Tonight at the pub, Lisa tends bar and sets the season on a quadrille.
A quadrille, is simply a poem of 44 words, excluding the title. It can be in any form, rhymed or unrhymed, metered, or unmetered. You MUST use the word “season” or some form of the word in your poem.
I also cheat a little in that my quadrille is also what I’ll call an Reverse Extended Arun. A nonce poem created by blogger GirlGriot. An Arun is a fifteen-line poem in three sets of five lines. Each set of five lines follows the same syllable structure: starting with one syllable and increasing by one syllable with each line. 1/2/3/4/5 — 3x. There are no other rhyme or structural requirements. I inverted the syllable count and add two words to fit the quadrille requirement into a proposal of mythical proportions.
As a city gal in the northern hemisphere, for me the spring forward of Daylight Savings Time has one and only ONE advantage. I get to enjoy the sight of the planet Venus rising in the morning for a couple more weeks.
I have no idea when I started noticing the ol’ gal in my morning commutes, but once I had I search for her presence each morning with a clear sky. Over time I realized I start to notice her ascent over the rooftop of the elevated subway platform sometime after Martin Luther King Jr.’s here in the States, generally in mid-to late-January. I’ll just look up one clear morning and realize she’s there.
Even though it near the middle of winter she is my very first harbinger of the still a little too distant coming of spring. I notice Venus and within a week or two I will notice the first hints that the days are getting longer. I will catch the final glimpses of sunlight when my trains rises from being subterranean to elevated in the evenings even if only for fifteen minutes before Nyx lays her claim to the skies.
She starts barely noticeable to my left, slowly rising higher and shifting to the right. Come Valentine’s day I usually can spot her ascent from the jagged rooftops the comprise the skyline of my neighborhood as I walk down the hill to the train station. By early March morning skies are lightening and her glowing beauty begins to pale in El Sol’s exuberance. It is such a gradual takeover that I honestly do not notice that I am losing sight of her. To everything turn, turn, turn – after all..
Then Daylight Savings Time happens.
It’s an oddity that springing forward in time on Sunday plunges us backwards into night skies again for a brief time come Monday morning. But that oddity, plus clear skies, gave me this singular beauty floating in what’s left of the night.
I know I’ll only have a couple more weeks of her charm at most before Demeter reminds El Sol that Persephone’s is bound for home soon and he needs to help her warm things up for her arrival. That’s okay, even if I can’t easily spot you, I know you’re still there – shine on silver girl.
Day 15 of 31 – Let’s see how others are slicing it out today…
And today I let my nerdy geek fly when I pointed out to a fellow Game of Thrones fan that technically speaking Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons is actually the Mother of Wyverns.
Geeky? I actually said Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. (For the more technical, aka Game of Thrones nerdy among you , yes, I know her title is missing at least three more parts, but I ran out of breath typing it, whatevs – go stand in the corner and and call out dracarys!, see how much I’m worried about getting flamed over it.)
Nerdy? I then corrected my own self with is actually the Mother of Wyverns.
What about Vern you say? Glad you asked! (I know you didn’t.)
The George R. R. Martin novels are brilliant. However, whomever designed Daenerys’ ‘children’ for the show a little less so. Was there not one geek/nerd in the art department to fact check, or had someone like me to explain the error of their ways? Or were they outvoted on the technicality because to quote TikTok “Who’s gonna know?/They’re gonna know./Who’s gonna know?” * insert any raising hand gif you want here *. And before any go there, asking but isn’t a wyvern a type of dragon?, is akin to asking isn’t a crocodile a type of alligator? or aren’t salamanders and newts the same thing? Close, but no cigar, Virginia. In TLDR terms, while both are fire breathing creatures, wyvern have two legs, dragons have four. There are other differences, but I shan’t completely nerd out here in such detail you care to know. (I know you don’t.)
But I get why people just call them all dragons, I do. After all, Martin naming his novel A Waltz with Wyvern just wouldn’t have quite the same cachet, would it?
