chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Monthly Archives: May 2015

found poem: the wind

May 30

1962 - DAKIt’s my mother’s birthday. She has missed the party for the last 13 years, but I have little doubt that she’s blushing over candles and attention wherever she is. Although she pretended otherwise, she loved being the focus of celebrations and for years (until it became a Monday holiday) was quietly resentful of Memorial Day, which shared — and put a sobering crimp in — her birthday.

She would be happy to know that I’m thinking about her, and that today I put away the down comforters and covered the beds with quilts her mother made. She would be pleased that I use her Revere-ware pan, her colorful Mexican napkins and her grandfather’s champagne flutes. She would be proud that I write about her, that I contemplate her artwork and examine the many photographs that trace the longitude of her life.

These are hardly gifts at all, small pleasures I can grant her too late. But her happiness, in whatever measure, in whatever dimension, is a gift I imagine for us both. Happy Birthday, Dorothy.


found poem: the face

found poem: water

found poem: Follow

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is, appropriately, full of sober remembrances to mark the challenges and sacrifices of military service. But as we honor those who served, it’s cheering to also remember that soldiering is a time of enormous camaraderie and, often, great good humor. In light of that, I offer this little treasure — a “Commendation and Recommendation for Soldier’s medal of the Soldier’s Cross of the Knight’s Cross, 2d Class (with palms and two oak leaf clusters)” — bestowed upon my father, Capt. Kleinberg, by his commanding officer, Col. Kaiser, in 1943.


San Diego, 1970

1970 - DAK San DiegoMy father unseen, on a balcony perhaps, raises the camera to include the duck drifting out of the frame, and my mother, on the dock below, who has been enjoying the lily pads near her feet. At his request, she has taken off her hat, which is in her lap, and her sunglasses, which dangle from her left hand. She smiles, starts to turn toward his voice, and he catches her with her eyes closed.

There’s room for him on the seat and maybe he’ll join her, or maybe she’ll pick up a pad and sketch a bit. They’ll go for a walk. They’ll stroll up and down the docks looking at the boats, which my father loves, although he’s never owned a boat and never spent much time on the water.

They’ll eat lunch at a place with a view of the bay and go to the zoo, where he’ll take photos of a zebra and a hippo. They’ll go back to their room and read a little, and nap, and then have a glass of wine on their balcony overlooking the water, and then go to dinner, and then walk wherever it is people walk on these warm summer evenings.

Maybe they talk about the space race, the war in Vietnam, the recent invasion of Cambodia or the four students killed at Kent State. Maybe not. Maybe they speculate about the lives of people around them or comment on the play of color on the water.

Maybe none of this happens except the duck and the dock and the zebra and the hippo, which I know because of the photos — the tenuous armature of a story that can be told in so many ways.

found poem: Shadows

found poem: contemplate

found poem: to paint

found poem: the page


found poem: ALONG

found poem: From

found poem: air

found poem: spiral

found poem: rolling

found poem: before

found poem: learning

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