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ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL, Langston Hughes

Langston Huges (1902-1967), American Poet, Writer, and Social Activist
Langston Hughes (1902-1967), American Poet, Writer, and Social Activist

Even as I sorted through books one day – including cookbooks – in preparation for a garage sale to be held before moving into disabled-senior housing, a new cookbook enters. A gift from my son, it’s Oscar Tschirky’s (1886-1950) recipe collection. Oscar Tschirky was the famous maître d’hôtel at the Waldorf-Astoria, which has some special meaning for me. Occasionally my mom liked to go to the café there for blueberry pancakes. It was as close as she could get to being an elegant respectable lady as the world defines such. The book reminds me of her and the poem that follows.

Langston Hughes wrote the poem after walking past the Waldorf during the Great Depression. I’ve read that it was originally published in New Masses magazine, a long defunct American Marxist publication that was the literary organ of the cultural left during and after the Depression.

“The hotel opened,” Hughes wrote in The Big Sea: An Autobiography, “at the very time when people were sleeping on newspapers in doorways, because they had no place to go. But suites in the Waldorf ran into thousands a year, and dinner in the Sert Room was ten dollars! (Negroes, even if they had the money, couldn’t eat there. So naturally, I didn’t care much for the Waldorf-Astoria.)”

ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL

Fine living . . . a la carte?
Come to the Waldorf-Astoria!

LISTEN HUNGRY ONES!
Look! See what Vanity Fair says about the
new Waldorf-Astoria:

“All the luxuries of a private home. . . .”
Now, won’t that be charming when the last flop-house
has turned you down this winter?
Furthermore:
“It is far beyond anything hitherto attempted in the hotel
world. . . .” It cost twenty-eight million dollars.
The famous Oscar Tschirky is in charge of banqueting.
Alexandre Gastaud is chef. It will be a distinguished
background for society.
So when you’ve no place else to go, homeless and hungry
ones, choose the Waldorf as a background for your rags–
(Or do you still consider the subway after midnight good
enough?)

ROOMERS
Take a room at the new Waldorf, you down-and-outers–
sleepers in charity’s flop-houses where God pulls a
long face, and you have to pray to get a bed.
They serve swell board at the Waldorf-Astoria. Look at the menu, will
you:

GUMBO CREOLE
CRABMEAT IN CASSOLETTE
BOILED BRISKET OF BEEF
SMALL ONIONS IN CREAM
WATERCRESS SALAD
PEACH MELBA

Have luncheon there this afternoon, all you jobless.
Why not?
Dine with some of the men and women who got rich off of
your labor, who clip coupons with clean white fingers
because your hands dug coal, drilled stone, sewed gar-
ments, poured steel to let other people draw dividends
and live easy.
(Or haven’t you had enough yet of the soup-lines and the bit-
ter bread of charity?)
Walk through Peacock Alley tonight before dinner, and get
warm, anyway. You’ve got nothing else to do.

– Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes’ photograph is in the public domain. The poem may be in the public domain too given when it was written. 

FOR MRS. WHITMAN, a poem … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

800px-Pointe_shoe_ribbons

you left one winter day to balancé on sunbeams
and pirouette on the moon, artfully swirling
lunar dust and scattering it over our dreams,
sparking our lives with memory and a love of
dance, a legacy of delight for tiny ballerinas ~
see us now, as well-worn as your old toe shoes

© 2012, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Photo credit ~ pointe shoes by Lambtron via Wikipedia under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

WRITING PROMPT

Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.” Charles Bukowski

Growing old, the only way to escape it is to die young and most of us wouldn’t opt for that given a choice.  Write a poem that juxtaposes and fond youthful memory with your current place in life.  See if you can do it in brief. Brevity often lends itself well to clarity and deeper emotion.

I encourage you to share your poem with me and with other readers.  Click on the Mister Linky icon below and enter you name and the link to your piece so that we may all read and enjoy. (Please DON’T enter the link to your blog. DO enter the link to the relevant post.) I’ll check back on this week’s Mister Linky for two weeks. You don’t need to link in something today if you’re not ready.

To read Renee Espiru’s poem in response to a Wednesday Writing Prompt link HERE.

November 2016, The BeZine, Vol. 3, Iss. 2, Loving Kindness

November 15, 2016 – This is reblogged from original post in The BeZine

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?
it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”
excerpt “what they did yesterday afternoon” by Warsan Shire

In our themed section this month our writers explore acts of kindness that are motivated by love (respect) as expressed to neighbors, to self and for the peoples of the world and the environment.

London-based Somali writer Warsan Shire’s poem above makes a powerful statement about the world today. Our writers define some of the issues, express their pain and encourage right action. They move from a hip-hop poem calling us to unity, collaboration and a sense of self-worth to an experimental expression of sadness and disillusionment in the aftermath of a mean-spirited presidential campaign and the inclusion of an impassioned piece asking us to stand against moral injustice and not use our cultural differences as an excuse to hate.

