Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How to educate an abject object

"You know, James, that you are an object.
The way you sit here in silence despite all my efforts to educate you!"

Tears welled up in James’ eyes.
He turned his head so she could not see.

And still he would not speak.
Later on he would write.

He would write down that the hurt inflicted by her words was simply too much.
All he could do was sit like an object, while her words were squeezing the air, the life out of him like an iron clamp.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written with educate, object, silence for 3WW, from whence these words came. There are these kids (and eventually they become adults) who are unable to defend themselves against certain people, usually people they love. They should stand up for themselves instead of sitting transfixed and taking the crap dished out by these people who profess to care about them. I know from experience.

The cantankerous fib

Am I
ous today. What louse
did walk across my liver?

– Leonard Blumfeld

And now to the explanatory part...
When someone is in a bad mood in Germany, one may ask "Was ist denn dem für eine Laus über die Leber gelaufen?" ("What louse did walk across his liver?") – so much for where that second part came from.
And what louse was it that walked across my liver? Mostly myself, I have to admit. I'm working hard on thinking of how to improve and avoid the potholes I've been stepping into in the future. As a first step, I shaved off the beard I'd been proudly wearing since about 1976. Now if that ain't a good or even significant start!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Parasitic ditty

Well, I’m sure glad today’s words are
dabble, lean and utter
instead of
babble, unclean and stutter.

– Leonard “Paraphraser” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Played around with the three words from 3WW CCXIX, and this was the outcome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reinventing the dog

dog has
been barking
up the wrong tree for
years. Another trick is needed.

– Len "Old Blue" Blumfeld

But then there's the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Ouch.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

77 entries

2010 – 77 blog entries so far ...

That's more productive than 2009 already, even though a lot less productive than during the first two years of this blog.

I must have really reported on just about anything back then, participated regularly in just about any writing meme I came across.

Whereas this year I frequently suffered from an "I've got nothing to say" syndrome.

But then again there were those fruitful moments when just about anything, any word, any inspiration triggered an outburst, usually resulting in a poem or ultrashort piece of fiction.

Not so bad, after all, then, this year?

– Leonard "I've Got Nothing to Say" Blumfeld

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sanjiv bhai approaches the boss

“Give me an advance, malik,” I told the boss.
“Why, you’ve probably pandered all your paycheck again, and not even half the month is over.”
“Yes, boss.”
“I bet you lost it all playing shuffle.”
“Yes, boss. That blasted shuffle.”
“You need to quit shuffling, Sanjiv.”
“I know, malik, I promise I will. But you know Mallika and the kids are starving.”
“All right, Sanjiv, one last time. The very last time.”

This boss was so easy. Every time I’d give him the same story, and every time it was the very last time.

But we both knew that very last time would never come. Mallika was his sister. And I was too addicted to pandering and shuffling. Besides being completely underpaid.

– Surendra Sparsh (© 2010)

Written with advance, pander, shuffle from 3WW.

Center, on right foot

One nail not cut. Must
have escaped last campaign. Tall
among short siblings.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

An earth-shattering discovery that simply had to turn poetic.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


For her, again and again

She opened her eyes, and they were all dreamy.
“That was magic!”

“Shall we do it again?”
She blinked her eyes in consent, and we dove into another one that left us utterly breathless.

“I could get used to this,” she said, “that was so –”

“Yes. I don’t think it could ever become routine.”
“Shall we try?”

And we did. And it still wasn’t.

When we came up for air after a small eternity, she smiled and said, “And after that you expect to take the girl’s clothes off, right?”

I burst out laughing.
“I thought it was funny, too, but not that funny.”

“Well, the funny thing is that I’m obviously kissing someone who has read Raymond Chandler, which is rare nowadays –”

“I love reading Chandler,” she interjected.
“and, if you wish, I’d only be too happy to proceed in the Chandler way.”

“We’ll see about that – eventually,” she cautioned, but with a twinkle. “First we’ll have to get some more practice with magic, intimate and routine.”

And we proceeded to do exactly that.

– Leonard “Raymond” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for Café Writing (Magic) and Option 5 Seven Things, but not quite going by the instructions. The instructions were “Give me seven examples of every-day magic.” Instead, I let myself be carried away by the Chandler quote which preceded the instructions:

“Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.”

Friday, November 19, 2010


For her (who else?)

Past knocks on door, perturbing –
all a bad dream?

It was like this a long time ago –
an endless, semi-mute coexistence,

ups and downs brought on
by nothing but my imagination

(which is fruitful, very
fruitful, but hesitant to

come to the surface).
“You have a rich interior

life,” my therapist told me,
“it’s just that nobody

knows about it.”
She also told me that anecdote

about walking along
and stepping into a pothole.

That doing it once is ok,
even repeating it once

can be excused. But three
times means you’re

a bad learner. I am.
I can’t seem to wait

to set up the next pothole
for myself to step into.

– Leonard “He Who Suspects the Truth” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for One Single Impression and Echoes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fronzy in his new piece of heavy Detroit metal

Pressing the clutch in such a fine car was such delight. And the thrill of hitting the gas pedal, of that roar from the twin tailpipes!

Tomorrow Fronzy’s gonna sign up for a thousand shares of new GM stock. And he won’t tell Tilda about it for as long as possible.

Cause Tilda won’t be happy about it. Just like she wasn’t happy about that bloated gas guzzler, as she calls it, in the first place.

But there are some things a man’s gotta have, and there are some things a man’s gonna do.

– Leonard “Out of Love with Detroit” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written to involve clutch, delight and happy from 3WW.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Daisy and Kuno

(Scenes from a not so reminiscent love story XVI)

“I treasure those immediate gestures of yours,” he said.
She heaved a sigh of relief.

“And I’d feared that those very immediate gestures
were the reason you’ve been silent all week.”

“Why, I love the immediacy of them! I wouldn’t
treasure anything else nearly that much.

