web analytics

Archives for July 2014

Iambic pork belly

JC Martin responded to this post thus:

As one of the six or seven identified readers of A Mountain I have several comments: I rather like the idea of cherry jam and sauerkraut and  poetry based on the stock market but then, I haven’t “gotten,” poetry with the possible exception of Billy Collins for years.



Sometimes a thing doesn’t seem quite right, makes you a little squirmy. You scratch your head and look at your feet, kick a little dust. Some people call it the willies. I get that way when I think about spreading sauerkraut with cherry jam. Don’t ask how such a thought occurs to me. There’s no answer. I think weird.

As the six or seven regular readers of this wobbly little virtual corner know, I dabble in poetry. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t write it, could never presume to do so — save a limerick of questionable taste. Or two. I circle poetry.

To be sure I am no critic, having only a passing — fleeting, really — acquaintance with iambic pentameter. I was never properly introduced.  Nonetheless, my timbers were shivered when I received notice that the University of Arizona Poetry Center was to host what seems to me an unusual event: A presentation that will offer “insights into the relationship between poetry and the financial world. Come listen to what happens when the stock market becomes your muse!”

I can say that if the stock market were my Muse, I would suffer from an enduring sense of loss. It’s the sort of loss you are permitted to write off your income tax at a rate of three grand a year. The crash-bang-thunk you hear is not onomatopoeia.

Does this not have the feeling/appeal of French cherry preserves being slathered on sauerkraut?

To be fair, I might find some poetic charm in options, rather than expiring worthless, quadrupling in value and instilling the joy of rolling the hard eight at the craps table. I might even put some fancy dance steps to that sort of poetry. And there might be serious sonnets inspired by pork belly futures. Don’t get me started on gold, the Euro-dollar pair, Exchange Traded Funds or swaps. It all rhymes with greed.

For those who read poetry with a British accent, the ticker crawl at the bottom of the Greed Channel screen might parse in a way that nuzzles — even caresses — the ear. But it seems at best a remote possibility.

In any event, I shall try to keep an open mind. I am always open to moolah, iambic or free verse. Perhaps it is a good way to get in touch with your inner Gekko.


My aunt

Of late, I have been to a funeral of my 89-year-old Aunt Jo in Cottonwood, Arizona conducted by a pastor with a tendency to repeat himself and rely on a karaoke machine, despite which he sang off key with great gusto.

Nonetheless, I suspect my aunt would have approved. She was surrounded by as much family as could be expected to show — all of whom thought the best of her and wished her happy trails in her journey of great reward. My and my sister’s presence emphasized my aunt’s and uncle’s effort to provide the support we needed at the time, and do all this with unflagging love and good humor.

My mother and father were deaf. I communicated with them using sign language. My use of speech was limited, if non existent. They brought me to a starting point and my first encounter with language.