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Month: May, 2016

a coronation anthem – Handel‏

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                      “the Battle of Hastings” –  the Bayeux Tapestry 

                                       ______________________ 

among the ruling entities in our, indeed,
global history, none apart from the Catholic
Church has lasted so long as the English
monarchy, not even the Roman Empire, 
from Julius Caesar in 48 BCE, the year he 
took power, called himself emperor, until
Charlemagne, King of the Franks, who on 
the highly political date of December 25, 
800 CE, and at St Peter’s very Basilica in 
Rome, wrenched power from Leo lllthen 
Pope, and claimed the title of Holy Roman 
Emperor, Protector, thus, of the Church, 
changing thereby the face of Europe, and
burying forever Ancient Rome’s aegis
yes, aegis, protectorate
 
in 1066, once again on the propitious, 
apparently, date of Christmas Day, 
William the Conqueror, after his Norman 
Conquest, and the Battle of Hastings
proclaimed himself first king of England
in London
 
we count from there to Queen Elizabeth ll,
still monarch after all these years
 
here’s a pictorial rundown to the tune of 
England’s musical specialty, the ceremonial, 
one of Handel‘s Coronation Anthems 
commissioned for George ll by his dad, 
George l, for his 1727 coronation, though 
not, this time, on Christmas Day, sung at 
coronations apparently ever since
 
the Priest after the mystic who anointed 
 
long live the Queen, I guess
 
 
Richard
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“The Condolence Call” – Marsha Barber‏

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                The Princes in the Tower
 
                       John Everett Millais
 

                          _______________

when you’ve known this, or know 
someone who’s known this, this
poem will be profoundly affecting
 
 
Richard
 
             ______________
 
 
The Condolence Call
 
       I cradle the phone gently.
       You are so far away.
 
       Your grief surrounds you now
       like a moat full of dark water.
 
       I cannot reach
       far enough to comfort you.
 
       My words flit around useless
                                          as flies.
       What, after all, can be said?
 
       It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, you say.
 
       I imagine I would have howled.
       I imagine I would have rolled on the floor.
       But in the end, I cannot begin to imagine.
 
       I’ll be okay, you say,
 
       but your voice is so remote,
       as if you’ve left us all
       behind,
       for a bleaker planet
 
       where the air is charred,
       and you cannot find the path
       that leads
       back home.*
 
                                   Marsha Barber
 
 
* once there was a way to get back 
   homewards …
   
   and in the end, the love you take 
   is equal to the love you make

Concierto de Aranjuez – Joaquín Rodrigo (Cañizares)‏

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                                                  El Jaleo (1882) 

                                             John Singer Sargent

                                                   __________

 

not much is heard from Spain during
Western music’s Golden Ages, Baroque,
Classical, Romantic, Impressionist,
now even Pop’s, Rock’s, Punk’s, 
Rap’s,
Post-, in all their incarnations, Modern’s 

nor of Art, for that matter, where most 
of its bright lights seem to have fled 
to Paris for its freedom and inspiration
 
and where other nationalities, rather, 
sang or painted their praises more 
successfully – think of “Carmen”, for 
instance, of France’s Georges Bizet,
or, of course, Picasso
 
 
but listen to this wonderful concerto
Aranjuezwhich nearly single-handedly
should allow compatriots to claim their 
place among the very cherished elite
 
like Grieg did for Finland, for Poland, 
Chopin, for instance, who also, 
incidentally, found his fame in Paris, 
perhaps because France had only 
recently then become republic, if 
you’ll remember, maybe
 
 
the Concierto de Aranjuez is for guitar
and orchestra, an unlikely, though not
at all unwelcome, prime position among
a swell of other musicians, especially 
after listening to bassoons, for example,
take in front of them centre stage 
 
Cañizares, a flamenco guitarist of 
extraordinary gifts, deft fingers flying,  
fashioning frets into filigree, latticework,  
lacework, of irresistible artistry, does the   
coveted honours, along with an impeccable 
Simon Rattle wielding brilliant baton, 
while the Berliner Philharmonikerhowever 
improbably, make up the rest of this dream 
combination
 
this is one you won’t want to miss, I utterly,
and unreservedly, promise
 
enjoy it
 
 
Richard
 
psst: remarkably, Rodrigo, blind from the 
         age of three, having lost his sight to 
         diphtheria, wrote all of his music in 
         Braille, for it to be transcribed later
 
          to the question, how would you like 
          to die – he lived to be ninety-seven –  
          he answered, I think, cleverly, and 
          delightfully enigmatically, under no 
          circumstances