Not nearly that immediately or moderately
or even vaguely.”

By that time she had forgotten who he was
and could not for the world remember

what gestures these might have been, and why
anyone would have called them immediate.

Happily, she began to look forward to another
day of grazing. In fact, to many other days of grazing,

to many months, or even years of grazing
on luscious alpine meadows like this one.

Or like another one.
The alfalfa of the future was shining brightly.

– Leonard “Silliness Alive & Well” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written around gesture, immediate, treasure from 3WW.

Semi-Borgesian notes on this one
Borges was always good for a library-steeped, erudite explanation to make something purely imaginary entirely real. To confound my readers, I volunteer the following background information: Daisy was a black-and-white stuffed cow I brought back from a trip to the U.S. for my daughter when she was about 5 years old and going through a stuffed cow phase. Kuno was another black-and-white stuffed cow that my mother-in-law brought from the U.S. for my daughter, who was still going through the same phase, even though by then it was waning. I would tell my daughter bedtime stories about two cows called Daisy and Kuno. Kuno was madly in love with Daisy but occasionally unbearably overbearing. Daisy was capricious and could not make up her mind about whether she loved Kuno, detested him or was merely oblivious to him.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A world of friction

An attractive youngish woman dressed in some kind of frumpy lilac frock walked up to the desk that had been set up for the reading.
“Hi, my name is Frue.”
That surely had to be Sue, and I was about to quote Johnny Cash (“So how do you do!”), but thought better of it and smiled politely.
“I hear you’re a writer of friction,” said the woman.
“Of friction?”
“Yes, of froze.”
I was beginning to sound very dull to myself, simply repeating her cues.
“Yes, froze, as fropposed to froetry.”
“That is true, I hardly ever write froetry. How about you? Are you a writer too?”
“No. I come from Frampton, which is near Frondon, and that is –”
“... in France?” I simply knew it had to start with an F and an R.
“What gives you that fridea? – No, it’s in Frotland, of course.”
“Which makes you a true Frot, I suppose.”
“Indeed, and I’m froud to be one.”
Was I ever going to snap out of this fruity world of friction?
I decided to steer the conversation back to the realm of reality ... err ... freality.
“So, Sue from Hampton, would you like me to sign a copy of my book for you?”
“It’s Frue and Frampton, and I don’t want you to frign a fropy of your frigging frook.”
“I came here for friction, and what did I get? Only frustration and fret.”
I frinally frinked my freyes – and that frid it.
Frue, with a frap of my froes, went up in a frume of froke.

– Leonard F. R. Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for Sunday Scribblings and Friction.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The late phone call fib

For her, as usual

night my
love did ex-
hibit the friendli-
ness of a steel brush when I called.

– Len "Will He Ever Learn" Blumfeld (© 2010)

Reality notes
What is it with her? You call and inevitably get the distinct frosty feeling she'd like nothing better than to shake you off the soonest possible. And it's not like I call at uncivil times, either.
But perhaps I'm only ultraresistant to hints that are as clear as a totem pole.
Started this one with the first words of a song by Joan Armatrading that is among my all-time favorites:

I need you

At night
I feel so lonely
Here's a body next to mine but I'm feeling cold

And baby in the morning light
When I look in some stranger's eyes
It's then I know that the need in me
Is really for your paradise

I dance
I sing
But there's something missing
Every night a different name to call

But you know when I hold 'em tight
I always give the game away
I try so hard to make it right
But it always ends up the same

You know I need you

I need you
Like I needed you
The first time we kissed
I need you
And I need you now
And I can't resist
Standing by your door in case you leave

I miss you mostly in the night
And I miss you through the day
I hate myself for hurting you
Yes I know I drove you clean away

You know I need you
But now I need you

(Written by Joan Armatrading, from me myself I, released in 1980)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The intense immense ditty

Some people like it all intense –
I must admit I find that too immense.

Feelings looming like a tower
can do a lot to overpower.

How about some relaxation –
with plenty of room for imagination.

A steady love is what I crave –
steady, quiet, not one to enslave.

None of these spells and bouts I get from you,
and most of them come without a clue.

Some people like it all intense –
to me that shows a lack of common sense.

– Leonard “Calmly But Surely Intense” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Rhymed and timed for Sunday Scribblings and Immense.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

55 words or more

There's a story called 55 words or less by J. M. Collinz (here), which inspired me to write this one, titled 55 words or more. Forget everything you've read so far. The story follows below. Hold your breath. Tie your shoes. Adjust your tie. Take your foot off the pedal while observing traffic to see that it's safe to do so.

Here it comes:


– Leonard “Dil Maange More” Blumfeld (© 2020*)

*This story is so leading edge, tunnel blasting and futuristic that I’ve put the copyright date ahead a bit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

She used to be an ...

For her, more than ever

Up to twenty-one
things were all pink; at forty,
there are some grey streaks.

– Len “Incorrigibly Hopeful” Blumfeld (© 2010)

For Haiku Heights and Optimistic.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Still life haiku

Work is still for the
duration of this still act,
disturbed by key clicks.

– Leonard “Sunday Morning” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Believe it or not, it's Sunday morning, and I'm working away on gainful work (freelancer's fate).
Oh, and it's grey and drab out there, with drizzle in the air.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Everyone’s dream baby

A hint of lust in
an otherwise perfectly
smooth sheen of beauty...

Oh that’s the way Carmela
Hiller trots down High Street
on stiletto heels,
tired for once from relentless
pleasure seeking.

Wish I could fall in love
with her and have things
uncomplicated like the rest
of the world, having
smooth sheen of my own
and more than a hint of lust.

– Leonard “Vicariator” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written around hint, lust and sheen from 3WW.

Note on genesis
What started out as a simple haiku (1st stanza) spread out into much more of a story than originally thought of, becoming geographically and emotionally situated and, finally, self reflection-saturated.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Soledad en …

there is
nothing as
lonely as a crowd
milling merrily around you.

