This page is dedicated, with love, to Larry Weiss (1942-2020)
The Other Night …
Not last night but the night before,
I saw Eternity, the big tom cat:
He curled himself before my door,
Like a great ring. And as I pondered that,
Quick down the wall came Time, his shady twin,
And knocked me mortal with his rolling pin.
How I Left The Band
I was jamming along on my blue guitar
(I call it my hipster harp),
And I thought we sounded pretty OK,
Though somebody sure was sharp:
When out of the air this manager kid
(Whose name I never could hear)
Pops up with his goofy, brace-tooth grin,
And hollers into my ear:
You’re not in tune with the Zeitgeist;
You’re not in time with the beat;
Maybe you need to take a break;
Maybe you need a seat:
Zeit here says you’re dragging;
Zeit here says you’re flat;
Zeit here wants you out of the band–
So, buddy, I guess that’s that.
The snail with his cargo
Rejoices to be whole:
The Jason and the Argo;
The compass and the goal.
Rosie Moves On
“Naomi Parker Fraley, the Real Rosie the Riveter, Dies at 96
Interviewing Mrs. Fraley in 2016, The World-Herald asked her how it felt to be known publicly as Rosie the Riveter.
“Victory!’ she cried. ‘Victory! Victory!'”
—The New York Times, January 2018
Tough as a trivet, our Rosie the Riveter,
Builder of B-17s in the War:
Rosie, whose hands could do all that a man’s could do,
Hangs up her gun now and walks off the floor.
Buddy, not siren, she (life’s little irony!)
Bore the name “Fraley”: the poets would say:
“That little frail can do more than a male can do”;*
Rosie just spat through her rivets: “OK.”
Fit and bandanna’d, you’d do what no man’d do,
Rosie, and shrugged when they patted your head;
Work was the issue. O Rosie, we’ll miss you!—
No one that living, though,’s ever quite dead.
Any time women’ll fight being liminal,
Any time girls roll their sleeves up and try,
Hark! nailing thunderbolts (strong-and-no-wonder bolts),
Rosie will cheer from her bench in the sky.
Freedom is all to gain, not to be stalled again:
Doors have been opened—don’t let them re-close;
Think of the Riveter (come on and give it her!)
Thank and remember the Rosie who rose.
* From the 1942 song “Rosie the Riveter,” by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb.
The Borometz, or Scythian Lamb
Confounds the vets
And herbal-wallahs too:
There’s legs and stem,
But none of them
Do what they ought to do.
The stem does not
Absorb one jot;
The legs hang in the air;
Thus eating ain’t
And running—au contraire.
The world forgets
Poor plant with bloom of bone;
Just note the gist,
Leave well enough alone!
Nymph and Swan
“Anyone would be forgiven for believing the image to represent the myth of Leda and the swan, but we know from Marchant’s description of his intaglio … that his inspiration was a passage from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, in which swans float up to a nymph and proffer tablets bearing the names of deceased worthies.”
—Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin
“Jove?” breathed the Nymph. “Oh, go on,”
Said the Swan. “I’m a Christian allegorical swan.
No broken wall, no burning roof, no tower, nobody dead.
But here, have a tablet with the name of Julius Caesar or Judas Maccabeus,
The Point Stands
The colon and semi-colon froze
In a moment of perfect pause;
Then the comma, formerly comatose,
Unbent into wild applause.
Quotation marks shot up in dismay:
“The times they are out of joint!”
But the point still stood, or sat, or lay –
It’s all the same, to a point.
About Time Too
“The name ‘Julia Griffin’ is mentioned in a Cult of Relics paper.”
—Email from Academia
This paper everybody should consult:
I’m now not just a relic, but a cult.
If you have prayers, please format them precisely.
I may come through, if you adore me nicely.