Friday, December 12, 2014

Blunt, drunk and lethargic

Oh husband, what has become of you?
You are now mostly drunk, which means lethargic couch potato, and the few words you say (if you manage to utter any) are blunt, like "Get out of my sight, bitch."
Oh husband, what has become of you? You used to be gallant, spirited and romantic. Think of your loving and devoted Nandini and please change quickly.
Or I'll have to call big brother, who will teach you. Remember the last time? He threw you out of the house with a big kick in the butt and then hosed you down with cold water for half an hour. Remember how that straightened you out for a year?
Your loving and devoted wife.

- Leonard Blumfeld (in a somewhat older Hindi movie vein)

Written for 3WW around the words blunt, drunk and lethargic.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The give us today our daily grind haiku

Most irritating:
can’t even see what they’ve been
grinding all morning.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Razor-edge-of-time reporting from the noise front. Picture the building as a giant tooth, with a gigantic dentist going at it. I can feel the damage done to the enamel all the way to my work room on the 1st floor.

Monday, November 17, 2014

You are like a hurricane

Again woke up with a song playing in my mind that seemed to have sprung from nowhere – Neil Young's Like a Hurricane, essentially a one-image song: that of the stillness in the eye of the hurricane while the storm rages, blowing the narrator away.

It is one of my favorite Neil Young songs, but I haven't listened to it in ages.

What could have caused this to rise to the surface this morning?


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Musical affliction


Has it ever happened to you that a song implanted itself in your inner ear, seemingly out of nowhere, and would stay with you for days?

Hank Snow's One More Ride has been with me off and on for several days now. Where did it come from? No source I'm aware of. It's unlikely that I heard it somewhere here in Italy. It certainly would not be played in any Roman store or elevator.

I remember recording this song on my reel-to-reel tape recorder from the country music hour at SWF 3 around 1973 and must have listened to it a lot back then. I loved country music at the time and hardly ever missed that radio show on Saturday afternoon.

The clickety-clack of Hank's railroad track has been calling me much too long. What to do? I have no button to switch it off.

– Leonard Blumfeld, musically afflicted

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The art movie haiku


So I decided
to make an art movie. Long
long shot of nothing.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
Today’s horoscope said my creativity was going to be low today. But I tried anyway. The picture is a still from the movie – 90 minutes of showing the shadows play on my balcony.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Proverbs from the Chinese XIII

Gifted, intense talk may be another form of rot.

Once again, a piece of Chinese fortune cookie wisdom happens to coincide with Three Word Wednesday's selection of words: gifted, intense, rot.

Whoever wrote this may have been thinking of politicians. Except that what they spout often could neither be called gifted nor intense. Just plain rot.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rowing my boat in the right direction

Your current situation doesn't allow you to fulfill your potential, and you are now becoming aware of this. You're dreaming of travel, study and different professional experiences. Row your boat in the direction that draws you, for any move forward right now will be a positive one.
This was part of today's horoscope, and it was spot on. At least the first part about my current situation. Better start rowing that boat!

– L.B.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Anish Kapoor haiku

A gigantic fat
blue donut rolled into my
art field of vision.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
Very much razor-edge-of-time reporting of an actual virtual (because computer screen-limited) visual event.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

In a jam

When in a jam
when in jam
when jamming

Jabbering away
with a swagger

You get my drift
you aren’t daft

Riverrun dry
riverrun open
riverrun die

Mikey mukey moke
is poetry a joke?

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Notes
What brought this one about? 1. Reading some poetry by an eminent contemporary British poet that did not make the least bit of sense. 2. What's worse: I didn't even feel like trying to read some sense into it or break my poor unpoetic mind doing so. 3. I'd also read the riverrun quote* somewhere today, so it was lurking in the back of my mind.
Have a mukey poetry day!

*From James Joyce's Finnegans Wake (1939).


Thursday, September 4, 2014

The perverse urge to do anything but what is most urgent

I’ve been a practitioner ever since I can remember.

Always thought I was the only one until I saw a German movie, one of those shallow TV productions steeped in exaggeratedly shining colors, in which some middle-aged woman writer avoided writing her urgently needed new novel by doing all sorts of chores in house and garden.

But my avoidance maneuvers aren’t even chores.

Listening to Steve Earle cannot possibly be called a chore, right? What about running downstairs and eating three cherry tomatoes?

