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Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons

     walking their dogs

          in Central Park West

  (or their cats on leashes –

    the cats themselves old highwire artists)

The ballerinas

      leap and pirouette

           through Columbus Circle

   while winos on park benches

     (laid back like drunken Goudonovs)

    hear the taxis trumpet together

      like horsemen of the apocalypse

            in the dusk of the gods

It is the final witching hour

       when swains are full of swan songs

   And all return through the dark dusk

       to their bright cells

             in glass highrises

    or sit down to oval cigarettes and cakes

           in the Russian Tea Room

or climb four flights to back rooms

            in Westside brownstones

      where faded playbill photos

          fall peeling from their frames

              like last year’s autumn leaves

 

 ~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti, born on this day in 1919

 

"Dancer with a Hoop" by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)

“Dancer with a Hoop” by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931)

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,

Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,

Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between

Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

 

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze

Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,

Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

 

And I, what fountain of fire am I among

This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed

About like a shadow buffeted in the throng

Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

 

                                                              ~ D. H. Lawrence

 

“Spring in Gościeradz” by Leon Wyczółkowski, 1933

“Spring in Gościeradz” by Leon Wyczółkowski, 1933

Touch of Spring

Thin wind winds off the water,

earth lies locked in dead snow,

but sun slants in under the yew hedge,

and the ground there is bare,

with some green blades there,

and my cat knows…

 

From “Touch of Spring” by John Updike, born on this day in 1932

 

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The 9th Annual Literary Orange is Saturday, April 11, at the Irvine Marriott.  This year’s premier celebration of authors, readers, and libraries features keynote speakers Anne Perry and Emily St. John Mandel.  The goal of Literary Orange is to foster an appreciation of reading and literature by connecting approximately 500 writers, agents, and readers for an informative and inspiring day of panel discussions, guest author presentations, and book signings.

The author lineup for this event includes Stuart Gibbs, Bruce Hale, Janelle Brown, Suzanne Greenberg, David Gilbert, Aline Ohanesian, Alex Tizon, Paul Seydor, Suzanne Redfearn, Leigh Ann Henion, and many others.  Panel discussions on the business of writing and nearly every literary genre will be held throughout the day, including fiction, nonfiction, memoir, mystery, romance, and young adult.

For more information and to register, visit the website at https://literaryorange.org.

See you there!

 

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March

Sky a shook poncho.

Roof wrung.  Mind a luna moth

Caught in a banjo.

 

This weather’s witty

Peek-a-boo.  A study in

Insincerity.

 

Blues!  Blooms!  The yodel

Of the chimney in night wind.

That flat daffodil.

 

With absurd hauteur

New tulips dab their shadows

In water-mutter.

 

Boys are such oxen.

Girls! – sepal-shudder, shadow-

Waver.  Equinox.

 

Plums on the Quad did

Blossom all at once, taking

Down the power grid.

 

~ Richard Kenney

 

Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh

In Time

As far as clocks – and it is time to think of them –

I have one on my kitchen shelf and it is

flat, with a machine-made flair, a perfect

machine from 1948, at the latest,

and made of shining plastic with the numbers

sharp and clear and slightly magnified in

that heartbreaking post-war style, the cord

too short, though what does it matter, since the mechanism

is broken and it sits unplugged alongside a

cheap ceramic rooster, his head insanely

small and yet his tiny brain alert for

he is the one who will crow and not that broken

buzzing relic, though time is different now

and dawn is different too, you were up all night

and it is dark when he crows and you are waiting

to see what direction you should face and if

you were born in time or was it wasted and what

the day looks like and is the rooster loyal.

 

                                                           ~ Gerald Stern

 

Posted in anticipation of Daylight Saving Time and long, sunlit evenings.

 

Spencer Gore

Spencer Gore

It’s a motley lot.  A few still stand

at attention like sentries at the ends

of their driveways, but more lean

askance as if they’d just received a blow

to the head, and in fact they’ve received

many, all winter, from jets of wet snow

shooting off the curved, tapered blade

of the plow.  Some look wobbly, cocked

at oddball angles or slumping forlornly

on precariously listing posts.  One box

bows steeply forward, as if in disgrace, its door

lolling sideways, unhinged.  Others are dented,

battered, streaked with rust, bandaged in duct tape,

crisscrossed with clothesline or bungee cords.

A few lie abashed in remnants of the very snow

that knocked them from their perches.

Another is wedged in the crook of a tree

like a birdhouse, its post shattered nearby.

I almost feel sorry for them, worn out

by the long winter, off-kilter, not knowing

what hit them, trying to hold themselves

together, as they wait for news from spring.

 

                                       ~ Jeffrey Harrison

 

Scottius 11

Scottius 11

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