Saturday, January 09, 2021

Journal Tid Bits

 Miscellaneous lines from journal entries Jan 3 through Jan 9

  • The bed is a boat afloat 
  • The pain called, is still calling 
  • The ceiling is awash / in waves and I listed / alone in the sounds / of a wet inner ear
  • [Jan 3,2021] The united States passes 351,000 deaths from Covid-19
  • before she died from an influenza / or was it a broken heart /she couldn't remember which
  • fine linen on the floor / place set for 3 in the sand box / I bet no one comes
  • [Jan 6, 2021] Today electoral votes were counted and certified in Congress but not before a riotous group at Trump's prompting,  stormed the Capitol steps broke through Capital Police resistance to breach the building - and breaking windows and running with American and Confederate flags (what irony) through the building. They finally broke into the Legislative chambers but House and Senate member has been lead out to safety by security. They returned to finish their work in a very late night session. One person is know to be dead. 

Trump supporters storm the Capitol during clashes with police.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Choice of Writing Method


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

EVERYONE has their own preference of getting words down on a page.  Mine will vary from time to time and depend upon what the writing is for.  For instance if I am journal writing I like to use a fountain pin. My partiality is a thin nib. I have found over the years that these can be delicate. If they are slightly bent from a drop, they may still write but the flow is not as smooth. When journaling, there is no feeling quite like laying down the words like spreading soft butter across a page. 

My journal goes practically everywhere with me.  That is because my journal serves as a multi-functional book.  It contains periodic (almost daily entries), drafts of writing (most frequently poems), notes from workshops, quotes from passages I've read, etc.  When writing in my journal I like to use Private Reserve Ink - Copper Burst. Against the soft yellow ivory pages it has an almost antique appearance. But if you leaf through my journal you will find that at times there is blue or black ink and it may or may not be from a fountain pen. If it is 

When I start a new journal I'm always conscious of my penmanship. I don't want any crossed out words or messy writing. That will usually last two maybe three days and then its oh hell, and just move on and write. 

When I am ready to work from a draft to refine, that is when I will likely move from the Journal to my Mac Book Air. There might be a couple or more versions in the journal, but getting it to the laptop gives me a better feel for the visual aspect of the work. Visual is real important to me in poetry. I like to see how the words fill up the page or don't.  White space can be as significant as ink. This also allows me to work much easier with line breaks. 

I know people who exclusively write on their computer. If that works for you, by all means do it. The important thing about writing is to create as much comfort as possible. Routine writing is like exercising muscles, and just as important to a writer. You should find what is agreeable to you. That is where good writing start. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

A Late Afternoon Shower

The sky is a negative shadow. We walk hurriedly in avoidance of oncoming rain. Our walk snaps our pant legs in an escalating rhythm breaking into a run the last 300 feet as the rain falls straight downward, hard and fast like it's on steroids. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Just finished reading...

This week I finished a chapbook by Jennifer Moore. Smaller Ghosts is a collection of poems in the cento form. Moore is a favorite poet of mine. She previously won me over with her collection The Veronica Maneuver.

Smaller Ghosts is vastly different writing, but then it is a patchwork of lines from other works of writers. It's kind of a fun form. I've never tried it but it is. now on my list of things to do.

I think the success of such a form lies in how well read the poet is who stitched  the lines together into a whole new work.

On another note, I am starting a new book The Familiar Wild On Dogs and Poetry.  This is a book that has gorgeous art work.  An Anthology edited by Rachel Mennies and Ruth Award. I've scanned it already and there is some great work in it. This will be a subject for a future post.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Confession Tuesday Spontaneous Combustion Edition

Dear Friend / Reader:

No baseball has been played. I filled my gas tank once, I watch thousands of protesters on TV. I saw too many fires and broken windows. I watched too many incidents of police swinging clubs at people, pushing to the ground, spraying chemicals at protesters, I grieved for people hurt and those killed. I grieved for families that lost loved ones. I wrote most nights. Failed to get enough walking in, thought about yoga but did none. Grilled BBQ stake. Had a root bear float at work. Wore mask up in public, washed and rewashed my hands too many fucking times. All this and more since my last confession a week ago.

