Friday, December 23, 2011

Basho on the end of the year

The moon and the snow,
I live and look at beauty,
The year is ending.

Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

Posted for the end of the year. Actually a translation from German, which itself, of course, was a translation.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A fairytale

Prince Pygmalian II, on a walk in the forest in the proximity of Castle Tsvitskenstein, could not believe his eyes – there was his beloved Cinderella, rendered immobile by a hideous red-bearded dwarf, who was fondling her to his heart's content with his callous and – most likely – smelly hands, all the while emitting lustful grunts.

Oh what to do to avoid equal immobility, restore Cinderella's mobility and seek retribution?
The prince, counting on dwarves' proverbial greed, thought of a plan that might possibly work.

"Pray, my dear fellow, I would reward you handsomely if you told me how to immobilize someone like this girl you have here," he said, stepping forward.

The dwarf was visibly annoyed but also instantly tempted.
"And what might such a handsome reward be, my dear prince?"
The dwarf had immediately made out that the prince was a prince by his princely garb, the politeness of his speech and a few other princely attributes.

"I have some gold coins with me," said Pygmalian II, "but can also offer you dollars or euros."

Like all princes, Pygmalian II always carried with him a sizeable number of gold ducats and bills in major currencies.

"No, gold is best. The other two have lost a lot of their market value lately."
"Will 15 ducats do?"
"Make it 25, and we are in business. My craft does not come cheaply."
"25 it shall be, then."
"I take cash."
"Of course."

The prince took out his heavy wallet, counted 25 gold pieces and handed them to the dwarf, who counted them scrupulously, which took a while and required some shuffling because he did it using the seven fingers of both hands.

"Shall we shake hands on the deal?" the prince said.
The dwarf proffered his hairy hand.
"But before we do, please tell me your name, my dear fellow. I always like to know who I do business with."

This request clearly did not please the dwarf.
"We normally do not disclose our names to your kind," he eventually replied, "but be it for business' sake. I am called Rumple, and I'm of the illustrious line of the Stiltskins."

The prince shook hands and immediately had to suppress an urge to wipe his hand.

"Now, dear Rumple Stiltskin, please reveal to me the immobilization magic."
"You say, 'Freeze, oh,' and then the name, all the while looking into the eyes of your victim, err beloved," the dwarf explained.

"Thank you, dear fellow. I shall practice this magic real soon. – How would you like to earn some more?"

Rumple licked his fat red lips.

"Wouldn't be adverse to it. Something to add to my stocking for retirement. What other magic is it you wish to know?"
"Well, it might come in handy once in a while to restore mobility to someone. You don't want to leave statues around all over the place."

"I'll take 30 for that one," the dwarf declared smugly.
"As you wish! I've never been known to be stingy."

Once again the prince took out his wallet, counted 30 gold pieces and gave them to the dwarf.
"Thank you, my prince."
"What are the words, then, dear Rumple?"
"They are, 'Unfreeze, oh,' followed by the name. But you have to stand behind the person when you say these words."
"And will they work on any moving creature, big and small?"
"Anything that is alive, guaranteed."

Looking into the dwarf's eyes, the prince said, "Freeze, oh Rumple Stiltskin!"

The dwarf froze instantly, the beginnings of outrage showing in his face.

Then the prince stepped behind Cinderella and spoke, "Unfreeze, oh Cinderella!"

Cinderella was released from immobility and gave the prince her best Hollywood kiss.

And if you take a walk in the forest near Castle Tsvitskenstein and come upon a garden dwarf, do not stand behind him and utter the words, "Unfreeze, oh Rumple Stiltskin!"

Because there is no guarantee that Rumple Stiltskin would react kindly upon his return to life.

