Chaya Grossberg Speakout
Submitted by admin on Fri, 02/23/2007 - 04:15
Algorithms and Euphemisms and Cans
The Next Planet
by Chaya Grossberg
Cover photo by Susie Benton
Table of Contents
2. Our Celestially Marinated Duet
5. Sacredness Takes Over Noticing’s Job
7. A Lightning Rod For Me, A Cactus Pod For You
9. Quantum Leap
10. Science to the Limits of Literature and Dark Cake
11. Love’s Necessary Rebellions
12. I Do a Ditty and I Do a Dance
14. Love’s Arms, Armor and Sense
15. Outta This Land
17. Remember Your Friends
19. Tom’s Message to Chaya
20. The Ball’s On Drop
22. We Took a Step Towards Fun
24. The Apricot Spread Toast
25. Pickpocket the Stoners Poetry
27. State to State
Our Celestially Marinated Duet
I wonder…no…funky…fro…tell me…
what I need to know right now on this one day
less than full moon
time, a sliver so silent we may as well be dressfully
scared of tiny Nila wafer colored dogs
and scratch scratch scratch through doors
and shyness and turns from cigarettes
and blankets to keep us from getting wet
and another sheet
with music for our celestially marinated duet.
Our marionette duet,
when things are dry and free.
lined up one two three.
that we like to take in the form of trees
and freeze with the branches
all Winter we are ice
all Summer we are stream
all Spring we are noise, we are music,
that sounds like a convulsing man,
we are an organ
that knew melody how to plan,
we are MAGICIANS,
and underneath our hats are rats,
we are Rockland County
and we are Pittsfield, Mass.
We don’t engage in conversations,
all we do is teach
a math class to dolphins
so they’ll know just how to shake
so they’ll know we are awake
and we’ll HAMMER
tables and rules into their backs,
so they’ll be filled with metal jacks
and give humans the coats off their slippery backs.
We have WAITED
for treaties one by one.
We have ARGUED
with thick spines two by two.
We have TANGOED
with elephants in the park
by now the sky is dark
so it’s time to view the spark
from our little bench in the sea
that will mysteriously
in the stars
with a colony of guitars.
God bless our souls on their way to meet their spines
Sacredness Takes Over Noticing’s Job
I feel I am going to be won by time.
The too many things happening to catch everything is eventually going to be realized,
Yet in the wind blowing every single branch, hair and molecule,
Light hitting everything that is seen-
God blesses all
And sacredness takes over noticing’s job.
Sacredness makes space for a single feeling to stir the soup of events, images, thoughts, words…
He was wrong
She knew it all along
He was stew…
All she could do…
A Lighting Rod For Me, A Cactus Pod For You
I relentlessly adhere to the plan:
Shun the man in hopes he’ll change.
My cynicism increases at the rate of my pocket change (fast).
I capitalize on the laundry quarters remaining.
I tremble because of you, and what do you do?
So I tremble in my continue on.
I continue on to the stream
and paddle down it alone
since I don’t want to ask you for help.
I retreat from partnership and
pick up my paddle.
I pick my nose and really
I don’t wait for you.
I’m downstream in my own canoe,
the seaweed green
the seaweed blue.
I telephone everyone, including you,
just for something with which to do.
Alone I am sad
alone I am mad
alone I am brave and I don’t wait for you
to come back.
The wave in back of my canoe,
the telephone treaty to mix up the glue.
The hippopotamus in the stream
comes up for air,
the gleam in my eye has nothing at which to stare.
The shine in my hair is no longer stroked,
the ball in my throat is not still all choked.
The tractor trailer is made of rabbit’s poo
and elephant glue,
and me and you.
An alligator chew.
A minnow too.
An antelope canoe.
A telephone tea for two.
A lightning rod for me,
a cactus pod for you.
There was an ant
And a plant
And a fountain
And a pearl
And an easel
A quantum leap
Science to the Limits of Literature-and Dark Cake
The cake has seven silver spoons in the inner circle and 20 in the outer, stuck in it for 27 to eat. That is my limit.
There is nothing like combining tambourines, biology, history and the drum. And stitching a pillowcase of the pages and pats God by God, hole by hole, trick by trick, touch by touch. God by God. Twitch by twitch. Trickle my trickle and humming.
I believe in science-real earthy molecular science to the limits of literature. Biology, Chemistry, Physics to the music of poetry-they ice the cake.
