Sunday, April 27, 2008

Trying to Find Helga Stromberg's Poetry

Helga Strömberg's Life (North Park University summary):

Helga Stromberg (nee Henning) was born March 14, 1886 in Gothenberg, Sweden. After graduating from secondary school in 1904, Helga attended a teachers college in Stockholm for a year. She then attended a nurses training school in Hamburg, Germany and in 1913 joined a Swedish Red Cross ambulance team serving in Serbia, where she was decorated. In 1914 she married a student of astronomy, Gustav B. Stromberg (MSS 22) in Paris, France.

In 1916 Gustav received a stipend from the Mt. Wilson observatory, and the two moved to Pasadena, California where they lived the rest of their lives. Helga started writing poetry in Pasadena under the nom de plum of Sister (or Syster) Benediction. She was published quite frequently in the Swedish-American press and the Pasadena Star. She also had six poem collection published, three in English and three in Swedish. She became an honorary member of the Eugene Field Society in 1940.

Helga's husband Gustav died in 1962, and Helga continued to live in the same house, 1383 North Marengo, until her death on July 7, 1971 at the age of 85.

Eddie Rabbitt's Cranium (I Love A Rainy Night II)

A collaboration by Larry Sawyer, Sara Farr, Lina ramona Vitkauskas, and Shawn Baker.

There isn't any kitchen in your dream
about the rusting eagle. Our mushroom Instamatic
moment browns the aperture. The mall trumpet
screeches into the plot with dialogue like:
"Por favor, my city slipped on a decent boa
of invisible psalms." Giant fantastic radio water,
unfortunate clocks, today's sloppy meat sprockets,
Lightening tunnels to latex nuns and pumps.
Listen closely to the troupe playing
"Verily, Verily Asparagus." Uniform lips unclassed
by winnowing studies, lips reflecting fish inside
us all. Flagrant pooches drop like molten cereals;
and for only .99 cents, you are the happiest cactus
in the pool. Justify your jack-off petals with falling
sticks, your battery acid in rapture, your bottles pointed
toward your head with swarthy foam. All of a sudden,
I have to go to the bathroom because my hand is too cold.

"Lay down your head to be born"

We wrote these on Chinese New Year. I used fortune cookie slips from our meal to title each poem.

A collaboration with Gene Tanta, Mirela Ciupag, Larry Sawyer, and Lina ramona Vitkauskas.

That special someone loves to see the light in in your eyes.

Trees idealize this volatile bliss; in
the stink of farm and old peaches,
it is time to collect all the stray dogs,
these misconceptions a broth of your inner
countries. It's time to stop your damn pseudo--
and clean the sacrilege from the table...

He who has not tasted the bitter does not understand the sweet.

Lay down your head to be born, licked,
and dive in the water. Bleed the thimble,
take a gulp of jilted lovers, please speak
into destruction as clarity. Burn the women
first, then raze the local gentry, then pulverize
fuzz, howl, and whistle. The brine, my love, is an old hat.
My bulbous heart fired like pottery, wet like
a Mongolian horse, like a dripping film.

Keep your eyes open, and take advantage of the unexpected.

Here is a small horn.
When will we become ourselves?
The broccoli ground, a curse upon your rubber.
Sex is an addendum, your gesticulations
swirl to the bottom of my glass; it
is a revolt, cleaning the index finger.

Act with kindness. People return with good will to the place that has done them well.

The lettuce changes me.
I cringe in my blind cage.
What time does the dragon depart?
Limestone slams against conglomerate
like a banging door. What is wrong
about how rain comes? Stiff hands
like long watercress, mice in a tight pocket,
firecrackers. The sea is gauche,
the porch thinks you weigh too much,
yes, they were checked those pockets,
those poet pockets.