As to Prince Pygmalian II and Cinderella, they lived happily ever after, doing whatever princes and princesses do best and gaining exposure through tabloids.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written for 3WW (immobile, proximity and retribution) and Sunday Scribblings (Fairytale).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So what fib no. 7

a hair-
cut this week-
end, played games and drank
beer with friends. So what, you say, that
hardly broke ground. Oh,
I forgot
to men-

– Leonard “In Crisis” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seeking refuge

Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo.
– José Martí
"So what's a wounded fawn doing in the forest, quoting poetry?"
I had to laugh at my friend Ramesh's deadpan understanding of things.
"The fawn's not quoting poetry. The fawn is wounded and seeking refuge in the forest."
"That sounds realistic enough. So where's the poetry connection?"
"José Martí says that his verse is a wounded fawn –"
"– seeking refuge in the forest. I get that all right, I'm not that dumb. I just fail to see the point."
"Come on, Ramesh, you just refuse to see it."
"Oh, I get his drift all right. Poetry is frail and all a-tremble in the forest, shaking with fear to be read by critical and analytical souls like me."
What could I say? I'd never be able to convince this agnostic, this nonbeliever in the frailty of poetry.
So I quoted more Spanish poetry at him:
La poesía es un arma cargada de futuro. *
That made him chuckle.
"This one I like a lot better," he said, "but that weapon charged with future is probably what wounded that frail fawn in the forest."

You just can't win against Ramesh in matters of poetry. Or Spanish language poetry, to be more precise.

– Leonard "Seeking Refuge in Poetry" Blumfeld (© 2011)

* Title of a poem by Gabriel Celaya.

Written in response to 'seeking' at One Single Impression.

The first quote may be familiar from the song Guantanamera, which is based on the poem by Cuban poet and national hero José Martí.
While the above dialog is entirely fictitious, my friend Ramesh does exist and, with his typical distrust of things not traceable by science, might have responded in this very manner.

Monday, November 21, 2011

From the office

Occasional mouse
clicks and the roll of traffic
outside. Steps going by.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2011)

A slightly overstuffed haiku. Oops! Somebody might die from that. But the truth and nothing but the truth.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

From Gertie Dreary's diary

I simply had to get to L.A. to see my auntie Nell as she was about to leave for Nepal. They did not renew her job with the UN. Being an attractive young girl, I drank lots of my favorite cherry liqueur to muster up the courage to hitch a ride in the deep dark night. Too late for buses. And no money for a taxi, not even to the nearest train station. Who knows how long the train would have taken anyway. Also, my experience with trains is limited and bad. However, all went well as I got a ride from an elderly gentleman in a vintage white car with white hair who reminded me of Kenny Rogers. He played country music and smoked cigars, but what do I care. Kept telling me about his five ex-wives and the twelve children he had with them, and the grandkids. Remarked with a smile on the cherry flavor I kept burping up. Told him about my nervousness and how I overcame it and how I was praising the Lord to have found such an excellent ride with such a lovely old man. He gave me a look then I thought was a little on the lecherous side, so I quickly changed the subject, asking about his current wife Louisy Ann, or how ever that's spelled. She's a sexy little fox, he said, and I'm looking forward to a lot of lovin' once I pick her up at L.A. International Airport. That made me burp some more, with a cherry flavor so strong I could smell it myself, and he kept his head turned towards me for a long time so I had to remind him to watch the road as everything was pitch black. But it all went OK as I wrote above and before any more cherry burps and lecherous looks could happen we were in my auntie's neighborhood, where he dropped me off, telling me on parting that there sure was going to be a lot of hot lovin' once he'd picked up Louisy Ann, that sexy little fox and sixth wife of his, at L.A. International Airport.

– Leonard "Speaking for Gertie" Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written using drank, hitch, muster from 3WW.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

You are here

Well, at least they took the precaution of carrying a torch!

Goes to show that not all "you are here" posts, even though they help locate you, are necessarily what you really want. Posted for Sunday Scribblings and You are here.

Leonard "Lost and Found" Blumfeld

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Atacama desert stone fib

there for
two million
years, rubbed smooth by earth-
quakes – clang of a thousand hammers.

– Leonard "Deserter" Bloomfeld (© 2011)

Scientists from the University of Arizona have discovered that earthquakes are the reason why the rocks in the Atacama desert in Chile are smooth even though there has been no water there for two million years. The Atacama is shaken by earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 or more every four months on average, so that the rocks have been subjected to an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 hours of polishing.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Proverbs from the Chinese VI

Never surrender or let any impact of fate deject you.

This Chinese proverb again happens to include the 3 words from 3WWeject, impact, render. Well, two of them only sort of. Pretty sound advice this time around, I'd say. Best fortune cookie quality.

