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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mission Accomplished, May 1, 2003

Iraq War Casualties as of April 30, 2008
US Military: 4063
Iraqi non-combatants killed by military or paramilitary action and civil violence since 2003: 90,782

Cost of Iraq War as of April 30, 2008, 8:30PM
$515,733,178,000.00 (and counting)
• $4,681 per household.
• $1,721 per person.
• $341.4 million per day.

Approximate U.S. Debt: $9,339,822,108,765.84 (and counting)
Foreign countries we owe:
• Japan - 580 billion
• China - 390 billion
• UK - 320 billion


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Baseball Poems

Baseball and Chardonnay

I hold the heavy, thick, short cocktail glass in my hand
filled with cheap chardonnay.
Drain the glass
and look
through the bottom
at the refracted lights
of the ballpark
a wavering image dominating my view
from the living room window.

Why am I not there?

Outside Corner, Two Balls, One Strike

No men on base.
A lean, lanky,
left-handed pitcher controls the mound.
Devil’s spawn.

He made his major league debut the same year
the shortstop from the opposing team
was born.

Three balls.

Weather worn.
Weather wise.
He is slipping.
And the batter has a good eye.

Wind whips through the park.
Fans pull the hoods of their sweatshirts up
as the batter tosses the bat aside and takes first base.

A walk.

Lefty sighs.
Spits. Swallows.
Circles the white strip on the mound.
Tugs at his cap.

Three walks and four strikes for the inning,
he returns to the white strip in the center of the mound
readies himself to face the next batter.
Places his feet carefully into position.
Leans forward. Leans back.
Pulls his left leg in close, knee to chest.
The left leg extends
and the knuckle ball explodes in slow motion.
And again!

Lefty is an almost has-been.
A recent survival of the DL
destined to be traded at the end of the season.

His grey eyes stare into the catcher’s mask.
110 pitches.
Ill-used in his waning years,
yet he nods his assent.

The crowd holds their breath,
suspends their disbelief,
rises to their feet.
Clap! Clap! Clap!
They send their supplication out on the air
and the roar of 45,000 voices shouting, whistling
fills the park.

Lefty hears not,
sees not.
The batter swings.
The crowd roars!
to co-op this victory.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

What Happens When Your Head is in Poetry

I spent the evening reading poetry:
Charles Bukowski, Jack McCarthy, Jr., Bob Holman.
Not your typical elitist crowd.

Spent the evening reading poetry
as I rode Muni to and from the pizza parlor
where I drank beer
and listened to old timers
pluck words from their mouths
and spit them in the air.

Where I drank beer
and listened to their words
plunge, tumble,
execute loopy-de-loops
and linguistically musical
feats of aerial prowess.

Where I drank beer
and watched
one old timer, a thin man
with a cane and glasses
a black hat dusted with city soot and soil
from the streets
on his head.

An old timer
with black leathery skin
and long, slender fingers
tracing the staccato pattern of his words
in the air.

I want to kiss those hands
suck those fingers
for they are as mercurial
as compelling
as his words.

I would like to take that old timer
into my bed
feel the heat from his old street poet’s shanks and marred back
feel the calluses of his hands
penetrate my white skin
seep through my pores
and bones and blood
and sinew and turn my words
into rich, dark-red glutinous plasma
like his.


I come home and write:

I want to be a
steady-fucking woman
who doesn’t care
if anyone calls her
I’d smile and say
yes, that’s what makes my words
taste of my own juice
still succulent
still savory
after all these years.

Truth is
alcohol sucks a woman dry
so I won’t drink so much.
but I’ll still fuck.