Last night I dreamt that I walked into my local Barnes Noble bookstore just as the local bus pulled up displaying&announcing my name as its destination.
Later...I thot of how B&N (who I worked for ~10 yrs in Wellesley & Boston MA) could turn that into an easy local-author PR program in which local authors would be highlighted the moment they stepped into the local store by a visible/audible display that announces "[Author Name]IS IN the store!" (Trip it off by zipcoded RFID.) Concept: Like us, authors buy books at their local B&N. (By pre-arrangement, of course.) Make their in-store presence easy for them & buzzy for locals who will remember & e-mail about it after...
OT-biblical dynamic images - a ladder descending, a tower ascending - assume a Heaven 'up there' but what if what-if is here & now? (i.e.) Jiddu Krishnamurti told us to learn to accept that It doesn't get any better
than This. I'd rather a ground-level
horizontal common-good, not an unnecessarily-vertical one.With a lot
of unoccupied planet to fill; people being born every minute
to fill it, wise-up, humans! This it IT! Make the most of it!
Judy Katz-Levine WHEN PERFORMERS SWIM,
THE DICE ARE CAST (ahadada books, tokyo/toronto; 3158
Bentworth Drive, Burlington Ontario Canada, LM& 1M2, 2009) ISBN
978-0-9811704-3-5; 150mm x 5 7/8” X 210mm, 8 ¼”) cover photo:
Joe Zanghi [no price]
been a few years since I read & reviewed a chapbook of Judy's.
Back then I lived in Wellesley Sq. MA & carolin combs my spouse
(d. 26 JAN 07) was alive. I've changed. My impression is that Judy
has, too; but she doesn't think so, so my old reviewing style: quote
one whole poem, make a few comments, let you readers do the rest,
seems inadequate, so let me start by saying there's a
of my fave words) to this chapbook that the one I reviewed before
lacked (or so I recall.) What's fibrous
about it? Complex density, mixing personal & surreal images; I
don't really know how to read surreal stuff, so I'll start with the
I GET BY (p.9)
I get by. When
having a glass of wine, I get stern. My
doctor says I
shouldn't drink at all. And what with all the
medicine I take,
sterner still. The drummer was playing a
fast marimba beat
to a slow sad ballad and I got off, got in
a good solo. (1)
So many yellow leaves, & the stars. I've
had a revelation.
Seaguls float. The sax (2) was smooth,
from his days on
the road. That was at the party. The
drummer, a woman,
said “sometimes you just have to
money-maker (3)”and did a little shimmy behind
her drums and
grinned. I loosened up. Laughed.
(1) Judy's a jazz flutist. (2) Her husband's a saxophonist. (3) aka: booty.
it? You may think you
have, but now watch: just turn the pg:
swim, the dice are cast. Sounds like a piano
echo of the voice of a clown across the sea.
laugh, the trees whistle as if hearing.
jugglers on sand
tango, stages turn into bridges, an aster in
a garden blooms.
teach, a taught drum vibrates, a Native
holds its breath, then come the long notes
die, the oceans leap up as keen as seals
emerge and fly.
for a fibrous
mix, turn to the next pg. (11)
I lose my place
playing flute in the samba. The trees
quiver in brief
wind. A hot wind. Rain. When looking out
The window sable
scarves. Losing one's place is like
falling. The pianist grins. We go on to another
and I redeem myself.
Day of gifts like
blue hydrangea. I remember a
loved to fix watches – the gears in the
jars. You empty a
jar of screws you use to fix your sax
Enlightened look on your face as you
barely noticing my presence, my ego lit up by
a new book.
listening, we sleep. I dream of my mother,
having a party.
For this one she has two plump helpers.
They are my
brothers. She takes a photo of them
but refuses to take one of me. Then she
teasing me this way, and snaps.
do you get it? How about this? Jump to p13:
GARMENT THAT LEADS TO A PERSON
One person leads
to another and to another
Stressed as a
mime, playing drums and flute
in the square, I
in a red-striped jersey and jeans – beret -
when he came,
holding flowers, also dressed
as a mime, in
white face, when strangers were passing.
And the sun gave
us a strange light
like the light in
a clearing in
Jersey,where sassafras undergrowth exists
and I thought of
him there when we were kids -
But the white
glare of the sun
now as I awaken 15
reminds me of a
man in shredded garments
so long ago, eyes black, black hair
coming up from a
shaved head like grass
standing in the
before he fell
assume you're getting it by now? (Even I am.) btw, both of her
grandfathers (one tinkered with watches), died of heart-attacks. Her
career as a jazz flautist continues.
us to this fibrous coda on p22:
trees with leave
like the hands of prodigies.
a boat still in
twilight, in the neighbor's driveway.
a son about to
lilac with 9
its scales, ready to play Monk's
“Ruby My Dear”.
can't control their thirst for knowledge.
can't fit in, and talk strange languages.
prodigies who wait
for the morning”s river.
being 4 years old
that time of glistening forsythia.
being 4 years old
that time of grandpa's lap and the watch he fixed
just before he
never came back.
being 4 years old
and speaking perfectly.
its scales like burning lilacs, ready to play
“The Night Has A
twittering its soprano notes as dusk flies in.
a boat in
dry-dock but someday it will float.
a boat in dry-dock by the
house catching last light.
a boat not quite
ready, but we are patiently waiting for that day.
JUST how she can sum-up & sur-pass herself...
be back with more of her poems & my linkages.)
[BC: 20 JUL 13,
Valley Village 4-4D, Santa Clara CA]
to a baptism, to your child's first grammar-school play, to a first holy communion, to a confirmation, to a wedding, to your ex-wife's next wedding, to your last day on the job, because chances are high that you'll soon regret it & so will everybody else; so just don't bring a gun.