  VAL MAGNUSON .comment3
navigationNAV poets indexpi