Travel

Drums of Summer

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View from Doorman’s window, Montevideo.

Drums of Summer

                                                            —San Francisco 

I’ve showered and shaved and brushed my teeth

Slipped my hips through a pair of loose jeans

So many things I could do tonight

The drums of summer rumble by nine

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Left on Mission to the Tip-Tap Club

Sweaty old hispanos drinking rum

Right on Mission to St Pats Saloon

Bearded burners done dropped outta school

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There’s the Castro, lotsa bars for guys

Bears and buffs and twinks, a trap surprise

How about a hotel bar? The Rex?

Someone’s always lonely in her bed

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I could go out — I could — and I still might

But I prefer to drum right here, to write

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Orange Studies

Stayed home tonight to sketch some drawings based on photos from Montevideo.  Drew rapidamente in ink sin lapiz.  Scared each time I started one, afraid I couldn’t do it.  Did it anyway.  Never quite what I expected, but always surprising in their own unique way.

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The Naked Truth

Went to my first live-model session.  Started off with crayons on scratch copy paper.  Then drew with colored pencils and pastels on construction paper.  Finished up with pen & ink and watercolor.  The model was great and stood zen still for three hours.  The other artists were warm and kind, the light in the room so generous and gentle.

 

Click to Enlarge Images

South America Studies

Heading south to Uruguay in less than a month after fifteen years away.  Getting so excited, I’m sketching the place in advance.  Thanks, Google Maps!

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Birds of South America

                                                                            —Americana arrogantus

When summer comes, los uruguayos perch

Themselves on Maldonado’s Punta shore

Like seagulls, each aims a firm, fat belly

Boiled eggs in salted sun.

                                                     Across the border

Beyond the Rio de la Plata’s breeze

Argentinos strut through Buenos Aires

Proud as peacocks, their tilted coccyges

Bent back, cocksure, as if supporting plumes

Of opalescent eyes.

                                                     Over the Andes

In war-torn Santiago, los chilenos cuddle

Nuzzle—all in cooing, kissing pairs

A flock of plaza pigeons, not people

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I mock them all, yes, yes—but I’m regal

Soaring above, a bald-headed eagle

 

Baskets

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Baskets

                                                   —for Annelies

Not the one carried by little red riding hood

Skipping through woods to grandma’s house

Not the metal one screwed to my first bike

Nor the netted one through which I swished

My first free throw:  There’s another basket

One we sit in patiently, tomatoes at a corner store

Each awaiting fingers, a squeeze, a test to reject

We are all tomatoes:  skinny, fat, juicy red

Embarrassed by our flaws, our absent hot-house taste

My own basket, woven now for fifty years

Not made of straw, not woven strips of wood

At some point, we leave our baskets on the street

Outside some corner store, out in the air

Bare for all to see, to poke and squeeze and sniff

Look — See that man skipping down the street?

He’s light as a feather, a strip of straw

A girl on her way to grandma’s house