samedi 8 octobre 2016

The Hug

There's something in a hug that's my milder than the trail of a slug 
For some it's a ferocious tug For others it's like being rolled up in a rug
But at the recent opening of the African Museum of History and
Culture in Washington DC
Michele Obama hugged former president 
George Bush 
Bush was leaning back with a vulnerable and
Almost child-like expression on his face
From the side and behind 
Wraps her long arms around the president 
Making him slightly teeter
Yet wearing a smile of love

It is a startling image
Charged with humanity and grace
The hands show the tenderness of 
Rembrant's Jewish Bride

Painted 400 years ago
Yet still bearing an afterglow.

dimanche 18 septembre 2016

Demi-sel 2016

I pulled my caddy out from a Saturday morning shopping spree
Where I shaved off precious minutes by using the 
MFC (or "Most full cart") method
An algorithm developed by MIT scientists that
Proves if you are
Intent on getting on the shortest line then you 
-go to the left
-avoid male cashiers
-seek the fullest cart
Feeling light-headed.

Compliant, aligned and conformed to this scheme
I should have been seemingly satisfied to pay
To be asked to present my card
So that in a flash I could be on my way
Like a bat out of hell except for my
That fell
Onto a bar of butter, more rectangular than stick-like
Having been scanned with a single "beep"
(post-beeped, post-scanned)
The letters "demi-sel" proudly printed on its side.

Bien sûr this is all happening in
Where demi-sel is salted or lightly salted butter

I confess I have skirted this product for years and years
Friends and family have tried to get me to let go and
Ride this senseless aversion head on

My nephew thought he had it when he showed me how in
Minecraft a character jetsons hundreds of bars of butter into

A swimming pool
Thinking that I would have me
Burning in virtual empathy!

Then my doctor told me about the micro
Flora rich fat soluble properties that 
Peppered with a touch of salt
Can lower your adrenaline spikes while
Supporting thyroid and extracellular fluids.

All this I barred out
Crossed out in my mind like the words in
Jean Michel Basquit's paintings
Words that appear to reappear just because 
They have a line through them.

But the main story here is the salted bar of butter
Not the Zika spraying of Naled in the wee hours of Miami
Not the alarming rise of homicides in Chicago
Not the fact that most para-olympic athletes 
Despise the word "inspiration"

I cried out staring at the butter that I ended up paying for (because
Somebody, unbeknownstly chucked it in my cart)
Yet with my poor pronunciation the cashier understood
"Deux mille seize" (2016)
And the person behind me understood 
"Deux mille seize"
So from all directions I was looked at with stupefaction and a drop of
As they thought how this displaced shopper wearing
Shorts and shoes with no socks on a cold, rainy day
Could make a striking statement that the salted
"Demi-sel" butter was 
A cru of deux mille seize.

dimanche 11 septembre 2016

Why puzzle?

If you were living in the Sumarian city of Uruk

3400 BC

You might have been an artisan or a slave with

The chore to tessellate the floors, the walls, the ceilings

Tiling was what it was all about

-Mosaics were already as popular as trout

Whether it was polygonal semi-iregular

Or just some hyperbolic geometry

It needed to be done.

This act of reproducing patterns came well before

copy and pasting

And whether it was an act of addiction or

A way to find inner peace 

A Spock would say "fascinating" with 

One eyebrow raised.

 A few thousand years later the jigsaw puzzle is invented

A challenging learning device to learn maps, geography and history 

And ever since puzzles have run away!

Today, puzzlephiles abound, spending hours, days on 2, 3 5000 

piece puzzles that need to be assembled, then dissembled.

And if you're a puzzle fiend then

You've got a puzzle language to go:

"I need a top negative green piece with a heavy grain of pasture divided by a horizontal line showing the head of a sheep but only with one eye and a lower positive round but fat round shape."


"this piece that fits into the water around Venice has to have an elongated top with a light green hue with downward jagged movements that are seemingly similar to another 300 pieces that make up the water..."

Fortunately you don't have to be a Galieo, a Marie Curie, a Decartes or a Freud 

To puzzle

And if you dream you are 

Tripping over gondolas, cows or the nose of La Gioconda

Then your life is a wandering puzzle log

Looking to fit from the inside to the outside.

lundi 15 août 2016

Michalangelo and hangers

If you fold your shirts 
Read no further for these lines are
For those who hang
Like to hang
Or would like to hang more.

