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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nonsense~

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities. - Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Confession Tuesday - Optimist Edition

It's Tuesday for sure and that means it's time to head to the confessional.

Dear Reader:

It's been a week, a zoo trip, another mobile market trip, a few showers (very few), a handful of new e-book downloads since my last confession.

We went to the Zoo this past weekend.  I confess that walking around the zoo on a very hot days will give one a good idea just how out of shape they are. By the time we were finished for the day, we were truly done. All that was left was to poke a fork in us. I enjoyed the outing, but wow did it take a lot out of me. I always enjoy the Tigers, who were looking quite lazy all sprawled out on the rocks in their enclosure.  The most unique thing I observed was the Kangaroo with baby in pouch. Just watching her move about hurt my back.

I've journaled a lot this past week. Perhaps more then normal. I've done some writing too but I confess the poetry drafts I've developed seem to be coming from good ideas but I'm just having trouble satisfying myself with finding the right language. I can be really hard on myself at times when it comes to looking at my own work. Sometimes I think the problem is that I pick on myself too early in the process. I confess that it's hard for me to not be overtly judgmental of first or very early drafts.

Recently I've been annoyed by the amount of computer gadgets I have on my laptop.I suppose applications is the more appropriate term. I confess I can be a sucker for applications that do one thing or another. Different versions of To-Do Lists, programs that track your productivity, fancy calendar programs, clocks, alarms, if it's a bell or whistle I've probably had it. I've started divesting myself of many of these items slowly.
Some of them I've found slow down the initial start-up of my system and in particular those have been some of the first to succumb to my scrutiny.

Perhaps one of the reasons I'm looking at such time wasters is that I'm looking at the remainder of the year and I have a lot of personal expectations. I'm wanting to really maximize my efforts and get myself into a level of work that pushes the envelope. I'm looking at a window - September through December and I am hopeful that this is the best 4 months of the whole year. I confess that sometimes I can be a real optimist. Though I think sometimes the Capricorn in me is reluctant to take risks.



Monday, August 27, 2012

Help...

This may sound like a strange request but I'm looking for a few good poets. Okay, really I'm wanting really good poets - awesome poets...

I'm simply looking for a few poets that perhaps I've not had exposure to that are worthy of a read.  I'm open to suggestions. Please leave your recommendations in the comments. Thanks!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Mag 132: Off Limits

Big Room, 1948 by Andrew Wyeth



I get the chills here;
this room so open
voluminousness of air.

Even the grand fireplace
cannot cut the impersonal 
feel.       The stark neatness,

not thing out of place.
Nothing ever happens here.
People come, look, but never sit
or stay. 



Michael A. Wells



Thrall Is on My Radar and List Of Books to Read.

There is a fascinating article in the Sept/Oct issue of Poets and Writers about Natasha Tretheway by Kevin Nance. I read this article while riding in the care yesterday - something I generally find distracting and often ultimately will quit in frustration and pick up again later. Not this time.

I think what I find so inciting about Tretheway and in simultaneously this article was the depth of authenticity. As a writer Tretheway peels back the onion skin layer after layer until the stark truth resides in her own words. I am quite anxious to read her latest book of poems titled Thrall and described as ambitious.

Tretheway acknowledges it as ambitious but with as price. How many of us as writers are ready and willing to bare discomfort that such honesty exposes? I see it as the hallmark of exceptional writing; and the hurdle that every write struggles to get over. Some never, Tretheway certainly has.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Around the Internet - On Writing, Etc.

Several things I've seen here and there that should be of interest to writers and I thought I share the in a post since I've been lazy and have posted much lately. Actually that is not exactly true... I've been pretty busy and when I've had a night that I wasn't it has usually followed a day in which I have been really tired and crashed. (actually I'd like to do that now)

If you are a writer looking for a presence on the Internet then check out List of the Top Nine Word Press Themes for Writers.

Speaking of presence in the digital age for writers... Kelli Agodon has an outstanding blog post I recommend reading  that sorts out some things you might want to consider doing and some you might want to avoid in here post Social Butterfly - How To Deal With Social Media As A Writer.

Looking for a new place to submit your work - Subscribe of a routine e-mail listing of Literary Magazines.  You may find some totally new to you.

Read an Interview with Michael Nye - Managing Editor of the Missouri Review.

Check out current issue of POETSArtists.

Writers.... Don't Forget to Read!

What Successful People Do With The First Hour of Their Work Day.

