Tag Archives: Baltimore

The Baltimore School


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt encouraged us to try writing a poem in the style of the New York School of poets.  This particular style apparently comes with a recipe of sorts.  I liked the idea:  a poem written in a conversational tone, including the use of proper names, mention of goods and services offered in the city, colloquialisms, calling into question something that the author says within the poem, the use of headlines, references to media–and these are just a few of the suggested ingredients.  I already like writing poems in a conversational tone; rhyming starts to become forced for me, especially when I’m beginning my practice late at night and I barely have two brain cells to rub together.  As a meditator, I’m familiar with the chatter inside my own mind and have become quite adept at giving it a voice–it really does end up being a conversation sometimes, between the chatter itself and the awareness beyond the chatter, so writing in a conversational tone seems natural to me. I don’t know so much about headlines.  Proper names might be fun. Mention of goods and services might reveal embarrassing facts about what kind of food I’m putting into my body these days. Ah well, no regrets.  Here goes.


Poem (The Baltimore School)

Orioles score 6 in third,
then hold off Red Sox on Patriots’ Day
Cliff told me of their victory while
the kids duked it out in the back yard
over the one plastic whiffle ball bat.
It was early evening, the sun shining gold,
the green grass waving in the breeze, and
the Korean Spice viburnum
was filling my nose with the scent of heaven
and then there were pollen induced sneezes
and I  was grabbing for the Kleenex.
He saw the final inning while waiting at the Canton Washworks
The Honda was pretty gnarly from life with
two young children in the city of Baltimore in spring and it needed a proper bath.
I didn’t see the final inning.
I won’t watch baseball unless he’s home
It never occurs to me to turn on the TV and
also the kids were napping
The carwash gave him a discount for driving a hybrid and
then he hopped
onto I-895 to check out yet another hybrid
a pre-owned Lexus
because our Dodge Durango is a gas guzzling motherfucker
and we’re spending way too much money on the freaking fossil fuel.
It is Earth Day tomorrow after all.
When people are dissing Obamacare
the rainforests are being destroyed
and humans are slaughtering other humans
When junkies are stumbling the streets of North Avenue
beside young mothers pushing babes in beat up strollers
and the Bmore PoPo announces its presence every half minute
with flashing lights and wailing sirens
to be honest, hearing
does nothing for me
Baltimore, I love you, please don’t break my heart.

Super Bowl Haiku


My Sunday evening class starts at 6pm. I anticipated that today’s attendance would be much lower than usual because of the big game that was on tonight. I wondered if any students would show up at all.  The answer is yes, there were students–and although attendance ended up being much smaller than normal–I was happy with the seven people who came to class, three of whom were quite new to the practice. It was a fun class, we made use of the wall space in the room (there was a ton of available space because the class was small). We worked on alignment in some standing poses like warrior II and triangle, and we used the wall as support in headstand and handstand. Fun.

Driving home the streets were eerily deserted. It was probably my smoothest, quickest drive home ever from Fells Point on a Sunday evening.  On a normal Sunday there are lots of people hanging out in bars or restaurants or doing whatever they need to be doing in their many, many cars in this populous city–but not tonight. No, tonight was Super Bowl Sunday, and people were inside, on their couches, eyes glued to the television, watching the Broncos get creamed by the Seahawks.

The free flowing pace of my car on the wide open streets sent my mind into another dimension. A spacious, open,  clear dimension. Room for new thoughts. Simple thoughts. A haiku spontaneously arose:

Super Bowl Sunday
Baltimore streets are empty
God I love football

Of course when I got home I had to post my haiku to FaceBook, because this is what you do when you think you’ve created something remotely clever or witty, right?  Sharing is caring, after all. The response was so positive that I felt adequately egged on to create more haiku. Oh dear. 

The bloodbath was well under way, and I could see  by the score that the game was clearly in the bag. I watched the unbelievably downcast eyes of Peyton Manning, his jaw set, the way the guys in orange were shaking their heads dejectedly. My husband kept exclaiming how shocked he was at the lopsided score. He was also shaking his head, not in dejection, but in disbelief. The final seconds of the game were tedious for me; they must’ve been torturous for the Broncos. And then it was all over.

Lombardi trophy
Blue, green, and grey confetti
Peyton Manning sad

And then I was struck by the karmic justice dealt to Sherman following the obscene display of self-congratulatory comments he unleashed just seconds after his victorious moment in the playoffs. Of course I would never wish pain or injury on another human being, but there was something so beautiful and poetic about his being gimpy tonight, hobbling up the steps to share his victory with his teammates.

Richard Sherman Limping
Karmic payback perfection

Slice of humble pie

This is all for now. So tired. It’s 11:21 and I need to squeeze in 30 minutes of meditation before it’s tomorrow…night night!