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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Confession Tuesday - why am I doing this edition?

Dear Reader,

It's been one new poetry book, and a week since my last confession.

I confess that I am tired tonight and I'd rather not be confessing. Mostly because it's late and I'm tired.

I've been glued for the most part to the primary election returns from five states. DEL, CONN, RI, MD, and PENN. I was hopeful that Hillary would sweep all five but figured we had four in the bag. RI was up in the air and in the end it was the only one of the five that Hillary lost. Not a bad night at all, and it really makes the math for Bernie Sanders really insurmountable.

I was excited to get a new poetry book in the mail this week. "A Brief History of Time" by Shaindel Beers. Getting poetry in the mail is such a rush. I confess that it never grows old.

We have a storm going on presently. The dogs are unnerved by it, especially Soles. In some ways we are really making progress with him, but I confess I wish I felt he was less impacted by anxiety.

That's all for this week. May the muse be with you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Confession Tuesday - A Time Out Tonight

Dear Reader:

It’s been a week of writing and rewriting, but now it’s confessing time. On to the confessional.

Reader, I confess that I am taking a break from writing tonight.  I am planning to be immersed in the New York Democratic Primary returns. I’ve spent a lot of this during this past week cranking out material, much of it  has some promise – with additional work, but tonight I put all that aside.

My expectations for tonight are a Hillary win in New York. I anticipate her margin will be somewhere between a 9 and 14 point spread. Of course I can hope for more J   I will follow the returns on MSNBC as the usually have the best coverage.  I was invited to a party to watch the returns but I decided to pass on it and stay home.

For some time now I have been using the Poet Tarot Cards by Two Sylvias
Press as a spark for my creative process. For a while I blogged elsewhere on this weekly but after over a year I stopped the blog. Sunday I pulled the T. S. Eliot card from the deck.  Yes, Eliot, the key keeper of language is to be my guide this week.  I don’t think of Eliot as being a prolific writer. Rather I consider him a rather picky craftsman.  Kind of the was Elizabeth Bishop was – wanting “perfect poems” before they could be published.  I confess that at times I become impatient with the process. Drawing this card reminds me of the value poets like Eliot and Bishop placed in patience.  If I were looking for a characteristic that I could perhaps learn as a result of the King of Quills – Eliot tarot card it would perhaps be allowing myself more patience.  This is not always easy. I confess that I am often driven in my anxiousness around my writing by the fact that I did not start writing until late in life and I always feel the clock of life ticking away.

Until next time, may the Muse be with you….

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Confession Tuesday - Sharks are People Too - Edition

Dear Reader:

It's been two readings since my last confession. First I drove to Lawrence, Kansas to hear Ada Limon, Adam Clay, and Michael Robins read on the KU campus. I admit It would have been simpler if they had been in Kansas City, but sometimes you just have to go where good poetry is.

I mostly went to hear Ada. I first became aware of here sometime back from a podcast done on NPR and I hear her poem Sharks are in the River.  More recently Ada published her book Bright Dead Things. The title pulled me into it like a magnet and I got a signed copy from her before it was shortlisted for a National Book Award for Poetry. I am not surprised that it received such acclaim as it is very deserving.

I must confess that the reading  had the bonus of introducing me to two other very outstanding poets. Both Adam Clay and Michael Robins resonated well with me.

The three poets took turns reading a poem each and usually selected something to read riffing of the poet before. I didn't think I would like this method at first but it added an interesting dimension as each looked for a poem in response to the one read before.

I was indeed fortunate to attend this reading and the drive was well worth it.  In addition, I picked up a copy of Ada's earlier book, Sharks are in the River.

Sunday afternoon, I attended a reading of some of the poets with work in the 10th Anniversary issue of Kansas City Metro Verse's anthology. The even was very nicely put together and everyone seemed to enjoy the event.

Until next time, the Muse be with you!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

From my reading tonight...

The little toy wife

Erased, sigh, sigh.

Four babies and a cocker.

Sylvia Plath - Amnesic 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Confession Tuesday - Lent and AWP Attended and Not Attending

Dear Reader:

It's been three published poems, untold new drafts, numerous presidential primary late nights, one vote for Hillary, another step towards normalization of relations with Cuba, too many people and groups insulted by Donald Trump to count, even more Trump lies, and  roughly one month since my last confession.

If you care to join me,.... to the Confessional.

I confess that  while it is Lent, and while I am Catholic, I have hardly been a good Lenten Catholic. That is to say that I have not really zeroed in on the real purpose of Lent this year and I am truly feeling guilty about it. But hey, isn't guilt what we Catholics are all about? I've given up nothing         (unless you count giving up something for Lent). I have not been especially reflective (except to reflect on my failed Lent) though I can say that I have on many occasions tried to approach the season with a smile extended to others and go out of my way at times to be helpful where nothing was expected of me. I suppose that note worthy in my reflection. Perhaps in this remaining period of time till Easter I can make some positive faith directed efforts.

Tonight, as I sat down to do this confession I have a giant headache going on upstairs. I've taken some aspirin in hopes of lessening the pounding going on. I think it may be starting to subside.

