Dana Point #1.––For Janet


This is a poem I wrote 39 years ago when I decided to give up my job, sell my house and move from Wyoming to California to write. I wrote it sitting in my car at Dana Point Harbor  south of Huntington Beach, where I sometimes went to write.  Janet, who has mentioned Dana Point several times in her blog, asked to see the poem.  Here it is with all its warts, exactly the way it was first written:

(Oops.. this was in a different form, but WP straightened it all up. Oh well….)

                      Dana Point #1.

Inside these clothes, this car,
inside the hairdo and the
something lives.
A hand reaches from
the sleeve it lives in. A face lives behind
this face. And only journeys out to walk straight lines on
yellow paper. Freeing words, then
wondering how
to follow.        (if she dares, for
prohibitions do not stay them.)
And who is she if she is not
rules to live by
standards to love by,

The only way to know
is to follow straight blue lines on yellow.
And it is an empty page.
She is the only one who walks there
the only one who weeps there
the only one who laughs there.

Inside these clothes, this car,
inside this hairdo and the rules,
her company resides
within a crowded mind, to call her home
again––home from the yellow sea.

Party House

Party House

I can’t take the pressure of frivolous neighbors.
Their loud celebrations conflict with my labors.
Their barbecue odors disturb my frail nose.
They turn up the music when I want to doze.

Convivial people are really a pain.
Of my existence, they’re really the bane.
I wish I could trade them for sedater folks
who had quieter music and told fewer jokes,

for the laughter I hear is pure noise pollution.
I wish I could think of a better solution:
a wall or a device to filter the sound,
but instead I must phone or cry out or pound

on the door that no one inside ever hears.
They just do not care, or so it appears.
I complain to the neighborhood association
that sends them a warning to curb their elation,

but somehow the party just starts up again.
More laughter, more music, more odors, more din.
If only they knew that there’s no need to fight me.
I’d overlook all if they’d only invite me!

Prompt words today are can’t, pressure, frivolous, convivial and  nose.



Don’t you just LOVE typing 2020?  I am hooked on it. Humans have not had that experience for 101 years–since 1919, and there is something much more satisfying in typing 2020. In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide, so there may be 300,000 people worldwide who twice in their life would have been able to write twin double digits for the date, but how likely is it that they would have typed it? The first typewriter was invented in 1867 and came into wide usage in offices in the mid-1880’s, but I doubt that anyone younger than 10 would have been using a typewriter, so that means they would have to be 111 this year to have possibly typed both 1919 and 2020 as dates on a typewriter. There are 86 people in the world 111 years old or older, but no one has had the foresight to ask them all if they had access to a typewriter in 1919, let alone even once typed that date. Am I obsessing? No. Just enjoying this nicely-rounded-out year!!!!  (Don’t miss out on the thrill on Feb. 2 of typing 0202 2020.)

Does anyone else feel the same joy in typing 2020 2020 2020???
If so, please confess to it in comments.