And here’s the crazy thing: I didn’t know I knew what a wyvern was until I said it. I have no idea when I learned it, or even in what context. Hey, I learned some flight terminology from a comic book, you can gain knowledge from the most unexpected places. Still, I guarantee were this Jeopardy! I would have drawn a blank in that needed moment, because that’s also how my brain doesn’t work sometimes. I have so many things on the tip of my tongue at any given moment it’s a wonder I can close my mouth. But I knew I was right about them. It amuses me how these odd pieces of nerf-formation stored in my cranium will crop up in conversations like a whack-a-mole rodent. (I know some want to whack me.)
And usually just unexpected – like yesterday’s post revealing the tidbit on Larry Bird. Or my penceant to randomly name-drop mythological deities with pop-culture references as though Bast, Dr. Strange, Beyoncé, Shiva, Worf, Freya, Childish Gambino and I are close personal peeps with whom I break out the mead, Kanar and ambrosia on any given night for a kiki in Kamar Taj. Hunty!
When these moments happen, I am inevitably asked a variation of how do you know these things? Which my brain generally interprets as why do you know these things? The answer remains the same: I drink and I I know random things – but hell if I know how I know them. (You certainly don’t want to know.)
Day 13 of 31 – Let’s see if others know how they are are slicing it out this Sunday…
Yesterday was all about Georgia O’Keeffe, but that was not all I saw while at Brooklyn Museum. Continuing its feminist vibe, the museum also has on exhibit “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago.
At some point in our lives we ask or are asked “If you could have dinner with…?” type of question. In her work “The Dinner Party” artist Judy Chicago takes that question and answers it in a magnificent way. It is a tribute of women from mythical goddesses, government leaders, wordsmiths, artists, scholars, activists and more, from historical to 20th century contemporaries.
Before you get to the table itself you pass through an entry where you are welcomed via a series of banners which hang from the ceiling. The phrases, depicted in much of the color pallet used in the main exhibit, read:
“And She Gathered All before Her”
“And She made for them A Sign to See”
“And lo They saw a Vision”
“From this day forth Like to like in All things”
“And then all that divided them merged”
“And then Everywhere was Eden Once again”
“The Dinner Party” entry banner “From this day forth Like to like in All things”
“The Dinner Party” entry banner “And then Everywhere was Eden once again”
I do not know Ms. Chicago’s intention, but reading this I felt as though a powerful feminine deity looked around to see the mess that had been made of things and took action setting things right.
And then you enter “The Dinner Party”
“The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museum
I had heard of the iconic, large scale project years ago. Still I was not prepared for the monumental scope of it. Chicago does not invite just one iconic woman, but what has to be nearly a thousand women in history to dinner. The lighting is intimate and inviting. You want to lean in and view each setting. About 40 who are represented by place settings at the triangular shaped table and rest via names inscribed on floor on which the table rests. Because of the flowing text and the lighting, I initially felt the table floated on tiles made to look like water. Especially in the center of the floor where the names of so many women, a representation of the ebb and flow, the fluidity of the female spirit throughout history. I thought it fitting.
Sojourner Truth Plate Setting – “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museum Note: Harriet Tubman
Emily Dickerson Plate Setting – “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museum. Note: Austin and Bronte
Georgia O’Keffe Plate Setting – “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museum Note: Anis Nin
Ceramics, intricately embroidered table linens sit beneath utensils and golden chalices surrounding unique porcelain plates created for each invitee, with radiating forms representing female external sexual organs. Akin to a Georgia O’Keefe flower painting in spirit, she of course is a guest at this astonishing table. I was amazed by the beauty and depth of detail of each setting.
I cannot fathom the amount of staff involved in the creation of such amazing craftwork, but I give immense praise to all who brought this to life.
Let’s see how the others are slicing their Sunday,
And before you start humming any more of the classic Ray Charles song, I mean Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist and one of, if not, the inventor of the American modernism genre in Art. Brooklyn Museum currently hosts an inspiring exhibit.
The exhibit, though featuring numerous pieces of her art, was more about the woman herself. Known as much for her free spirit as for her dramatic and often sensual of art, something she maintained was never intentional, O’Keefe was a female role model in the male dominated world of abstract and fine art. Her unique style made her a standout in many ways.
