Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Garden In Mid July

Last of peas
 About three months ago I began some flowers and vegetables in the garden area of the building where I live.  Today I took out the pea plants that I bought at Tacoma Boys, and pulled off the last of the peas.
Some pea vines

Others from the building had done this earlier, their variety was the kind that had edible pods.

Today I noticed, as well, the small trees and plants the library added where some evergreen shrubs had been for a number of years.
Maybe a week ago

small tree


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Poems And State Fair - Part Two

Poems and State Fair – Part Two

At Emmanuel Presbyterian
As I read part of my poem group about
STATE FAIR – I remembered

I rode on my bike, 2001,
Past the church the afternoon
Of the nine one one attack.

The fairgrounds seemed empty,
Early, I drew Incubator chicks.
At the stand they said I was

Not needed that day,   I should
Come in The next day.  I drew
From a bench

The vertical conveyer belt
Corn roaster, the walls of the stand,
The shelf where the radio

Was on, and was saying
Something about
An attack on New York.

I had delivered papers
For two and a half years.
I had never owned a car.

Those years, twice the winter
Snow became very deep.
I felt I was

A Bing and Grondahl Christmas
Plate, a white and blue night where I
Pushed along my cart.

After I got back that day
And listened to the radio in the
Apartment kitchen

It said there was a News Tribune
Special at the grocery.   On my bike
Past the spanish style church

Past the square gray Gothic
Pavement, grass, parking
A sentence I wrote before,

Taupe to sienna to a time
Of gold late afternoon.  It is very still
My bike moves along

For the special at the grocery.
Did I bring one or two
Around that afternoon to buildings?

Nothing moved.  All was silent.
In the special Gary Locke our governor
Would speak at a memorial

At the fairgrounds in the morning.
I got up and delivered the News Tribune
With the first story about the attack

I bathed and dressed
And attended the memorial
Before the shift I had
At the Fairgrounds stand,

Near some of the rides
Near the midway.  I brought
Condiments from the walk-in refrigerator

Washed lemons,   I washed potatoes
And and wrapped them in foil.
I carried more boxes of lemons

And potatoes in from the walk-in
Refrigerator and had a potato
At my break in the Duris black

Tee shirt with the large
Medallion with an elephant
On the back.

After two years delivering
Papers I had applied for food stamps.
From Job Source

I could get a job at the fair,
I got up the next morning
And delivered the paper.

It had more stories about the attack.
I took the bus to the fairgrounds
Again, and I washed lemons
And potatoes,  and I

Took the bus back and I listened
To the radio in the apartment kitchen.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Mental Health Awareness Month - A Poem Boys Will Be Boys

Boys Will Be Boys – Delusion Portrayed in “State Fair”

When you see a classic movie
Several times, you think more things.

The opening dialog in the movie State Fair
Follows pictures of a red sports car
That speeds across farm country
And stops at a farm.  A girl stands up out of the car
Slams the door and tells the driver off.
She does not like the reckless way he drives.
A dress with a pastel gathered skirt,
layered cut, boys will be boys.

I have never owned a car, Maybe I
Do not know.  I go on with the poem.

A small waist, a thin chain
On her neck with a little pendant.
She walks to the porch.  At top speed
Her boyfriend maneuvers the car around
And back to the country highway.
Young Frake and his reckless driving. 
Then there is plot development .

The sequel to State Fair, in 1953,
Replaced trotting horses with race cars.

Young Frake encounters a nemesis.
A pro in the Pro / Am.  The sports car
Will be in the Pro / Am
Auto race.  Bested Last Year,
This year he, the good guy Amateur,
Will win.  And the bad guy Pro guy
That exploiter, will be the loser
Young Frake is determined.

In the 1932 novel by Phil Stong, Young Frake’s
Sister says, “a bit of a Looney
Our  Wayne…”  Wayne Frake daydreams
In a world of his own.
He rides honored city wide
In a tickertape parade.  The farm family
In the country are far away,
Transparent and nebulous.

In the 1945 movie Young Frake at the midway
Has practiced the ring toss
All winter and  wins, creating friction
With the ring toss booth manager.
At a party, he socks someone.
In 1962 Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn,
And Pat Boone are among eighteen film stars
Presented to Queen Elizabeth at a reception
That preceded a London premiere of West Side Story.

Before Leonard Bernstein’s  achievement
Of Shakespeare overwhelms in a no-contest
Movies contest, it is Rodgers and Hammerstein
That achieves the Midwest Depression
Novelist, Phil Stong, a treatment of A sordid tale. 
An internet reference:
The critics call State Fair only Fair,
But it has gained a cult following
There I am, one of them.

