Monday, February 26, 2007

Algoma, ca. 1970

Night at The Rustic

The aroma was Prince Albert
and Pine-Sol and Stale Ale
as she served slices of black-
skinned radish
on little plates of vinegar and salt
and the conversation was
of cabbages and caraway and
taverns like this one,
of Czechs and cheeses and church.
Machinists and millwrights
manned the stools, smoked, smelled
of sausages and sweat, made small talk
in the small hours
and faded away into country night,
coughing and laughing and
looking back at lives lived
out of limelight.
17-inch ball games
on a black and white Zenith,
17-cent raises after
17-week strikes.
Little plates of vinegar and salt
left on the bar.

- Ralph Murre

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Post # 142

three times, at this time
the age of majority
playing minor roles


Three times legal now,
I drink just one-third as much.
Strange arithmetic.


three times 21 -
it's an awkward age, I guess -
budget for good wine

- arem

Friday, February 16, 2007

short stories

tracks in morning snow
writers going to breakfast
telling short stories

- arem

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not Always

Not always,
the merry heart of scarlet,
but cobalt, too,
indigo blue and
un-named colors.
Un-named moods
require other hues,
not always red,
not always red, I said,
but valentine blues.
Some hearts sing
valentine blues.

- Ralph Murre

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Anti-Valentine?

From this morning’s reading of Bill Holm’s Playing the Black Piano, in which he quotes from Walt Whitman’s “Poem on the Proposition of Nakedness”:

Let men and women be mock’d with bodies and mock’d with Souls!
Let the love that waits in them, wait!
let it die, or pass still-born to other spheres!
Let the people sprawl with yearning, aimless hands!
let their tongues be broken!
let their eyes be discouraged!
let none descend into their hearts
with the fresh lusciousness of love!

I suppose that’s enough from the black piano for today.
Why I came to it on the day before Valentine’s, is the question.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

once more, from the top

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I wonder why we climb
jungle gyms and Everest’s,
Eiffel’s and maples.
So the gods can get
a better look at us, I suppose –
remember us when it matters.
Maybe smile at us and
think fondly of that time
when we surveyed, together,
the world sprawled at our feet.

- Ralph Murre

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007


bronze by Thomas Gerhardt Smith

Like the woman
who fell from the sky
through the roof
of the Popcorn Tavern,
you might be surprised.
Like the people dancing
when the balcony collapsed
in Kansas City or
when the stock market
collapsed in New York City,
you might be surprised.
Like the little girl
who fell in the well in Texas
or the home-run hitter
who fell from grace,
or, like Custer, falling
on that day in Montana, or,
like a couple who fell in love,
you might be surprised.
But don't let that stop you.
You might be surprised.

- Ralph Murre

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Molly Ivins 1944-2007

painting by Robert Shetterly
from his book Americans Who Tell the Truth

"The best way to get the sons of bitches is to make people laugh at them."

- Molly Ivins