Plastic Janes 2013

Plastic Janes

I’m tempted –

(but not yet corrupted)

By Jane Fonda

Fondling camera, flirty:

“Look at me, I’m seventy,

I use creation such and such”…

And aren’t I the cat’s pajamas ‘,

Just ‘too much’,

‘All that jazz

(my daddy’s 20’s top clichés)

Skin so tight, so smooth and fine…

And then, what do I find?

She’s joined the club,


otaged my admiration,

Turned esteem into disdain,

Become a plastic Jane;

And I go back to being plain

old wrinkling me,

Which I admit takes courage

In these sickly days of being courted

By an industry [darkly] devoted

To the most unlikely medley

Of de-wrinkling reality:

Certain, inescapable, inevitable, preordained,

Unavoidable, to be expected end, big E.

Plastic Janes 10.31.2013

Circling Round Wrinkles; Circling Round Vanities II; Birth, Death & In Between II;

Arlene Corwin


You Can’t Look Pretty And Concentrate 2013

You Can’t Look Pretty And Concentrate

(on seeing a film of Keith Jarrett’s Tokyo concert 1996)


It’s either/or:

You can’t look pretty and concentrate.

It is a kind of war between

The ego and the thing,

The thing, the more important.

It’s nice if you relax,

A glass in hand, donned new pressed slacks;

To smile and see them smile too,

Eye contacting, all the while

Performing so the thing will gel,

Aiming at a phrase well done.

But skill and fun don’t fuse,

The thing demanding less than booze;

The thing demanding ears and eyes,

Pinpointed agonizings that arise

From neither glam- nor clamor.


Calm inward

From chord to keyboard,

There’s a sword that cuts through

The cosmetics and the art.

You can’t look smarty pants-y smart

When working at the heart of art;

Your heart.  It’s not a role

But art, combining beauty, subtle flexibility,

Intellect that doesn’t show

But steers, keeping in tow

The years it’s taken. Pretty is as pretty sees.

The job is: search and strip sans tease.

The viewer only ever sees what he is able to.

The thing has got to be continually fresh

Since flesh is weak and soon antique

But music’s thing will always speak

To souls of concentration.*


You Can’t Look Pretty & Concentrate .5.27.2003

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Vaguely About Music; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin

*on seeing a film of Keith Jarrett’s Tokyo concert 1996





Private Stuff 2013

       Private Stuff


I cut my hair

In training for

A cancer

I may never


Shorter, shorter, shorter…

A defense


            the vanity

That rules decision.

(I’ll find other roads to beauty).


Private Stuff 3.26.2013

Circling Round Vanity II; Birth, Death, & In Between II;

Arlene Corwin

Seventy & Eight


Seventy and eight:

You’ve definitely

Set aside some vanity.

What is it but priority?

And some priorities have changed.

It’s called acceptance.

Skin that’s re-arranged itself

Without permission.

When you’re nearing birthdays

Each and every

Twelvth damned month,

You shun

The cant if you’re observant.

This has that… and that’s a pain,

Marriages have come and gone,

You’ve eaten everything on offer.

Gone the need to entertain

The suffering’s more neutralized;

So many friends and kin have died.

You’ve channeled drives

That used to thrive on pleasure.

With a birthday coming up

You’re going down each second’s unit

So immeasurably tiny you can’t count it.

Here is where it gets didactic:

Birthdays coning up – don’t hope but have it.

As for vanity, retract it.

That’s it.


Seventy & Eight 10.28.2012

Birthday Book; Circling Round Vanities II; Birth, Death & InBetween II;

Arlene Corwin

There Comes A Day 2012

There Comes A Day When


(There) Comes a day

When fed up

With the maintenance of body,

First a fleeting flash,

A shoddy glimpse into

Who’s looking and who cares

And your indifference,

You know, super-know

That nothing:

Bone, skin, flesh,

The rumpus and commotion

That you’ve made into

The main connection

Of your life

Is nothing.


There Comes A Day When 2.15.2012

Birth Death & In Between II; Circling Round Vanities II;

Arlene Corwin




This Shifting Thing 2012

This Shifting Thing


This constantly shifting thing

We call the body.

(thing – no holy

thing – just thing which changes

by the hour,

flowering and wilting)

As I watch inside it,

Idolizing and despising,

Taking care,

Such futile care,

“Hypochondriacal” pops up where.

It’s doctored


Body for each weekday,

Wreck day,

Weak day,

To rinse out and cleanse

And without choice endure,

Racking intellect’s grey matter

In the search for what

Does not exist:

Something stable and unchanging;

Body poised

Which in a perfect world

Could go unnoticed.


With which to live

And not a stich

Of truth.


This Shifting Thing 6.14.2012

A Sense Of The Ridiculous;

Arlene Corwin







She Shaves Her Legs 2012

She Shaves Her Legs


She shaves her legs, her underarms,

Plucks diverse hairs she doesn’t care for;

Colors, waxes, (oy, what pain!)

Making lines bikini.

When she’s old and blind and shaky,

Who will process her?

New daily living bearded chin,

The brow unformed, a nude vagina –

Thickened toenail, callouses,

Colossus of old age.

Useless un-mascara-ed eyes,

Hair that may or may not be there.

Who will care for things she cared for

And about?  That’s the question.

All the beauty spent on,

The appearance and expenditure

A meaningless expense.


Melted daiquiri of body parts;

A dried out potpourri of god-knows-what.

An inquiry to think about before and during…

Sorry, certain end.


She Shaves Her Legs 6.7.2012

Circling Round Vanities II; Birth, Death & In Between II;

Arlene Corwin



Leaving Mirrors 2012

Leaving Mirrors

Seeping away,

Leaking through the pores

Of caring.

Leading to an ignorance

Of mirrors, fears,

Opinions, tears;

Spots that toll the bells

Of funerals.

Leaving Mirrors 3.16.2012

Birth, Death & In Between II;

Arlene Corwin

You Change 2012

You Change

You change.

You do not like it.

This ‘do not like’ business

Silliest of vanities,

Sticking with, hanging on,

As if the world cared what you look like;

As if concentrative levels

Of the average bloke

Of any sex,

Was not that of a five year old.

You vex

As if all life and value

Hung upon it.  Alteration does not scold.

The world runs on.  It runs away

In regulating law.

Attraction not attractiveness

The net in which we haul in fish.


You Change 3.6.2012

Nature Of & In Reality; Circling Round Vanities II;

Arlene Corwin




Life On The Hard Disk 2008

             Life On The Hard Disk

Sometimes I wonder

If life on the hard disk

Is a life. What if

I drop the thing – is living over?

What if fire burns

Arlene Faith Nover?

Soft copies have their lives,

Yet messages, ideas, letters

Disappear –



Libraries that burn to cream,

Dispersed and looted.

It would seem that earth’s

An Indian-giver –

Conscience-free and taking back,

Truths to remain without a name;


To smolder, mold

To dust in archives never found,

The once bound, un-.

So when my hard disk too goes ‘bye,

Vanity goes underground, no disk, no I –

That’s that.

© Life On The Hard Disk 4.15.2008

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Birth, Death & In Between;

Circling Round Computers; Circling round Vanities;

Arlene Corwin




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