You’ll find a stunningly beautiful photo-story, a short story, some short articles along with a wealth of poetry. You’ll see a few emerging writers whose values are appreciated and who need our encouragement. They stand alongside many polished professionals whose work will take your breathe away. You’re sure to be delighted with the poems in our More Light section which includes a wonderful blues poem – a villanelle – riffing on the Robert Johnson lyric “blues walkin’ like a man.”

THE TALENT IN THIS ISSUE

Our old friend, Marilynn Mair, the queen of mandolin, is back and so is Liliana Negoi after a hiatus. They were much missed. This month we are pleased to feature again Aprilia Zank, Mendes Benido, Kimberly Wilhelmna Floria, Renee Espiru, and Carolyn O’Connell.

New to our pages are: Kinga Fabo (poems in English and Hungarian), Inger Morgan, LaMont Anthony Wright (a.k.a. Graffiti Bleu), Ruth Hill, Mark Andrew Heathcote and Reena Presad. Please welcome them with “Likes” and comments.

From our stellar core team we have Naomi Baltuck, Michael Dickel, Priscilla Galasso, Joe Hesch, Corina Ravenscraft and Lana Phillips.

Thank you all for your generosity and for your commitment to our shared mission.

Check out bios in page links down below the Zine.

NEWS

Now you can read The BeZine by clicking on one link.You’ll be able to scroll through all the features.  When you get to “older posts,”  just click on it to view the rest of the magazine. No more need to go back-and-forth to the Table of Contents.  There are no longer tacky WordPress ads to distract and annoy us. Note also our new url: thebezine.com.

Regular readers will have noted our new look and a new style. I opted for something that would showcase each feature and that is simple and uncluttered. You can “Like” easily and if you click on featured title, you can leave a comment. If you want to link a piece to your blog, website or  Facebook, just click on the title and copy and paste the url. Easy peasy.

We’re still flying with WordPress, though over the course of a year I’ve experimented – as time, energy and finances allowed – with a variety of options including virtual flip books.  I also tested  different WordPress themes, which I have used for some issues. I’ve appreciated the evals some of you gave me.  Thank you! You know who you are and I love that you care. I factored in your comments as I explored the remarkable number of options available for eZines today. Special thanks to Priscilla Galasso who often cleans up after my dyslexia.

In the spirit of love and community and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,

Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor

 

Volume 3/Issue 1, Loving Kindness

Link HERE to read The BeZine

Theme Features

BeAttitudes

Godbody, LaMont Anthony Wright
Hate is not the opposite of Love, Michael Dickel
I Believe in a Higher Power, Kimberly Wilhelmna Floria

Features

A Little Kindness, Corina Ravescraft
Meeting My Neighbor, Priscilla Galasso
Another Kind of Charity, Mendes Biondo

PhotoStory

Resistance is Not Futile, Naomi Baltuck

Fiction

A More Perfect Union, Joseph Hesch

Poetry

Seeds of Love, Reena Presad
Mea Culpa, Inger Morgan
Love Is, Carolyn O’Connell
The Nature of Metta, Renee Espiru
Unconditional Love, Mark Andrew Heathcote
Wild, Ruth Hill
Chaos in a Time of Wildfire, Lana Phillips

More Light

blues walking like a woman, Marilynn Mair
Isadora Duncan Dancing, Kinga Fabo
Transfiguration of the Word, Kinga Fabo
Poison, Kinga Fabo
No filigree angels, Aprilia Zank
Love on the Wall, Carolyn O’Connell
call me, Liliana Negoi
in time, Liliana Negoi

CONNECT WITH US
Daily Spiritual Practice: Beguine Again, a community of Like-Minded People

Facebook, The Bardo Group Beguines

Twitter, The Bardo Group Beguines

The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics announces 2017 Dissertation Fellowship

“The annual fellowship is designed to support an individual whose doctoral dissertation involves literary history and/or aesthetics by providing a three week residency at a cabin nestled on nine acres in the mountains of West Virginia. Preference is given to candidates whose dissertation is at an advanced stage. The cabin is fully equipped and has Internet service. The dates of the residency are flexible and to be determined by the fellowship recipient in consultation with the ALSCW. Applicants must submit a c.v., a chapter of their dissertation, a two page description of the entire dissertation, and three letters of recommendations. Materials should be submitted online to alscw@cua.org with the heading ALSCW Fellowship on the subject line of the email. Additional references and an occupancy agreement may be required. All applicants must be members of the ALSCW or sponsored by a member of the ALSCW. The deadline for submission is February 15th. The recipient of the fellowship will be notified by mid-March. Membership information is available at on our website (alscw.org).”