Monday, January 17, 2022

The quarantine haiku


Cat’s going crazy
from being cooped up. So am 
I – in inner ways.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

My own personal quarantine is over, thank God. However, all the restrictions still apply – mask, green pass, uncertainty, rules that keep changing at the drop of a hat without much rhyme or reason. Will this ever be over?

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Tender Bar


The Tender Bar (2021, directed by George Clooney, starring Ben Affleck, Daniel Ranieri, Tye Sheridan, Lily Rabe, Christopher Lloyd)

Whatever rode George Clooney - whom I generally respect both as a director and an actor - to direct and produce this seemingly endless bore of a movie?

Nothing about it feels original or genuine - it comes off as a refurbished parts store. When you enter, you know you've seen all the parts (people, situations, locations) somewhere before, many times, in a variety of places and constellations from Hollywood or TV.

A collection of stereotypes and a waste of acting talent (it's not like Affleck etc. don't perform well).

I did not last through to the end. Maybe I've seen too many movies. But go ahead and see for yourself.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The corona haiku


Life dictated by 

fever and saturation 

readings – sheer terror.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Some reality from my battle with the virus. A bloody oxygen reading of less than 90%, so the doctors say, means you should be hospitalized.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

I’m doing nearly nothing

Ab Har Ho Bhola Nahin Bane - Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur

Fourth day of dreamily
listening to Mallikarjun Mansur -
always the same songs.

Nothing much is happening – 
I’m not listening attentively.
The music is flowing into me.

It feels like a conspicuous momentary
constellation – Mallikarjun Mansur singing
and me doing the equivalent of happy nothing.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2022)

Friday, January 7, 2022

Labordeta - Aragón

José Antonio Labordeta


Polvo, niebla, viento y sol,
Donde hay agua una huerta.
Al Norte los Pirineos:
Esta tierra es Aragón.

Al Norte los Pirineos
Al Sur la tierra callada.
Pasa el Ebro por el centro
Con su soledad a la espalda.

Dicen que hay tierras al Este
Donde se trabaja y pagan.
Hacia el Oeste el Moncayo
Como un Dios que ya no ampara.

Desde tiempos a esta parte
Vamos camino de nada.
Vamos a ver cómo el Ebro
Con su soledad se marcha.

Y con él van en compaña
Las gentes de estas vaguadas,
De estos valles, de esta sierra,
De estas huertas arruinadas.

Polvo, niebla, viento y sol,
Donde hay agua una huerta.
Al Norte los Pirineos:
Esta tierra es Aragón.



Dust, fog, wind and sun,
Where there is water an orchard.
To the North the Pyrenees:
This land is Aragon.

To the North the Pyrenees
To the South the quiet land.
The Ebro flows through the center
With its solitude at its back.

They say there are lands to the East
Where there’s work and they pay.
To the West the Moncayo
Like a God that no longer protects.

Since time immemorial
We are on our way to nothing.
Watching the Ebro
Carry away its loneliness.

And with it go in company
The people of these meadows,
Of these valleys, these mountains,
These ruined orchards.

Dust, fog, wind and sun,
Where there is water an orchard.
To the North the Pyrenees:
This land is Aragon.

English translation by Johannes Beilharz.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Rainy December Day

if a
chasse d’eau were
being pulled today, and all grey.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2021)

So I’ve come back to a form (fibonacci) I used to practice a lot for a while and then didn’t for a long time. Nothing but the truth in this one – the waters of the sky are coming down on Rome in varying degrees of mercilessness, and it’s so dark you can hardly call it day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Current trends in spam


An excerpt from my gmail spam inbox

Brand new: funeral plan offers! Wow, can't wait to get one of those plans from a surely entirely trustworthy source.

Old faithfuls for the last year or so: Bitcoin! As you can see from all the mails I've received, I'm filthy Bitcoin rich by now. Bitcoin spammers - such benefactors to mankind. And not just in English - I've also been identified as a Spanish-speaking Bitcoin aficionado. ¡Ay, caramba!

Apply and receive funds today (Just remember to include the asterisk next to 'today') - That one day was the one that went by me, so did not receive the funds. Ouch!

I also failed to track that package from Royal Mail I never ordered. Ouch again.

Now off they go - there's that handy Delete forever button.

Upon which Google Mail proudly crows "Hooray, no spam here!" like a rooster on a missing pile of manure.

Monday, October 11, 2021

The umbrella flight haiku


Rain, umbrella and
wind conspire to lift me up
like Flying Robert.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2021)

Pretty much that kind of weather here in Rome this morning of October 11, 2021. Inspired by a poem in Der Struwwelpeter (1876) by Heinrich Hoffmann, a book of more or less moral tales everyone in Germany knows. The illustration is by the author (Hoffmann) himself.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

The perils of having a pet haiku

Can’t tie my shoes – 
cat’s playing with the strings.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2021)

A seriously underfilled specimen of the form, but based on nothing but real events.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The sad truth haiku

Can’t bring myself to
read poems that are longer
than ten lines or so.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2021)

First of all – why should this truth be sad? Only for myself, I must admit. Others may concur, disagree or simply don’t give a flying fog. It’s a free world, peotry included. (Think I just created a word! Peotry ... like poetry mixed with peyote.) Anyway, all rubbish. What brought about this rubbish? I was looking for enjoyable poetry in the famous Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (famous because – at least in my days at the university – it was a standard book to carry around for English and Creative Writing courses). I started at the back of the hefty volume, thinking those poems had to be by the most modern and least stuffy poets. I believe in brevity in general, so I was really looking for something short, but nothing doing! Even James Tate’s “The Blue Booby”, which starts at the bottom of page 1387 with 3 promising ultra-short lines but rolls on for most of the next page, ending with “like the eyes of a mild savior” – a line I actually like. It really packs a punch. If only there weren’t so much in between. Well, pardon me, it’s the old grouch speaking again, having accrued more than 10 lines of negatively ranty prose by now. I know for a fact that long poems exist. I even know one person personally who wrote a long poem (thankfully it was still in the making when I knew her) and said she loved long poems! The sad truth actually is that people who like poems (period!) are a very, very tiny minority.