Friday, January 29, 2010

Poetry for Haiti

Tonight in Northampton, MA, local poet and poetry advocate Lori Desrosiers will host a poetry fundraiser for Haiti at Green Street Cafe, with 25% of the dinner proceeds being generously donated by the restaurant to Partners in Health. The event begins at 7 p.m.

Tomorrow, across the pond, UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will host Poetry Live for Haiti. In describing the event, Duffy said:

"We turn to poetry at intense moments in our lives...And I think that can happen at moments of public grief too, as well as personal. It is so close to prayer, it is the most intense use of language that there is."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Writing About Work

A few days ago I heard this piece of philosophy about art and work in which author Alain de Botton states:

"We need an art that can proclaim the intelligence, peculiarity, beauty and horror of the modern workplace and, not least, its extraordinary claim to be able to provide us, along with love, despite current economic mayhem, with the principal source of life's meaning."

I've written a lot about the two years I spent working on organic farms while taking time off from college. Those years were valuable to me personally and also politically in that they made me much more aware of where food comes from and how much effort is needed to produce and consume healthy food.

I've written a lot less about the several years I've spent working in offices. Perhaps the office environment is better suited to satire than lyric? Anyway, here's a white collar poem.

The Secretary (or) A Turn Not Taken

The secretary chooses
her clothes from a palette
of khaki, charcoal, maroon.
Her job is to blend with the walls.
She tips herself forward, a cup and saucer
clinking. Ready.

Purple girl shapes walk into the water.
Girls in purple Spandex form a pyramid
on water skis.
Against the blue-green-yellow day
the cut of the wind
they don their sleek skins.

Their skis swivel—
            her chair swivels—
                        where did she go wrong?
How I wish I were a part
            of that pyramid
                        taking off into the sky.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Humorous Links

Humor can be such a relief during challenging times. I've recently been getting a good laugh out of these sites.

This caught my attention because I just watched Sunshine Cleaning, which stars Alan Arkin as a grumpy old man (he also played a grumpy old man in Little Miss Sunshine), so I was in the mood to laugh at the exclamations of another foul-mouthed older man.

Petty Petitions
From a "petition to set politics aside long enough to agree on a catchy, non-partisan nickname for Sarah Palin" to a "petition to live every day like it’s your second to last," this blog offers satire at its best.

Stuff White People Like
This blog pokes hilarious, though not mean-spirited, fun at my tribe: the class (more than the race) of folks who listen to NPR, own Apple computers, eat hummus, and attend yoga classes on a regular basis.

Amusing Ourselves to Death
More serious than funny, here's something of a different stripe to make you think twice about too much distraction.