– Leonard "Master of Truisms" Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for One Single Impression and Lonely. The title, added retroactively, alludes to García Lorca's Poemas de la soledad en Columbia University from Poeta en Nueva York (1930).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Try this

“Try this!”

Sunita was my seductress.
With glee she’d ask me to close my eyes and open my mouth. Then she’d insert something and tell me to chomp down.

I got to taste hot green chilies that way, hot mango pickle and burnt brinjal (she was Indian, and her family ate Indian all the time).

All great stuff for sure, but challenging to tongue and taste buds.
I’d be in pain, she’d dance around me, laughing her head off.

Things took a different turn one day, when we were about sixteen.
She warned me not to bite down hard this time, or it would cost me dear.

With eyes closed, I felt the heat of her face very near me and then tasted no vegetable, no chutney, no pickle, no slimy substance, but something alive and soft and warm – the tip of her tongue.

I opened my eyes and stared into hers, so close, so intense. We stayed that way for minutes, but they seemed like a small eternity.


She’s off to college in California, where she got a scholarship because she’s brilliant. A few days ago I received a package containing a DVD – an Indian movie called “Ugly Aur Pagli*” – and a card with these words:
WATCH THIS! Your Pagli.
PS: Come see me soon. You still have lots of things to try.
– Leonard “In Teen Mode” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Posted for One Single Impression and Try.

* “Aur Pagli” = “and Crazy” in Hindi. “Pagli” rhymes with “Ugly.”

Information about the 2008 movie starring Mallika Sherawat (as Kuhu / Pagli) and Ranvir Shorey (as Kabir / Ugly) at IMDB:

This Indian film is a remake of the South Korean film My Sassy Girl (2001). Both are a lot of fun. Much more so, to my taste, than the American version: My Sassy Girl (2008), starring Elisha Cuthbert and Jesse Bradford.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


For her, as usual

“You say your life is so empty these days, so lacking in purpose and meaning. But aren’t you shortselling your friends, the hours you spend with them, the hours they spend with you, the things you do together, the food and drinks you share? Aren’t you just a bit too much into feeling sorry for yourself and for the vicarious time you spend with the one person who does not wish to spend time with you?”

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for One Single Impression and Empty.

The title is derived from the film 2046 by Wong Kar Wai (2004), which portrays a middle-aged man whose life gradually becomes more and more meaningless as he drifts from one party to the next, from one short-lived affair to the next.

 Scene from 2046, with Ziyi Zhang and Tony Leung

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today's horoscope said ...

You could be interested in psychology right now, Leonard. Perhaps you are trying to unlock the secrets of a complex relationship. You could be romantically involved with someone who is a bit of a puzzle.
Wow! Hardly ever has a horoscope been more spot-on than this. I've been working on unlocking the secrets of this complex relationship with this big bit of a puzzle for years.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'd like to thank ...

... everyone involved in urgently proposing my overall work to the illustrious jury of Pedestrian Writing At Best, which includes such celebrated authors as Morman Nailer, Menry Hiller, Nais Ananin, Kephen Sting, Kean Doontz and Ban Drown.

My lifetime achievement won third prize in the Experimental Pedestrian Writing category.

The Pedestrian Writing At Best Prizes are on par with the coveted Cooker Prize, Phoolitzer Prize and Mobile Prize for Literature.

I am extremely proud and honored to have been awarded this prestigious prize, and it's all due to your efforts, my buddies, colleagues, cronies, acolytes and sycophants!

Thank you so eternally much!

– Leonard “Clod” Blumfeld

Published for Sunday Scribblings and I'd like to thank...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Some time, a while ago

For her

Some time, a while ago,
you went out the door
with that twist of waist
and derrière so all your own
that I knew I wanted
to see that back of yours
and you rise from my
bed every single
morning for the rest
of my days – I knew it
with the certainty
of a kick by an angel

– Leonard “Hangs On” Blumfeld

Posted for One Single Impression and ‘Angel’.

She sprang forward

She sprang forward with
her plastic sword, declaring
war on France’s foes.

– Leonard “Spectator” Blumfeld

Wasn’t quite with it last night at the open air theater on the stairs of Lukaskirche in Suttgart. The short version of Schiller’s Joan of Arc play seemed a bit ludicrous, and that’s what the haiku above is about ... in so few words.

The photo is from the show, but from another scene of the play.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Somebody tipped the window

Somebody tipped the window,
and now I've got all the
traffic on B10 for infotainment.

– Leonard "Lone Worker" Blumfeld

My new office at its very best. It's either too hot or too noisy... Thanks to the powers that sent me here.

This was intended to be a haiku but grew a little too fat. I'll call it a bigku (like the BigMac, which also has too much inside).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Roads and roads and roads

roads and
roads I've been
on lately - black and
grey and long. Roads and roads and roads.

- Leonard "On the Road" Blumfeld

Written for One Single Impression and 'Roads' from on the road. I've been traveling in Utah and Colorado for the past two weeks. It's been a wonderful trip, and the roads, even though they were indeed black and grey and long, were great and took us through amazing landscapes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Love is all around me / he tries again

For her

“Here’s a budge, Lucy. Fresh from the garden.”
“Thank you, Homer. What lovely leaves.”
“You do not seem to be very happy about this present.”
“How can you tell?”
“By the slight wrinkle of your nose.”
“You’re right, Homer, I’m not that pleased. I’d hoped for a pretty little nimble garnished with theory instead of this vegetable, fresh as it may be.”
“Sorry to have failed you yet again.”
“You know me, Homer. Hard to please.”

– Leonard “Still Mystified” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written with budge, nimble and theory from 3WW.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Trembling night

The tenuous bamboo bridge spanning the double tide of the Malini river has been carried away, and now my beauteous one is cut off from me upon an island. The rain continues. Each night I climb up the hill from which I can see the trembling night of Sarmicha's house. It shines in the wet darkness like a glance through tears.

