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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Confession Tuesday - St Patrick's Day Edition

Dear Reader:

Its been a week since my last confession. A week of doctor visits, zoo trip, and getting our car back from my daughter - thus ending our long period that I refer to as our shut-in era period.

Let's get started:

Sunday, I went to the zoo. It's maybe been two years since I was last there. We have a new penguin exhibit. I'm really impressed with how they have put the penguin habitat together. I confess whenever I go to a zoo I am always judging the animal's housing not only on it's people aesthetics but also how comfortable I believe the animals are. I ask myself if I feel like they are thriving in the exhibit or if I feel they are stifled in some way. I wonder, do other people do this when they visit zoos? 

The past three days I have been out of my routine in the evening. When I get out of my routine the Capricorn in me is not well. This has made it difficult for me to get any quality writing done, which I confess has made me cranky as well. It then becomes a vicious circle. 

Having our car back has been good, however like tonight  I came home and then promptly had two errands to run and suddenly I wanted to be home bound. I could not believe how many stores were out of distilled water. I confess I just got tired of not being able to unwind tonight as my work day had already worn me slick.

I confess that I love St Patrick's day and I especially love corned beef and cabbage. Cathy did a top notch job of cooking it tonight. I confess that I could eat Corned Beef every week. 

Tomorrow being hump day - I feel I have to turn the last half of the week around and get busy writing. I know that of I do so this will likely go a long was towards improving my overall disposition. 

I am wanting to read some new poetry over the next week to ten days. Work by poets that I am not already familiar with. Expand my reading horizon a bit.  I willing to entertain recommendations if anyone has any. 

That's it  for St Patrick's Day... Keep smiling and and be safe!  See you next week. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Confession Tuesday - The Tom Selleck Not Bert Reynolds Edition

Dear Reader:

It's been a week of poetry meetings - both attended and missed. A week in week of driving in which I became a trucker. A week of senior moment and mistaken identity or at least recall.

One of these two men are Bert Reynolds and the other Tom Selleck.
I confess that last night my wife and I were watching an episode of Blue Bloods and while discussing the character Frank Reagan on the show I referred to him as Bert Reynolds. This sent my wife into
a fit of hysterical euphoria. As soon as I said it, I knew it was the wrong name, but for the life of me I could not recall the name I was looking for. I knew he also played as the older gentleman on Friends who was an eye doctor and friend of Monica's family that she a a thing for. Still, try as I might I could not get Bert out of my head. It was not until I got up with the dogs around 3 AM this morning that the name Tom Sellick clicked with me. The occasional complete blank that I draw when it comes to some name is of course disconcerting to me. Fortunately I don't have lots of senior moments but I did not quite see the humor in it that Cathy did. Admittedly, I enjoyed the fact that she got such a kick out of it - even if it were at my expense. I believe there is a poem lurking here.

Daughter number two continues to drive our car though I understand she is has now found a new one to buy so this presumably will change. One day last week I had our car for a day to traverse between two doctor appointments. My wife asked how I liked driving our car again and I confess I said that I tried not to get too attached. Since that day I have been driving  my son-in-law's little red pickup truck. I confess that I never have been much of a truck person, but the ability to get myself to and from work without relying on being picked up has been nice. I almost feel like a trucker.

It's now a month away from AWP and I confess that I am getting both anxious and nervous.In preparation for the conference I purchased a tablet and I confess that  having a tablet and a smart phone together can be a bit overwhelming.

When I left work this evening I was surprised how beautiful it was out. Arriving home I was actually hot in the house. Michael gets cranky when he's hot  and tends to write in third person. I confess he actually turned on the air conditioning for a while.

See you all again for confession next Tuesday. Until then, stay safe!

Friday, March 06, 2015

Tom Brokaw Turns to Poetry During Battle With Cancer

Thomas McGuane interviews Tom Brokaw
Growing up and being especially politically oriented I watched the evening news religiously.

People of my generation will often recall Walter Cronkite and rave about his professionalism as a TV journalist. In the pre-cable news days, I believe the quality of the news reporting was far more professional. I'll certainly give Cronkite the respect he deserves as really a pioneer in TV News  but the two TV journalists that I really felt continued to exemplify professionalism were Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw.

Of course we lost Jennings some years ago at a much too early age. Tom Brokow  remains with us and he is to me a dean of TV journalism. A reporter so many Americans tuned into almost nightly. It was how we got the news back then. It wasn't entertainment, it was how people who cared about the world, enlightened themselves. It informed our view of people and events.

Brokaw was diagnosed with multiple myeloma but the good news is his cancer is in remission. If there is anything  good that can come from having cancer Brokaw may have found it. During his two years of treatment he turned to poetry as a means to cope with his illness. In a CNN article he talks about it and some of the poets who have crossed his path during this period. Some cool stories. Brokaw is set to release a book about his cancer struggles.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader:

It's been a week since my last confession.

