Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why read poetry?

"Poetry connects us with our deep roots, our evolution as an animal that evolved rhythmic language as a means of transmitting vital information across the generations. We need the comfort and stimulation that this vital part of us gets from the ancient art."--Robert Pinsky

We Real Cool

I love this ballad by Gwendolyn Brooks. It has a sad, sweet recklessness that grips me ever so often. I'm usually a sensible and measured sort right up until I'm not. There are days when I want to drive off the cliff that is the balance between emotion and intellect, just to see the crash.
I found this poem in a book called 'The Making of a Poem' -- a Norton anthology of poetic forms. It's a wonderful book for any aspiring poet because it explains the importance of form and illustrates with examples. For those of you who care, a ballad is apparently a short narrative usually arranged in four-line stanzas with a distinctive and memorable meter.

We Real Cool

We real cool.
 We Left school. 

We Lurk late. 
We Strike straight. 

We Sing sin. 
We Thin gin. 

We Jazz June. 
We Die soon. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The morning hours

Eugene said he couldn't afford the luxury of introspection yesterday. He had many things to do so he'll be here later in the week.
As for me, I woke up pretty early today and enjoyed the dark quietness till the cats decided to start pawing around and mewing like babies. I'm re-reading Slaughterhouse 5 and its a little scary that I remember nothing. I might as well be reading it for the first time. I love how it begins: "All this happened, more or less. The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true. One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn't his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war. And so on. I've changed all the names."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Please press the button for the desired floor

This little circle of light on number one makes me very happy on Fridays. Reportergirl has left the building.
I worked hard this week and pretty well I thought. Found a new tasks bar on gmail which is so handy for keeping track of things I have to do...Oh the joy when I struck off the last task on the list! I'm looking forward to a peaceful weekend

Monday, July 13, 2009

Good hare day

By Eugene Tong

In the hills above my home a family of wild hare reside.

This family, consisting of several large, well-fed grown-up hares and three little ones of various ages, spend their springs and summers lounging on the lawn in the shade, munching on grass and shrubs.

In fact, hares big and small typically emerge about two hours before sunset -- I guess it's a bit too hot to be foraging when the sun's out at full force. It's the same time when I have my dinner. Of note are the little hares, who are never alone. Their elders are always nearby, keeping a look out for potential dangers while the little ones munch and munch. Much like mama hare here.

Here's a little one -- and they're real tiny compared to the well-fed grown-ups -- hiding here as a scary human with a camera approached. One of them even has a white tail -- which sets it apart from its black-tail siblings. The photo is a bit blurry. It was shot with my 300mm zoom lens without a tripod, and my hands weren't especially steady.

Here's bird. I don't know what kind. But it likes to hang out by the rose bushes.

Sunset Saturday.

A nice sunset, set to hip-hop music coming from my Indian neighbor's backyard.

Hares can sure get pretty fat on a vegetarian diet.

Hares like to keep clean too.

--Photos by Canon Rebel XS.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Be careful of words, even the miraculous ones...

I've been logging long, bleak hours at the 'puter. This morning, I'm like a bat out of hell starving and devouring words that hold feelings or dissect them or stick them up to the light to see if they change colour.

All week I have worked at words that hunker down into flat opaqueness.

So I did what I usually do and turned to Jeanette Winterson's collection of poems and was rewarded with Anne Sexton's brilliant poem on words. Sexton was a troubled woman by all accounts. She killed herself in her late 40s after having won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

This is a photograph of the luminous Ms Sexton whose words encapsulate everything -- from the trickery of words themselves to the seductions of suicide.

(Readers: Please don't worry. Reportergirl is not suicidal. She is possessed of an inherent silliness that cancels out any potential for self-harm or annihilation)


Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous ones we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be good as fingers.
They can be trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.

Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.

Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren't good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.

But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.

Monday, July 6, 2009


By Eugene Tong

I was driving home from a taqueria run when my thoughts turned to photos -- the photo album from 'Up'; that I should take more photos of myself with my first home before the sale closes; treasured photos from happier times I wished I had a copy of -- when my random-tracking car stereo tuned to the Cure's "Pictures of You."

A good friend once mentioned the best photos are in our minds. True -- it's always a pleasure when a pleasant image from the past long buried is dragged to the surface by string of thoughts, one after another in a train of thought that makes sense only to you. But it seems the older I get, the more difficult it is to remember. Memories I once vowed never to forget fade, or are at the very least buried by fresher, maybe equally eventful experiences.

That's why we have photos, without which we may lose sight of who we were in better times; indeed we could be once more.

(And believe me, all my yammering here does relate back to "UP" -- probably Pixar's best offering since, well, their last movie "Ratatouille." But let's stay spoiler-free for now...)

Instead, I offer this lyric from The Verve's Sonnet, perhaps my fav track from Urban Hymns:

My friend and me,
Looking through her red box of memories,
Faded I'm sure,
But love seems to stick in her veins you know...

More here

My Slow Morning

This morning was different,

the air sweet with fatigue, the water

defied laws of physics and stayed cool

under synthetic blue heat.

The molecules stole a few

quiet moments unto themselves.

The leaves still glowed

with last night's rain,

and what they made of it.

I crawled out of that hole

between dreams and awakening.

and broke into myself like a thief,

but left with nothing.

©Reportergirl 7.07.09