The icing is sweet-so sweet I put my finger out and lick it, tempted by sucrose. And dark cake. I swallow nothing. Wax from the birthday candles drips to the floor in a pool of orange, yellow and blue. The gold ring falls once the wax hardens to a swirled tricolor circle and the gold band sits atop the wax art.
Love’s Necessary Rebellions
Maybe it’s the Winter that makes me break away
Maybe it’s the Summer sun that taught me how to pray
Maybe it’s the music that I shook out with a rattle
Maybe it’s the ache I cannot feel because I left the battlefield
Or is it the tuning itself that needs an adjustment?
Or is it just me?
How I climbed an oak tree to the top, and pop,
our whole love affair changed.
I knew I needed to fall off the top of the oak and hit the ground,
I knew I needed to remember what was down there,
to pick a blueberry from a bush.
A key, a tangerine, an apple and misery,
I sense misery and honest to Jesus I like it,
I will no longer fear to love as you did Christ
And I will pick pebbles from the dirt and string them on necklaces.
What if you do just the right thing tomorrow?
Give me just the right gift or kiss
or make me feel just the right way?
Well then will I forget about these words with relief?
I just may I just may
but the words are here now, heavy, I mean them,
I need them.
I Do A Ditty and I Do a Dance
I love the sunset and evening stars,
But better the nighttime stars
And negative two rains,
Better the growing pains
That send me to bed,
Better than that other world,
Better was my dream last night in another world-
I wish for another world, any other, any adventure,
Anything besides the same old day,
The same old worries and to do’s-
I want escape, I want a lover to fuck my mind open
And I want to go somewhere else- somewhere with
Tangerines, rosebuds, bells and reachable stars,
Somewhere with dance bars
And someplace else with revelations that can be seen in the atmosphere,
But brand new ones that have never been seen before
As I exist on the edge
Just like time,
I flirt with the edge
Of a different kind of reason,
In the fifth season-
A different seasoning that has never been tasted, smelled, known
Or seen before-
A relapse but a concoction nonetheless-
A relapse but love nonetheless,
A reachable star, but passion and compassion all the more,
A torch, but someone in the next room who knows my name-
What we need is a box big enough for each shoe.
The five year deal, it’ll be pretty-
Grandma has pink carnations,
And a ditty:
I do a ditty and I do a dance.
Love’s Arms, Armor and Sense
I skim the lava in the heaven of creation, the galaxy, the street corner
High school run in memory
The pizza place with stools,
The girls with curly hair,
The rain don’t rain, it drools,
The puddles are full of rules.
So-and-so has something to say to you- Wait-let him say it-
Then remember your plans
and sever the ties
that bind you to your single life-
go all the way in
enter the relationship fully,
give it your all-
otherwise you’ll only crawl-
if you do, you’ll walk two by two in love’s
arms, armor and sense.
Outta This Land
Continue down the slide- easy chica,
And then tumble around -n-glide- then
Reinvent the blowtorch, the wedding, the rum,
Rejuvenate-try a glass of juice-
Juice here, juice there, juice it up baby, juice it up.
Pickle me, pick me pickles and pickle your frequency-
And sour up the salamander carnival in the cattlefield.
Never again let the rehearsers invent cream,
For they do not know what it means
Continue on down the slide,
Send a paper mache mask by way of paper airplane to the bus.
Travel much more sistah- go here, go there
Outta this land, outta this land-
the otha lands got some good treats for ya too and you fa them.
I wanted to reach into the past and re-collect everyone I’d lost.
So what did I do?
I paddled my own canoe?
And who showed up?
All of you
Remember Your Friends
The never-ending shadow
The ever-lasting moan
The teacher who tattled
The Rembrandt who disowned
He disowned his moan
For the sake of a pay telephone
He disowned his moan
To talk to me on the drone
Remember kids, there’s no time for fun!
A treaty must be won!
A tattletaler brought everything he ever won
She decided to drop the wine-every time
The clock hit nine
She decided to run to Greece
Just to visit her niece!
She decided to swim to shore
And live like a kid forever more
She swam around time,
And pennies and dimes
“Electrify”-the snake hissed
“Electrify” he hissed and hissed.
The lovebirds pecked their final kiss.
It was bliss for the showers
Bliss for the showers
Hell for 24 hours and then bliss for the showers
And of course the peanut cups-
Remember the small ones?