This past week seems to have gone quickly. Often times the weekends seem that way but I confess not so much the work week. But this one did and I can't quite explain why.Of course I'd like the weekends to dally a little bit more but I'm fine with the work weeks speeding up. (I may have just jinxed Thursday and Friday.)

One of the things that I like about the Timehop application is that because I often shoot pictures of new books when I get them and start reading and post them,  A year later, two years later I get reminded what I was reading back then. I think this is cool but I confess that I may well be the only one.

In a weird sort of phenomena I confess that I've been writing lots of short phrases lately. Not connected to anything in particular. Hopefully, I will find a way to make use of  some of them by connecting to other word groupings to form the creation of some poems with them.

I confess that I was writing the word lasagna and I wanted to add about three more letters to it.  It just looked so inadequate unless I piled on a few more layers of letters.

That's it for this week.  I said it went  fast. ;-)

Everyone be safe and come back next week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Mag #259 It's A Clown Thing

I will not be swallowed by your rotund
laughter. Nor pierced by your carnival
eyes.  No, what I would do is to reach,
into your face in that way you disrespect
my personal space, and with much malice
squeeze that bogus red nose of yours.

Who was it that first decided for us
that clowns and children go together?
Is there a requirement by The International
Clown Workers Union that their painted faces
must incorporate a systemic sociopathic
flat affect to go with their smile?

Never reassuring, never comical.
If it were not for such faces, we might
find your big blue feet funny.  We might
laugh at your baggy clothing. But no,
your face freaks us out - it's so obvious.
It's the first thing we see, and all I want
to do, is honk your nose and run.

Michael Allyn Wells

The Mag

Friday, February 20, 2015

New Poetry to Read - Just in Time For The Weekend

What better way to start a weekend than to come home from work and find a new poetry book in your mailbox?

Earth by Cecilia Woloch is the Winner of the 2014 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize.

I've previously read her poetry collection titled Late and  found it to be a well crafted and thought provoking.  I am expecting good things from this read.
The chapbook prize for this book was the first made by Two Sylvias Ptess and the contest was judged by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Confession Tuesday - Pre-Lenten Edition

Dear Reader:                                                                    

It has been some serious weeks since I did my last Confession Tuesday and when I was thinking about this last night I was at a loss for for what I would say. I almost thought I'd take a pass on this week too.  Frankly I often sit down and start without a clue so it hardly seemed rational for me to use this a a basis to skip it again.

As it turns out several things started coming to me. It was as if a great sea had pulled back exposing things one by one as the water receded - metaphorically speaking of course.

I confess there is something I most definitely need to acknowledge. During this past week a family member in a very dangerous situation came home safely. I cannot over-emphasize how providential this was. Sometimes I take things for granted and I know better. This was definitely a know better situation and the good Lord was there.

I confess that yesterday morning I surprised my wife by shoveling the walkway after an overnight snow. I went out and did this before leaving for work. She asked, Who shoveled our walk?" I confess I surprised myself too. (disclaimer - the snow was pretty light)

I have been feeling a bit like a shut-in. One of our daughters has been borrowing our car as hers seems to have bit the dust. She comes by every morning to get me for work and picks me up in the evening so its not really quite like I'm not getting out. If you call work getting out. I was thinking about it tonight and confess I am seeing this all wrong. I'm not a shut-in, I have a limousine service. (It really is all about the attitude)

Baseball is around the corner. Okay, maybe around the corner and down  the block but Pitchers and Catchers report to the Giants training camp tomorrow. I confess that I ready for the games to begin.

Speaking of around the corner. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent. I was thinking about this yesterday because I generally make some kind of commitment related to Lent and from year to year it has varied in scope. Sometimes I've given up something for Lent and other times I've given up giving up something for Lent. This year I am going to write a poem for each of the 40 days of Lent. You may be wondering what exactly is spiritually reflective about this and I confess I don't have an answer for you. But I will tell you that in addition to the poems I am going to make an effort daily to try and find the good in people that especially annoy me. I am also going to make a special effort to be kind to everyone I come into contact with. We never know what kind of cross others are carrying.

The forty days of lent and 40 poems will take me up to Easter Sunday just days before I leave for AWP#15 in Minneapolis. I so wanted to go to AWP last year in  Seattle but that was not to be.  How this trip has come about is another miracle in and of itself. I confess that I am excited about it as well as nervous about it but I intend to be a sponge and soak up as much as I can from the experience.  I understand it can be a bit overwhelming and I will be traveling with my twin personalities Introvert and Extrovert. Of these brothers the shy Introvert will likely dominate things but I'm hopeful that his outgoing brother Extrovert will have his moments too. This will be a first time for me at AWP so if anyone has advice I'm a captive listener.

So that's it folks until next Tuesday when well let you know how the poems are coming  and if kindness prevails.  Until then, be safe.