Monday, December 31, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Roethke Reading Article from UW Alumni Magazine Columns December 2018

William H. Matchett  “offers an inside history of the readings…” in Columns Magazine, December 2018:  Bringing to Campus the Powerhouses of Poetry

William H. Matchett, the author of this article in Faculty Focus of Columns Magazine, was in the small group that originated the Roethke Memorial Reading after many people “made spontaneous gifts in his memory to the UW Department of English” after Theodore Roethke’s death in 1963.  William Matchett  also managed the first twenty-five readings.

He emphasizes economic changes since the start of “what was, for then, a generous endowment”; and near the article’s end, “Sadly, no reading at all was offered in 2017.  The money was simply not available.”  This analysis might be a good addition to the presence of the Roethke Readings at the U. of W. English Department site.  Inflation and art have interacted all these years in the way Matchett describes, and computers, media, and art have interacted as described, as well:
From 1965 through 1997, the readings were recorded.  These tapes, some of which are now lost, are scattered through various Suzzallo collections.

The system in small collections has cared about the importance of technology to preserve these moments, and the pathway to retrieve the material can be chancy.  This has happened with media storage in a lot of ways.  I think the story of the Roethke readings and their situation now is beautifully told here. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Fifty years ago: Saw The Youngbloods at The Eagles Auditorium

From a blog entry December 1, 2010, which was about Tacoma Reads Together and mystery novels: Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon, Tacoma Reads Together choice for 2010, immediately brought me back in time to the movie after a concert at the Eagles Auditorium - more than one approach to the Reads Together, I located the concert in Seatle Times microfilm (early November, a Halloween Be-In, and it was the Youngboods). And, gazing up at the sculpted eagles on finials, I walked past the Eagles Auditorium. Later I went on the walking tour of Dashiel Hammett's Tacoma.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

In A Monograph My Series Of Poems Was Reviewed in the 1990s

In a Monograph about my work, Dina Ben Lev discussed the poems I read in 1987 at the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University.  

I Read Poems About Mental Health Treatment After Sexual Assault in 1987

Today I will share reviews about the series of poems I wrote and read at The Poetry Center at San Francisco State University in 1987.  The poems are not about the current events in Washington D.C.  But the series of poems was about the same theme.  I can share images of the review from the Poetry Center Newsletter.  When Dina Ben Lev wrote a monograph about my work in the 1990s, she included discussion about my series of poems.  



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Alcohol In Sarah Shaber Novel

Regarding alcohol.  Alcohol is in the news in the hearings about Kavanaugh.  There are different mode of alcohol use and abuse.  I think the Kavanaugh description is predatory,  (I believe Dr. Ford, I very much do not want to see Kavanaugh approved.)  

I re-read a Sarah Shaber novel, Shell Game.  The new Sara Paretsky novel which comes out this month is called Shell Game.  There is another novel, Shell Game, somewhere as well.  

I am reminded that the two Sharah Shaber detectives in the two series I have read by her, Simon Shaw and Louise Pearlie,  are characterized as abusing alcohol.  In the most recent title in Shaber's Louise Pearlie series is Louise's Lies, a central theme is alcohol.

I admire the description in which Louise, rationing starved, has high hormone attractive quality as she drinks socially.  Hunger is the best sauce, is a saying.  This is an element of alcohol use or abuse during World War Two, in the novel, Louise's Lies, her character wonders why she is going out with this suspect in the bar murder from the first pages of the book.  It is because Louise is a spy, but she also accepts when she is asked out.  She was asked to dinner, but she knows it is because they can have a social drink.  At her rooming house they are doing without their rations of butter and sugar so they can have cookies Christmas Eve.  

I think we observe there are different modes of alcohol use and abuse.  One mode is actually predatory, to have an unsuspecting girl have a beer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Saw A Mystery Movie, A Simple Favor

A Facebook Friend recommendation, and a Photo theme of discomfort, the thin fashion stiletto shoe and the pavement in drenching rain image in the trailer of the movie A Simple Favor led me to see this movie, along with a central character who was a Video Blogger.  I went yesterday, Tuesday, and the discomfort photo theme did continue - the shoe image contrasted with another shoe style, along with dialogue about this shoe reality.  It is not all the time that a movie does discuss this truth - to walk is hard in the fashion shoe styles.  And to walk is necessary.  A Simple Favor was a pretty good movie, one of the central characters really was a Video Blogger.  In a brief scene, you could see how her camera was mounted to show her main Video Blog setting at her kitchen island. It was a mystery.  I guess the discomfort photo theme was a treatment of the mystery cozy style.  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Aerial Video At Teachers' Strike - poem I read Friday Evening

I include here the poem I read yesterday at the Distinguished Writer Series Open Mike.  The featured reader for the evening at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church was Josie Emmons Turner. 