Social comment and comic relief
When the Veterinarian  brings meds for Blue Boy,
The pig.  “Eleven Dollars?
The whole family could end up bankrupt
We can’t afford to have a traumatic pig.”
Mrs. Frake is acting cynical.

On the library DVD, over the search lights
Of 20th Century Fox, the voice of Pat Boone
Says, Hello Friends!  It is the
Narration feature.  I disagree as Pat Boone
Dismisses Young Frake’s behavior
as Puppy Love – It is boys will be boys.
State Fair, the novel, the movies, the music
Characterize Young Frake In a delusional state. 

His driving is reckless.  He encounters
A beautiful woman, the delusion
Becomes Erotomania as he steps
Over a line to the orchestra area to look
at the dancer,  star struck.  He  just met her.
The movie’s glamour, however,
Beauty and perfection override any idea that
This is in a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry.

Normal falls, one side of a line or over.
The behavior is not so far over the line
From normal.  But normal is Boys
Will Be Boys.   Mother Frake casts a slur,
Trash.   What did Mrs. Frake Mean by “trash”? 
A cruel, effective slur against
Sexual behavior.  She turned Emily
(Ann Margret) into mincemeat,
She won the fair plaque in that category.

“It’s just like mother says,” cloudless
from a speaker near the river and pasture.
Anita Gordon must have Prerecorded
for Pamela Tiffin specifically.
”It Might As Well Be Spring” becomes
“Mother?” in loss at the slur.
The narrative has explained the song “That’s For Me”
Was prerecorded.  Pat Boone was very young

And really enjoyed doing the scene
with acrobatics at the Texas Grandstand.

A class about mental health
Describes normal as points that fall
To one side or the other of a line.
Young Frake is over the line.
The erotomania.  The unexpected

Graffiti Young Frake paints on the race car.
The Unexpected engagement ring.
The two cars fight instead of race
And run off the track.  Later:  I wonder
If the Pro can sue Young Frake. Pat Boone
says Ann Margret Began to show the talent
She was developing as an actress
In the scenes they did together.

When you see a classic movie several times
You think more things.  I saw State Fair
August 11, 1962, in my junior high school
Diary.  And a poem has more sections.
The poem has more sections,
1968, and 1964, and 1963.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Certificate from the Sister City at the Sister Cities 60th Anniversary

Souvenir Supplies
Some years back at a Point Defiance Pagoda poetry reading I brought along and displayed my framed certificate from participation with Sister City Ogura, Japan.  People from the audience liked it in the context.  Sam Hamill, who passed away last year, did me the great favor of translation. 

Because I read in Tacoma Weekly that the sister city in Japan, Kitakyushu, is celebrating its 60th year, I thought of including the certificate along with some souvenir art supplies.  My certificate was for child art displayed in the Kitakyushu area of Ogura.  The certificate was on my wall where I did oil painting for five years, until I left for college in 1967. 
Ink Stick From 6th Avenue store
The certificate was for grade school work. 
For a time I tried sumi.  I have souvenir sumi art supplies with me.  The ink stick has beautiful characters on it.  I found the sumi supplies at the art supply store that was across from Jason Lee Junior High School for many years.

Ink Stick, Reverse
The dachsunds are to hold wet brushes.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Poem From Open Mike April 12, 2019

Laura Jensen 1960

 Portland Oregon the 1960s

Portland Oregon nineteen sixties

in its features in the night

in the dark a light

and the glow is in two printing fonts

one font arcs in a script that writes

Teeple’s, that writes Teeple’s,

the rest is printing caps that say

coffee shop, coffee shop

Teeple’s Coffee Shop

This is a possible reason

a photographer in so much dark

at Southwest Morrison at Twelfth

took a photo – on the internet the dark

is very pure. The neon is not so legible

but it is there, it is Teeples coffee Shop.
Portland Bureau of Transportation

This belongs to us all, a ride

in the dark. At this place

enlightened by neon.

The neon sign is legible

in another photo on the Neighbors

of Woodcraft Building

ornate and tall.


Teeple. A hundred and forty-two

Years ago, H. Teeple

appears in an 1877 Portland city directory

On F between Eighth and Ninth.


At an internet site called

Mapping Inequality, the block

for the Neighbors of Woodcraft

was at the corner of a redlined

rectangle, just beside untinted space

of downtown commercial.

So in the 1930s this place

was not residentially desireable.


This deep memory of the sacred dark

Teeple’s Coffee Shop

can have been shared too by

a genealogy question. Was the name

Teeple raised up high by its family,

Cooks in the city Directory

nearby the Alder Street Steeple

to grace all the knowledge

of a derivation? Like other

names in English, did it spring

from a location?

Like the steeplechase in riding

was a race from one town steeple

to another town steeple.


