Poem: Another Kind Of Cave?

when it seems you have been cut out from
construction paper,
block speckled primary color green,
a carved-out human form,
when it seems as if identity has been placed on the shelving,
— fleshed-out and unread —
what, instead,
walks around in its place is the abstract me
with abstract legs and triangular feet,
a circle standing in for a noggin,
made by a bunch of kindergarten scholars,
a veritable platonic form,
that forgot about its meat on the shelf,
cautiously rotting
So I go and pick up my half-smelly carcass,
filed between a copy of
jane eyre and buddingbrooks,
and slap my self around a bit like a butcher with
a premium slice,
salve a healthy dose of vinegar to spicen up
my languishing corpuscles,
jimmy into my corpse once again as if it were a
union suit
nostalgically lined to my handsome rectangle;


Poem: "to beget"

the world does not provoke    the world is provoked
    does              “the
                     world is too much with us”
don’t be materialistic
or does it mean something like
                    there is nothing out there to catch the eye
because “we lay waste our powers …”
    (to say something inside is a better argument, wordsworth?)
        which is why giving up on nature walks is probably a good thing
the ants have nothing to say
    “Little we see in Nature that is ours”
                        are not perturbed    really by being stared at,
    or the moth
even the stumbled upon lizard,
    pitifully its glistening eyeball falling out of its manacled socket
is not sorry    does not get its feelings hurt if moved off the pavement
the same if accidentally stepped on
        or Wordsworth is writing about arrogance    ,    here
the panache of human beings to believe us so provocative!
    something like prometheus stealing fire; his goddamn hubris —
                        for does he really think the tritons managed
such         a         gaze        can         he be that trite?


Poem: "When I woke up your eyes were on me"

When I woke up your eyes were on me,
like a gentle rush of waves,

as if you had been studying me this whole time,
my face an open book

(even though i was feigning sleep)

your eyes

set into the
palette of your familiar face,
your lips curved into a curious smile

and you blinked

and I yawned and complained, wishing I hadn’t  fallen asleep, but I had
done so


and then without a word you closed your eyes
and went to sleep again

and I, ever the paternal wannabe,
touched your back
and prayed you would be alright

and wished you were still awake

so the story could begin where we had
left off

our eyes leveled near one another,
lolling softly another to sleep,
bedtime stories fulfilled


As If

Poem: "Regional Transit Authority"


Poem: "Georgia"




Poem: Juice Stained Man

Memoir: Things I Probably Shouldn't Have Said (And Other Faux Pas)

A Self-Portrait of the Author with the Quote from Shakespeare "To Thine Ownself Be True"

Poem: "I never knew how to date"

At the ballpark, the stadium swells with people,

I never knew how to date.
I only knew the camaraderie of a slap on the back,
a troubled smear on the cheek,
an intimate pantomime of swelled emotion.

I never knew the arcane rituals,
the runic scripts, the book of love –
never knew the caress of the cheek,
the hand on your face

Never put to rote the rubrics
of subtle peck and pay the bill
Only spontaneous embraces
like best friends at supper.

Sloppy kisses over sloppy joes.

Daubed anxiety
Doggerel verse
Silly adolescence clamoring for whatchamacallit and nachos,
pulling your pigtails,

I am like a kid getting married in the street.

I am bereft of courtship vocabulary,
the “how do I take your hand” svelte.

The “When do I call for a date?” anxiety.

How do I undo your pants,
Meet your folks –
Do I call you at work?

Should I hold your hand during the national anthem?
Or do I clap your back?

I am like the boy playing grown-up in the playpen,
dressed up like Donna Reed,
My plastic skin peeling

and during the ninth inning your child stares
Eating a nodog
I had bought ten minutes before.

Awkward smiles and nonchalance,
No runs batted in and take me out to the ballgame.


Waiting for a Movie

Plush seat.
cup holder.
Lights turned on.
When will it be dark?
Restlessness grows.
Mind meanders.
Practice prayer.


Found Message: I Discovered a Personal Confession Left Inside of a Book at "McKeown's Books" in New Orleans

I found a card in a book with a personal message. Of course, I read it.

At this bookstore on Tchoupitoulas Street, I found a card in a book that said, "I never will know if my dad is alive or why he left us."

I never had a close relationship with my father. Reading someone else's confession is a commiseration, a recognition that I am not alone in my feelings. 

