Saturday, May 31, 2008

Faute de photo

Faute de photo,
faute d'art
faute de poème
je pose ici
les coleurs seules
pures et simples:
pourpre et orange

– Leonard "Franglais" Blumfeld

Sitting in an Internet cafe in Oxford and not having access to photos, art and (temporarily) poetic inspiration, this posting of the colors "pure and simple" occurred to me for Inspire Me Thursday's Purple and Orange.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Crépuscule du matin obliquely reflected

All night long I fought with memory
It was at the door and staging riots
The old wrecks of old times ...
I'd have to decide what to do with them
Crying, peace, power, lies, hope
It was all there in the sleep
that would not come

– Leonard "Imagist" Blumfeld
(after Amy Lowell)

For One Single Impression's Reflecting.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dramatic mountain landscape

Dramatic Mountain Landscape
Gouache and oil crayon on Guardi Artistico paper

Posted for Inspire Me Thursday's Crayon Art theme.

I use this technique quite frequently, starting with light shades of oil crayon, then painting over the crayon with gouache or watercolor. The waxy crayon repels the water-based paint, creating an interesting effect. Thanks to the excellent picture quality of my new reflex camera, not much work on the digital image is needed to obtain colors that are close to the original.


Friday, May 16, 2008

The entitled to mope fib

ing is
far from soar –
my soul is flat sprat
on the ground and friendless. Go mope,
I tell myself, now
is the right
time for

– Leonard “Downer” Blumfeld (© 2008)

Sunday Scribblings #111 soar/sore for personal treatment.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In permutation of Gertrude Stein

A rose is not a rose not a rose

– Leonard Blumfeld

Totally Optional Prompts asked for Symbolic Poetry. This is one.

Note added in afterthought
Who knows what exactly Gertrude Stein had in mind with her triple rose ("a rose is a rose is a rose"), one of the most frequent quotes ever. I assume that she wanted to draw attention to the essence of what a rose is.
My permutation wants to emphasize the fact that roses are probably the most meaning-laden flowers ever – highly symbolic objects.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Warm and cold

Warm and Cold
Gouache and oil crayon, 2004

A painting instead of writing for One Single Impression's "warm" prompt.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Something you've known all along

There's so much good telephone stuff out there in the music world that I could not even click myself into creative telephone mode for Sunday Scribblings #110. The lyrics of a historical Blondie hit from 1979 follow below. I call it historical because the fundamental situation presented ("I'm in the phone booth, it's the one across the hall") is a historical one. Nowadays we all carry our private phone booths around with ourselves.

I particularly love the cheeky line "I want to tell you something you've known all along" (from which the title of this post derives) – isn't that the gist of many phone conversations?

Here goes (I'm also posting the Youtube video below, which is fun to watch – if only because of Deborah Harry's funny eye and finger work):

Hanging on the Telephone

I'm in the phone booth, it's the one across the hall
If you don't answer, I'll just ring it off the wall
I know he's there, but I just had to call
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone

I heard your mother now she's going out the door
Did she go to work or just go to the store
All those things she said I told you to ignore
Oh why can't we talk again
Oh why can't we talk again
Oh why can't we talk again
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone

It's good to hear your voice, you know it's been so long
If I don't get your call then everything goes wrong
I want to tell you something you've known all along
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone

I had to interrupt and stop this conversation
Your voice across the line gives me a strange sensation
I'd like to talk when I can show you my affection
Oh I can't control myself
Oh I can't control myself
Oh I can't control myself
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone

Hang up and run to me
Whoah, hang up and run to me
Whoah, hang up and run to me
Whoah, hang up and run to me
Whoah oh oh oh run to me

(Written by Jack Lee; from Parallel Lines)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Definitely human

A cautious human,
maybe too
cautious at times

Written using today’s three words from 3WWcautious, human, maybe.