Thank you, Andy Sewina, for your suggestion to complete the proverb. Now it reads like an Allen Ginsberg-style American Sentence indeed.

Dedicated to Sadhana, who has exactly this attitude.

– Leonard "Impacted Again" Blumfeld

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Proverbs from the Chinese V

Only those who are truly cherished can guarantee nausea.

– Leonard "Proverbially Yours" Blumfeld

The fifth proverb translated from the Chinese. It happens to hold the words cherish, guarantee and nausea from 3WW.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Proverbs from the Chinese IV

Observing the heart erodes,
observing from the heart does not.

Yet another Chinese proverb in English. A faithful translation, but again a wee bit enigmatic. But that's what Chinese proverbs are all about...

Contains the three words erode, heart and observe from 3WW.

– Leonard "Puzzled Again" Blumfeld

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the work front

Oh my, it's one of those days of doubt.
Is what I'm doing worth anything?
Apart from fogging up my brain.
Rubbish comes in, I process rubbish,
rubbish comes back, I deliver rubbish.
It's the life of a junkie.*

– Leonard "Exasperated" Blumfeld

*In the sense of one dealing with junk, i.e. a garbage man, with the difference that this garbage doesn't stink in the literal sense.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What else can fail

For S.

Got in the shower, no hot water.
The sky clouded over, I was in my office,
switched on the light. No light.
Decided I needed coffee,
but the machine did not work.
Went down to the garden in back –
all weeds. When had they sprung up?
A drive would cure this blues
for sure, I thought. But where
had I parked the car?
Now what else could go wrong?
It was then I realized that I was
writing this whatchamacallit, this
poem, and on the computer no less.
At least I was working
to some extent, and my fingers were,
and my electronic servant was.
And then a message arrived
from Rome and told me that my
lovely love was with me. So there!

– Leonard “Sunday On Strike” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Posted for One Single Impression and ‘weed.’

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Proverbs from the Chinese III

To drag a mumble out of a rock
is to penetrate great depths.

Whoever has ever tried and achieved this will know that great depths are reached that way. Conveniently, this translation from the Chinese again includes three words from 3WW: drag, mumble and penetrate.

– Leonard “Cookie of Fortune” Blumfeld

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Proverbs from the Chinese II

Mute not the viable gasp.

This translation of another Chinese proverb includes the words gasp, mute and viable from this week's Three Word Wednesday.

Once again, the meaning is not entirely clear. Does it imply, for example, that a non-viable gasp ought to be muted? What exactly makes a gasp viable?

– Leonard "Wisdom of China" Blumfeld

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Proverbs from the Chinese I

A glance without banter
speaks no fumble.

Reading the words banter, fumble and glance on 3WW reminded me of this English translation of an old Chinese proverb I may have come across in a fortune cookie.

As is the case with many other Chinese proverbs, the meaning of this one is rather enigmatic.

– Leonard "Proverbial" Blumfeld

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Nothing in a long time. 
Only living. No writing.

– Leonard “Has Been Living” Blumfeld

A truthful report. Hadn't written a thing since going on a trip to Italy on June 24. Got back on July 10, but still did not feel like writing.

For those who don't know: niente is Italian for nothing.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Heart sways

For S.

The wind was gusty today,
on this June Sunday in southern Germany.
In between showers the temperature rose
to jacket comfortable.
All the while I was thinking of you,
how down south in Italy, where you live,
the sun is out and it’s warm and dry.
Blue skies, no wind.
You make my heart sway.

– Leonard “Rabindranath” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written for One Single Impression and Wind.