Aerial Video At Teacher's Strike

At the video's top, that is me,
a bit of yellow-green.  Screen grab,
print screen, paste into Power Point,
and Save As a Jay-Peg.

This can appear from several positions.
I share on Facebook the photo
from my track phone -
the helicopter up above.

Police motorcycles drove up,
intersection-circled, and parked in a row.

The helicopter circled at the top view
the building which was
the Lynn Funeral Home, the building
and me, the bit of yellow-green.

The bit of yellow green which can appear
from several positions does not know
why police motorcycles
intersection-circled and parked.
It is hours later, when I look at the aerial video
the motorcycles escorted marchers to the rally.

And hours later, Inside, inside, the lady
who had become bent over
with osteoporosis, she walked with a cane.
It was 1985, my mother bent over.

Her funeral was at First Lutheran in 1986.
How the family was long ago in 1985.  My Aunt.
We saw a child outside see many cars
go by with the police escort to the cemetery.

I was walking to the library.  The family.
Ancestry Dot Com.  The 1940 U.S. Census.
For some chance to glimpse
my father.  At the Olympia archive months back

a younger person than my father,
but my father, unmistakeably.
Three photos, my father holds a camera
my father climbs a ladder,
and most clearly,
my father stands beside another man.

At the latest early 1941, for my father
left the pharmacy job at Northern State Hospital
early in 1941.  From a name
in the U.S. Census, from portraits in U.W.
year books, from obituary bios
of the wife of the other man, and the man -

he was a chemist at Northern State Hospital
where he met his wife who graduated
from Sedro-Wooley High School and became
Northern State Hospital's switchboard operator.

She lived nearby.  He was phi-beta-kappa.
An elected official recommended my father
who worked his way through pharmacy school
as a cook for Standard Oil.

From the ladder my father takes a picture.
He takes a picture that is the aerial video.
He takes the aerial video from the sky
of so many marchers in red.

Does anyone see how hard that is?
To walk and walk and have no job?
To walk and walk beyond the jail
that appears on another rim of the video,

and to walk beyond the library – to walk
to Work Force to walk and walk
and have no job?

I walked and walked.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Visit To King's Books

Distinguished Writer Series is this evening at Emanuel Presbyterian Church on J Street.  This week I visited King's Books, the previous venue for the reading series, to find Atticus and Herbert, the cats, holding down the fort with a positive balance while an additional business is being carpentered into                            
the building front. 
The new small shop at the front will be for records and consignment, I believe.  Meanwhile, there is this weekend a sale at King's a two for a dollar sale.  

Friday, July 27, 2018

Diary Returns My Thoughts To The Summer Job From 1968

Fifty Years ago - this Friday, this was my diary entry.  This is the transcription. 
We are done doing Ajax samples.  What a fine job!
Yesterday the best house I think belonged to the Krafft’s – a long cement walk through thistles and roses, daisies, dandelions and a butterfly going across a leather glove  a collie.
Very good.  No one around.
Today we got a wild route for afternoon.  We had a boundary on the State Game farm & one on Chambers Creek Road.  We went down this one long hilly bumpy driveway in the car – there were these signs Beware Of Dog all along.
We get to the house – the dog comes barking out.  I say, I’m not getting out.  No on your tintype –
Janet gets out.  There’s the lady.  The Dog Bites…
But he didn’t bite Janet fortunately & we beat a hasty retreat.