Remember this didn’t start
It started with a crust, a pie pan,
land and a plan
you filled it with your frosting and
forever we ran…
This is where it ends
In Heaven we’re all friends-and
We don’t worry we don’t have time for our friends-
We don’t worry we don’t have time for
For friendship never ends
Sewing the stitches of humanity,
In the end, we will all, re-friend!
Tom’s message to Chaya
The colors of wax-dried drips of wax on my menorah look so vivid-a sign that Tom is here.
Love, we must remember to love more, criticize less, see the good in one another and tell each other all of the good we see- write it if we can’t say it.
As women we are the seeds, the feed, the food, the Love, the telephone pole, the dolphin, the crisper, the container, the realm.
We are rapturous and kind, we are good to be mined.
The Ball’s On Drop
Cleanse and rectify the ball on the crop
ramble on and on and on to the rummage shop
the ball’s on clop-
the M&Ms, the candy fries,
the ball’s on drop
The ball goes round and it goes round till you’re
sitting in sop
the ball’s been dropped
the mu-sic stopped
the ache goes on and on until you’ve reached the top
I sang a song, I sang a song
Rehearsed and curse for all along the
fryer had been on.
So I turned it off.
Everyday we sit around and say
The balls up top,
The ball is a flop
And then everything is drop and pop
It ne-ver stops.
And round and round and round and round
Till we’re over the
We slip away
Into the night to pray
And then we stop
The bird flops and crops with the weight of a mor-ning mop
The bird flops and crops
When the ball’s on mop
The balls been stopped
The mess has been mopped
The kids go round and round with the hope
That they’ll get stopped
The joy’s on top
The bubble’s been popped
The rant goes on and on until we’ve all been cropped
The rent’s been topped
The music stopped
The raven propped primped and primed up for
The girl with the mop
The style is sopped
The carnival chopped
The Canterbury illusory version of wopped
The reels been clocked
The telephone tocked
Nevermind it all! he called
And called and called and called
Why do it now when it’s been done?
Why call a clown to have some fun?
Rush to the table, look under the table!
The kids are crowded looking at ma-ple!
The ball’s been popped
The envelope stopped
The tree grows higher and higher and then
reaches the top
and she stopped! She stopped! She stopped! (ecstatically)
The pot’s been dropped
It’s been dropped
IT’S BEEN DROPPED (screaming loudly and ecstatically)
Drop me, swap me but
Ne-ver crop me.
She remembers her cup
And picks it from the top
And picks and picks and picks
Un-til it’s all been chopped
She’s stopped! She..ees STOPPED
We Took a Step Towards Fun
The jam and the toaster
The ram and the pecan
Everywhere I go,
all I see is snow.
Every time I run,
I pretend I’m on the go
Listen Mr. Elbow-
Our kids have things to share.
Listen for the renters’ song
Then listen for the owner’s ring.
Ding a ling ling…
A canvas I did bring
Ding a ding dong
I wrote you yet another song
It goes (stomp)
Howdy howdy ho
Howdy howdy hey
Put a sticker in the snow
Put a rhyme in the hay
It goes howdy howdy ho
I got a clock and I got a cloak
Howdy howdy hum
I’m gonna reach,
I’m gonna reach
I’m gonna reach out for some fun.
That’s how it’s all begun
We took a step towards fun.
The Apricot Spread Toast
Ariel needs a hug, a cradle, her head two big warm hands. Hands to cup her fragility, hands to grip her arms and warm them to toast on which she’ll spread strawberry preserves. Blueberry preserves. Toast with butter, diner style. Thick homemade quinoa multigrain toast with apricot preserves and hip to hip sitting, two squished in a chair for one big one-hip to hip, lip to lip. Ariel has a piece to fit on her left side-side by side they slip along one another’s sides, hip to hip, lip on lip. Upper lip on lower lip, grip to grip
They ride their bikes, grip to grip they line up their knuckles,
They toast knuckles, grip to grip
Hug me- they hug arms around one another’s torsos,
And Ariel hugs children tight,
She sets them free, lets them be-
They play in the backyard
Ariel like their special friend cannot be classified as mother or aunt
Just that lady who they know,
Who’s image will stay in their mind
And they touch her with their soft kind.
Diapers, baby wipes-never mind.
Now it’s time for the big bed-this man is tall and spelt,
At Ariel’s side, a candle lit,
Dried flowers hung around,
Crushed in bowls, by and by
By and by, side by side.
