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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Speech is free unless it's critical

Rio Rancho High School in New Mexico it seems is a quite a piece of work. It seems the principal there has a very jaded view of what exactly America is all about.

Check out this story by Bill Hill. I will be most interested to follow this story and keep readers updated.

Friday, May 14, 2004


While I only wrote a poem about a thousand words, Stephanie after a bit of an absence actually wrote about a thousand words.

1000 Words

Photo image projected
Backside of my head
At cerebral drive-in

Theater of horror.
Subtitled screams of pain,
Humiliation amid

Barked orders from
Military mongrels
Gone mad with power

In this silent movie
That echoes in
Recesses of my mind.

Thursday, May 13, 2004


Poetry In a Bottle couldn't help but think of EILEEN after seeing this.

Michaela has a Puritan sighting! Excuse me while I hike my pants up a bit.

Oh, and the post title... I'm not between 60 and 70 and this really is only a lame attempt to see what kind of traffic it draws from google. hee he!

Monday, May 10, 2004

Whose Voice Is It Anyhow?

I read this article about Robert Pinsky's visit to University of California Irvine to discuss poetry. Pinsky of course a past U.S. Poet Laureate. The following struck me with interest:

"Poetry is supposed to be said by the literal or imagined voice of the reader. Poetry is a unique art whose medium is the audience body," Pinsky said. "It isn't the poet's voice, it is the voice of whoever reads the poem."

I like the analogy of the reader being the medium, and I am not adverse to the idea that once a piece of poetry goes public, it is subject to varied and broad interpretation. But what then happens to the concept of a writer "finding his or her voice?" This seems like contrasting views and yet I can visualize both, though with difficulty in the same breath.

Something to think about further tonight I suppose.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

To Know

What chance have I, if any to see this
through? The wings of a bat to summarize,
tell you nothing that you can't find in books.
You knew that. Paper cuts on your fingers
speak of the pages you turned. DNA
on the pulp itself proves this to be so.

I wonder who you thought you would fool?
Is there any one among us who has
enough dexterity in their pea sized
brain to mark time and wait for the answers?
Hot flashes run tiny fingers all
the way up and down the spine to flutter

the nerves in some holistic way and chill
you to the bone. Shutter and shake till
you wake and realize what has just happened.
Knowledge can be a scary thing. But
don't let this frighten you for one minute.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Your Chance To Win an Autographed Copy of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece by Debra Hamel

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Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece
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A "gripping story of politics, sex and sleaze in ancient Athens...." --The Sunday Telegraph

amazon | more information | Bloggers! Enter to win a free book! (drawing 8/1/04)

Hard To Keep a Really Great Poet Laureate Down

It must be hard to keep a really great Poet Laureate down these days. I say that because It seems that Billy Collins gets as much play in the press if not more than the reigning Laureate Louise Gluck.

I am rather fond of Collins' work myself. It perhaps brings more people to the table to indulge in poetry than a good many other contemporary poets. This, I am convinced is one reason that Collins is still so much in demand. I think educators for example find it easier to turn to Collins to supply the material that hooks many young readers to poetry.

While Collins can be quite simple. His work is none the less creative and entertaining. It is more his crazy style than the depth of his work that separates him from many lesser poets. The irony is that Collins often defends the concept of simply enjoying the verse and not trying to beat some sublime meaning from a poem.

His selection as Poet Laureate is still serving the art-form quite well.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Two Heads Testifying

They met with the panel, these high-ranking men.
Bush the President and Cheney, with the smirk of a grin.
They haggled for months about this event.
Finally to a meeting they would consent.
We’ll come they said but only both at once.
I guess two heads are better than a dunce.
We aren’t under oath; there’ll be no recorders
We are the President and those are the orders!

Thursday News & Poetry Bits

Flying Saucer Fever Grips Iran - but no Cup sightings reported. Of course this leads me to the poem by Charles Bukowski - aliens

Bush and Cheney testify before the 9-11 panel today. Likely conclusion... Two heads are not necessarily better than one. Speaking of which here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Surfing Blogs, I noted this - from Dean

Ode To Poets

Just a few Bits....

Yes, it is still poetry month, but...
Poetry In a Malicious Worm - Who would have thought?

Pitcher with touch of a poet Ok, I'm going to have to start reading both his stats and his work.

MIT Grad Finds Poetry in Mother's Schizophrenia

I found this interesting news bit: Nobel laureate warns on anti-Semitism This struck me as interesting at the same time I see reports AP reports: Police gunned down machete-wielding militants who stormed security outposts in Thailand's Muslim-dominated south Wednesday, killing at least 112 people in one of the bloodiest days in the Southeast Asian kingdom.

