Friday, August 30, 2013

LOSS

Seamus Heaney 
13 April 1939 – 30 August 2013


The completely solitary self: that's where poetry comes from, and it gets isolated by crisis, and those crises are often very intimate also.






Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Confession Tuesday on Wednesday

Dear Reader:

I confess to being absent minded yesterday. Yes, yesterday was Tuesday and that's Confession day here except my mind was, we it was somewhere else because It didn't even remotely think of  confessing anything.

Some days I think about it and I'm too tired and just put it off a day. Sometimes I'm out till late and by the time I'm home it just seems like it can wait. Not yesterday... yesterday was out of sight and mind.

                                                                ~0~

I'm starting to realize that summer is not long for this year. Of course today the heat wouldn't agree, but the shadows that fall across the yard this time of evening, the fact that schools are starting and this weekend is labor day weekend, these things are a reminder that the season of color is coming. Maybe an even stronger indicator is the fact that baseball is at that stage in the season where people talk of magic numbers. The number of games remaining till post season nearly half my age and a melancholy umbrella seems to shield me from exuberance. I confess that I'm feeling fall in my bones.

                                                               ~0~

My wife is a bead artist. Some days she will tell me she doesn't feel much like an artist but some days I feel like it's a stretch to call myself a poet. Don't all artists do this to themselves at times?  I've shown some pictures in past years of work my wife has done and it you would look at it you would likely agree that there is artistry in it. Every once and a while I get to thinking that I wish we would collaborate on something - maybe an abstract bead-work with a poem.  I confess that I realize there are real challenges that couples who are artists have in dealing with each others artistic approaches and work itself. Cathy is not particularly a poetry person though she is very supportive of me. The one art issue we most would butt heads over would be when my work tends to be more abstract. I confess that I love working in abstracts. I confess that I have no hope of convincing her to work in abstract given how she feels about abstract poetry.  Still, I can dream.

                                                           ~0~

I confess that lately I've been challenging my own tendency to want to procrastinate over things that I am anxious about. I would not say that I'm in danger of getting kicked out of procrastinators anonymous but I'm sure the general membership would disapprove of some of my minor successes of late.

That's it for this week.

Amen!

   

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Letting Wonder Come to You



Recomended - 4 for Sunday

It's Sunday and I've realized that I have not been posting nearly as often as I used to. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you really don't have anything interesting to say, or you do but haven't the time to get it said right. It's often been one or the other. I have however seen a lot of interesting stuff this week that I thought I'd share case you may have missed any of it.

Martha Silano at Blue Positive posted her Ten Poetry Rules and while there is a slice of humor in them there seems to me to be a heap of wisdom in there too. Martha is the author of The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, winner of the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize and one of my favorite reads this year.

Then there is Jeannine Hall Gailey the Poet Laureate of Redmond, WA who writes Feeling Discouraged about Poetryworld?  First let me say that I like hearing a Poet Laureate talk about discouragement and poetry together. It's comforting to know that even a laureate can feel the pain of discouragement. I also like that she used the word poetryworld as I do feel like I live in that world.
Jeannine is the author of several books the latest of which is Unexplained Feavors which came out this spring and while it's on my list to read I have read earlier books and enjoyed her work.

In interesting read I found this week was Wolf Girl by Nic Sebastain. I love the second stanza.

And finally, a poem by the late Denise Levertov titled The Secret. What I lovr about this poem is the amount of depth she achieves in relatively simple verse.

If you missed any of this, not you have no excuse not the check it out. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Going Goats



Dear Reader:

It's been another week. How does this happen?

I'm headed to the confessional, care to come along?

Yes, it's been a week since my last confession.

My daughter takes this picture on the right and shows it to me tonight. This is one of two pygmy goats that my daughter informed me are at the shelter where she works. I confess I want a pygmy goat. I know with the pets we currently have this is not really an option. The neighbors probably would not take too kindly to it either but it's sooo cute, isn't it!! I don't know their genders but  I can just picture a boy goat named Gruffy and a girl goat named Greta.  I think we could probably stop mowing the back yard.

I confess sometimes I have a vivid imagination. That's a good thing right? I mean I think it's paramount to an artist's work isn't it.

Thinking back to my childhood, I have a history with goats.  I'm mentioned here before that as a child I had four imaginary goats that I used to keep alongside me on leads. If I needed to make a trip to the bathroom I would hand them off to another to hold for me. Looking back on this I see now that I man have been more suited for artistic endeavor then I realized until later in life.