It was in the 1920s, when nobody had time to reflect, that I saw a still-life painting with a flower that was perfectly exquisite, but so small you really could not appreciate it. I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
The queue to view the exhibit.
Like much of her art, when she wasn’t wearing black, she wore deep, rich hues. Preferring well-tailored, nearly mannish in her cut of clothes, instead of the more flowy, frilly styles that are a constant of women’s fashion, O’Keefe preferred a more androgynous look in her clothing style long before we started bandying the word about.
A style icon in her own right, the exhibit displays items of her clothing, and accessories -off the rack and custom made, over the years. She was also a sassy little minx as images captured her in various states of contemplation and dress – and undress- from various photographers such as Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, and others, but especially her ex-lover Alfred Stieglitz. These photographs interspersed throughout the exhibit cover decades of her life and are as much art themselves in the stories they tell of their subject.
The exhibit also included video interviews of her at different times in her long career. Seeing and hearing her adds even more dimension when combined with all these personal pieces of her.Though I have known of her work all my life, I really knew nothing of the artist’s life until this exhibit.
It was a wonderful fusion of the art and the artist. I have a new and much deeper respect of both for it.
Let’s see how the others sliced it up their Saturday,
Me, being me – with my mind and thus my mouth having finally resurfaced from the wasteland it wallowed in for most of yesterday, made up for its self-imposed exile with a vengeance – I eventually pissed someone off. Pissed her off to point I was instructed “Go to Hades!”
Those of you who know me, or at least have an inkling of me, are likely smiling already…
“Hades?” I asked incredulously, “Really? Go to Hades? You do realize being sent there is not exactly punishment?”
“Right, since you’re destined to rule by his side, it would not be fearsome to you.” She sneered. I gave pause, I was going to ignore it. Really I was.
Oh Fine! We know I wasn’t.
“That specific fact notwithstanding,” I rolled my eyes. “Hades ruled the underworld where the dead resided after their time on earth. Once you died you belonged to him and once you’ve crossed the Styx into his domain you were not allowed to leave. Those who tried to circumvent such were punished; otherwise he was mostly passive in his daily rule. So, you telling me to Go to Hades? Yeah, really not much bite in that. Hades, and his eponymous underworld, are a construct of mythology. Hell, the place you don’t have the maturity to call by its proper name, is a construct of religion.”
“Smartass. To Hell with you then!” Emphasis heavy on the noun this time. I know my brow arched, I couldn’t help it and she, knowing me, groaned knowing something was about to drop and not in her favor.
Now class, what’s one thing that really galls us humans? Someone throwing our own words back at us.
“With you? Oh, Certainement!” I just grinned. “Since, as you’ve stated, I’m destined to rule by his side, it would not be fearsome for me, that would make me your queen, and either as Persephone or Lilith, I would surely make it hell for you.”
Lesson of the Day: Don’t mess with an erstwhile church girl, who likes classic mythology.
From my desk at work: Spy vs Spy, a killer notepad and a mini traffic cone that asks “Where are we going? And why are we in this handbasket?”
Let’s see how the hell others are slicing it up this Friday:
First day of spring–
I keep thinking about
The end of autumn. Matsuo Basho – First day of spring
Lo, how she trembled that first day
Flowers grew where she tread
To quickly die as she walked away
An incongruous sight for the dead
Even Charon was saddened to bring
To the damned, such a beautiful thing
Nor did she bother pretending to resist
When her first earthly return, Demeter insists
For above the living do sing
First day of spring
Years pass and a rapport twixt us grew
I had a golden circlet woven for her as balm
A token of my love as our time to part was due
Adorned with flames and a pomegranate charm
She laughs and I thought I felt love sprout
Yet she left it on our bed with a pout
A hope had glimmered
But her eyes shimmered
It is in the doubt
I keep thinking about
The underworld was hell anew in her wake
Yet the surprise was mine upon her return
To learn her leaving it was not mistake
But to remind me that her love in turn does burn
Now laden with eternities under the sun
From first bud to last leaf it compares to none
For she now returns without regret
To lay claim to me, her love, and the bracelet
Aye, my love, my life always comes
The end of autumn