Sonnets

I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: hanging out

The picnic sonnet

Context — This one’s just for those who understand it.

 

To help some folks craft what they will achieve
in education from where sun does scorch,
a missive came that bade me up and leave
in half a fortnight from my homey porch.
With holiday aligned to interests mine,
I thus convened a Tuesday picnic so
I’d see the faces that I’d like enshrined
in smiling memory of SF’s glow.
With each reply my heart grew quarter-sized,
as Grinch against his will was won anew.
I knew responses were supporters, prized
their sentiments although they’d work curfews.
I toast Sebastien, Alison, and Crow
for loyalty to come and say hello!

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An Ode: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2K14

Context — Thanks to [Warren] Hellmann’s mayonnaise, San Francisco has a 3-day, 7-stage free bluegrass festival every year. Thanks to serendipity, I ran across a college friend in the grocery eight months ago who was kind enough to invite me into her and her friends’ tradition to set up by the Banjo Stage.

A dawn patrol, or Alpine Crew, it’s called
woke early, packed the tarps and blankets, ice
aplenty in the cooler, then installed
them in parquet near banjo paradise.
The sun stayed ‘low the treeline ’till round ten,
burritos gorged and frisbees fled the scene,
retired as we welcomed friend and kin
to watch Time Jumpers, Dave Rawlings Machine
and Saint Paul & The Broken Bones put on
a show that Freddy Mercury’d be keen
to stage, its verve exploding vocal bombs
that harmed none’s exoskeleton sunscreen.
Tradition opened thanks to new comrades:
a better Saturday could not be had.

Your shiny tools contract my pupils and vision

Context — Envy is motivating. Envy is demotivating.

 

How often I did lounge in corner dark
while viewing boisterous silver tongues hold court
amid a leaned-in crowd hung on remarks
of wit or gossip, treasure, or disport.
I looked across those rooms with jealous eyes
below my mask of softened face, a glaze
to hide green envy grown to agonize
my mind tomorrow, molding more malaise.
And others still had qualities I found
improved upon mine own in measures great.
The thing I never noticed when spellbound
was how they altogether aggregate:
I’d judged their single tools of better grade,
forgot full toolbox has one tool outplayed.

Go, solve the problem of bars

Context — the share of people who have the social skills to navigate bars and pick people up is small. Yet bars persist as a dating venue out of the hope that some day, those of us without will somehow strike it lucky. Here’s a proposal to shortcircuit patience.

 

A problem that we’ve yet to fix is this:
at bars, the boys and girls in circles chase,
yet few possess the charm and steadiness
to launch themselves at strangers. Commonplace
is groups that came together shutting out
all others, yet at same time survey prey.
“Brah, go and get her,” goading goes, knockout
demurely sitting not so far away.
Imagine if one charmer there was brought,
employed to mix the people, did what our
denominators’ common lows do not
and matched you using social superpower.
Two people, one suggestive starter noun
and watch connection barriers come down.

Introducing the Butt Tap Game

Context — the butt tap game can be played with an arbitrarily large number of people.

 

I’ll now unlikely game soon introduce.
Herein instructions are to break the ice
of company that, else-wise, might induce
a suicidal fit, whose sole device
is waxing on and on, or those who lurk
on edges of your conversations, then
at moments inconvenient vault in, jerk
a joyful chat towards grisly CNN.
So gather all these folks, and tell them there’s
a competition starting: you’re to tag
the heiney of competitor, while theirs
is do the same to you. They’ll then zigzag
about the room like bats. A bettered scene
you’ve left by changing terms from trite routine.

Rediscover the Wild West

Context — I love the southwest and wrote this to invite classmates on a December road trip with me through northern Arizona and southern Utah. Sonnet 28, 11/22/09

 

A land of browns was painted scarlet where
thick dust and rock were worn by water’s course,
six thousand feet of strata shining, bare
the gorgeous gorge from Colorado’s force.
Beside the Canyon flood and sandstone fought
beneath the hooves of hunted Antelope
to shield themselves from surface sun onslaught,
a slotted labyrinth of orange and taupe.
Escaping nature, they carved home from cliff:
the Anasazi “House Under the Rock”
had just one thousand years of life, what if
more words were left to pick history’s lock?
December tenth through seventeenth, succumb
to desert solitaire. You ought to come.

Hennessey and fear of heights doth neighbors make

Context — Saturday afternoon I received a text asking if I wanted to go to Santa Rosa to boulder. Yes, obviously. We instead lunched with a panorama view of SF, went to a bouldering gym in Potrero, and somehow got invited in to take shots of Hennessey at a 3-year old’s birthday party. It warrants picture proof.

photo 3

 

Improbability was key. She texts
to say we’re headed up to where wine’s made
and that in twenty minutes she’ll collect
my body to climb rock without belay.
Upon my seat in car, the plan becomes
tectonic in predictability
with items beyond lunch earning but mum
and audible to Thai soliloquy.
So noodles on Twin Peaks we had and then
by arbitrary vote drove to some walls
where slipping was okay, where closest zen
was recognizing when it’s time to fall.
Graffiti tour in Mission jacked by boss
who forced a salvo dozen-strong of sauce.

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