I Feel The Ice Move

In over three and a half years, I have not blogged solely about my athletic…exploits they’re not…until now. There is probably a good reason for that.

I feel the ice move under my feet.
I see players tumbling down.
I feel myself start teetering
And then I hit the ground.

The other team is a disgrace.
They should mellow out and play.
We will not stay shorthanded
If the game goes on this way.

I wish we all had goalie
Pads to help us get through the game.
I know my sliding motions
Are something I just can’t tame.
But I stand right back up.

I gotta keep control
Down to the distant goal
It’s cold but I sweat all over.

Packers 21, Bears 14

I’m rushing for a reason, for a change.
Not that rushing is anything that new
But my reason this time around is strange.
This shouldn’t just be done before it’s due

But done before the game. The football game.
The game of the century, or so they say.
I wouldn’t give it that kind of a name
But part of me now wants to see them play.

At first it’s just a joke, but jokes can be
Enough to draw you in. And then it’s more;
The kick returned, the O against the D;
And now I want the Bears to tie the score,

The game to keep going. It’s close enough
To keep my interest (“rooting” it’s not.)
No win brings pride, no loss is really tough,
It’s not a sport I think about a lot

And I’m not trying to procrastinate
(There’s too much work for that)–but it’s close now
The excitement builds. It can’t be too late
For them to mount a comeback, right? Somehow?

From Julia de Burgos

This project was based on a prompt from a weekly set posted on another site. I don’t think I’ll do all of them but this one struck my fancy.

The instructions were to:

Choose a favorite poem written by somebody else, type a copy of it, delete every other line from the poem, and write your own lines to replace those you’ve deleted. Next, delete the remaining lines from the old poem so that only your lines remain. Read what you have, and revise it, adding new lines to fill in the gaps.

For an added twist, the original poem “A Julia de Burgos” was in Spanish–I’d read it before and I wanted to practice the language. A lot of the stanzas were “you are this/but I am that”, so I deleted the “I am that” line and wrote new ones to go with it. So the end result was “I am x/I am y/I am z/I am something else…” which meant I didn’t need to fill a whole lot in.

That we are doomed to battle and you will win out over me
Is too nonsensical to be a lie.
No field could tilt so far to field such a battle.
I would strip naked to rid myself of you.

I am the warm truth that slices through each scene.
I am the frigid water from an unforgiving lake.
I am like the universe, I see myself in no direction.
I am the singing girl in a thousand harmonies.
I am in my work, I am in each day.

The earth caresses me, the water saves me.
You are turning and bowing, slithering and slanting,
I slowly step forward, one day at a time.

You cannot be trusted to your own device
Pushing you towards the dazzling things;
Broken glass, broken promises, rushing poison.
I am pushed by something beyond me,
The more harrowing of the bosses, in the end.

You owe the honeybees that swoop to your lineage.
You are the zero we cannot but skirt around.
Between you and me we hold humankind.

And all of humankind converges in the limit,
Returning to the water that they cannot escape
They begin to rise as one.
And though it takes all the time in the world,
There will be more of me than what has burned away.

Ring Out, Wild Chords

Ring out, wild chords, to your wild sky
With flying clouds and frosty light
2010’s fading out by night.
Ring out, wild chords, and watch it fly.

Ring out what’s old, ring in what’s young.
Ring, happy chords, out through crisp snow.
2010’s going, watch it go.
Ring out truth till it’s loud and sung.

Ring out crying that saps a mind
For all passing through that last door.
Ring out spats among rich and poor,
Ring in goodwill to all mankind.

Ring out clamor of barking jaws
And old forms of party striving.
Ring in ways that bring, now arriving,
Nobility and upright laws.

Ring out all want and toil and sin
Chill without faith, surrounding wrong;
Ring out, ring out, thy mournful song
But ring a full, broad music in.

Ring out dumb boasts of land or blood
Civic boasting and claims to fight;
Ring in passion for truth and right,
Ring in common passion for good.

Ring out what’s foul, what will annoy
Ring out a narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out a thousand wars of old,
Ring in a thousand months of joy.

Ring in your night, ring in our day
Ring in valiant minds and hands;
Ring out dark shadows on our lands
And ring in Christ upon his way.

mp3 player update

Since the last time I reported on the contents of my mp3 player, I’ve added more songs and fleshed out my spreadsheet detailing the location of their titles, so now I can sort by artist and album. There are a few striking results…

Klein Four (the a capella math grad students at Northwestern whose “Finite Simple Group (Of Order 2)” was an internet sensation a few years back) have released one album, and fully eleven of its fourteen songs first contain their titles in the chorus. And of the two with their titles in the first verse, one also appears in the chorus. The other is Finite Simple Group itself, which is a case of Dylan Syndrome;  it’s part of a line repeated (with minor variations) after every verse so if you squint you could call it a chorus–but in my judgment it’s just too attached, musically, to the verse to count as anything but part of the verse.

Not quite so skewed, but still impressive, is Stephen Schwartz’s “Wicked”. Ten of its nineteen song titles appear in the first verse, but not the first line, of their respective songs (“A Sentimental Man” is in the first line, bringing the total to eleven, and that’s not counting “One Short Day”…not quite sure how to deal with that one.)

Then there’s one of my new acquisitions, and a fitting one for the blog–“Damn Yankees”. This throws off the data firstly by including lots of “Scene”s together with the songs, so a lot of tracks are just categorized as “yes they never sing their title, but there’s a reason for that”. Of the twelve songs that do include a title, however, seven include it as their very first words, three more include it in the first line, and “A Little Brains, A Little Talent” waits until later in the first verse. “Those Were The Good Old Days” is a case of Dylan Syndrome, and “Shoeless Joe (Reprise)” shows up in the second snippet of its song (the contents of parentheses are excluded, and the “reprise” is actually the second half of a track that begins with the words “Shoeless Joe”).

Interestingly, another class of songs I have always begins (at least the ones I have do) with their titles–religious hymns. Is this a case of old-time musicals being more grounded in religious traditions before Modernism(TM) came along and deconstructed things? Let’s see, “Damn Yankees” had seven such songs. The next highest for any of my albums is three, reached by, um, “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Make of that what you will…

Anyway, here are pie graphs for three different sources (between them, they amount for about half of my music collection). Let’s just say that maybe I’m not the only one out there who isn’t great at coming up with relevant titles…