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Thursday, January 24, 2013

False Start Friday.

With the 25th approaching at unnerving speed, I decided to dig some back pages out of the pumphouse for Suze's  "False Start Friday" exercise. I started early because it's really cold here now and shed-fossicking for ephemeral antiquities is the only kind of exercise I'll consent to.  There is nothing like a beautiful, bright, brisk and frosty morning to make a hardy fellow feel like crap. In California, we get frozen sunshine. Here's how it looks:

You can see it above the frosted lawn. We chisel it out of the air and throw sunshine chunks into bowls and jars, then haul it indoors to wherever we need more light. Some people fridge it and bring it out at night. Either way, it saves on the electric bill, and it's a renewable resource. I took enough into the pumphouse to go clear back to the '60s. Here's a 1968 poem from STYLUS --a literary annual started by Willie in '60 (photo was taken by Hans Feickert and the poem is a false start because I'm still revising it) :

There are also boxes of old loose stuff under the pumphouse bench that never got titles and still haven't any. Finding them is less like fossicking ore than noodling for catfish. Here is one:

     I'd like to have a
     Patchwork horse
     I could ride under
     Arbors of dreams.
     Through floral arch
     Sleep and thoughtwork pergolas,
     I would ride my ridiculous horse. 

     I would follow a
     Ribbon of glowing
     Motes along galactic
     Dawn, ascend over avalanched
     Days --embers under its course.

     Over clouds composed
     Of begins and of ends where
     All events assemble, we
     Would fly; my horse and I could
     Canter on cosmic winds.

     Eternally journied,
     Ever arrived, and
     Always about to
     Begin are too diverse for
     The logic of earth but
     I'd like to have such a horse.

Maybe "Horsewish"? That is what I wrote over it so long ago and crossed out. I thought it silly and didn't want to become a silly man. Too late. Only a year later, I had grown my own cowboy hat.

Emerson thought what lies before us and behind are tiny matters compared to what lies within.  I have just packed a bunch of STYLUS back numbers within a priority mail parcel and posted it to Willie. Suze's project has got me attacking, sorting and thinning out everything I've got stored in duplicate out there. I can actually see my pumphouse floor! Not bad for a silly man.


  1. "Eternally journied, Ever arrived, and Always about to begin....." I absolutely love those words.

  2. You have no idea how much this thrills and fills me! Geo., I love that drunken bee! I love Horsewish so much I want to print it out and carry it in my wallet (would that be silly?)

    I love the photo of you and that lovely girl in a tree because the past is right there! Like a page pressed up against another page, Universes. Separated by nothing but our capacity for riding ridiculous horses.

    The part that thrills and fills me best is the idea of you digging all of this out. That was the vision I had and it's happening, with all of these talented sun chiselers!

    God, life is so good.

  3. Absolutely delightful! Your poems, much like your blog posts, always give my mind a wonderful workout.
    And the bee's ass had me laughing.

    I hope you excavate more poetry from under the pumphouse bench.
    "Shed fossicking for ephemeral antiquities" is a poetic way of putting it.....

  4. I, too, love the bee... and your sense of humor!

  5. I echo Jon's sentiment - your posts most definitely give me a cerebral workout. Sometimes I have to read them twice to make sure I "got it" :)

  6. This is wonderful stuff Geo. More people need to read it. You are a true poet. I wrote a poem this morning. At least I think it's a poem. I might blog it tomorrow. Modesty forbids me from saying: "It is bloody good whatever it is."

  7. Over clouds composed
    Of begins and of ends where
    All events assemble, we
    Would fly
    That almost made me cry. That's one special poem that you shared with us. It conjures up so many wonderful images.

  8. Lovely poems by the way- both Bee's Ass and Horse Wish. The picture of the frozen sunshine is very well done also.

    I was under the impression that California is warm and sunny all the time, not cold and bright. Silly me! Yay! for being able to see the pumphouse floor now. :D

  9. Great stuff! I especially enjoyed the second poem, and could easily imagine you writing that same piece today. It seems you were just as thought-provoking in the '60s as you are now.

  10. I love both poems, but especially "Bee's Ass." I have taken many photos of just such bee asses. Those adorable stripey bums are so cute you forget they can be ouchy.

    I also love the line "canter on cosmic winds..." Mmm.

    Frozen sunshine seems like something worth keeping in the freezer; you can pop chunks into your mouth on a summer day and let a little winter melt on your tongue.

  11. A bees ass sticking out of a flower is a beautiful thing. Not enough people draw attention to this. I hope you get that horse. I think we should have a whip round for you- all put some silly money in a hat to keep you in the style you have imagined. Geo, you are the bee's ass. On a cosmic steed :-)

  12. Delores-- Thank you. Most kind!

    Suze-- Yes, page pressed against page --você diz que lindamente.

    Jon-- Thanks! There is a substrate of the pumphouse I have yet to jackhammer.

    ShannonAnn-- I have been a gardener for many years and have never been stung by a bee. And my sense of humor loves you right back.

    Keith-- Thanks! Sometimes even I don't get my jokes.

    John-- I look forward to reading it, whatever it is. But remember, poetry doesn't have proper form limits. It's a process, not a fixed thing.

    Loree-- You honor me, but no tears! I remember being happy when I wrote it.

    Shaharizan-- Thank you! Sunny and warm? Indeed, I too have seen the postcards --a deception from our Chamber of Commerce.

    Susan-- Thank you. Yes I, Dude, have always been like this!

    Stephanie-- Indeed, this past summer, winter would've been welcomed on my tongue or any anatomical part.

    Lily-- You are most perceptive: I am indeed the bee's ass! Why stop at the knees?

  13. I'm glad I wasn't drinking coffee when I read that last line about the bee... Danny Thomas would have admired my spit-take! :-)

    Does anyone else hear Leonard Cohen's gravelly voice when they're reading Horsewish? Let's pass the collection plate to hire him to set it to music and croon it out...

  14. Lovely poem and a fun post! Kind of cool what you find when digging through boxes and things.

  15. Thank you Cygnus and Amy! I have been undergoing painful medical treatments this week and have taken much solace in memories. Cohen's voice in the '60s, boxes full of memories --redolent of patchouli-- good mellow times. But I am better now and will resume my essays.


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