– Amaru

Not much is known about Amaru, an Indian poet who lived in the 7th or 8th century and wrote in Sanskrit – mostly about erotic love, including passion, estrangement, longing, rapprochement, joy and sorrow.

Posted for One Single Impression and Trembling.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Laced with …

Octavius grasped the pacifier with dread.
Having to die in this manner after one insignificant battle lost seemed like a child’s cruel joke.
But then again, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Caligula, often acted like a child and loved cruel jokes.

– Leonard "Historicus" Blumfeld

Written for 3WW using dread, grasp, pacify.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Address to Ms. Lina Crumbpet

Go on living in
your birdhouse. But don’t complain
about the birdseed.

– Leonard “Haikai” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for Haiku Bones and Birdhouse.

Love constellation

“Meanness is no recipe for love,”
he said and headed for the door.

“Knowing you, my dear,” she said,
“you will be back for more.”

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for ‘recipe’ at Sunday Scribblings.

Some relationships I have occasion to observe simply appear to be doomed from whatever angle you look at them. A recipe that would save them does not seem to exist. And yet they go on and on and on...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A reign of smiles

Shrink calmly like a dusty girl.
Flowers stalk!
Walk loudly like a cold flower.
Action is an old door.

– Leonard “All Smiles” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written and posted for One Single Impression (Reign).

Oh my, these are times of personal crisis! What better than dada poetry to carry me through.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For a courageous one in the world of trendy fashion

Chest orange,
undies red,
apron garish

– Leonard “Bon Courage” Blumfeld (© 2010)

A little terse poem formed from the acronym ‘courage’ for Sunday Scribblings. About a courageous acquaintance who would not hesitate to wear such strange attire and would still look stunning in it. She might wear it to teach one of her Moroccan cooking classes, for example, and look absolutely positively edible...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

On your birthday

(Photo credit: juditu at morguefile.com)

For N.

If I were to com-
pare you, you’d be the lightness
of a hummingbird ...

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for ‘hummingbirds’ at Haiku Bones.

If I were to compare you ... but of course you're incomparable!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Sacré Coeur Environment

Recently visited Sacré Coeur in Paris transplanted to a new environment.
Posted for 'Black and White' at Theme Thursday and
'Black' at Photo Hunt.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

One minute before burn-out

Another night of lousy sleep,
waking up early, mulling over
and over and over what’s
already facts ... and still
painful, even though I should
be used to it all by now.
I am my own best collaborator,
my own best enemy,
my own worst friend.

Oh lighten up, you master
of self-torture. Accept
the fact that this is not fate.
Get off your serious clod –
you can change it all.

– Lenny B.

Written for napowrimo #30, free day and farewell.

Not the best note for the last day of napowrimo, but an immediate reflection of the mood in which I woke up and thus some razor-edge-of-time reporting. I may yet replace this by something more upbeat.

A great big and heart-felt thank you to all the people who have stopped by to read my contributions and who have commented!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


For her

How can one know something
that is going to be in the future?

It happened to me once before,
so I am not that keen on it.

I knew, before the relationship
with N. started, that it would be.

It happened, and two years later
we were about to kill each other

and getting ready for divorce.
And now, with you, even though

nothing worth mentioning
has ever happened, I have

the same feeling of certainty
(sometimes). And no, I am not

pushing it. I can and will not
push you, and I will not be pushed

myself. Everything to be
is to be loving and free.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for napowrimo #28, intuition.

Wasn't happy with the ending, amended it, like it better now.


I don't know, maybe it was the roses
– Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia

– Leonard “Minimalist” Blumfeld

Written for napowrimo #27, let somebody else take the lead.

Quite possibly the shortest poem I've ever written. I could write more about its inception.
First, there was the objective to write an acrostic poem. Second, my friend Chris' wife Rose celebrated her birthday yesterday. Third, when I thought of "rose," the song by Jerry Garcia I quoted from popped into my mind. Fourth, where does "Elaine" come from? That shall remain a mystery. Just like the whole little nothing of a poem, which could be called a "cliffhanger" at best.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A bunch of namby-pamby

You can eat my hat
and while at that
starve on my scarf

Feel free to
munch my mustache,
belie my belly button,
scrape my sternum
(but lightly),
chill my cheek,
tweak my beak,
knead my knees,
heal my heels
and muzzle my mouth

But never ever
tickle my toes
‘cause that causes
a sneeze of the nose

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2010)

Written for napowrimo #24, find a phrase.

Actually, I found two – “namby-pamby” (which stands for “childish and weakly sentimental”) and “I’ll eat my hat” and combined them in the namby-pamby poem above.

What is a namby-pamby poem?

Here’s one by Henry Carey to illustrate and deride the genre:

All ye poets of the age,
All ye witlings of the stage …
Namby-Pamby is your guide,
Albion's joy, Hibernia's pride.
Namby-Pamby, pilly-piss,
Rhimy-pim'd on Missy Miss
Tartaretta Tartaree
From the navel to the knee;
That her father's gracy grace
Might give him a placy place.

This satire is on English poet and playwright Ambrose Philips (1674-1749), “who became tutor to George I's grandchildren. The position gave him a status amongst the aristocracy, and he took the opportunity to advance his place in society by writing sycophantic sentimental poems in praise of their children. These were written in rather affected and insipid nursery language, of the 'eency-weency', 'goody-goody' sort.” (Quote from the Phrase Finder.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I am a banana stalk

I am a banana stalk and was married off
to a plump guy with an elephant head

But oh he’s so loving, he brings me
good luck, and he’s the son of a god

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for napowrimo #23, unlikely couples.