They slide under the covers,
he warms her to a crisp,
she’s soft and she smiles
the apricot spread toast.
Pickpocket The Stoners Poetry
It’s a deep dark night, my life much more adventurous lately,
Trees white branched and glowing,
Flowing like radar and uneaten chocolate chip cookies
And energy that never run dry,
A night that will never fry,
Some small little lights up in the sky,
Some tolerance and tornado potatoes
And a time I think, I wish I could cry,
I wish I could cry
I wish try was try
And cry was alive in the beat of the vision,
The meat of yesterday, tomorrow and today meeting,
Like popcorn meets,
Like Pac man meets the soul,
Like mouth meets food
And stoner meets smoke,
Like reckon follows “I”
And eye interchanges with socket,
math equations, rounded pies and all.
Never mind logic and carnivals, we’re here for the free spinach dish,
We’re here to announce life no matter the hour-
It’s pound over penance, not sound over sentence
Or matzo meal which is not a meal.
Listen up y’all, there’s some fun to be had,
Some life to live, just as your life is now,
So eat a cherry and frown,
But be alive for the night once upon some times
And trip on the second hand laced marijuana smoke in the air,
Pickpocket the stoners poetry
and make a second hand sentence,
a stolen phrase, a trip worthy confectioner conversation,
conversable and well worn,
well inhaled like a clean night could be.
State to State
It’s funny when you follow a rainstorm state to state. Each time I go back to New York, something happens to remind me that: Marriage is a soap bucket, a bottle, and fish taken out.
It’s a white sky that’s open for what’s next, it’s by and by and thick river run texts- it’s salami and poetry again because I told you I meant it, because I blow into a fountain, stick to my guns and stick them out at your buns.
Oh well, there are stories to tell, oh well I hear a ringing bell, and the river runs, and the stream it clears, the waters deep green, the litter, the dirt, the smile you gave me hurt, the heart I never chose, the ransom note I used to offer you a think with which to blow your nose, the magenta shirt, skirt and shoes,
The me you’ll have to choose, the you who claims he has the blues, the money I’ll make, the blue cheese I’ll create, the phone calls you’ll have to make, her alibi.
The tenant you’ll invest in, the fame I have that makes you nervous as you trip in your finest outfit to win me over. The rich life we’ll lead, but all along the way, I’ll sing down the stream of corn chowder and whipped cream, just to make you earn it, earn what you need. You call it greed, I call it creed.
You’ll sing a song at the wedding, I’ll finally say I knew it all along, and every time you have to will me back, stronger will be your back, every time you lose your shoes, I’ll secretly consult my muse, every time you travel seas, I’ll go about my business for you got down on your knees,
One for each year you let me go on alone, one for each ring, one for each eye of mine you love.
Clear the costumes from the costume closet, clean the blood from the sink, this time it’s clinkety clink, this time I’ll slink down, you’ll drink down, a green flavored potion, the clock’s hands will point to 9. A green fluorescent potion, and lotion, So-and-so you are mine-that’s what you’ll say on and on-you are mine. I’ll think about the other times. I won’t jingle bells, I’ll just point out rhymes, all the while you’ll know you miss me, and you’ll have one more chance, for a first kiss-and I’ll have many more chances, to-be-missed.
So I slipped into a trance…when I asked for some romance, I was told time will tell but I didn’t hear the chapel bell sing, ring a ding ding. I decided to stop speaking and instead I’d sing, the elementary school prophesy, this is what it said it would bring.
When hectic becomes a heck of a long time, that is when I’ll sing my rhyme, until then I’ll party all the while, content without your smile, and sure it’ll be a mile to the next pit stop. But I travel road to road, sign to sign, smile to smile. I get drunk on the now, rather than drone in memories. I never forgot Toys R Us, I never saw you as a plant. You wrinkled in my palm when I stopped promising anything and started living.
Unsure if you’d ever show up so I could say your name aloud,
To the crowds I love so dearly, what I did was count to three, because a dead guy mentioned that tactic to me. Never mind the courtesy.
There’s a fly drowning in your water cup
This time I just smile-
You order more water, you say, Drink up.
Time by time we create something new, you’ve turned around, I’ve unglued my shoe. And I’ve eaten a potato or two
But I haven’t unlocked time, I haven’t rented rhyme, I haven’t stuck my shoe a second time. I love you Chaya, you say.
I love you too.