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The May morning stupor haiku

Dazed, coffee did not
help, hay fever-feverish,
typing is a chore.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Razor-edge-of-time reporting from the work front. The truth and nothing but the (un)poetic truth. What an awful thing to have to deal with in the merry month of May.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

101

My new book is out!

Leonard Blumfeld, 101

Contains 101 short poems (haiku and fibonacci)

From the cover text:
Leonard Blumfeld, a character sprung from a story by Franz Kafka, is the part of me that can take virtually any prompt, look at anything around, think of anything or anyone and make a poem out of it – be it humorous, deadpan, philosophical, silly, absurd or reticent. Many of these dash-down instant creations take an appropriately short form – like the haiku and fibonacci assembled here. They are poems about mundane events, such as enduring bad weather or looking at the meager contents of a fridge, about artists like John Singer Sargent or Amedeo Modigliani; they invoke music, like the poems based on classical Indian ragas, digest books read or comment on news events.
Can be ordered from Amazon.de or any bookstore in Germany. ISBN: 978-3844290943. Amazon.de also ships to countries outside Germany. The e-book version and printed version are also available directly from the publisher in Berlin.

Signed copies are available upon request and can be shipped internationally (please leave a comment).

The electric bike ditty

(An electric bike-age homage to Dr. Seuss)
We like our bike, and this is why:
the battery does all the work
when the hills get high.

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2014)

The challenge at Poets United was to write a poem with a bicycling motif.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Toilet bowl smartism

The toilet bowl-proof smartphone has yet to be invented.

– Leonard Blumfeld

Note
Razor-edge-of-time reporting from the toilet bowl accident front. And no, the Samsung Galaxy is not toilet bowl-proof.
What does this teach you? Keep your smartphone away from toilet bowls.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The art gallery haiku

Squeaky clean wooden
floors that squeak when trodden on
as rapt viewers walk.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A good poem

Never fight a moon.
Where are the misty seas?
The moon dies like a stormy breeze.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
I must admit that I had some help writing this. The original version came from the Poem Generator. I modified it to make it even greater.
Why is this little poem good?
Because it contains some of the most important key words, images and subjects used in poetry throughout the ages. Such as moon, misty, seas, breeze and death.
Guaranteed to work each and every time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The I could haiku

I could do many
things right now. But they are not
things I have to do.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Notes
Inspired by a poem of the sort that lists things the author could do, like polish his shoes, add more sugar to his coffee, muze about friends, family and pets, muze about the mellow April weather, prune the bushes, etc. In the end he decides to do nothing but listen to the sprinklers come on and observe their “immaculate band of light over the lawns.” The immaculate has become stuck in my mind like the proverbial sore thumb. Seems to be about as debatable as the immaculate conception.
As to the things I could do, there are many, as the haiku says. But bread-winning work calls and needs to be taken care of. Sadly.
Oh, and by the way: I would call this haiku a deadpan poem. As opposed to the immaculate band of light kind.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The haystack haiku

Today I have to
find three bent needles in a
PC file – achoo!

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
In my work as a coordinator of translations, I have to deal with the idiosyncracies and erratic behavior of a CAT software named Star Transit. Most likely three occurrences of an apostrophe in a text file caused Transit to stumble and fall today (it stumbles and falls a lot in general). These are the bent needles I have to find in the haystack. And I do have a highly developed allergy to such problems (which are a great waste of time and nothing else), hence the achoo.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The smartphone disability haiku

For S.

My love sends me lobe,
lisses and all gibbt – please help
me decipher that!

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)


Note
Have you noticed how typing accuracy has gone down the drain with the advent of touch screen keypads? A great big cheer to the advances of technology!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The coherent world view haiku

I do hope that a
coherent world view steps out
of these counted words.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
When a well-known poet does not have a major poem to his name (such as, for example, T. S. Eliot would have The Waste Land or Ezra Pound would have the Cantos), literary criticism focuses on the merits of the so-called coherent world view, i.e. it is good for a poet to have one (and, by implication, bad if you don't have one). I remember some article about the poetry of James Schuyler, where the critic spoke of this. Alas, I don't remember what the critic's ultimate conclusion was. I only remember that I strongly disagreed with both major notions of the article: 1. That there are no James Schuyler poems of major importance (to me, many of his poems are by far more important than anything erudite, contrived and sterile T. S. Eliot ever wrote), and 2. That it is difficult to discern a coherent world view in the body of James Schuyler's poetry. (To which I would say that there is hardly anyone else to rival the rendering of 20th century human experience I see in Schuyler's poetry with more coherence.)