Thank you, Harshad, for giving me a title and more for inspiration.
Whenever I think of (or write) poetry about elements of Nature, such as the weather, I think of Rabindranath Tagore and some of the poems in which he masterfully weaves together such elements (sun, wind, rain, drought) and emotions/human relationships.
The above poem, for this reason, might be called “Rabindranathesque” – transferring elements of R. Tagore to different settings, a different time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

All that’s missing

“The next step might be decisive, Mabel. Just think –”
Mabel gazed dreamily out the window onto the green of the Schlossgarten.
“Just think of what might happen if I kissed you now.”
“You’ve already got your hand on mine.”
“Just think. We might fall in love, move in together, have children –”
All the while the form, the smile, the far-away presence of Evgeny was on Mabel’s mind.
“You’ve got it all pictured, I see.”
“Well, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind if it happened that way.”
“And if you were to be dishonest? Would you admit to just wanting to get into my pants?”
Mabel pulled her hand away from under his, reached for her purse, took out her wallet and put a five Euro bill on the table.
“It’s been nice, John, but I’ve got to run. This,” she pointed at the money, “should cover my cappucino and some tip.”
And with those parting words and a little wave she was gone.
John touched the bill with his middle finger and sighed.
“All that’s missing is a Dear John letter,” he muttered to himself.
He signaled to the waitress. Blonde, somewhat Slavic looking, plump, perhaps 45, bright blue eyes. About his age. While Mabel was in her early thirties.
“Zahlen, bitte.”
She told him how much it was with a strong accent.
He gave her the money, including a generous tip.
“Do you speak English?”
“A little.”
“What is your name?”
“Would you fancy going out with me after work, Natalia?”

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written around ‘The next step’ from Sunday Scribblings.

This little tale is set in Stuttgart, southern Germany. ‘Schlossgarten’ is the name of the city park. ‘Zahlen bitte’ means 'The bill, please.'

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Old dog, new trick

"You know, James, I could be more than fond of you … if you altered your tranquil ways."
"You could, dear Anthea?"
She was standing behind his work chair, hands on his shoulders.
"Yes, I could even love you, James – love you passionately, if I felt more passion coming from you."
He patted her hands.
"It's good of you to say that, dear. But it also makes it perfectly clear to me that you'd never love me the way I am – for what I am. I could probably try to change my tranquil ways, as you call them. I would do that for you, you know I would. But in the end it would exhaust me. And perhaps –"
"Perhaps you have been barking up the wrong tree."
She furrowed her brow.
"Just what are you telling me?"
"That you might be better off looking for another tree. Or another dog, for that matter. This old dog would never do for you. Don't you think I'm right?"

– Leonard "Tranquil" Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written around alter, fond and tranquil from 3WW.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sweet Jane & Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine

When the sweet meets the not so sweet,
some drama is to be expected.
– Beaudraux Liam

But was Jane
all that sweet –
from Lou Reed?

And Martha L.,
created by Country Joe –
did he know her well
to have an opinion so low?

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2011)

Nonsensical musings about sweet & not so sweet, making use of my vast but diffuse memory of rock’n roll. For Sunday Scribblings and ‘sweet.’

For those unfamiliar with the songs alluded to:

The Velvet Underground playing Sweet Jane

And Country Joe and the Fish playing Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The how to haiku

(a DIY poem)

Fourteen lessons a-
bout haiku: that ought to teach
even the toughest.

– Leonard “Haikai” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Chanced upon a site today that offers to teach you how to write haiku in 14 lessons (Bare Bones School of Haiku).
Skipped all 14 but wrote something I'd call a haiku, even though I'm sure it breaks at least 17 major plus some minor haiku rules.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Scenes from rural Minnesota I

Withergield and Freotheric were driving along the highway somewhere deep in nocturnal Minnesota, when Freotheric, who was the passenger, pointed at something through the windshield.
“See that light there, Wither?”
“Yeah, what about it?”
“Don't you think it's kinda strange to have that kinda light there with the sun down?”
“Hadn't thought about it. But you're right – it's big.”
“Damn right it's big. It's HUGE. And it goes off and then comes on again.”
“Must be an airport around here.”       
“Idiot. There ain't no airport around Gopher Prairie, Minnesota.”
“Then it's gotta be something else.”
“Damn right. And I'll tell you what it is: A erratic luminous omen. From Minnehaha.”

– Leonard “Minnesota” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written around erratic, luminous and omen from 3WW. With borrowings from Barbara Guest and Sinclair Lewis.

