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.