 

“Head Shot” – C. Wade Bentley‏

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                                       Spring, 2016” – The Maynard
 
                                                          Link Nicoll
 
                                                    ________________   
 
 
The Maynard is a collection of poems, 
Canadian, I think, culled from a flurry 
of submissions, then published 
quarterly, I think
 
on the strength of this last issue, plus
the previous one, I’ve gleaned only this 
much for having been more interested
in the poems themselves than in their 
provenance
 
I’ve long gone into museums and taken 
out one work, my favourite, as a way of
focusing my attention, the work I choose 
must be considered, by definition, against
the other, often comparable, works which
compel me, I come out having seen them 
all
 
this quarter, Spring, 2016“, is the one 
I take home, where I’m already finding 
a special place for it in my mind
 
   
      My friend who is Hindu refuses 
      to take a shower, in deference  
      to the millions of bacteria 
      he would dislodge, or to move 
      from the couch to the carpet 
      where he might crush unknown 
      numbers of pyroglyphids. I say 

      he’s a lazy son of a bitch.

      Speaking of which, I hear my ex-    
wife now teaches Goddess
      classes. On our last vacation together
      she was reading the complete
      The Secret series as we sat in our beach
      chairs, me using Corona bottles
      to fry sand flies while noticing out
      the corner of my eye how
      she seemed to be intently wishing

      something in my direction.

      I meet my therapist weekly
at the gun club and he tells me
      not to dismiss so easily the ways
      others choose to find meaning,
      and also to breathe out through
      my nose, to picture the smoke
      of the Marlboro reds he made me
      quit smoking curling from my
      nostrils, hanging in the air
      along with the anxieties that had also
      lodged deeply in my chest,
      to squeeze the trigger only
      as the last one leaves, to let
      the 9-millimeter projectile fly where
      it is meant to fly, obliterating
      whichever part of the cardboard
      human target currently hosts
      my deepest dysphoria—the meaning
      and etiology of which, so he says,
      can only then be made clear.
 
                                C. Wade Bentley
 
Richard


“So You Want To Be A Writer” – Charles Bukowski‏

Charles-Bukowski-quotes

                                                                      ___________
 
 
reading this poem for me was like 
looking into a mirror
 
 

 
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

                   Charles Bukowski

dinner out – Francesco’s Ristorante

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                              Kent Bellows
 
                                  _______
 
 
my mom and I discovered a new 
restaurant, an old institution, in fact,
Francesco’s, opened in 1975
 
it was superb 
 
after our having been seated 
perfectly in an airy room, with 
windows all around looking onto 
an adjacent courtyard and the 
street, Grant introduced himself 
as our waiter, we tendered our 
names back, he was about 50, 
just my type
 
he was jaunty, full of good cheer, 
and was, despite a rapid fire 
delivery, utterly helpful
 
the bread came, hot, with a saucer
of butter in oil
 
I’d come back here just for the bread,
my mom said, I never have bread, but 
the prognostications were good 
 
my beef carpaccio, clung to my fork
like love, the thinnest slices dipped
in a caper and truffle oil vinaigrette,
with shaved Parmesan and an 
asparagus spear proud as a ***mas
nutcracker, and a mustard coulis
like hieroglyphs illuminating the 
artful concoction, went down like 
honey
 
I’m going to have dessert, I said, on 
the strength of just that appetizer,
she would too, she countered
 
my mom had the lobster bisque,
which despite her enjoying it she 
put aside to make room for her 
pesto pasta, she said, and which I 
refrained from finishing for her to 
leave room for my own main plate
 
rather than my usual pasta, I went 
for the veal piccata, this time, meat 
that brings back Vienna and Austrian 
fine dining, that’s what I’m having next 
time, my mom said, maybe I will again 
too, I thought, though her pasta looked 
delicious, the rest of which she took 
home in a designer doggie bag they 
send you home with, another touch 
of class, so she could enjoy it later 
 
for dessert I had crème brûlée, she 
had cheesecake, I also had three
limoncellos
 
by that time I can’t remember if she 
had coffee or not, I paid, I however
remember, it was Mother’s Day, and
every penny was entirely worth it
 
to excess, I toasted, and mothers
 
 
Richard