My diary fifty years ago - last Friday in July, 1968.  My poem The Ajax Samples was later included in my first chapbook, After I Have Voted.   I would go back to U of Washington, Seattle, in September.  I wrote poems during the summer, I looked for work, I did a few oil paintings.  There were some rainy summer days, it was the same place I left when I went to U of Washington in the autumn. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Poem from my chapbook, After I Have Voted

The scheduled reader for the Distinguished Writer Series was not able to be present yesterday evening.  It was the sunny last part of a beautiful day, the attending audience read extra poems for the open mike.  This was one of the poems I read from my earliest chapbook, After I Have Voted:


two sounds at once,
walking and not walking,
I stop in the parking lot gravel.

There is a fire back of the log,
a sandy beach, behind trees big with summer.

Two big umbrella butterflies (like Haiku elephants)
flutter one by one
among the leaves, their shadows, and the air.

On the green slopes
the sprinklers turn like maypoles.

It has been summer for weeks now,
and you refuse to talk about it.

After I Have Voted was published by The Gemini Press in Seattle, 1972, in summer 1968 I wrote some of the poems when I stayed with my parents in Tacoma after my first year at University of Washington. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tacoma Historical Society and Tacoma Main Library

The Boater - from Navy Uniform

At the Tacoma Historical Society

Uniforms from the collection of Alice Miller at Tacoma Historical Society Saturday.
Scientific Shoes   Tacoma,  Wash.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Poplar Trees In Wright Park

Another View of the Poplar Trees in Wright Park.

Not Poplars, Maple Trees

The trees in the previous post are not poplars, they are maples.  They are columnar maples, maples suitable for tight spaces.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Peacocks and Poplars

Back in Finland, at the Helsingfors Zoo – 1990 – the peacock possessed such solitude which made an impression on me of vulnerability.  I traveled alone I think I transferred the solitude in my thoughts.   At a short distance along the path a different side of a zoo wall appeared where the peacock others moved about where they were gathered.  Their casual gaze slightly noticed me.  Outnumbered. 

Along the block downhill from the park and kitty corner across the street from the Hob Nob:  can these street trees be Poplar Trees?  Have these street trees become another aspect of Poplar Trees in this neighborhood?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Thoughts About Trees and Family At Wright Park

Tree Name Card
My great-grandmother joined my great-grandfather when he had spent nine years in Tacoma, she traveled with their two daughters, Amanda and Marie, to arrive in August, 1896.  Probably Lowell School was the early outreach, but soon First Lutheran Church must have become a destination too.  Like my experience, they went to school, they came straight home.  I have rediscovered that there are more Lombardy Poplars at the park, planted in 1895. 
Four Poplar Trees

How tall would a Lombardy Poplar Tree at Wright Park have been if my grandmother and her sister wanted to walk from the church at 8th and “I” through the park to take the streetcar the rest of the way downhill to Old Tacoma?  The Lombardy Poplars might have been 28 years old in 1923, if my mother or her brothers wanted to walk from the church, still at 8th and “I”, through the park to take the streetcar the rest of the way downhill to Old Tacoma.  In 1924, when the Lombardy Poplars were 29 years old, my uncle Ray began Confirmation Class.  Confirmation Class was a one-year experience then, compared to the two-year experience of the 1960s, when I was confirmed at First Lutheran Church.  The very old flowering cherry tree near the bus stop may be the younger flowering cherry tree there when I waited for the bus to ride back to the Proctor Neighborhood.  We went to church, we came straight home.

Their grandfather often drove them to school, and probably to Sunday School in his Chrysler.  They also often walked to school, however, up the steep hill from Old Town. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Eleventh Anniversary of Spice Drawer Mouse

Today!  The Eleventh Anniversary of Spice Drawer Mouse!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Trees Near Hob Nob Removed (Edited Entry)

From G Street
This winter a tree fell and damaged a house across from Wright Park, across the alley from the Hob Nob Restaurant.  The building went up in 1925, the restaurant has been there since 1936.   Trees appear in the Hob Nob 1996 photograph in the Tacoma Public Library Buildings Index.  These poplar trees were like the grove of a few poplar trees across the street, just up Sixth Avenue a little.

