Tag: poetry

  • Self’s first Shabbat. Self didn’t know that no buses ran after 4 or 5 p.m. A Filipina told her, while self stood waiting in vain at the stop for Bus No. 10 on Arlozoroff.

    Ying was asleep when self left the hospital. Less voluble today, but her fever’s gone: her temperature was 36.5. But lymphoblasts — or whatever you call those cells doctors count to measure the body’s immune response — were low, “only 500” said the nurse. So, self had to wear a mask all day.

    Now, back at Ruppin Street. This narrow thoroughfare is like a stage: all manner of people come and go. Self likes sitting on the balcony, where she can enjoy the breeze while listening to Astrud Gilberto on her brother’s ipod. Motorcycles spurt up and down the street, doors slam, car engines sputter and turn over. And always, there are voices.

    Nephew’s back from a trip to Haifa with self’s brother. All excitement: he wants to share his views of Haifa, the bomb shelters and the beautiful palace with the pink trees. Then, he shows me his newest invention: nutella with yoghurt, something he dubs a “nutgurt.” Self has to admit, it looks dee-lish.

    Tomorrow self wants to go to Old Jaffa. Nephew told her it was only a 25-minute cab ride. But how much is a 25-minute cab ride? 100 shekel? Self has to husband her finances sooo carefully, especially as hubby’s tales from his office grow increasingly bleak and the economic forecasts in The Jerusalem Post spout doom.

    Ah, but let’s deal with that when self returns, in another week. In the meantime, this is an excerpt from a series of poems by Shlonsky — a member of what Barbara Mann calls the first generation of Hebrew modernists in Palestine — from the series called “In Tel Aviv”:

    Street lamps before evening falls
    Ah– who lit you, yellowed eyes?
    For what did you bring, empty auto, untimely,
    a strange gust to the wine house?

    Hackerbrau pictures on the walls,
    overturned glasses on the bar.
    And in a neglected nook a clock drowses,
    and a Jew asleep at the counter.

    I, a Jew, came for no reason,
    I, a Jew, returning home,
    an empty car shifts another moment,
    and silence returns to what it was.

    And a snoring shofar roars,
    A scratch in the skin of silence.
    And only streetlights still throw
    Yellow rings to the earth.

  • Self will do anything — anything — to get out of grading papers this evening. Not that the papers are all bad. In fact, quite a number show a touching empathy for Anne Sexton/Chitra Divakaruni/ Kevin Kostelnik/ and Sharon Olds, poets whose work self has been teaching the past week. But self feels quite in need of some distraction at the moment, so she has decided to draw up a list of all the people who have sent her at least FIVE e-mails in the past 4 years (that is, since 2003)* . . .

      * on Stanford alumni e-mail address

    Judy Benares
    Wendell Capili
    Virginia Cerenio
    May-lee Chai
    Sam Chang
    Frank Chow
    Rocio G. Davis
    Chitra Divakaruni
    Marko Fong
    M. Evelina Galang
    Vince Groyon
    Luisa Igloria
    Ron Iscoff
    Stella Kalaw
    Ed Bok Lee
    Zack Linmark
    Dino Manrique
    Ruthanne Lum McCunn
    Claudia McIsaac
    Reine Melvin
    Veronica Montes
    Fran Ng
    Carla M. Pacis
    Vince Rafael
    Brian Roley
    Roshni Rustomji-Kerns
    Timothy Seibles
    Vanni de Sequera
    Joel Tan
    Annabelle Udo
    Tommy Villanueva (Beloved Bro)
    Yoohoo Villanueva (Beloved Other Bro)
    Terry Yamada

    THE END!!

  • Self knows that there are quite a number of Stanford alums who’ve stumbled on to her website (Thank you, Ian Hsu!). Post about Stanford alums in Hollywood was big hit!

    Niece, who is usually a font of Stanford information, is at Stanford in Oxford this fall. Self already misses their weekly gab-fests! Until her return in January, self and loyal blog readers will have to depend on e-mail and mailings from Alumni Office. And last weekend, self found in her mailbox the flyer announcing the 2007-2008 Jean and Bill Lane Lecture Series. Without further ado:

    MARK DOTY, author of the poetry collections School of the Arts, Source, and Sweet Machine

    Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007
    Cubberley Auditorium, 8 PM

    LORRIE MOORE, 2004 winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story

    Monday, Feb. 11, 2007
    Kresge Auditorium, 8 PM

    CHARLES BAXTER, whose novel, The Feast of Love, was hailed by the NY Times Book Review as “rich, juicy, laugh-out-loud funny . . . ”

    Monday, Apr. 14, 2008
    Cubberley Auditorium, 8 PM

    Self will impart readers’ bios and directions to reading venues as dates approach. But, for now, self thinks above information is sufficient.


  • “October”


    It is true there is not enough beauty in the world.
    It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.
    Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.

    I am
    at work, though I am silent.