McKeown's Books

So, thank you, stranger, to the one who left a message in a book.


Obama and the Peace Prize, And Other Rifts on Violence

   I wonder how our President can accept the peace prize and then cite an argument for just war?! I personally feel his decision to increase troops was morally bankrupt. A more peaceful approach would have been to refuse the prize.
   Now our prez did close Guantanamo and he has laid down a progressive plan for peace, but I think the two wars he has inherited make it a prickly predicament.
   Is Obama a war mongerer? Does he feel a little aggressive push is necessary to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is violence ever necessary?
   His decision to enact violence is not necessarily unethical. Even Gandhi and King understood violence is necessary to enact change. Violence in some order can bring about peace - even the non-violent violence that encouraged civil rights and brought down the monarchy in India was in my opinion ethical violence. The violence of WWII took the lives of millions of more civilians than any other war this past century. Democracy does not deplore that war.
   If our president wants to make a change in our world through violence he needs to enact violence in other sectors to secure peace:
   Reasons for "just war" in other regions besides the Middle East:


Obligatory Bathroom Selfie: "Refresh My Face"

Greig posts an obligatory bathroom selfie.
Selfie with a 2009 iPhone
Hey boys and girls! I was in the bathroom at the Bulldog on Magazine Street in New Orleans and decided to not only post this picture but to let you know what we're talking about at my table: Always remember to floss after you eat. Remember, it's imperative to eat garlic with every meal. Also, when withdrawing money from the ATM, turn off your car to reduce carbon emissions.  

- Posted from my f*&%!ing smart JobsPhone

On Being Accepted To The New School for Social Research

I was accepted into the MA Philosophy program at the New School for Social Research in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.
I was accepted for the Spring 2010 term but I have not yet received word from the Admissions Department on scholarship funding. Depending on the funding I receive will determine if I move now or defer admission to the Fall semester. * Here's me crossing my fingers *

Reasons why the New School is a great choice for me:
  1. New York City!
  2. A closet for an apartment!
  3. Strong emphasis in Continental Philosophy!
  4. Concentration in Psychoanalysis
  5. Continental Philosophy and Neuroscience (that's a course)
  6. Simon Critchely is the head of the department 
  7. Anna Stoler teaches at the New School as well.
  8. Lots of Philosophy
  9. Lots of close reads of philosophical texts
  10. Poor and educated


Photographs of Friends: Ruby On Fridays (Not Ruby Tuesday, and Some of the Pictures Are Not Ruby)

I took pictures of friends recently when we all hung out.

Ruby, a former colleague but still a friend — not as in Ruby Tuesday — frequents the city of crescents.
A woman in her twenties with red hair dons a painting apron in New Orleans.

A woman in her thirties eats dinner at a restaurant in New Orleans.

The flare of red: "Aphrodite on a half-shell."


Prose Poem: Saint Charles Avenue Streetcar at Hickory (On a Rainy Tuesday)

Saint Charles Avenue Streetcar
The neighborhood streets are filled with a nice one-inch blanket of water. The Toyota is at school on high ground; I'm happy to be a transit commuter for a bit. The rain is heavy; slight fog. Streetcar comes to a halt at the Riverbend so the conductor can get herself a jelly donut. 

Lady tells me, "Supposed to be like Saturday. Supposed to be like Saturday. Tulane and Claiborne flooded, Lord, Oh Lord. I'm surprised right here ain't flooded." 

It ain't nothing but "a hair flip" thang, I tell her, flipping my hair in dramatic fashion. Mother nature's a bitch, but you just swat your hair *me imitating Chris Crocker * like that. That's what you do. Sure do.

The streetcar starts up again. I'm relieved I won't be late for work. We're finishing up some miscellaneous myths. Perhaps we'll do flood myths; sounds a propo.


Commuting to Work: Saint Charles Streetcar at Rosa Park

In this post, I talk about commuting to work on the Saint Charles Avenue streetcar.
-everyday that i commute to work on the saint charles streetcar i take a photo. /-)

today was especially foggy; wet; the streets are still soiled from saturday's rain; poseidon licked his lichen lips to the city's dirty pits.


