Friday, March 29, 2013

Getting Lucky



Every once in a while in AC you hear stories about people getting lucky. Some of them are so incredible you think the people have to be lying. Like my buddy RF, who woke up this Thursday at 9 am with $1 to his name and no gas in his tank. He lives up north in Jersey and he wasn't even sure he'd have the tolls to get home. I saw him at breakfast where he'd just finished using up the last of his comps at the Borgata to eat. I would have helped him out, but I was busted too, although not in as bad a shape as him. Then his phone rings and its his boy E from back home. He started not to answer
because E is always calling to borrow money and he had none to lend. But he picked up anyway and sure enough E was looking to come down to AC but was short a few bucks. But the something odd happened, when RF told him he was busted, E decided not to come down and then offered RF what little money he had. RF told me that in twenty years E had never done such a thing. E deposited the $40 in an account and since it wasn't enough to play poker RF decided to bet the horses. He bets a few races and then put $18 on a Trifecta that comes in for $14, so he wins 9x $14 which is $126. Just enough to buy in to a 1/2 No Limit game. RF is a patient winning poker player so he sets about grinding only he runs second best and soon is down to $30. He gets All In and triples up and soon thereafter runs it up to $250. He's thinking about locking up his win when he's dealt JJ and calls a small raise. The Flop comes ten high and the raiser bets $50, RF moves in for $178 more. The raiser leans back, ponders and then shows RF two queens. He mentions that RF hasn't played many hands and then mucks his hand. RF takes down a nice pot and breathes a sigh of relief because the guy had him crushed. He gets a losing hand, but is lucky enough to get it against the one guy who woud fold a better hand. Well to make a long story even longer, he runs his stack up to over $800. He picks up and call it a day. From $1 to over $800 in half a day and when he really needed it. I got lucky that day too, but not so much in poker, although I won a little there also. I got a second haiku accepted for publication, then found out that NPR was taking a different one for their Twitter Poetry contest they do every National Poetry Month. In fact, mine was the very first one they accepted this year. I discovered that Twitter now takes line breaks which means no more need for slashes to indicate line breaks. To celebrate I wrote this poem which somehow turned out pretty good ;

Ars Poetica

I am broken
open by
the random
enjambment
of her
sighs.

I was just screwing around and got lucky, but things got even better. I had decided to try to write some haiku in Kriolu, the Portuguese Creole language spoken in Cape Verde and my goal was to try to scratch out seven haiku. I searched the Web high and low for some examples, but couldn't find any. If anyone is writing haiku in Kriolu, they're keeping it hidden. The idea of being the first one to do it was pretty exciting even though I knew I might not be first, just the first to put them in the Web. So I started and lo and behold if I didn't somehow manage to get insanely lucky. The very first one I wrote turned out decent!!

Cigaru sem fumo
na beixu di homi-
Vulc√£o na Fogo.

Cigarette
unlit on a man lips-
Volcano on Fogo.

Not bad at all, but then it got even better!! I wrote this joint in English with a Cape Verdean theme;

Cigarette smoke
drifting across a stage-
Cesaria's voice.

I was on a roll!! I then squeezed out several more about my grandparents including these two;

With her sisters
Nunny speaks Kriolu-
Sudden sunbeams.

From the big toolbox
I select the correct wrench-
My Grandfather's smile.

Nunny is my grandmother, of course. The second one is pretty good if I don't say so myself, maybe one of the best Senryu I've written. And just when it seemed Things couldn't get any better I hit a miracle card on the river in the form of this Kriolu haiku;

Sodade
de Cabo Verde-
Quel ventu seku.

Longing
for Cape Verde-
This dry wind.

That might be the best haiku I've ever written, it would take me a long time to explain it, but when I posted it on Facebook, my cousin Tor commented in Kriolu "Perfeito!!" Perfect! On the one hand I'm super happy, on the other I'm worried I might never write anything half as good in Kriolu ever again. Poets, we're crazy like that. I also managed this excellent revision of an earlier poem that came from an exercise. I seem to have gotten super lucky with the ending here, I read the poem for the first time at the World Above monthly open reading at Dante Hall here in AC and got audible gasps at the end. I'm not going to lie, I live for that kind of response to my work;

Because on each
of her fingertips
a maze meant whorls,
it's her hands
that I itch for.
What I may miss
in tracing a line
on her palm
I divine
in the next.
Even her pinky
like a searchlight,
finds what
I fear revealed.
Her slender thumbs
oppose with grace
(Will they oppose me?)
Her index rises,
a tender wand,
a tenth of what
troubles my blood:
a touch more subtle
than I surmised.
All night,
each nail,
a pale croissant
I crave.


I'm on a roll, let's see how long my hot hand continues.

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)

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