There you go.... Hopefully there is something for everyone!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Confession Tuesday on the Cheep

Dear Reader:

It's been one week, three rejections, 40+ Kindle downloads and an aching back since my last confession.


Since my last confession I admit that I've come to like my Kindle. So I've counted and I have 44 eBook downloads in the past week. Of all my eBooks I've acquired, I confess that I may have only one or two I've purchased. Call me cheep, old fashion, traditionalist, or whatever you will but in have no problem paying for a real book but eBooks feel like virtual books or something. It's just hard for me to spend money for them. If it were a perfect world (admittedly my own view) you would purchase a book and receive a "real" book and an eBook file. Then when you go out into the world you could take your library with you while the real thing was still in tack ring in your own home.

For the past four weeks I've been visiting the Mobil Vegetable Market that comes every Tuesday morning into the city and parks right behind my office. I confess this has been really cool because they have had some really good stuff. Among my favorites would be the cantaloupe, blackberries and really sweet tasting Delicious apples. My wife has some things she especially likes that I pick up - avocados (yuck) and blueberries.

I love blackberries and Bing cherries.  I've enjoyed this past week snacking on both of these. I confess I could be really happy if I could just carry a container of these around everywhere to snack on as I wish.  I confess that I'm out of Bing cherries presently and I'm wishing I could pluck one into my mouth right now.

I confess that I downloaded a new book today [Four Days With Hemingway by Tom Winston] that I'd like to start reading right away but I'm in the middle of another and am trying to force myself to finish it before starting another one. I'll let you know what I think of it when I get into it.

That's it for tonight - I must confess that I'm tired and since I worked on some office work which I brought home I'm wrapping this up and going to try and unwind a bit.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Mag 131: Detroit's Past Through The Fog

Under Windsor Bridge by Adolphe Valette


Entombed in the gritty fog
rolling under Windsor Bridge
the past hangs heavy;
smells of damp basement.

Thinking back in time I remember
how many young men crossed this bridge 
north bound to Canada 
placing themselves in a sort of purgatory
not knowing if or when they might make a return trip.

Those were dark times in America
even darker for Detroit;
smoldering nightly somewhere in the summer heat.

A big time city eating it's own young.
Cannibalizing it's inner soul. 

The decay remains evident today
in areas blackened
that have not and never will come back. 
That's what they say.

Funny thing this city, 
where peace-nicks 
flowed to Canada;
while in the heart of old Detroit
riots raged to burned out store fronts;
skeletons of Detroit made cars smoldered.

Motor city became the capital 
of civil-disobedience & of civil-unrest.


Michael A. Wells 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Confession Tuesday - Kindle Edition

Tuesday has arrived... to the confessional, shall we?


Dear Reader~

I'm glad you came along. Misery loves company. Just kidding!  I don't think I have any misery to unload today but then I don't often really know how these confessions are going to go till they are over.

I am glad you did come along because every once and a while I get the impression that I'm writing to no one here. I know that is not exactly true because I confess that I do look at the site stats.  I'm not as bad as I used to be about it. Trust me, this is a good thing. You can become obsessed about such things, or so I've been told (I mean I wouldn't have any first hand knowledge of such things) by others who would know.

I am going to move for a moment from one medium (blog) to another - e-reader. I've written blog posts about them in the past and have not been especially kind to them. So, it would only be appropriate for me to confess that this weekend I got a Kindle.  Now I've had the Kindle application on my laptop and on my Blackberry. While I have used them I've never found them to be especially easy to use. I don't mean from the standpoint of technical ease but rather the matter comfort in use. My laptop for example has one of the the larger screens available on a laptop. Sitting up in bed with it to read on in the evening is not really comfortable. Trying to read from from my Blackberry isn't comfortable either. It's size makes the screen area pretty small and you have to jack up the font size so the amount of copy per page is minuscule.

I confess that I still prefer holding a real book in my hands to an e-reader but I do like my Kindle.  Yes, I confess I still have problems with the idea of paying for what seems like a file that is just born out of nowhere (cyberspace) and is there on the device. I don't get a cover with color?  Where do I have the author sign this book/ file at? 

Yes, I confess that I have discovered free books.  There may be no free lunches but there are free digital books. Of course these are not really the books on my wish list. But hey it will force me to read some pf the classics again. Okay, some of them I haven't read for the first time. I confess I still consider myself a bit of a newbie or e-reader virgin.