This poem alludes to Kola Bou, a banana plant, who in Bengal is considered to be the consort of Ganesha.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Letter to his older sister

Dear Mabelle,

I’ll order the squall jacket you recommded,
my that will be one fierce tendril less. I won’t flinch
no more with the crow at the emporium, as I used to,
and feel so small, like peppered rust reverberating.
Now there’s only one thing that remains to be said,
and that is that I dislike saffron, so contrary to your
advice I will not take those pills. CU tomorrow!


Written for napowrimo #22, in which the following words were proposed:


“And the cat came back,”
said the Colonel
Sanders-type Italian
dressed properly
for the Parigi visit,
viz. Basque beret and
long Gréco-style scarf

Up on the balcony
across the street
from the café two
French boys were
showering cat &
caboodle with loud
imaginary bullets

While I was sitting
there sipping
the most expensive
expresso ever, taking
the mental notes that
did elicit this snide
little poetic chit

– Leonard “Been to Paris Again” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written belatedly for napowrimo #18, meow!

All the things observed here truly happened – except that I rearranged them a bit for better effect. Similarities with living persons are definitely intented.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Like sunlight dancing on your skin

Live performance by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell

'Til I Can Gain Control Again

Just like the sun over the mountaintop
You know I'll always come again
You know I love to spend my morningtime
Like sunlight dancing on your skin
I've never gone so wrong
As for telling lies to you
What you see is what I've been
There is nothing I could hide from you
You see me better than I can
Out on the road that lies before me now
There are some turns where I will spin
I only hope that you can hold me now
'Til I can gain control again
And like a lighthouse
you must stand alone
Landmark the sailor's journey's end
No matter what sea
I've been sailing on
I'll always pass this way again
Out on the road that lies before me now
There are some turns where I will spin
I only hope that you can hold me now
Til I can gain control again

(Lyrics and music by Rodney Crowell)

Just like a lighthouse you stand before me

For her


The brief instant the beacon hits you right in the eye,
that flash of time remains engraved

I remember a ridiculous instant in the tea kitchen,
with you standing with your back to the paper towel dispenser,
when you smiled at me and I was close to your face,
a flawed face with not the best of skin,
thinking, “Could I possibly love her?”

And now sometimes I stand next to you
and feel that our bodies are one without touching

I look at your face and
every flaw is a mosaic piece of certainty


But if I asked you if you felt the same,
you’d deny it with the coldest Asian face on earth

I know you would

You’d switch the beacon off, I’d wander off

You’d let me go until you changed your mind,
fearful suddenly of losing whatever I am,
turning the light on to renew the draw


You know I’ll come around again

But sometimes I see doubt come in
(I relish those moments, I admit it)

I see the beacon rotate in the dark,
I know it will come my way

In another instant, when it hits me in the eye,
I’ll know exactly what I feel

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for napowrimo #19, light bulb moments and napowrimo #21, perfectly flawed.

Thinking about what to write for this prompt, the word lighthouse came to my mind, and then a shred from a song I later identified as 'Til I Gain Control Again by Rodney Crowell.

To me, parts of the poem have a song-like quality, which may well be due to its source of inspiration.

The song was covered by many singers, including Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson. Lyrics and a live performance: Like sunlight dancing on your skin.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Going to Paris

I'm about to leave for Paris by TGV to spend the weekend there with good friends and to experience Jim Hall in concert on Sunday.

I'm not taking a computer along, so chances are I will not be able to participate in the next 3 napowrimo challenges.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


For M.

Even on Friday
the fragrance
of your perfume
from Wednesday night
kept drifting up
from my coat
when I moved
my head or arms
in some specific way

In the car
on the way to Stuttgart,
in the concert
with the African music
by Isak Roux

Through the air forest
of the landscape rushing by

And in the silence
lingering between the notes
from piano, marimba,
cello, flute and woodwinds

you were –
off and on –
right there
in me and around me

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

This one was originally written in German years ago.

Rendered in English and brought to napowrimo #16 because the prompt ("What’s that smell?") made me remember it. It was originally written on a Friday (hence the title) and was now translated on a Friday. That is definitely beyond coincidence :)

Isak Roux is a South-African composer and pianist who lives in Stuttgart, Germany.

A whole lot essential

I said now's the time
for something a whole lot essential

I said now's the time
to not just know you're free

I said now's the time
to act accordingly

I said now's the time
for something a whole lot essential

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for napowrimo #15, where the task was:
In a nice private place, pick out a stanza, or a few lines, that you like from a poem that you don’t otherwise feel was very successful. Say them over to yourself.
Now hum them. See if you can find the tune.
And now sing them aloud. (Who cares if you can sing? You’re in private. And this is poetry!)
Throwing away the rest of the poem, write two more stanzas (stand-alone or connected) that go to the same tune.
The line from a poem (song) I considered not entirely successful (for reasons of triteness) was "Now’s the time / for something a whole lot special."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good-bye hello

You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go
– The Beatles
For her, as usual


We say good-bye,
each one walks on,
to meet again
and again
to let destiny
take its course


you will not turn around,
I know,
and again,
becoming love
full circle


We say good-bye, you will not turn around,
each one walks on, I know,
to meet again tomorrow
and again and again,
to let destiny becoming love
take its course full circle

– Leonard “Cleaver” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Three poems – two separate ones, which are then horizontally combined to form a third. This is called a cleave.

This cleave was written for napowrimo #14.

What is cleave poetry?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

In the near field an idle, stylish horse raised one leg
In her living room in the city of S. her alarm went off
Mine went off ten minutes ago and now I’m sitting here
spouting early poetry having to do with a stylish horse

She is fighting to shake off the softness and warmth
of pillow and cover and embrace
I’m letting the horse put its stylish leg down on the ground
The cold of a cold April morning is seeping into my bones

– Leonard “Far Field” Blumfeld (© 2010)

The idea of napowrimo #13 was to take a line by Norman Dubie as a first line and title the resulting poem “Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie” – both of which I did.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One night in Addis Abeba

For her

Had we listened
to the voice within us,
we would have pursued
careers in diplomacy.