Not all hanging is the same: 
We are familiar with the terry cloth towel that hangs from a hook
The hanging when you hang out or  just
Hanging in the air before the B-Ball goes Swish

But for the real hard core hangers we are talking about wire, wood, plastic contraptions that
Hang our clothes, day in, day out
Using imitation, restless and straight shoulders

These hangers hang and have been hanging over centuries

(Copy of petrified hangers found in Lascaux, circa l7,300 BC)

Whether be it the leather loincloth or a frilly blouse 
Every hanger has its purpose and no two are alike.

The light twisted wire
The imposing wood
The puffy soft cloth
And the imposing clamps for pants or skirts
Provide a tolless testament to Time and Service

Yet hangers can be polymorphous:
In the news we heard 
Of a jet crashing into a hangar!

And in Mommie Dearest a hanger is an icon of female abuse and self-abuse

When it comes to hangers there are many stories and mysteries
One of the greatest being Michelangelo's David 
Who was commissioned at the age of 26 to carve out
A monumental block releasing what has become one of the most
Famous sculptures of all time.

Michalangelo originally had hung a pleated toga on his personal marble  hanger 

But the light fabric is told to have excited the model during long poses
Erecting his penis beyond human proportions 
This angered the artist and he decided to wisk it away leaving
David as nude as a baby

A true masterpiece even though some critics may say he is "not well hung."

------- - --------

dimanche 3 juillet 2016

Soapless Cities

Just when you thought Jane Austin's Marianne Dashwood reflected the ultimate in unrequited love, in Soapless City, by Jamesola Langola, we witness Nigel, an ambitious dry cleaner in the south of London, who has fallen for Mary, a voluptuous marketing assistant at Clive Christian perfumes. With heart-rending tension from the families who oppose each other for political beliefs (Mary is out and Nigel in) this sexually charged novel is peppered by Brexit: with all european trade deals gone bonkers neither Nigel nor Mary (nor any Brit for the record) can wash themselves. Mary qualifies her fiancé as a "stinking mule" but she falls in her own trap because she starts to stink too. Can they both go on stinking and hating each other? Who can save this relationship? Questions and mysteries abound and the ice becomes constantly thinner between the protagonists as time goes on.

Yet somewhere in a dark basement in Sussex a certain Tony, a scientist with a big ambition and even a bigger mouth, is working frantically to produce a new soap. A soap that does all. A soap that washes all. A soap so powerful it calls itself "Powerbull". 

Still, will this soap get on the shelves of the Icelandic frozen food chain before Mary and Nigel separate? And what about the English national football team? What about it?
As Brexit turns London and other metropolises into "Soapless Cities" and tense battling fields, Mary and Nigel's egg-breaking relationship is just a detail like a painting of Bruegel's.

Langola's  writing courses like a river, sometimes black with mud, sludge and stains, sometimes bright with moon bleach. Danger of love is omnipresent, even after combat recedes; nature careless and the lack of soap is monumental. "This is the novel of the century" offering hallucinations caused by privation, be it physical detergent or hunger or erotic yearning of the soul they are unapologetically evoked in this masterpiece. Langola exploits Brexits aftershocks in the sumptuous futuristic dystopian novel that one loves as an allergy loves a sneeze. Not since Tale of Two Cities has literature reached such a level.

A Booker Prize runner up. The Gardian.

mercredi 25 mai 2016

lundi 16 mai 2016

The Ironing Party

I want to have an ironing party
All my friends will be invited to
Bring one shirt
No short sleeves

We shall compete in the basement around
My grandmother's ironing board
We shall use cotton and
Steam settings

No starch allowed if
You're under 18
Judges will award points for
Speed, creaselessness and eloquence
Ramming into a button and tearing it off
Is not acceptable but

A rhythmic song, an ode to 
Beautiful, pleated clothes
That complements the rising puffs of steam
May earn you a medal.

Like Magellum, a good ironer requires a brute sensibility to
Navigate over creases that ressemble a cotton moving glacier

One needs to predict how the textile landscape is going to


By intuiting how a crease behaves on the flip side of the
Breast pocket and 
Pulling with delicate fingers the fabric till it's taught

At my party 
You can iron if you're left or right handed
You can iron even if you forget those little
Plastic ice cream collar sticks
And you can iron if you have a muddled understanding of how
Heated polymers can allow a fabric
To take on a new shape to the benefit of all.

At my party just knowing the patent number of the
First electric flatiron iron
Made on June 6th, l882
(Patent number 259,054 -the 054 being the same last 3 digits of
My social security number)
May just be distracting trivia

But if you can spew out the settings for
Spandex (135 C)
Wool (l48 C) and
Linnen (230 to 240 C)
Refuse to wear Permanent Press articles then

You are welcome to my party anytime!