Elucidatory notes
“Gopher Prairie” is the fictitious place in Minnesota where Sinclair Lewis' 1920 novel Main Street is set.
The characters Freotheric and Withergield appear in the poem “Legends” in Barbara Guest's 1976 collection “The Countess from Minneapolis.” The poem is set “in the woods near Minnehaha Falls.”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rambling on my mind

on my mind

on my mind

so kind

my mind


this office
life behind

– Leonard “Office Rambler” Blumfeld (© 2011)

In variation of the Robert Johnson blues for One Single Impression and Rambling, performed here by Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Qasida of the Lost Tribe

By the time I reached the campsite of my beloved,
her caravan had already moved on.

I contemplated the harshness of Nature
and my self-imposed life away from the tribe.

Tribal life may be blessed, but is it for you?
I smart for the caravan, and for you to diverge.

– Leonard “Heretic” Blumfeld (© 2011)


In the quest for a quasida according to Poetic Asides I looked at the Wikipedia definition and wrote one that is 100% true to the old concept (quoted here from Wikipedia):
In his 9th century “Book of Poetry and Poets” (Kitab al-shi'r wa-al-shu'ara') the Arab writer ibn Qutaybah describes the (Arabic) qasida as formed of three parts:

• a nostalgic opening in which the poet reflects on what has passed, known as nasib. A common concept is the pursuit of the poet of the caravan of his beloved: by the time he reaches their campsite they have already moved on.

• a release or disengagement, the takhallus, often achieved by describing his transition from the nostalgia of the nasib to the second section, the travel section or rahil, in which the poet contemplates the harshness of nature and life away from the tribe.

• the message of the poem, which can take several forms: praise of the tribe (fakhr), satire about other tribes (hija) or some moral maxim (hikam).
A big part of the fun I have with poetic forms is to distort, overcome or disobey them (hence the “Heretic”). By the way: Federico García Lorca also wrote qasidas (“casida” in Spanish), and if I remember correctly, he didn't give much of a hoot about adhering to the form either.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mike the Master of Rhymes

“How come you’re so incensed, Alexa?”
“What’s incensed?”
“Mad. Raving mad.”
“I’m trying to write a poem, and nothing rhymes right!” my little sister wailed.
“What have you got so far?”
“Promise you won’t laugh or make fun of me?”
“Would I ever?”
“Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a fork into my eye.”
“All right, here it is.”
She removed her hands from a crumpled piece of paper with numerous pencil scribblings, most of which were crossed out.

“Let me read to you what I’ve got:
(dramatic pause)
    Down the slope she likes to skid
    But her fear she cannot get rid
She looked up at me expectantly.
“What do you think?” And in the same breath, “I don’t like that ‘of’ after ‘rid’ – it ruins it all. Do you think I can just do without it?”
“No, it’s required. – Have you got more?”
“Yes, one more. Listen to this:
    Moisture is a kind of damp
    which makes it hard to light a lamp.”
“That one has a perfect rhyme, and it makes sense. Were you going to combine the two in a bigger poem?”
She gnawed on her pencil.
“Yes, that would be nice. Why don’t you help me, Mike. You’re the best rhymer.”
“No, I’m not. What makes you say that? I usually don’t speak in rhymes. In riddles maybe, but not in rhymes.”
“Yes, you do. You’re a, you’re a – I’ve got it – a master rhymer.”
I scratched my head for show.
“How about this then:
    Once of her fears she had gotten rid
    she went down the slope in a great skid.
    However, it had rained a lot that day,
    which is why she slipped on clay.
    Her fancy pants got very damp,
    But her brother said, You’re still my champ.”

“Oh, that’s really neat, Mike! Let me copy that one down on a new piece of paper.”
“Who’s this poem for, anyway?”
“Why, it’s for your birthday!”
I had to laugh.
“And who told you which words to rhyme?”
“Oh, that was off the Internet. Something called Three Word Tuesday or Wednesday, I forget which. I only used two words, though. The third one I didn’t know. It was the one you used before. You know, that word for raving mad.”

– Leonard “Given to Silliness” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Silly and contrived, I know, but it uses all three words from 3WW (damp, incensed, skid).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

No surrender

Today's word at Sunday Scribblings is 'Surrender' – "Is surrender about letting go or giving up?" Before I could get to any thoughts on the topic, Bruce Springsteen's powerful song popped up in my mind, so here it is ... a contribution by far better than any I could have come up with today. His answer to the question is clear: surrender is about giving up, and no surrender means not giving up.