I would have studied
African languages,
as once intended,
majoring in Ethiopian.

You would have gone
to Moscow, as your father
had planned for you,
to ultimately join the corps.

We would have met
at a party hosted by the
Kenian embassy, both
unattached, and shared

a taxi when leaving.
We had the driver
take us to Sebastian’s,
where we had cocktails,

looked into each
other’s eyes, eventually
kissing across the chasm
between the communist

and capitalist worlds,
allowing the voice witin us
to speak and outline brightly
our future.

That did not happen, though.
All we have now is
an obscured variant, with the
feeling of potential lost

and but a skeleton of what
the scheme of fate and time
might have had in store.
We both muted that voice.

– Leonard “Had We But” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for The thing you didn’t choose, napowrimo #11 and Vicarious at One Single Impression.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How can I be so right so wrong

For her

It’s strong and wild like the wind on the Kazakh steppe
It’s having seen the world in pink and now all derision
It’s horse sausage imported and dropped
It’s that glow that made her shine throughout
It’s telling the truth even though it turns against onself

– Leonard “Right and Wrong” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Unusual love (“think of your current love, your current obsession or the one who got away”) for napowrimo #8.

she's been thinking

there's this guy I kinda like but have no use for
who's been mooncalf lovesick for me for years
and my mooncalf unwed mother girlfriend
who's been looking for a suitable guy for years
so why not get together this guy and my unwed girlfriend

- Leonard Blumfeld

Would that qualify as a tanka about love, funny side up for napowrimo #7?

Monday, April 5, 2010


The frozen swirls
may want to speak.

Of clouds, perhaps,
they've been in.

Of drifting clouds
they traveled with,

the lands they

the continents.
Tell that to

the tips
of a pair of shoes,

tell it
to frozen grass.

– Johannes Beilharz (© 2010)

Written and posted for "converse with images" (napowrimo #6).

Saturday, April 3, 2010



Laughing, I ran away from Manoj.
He’d won a kiss from the spinning bottle –
but I felt like making him work a little
before consenting.

From the clearing I went into the evenly
planted pine rows, hiding from Manoj
behind one. I heard him shout, run by,
went round the tree to avoid discovery.

He shouted about the mansion
at the end of the forest, I peeked
and saw it. Not to go in there,
he said, that it was forbidden.

It drew me. I waited for Manoj
to rejoin our friends, who were
singing and laughing in the distance,
and then went closer, to the black

iron fence. The place looked
deserted except for vivid reflections
in the windows. Flashes of people
and violent changes in temper.

A breath of air struck my neck,
as from somebody close by.
I turned, and there was no-one.
Eery, I thought, and noticed

that daylight had clouded over.
Now there was sooty dark
and a shiver as from an impending
storm. Not to worry, I told myself,

you simply walk back. But my
friends’ merry noises were gone.
I walked and again felt a breath
in my back, longer this time,

more forceful, as if from giant
lungs. And there was noise
to it, the suppressed roar
an immense animal would make.

I stood and turned – not a thing –
turned and resumed walking.
Roar and cold air, an impatient
howl. I turned and saw –

– Johannes Beilharz (© 2010)

This is a rather free retelling of what I remember of the beginning of Raaz (Secret), a Hindi horror film from 2002, which, very quickly and successfully, sets up a scary atmosphere with very simple means, so that this fits in very well with Napowrimo #3, Scared yet?.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I could use a little now and then.

Even right now. Limbo is impending, even though not quite upon me yet – my work situation is about to change radically. I won't work in the same place any longer, won't be around the same people, some of whom have become friends over the nearly three years I've been here.

I have all intentions to bid good-bye to my beloved, who is among these people. I've come to the conclusion that it will be best to cut ties completely to regain peace of mind and peace of heart.

So – let me try and work some alchemy, generate light that shines and points me in the right direction.

– Leonard "Alchemist" Blumfeld

Posted for Sunday Scribblings and Alchemy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The dreadful fib

For her

thing more dread-
ful than this heavy
silence that is now between us?

– Leonard "Some Release" Blumfeld

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My demands

I am your star
but my wants are few –
give me yourself,
and you and you.

– Leonard “Dickinson” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written for Sunday Scribblings. The task was to think of demands one would have as a mega ridiculous superstar on tour. While I’ve definitely missed the subject here, I like this somewhat Emily Dickinsonian ditty in all its simplicity, if I may say so myself.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Words of love

A love song that has stayed with me for decades - ever since I heard it at my friend Paloma's house in Madrid - is Palabras de amor by Joan Manuel Serrat. He originally wrote it in his native Catalan, and the Catalan title is Paraules d'amor. The version I first heard and still prefer to any other recordings, including those by the composer himself, is by Venezuelan singer Soledad Bravo. It is unparalleled in its warmth and intimacy. The translation below is based on the lyrics she sings on her album Punto y Raya from 1974 (same as in the Youtube audio below).

This could well be my swan song to an emotional involvement that has been with me for over two years and is now showing signs of closure.

– Leonard Blumfeld

Words of love

She loved me so much,
And I love her to this very day.
Together we entered
A closed door.

I could say that she meant
The whole world to me then,
When only words of love
Were burning in the hearth.

Words of love, simple and tender.
We knew nothing else, we were fifteen.
We had not had time to learn anything else,
Had just woken from childhood dreams.

We were happy with three phrases
Learned from old comedians
Telling love stories, poets’ dreams.
We knew nothing else, we were fifteen.

Wherever she may be now,
Whatever she may be doing,
I lost her and will never ever
Get to see her again.

But oftentimes when night falls
I hear a song from far away.
Ancient notes, ancient chords,
Ancient words of love.

Words of love, simple and tender.
We knew nothing else, we were fifteen.
We had not had time to learn anything else,
Had just woken from childhood dreams.