About this time a year ago I had come of a trip to AWP15 in Minneapolis. It was my first such trip to the conference and I came home with a mixture of emotion.  I was both tired and energized. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. I had a great time, I learned a great deal, I met a few people I only knew through social media. I met some of my favorite poets. I missed a few I wanted to see. It was an incredible experience.  I came home with many new books,  I was exposed to journals that were new to me. Collected some cool swag, and great memories.

As much as I would like to go to this years conference (just over a week away) I confess that I will be right here at home. Presently I am starting to feel a let down of sorts; knowing that so much will be going on and I will not be a part of it is not only disappointing but depressing as well. Some people I missed last year are going this year and I won't be able to see them. There will be no neat swag to croon over. None of the kick-ass buttons, And most of all, I will not be able to fret over choosing between 112 panels that I want to see that conflict with others I want to see.

I can half-way joke about some of this today. but I know that as it gets closer to the start of AWP16, and the tweets and Facebook activity starts, it will be impossible to ignore what I am missing.

We all mostly write in a void. For all the negatives associated with Facebook and Twitter (or any social media) they unite us in some context and bring us together as does the AWP conference.  So it will be impossible to ignore what I am missing - even as I am missing it.

Till next time, may the Muse be with you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Confession Tuesday - Getting Organized Edition

Bullet Journal

Dear Reader:

It has been two weeks since my last confession. Two weeks of way too much Donald Trump exposure. Please make him go away! The culmination of a long wait to learn if I was accepted for a program I applied for. And not a period of questioning myself.

To the Confessional, let us begin...

It is Lent and I've not been a very good Lenten observer thus far. I usually think in advance what I see my self doing and not doing over Lent and how it might make me a better person. I really fell down this year. I think Lent coming so early in the year, it was like it sneaked up one me.  I confess that is the best argument I have and I'm sticking with it. I my defense, for other reasons I was very prayerful over the last few weeks, but not on account of lent. So there has been a spiritual dimension to my recent life. I could tell you that I am going to give this up or that up for the rest of Lent but I won;t go there. I am not going to make any such promises. I will however remain prayerful for others and their various difficulties this time of year.

The presidential election is in full swing and I am tired of Donald Trump. I confess it would not matter if we were not in the midst of the campaign season. I find his verbiage to be counter productive to the health of our democracy. I find him thoughtless, rude, disrespectful, bullying, racially inflammatory and that is just the start. If I keep on I'll still be writing about this in time for next weeks confession. I want it to stop. I want him to stop. Alas I am powerless to end his rhetoric, and I acknowledged this and move on.

I have been a basket case for some weeks now awaiting word on a program I applied for (related to writing) and I have heard that I was not chosen.  This is my third attempt and  I have been told in the past that  my application and work made it to consideration and have been encouraged to reapply.  I want in this program so badly and I have to say that each time the wait is excruciating.  The aftermath is disappointing. I confess that it makes no sense but  upon learning again that  I missed getting selected I basically wanted to just stop writing. Then I wanted to just stop submitting work, just write and throw it in a drawer or something like that. I cannot stop writing, it's too much a part of who I am. But I could maybe decide to just decide to write for myself and nothing more.

I confess that  every once and a while there is something that causes me to question why I should be writing. It's happened numerous times. Usually it is because I'm in a funk and haven't written anything promising in a while. But this is different. I actually  had pulled out of a writing  slump and was going well. I just saw this as a real opportunity to grow even more and learn from the experience.

As a Capricorn I tend to want to be organized. I confess that I am well aware that there is a difference between craving organization and living it.  At work I have used a Franklin Planner System for maybe 20 years or more. Recently I've been exposed to the Bullet Journal and I have now tinkered with it for two months. I am starting to feel more comfortable with it. So much so, that  I've ordered on of the specific Bullet Journals this past week as they became available again. I had been using my own makeshift one, but starting win March I will begin to use the new journal.

In my mailbox this evening was the March/April edition of The Writer's Chronicle. I believe I will wrap this confession up for the night and read a bit in it - the finish off the evening  writing.

Till next time,

The Muse be with you!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Confession Tuesday in Neon

Dear Reader:

It's been one widow upgrade (actually two), and a week since my last confession.

I dislike upgrades. I confess I'm not really fond of IT people either. It's nothing personal, it's just that....  well, did you ever read Who Moved My Cheese?  Yeah,  my computer, be it at home or work is like my cheese and you don;t want to move it.

So this past weekend I took mo mother's laptop and upgraded it to Windows 10.  I also upgraded my 8.1 to 10. I never liked 8 anyway so there was that incentive to change. I mean I had become used to it and I mostly was concerned about losing shit in the shift but everything went okay. I confess that no computers or people were harmed in the process.

I've written some poems this week. By that I mean that I have taken pen & paper or in some instances laptop and composed drafts that survived on their own. They remain rough but they are not on life support. They are kinds of making it on their own merit. After rewrites they will be released into the world to hopefully find a home of their own.  I confess this is important because sometimes I get in a funk and the screwy notion gets into my head that I have written my last poem. That I will never ever be able to make one work again. I thought this must be a unique feeling but I recall reading an autobiography of Randall Jarrell in which his wife talked about him reaching such a point. So i guess unique? Not so much.

I feel like there are three neon lights that keep blinking inside my head. One is something writing related I have applied for. One is Spring Training. And the third is Valentines Day.  So I confess that these items are distractions. If you see me and I look like I'm in another world altogether, I'm probably just getting high on neon lights.