Well, we bursted out of class
Had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a 3-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school
Tonight I hear the neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you're tired and you just want to close your eyes
And follow your dreams down

Well, we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter's night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Well, now young faces grow sad and old
And hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
Now I'm ready to grow young again
And hear your sister's voice calling us home
Across the open yards
Well maybe we'll cut someplace of own
With these drums and these guitars

'Cause we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Blood brothers in the stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There's a war outside still raging
You say it ain't ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath
Peaceful skies in my lover's bed
With a wide open country in my eyes
And these romantic dreams in my head

Once we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
Blood brothers in a stormy night
With a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender

– Bruce Springsteen

(From Born in the U.S.A., released 1984)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May in May

May we know, may we
discover, may we love,
may this be the time.

– Leonard “May” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written with two sites in mind – Sunday Scribblings and Recuerda Mi Corazón.

How about reading this as if 'may' were 'May' ...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let’s not talk about love

I don't know if I love you
Or if it's all in my head
I don't know if I love you
Though I know it's what I said

Cuz love is something I don't understand
Can't explain, I can't hold in my hand
But I'll stay here tonight
And I'll keep the flame alight
But let's not talk about love

I don't know if I love you
Though I feel some pain
I don't know if I love you
Or if I'm playing the game

Cuz love is something I don't understand
Can't explain, I can't hold in my hand
But I'll stay here tonight
And I'll make you feel alright
But let's not talk about love

Heather Nova

From the album “Storm”, released in 2003

So how are things with Juanita

Let’s not talk about love.
– Heather Nova

Should I tell you?
Oh but the risks of that!

I’m afraid I could be overbearing,

speak my heart to soon,
clumsily and politically incorrect,

pushing you away
rather than getting closer.

What is the current
universally accepted way

to go about love?
If it’s right, it’ll grow

by itself, I’ve been told.
But also this:

You’ve got to work on it,
and it takes two to tango.

Should I tell you?
Oh but the risks of that!

– Leonard “In and Out of Love” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Posted for One Single Impression and the all-important topic of Love.

Complete lyrics of Let's not talk about love by Heather Nova.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A child's prayer

Please, please give me grace
because I always have the hardest time saying grace
at the table when it's my turn to do it.
And please make my mommy gain weight –
she is too thin,
and that, says grandma,
explains her evil moods.
And please no more dreams of jitter bugs
at night.
They gross me out.

– Leonard "Umpteen Years Younger" Blumfeld

Written to involve grace, jitter and thin from 3WW.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

My secret place

I'm going to take you to
My special place
It's a place that you
Like no one else I know
Might appreciate
I don't go there with anyone – but
You're a special case
For my special place
For my secret place

People talk to tell you something
Or to take up space
Guess I'm only talking
To be talking to
Your pretty face
I don't talk much to anyone – but
You're a special case
For my special place
My secret place

I was born and raised
In New York City
I'm just getting used to Colorado –
Oh street bravado
Carry me
Why did you bring me to
A place so wild and pretty?
Are there pigeons in this park –
Muggers after dark –
In these golden trees –
In the secret place?

I'm going to take you to
My special place
It's a place no amount of hurt and anger
Can deface
I put things back together there
It all falls right in place –
In my special space
My special place

Once I saw a film
In New York City
That was shot in Colorado –
Girl meets desperado
In the trembling mountain trees
Out of all of the girls that you see
In bleachers and cafe windows
Sitting – flirting with someone
Looking to have some fun
Why did you pick me?
For the secret place

Written by Joni Mitchell (this song is on Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, released in 1988)

Posted here for One Single Impression and Place.

This song came to my mind immediately when I read the prompt and seems like such a perfect contribution that I did not even try to come up with something of my own.

Unfortunately, no Youtube video of the song is available for embedding here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love's soft complaint

"Your delightful kneading of my body
will go much beyond cleansing –
it will cause a major melt."

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written around cleanse, knead and melt from 3WW.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My lengthy friendship with Maud

“Often I don’t even want reciprocation,”
Maud said with that contrite and at the same time
capricious look around her lips,
“because I don’t like the things I receive.”

