Saturday, July 05, 2008

Planet Manola: Of Poems and Plants

Random news, commentary and photographs. Updated at least once every menstrual cycle, if not more frequently.


Not long ago, I bumped into my high school English teacher while taking the Metrorail downtown. Peggy Hall is retired now, but she and her partner Sandra Riley (another former teacher) have been writing poems, books and making films for years.

I just love Hall's homegrown South Florida verse in the form of a classical Italian sonnet. What local can't relate to this?

Seasonal Amnesia

Miami summer skies, puff-bloated black
by three o'clock, chase faces red or pale
from pink cabanas by the pools, assail
slow picnic parties with swift thunder cracks
and scare us all with lightning rickrack
quick-basted down from sky to sea—I shall
desist from piling up these dire details
and simply ask, Knowing this, who'd come back?

The old, who rise to take diurnal walks,
the young, who bed the day until sunset,
some Witnesses, who knock from door to door,
flambéed tourists, who come to shop and gawk,
and optimistic natives, who "forget"
each daily storm and crowd the blonde seashore.

As a highly creative team, Riley and Hall started a non-profit arts and culture organization that puts on some shows each year. This coming Saturday, July 12, Hall and others will be performing some of her poetry at the New Theatre in Coral Gables. Other events will follow in the summer. Visit Crystal Parrot Players for details.


Speaking of poetry, I recently read my Pillow Poems at The Bohemia Room on Lincoln Road. Joining me were two other fellow poets, Carlos Miller and Brad Schenck, as well as 411 colleague Suzy C.

The theme that night was Cunnilinguistics: Erotic Poetry. You'd think that'd be a natural for me, right?

Our gorgeous, vivacious host welcomed me warmly but the audience reception was lukewarm. Not that there was anything wrong with the audience or with my little verses; my coffee-house-meets-boudoir groove was simply out of place. Kind of like that movie Save the Last Dance -- ballet in a hip-hop world.

However, I just loved the down and dirty rhythmic spoken word style of the other poets, so deliciously raunchy and unabashed. One woman sang a beautiful, soulful song -- a weekly crowd favorite. Surrounded by such talent and loungy DJ interludes, I can't think of a better way to spend late night on hump day, even if it will occasionally interfere with beauty sleep. I'll definitely be back, but first this white girl better play some funky music.


I think I might have to change the title of this blog. After all, what could be sexier than a tryst in a lush, tropical garden, surrounding by the sweet, intoxicating scent of ylang ylang? Well, if you can get past the heat, humidity, bugs and pesky raccoons ... but heck, at least you wouldn't have any sand lodged in your crotch!

I started a new blog where I can go crazy with plant porn, but the only tryst I'm having in this garden is with those gorgeous trees, flowers and shrubs. And even if I just happened to slip on a banana peel and fall on top of a hunky, shirtless gardener, I wouldn't tell ... or would I?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the picture of you!