And the it also reports: It was one of the heaviest battles with the militia as U.S. troops try to increase the pressure on gunmen loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. There is a lot of hatred amassed around religious diversity these days. I realize there is a lot of religion that people cling to for purposes that don't seem to meet the fundamental principals of the religious core beliefs. There is such hate and misunderstanding that emanates from all this. **stepping off my soap box**

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

foam:e - first issue is posted

Check it out folks... here

Reading & Submissions Make for Busy Three days

Since Saturday, I've been a bit busy with poetry. Saturday I got two poems for the Missouri State Poetry Society Anthology. Sunday, there was the Northland Writers group meeting at Maple Woods College, I also successfully got off three poems for the Telling Tree Anthology. And then yesterday ( Monday ) there was a reading at the Writers Place.

I read four poems last night. Cerebral Cobwebs, To Emily and Her Friends, Outsiders and Train Ride. There was a good contingency from the Northland Writers - who have adoptied me since I don't live in the Northland but clear over on the edge of hell. Why they tolerate me I'm not sure. I think they don't get out much ** smile**

There were some very strong readings last night and some of us will do it again on Wednesday night at the Barnes & Nobel in Northland. The busy times have been great though. Hey, it keeps me out of trouble.

I even got home last night early enough to catch the last couple innings of w west cost game between my SF Giants and the Braves. The Giants have been hurting this season **sigh** but they pulled off a 3-2 win last night! Yeah!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Dover Test

Couple of days ago, my post here touched on this subject. I found the "Dover Test" to be something I recommend everyone read. It seems to address well a fundamental concept about war that President Bush fails to understand. It is about the clash between an informed public and a visceral desire to limit knowledge for fear of the consequences. It begs to ask the question, Who here really can't handle the truth?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Saturday Night Notes

Just got home from a Percussion Explosion concert at my daughters High School. Talk about some high energy. It was a very enjoyable break from some writing I have been working on this evening. I'm back to do a post here and have my coffee cup ready to help me tackle more writing after this post.

Jilly has exciting news. Actually she's had a fair share of good things happening lately.

With that I'll share the following poem by W.H Auden

The More Loving One

Friday, April 23, 2004

Ted Hughes Collected Poems

Book Review
'Collected Poems': The full spectrum of Ted Hughes - By Sheila Farr

The Cost

From an earlier post last year I wrote...

"What you don't see won't hurt you"
I've heard it said before,
And so they've added blinders.
What can the dead do anyway?

© 2003 Michael A. Wells

The following pictures have become available

Pictures Bush did not want you to see

Thursday, April 22, 2004

What is Left Behind?

"No Child Left Behind" is a wonderful slogan. As far as slogans go. The images it instills in the mind are positive ones. I think of a house on fire with a parent, neighbor or fireman rushing into a smoke filled room to save a child. Or parents going on a weekend get-away, but being thoughtful enough to think junior is just as deserving of a mini-vacation from the drudgery of the world as they are.

In education, which is where this phrase has been hitched to since President Bush declared this to be a goal of his administration, the concept is laudable. Beyond conceptualization, how is this country doing with respect to the president's goal? Michael Dobbs, a Washington Post Staff Writer has looked at this program and it's impact on education.

While the program has focused on achievement by students and creating a system of accountability within the education system itself, the impact is far reaching in some instances with respect to traditional curriculum. While the stated objective of every student in the country achieving proficiency in reading and math by 2014, it has impacted some schools by causing the elimination for instance of some arts, foreign language and physical education classes.

I recommend reading Michael Dobbs article on this subject.

In Volusia County Florida, the School Board is faced with the loss of $626,145 from their academic budget. See Linda Trimble's article from the Daytona Beach News- Journal about the impact of No Child Left Behind in this district.

Has the President adequately funded No Child Left Behind? See one view here.

This view, by Mary Cohen, U.S. Department of Educations - "American students probably won't reach 100 percent proficiency in core subjects by 2014 as required by the No Child Left Behind Act, but they'll be closer than if the law weren't in place." presented in this Kansas City Star article.

Are we simply leaving behind old ways? Are we better off by focusing on reading and math in early education? What is lost by discarding broader education curriculums and paring back to focus on an objective with a 10 year timeline. One that as Mary Cohen states we probably will not reach.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Gun on a plane
Hysteria in the clip
Gun on front page
Hysteria in ink
Blood blotted newsprint
Soaking into non-fiction pulp
A frenzy feeding hunger, contrary to
Sign at the airport- Please,
Do not feed the frenzy.
Starve it
Let the frenzy die of natural causes
Of complacency;
Don't upset the animals

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Captive Tuesday Morning

Air thick with anticipation of more rain.
Morning offering little
In the way of welcome or hope.
Like a hold over from a rainy night
It just exists without permission,
Without apology and
Allows me no arbitration in the matter.

Monday, April 19, 2004


My Bloginality is ESFP!!!


You say... I think

  1. Virginia:: ham
  2. Soft:: ball
  3. Carol:: Channing
  4. Vanity:: Carol King
  5. Feminist:: Gloria
  6. Alias:: crook
  7. Coward:: Bush
  8. Beer:: Bud
  9. Chance:: drawing
  10. Honest:: Abe