“You are difficult indeed, and quite often
you make sure the entire world knows it.”
To my surprise, she did not take this
the wrong way but actually chuckled.

“What if I kissed you now,” I said with a verve
I was surprised at myself, “and I don’t mean
a peck on the cheek. I mean Hollywood,
smack on those beautiful lips of yours,

and I want to feel your tongue reciprocate.”
Her head moved to an angle, but not exactly
out of reach, and in her face appeared
a mixture of amusement and apprehension.

“You really mean that?”
I did what I’d meant.
Hours later...
“You reciprocated quite nicely, Maud.

But did you want to?”
Amused, contrite, capricious Maud.
Sweeter to kiss – and other things –
than I’d ever, ever thought.

– Leonard “Some things are better done” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written for One Single Impression and Reciprocate

Raga Alhaiya Bilaval Haiku

Ponderous, elegiac,
swaying, swaying, sawing down
to the very heart.

– Leonard "Sarangi" Blumfeld

Written while listening to Ram Narayan play this raga on the sarangi.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Still life in big building

I'm nearly alone in this big building
which houses more than a thousand.
I ran into a few when I made my way in this morning.
Nobody's come by my despacho since then.
The phone's been silent.
It is a still life except for my fingers typing.

– Leonard Blumfeld

Written upon inspiration by Sunday Scribblings' Nearly.

Things ain't as bad as the above makes them sound. I suppressed a few people encounters for enhanced effect. This is what you call poetic license.
My daily e-mail horoscope told me that romantic change is impending today. Can't wait.
Does that horoscope apply to all capricorns?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mera Cy Twombly

Talked to my daughter today, who told me she went to the Museum Brandhorst in Munich, where she saw paintings by Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly, to name the two that came to her mind first.

I proceeded to look at some of Twombly's art on the Internet and immediately started my own Twombly. My daughter told me that he worked with layers a lot, so I put down the first layer, in a mixture of Indian yellow and chrome yellow.

The plan for the next layer is still a bit fuzzy, but it could be something in a rusty red, perhaps some scribble-like structure.

Or some writing: मेरा साईं त्वोम्ब्ली 

Last weekend I drew a card that said 'purpose' and got the message. There has not been a lot of that in my life, and it's sorely needed.

One outcome of my purpose-finding mission is that I decided to write a novel, loosely based on Der im Irr-Garten der Liebe herum taumelnde Cavalier (1738) by Johann Gottfried Schnabel*, except that I would be staggering through the labyrinth of the later 20th and early 21st centuries instead of Schnabel's 18th.

Wish me good luck with Twombly and the maze novel.


Leonard Cy Gottfried Blumfeld

*Schnabel is best known for his utopian robinsonade Die Insel Felsenburg of 1731.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


For you

been good at
delivering the
worst for worst case scenarios.

– Leonard "Case Planner" Blumfeld

Elucidatory note
Why did I call this "Optimism"? Well, when you've become accustomed to expecting the worst and it becoming the worst, everything else is a positive surprise, right?
At least we're still on talking terms.
My dedications used to be "For her" – now that we're farther apart than ever I'm getting closer; they will be "For you" from now on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Scooch over, moon

Move over moon, get out of Uranus
this house is anxious for the sun to come in
– Kate & Anna McGarrigle


How do people meet? How do they run into each other, become friends, fall in love?

I still remember the thoughts that went through my head when I saw you for the first time.

You were easy to notice because you and an older woman were the only people besides me on the beach that breezy Wednesday at around sundown.

You had on red shorts, but you were clearly feeling cold because you had your arms tightly wound around yourself and were sort of treading water with your sneakers while standing there with your companion to gaze into the sunset.

Your companion said something about John Charles Junior having had a conniption, and this word seemed to go very well with the two of you, who looked like you had come straight out of a quirky Ann Tyler novel with your normal-to-dowdy clothes, the normal-to-dowdy names you were dropping and the offbeat or cutesy words you were throwing in here and there. I think janky and scooched over were also among them.

Playing my usual mind solitaire, I asked myself whether I’d be able to fall in love with you – going by appearance, experience, prejudice and whim.