So while you may be reading this and think - about time, I will acknowledge that almost anyone reading this has more experience with digital books then I do. I am also interested in the process of publishing to this format. I confess that I will defer to you, the experienced digital reader for any recommendations or suggestions on how I might enhance my Kindle experience.  I mean I can't stay a virgin forever.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Unabashed

Divisions according to gender should apply only to changing-rooms and public toilets – because of natural bashfulness. In poetry, there is nothing to be ashamed of. ~ Aleksei Alekhin

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Mag 130: No Shell Game

Image by Francesca Woodman


Don' t dare look past my flesh self
ignoring what discomfort troubles you.
I've come out so that I can be everything
I truly am-   the co-worker, the mother, the friend
the wife and the lover.

I don't hide my intellect behind my body
anymore then I will shelter my flesh
with intellect or my personality.

I've shed my shell;
these breasts, the curves-
this flesh and bone
this is my architecture-
I embrace all that I am.




Michael A. Wells


Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Nightly News I Remember

There are times I remember the nightly news
framed in a seriousness and we all watched.
I would come home from school  and the others
they came from work or household chores
but we watched in the same room
the same RCA Victor
that doubled as a piece of furniture;
topped with white lace doilies and blonde lamp-

and always a man with a voice of authority
and there would be body counts every single night.
And for the longest time this went on
and we all watched and when it was over went
our separate ways.

There was no liberal newscast or conservative choice
there was only news and it could be very brutal.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Confession Tuesday Under Cotton Candy Skies on Thursday


A storm is threatening if that is possible in this drought inflicted Midwest.  We are already a day late - let's hurry to the confessional.

Dear Reader:  I confess I know I'm a day late. It's been 8 days since my last confession so lets get this over the cotton ball sky is moving quickly.

I confess that as I gassed the car this morning and realized that gas had shot up considerably since I last gassed the car I so wanted an all electric car. Of course wanting and having the ability to obtain something are two different things. Even a gas electric hybrid is out of the picture unless that lottery ticket in my pocket is a winner. I'm really pretty good normally about not wanting things I know are beyond reach. Occasionally some electronic gadget will creep into my wanting eyesight but I mostly try and contain myself. These are usually things that I could have, I have the means available to go get one, but don't because my better wisdom says don't.

I confess that I when I learned yesterday that my daughter was likely going to put down Scarlet - her pet rat today - I spent some time just watching Scarlet and taking pictures of her last night.  She was actually pretty cute. So when I learned today that it actually occurred I admit I had some damp eyes for a rat. Okay, not just any rat but Scarlet.  Earlier this summer she lost Mason but as far as rats go I am told that Mason was an old man.

That's about it for tonight... I just realized the San Francisco Giants are on ESPN so my attention is now divided. And I guess that's a confession too. 


Saturday, August 04, 2012

Speculation


In bony avoidance I hide
from the possible. Still
my mind is well aware
of what it prefers not

to accept. Would be surrender,
disappointment to the indifference
that might be expected of me.

There is always the possibility
just as there is the what if I had
done differently. What ifs

are lame excuses for the afterlife.
They add nothing to the internal
discussion we have with our self.

Such speculations is cowardice
behind closed eyes. If I must,
speculate by poking out my eyes.



      

The Risk To Write


We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. ~ Voltare

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Playing in what rain they could find



This morning the ground was wet with fresh rain, I caught sight of  geese across the street on the ball diamond.  The rain would soon disappear into oven baked ground. I would depart for work, and the geese I suppose they lollygagged about for a while and left.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Journal Bits

The following are representative bits, notes, quotes, writings  from my journal July 16 to present.


  • 7/16 - fey - pronounced (fay). Adjective meaning 1. strange or unconventional or otherworldly. 2. doomed 3. able to see the future.
  • 7/18 - art is not always in the details, sometimes it's the big picture
  • 7/20 - Am I cursed? My poet home page dis down this morning. New hosting site and I'm dealing with this issue again.
  • 7/20 - never have I laid eyes upon her / that the cortex was not held hostage. / Never have we touched that my heart / did not ache for more
  • 7/22 - it will be known as the summer / of toasted coconut lawns / we began to lower our standards / of comfort
  • 7/23 - At 9:00 PM the temperature was 102, unbelievable...
  • 7/30 - I read Diane Ackerman's poem Between the Creasesprobably not for the first time, but it really resonated with me today. 
  • 7/31 - "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence." ~ Charles Bukowski