Monday, April 30, 2012


Why Jonathan Franzen?

Well, in my case, serendipity, size, slip-cover art, etc.

Months ago: I found two hardbound copies of FREEDOM: A Novel (Farrar, Straus Giroux, NYC. 2010) donated to the Santa Clara Senior Center, & its cover so intrigued me that I took both home. It’s that (Minnesota) lake; blue-jay on the cover;  heft (562pp), that make me wonder if he’s got something going inside. Well, he has, but for me it drags; I’ve lost interest at various points; just put it aside, notifying others on The Well  in the Books Franzen discussion group that I have. None of them have commented on that (yet.) 

Today: I’m reading "Voice of Moderation" a review by Craig Fehrman in the Sunday 30 APR 12 SF Chron. that begins: “Jonathan Franzen’s novels keep getting bigger and bigger. In 2010, FREEDOM did it again, - and added a TIME cover for its author and a thumbs-up from the president."Exactly my point. Such is the mainstream literary company I appear to be keeping at the moment. A BIG read by BIG names. Maybe a beach-book once it’s in a BIG paperback 

Inside: there’s the story of two friends, musicians, one of whom seems to be a take on Bob Dylan from Hibbing MN, who both sleep with Patty (originally from L.I.) the dominant figure of the book (so far.) Again, I’ve stalled out - this time at p.114 of 562). Somebody I tried to gave a copy to told me that a professor of his sees it as the current HOW WE LIVE NOW of Anthony Trollope. Now that’s a thot. In [flashback:] Gerald Warner Brace’s MFA Fiction class at B.U. (1968)  we were amazed that we found Trollope much more enjoyable reading than Joseph Conrad. Note: Franzen was a buddy of David Foster Wallace R.I.P.). Neither's enjoyable reading for me. Yet I slog on…


“I may look thin, but I’m 
so, so thick,” quips Mitt,
“Thick against socialism
which Obama espouses.”
He waits for the cheers
from the invited crowd
to abate. “I don’t care if
I left it behind years ago
in Massachusetts; 2012
calls for the dismantling
of Socialism-care. Obama
thinks he’s got you fooled!
But he can’t pull black wool
over your heads. White wool
is what I’m all about! White!”
Romney looks & talks thinly,
spinning smartly in a white suit
blinding us all in the sunlight.

30 APR 12 (Santa Clara CA);
03 MAY 12 on The New Verse News 

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Will the Silicon Valley poets

of the distant future speak

of the fruits that grew, grow

here: apricots, grapefruit, lemons,

nectarines, oranges, peaches?

Or will commerce envelop

them in entrepreneurism,

as technical adventures

thrill their stirring minds?

Will this poem be techno-

retrograde, or reactionary?

Will they mention my wife

Carolin’s ashes in the garden

of St. Mark’s, Santa Clara?

 (21 APR 12, Santa Clara CA)v3

asleep somewhere 
under a blanket of leaves
but not forgotten

© 2012 Sandy Vrooman

Stirring the earth,

deep in her sunny plot, until

apricots, grapefruit, lemons,

nectarines, oranges, peaches

bloom & burst with new Word,

new fruit, delicate, divine.

- Julia Ball

(23 APR 12 Palo Alto CA)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012



In the cold back room
golders stack gold coins;
coincidentally as they’re
increasing their wealth
increMentally, the world’s
wealth’s being tallied,
told out metallically.

Specie still speaks loudly
in gold bars stacked up
to lie in cold rooms, but
the world’s money moves
digitally over copper wires,
in satellite-signal pulses.

Old golders feel oblivious
to this until they cash out
in curious tesselated codes.
Tax-time translates them all.

(17 APR 12, Santa Clara CA)v2
 18 APR 12, The New Verse News

Saturday, April 14, 2012



Breathing deeply,

you gradually realize

the God you need is determined

by the breath you breathe. Yoga

builds an expanding expectation:


Where you are is where you are;

where you will be will be where

you will be when you’re there. Why

doubt it? You’re in forward motion.

You will be with & that God when

You arrive at that Godly destination.

(14 APR 12, Santa Clara CA)v1

I like this one, dad. I wrote it in response to yours.

The Goddess you need,
is right here.
You are just ignoring Her.
Breathing helps,
to slow the mind down,
till you can be in her presence,
and stop worrying.
Where you are,
is where you are,
in-terms of this ability,
to know the truth,
of Her immanence.
We are always with Her.
We are all her.
We are all one.
We all breathe as one,
through the many outposts,
of Her consciousness.
There is no where to go.
She is already here.
Welcome home.

(19 APR 12, Putney VT)

-Maya Costley

Sunday, April 8, 2012



For Alex

Wondering if my children
still remember how we
pierced the shells & blew
albumen.& yolks out, boiling
the empty eggs in a year’s
saved onion-skins, hanging
empty eggs from golden threads
tied to a dry tree branch, on
Easter Day, I called my son
who quickly said: “Oh sure,
I remember doing that!”

(Easter Day, 8 APR 2012}v3
Santa Clara CA


From Maya
"I remember learning how
to blow the white & yolk
out of a hole made with
a straight pin, & being
amazed that the yolk
would slide through it!
I also remember that we
used onion skins to dye it
because I had a collection
of activity cards that mom
gave us of home science
experiments & projects,
& in the craft section they
had a card for how to
naturally dye Easter eggs.
So I wanted to try it. I am
also vaguely remembering
hanging them from a bush,
or maybe it was a tree, outside
the house at 22 Loveland Rd."

(8 APR 2012, Putney VT.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sleeping comfortably.

in 2 orange T-shirts,
on 2 white sheets:
on 2 pink pillows

under a rosy quilt
in early Spring.

(03 APR 12 Santa Clara CA)v8

Monday, April 2, 2012


Smoker: I can roll&smoke this lousy Obamacare law if I want tah.

Anti-smoker: But smoking is bad for U!

Smoker: I can roll & smoke the [{Constitition}] if I want tah, too.

Anti-smoker: Yes, you can, but it's bad for U too..

Smoker: The [{Constitution}] is never bad for me, no way, no howl! (Lights up a tea-packed Constitutional stogie...)

(02 APR 12, Santa Clara CA)

Sunday, April 1, 2012


my Poetry Month
beginneth with:
my desper@th hopeth

(01 APR 12, Santa Clara CA)v4