Your assets were that you had nicely shaped legs, albeit with knees that were a bit knobby, nice tan skin, thin orangish hair, a pert nose, glitteringly blue eyes, a wideish mouth with fairly thin lips, two mid-sized hillocks cradled in your arms. You were probably in your mid-forties. There was something cheerful, yet quiet about you. You giggled once about something your companion said, and it was a nice throaty giggle.

By then it had gotten dark and a bright moon, almost full, was out. The two of you walked off eventually, without ever having given me anything but a most perfunctory glance.

The outcome of my solitaire was quite clear. No, not that one. Not a chance. Never. Besides: I would never run into her again.


But we did meet again, because she happened to live two houses down from the friends I was staying with. Joe and I were putting steaks on the grill in back when Erin came out of the house with her.

“Joyce’s car won’t start – she thinks it’s the battery. Would you take a look at it, Joe?” Turning to me: “Oh, by the way, this is Joyce, our new friend and neighbor, just moved here from Baltimore two months ago. And Joyce, this is Jean-Luc, our friend from France.”

Joyce and I told each other we were pleased, and then some glint of recognition appeared in her eyes. “Weren’t you – somewhere? – I think I’ve seen you before.”
“Yes, I was somewhere.”
All four of us burst out laughing.
“And you have seen me before,” I added.
“Wait – don’t tell! It was, it was recently ...”
“Yes, recently, and?”
“I got it: at the Piggly Wiggly, in the express lane!” she said triumphantly.
“No. I hate to disappoint you – it was nothing that romantic. It was on the beach, on a moonlit night, and you were there with –”
“Oh yes, now I remember! I was there with Darlene, and you were the only one around besides us. You looked lonely.”

Joyce was invited to stay for dinner, we all had a great time, and then I walked her home, also to take a look at her car, where it refused to come alive in her garage. It was the battery all right.

I promised to come over and give her a jump start the next morning, and when that didn’t work, I took her in my rental car to run her errands. At lunch I told her I was glad she hadn’t thrown a conniption about her car troubles.

“You don’t throw a conniption!” she said.
“But you throw a tantrum, don’t you? Then why not a conniption? Isn’t it the same thing, or the southern variant of it?”
“It’s a very different kind of thing. And because you don’t. Throw it, I mean. And I don’t, for sure.”
“Absolutely, positively?”
“Never. Not I.”

We ended up spending lots of time together every day while I stayed with my friends, doing mundane things together, eating out, dancing, seeing sights.

Erin kept giving me extremely meaningful glances. She’d been trying to set me up with someone for years whenever I came to visit them in the U.S.

Now it looks like Joyce will come to see me in Montpellier this spring.

And then?

Who knows – we’ll take it from there.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written upon inspiration by 3WW using conniption, janky and scooch.

The introductory quote is from the song Move Over Moon by Kate & Anna McGarrigle, released on their 1982 album Love Over and Over.

The following youtube video shows the McGarrigles performing the song Love Over and Over from the same album:

Monday, January 24, 2011

One word

One word is one word
in eternity. Say what
you mean. Mean what you say.

– Leonard "Pocket Philosopher" Blumfeld

Written for Sunday Scribblings and 'eternity'. Happens to be a slightly overfilled haiku. One syllable is one syllable. Eternity won't care. At least I don't think it will.

Monday, January 17, 2011


For her

that grey
box way back
behind the glossy
brands. No more. Have never been.

– Leonard "Branded" Blumfeld

The signals people send out are largely self-made. The grey box there at the back of the shelf must stop thinking of itself as the ugly grey box at the back of the shelf that nobody could possibly want.

What does shopping have to do with relationships?
Ideally it should not, in my opinion.
A year ago or so I got into a discussion with HER about this. She'd more or less bluntly told me to look elsewhere, even citing some eligible females.
To which I replied that it wasn't like a supermarket where you picked a brand from among a few.
But perhaps I'm the one who's wrong.
She appears to choose according to rational criteria (and forget about the ones that really count).
But perhaps she's right – and I'm wrong, hiding my more complex shopping habits behind romantic (or merely sentimental) trim.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Word sham

It’s plossible
even though ‘t ain’t

– Leonard “Contorter of Words” Blumfeld (© 2011)

Written using plausible, taint and willingly from 3WW ... well, using some form of two of them.