As an undergraduate at the University of Washington in Seattle (1967-1972) I learned the name of Ratatosk, the squirrel, the messenger from the roots of the World Tree to Eagle in the top branches.  Scandinavian Mythology and classes in Scandinavian Culture were accessible to me, in English.  I also learned some basic Swedish from the Swedish Language classes.  At the large park in Helsingfors in 1990 I remember a red squirrel at the roots of a tree, how he dug about.  This winter I remember the squirrel who ran up and down the trees behind The Hob Nob Restaurant in their last days. 
Tacoma Public Library photo

When I went down the alley beside the Hob Nob to look closer at these trees, trees where the squirrel went along, trees with rope lines attached, I saw they were not alley trees, but back yard trees.  I am not sure if the yard belongs to the Hob Nob.  Just behind the restaurant, below a flight of down-stairs, there was a vegetable garden patch; closer to the alley, down on the other side of a fence, were the trees. 

The last time I passed by I saw the trees are gone now.  The remembered Wright Park Poplar Trees are gone too.  The park inventory of so many years ago, that could still include those poplar trees,  perhaps in the 1990s, remains a part of their planning.  Concerned are not only people, but birds, opossums, raccoons, and squirrels. 

Tarp and board on house

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine Drums

To return to a Valentine Post from 2010 - yes, eight years ago - a school paper picture of the drum set my Uncle Gilbert owned when I was young.  Great to use the drum sticks on the drum set in the rec room at a family holiday. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

On 9th Street, I Heard a Crunch

At the 9th Street crosswalk above Tacoma Avenue I was about to start across when I heard a crunch so I stepped back.  I had noticed a dark and large car-truck stop for me just in front of the crosswalk.  I would have witnessed the accident, but the crunch came from the other side of this dark large car-truck.  I guessed the silver car had hit the back of the dark car. 

The truck continued down 9th and the silver car turned to park on G.  The driver got out and I asked if she was okay.  She said she was.  I did not want to leave, I truly wondered how a startling traffic collision could have left her feeling. 

The truck came back.  They both took photos and decided she was right, it was her fault.  Probably she was following too close, but I did not see the silver car following too close before this happened.   I watched them until they left, I wondered if I had witnessed this. 

I have never owned a car, I use public transit, I have used a bike for over twenty-five years, I walk.   I do not often witness a crunch like this.  They both seemed to think it was good that no one was hurt and it did not seem like serious damage.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Brown-Eyed Susan Cake - Lost Betty Crocker Recipe Found -

I wish to link to my blog entry from December 15, 2015.   In this entry I discussed my mother's Aunt Marie, who worked in the test kitchen at the Sperry Flour Mill and their Martha Meade Recipe Book,  my cousin has a copy. The copy I have was placed on the free table at the apartment building where I live.  I discuss specifically their peanut butter cookie recipe, the recipe my mother preferred.

So many years ago a friend gave me the Betty Crocker New Picture Cook Book, published in 1961.  I noted in its peanut butter cookie recipe different ingredients and measurements that make the Betty Crocker recipe the Margaret Meade recipe.   My mother's recipe books that I had packed in a box are not with me.  I am not an only child.  With cook books where I live I have a cardboard box with loose recipes my mother collected.   We could have a slice of the white bread she always made for my father, who had allergies.  Every year she succeeded with a large number of recipes for Christmas Cookies.  Among the cards, some in plastic covers, are two other cook book booklets which must, like the Martha Meade Recipe Book, have come from her aunt, or from her mother. 


Betty Crocker leaflets and booklets must be set away in many kitchens, I waited some time on the holds list before I picked Betty Crocker's Lost Recipes up yesterday at the Pierce County Library.  Some of the recipes do not seem so lost – I have sometimes made the Molasses Crinkles, for example.  I noticed a double-page spread near the back that recreates an older illustration of six cakes with floral names:  Pink Azalea,  Daffodil,  Brown-Eyed Susan, Chocolate Joy,  Bouquet of Flowers, and Old Kentucky...something (which does not show in the photograph), and a booklet my mother had does indeed contain the recipe for the Brown-Eyed Susan Cake.   True!  My sense of an approach to the 100th anniversary of the Betty Crocker Kitchens, which began in 1921, is augmented by my booklet from 1933 that solves one missing element from the 2017 Betty Crocker's Lost Recipes cookbook. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018.  This year in Tacoma we can anticipate further change at the Yacht Club area near Point Defiance.  At Facebook I earlier shared a clipping on which my mom Linnea Jensen indicated where her father's fishing boat was kept at the yacht club, she marked the location on an photo from 1936 reproduced in the newspaper.