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Posts Tagged ‘gold button’


It is time for a full-moon ramble. I have packed a midnight snack of Meyer lemon-glazed Madeleines, a steel thermos of soupe à l’oignon gratinée, and chard stuffed with bulgur and feta cheese into my hand-made tin-can tiffin, and have securely fastened my worn leather saddlebags to my scooter. I am headed for the mountains and the ocean; I want to ride on winding cliff-side roads and end my journey with icy salt water at my feet. I’m wearing a three piece olive green corduroy suit lined in fuchsia silk and adorned with gold half-ball buttons, a heavy black ribbed woolen turtleneck, my worn black leather jacket, and black harness boots. As I zoom out of the city, I howling recite Hilda Doolittle into the damp night air.
“Whiter
than the crust
left by the tide,
we are stung by the hurled sand
and the broken shells.
We no longer sleep
in the wind—
we awoke and fled
through the city gate.”

(From The Wind Sleepers and by H.D.)

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I am lounging upon my récamier and playing a snail-paced game of solitaire. Snail-paced because every time I get ahead, Francy swats at my neatly organized stack of winning cards with her paw until they have spilled onto the rug in a deluge of royalty and peons. I have the “Black Lady” in my left hand, and the “The False King” in my right. If Francy can restrain herself, I might win yet. In a surprise move, Francy leans in over my shoulder and attempts to bite the four-holed antique gold button off my grey wool sweater. Playing cards with a one-eyed cat is always a gamble.
“They call you Lady Luck.
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very unladylike way of running out
You’re this a date with me
The pickings have been lush
And yet before this evening is over you might give me the brush
You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay and so the best that I can do is pray.”

(By F. Loesser)

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There are 31 days in October, but the only question I have is, “How many kinds of birthday cake can I eat within one month?” If I fall under one cake type a day, I will be despondent….or at the very least suffer from angst and culinary disappointment. It is my month to stomp my feet and demand cake petulantly, not something that I am wont to do normally, and it is undeniably swell that I like very little better than to beat butter and sugar together until they are sweet and light. I’m in my warm kitchen with Lulu and Francy underfoot, wearing a black singlet and denim overalls with vaguely Roman-looking gold buttons, and with Patti Smith blaring. I have been collecting birthday cake recipes for months and am starting my month of birthday celebrations with flaming cherries jubilee over pound cake. I’ve always loved a little flambé at the table, but when I grab the bottle of Grande Marnier, the cats cut their eyes sideways nervously.
“Ask the angels who they’re calling,
Go ask the angels if they’re calling to thee
Ask the angels while they’re falling
Who that person could possibly be
Everybody got the feelin’
You know the feeling and it’s stronger each day
Everybody wants to be reelin’
And baby baby I’ll show you the way”

(By I. Kral, Ivan and P. Smith)

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I’m on my way to meet you for dinner, and am hurrying from BART to the escalator, when I walk past a woman sitting on a pile of coverlets, strumming some nameless song on an out-of-tune guitar. Homeless folks make me sad; I yearn to be able to hand them energy and healing, but feel inadequate. Whenever I see someone huddled on the city ground, I open my heart, shine love at them, and imagine wrapping them in a soft quilt of graciousness with golden heart-shaped buttons sealing in all that radiance. Does my tiny blessing help? I do not know the answer, yet I continue. And so I run to you, my heart an open shell full of grainy sand, gleaming pearls and salty tears.
“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

(By ee cummings)

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I buttoned my light blue Oxford shirt, and stood over my streamer trunk looking at the wild jumble of trousers, waistcoats, cravats, hose, jackets, and other fashionable riff-raff. A natural and black striped linen waistcoat caught my eye, and I freed it from its prison. I shook out as many wrinkles as I could, and fastened the eight flashy gold fleur-de-lys buttons. If I don’t return home soon, some of my excessive belongings must do so in my stead. Hearing a raucous commotion in the alley below, I rushed to the balcony only to see a solitary gypsy standing boots spread on a mound of dirt and playing the accordion. Sitting at the little red painted metal table on the geranium festooned baloney, I ate garlicky Çılbır and drank mint tea while being serenaded.
“Ich bin die fesche Lola, der Liebling der Saison!
Ich hab’ ein Pianola zu Haus’ in mein’ Salon
Ich bin die fesche Lola, mich liebt ein jeder Mann
doch an mein Pianola, da laß ich keinen ran!
doch an mein Pianola, da laß ich keinen ran!”

(By F. Hollander, Frederick, R. Liebmann, R. Rillo)

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I am on my way to Karlsruhe, home of the Museum beim Markt, Karlsruhe Palace, and Museum in der Majolika. I plan on several days of cultural immersion, so I’m busy clearing my brain to allow for the grand influx of beauty and ideas that I’m sure will be involved in a week of museum hopping. My mental cleansing involves many chocolates, a ginger cat snoozing upon my lap, a respite from driving in the form of a first class train trip, and hovering attendants with pots of hot tea and fresh tea cakes. The Museum beim Mark alone is over 1,600 square metres of handicrafts, including Germany’s most impressive collection of Art Nouveau artifacts from renowned artists, artisans and designers so I must be sharp! I lean back in my seat, unbutton the polished gold metal buttons on my dusty violet and charcoal grey wool argyle double-breasted vest, and sigh deeply, looking out of the window at the rural landscape rushing past. I’m not feeling particularly brilliant, but train trips always cheer me up. I hum a bar from the famous train folk song, “John Henry”, and feel better already.
“John Henry was a railroad man,
He worked from six ’till five,
“Raise ’em up bullies and let ’em drop down,
I’ll beat you to the bottom or die.”
John Henry said to his captain:
“You are nothing but a common man,
Before that steam drill shall beat me down,
I’ll die with my hammer in my hand.”
John Henry said to the Shakers:
“You must listen to my call,
Before that steam drill shall beat me down,
I’ll jar these mountains till they fall.”

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Into the gloomy German night I will go. It is 3am, and I’m woken by my dreams. I roll over on my narrow cot inside my van, momentarily disoriented and tangled in soft bed linens. When I fell asleep, it was to the sounds of sad Lebanese folksongs from two campgrounds over, and now all I hear are dark rustlings. The night brings many worries, slinging them like mud pies splattering inside my anxious heart. I gather my voluminous cloak about me, and fasten the gold metal spider-web button. Is my cloak the red wool one of a little one bravely tramping through the woods, or does it have a be-eared hood of grey fur? Perhaps both.
“To think of the acorn it is necessary to become the tree. And the tree of night is the hardest tree to mount, the dourest tree to scale, the most difficult branch….think of the night all day long, and of the day the night through, or at some reprieve of the brain it will come upon you heavily – an engine stalling itself upon your chest, halting its wheels against your heart; unless you have made a roadway for it.”
(From Nightwood by D. Barnes)

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