Still Processing, Self Discovers a New Poet

Self had a grand time in southern California, the past week and a half.

She is home now, but still trying to process everything.

The day after she got to Venice Beach, she attended Angela Narciso Torres’s reading at Beyond Baroque Literary Center and got to meet her son Matthew (whose room in Chicago self was just in, the week prior). Angela and self do have such great adventures together!

That evening, Angela was reading with a poet self had never listened to before, Shadab Zeest Hashmi. Shadab’s voice was simply entrancing.

Here’s a poem from her collection, Kohl & Chalk. Self had to look up what a ghazal is. According to the Poetry Foundation website, “The ghazal is an Arabic verse form dealing with loss and romantic love.” It consists of a series of couplets, each couplet ending “on the same word or phrase.”

*     *     *     *

Ghazal for the Ninth Month

Your August birth, my taking oath as an American, were only weeks apart.
The most I can remember is your rocking to a dull ache before we were apart.

Our hill was plush, the whole place soaked up the scent of raisin pulao. On
the last day of July the umbilical cord was cut, yet still we were barely apart.

I had sworn to bear arms for this country. A cat prowled between the young
apple tree and dry lobelia; camouflaged, I couldn’t tell her parts apart.

I acted mother first when I frantically covered you, half-dreaming you were
the tender bird of prey and a feline form was the country of which I was a part.

Bear arms? Kill like a predator? In other dreams I bore you through the odd months,
through snow in Julian, rain in Sedona. Not for a single minute were we apart.

*     *     *     *

Beautiful. Just. Beatiful.

Stay tuned.

Minimalist: Food

Self so loves this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  MINIMALIST.

Here are a couple more photographs that self thinks relate to that theme (“Sometimes the simplest photographs make the boldest statements.”)

From Beijing Pie House in Monterey Park:  silken tofu with century egg in a light soy sauce, garnished with green onions

Beijing Pie House, Monterey Park:  November 2014

Beijing Pie House, Monterey Park: November 2014

Blaze Pizza in Pasadena: Doggie “Box”

Blaze Pizza, Pasadena:  November 2014

Blaze Pizza, Pasadena: November 2014

Another from Blaze Pizza.  Would you believe, two toppings, including sales tax = $8.34 ????

Still Blaze Pizza, Pasadena: November 2014

Still Blaze Pizza, Pasadena: November 2014

One can eat very cheaply, VERY WELL, in southern California. If one knows where to look.

Stay tuned.

At Ontario International Airport: Self Won’t Lie

Self won’t lie: she finds it very dispiriting to be in an airport terminal and realize her free internet time is about to run out.

She’s spent most of the last hour reading fan fiction.  And she’s just found a really funny one (the best fan fiction are soooo clever).

Peeta/Katniss fan fiction, of course.

(Only 9 more days till the official opening of Mockingjay Part 1!  In the last few weeks, self has seen so many leaked film clips, she knows almost exactly which scenes from the book are staying and which have been left on the cutting-room floor. And awwww Josh Baby just looks so cute in his suits. The one he wore to the London premiere of Mockingjay Part 1 was — in self’s humble opinion — particularly fine. And Everlark shippers keep replaying the highlights of the past week’s J-Law and J-Hutch interview antics. Self is so energized by J-Law’s buoyancy. J-Law raises the temperature of any interview by at least 10 degrees.)

Without further ado, dear blog readers, here’s an excerpt from the fan fiction self started reading about half an hour ago. It’s set in LA, Modern-Day AU (And if you don’t know what those acronyms stand for, then you have no business reading this post BWAH. HA. HA!)

Apparently, Peeta is opening a bakery just down the street from the apartment Katniss and Prim have recently moved into.

Katniss and Peeta have a prior romantic history, but everything got all angst-y and the fluff ended.

In the real world, Katniss would start looking for another apartment to take her as far away from the bakery as possible.

But this is not the real world. This is fan fiction. And the tag is Everlark. So, naturally, Katniss walks over and starts a conversation with Peeta, which unfolds thus:

Mr. Mellark:  I’ll give the two of you some privacy.

Katniss and Peeta grin awkwardly at one another.


Katniss (to herself):  “Damn shippers.”

It was only to lighten the mood, but it seemed to have the opposite effect. He stared at her bewildered for a moment, his smile fading before he said, “What?”

“It’s this word for people who really want a couple to be together . . . ” she began to stammer.

“No, I know what it means. I’m just surprised that you do.”


Stay tuned.

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Adventures in life from the Sunshine State to the Golden Gate

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery


Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog


Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor