Friday, November 07, 2008

Sunday Scribbling #136: Change

Bettina, played by Miranda Richardson, speaking to Edina, played by Ab Fab’s Jennifer Saunders:

“You know, we try to be green, but it’s just not humanly possible.”

Those of you out there in the world who have yet to see Jennifer Saunders’ sublime comedy series “Absolutely Fabulous,” I can’t help you: you’re on your own entirely.

This is about change. Real change.

Almost ten years ago, in the late hours of December 1, 1998, after nearly forty-two weeks of a growing pregnant belly on the part of the black rose, the home-birthing of Mr. Baby began. Thirty-six hours later, spent, exhausted (and that was just the father), we rolled into St. David’s Hospital in Austin, Texas, at which point we thought we’d give delivery the more traditional fling—

The Azimuth of Pool Time

Change, we wanted real change

not the kind that five and dimes

its way into your consciousness

as the checker waves &

you’re stuck with yet

another round of Biff on toast

and the memoirs of

J. Rebekah Hornsby,

late of Pablo-Fanques Fair,

what a scene,

a druid’s dream, if I ever

did see one

we have all been here before

& why am I mired in the mire

of noodle-fest,

alpine propane handsome

gootchie gootchie &

all that statuary, no

it was diapers we wanted,

cloth, organic cotton

home-birthed baby on the way, echoing

Bettina’s song, while Eddie’s shagging

Polar Hulk in the only way she knows how,

immaterial and incandescent in

a Chrysler Neon sort of way,

diapers for baby,

metal container

all terribly droll &

verdant, our battle cry

for change, our mutual

admiration for nascent change,

our virtual game of tick tock

way beyond full fathoms five,

diapers that were Olympic

swimming pools wet,

& larded in virtuoso

manure, change

at the Spider House,

change, at Musashino Sushi, change,

in the charging of the tent,

change, as Amy’s rained

down approval ratings

Governor Ann (god rest her soul)

could only dream of. The

canister was ordnance fit

to be tied, the hands chafed,

the next pile a

derivative of cherished values

& diminishing stock.

We caved, browned our green,

changed for the worse, changed

into tyranny blasters,

changed into sleep-deprived

wanderers in

our own house,

glow-in-the-dark Mary

startling me in the

Hoover Downs, as

charisma lost her share

and I to Randall’s hied

for a less than green

solution to the last

great monster of

post-adolescent appeal,

desire squared by

the azimuth of our

reckoning, an arctic straight and true,

a providence spruced after

the sublimely,






Acanthopterygious, but only

on a Sunday—

ready, set, au go go, yes
that kind

of status
quo quo.

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Blogger Greyscale Territory said...

Love the wordplay in your poem! Serious and fun entertainment! A fascinating pot pouri! And to think so much rests on diapers and a druid's dream! Just brilliant!

1:32 AM  
Blogger Lilly said...

I'm a big fan of Ab Fab! Nice one!

5:51 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

GT: Thank you: as we all know, in sleep deprivation doth all things converge.

5:53 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lily: How could you not? Thank you.

6:28 AM  
Blogger anno said...

Oh, this is too much fun. I love your take on what I suspect is a far-too-familiar trajectory, right down to the canister, ordnance fit to be tied, the hands chafed, the next pile a derivative of cherished values & diminishing stock.

I miss the noodle-fests, though, and wish I could somehow duplicate the sweet, seductive allure of Spaghetti-Os at home; made from scratch are never quite as good.

Sleep deprivation usually brings on stupor, hardly anything quite as supple as this fantastic slide through the druid's dream of infancy and parental transformation. I can only imagine the merlin-esque character of your library, the botanical texts next to the illustrated encylopedia of mythology, the antique scrolls, kaballistic guides to divination, not to mention the truly excellent dictionary I always wish for after reading every one of your poems. Did you know that your poetry was educational?

8:14 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

anno: I'm glad you enjoyed the ride. Surely, you all did not try the organic cotton cloth diaper service yourselves?

I greatly appreciate your description of the merlin-esque library, but in truth, what shudders forth in these Braxton-Hicks poems is more the result of an entirely different metaphor: my lint collector brain. The beauty of mesmeric sound is I needn't know the meaning, if rhythm and rhyme-ish rhyme are my quest.

I do indeed have the 16 volume OED shrunk into the 2 volume with magnifying glass version, but in this digital age, they are hardly necessary, if indeed still wonderfully nostalgic. Digitally, there ain't nuthin' a good rhyming dictionary and online lexicon can't do. What's fun is when that bizarre-looking, but perfect-sounding, word just happens to fit in more ways than one.

9:30 AM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

In one word..


Champions of writing and bonding

10:22 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you, my other GT friend.

10:31 AM  
Blogger paisley said...

have you ever thought of offering a reading of these poems on your post,, i would love to hear the way you express these words audibly... i can imagine a frantic run,, and collapsing,, breathlessly at the finish line....

12:06 PM  
Blogger Granny Smith said...

This is brilliant word play, personal and societal observation, and description of surrender under the stress of sleep deprivation! It's a long time since I've been there, but some things you never forget.

1:34 PM  
Blogger alister said...

Oh lordy and thankfully, Thoreau’s Walden, where Lizbeth Finn-Arnold found her muse, formed well into a pond beyond even that distinction, what with lush green brush and trees all around and virtuoso manure so abundant that “Watch your step” signs were required to be placed every so many feet. Listen, the prolific Mr. Baby screamed red-faced into the Gov’s ear, When a guy needs Huggies, he needs Huggies, capice? Ms. Richards flushed a bright red herself and passed a law 45 degrees past the north point. And that changed that.

10:08 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

paisley: I like your idea; I'll have to see if any of my geekier bloggers can hook me up. Your description of reading this poem was dead on; I read it at a party last night in just such a way. I pretty much reads 'em as they come pouring into my brain. Gonna have to get Acanthopterygious down, before we head for the studio.

6:34 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you, Granny Smith: It's funny how, even in its goofier context, the word "change" rings like a clarion when I read the poem aloud. No more radical changes in my life than the love of mi esposa and the birth of this beautiful boy into our lives, change.

6:39 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Lady A: I can always count on my up-stater to give me a little lagniappe to go with the commentary. I thank you, as always, my bright shining sister.

The last time I saw Governor Ann was at La Dolce Vita (or some such gela-terious name) in Austin, about ten years ago. She was sitting right next me in the tiny cafe, enjoying her own sweetness.

While a first year UT social work grad school student, my clinical instructor asked us to do a presentation on one of the ten Austin movers and shakers that had recently been named in the American-Statesman. Most of my cohorts simply researched and presented. In most uncharacteristic fashion at the time, I called up Ann's office (she was then a county commissioner) and went for a visit. I think she was still drinking (hard) in those days, or had recently stopped: that beautiful transfiguration shine wasn't yet on her face, but she was very gracious to this raw Texas boy: I think we were scheduled for about thirty minutes max, but we lingered on for a good hour or more. Always a warm place in my heart for another lovely royalty like yourself.

6:56 AM  

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