The neon sign

Of Teeples Coffee Shop

must have survived during

the demolitions and kept shining

from the other side

that during the freeway construction

removed a city block across

for miles through downtown Portland.

In one freeway photograph

Is the overpass new above

dirt the steam shovels cross

dirt is all that was left of the old buildings?

At Teeples Coffee Shop

Did breakfast follow a glimpse of

whatever surface became I-5?

Perhaps that was the progression,

perhaps close-spaced overpasses

also came ahead, and the Neighbors of Woodcraft

could cross along Overpass Morrison,

see Overpass Alder, too, above

the dirt floor below demolitioned for miles.


There are buildings in the backgrounds

of photos of the Finland singers

greeted as they arrived by bus

in Portland in 1960.

Behind Linnea Maria Riska

who lifts up her hand

and is waving, at her right

is a building at fourteenth

and Morrison. A four-story

industrial building which has many windows.

At her left a metal feature

of a square shape on the building

identifies the Morrison Plaza Building

certainly. Linnea Riska appears

in a letter from Finland in 1938,

she visited them

at their hotel in Helsinfors

before they traveled on to Malax,

my grandmother's village.


Some photos include the bus

Finland Singers Goodwill Tour,

And I - I am not out of character

the smile, the posture, I seem happy -

as I have appeared behind seated women

at Christmas

in taffeta and a white cotton blouse,

or - outside on the deck of my

dorm common room in 1968,

I lean back against the railing.

Historically, I have just signed up for Swedish.


In 1960 one hand leans upon the singers' bus

the sweater across the other arm

one foot rests across the other

on a posed toe. Happy, I guess. My grades

are always high, songs of the singers

are known to me, back in 1960

a few days ago in Tacoma

at the Valhalla Hall, I still recall

my dirndl dress and cummerbund.


In the photo with me,

above the bus a short electric tower.

Part of a word at the front of the bus

must be Standard, but the

d is not there. And above the

standard building part of a steeple.

A clue. The Steeple is a clue.

The steeple we find at the First

Presbyterian Church on Alder.

On the internet another photo -

the short electric tower

is one of others at corners of buildings.

Those buildings after the freeway

That are no more. The view of the church

though, is no longer blocked

from fourteenth by the buildings.

The church is there, and the

Neighbors of Woodcraft, now

called Tiffany Center.


And as I see photos on the internet,

a memory surfaces.

We stayed overnight in a hotel

on the car trip to Seaside

She had us go to a movie

so we stepped outside from the hotel

into a golden and rosy glow

thick downtown neons

and over to Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison,

about Debra Kerr as a nun

marooned with Robert Mitchum.


Teeple's Coffee Shop.

Think of those who remember the sign

And I as well. We carry the enlightened

dark along inside us in neon.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Pat Boone and Remembrance For the Loss of his Wife Shirley Boone

I noticed on the internet that after a life-time marriage, Shirley Boone passed away.  Two memorial services include videos of Pat Boone and their four daughters.  I am so sorry he and his family have lost Shirley Boone.  They stood for a kind warmth in the music business.

I listened on the internet to The Pat Boone Metal Years cover for Jimmi Hendrix The Wind CriesMary.  In a 1997 treatment of this Pat Boone song there appears a drama about a girl in drug treatement.  In this song Pat Boone excels in his enunciation, the great lyrics are given a clear treatment they well deserve.  Pat Boone has been an excellent singing voice, it has meant a lot to so many people. 

Some years when the fair time comes I remember the 1962 movie State Fair, which included Pat Boone as a farm youth who had an affair with a dancer, Ann Margret.  I wondered, what did the word “trash” mean.   I did come to mind that Mrs. Abel Frake turns the dancer into mincemeat as they all stand at the cyclone fence around the racetrack with Ann Margret eavesdropping.  Mincemeat, Mrs. Frake won a plaque for mincemeat at the fair.

In the realm of political correctness we should remember that language applied to women does continue to demean and trouble us.  Back in 2012 I included the lyrics to Loyalty on my blog, Loyalty, a song from thePat Boone movie Mardi Gras, a duet with Steve Allen that I still like so well.  Loved the Steve Allen Show.  I can link to my Salt River Review prosepoem, Steve Allen.

I am so sorry Pat Boone and his family have lost Shirley Boone. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Morning Walk and Linnea Hall in Portland

Among saved programs from songfests of the Runeberg Lodge an illustration of the Linnea Hall in Portland, Oregon, appears.  In an earlier entry to this blog, in 2011, I mentioned this program and a song from the program, Romance, by Merikanto, I had found while searching the internet for songfest performance songs.  On a morning sight-seeing walk in Portland these past few days I saw the Linnea Hall in Portland.  The hall had been a gathering place for Scandinavians in Portland.