Poetry at the Post: More Cats! And Expanding My Weekly Journal

Cat, Failing
BY ROBIN ROBERTSON
A figment, a thumbed
maquette of a cat, some
ditched plaything, something
brought in from outside:
his white fur stiff and grey,
coming apart at the seams

photo by Alice-Catherine Jennings cat courtesy  of a friend
photo by Alice-Catherine Jennings
cat courtesy of a friend

I’m still writing cat, cat, cat…but I’m getting better. I’m now reading poems about cats.

Weekly Journal by Alice-Catherine Jennings

Stephen Sondheim “tells young writers even if they scribble nothing more than “cat” 60 times in a row, that’s better than writing nothing.” (The Wall Street Journal, “Staring Into Darkness, in Search of a Rhyme,” October 30, 2010)

Saturday: cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat ,cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat,cat, cat, cat.

Sunday: dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog, dog.

Monday: fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist, fist.

Tuesday: cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat ,cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat, cat ,cat.

Wednesday: splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat, splat,

Thursday: bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.

Friday: rest. rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest. rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest. rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest. rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest.

Saturday: cat white, cat grey, cat white, cat grey, cat white, cat grey, ….

#mylifeisabestiary

And with that
loss of face
his face, I see,
has turned human.

In 2011, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robin on Marfa Public Radio. You can listen to it here. 

Poetry at the Post: The Tay Bridge Disaster by William McGonagall

The Tay Bridge Disaster
BY KNIGHT OF THE WHITE ELEPHANT OF BURMAH WILLIAM MCGONAGALL
1825–1902

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

Fallen girders, Tay Bridge Scotland
Fallen girders, Tay Bridge
Scotland

NaPoWriMo Day 28: Write a poem about bridges. I was just about to say “I don’t do bridges” but you know what? Yesterday I reviewed the proof of a poem of mine that is forthcoming in the Poet’s Republic in Aberdeen, Scotland—and it actually has a bridge in it. Here’s a preview. I’ll post the link once it is published

.
“Only to the bridge!” cried the adults.

“No further than the bridge.”

William_McGonagall

William McGonagall has the unfortunate reputation of being called the worst poet in the history of the English language. Well, I find that a bit of a stretch. You can read more here about the Knight of the White Elephant Burmah.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,

Poetry at the Post: Opera in Oaxaca with Phillip Gross

Opera Bouffe
BY PHILIP GROSS

The count of cappuccino,
the marquise of meringue,
all the little cantuccini…
and what was the song they sang?

 

Teatro Macedonia Alcala Oaxaca, Mexico March 2015
Teatro Macedonia Alcala
Oaxaca, Mexico
March 2015

The warmth and sun of Oaxaca contrasted with the medieval Scottish highlands of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago transmitted live last Saturday in Mexico—as well as in more than 70 countries worldwide—thanks to the New York Metropolitan Opera’s simulcast program.

Running a bit late, I rushed up the white marble staircase of  the lovely Teatro Macedonia Alcala — a theater built at the turn of the 19th century in the style of Louis XV. I took my seat on the right, aisle E.  Michele Mariotti lifts his baton, the aria begins….

The story is simple: three men in love with Elena, a young woman whose wishes are at cross purpose to her father’s political ambitions. He chooses one man; she wants another. And, oh yes—there’s special ring, a king and a very happy ending. I loved it!

“Tanti affetti”—the final showpiece aria sung by the marvelous Joyce DiDonato—had me humming and joyful on my walk up Calle Alcala to my minimalist apartment uptown.

As it was Saturday, it was wedding day and just as I passed by Santo Domingo, a bride and groom were exiting the church.
 

Marmota  Santo Domingo  Oaxaca, Mexico March 14, 2015
Marmota
Santo Domingo
Oaxaca, Mexico
March 14, 2015

I stopped and prayed for Jimena and Claudio…may this day not be the end but a beginning of a journey through life with love.  Meanwhile, poor Elena is doomed to the nightly repetition of her angst over three men never to be released into the real world after the final aria at Stirlng Castle..

We’ll slip away together,
perfect ghosts of appetite,
the balancing of ash on fire
and whim—the mating flight