– Leonard Blumfeld

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chief storekeeper

Boy manning the family store in Kolkata
Posted for Wordless Wednesday

I’ll wear a mask for you

I’ll wear a mask for you
– Leonard Cohen

I did that for you
and kept the mask on for many days

At first I didn’t know
where my breathing problems came from

It got worse and worse
I was near suffocation most of the time

You were beginning to look at me strangely,
as at someone you didn’t recognize

I went for medical help,
explained the situation

“Is it that black thing you have on?”
the doctor said

“Now why would you wear that?”
“To please her,

and because I know
she wouldn’t like me without.

What should I do?”
“Take it off. The mask is the source

of your problems.”
“But I will lose her. She’ll be terrified.”

“How do you know?
She’s never seen you without.”

I followed doctor’s orders
and removed the mask.

“Who are you?” you said
My new looks did not please you

It wasn’t long before you left me
I went back to the doctor’s office

“Your breathing is much improved,
your face looks quite relaxed.

How come you’re back?”
“She’s gone. She wanted that mask.”

“You must decide what you want.
My guess is that she is not what you want.”

And with those words
my doctor dismissed me and closed the door

– Leonard Blumfeld

Inspired by the Lyrics and Verse Challenge at Poets Who Blog.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Happy Mirthday

An annotated snapshot from a neighborhood garden for World Laughter Day 2008.

“World Laughter Day” was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. The first “World Laughter Day” gathering took place in Mumbai, India, in 1998. Twelve thousand members from local and international laughter clubs joined together in a mega laughter session.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Where should I live?

You Should Live in a Big City

You don't want anything in particular out of life... you want it all.

You crave new and exciting experiences. And you get bored fairly easily.

Only very big cities can keep you entertained and stimulated.

Looks like I live where I should live!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Still locks

Taken with my new camera, an Olympus E-410, and posted for Wordless Wednesday on Friday because I missed Wednesday.

Memoir of a reading arranged by a cowbird

Mr. Cowbird was the hyperactive kahuna of the culture scene in Badenweiler, a small spa in the Black Forest which used to be a nobility hangout in the 19th century. Its claims to glory and fame reside more in the past – it is the site of baths from Roman times, the ruins of which are still around, and the place where Anton Chekhov died in 1904.

Russian poet Vyacheslav Kupriyanov – probably better known in Germany than in his native country or anywhere else – had come to give a reading, which I attended to finally meet him in person. His and mine publisher had told me a lot about him.

The reading drew an immense crowd of about 18. Mr. Cowbird presented the poet with a lot of not so succinct words, making reference to this and that – including Kupriyanov’s more famous compatriot and old ties to Russia – and eventually allowed him to read.

Kupriyanov’s poems, particularly the funny ones and the ones he read in Russian, were received with lots of applause – much better than the prose. I seem to recall that he read an excerpt from his novel “The Wet Manuscript,” which left the audience in a state between puzzled and dazed.

Afterwards, Mr. Cowbird and his secretary led a small flock of die-hards to a Weinstube to celebrate the event with some of the excellent local wine and plenty of self-congratulation by Mr. Cowbird.

What do you do when exposed to the incessant onslaught of such an overwhelming ego? I mostly just sat there and blinked my eyes, as did everyone else.

I ordered red wine. Before the waitress could give it to me when she arrived with her tray, Mr. Cowbird, who had been impatiently awaiting the white wine he had ordered, grabbed the glass off the tray, took a good gulp and went on rambling.

Once, when he had asked Kupriyanov a question and actually let him answer it, Mr. Cowbird looked at his wine glass and said, “Did I order that? That’s pretty bad. I didn’t order that.”

“No, you didn’t. That was mine,” I said.

– L. Blumfeld (© 2008)

Written for Totally Optional Prompts.

The unlucky 26

Discovered today,
the first of May:

Rhymed ballads
of personal doom

filled with hilarious
detail of gloom.

Go visit PJD's The Unlucky Twenty-Six.