– Joan Manuel Serrat

English translation by Johannes Beilharz (© 2010)

More song lyrics

Palabras de amor

Ella me quiso tanto,
yo todavía la quiero.
Juntos atravesamos
una puerta cerrada.

Ella, como podré decir,
era todo mi mundo
cuando en el hogar quemaban
solo palabras de amor.

Palabras de amor, sencillas y tiernas,
no sabíamos más, teníamos quince años,
no habíamos tenido tiempo de aprenderlas,
recién despertábamos de un sueño infantil.

Teníamos bastante con tres frases hechas
que habíamos oído a antiguos comediantes
de historias de amor, sueños de poetas,
no sabíamos más, teníamos quince años.

Ella, dónde estará,
ella, qué estará haciendo,
la perdí y nunca más
la volveré a encontrar.

Pero cuando la noche cae
oigo lejana una canción,
y en las notas, viejos acordes,
viejas palabras de amor.

Palabras de amor, sencillas y tiernas,
no sabíamos más, teníamos quince años,
no habíamos tenido tiempo de aprenderlas,
recién despertábamos de un sueño infantil.

– Joan Manuel Serrat

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In praise of humor / spoken to a love

Amaze me again today with your
Frail sense of humor, Shalini. Let’s enter the
Sacred realm of laughter.

– Leonard “Finds Humor Here and There” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written around Amaze, Frail and Sacred from 3WW.

This could be addressed to someone like the Shalini in Dil Chahta Hai (2001), all 3 hours of which I watched again without regret. It is the story of three close friends (played by Aamir Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan in excellent roles) and their love relationships.
I must admit to some arbitrary transposition in the poem. The frail sense of humor actually goes with the character Pooja (played by Sonali Kulkarni), but I wanted the name Shalini in there. The Shalini in the movie, played by Preity Zinta in one of her typical lively roles, has much more than a frail sense of humor...

Song from the movie featuring Saif Ali Khan and Sonali Kulkarni.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Strawberries run deep

Or was it raspberries?
That was the title of a book of poems
I bought somewhere in rural Arkansas
in 1978, where three friends and I
had come for boating on the
Buffalo River.

Written by one Edsel ... (not Ford,
I think, definitely not Ford). And
now I can’t find it on my shelves
to help me remember why
those berries, straw or rasp,
run deep.

– Leonard “Does Run Deep” Blumfeld (© 2010)

A poem to illustrate the strangeness of (my) memory and to go with “running” at One Single Impression.

As I found out with the help of Google, the poet's name is Edsel Ford indeed (there is a Wikipedia article about him), and the title of the collection is “Raspberries Run Deep” (published in 1975). I still haven't located the book, though, so the deep-running raspberries must remain a mystery for now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A cuddly ride

Not necessarily a cuddly ride, one might surmise.
But the sufi master is unperturbed.

I took this picture at an exhibition of sufi posters from Pakistan in Munich last fall.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The ragged fib

I say?
You occur
quite ragged today.
Not your tidy self, my sweet elf.

- Leonard "Downright Ragged Himself" Blumfeld

Written to include occur, ragged and tidy from 3WW. Sweet, funny or merely insipid? You be the judge, dear reader.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Axe made of gold

Story of Isaac

The door it opened slowly,
my father he came in, I was nine years old.
And he stood so tall above me,
his blue eyes they were shining
and his voice was very cold.
He said, "I've had a vision
and you know I'm strong and holy,
I must do what I've been told."
So he started up the mountain,
I was running, he was walking,
and his axe was made of gold.

Well, the trees they got much smaller,
the lake a lady's mirror,
we stopped to drink some wine.
Then he threw the bottle over.
Broke a minute later
and he put his hand on mine.
Thought I saw an eagle
but it might have been a vulture,
I never could decide.
Then my father built an altar,
he looked once behind his shoulder,
he knew I would not hide.

You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.
You who stand above them now,
your hatchets blunt and bloody,
you were not there before,
when I lay upon a mountain
and my father's hand was trembling
with the beauty of the word.

And if you call me brother now,
forgive me if I inquire,
"Just according to whose plan?"
When it all comes down to dust
I will kill you if I must,
I will help you if I can.
When it all comes down to dust
I will help you if I must,
I will kill you if I can.
And mercy on our uniform,
man of peace or man of war,
the peacock spreads his fan.

Leonard Cohen (from Songs of from a Room, 1969)

Posted for One Single Impression / Gold.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Relationship dynamics

In one lucid moment of
she managed
to cement his trust.
He and she both knew
now that they’d walk
through hell for each other.

– Leonard “Fu Tse” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written to include lucid, righteous and salvage from 3WW.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The 1002nd night

Padma thought the radish joke might be too risqué for the ruler, whose sense of humor was not known for much alacrity.

But Kamini decided to go ahead – after all, she would be wearing her ravishing purple sari.

Padma was finally relieved of her worrying when Kamini’s ring tone – the first few notes of the theme song from Mohabbatein – sounded after midnight.

This had been their agreed signal if things were all right.

– Leonard Blumfeld ( © 2010 )

Written to use up risque, radish, ring tone, ravishing, ruler from Raven’s Saturday Wordzzle Challenge for Week 98.

A German translation of this story is here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010


A frantic lurch
to get me away
from that odor

But alas, the odor,
stuck to my shoes,
came right along

- Leonard "Lurch" Blumfeld

Written to implicate frantic, lurch and odor from 3WW. Titled "Splat" because a pond might have been my next destination in quest of getting rid of that odor I'd stepped into.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dealing in conditional

Do you know
how much easier it is
to deal in muddled
but, if, if only
and I don’t know
than in bright
shiny yes or no?