I confess that I do wish at times that I had approached my writing life differently. I would certainly have begun it at an earlier age and perhaps the trajectory that I took might have looked different.

I confess too that I have learned in life that it really isn't of particular value to focus on regrets. Nothing positive really comes of dwelling upon what could have been.  It seems much more important for me to redouble my commitment and efforts towards my writing and utilize what time and what knowledge I have to move forward. So I will I will hope that Gruffy and Greta find good homes and in carry on writing with my four invisible goats in tow.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Submission Saturday Check-in

I have my Diet Coke (DC constitutes a food group) in for the morning but haven't thought beyond that for breakfast. It's Submission Saturday, something I generally devote my afternoon to. Once and a while I got a jump on it and get my submissions done before noon.  We'll see how this all happens later.

Of notable interest this week -

  • I discovered a poet that strikes me as too good to keep secret.  So if you have not heard of Melissa Broder check out a few of her poems here. If you peel back her humor there is something genuinely serious about her. If you scrape the edges of her serious side she is deathly funny.
  • Something really awesome happened related to one of my poems but I'm not telling just yet.
  • Mail man brought my copy of Victoria Chang's The Boss yesterday. Poetry in the mail box gives me a real high. I'll have more on this book in a few days.
  • Two new drafts this week that I have to work on refining.
  • Number of Submissions past 12 months - 79. Still pending 29.
  • Tuesday night met with some other poet friends.
  • Watched way too many episodes on 24. I'll probably do it again this next week.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Gratitude Edition

Dear Reader:

I’m a day late, but I had a poetry group meeting last night and rather then head to the confessional, I elected to watch some TV with my wife. So I confess that it’s been a week and a day since my last confession. Shall we get started?

 I confess that I have a wonderfully supportive wife when it comes to my writing. I know not all writers have supportive families that encourage or help in other ways. My wife may not always understand my writing but what she understands is that writing is a central tenet to my life. It’s like water. It’s air. It is the lifeblood of my day to day mental health. Okay, no wise cracks…. I’m as normal as any writer.

 Sometimes I will come home from work and there will be an event that evening and it’s been a rough day and I may say, “I just don’t know if I’m up for it tonight.” She will sometimes say something like, Oh go on, and you’ll feel better in the end.” And many times I will buckle up and go. But if I’m really dragging and elect not to go, that’s okay too. She is not going to make me feel bad about my decision.

 A few months ago when we feared the crashing of my 6 year old laptop, she made sure I got out and got a replacement one in time. This weekend I was trying to get set up wirelessly to one of the printers on our network since I've been displaced from my home office and it was not easy for me to get to my old printer, she took time out of her busy day to see that this happened when I had trouble with the network.

 I confess that I could not ask for a more supportive person in my life.

 Amen!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Not with football you don't edition


Tuesday, so I'm off to the confessional. Won't you join me.

Dear Reader:

It has been a week of  umpteen episodes of Glee and 21, one poetry acceptance, two rejections,  and a haircut since my last confession.

When I arrived home tonight the little snot nosed kids that play football were all assembled on the baseball field across the way and cars lining the street. Parents all in their social circles of folding chairs jabbering with one another in the great pee-wee football frenzied. Orange cones sprang up in the grass for use by the coaches in conducting drills

I'm certain the moms and dads are watching their little tykes with some degree of pride, Perhaps a dash of trepidation as well, knowing that at some point these kids will come head to head with another person whose job it is to flatten them.

Now I'm sure I sound like the curmudgeon my daughters and wife are periodically suggesting that I have become. But I confess I have nothing against these youngsters at all. The problem is that when we bought our home, I delighted in the fact that there was a baseball diamond a few hundred yards from my doorstep. I've played catch on that field, shagged flies on that field, held batting practice on that field, and enjoyed watching others do the same, and to wit, baseball for me is synonymous with poetry and poetry  synonymous with life.

Folks, the ink on the August calendar isn't dry yet and these football types are committing sacrilege
under my watchful eye.  I confess that I don't wish harm to come to any of these people, but is it wrong of me to wish that a half hour before their next practice there were already two ball teams occupying the field and they had to go someplace else?

Of course I'm asking this rhetorically and It is not necessary for anyone to actually comment as to how mean spirited this sounds. I'm pretty sure God in his glory prefers baseball and is just as miffed about the encroachment of this baseball field by shoulder padded mini-refrigerators.