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Failed in all three

The three-gated word check applied to a poem as it is coming into existence

I
Is it true?
No.

II
Is it necessary?
Probably not.

III
Is it kind?
Definitely not.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Written in response to a sufi saying encountered on the Internet:

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself:
'Is it true?'

At the second gate, ask:
'Is it necessary?'

At the third gate, ask:
'Is it kind?'

This explains why sufis don't talk a lot and why there's a lot of poetry.


Monday, March 17, 2014

The conclusive haiku

You were about to fail
the practical part. But I
was sure you’d prevail.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
The other night I had a dream about a friend. In the dream, she was trying to get her driver's license, which was probably not going to be easy, considering she's over forty and has never driven a car before. She asked me whether she was going to pass. Somehow I knew she'd fail the practical part the first time around, but I also knew that she would eventually pass. Why did I know this? Because concealed in my right hand I held a small black lacquered box, and because of something inside that box I knew. Strange. But that's how dreams are.

Posted to Poets United.

Everything will work out

Don't lose heart and continue with your efforts - everything will work out.
Those were the soothing words the Astrocenter tarot reading had for me. After advising me that today might be kind of tough going...

Let's see what happens.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

408311

Have you ever noticed that some PINs – or number combinations in general – are much easier to remember than others?

The generator gave me 408311 today, which struck me as one of the ones you need to look at twice before you enter it.

On the other hand, there are some numbers that are so good they stay with you for ever and ever. Like my first Colorado license plate: MW 9552. Even though I can't explain exactly why I find this one easy to recall...

Anyway: have a good day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The imitation Picasso haiku

Some eyes like targets
somewhere, some nippled boobs,
a hoof, Mae West lips.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
Inspired by a painting from a Berlin art show photo. Would love to reproduce it here for better understanding, but fairness forbids.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Roja

Watched Mani Ratnam's Roja from 1992 again after a long time. Enjoyed it immensely (despite its obvious flaws). Fabulous music by A. R. Rahman.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Oh help me

My muze
has got the blues

She couldn’t care less –
so there goes any hope for success

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2014)

A silly ditty written for Poets United.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Mark Rothko haiku

Two bed sheets, one black,
the other vaguely blue, strung
together to dry.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
You might have guessed it: Mark Rothko is not among my favorite painters. Even though the entire art world seems to be all gaga about his big two- or three-colored bed sheets.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Google Maps

The new Google Maps is SHIT.

Why does Google proclaim this is easier to use? The exact opposite is true.

All the essential tools and options are no longer displayed where they used to be (and should be), but hidden behind some nincompoop icon.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Roman neighbor girl on Saturday morning haiku

This house has thin walls –
and she’s already on a
full-fledged whinging binge.


– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

The truth and nothing but the (un)poetic truth. Razor edge of time reporting.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Modigliani haiku


Squinty little eyes
and narrow face? Good chance it’s
an Amedeo.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
The above painting is Gypsy woman with baby (1919) by Amedeo Modigliani.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The no idea haiku

This one has not a
single idea. It lives in
things, in things only.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
This one toys with the well-known and often quoted William Carlos Williams’ statement “No ideas but in things.” Actually, it fails on both accounts – it has neither ideas nor things... It is a very reticent poem, one might say.

Recommended viewing: Poets United.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The knife haiku

You looked so sharp this
morning! But now, after work,
you look rather dull...

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Inspired by Haiku Heights and Sharp.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The John Singer Sargent haiku

John Singer Sargent, White Dresses (1911)
Two women slain in
battle? No – white dresses in
peace on parched grass...

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
When I first glimpsed this painting, my initial flash was that it represented an after-battle scene – bodies strewn on the ground, limbs sticking up.
The first real haiku I've written in a while ... with that sudden flash of recognition in the second half.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The kitchen mishap haiku

Big coffee puddle
on kitchen floor. No-one to
tell me who done it.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Note
Derived from a dream I had last night. Tons of unknown people, all German, were milling around the family cabin in the Black Forest, which, in reality, was torn down a few years ago because of sad neglect. Someone had made the above-mentioned coffee puddle. In the dream I did not ask who had, supplying the explanation in my mind that these people did not know the place and were obviously incompetent as well. Was too shy to out myself as the one who had known this cabin since childhood. Now what do you make of such a dream?
By the way: happy new year!