Saturday, January 1, 2011


(Judy Grahn, January 1988, Oakland CA, photo by Robert Giard)
Every Saturday evening I post a Judy Grahn poem. Much of her best work is already up here (check Labels to the right for her name) but there is still a wealth more to share. If she'd been a straight white man, they'd have declared her poet laureate a long time ago -- but then she wouldn't be writing the stunning language that she does.

My name is Judith, meaning
She Who Is Praised
I do not want to be called praised
I want to be called The Power of Love.

if love means protect then whenever I do not
defend you
I cannot call my name Love.
if love means rebirth then when I see us
dead on our feet
I cannot call my name Love.
if love mean provide & I cannot
provide for you
why would you call my name Love?

do not mistake my breasts
for mounds of potatoes
or my belly for a great roast duck.
do not take my lips for a streak of luck
nor my neck for an appletree,
do not believe my eyes are a swarm of bees;
do not get Love mixed up with me.

Don't misunderstand my hands
for a church with a steeple,
open the fingers & out come the people;
not take my feet to be acres of solid brown earth,
or anything else of infinite worth
to you, my brawny turtledove;
do not get me mixed up with Love.

not until we have ground to call our own
to stand on
& weapons of our own in hand
& some kind of friends around us
will anyone ever call our name Love,
& then when we do we will all call ourselves
grand, muscley names:
the Protection of Love,
the Provision of Love & the
Power of Love.
until then, my sweethearts,
let us speak simply of
romance, which is so much
easier and so much less
than any of us deserve.

© Judy Grahn, from The Work Of A Common Woman



My "dream outside the box" wishes for 2011:

(1) Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor publicly announce they have become lovers. In reaction, Clarence Thomas has a stroke and Anthony Scalia resigns in contagion panic. Suddenly there are five women on the Supreme Court, three of them sistahs of color.
(2) Nancy Pelosi announces she is running for the Presidency in 2012. The heads of liberal boys explode all around the country as they try to claim she isn't as progressive as Obama.
(3) A move is under way to replace the word "God" with "Kenny Loggins" in the motto imprinted on currency.
(4) Health care for all members of Congress is repealed and they have to find insurers who will cover them as they are.
(5) There is a freak convergence of tornados at the state funeral of Dick Cheney, taking out so many neocons that the next day the 700 Club admits global warming might be an issue to worry about.
(6) Ellen Degeneres starts eating again and calls herself a lesbian.
(7) New influxes of lesbians in the armed forces form secret vigilante groups who (a) castrate male soldiers who rape women and (b) leak the codes and whereabouts of all Blackwater-esque "private pay" forces to the Taliban. The wars are hastily ended.
(8) A coalition of progressive organizations begins demanding every candidate for public office answer one question: Do you believe in the supremacy of the white race? Refusal to answer is called a Yes. Speakers are shouted down until they answer the question. Teabagger support is badly eroded, and the remaining parties are classified as hate groups by the SPLC.
(9) Dennis Kucinich slips a bill labeling high fructose corn syrup a controlled hazardous substance into a defense spending bill and it passes, ending corn subsidies and wreaking havoc on agribusiness.
(10) More cowbell.



Here's the a special gleaning from the best of I Can Has Cheezburger -- the first LOLCats of 2011!


Thursday, December 30, 2010


(Heavy runaway star rushing away from a nearby stellar nursery at more than 400 000 kilometres per hour in 30 Doradus Nebula)

Every Thursday, I post a very large photograph of some corner of space captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and available online from the picture album at HubbleSite, followed by poetry after the jump.


by Toi Derricotte

My mother was not impressed with her beauty;
once a year she put it on like a costume,
plaited her black hair, slick as cornsilk, down past her hips,
in one rope-thick braid, turned it, carefully, hand over hand,
and fixed it at the nape of her neck, stiff and elegant as a crown,
with tortoise pins, like huge insects,
some belonging to her dead mother,
some to my living grandmother.
Sitting on the stool at the mirror,
she applied a peachy foundation that seemed to hold her down, to trap her,
as if we never would have noticed what flew among us unless it was weighted
and bound in its mask.
Vaseline shined her eyebrows,
mascara blackened her lashes until they swept down like feathers;
her eyes deepened until they shone from far away.

Now I remember her hands, her poor hands, which, even then were old from
whiter on the inside than they should have been,
and hard, the first joints of her fingers, little fattened pads,
the nails filed to sharp points like old-fashioned ink pens,
painted a jolly color.
Her hands stood next to her face and wanted to be put away, prayed
for the scrub bucket and brush to make them useful.
And, as I write, I forget the years I watched her
pull hairs like a witch from her chin, magnify
every blotch—as if acid were thrown from the inside.

But once a year my mother
rose in her white silk slip,
not the slave of the house, the woman,
took the ironed dress from the hanger—
allowing me to stand on the bed, so that
my face looked directly into her face,
and hold the garment away from her
as she pulled it down.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Here's the weekly best of what I've gleaned from I Can Has Cheezburger efforts. There are some really creative folks out there.