Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sing, the Muses, sing!

Sing the story of the war,
Of the front line - you know
What that looks like,
Don't you.

Sing of the 9 years.
Of the rage and killing that
Whipped the frenzied
Reptile so it
Tasted sweet alongside
Tears of grief.

Sing of words
Cut short by death,
The spirit leaving the body
And returning in bottles
To those who carry
The song to their children.

Sing of Berkeley Rep's
Production of An Iliad,
A world presented by
Two people who have traveled
Through time.

Friday, October 26, 2012


The Greeks believed that when a person dies, his spirit or psyche leaves the physical body in the form of a little breath or puff of air. The deceased was then prepared for burial.

The remains of the body, or ashes, if cremated, were placed inside the tomb specially built for the deceased. Immortality lay in the continued remembrance of the deceased person by family members.

The interment of the body, either the bones or ashes, had to be duly buried in the earth in order to bring happiness and peace to the soul of the deceased person.

Those who did not receive proper funeral rites were doomed to wander by the river Styx, the entrance to the Underworld, for eternity; their souls could never be at rest. Thus, denying burial to a corpse not only insulted the body, but also damned his soul for all time.

Burying and mourning their dead relatives gave women an opportunity to do something important. It brought women to the fore and gave them a role to play in a society where they were not viewed as equal citizens. When Creon forbade the burial of Polynices, he denied Antigone the chance to do one of the few important things society allowed women to do. Thus, he attacked her identity, and that was a primary reason she opposed him.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

CA Shakeout: what 3 things would you do?

An earthquake has struck. It was so strong that you looked for a place to duck, cover, and hold-on. It lasted 20 seconds but it felt like a lifetime as you heard glass shatter, light fixtures fell from the ceiling, and heavy cases toppled over. Your office mates shout with alarm. What a mess.

The San Francisco financial district has no power so your office is plunged into darkness. Cell phones, internet, and all wireless does not function. The BART transbay tunnel is closed and the status of roads and transportation will be unknown for at least 6 hours.

What are the first 3 things you do?

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Am I a nerd or what.

Need to find a way
Out of this rut:
Release biters to
Couple atop their own,
And do not worry if
They notice I’ve grown.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

5 prompts at 10

1. Each day, kharis proffered, until it stopped.

2. Pedestal: for a Statue or for a Caryatid.

3. The overtones and rhythm of drumming transported him.

4. God help you if you don’t have another place to go.

5. It's okay to look back.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Neruda's Tribute

Ode to My Socks

Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,
Violent socks,
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
two cannons,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.

Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere as schoolboys
keep fireflies,
as learned men collect
sacred texts,
I resisted the mad impulse to put them
in a golden cage and each day give them
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.

The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.
-Pablo Neruda (trans. Robert Bly)