Persephone Abbott (photo

Posts from the “Poetry” Category

Bad Bellini

Posted on December 25, 2019

Jules Deelder, the poet, died. It reminds me. I was called up one day, one day back in the day when I lived in Rotterdam. The voice on the phone asked me if I would sing in Amsterdam and represent Rotterdam. As the Rotterdammers say “Amsterdam where is that then?” It nearly rhymes in Dutch too. I was not an obvious representative for Rotterdam. As in I wasn’t born in Rotterdam. Or anywhere near Rotterdam. The voice on the phone told me that I was recommended by the organization of a local opera festival. I felt flattered. It was paid. The voice on the phone wanted to show the people Amsterdam that Rotterdam had real culture by supporting a student of opera to sing…

A Poem

Posted on November 21, 2019

Wet Noodle

We’re playing at wet noodle

My dog and I

Because no one is watching

She threw up

I limped home after physical therapy

We can be nauseous and upset

All we want

Together as overcooked pasta

Her body glued onto mine in this chair

This is a good reality

Much better than pretending we’re fine

Someplace else

Forced to

Accommodate secret blows

Covert bashings

No holding up a false picture of bliss

Around here.

A Poem

Posted on November 15, 2019

A One Time Thing

A one time thing

I stare at your handwriting on the envelope

A one time thing

You are one year older than

And my father already dead

Gracious you, his friend, send me part of him

A one time thing

I imagine your face shadowed by your thoughts

As you wrote the address on the label

“Such beautiful handwriting,” my friend exclaimed

I feel, like you must also feel, the weight of time pressing

A one time thing

This life

Persephone Abbott

Where is the Benefit?

Posted on August 8, 2019

“Crisis.” The editor, pick any American editor on any news program or paper, wrote about the current political situation, meaning the rallies, the shootings, the hatred. Here’s the thing:  When has it been different these past 20 years?  America has been waking up to the reports of mass shootings minimally once a year, and long before the current president. It just seems to me that the lullaby of “we are getting better, reaching a less racist and violent state of national identity” sung during 2012 (Sandy Hook) 2013 (Washington Navy Yard) 2014 (Isla Vista) etc. has been turned off, and the bloody truth that racism and hatred has never gone away is becoming more obvious because of, and despite, reporting. That the flames of violence and…

Low-lying Shrubbery

Posted on August 2, 2019

I went to a garden center, one long tram ride to a rather dilapidated part of Amsterdam, a short walk past some people who looked a bit like they might have encountered substance problems recently and I was glad it was just a few minutes past 3 p.m.  I was also happy when lugging two bags of low lying shrub like plants, walking along an empty path next to a small canal, that it was 4 pm and not 10 pm.   Waiting at the tram stop – one stop away from the terminus to head back into town, I looked around at the nearby shops, those low ceiling-ed buildings from the 1960’s, with flat front horizons. I thought:  I should come out here one…

Eye of the Potato

Posted on July 26, 2019

“You must remove the eyes from the potatoes just like you would for your own family.”   Good advice given to me free of charge when I was an au pair in France. Inversely though, at the time I thought I was conforming suitably to the family who was extremely parsimonious, and privileged.   I thought about this as I prepared some potatoes this morning.  I still feel the smart of Madame’s words, as I had imagined that her family wouldn’t waste a morsel, not a nubble bubble and chomp down on the sproutings of old potatoes with relish, piquant.  Further I had earnestly attempted to avoid the possible reprimanding for having pared off the sproutings, after all I had been subjected to the…

Charity Concert Trio Dice 17 November

Posted on October 12, 2018

Trio Dice is joined by dance duo Van Wieringen and Mohr for a special concert to raise funds for Safe Spaces Nairobi. The program features Ravel’s Sheherazade (choreography by Loretta Simon Helms who), further compositions by Mozart, Piazzolla, Schubert, Williams (Schindler’s List), Kreisler, Paradis and a world premiere of The Klezmer Sonata by Allan Segall composed especially for Petr Karlicek and Annemarie van Prooijen.   November 17 at 19:00 Boomspijker Theater Recht Boomsloot 52 Amsterdam.   Tickets: Advance purchase 20 Euros. Tickets at the door 25 Euros. Limited seating.   Please join us for a lovely evening and a good cause!     Persephone Abbott, soprano Annemarie van Prooijen, violin Petr Karlicek, piano Eva van Wieringen, dance Aurora Mohr, dance Loretta Simon Helms, choreography Lisa Janisch, costumes…

The Tall Thin Woman

Posted on September 16, 2018

I saw her at the ballet. Heading towards the ladies’ room, I quickly joined the queue.  We didn’t speak, just eyed each other over then avoided further interaction. I don’t like her, and as I write this I ask myself if that’s a true statement, because I don’t know her well, at least not personally. I generally tend to like people, or let people ride out their fantasies of who they think they are at whatever moment in time, with natural deviations, over time of course, because it’s all fine by me. So let’s simply say I have an aversion to her. And she to me. I wasn’t that surprised to see her at the ballet, although I never noticed her at the ballet…