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

i love puppies



love i

text and image © Greig Roselli


Inspired by Armistead Maupin's The Night Listener: A Dedication to Mourning

Cover Art for the Novel The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin
I think Armistead Maupin wrote in his novel, The Night Listener, that sadness can be a physical thing, “wet and woolen” — he called it, a tangible entity that clings to us, heavy and damp. This poetic imagery captures the essence of how grief and sorrow manifest not just emotionally, but physically as well. Our bodies become the canvas on which our sadness paints its hues—sometimes subtly, sometimes glaringly.


Ties: A Prose Poem

Big Brother approached a stolid teacher:
"Where's your tie?"
"I've noticed you haven't worn yours today!"
He replies, with a grin
"I had a rough night "
An interminable set of chores ...
"I don't want to hear it. Wear a tie to work"
Apples and trees; bells ring.
The mosaic of color blends. He scrambles for a rejoinder.
So, the stolid teacher sighs
and taught another class of happy, eager student to whom an entirely different set of restrictions had been laid out:
Overstuffed maroon sweatshirts
Lack of earrings for the men
Pleated skirts for the girls
Conservative appliqué
Legs outstretched, one chews a pen to its raw carcass center.
The bitter avowal of knowledge and lessons; Socratic questions; plaintive pleas for individualNESS.
Time bleeds
A former student visits:
An altercation in form:
Wearing a French-style hat, bold cerulean colors, he says, "hi"  fresh from some college where self-expression is allowed: its own set of burdens.


A Few Stray Observations On William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 (With a Copy of the Poem)

Black & White family wedding photo of Rudy Perrone and Dorothy Killman in New Orleans, Louisiana (ca. 1950s)
Shakespeare wrote "the marriage of true minds admits no impediments" and true love remains constant even in a tempest, a fixed star in love's night sky; even though Time rages; rosy lips fade; love never dies - at least spiritual love.
     An astute observer, by the way, as an aside, would notice that the stars are not truly fixed in the sky. Every atom in the universe, stars included, are moving outward at a quickening pace. Where's my astrophysicist when I need him?
     And I don't recommend remaining unshaken in a storm. King Lear barely pulled it off on the heath and you're bound to get hit by a renegade umbrella to the head. 
But, I digress.     The sonnet reminds readers of everyone who has ever loved: Heloise and Abelard, among them. They never tasted physical love, but their eternal love lives on forever in their passionate letters.
     I think of love that inhabits a lifespan. Love that lives on even after the first love.
     I think of Cupid and Psyche: the marriage of Eros and Mind.
     The poem is fresh in my memory for we did a close read of it on Friday last (N.B. I am a high school English teacher).
     I like the sonnet's solution: it is a typical Shakespearean jest. I would rephrase it thus: if you can't agree with me on love, then I could never have written these words and this sonnet could never exist.

Sonnet CXVI (116) by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Celebrating My Friend Tony's Birthday Party at "Corks and Canvases"

Tony was surprised and feted for his birthday: everyone created a painting in his honor: a coffee cup fleur-de-lis.

Mae chooses to be inspired.

Andre works diligently.

My painting: ying-yang instead of fleur-de-lis:

On Talking About Prime Numbers With a Math Teacher (When I Am Just a Lowly High School English Teacher)

I am an English teacher (and thus not a Math teacher). I was mussing with the in-house math guru today at work, helping him make a powerpoint using a "fly-in" effect and we discussed "what is a prime number?"
And How I Failed Miserably to Explain Prime
    I took a stab at a cursory definition and said, " it's a number divisible by itself and two!" My colleague chuckled, "Remain an English teacher, Greig. Your definition could be any number! A prime is an integer greater than 1 whose factor is only itself and 1".
    Albeit, I can't remember a sufficient definition for a prime number, but I find it fascinating that (1. There are an infinite set of 'em and 2.) There is no way as of yet to determine the pattern of how they appear on the number line. Mathematicians are hard at work, though.
    Four primes exist between 1-9. But, how many between 1,000,000 and 3,000,000? Is there a pattern? And why so many primes between 1-9 but so few between larger sets of integers, like 600,000 - 700,000? The questions never cease!


Photo: "Mr. Chips"

Photograph of "Mr. Chips"
This picture was a demonstration of how instantaneous mass communication can be. Taken from my iPhone, the photo is instantly uploaded to the web. Once I take the picture on my phone I can send it to the cloud and it's available anywhere from a device with Internet access. Welcome to the first decade of the twenty-first century.