Little Things

like the poem

the dreamy bus driver wrote

in ‘Paterson’

while idling at stop lights

or picking up passengers

the one about Ohio Blue Tip matches

in their sturdy little boxes

‘so sober and furious, ready to burst into flame’

as crafted as those of his hero

William Carlos Williams

the doctor who lived a few streets down

 who wrote that famous poem

the red wheelbarrow glazed with rain

And me realizing you can write poems

about almost anything

even a red pencil sharpener

a bowl of berries with a barrowful of dreams

and finding out

that’s where Lou Costello came from too

Paterson, New Jersey.

There’s even a park named after him,

Lou Costello the chubby comedian who played alongside Bud Abbot,

the straight guy.

I used to watch those guys in the fun-house

Of the fifties,

frolicking with Frankenstein and The Wolf man.

But it was Lou Costello

I loved

The funny little fat guy

And that’s where he came from,

Paterson, New Jersey.

One Special Place

I thought about what Fiona had said,

the female lead in ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain’

about her developing interest in Iceland,

how she looked at travel guides,

read accounts of famous writers who had visited,

Auden, William Morris,

but didn’t really plan to travel there herself.

There ought to be one place,

she said,

one special place,

‘you thought about and knew about

and maybe longed for

but never did get to see’

*have you a place like this?

Backs to the Sea

People who live here, he said, live with their backs to the sea.

And I said, how could anyone turn their backs to the sea?

And I thought of mum, before she was hauled away, saying,

I want to go back to the sea again,

how she sounded like Miranda the mermaid who had strayed

from her home

but when she got her wish, when we got her into a retirement home

on the esplanade, she grew jaded.

What’s wrong, mum? we asked.

I want to go home, she said. I want to go back where I lived with dad.

But you’ve got a ringside seat, mum, to the Southern Ocean. A view to die for.

It’s not the same, she said, not when you see the same thing day after day.

But we sat with her, watching the red sun sit on the lip of the horizon like a wafer,

the seabirds flying home, and a kind of calm settled on her.

What I Saw on the Way

Beth put up a post yesterday about the joys of walking, not just the health benefits but what you come across on the way.

Here are some of the things I came across:

water tumbling over stones

a brindled dog all skin and bones

frogs jamming in baritone

the bumblebees’ gingery drone

horses cantering on their own

one jet black, the others roan,

sad girl sitting all alone

hunched over her mobile phone

Where Celebrities Grew Up

Reading an article by David Remnick,

editor of ‘The New Yorker’

since 1998

I discovered

he was born in Paterson, New Jersey

the same place as Philip Roth,

the novelist whose biography Remnick was profiling,

as was Ginsberg,

the man who wrote “Howl’

that poem that still echoes down the decades.

the same place too

as William Carlos Williams,

the man who wrote ‘the red wheelbarrow’

and wait for it,

Lou Costello,

the comedic partner of Bud Abbot

whose films split our sides

in the fun house of the fifties;

what do they have in the water of Paterson, New Jersey,

that so many famous people

grew up there;

it must be quite a place

Getting my Mojo Back

mojos-header-2015

I wish there were a place called Mojos

Where you could go to replenish

Your creative juices, to kick start that poem

Or story that won’t budge, where, in short,

You could go to get your mojo back

Should you lose it, and then I find there is!!!

 

It’s just around the corner, down the road a piece,

where ‘it’s  local and foreign, hard and soft,

obscure and obvious, friendly and furious’

& it’s open ‘seventeen days a week’! I just knew

There had to be a place like that, a place like ‘Cheers’

But where creatives go. I just hope they still run

flights there, and I can get in.