Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poets nform us

How we find a poet can matter as much as that we found them. I found Robinson Jeffers in no school curriculum or course reading list, just an old junkshop paperback; scandalous, blasphemous voluntary exile George Gordon, (Noel, 6th Baron Byron), dares us to read him wherever he is (most h.s. & college anthologies.) Later, when I had to read John Donne in college, I learned how to un/pack a poem's bit-stream. What's Heather McHugh nform us of? Ocean as bounding metaphor for our Existence. (So does Walt Whitman.) Poets nform us of poetic possibilities. (B!G, small, mundane, otherwise.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MAHLER'S 1st (etc.)

Yest., in S.F., Dr.Ginny & I saw MTT conduct Mahler's 1st (symphony) that freaked Weiners out in 1901. A contemporary review-cartoon in the program shows Mahler sweatily conducting above 2 dogs barking & beside a cannon firing. Presumably the usual Weiner concert fare had no Moravian birdsong or cannon effects. I said to a guy who'd sat below us in a temp. box P assignment (due to my R-knee) "Mahler showed the most the Austrians could muster then; in 15 yrs it wouldn't be enuf as the Serbs whipt them in WW1 w/Russian help (orthodox vs R.C.) He wondered: "Was Mahler (yet) a Christian then?"

MAHLER & RELIGION; Forced to Be Christian
Letter to the NYT; Sunday, August 22, 1999

A pronounced theme repeated from his early masterworks like the ''Songs of a Wayfarer'' and the Symphony No. 1 to the final ''Das Lied von der Erde'' -- the theme of homeless wandering -- is the earmark of the Diaspora Jews and the foundation for the modern Zionism of Mahler's great Viennese Jewish contemporary, Theodor Herzl. Mahler himself frequently compared himself to Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew, often tormented by his vision in terrifying nightmares. It is particularly poor salesmanship for Ms. Raabe to cite Mahler's supposed ''conversion'' from Judaism to Catholicism. In both law and common understanding, a choice made under duress is discounted as lacking in free will. Mahler converted as a mere formality under compulsion of a bigoted law that barred Jews from directorship of the Vienna Hofoper.Mahler himself joked about the conversion with his Jewish friends, and, no doubt, would view with bitter amusement the obtuseness of Ms. Raabe's understanding of the cruel choice forced on him: either convert to Christianity or forfeit the professional post for which you are supremely destined. When Mahler was asked why he never composed a Mass, he answered bluntly that he could never, with any degree of artistic or spiritual integrity, voice the Credo. He was a confirmed agnostic, a doubter and seeker, never a soul at rest or at peace.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Western rattlesnake encounter

While on the path that led to the parking lot
I stopped to look at the ground-squirrel nest:
6 newly born babies were moving about.

I heard a rattle,
looked down,
noticed a rattlesnake
crawling over my boots.

A ranger in back of me said:
"Stand still; let it go over your boots."
I did.

The snake's interest was in catching & eating
one or more of the baby ground-squirrels.

The mother ground-squirrel became aware of the snake.
She began kicking dirt to cover her babies;
she also kicked dirt at the snake.
The snake made one plunge,
missed, & crawled away...

- Ginny Zeitman
(Santa Clara CA)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Statuatorily Speaking

A weary, stony Abe Lincoln slumps as he reads a newspaper, slowly speaking over his shoulder towards the statue of Liberty.

Abe: “Libby, will you please wash those boys’ mouths out with some good American soap?”

Fatboys in shorts crowd around her, spewing truly deranged slogans:

Fatboys: “Don’t listen to Father Abe! - Obama's a Communist!, Obama's Hitler!”; “Gov’mint wants to kill the soldiers”; “Gov’mint wants to kill the old”; “Abortion leads to euthanasia.”

Liberty quickly fills an enormous tin-tub with boiling water, foaming up pink liquid soap. Raving Fatboys suddenly scatter fast.

(09 SEP 09, Santa Clara CA)v4

Friday, September 4, 2009

bell, ball, visual

the bell of a b@ll
rings true,

(02 SEP 09)


txtmsgn (cutn vwls) makes spoken slang seen slang = cn slng.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Unending Immigration


{For Dr. Worku Negash, VP}

A Pilipina visiting nurse interviews me
for intake to VNA treatment, pricks
her finger on a syringe I’d used & is
immediately sent off to Emergency
by her Chinese boss, who sends in a
Russian substitute who’d attended
Carolin over 3 yrs ago. Seeing my knee,
he asks who my orthopedic surgeon was?
I explain: “I picked him because his name
was like my mother’s, a Belarusian Pole;
he’s from Tadjikistan, but isn’t a Tadjik.”
He explains, “In Soviet Times they spread
people out.”...“But he really was born
in Tadjikistan…”(etc.) Wed.eves., an
Ethiopian local community college VP
teaches an adult-ed.class on immigration
to people from across the USA w/deep
European roots resunk here in Norcal: .
"Jeg svensk pojke" autopoints a 94yr old;
"Jeg svenska flicka" copoints a 90yr old.

(01 SEP 09, Santa Clara CA)v6

visiting nurses

I've had 2 Visiting Nurses today - Gaia Tan (orig. Phillipines) & Roman Braverman (orig. Moscow) but no Physical Therapist yet. Roman had come to see Carolin during her brief recovery period between her jaw operation & her radiation therapy; we recognized each other instantly. Drawing my blood was the expanding matter today, my back-of-hand veins being hard to stick, etc; Roman also drew a coumadin blood sample to (hopefully) spare my going in tomorrow to the hospital lab where I'm due. I also have an MRI appt. on Thurs at 1:15.