I confess that I do not know what day of the  Covid-19 pandemic its is, I just know we are no where near the end.   Last I saw there were 786 related deaths in Missouri. Nationwide deaths exceed 114,000. I saw today that there are flair ups in Texas and Mexico. People aren't exercising social distancing very well and I totally expect that we will have to go through another shut down.

Baseball is my go-to to pull me out of the winder doldrums and into the spring then summer and it just makes life remind me of poetry and brings comfort. I confess I am struggling for this comfort.

I'm awaiting some poetry books and I'm really bad at waiting for books to arrive. Amazon has spoiled me, but. I do order elsewhere and I still want them yesterday. Is this impatience a sign of a character flaw?

I confess that I have a lot of material that needs attention. Drafts that need to be rewritten. Should I just pick a day of the week that I always work on rewrites?  How do you deal with a pile of work that needs to be rewritten? Do you avoid a pile of it by trying to keep on a piece till you ate ready to call it finished?

Is it wrong to have 22 games of Words with Friends going at once? I'm just asking for a friend, you know.

How many Character flaws make you a character?

When I drove down our street on the way home tonight I saw a black bird large enough to be bigger than Heckle and Jackle combined.

I'll close with a great poem title.  This is from a poet that I am quite fond of.  Spontaneous Combustion: Girl Kissing Bursts into Flames.  That rocking title belongs to Laura Kasischke. I might have to use that as a title prompt to write my own poem from.

Till next time! Stay safe, and be a great Joy & Peace.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Confession Tuesday - from the Shadow

Dear Reader:

It has been one month and 3 days since my last confession. One very long month.  In that time COVID 19 deaths nationwide topped 60,000. Now we are at 104,398.  We are at 773 deaths statewide in Missouri. 

On my last confession, George Floyd was still alive and certainly not a household name. 

On my last confession day, many business establishments around the country were closed down or open to customers under very controlled conditions.  In some cities those same businesses are boarded up, may have burned are spray-painted with graffiti.

I confess that I feel like we are in the shadows right now. I'm not sure if the shadows or the sunlight are a better place to be.

I feel like the shadows kind of protect us. Cater to our innocence, if we still have any.  On the other hand, the sunlight is bright and allows us to see everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I confess that the death of George Floyd was both bad and ugly. It was one of the most gut-wrenching videos I have ever watched. I was sickened. I was angry. I wanted to confront the officers involved and stop them, but we all know that would not have gone well.

I confess that the light shined on this event has had a good side. It had allowed the education of many to what blacks in this country endure routinely. The outpouring into the streets around this country has been a part of a healing process. There has been a beauty to it.  In some instances black people embracing police officers - some standing hand in hand together making a statement that what happened is not acceptable, and we as a country can do better than this.

There is a bitter pill in all this. The people that have taken to destroying property are hurting our country that was already struggling with COVID 19 impact.  These people, do not honor the life of George Floyd. They do nothing to advance the cause of racial harmony. I think some of them may have ulterior motives, but at a minimum, they are not a part of the protest.

I'd like to say that I have positive vibes. Hope, that this will advance the cause of dialogue, and of that conversation, a greater understanding and mutual love and respect will emerge.

I have put a lot of words on pages during this. But sometimes the words don't quite flow easily. Sometimes they are heaped in pile behind a damn that holds them back for fear that they will not be the right words. They will not adequately hold the truths that are needed. That they will fall short like our efforts have done so often all these years.

I confess that  I love our country that I am in love with the idea of our democracy. But I confess that we have not always lived up to what our Declaration of Independence calls us to.  It's a journey and we must all walk that journey together.

Until next time, peace!

Remember - stay safe. COVID-19 is just as real a threat today as it was a month ago.