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2010)

Written and posted for Sunday Scribblings.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dialog with my horoscope

The horoscope said:
a. You might suddenly desire a big change, Chayote. b. The energy of the day could make you impatient. c. You might feel restless. d. Maybe you realize that you are growing tired of your current job. e. You could crave more creative stimulation and personal challenge. f. Or perhaps you are feeling like you and your romantic partner have become stuck in a rut. g. Find some ways to spice up this important relationship.

I say:
a. Not even suddenly. I've been wanting big change for a long time. But the picture of it is fuzzy.
b. This has actually been an exhausting day, even though it began with good energy from yoga. Several misunderstandings followed, and I felt like an incompetent fool for hours, with my head completely in the clouds, not relating to people right.
c. Yes.
d. It's been worse, but I am definitely tired of it.
e. More creative stimulation would be good. More personal challenge I can do without. I feel challenged enough.
f. Yes, definitely. Even though she qualifies as my romantic partner primarily in my own imagination and in some friends' gossip. They keep seeing us together and putting 2 and 2 together and arriving at 6 1/2 or whatever. And I'm not telling anything.
g. That would be good.

That's all for now, folks.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Out of chaos

Out of chaos
came order –

one second,
one puzzle piece

of chaos was
put in order

for a second.
Or: somebody

saw order
in chaos,

a pattern

somewhere –
for a second.

– Leonard "Chayote" Blumfeld (© 2010 )

Written for One Single Impression.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today's horoscope says romance

Romance is in the air today, L.B. Take that special woman in your life and do something completely different. Get last-minute tickets to a rock concert, or arrange to spend the day canoeing. Do something to shake up your relationship a bit. It is at risk of becoming a bit stale. If there is no one special in your life right now, call a good friend to see if he can set you up with someone. This is no time to be alone!
No, this does not feel like a romantic day at all. I'm afraid the computer that put this horoscope together is even more wrong than usual.

A. That special woman in my life - if I may call her that - would definitely not be thrilled by a last-minute rock concert. She prefers classical or Russian. And canoeing is out. Did that computer take into account the weather hereabouts? This is more the time for ice skating than water sports.

B. Yes, things are a bit stale in that they're not moving at all. Haven't been much in over a year. In fact, calling it a relationship at all would be exaggerating. Even though there are relationships of all kinds. This is definitely one of all kinds.

C. I wouldn't know which friend to call for that.

D. I completely agree - this ain't no time to be alone. Nobody should be. Not even a recluse* such as I.

* I've been called that by my dear ex-wife numerous times (always feeling that I'd been completely misunderstood in 19 years of marriage). And a British friend recently called himself that and seemed to imply the same for me. The truth: I'm just like anybody else, need time with others and time by myself.

Len "Temporarily Recluded" Blumfeld

The weather situation

cannot be called extreme by any means (compared to Kazakhstan, for example, where they have -40 °C, I've heard), but we have had one of the biggest snow falls in this city I can remember, and it feels extremely cold even though it's only slightly below freezing.

I certainly would wish for more induration on my part.

Time to go out, do some dutiful shoveling and perhaps take a picture.*

A not so extreme contribution for Sunday Scribblings and a not so poetic one for One Single Impression.

* Shoveling completed, picture taken, picture added.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

अब तुम इतने दूर हो

अ. ब. के लिये

अब तुम इतने दूर हो
मेरी मन की आंखों से दिखते नहीं

मेरा मन मुड़ चुका है
तुम्हें अंदर आने नहीं देगा

बचा है तो सिर्फ़,
कुछ खोने का एहसास

Johannes Beilharz

Translated by Richa Dubey

Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Yes, dear, I missed the drain.
Now there’s a mess in the kitchen.


You never wrote that epic
you were going to write, dear.


Yes, but I’ve taken a few nibbles
of life. Perhaps that’s all
it’s about. Less epic than
planned, for sure,
but not entirely down the drain.

– Leonard “He Who Nibbles and Drains” Blumfeld

Written to include Drain, Epic and Nibble from 3WW.

Oedipal fib

with my-
self after
all: my mother is the
one I’m seeking in all women.

– Leonard “Finally Sly” Blumfeld (© 2010)

Note: There appears to be some truth to this – generally, the women that appeal to me are similar to my mother, usually in several respects: difficult, negative, depressive, coy, vain, capricious, gifted, always late. You may get a vague picture. I feel trapped.

Friday, January 1, 2010

For the new year / another border crossed

La frontera

Hoy vuelvo a la frontera
Otra vez he de atravesar
Es el viento que me manda
Que me empuja a la frontera
Y que borra el camino
Que detrás desaparece
Que detrás desaparece

Me arrastro bajo el cielo
Y las nubes del invierno
Es el viento que las manda
Y no hay nadie que las pare
A veces combate despiadado
A veces baile
Y a veces…nada
A veces baile
Y a veces…nada

Hoy cruzo la frontera
Bajo el cielo
Bajo el cielo
Es el viento que me manda
Bajo el cielo de acero
Soy el punto negro que anda
A las orillas de la suerte
A las orillas de la suerte

(Lhasa de Sela, from the album The Living Road, 2004)

The border

Today I’m returning to the border
I have to cross once again
It’s the wind that’s sending me
That’s pushing me to the border
And effacing the road
That disappears behind me
That disappears behind me

I wear on underneath the sky
And the winter clouds
It’s the wind that’s calling them
And there’s no-one to stop them
Sometimes it battles mercilessly
Sometimes it dances
And sometimes...nothing
Sometimes it dances
And sometimes...nothing

Today I’m crossing the border
Underneath the sky
Underneath the sky
The wind is telling me to do it
Under the steely sky
I’m the black dot that’s walking
Towards the shores of fate
Towards the shores of fate

(English translation by Johannes Beilharz)

Another border crossed, a new leaf turned for Sunday Scribblings.

More song lyrics

Much belated note
As I found out years later, Lhasa de Sela had passed away on January 1, 2010 at the age of 37, about one month before I published this translation here.