Saturday, October 30, 2004

Truth - Fact and the American Way

Last night I touched on Ivy's dilemma in my post but was not prepared to comment further. To bring readers up to speed, Ivy received a note from a publisher on a manuscript of poems she had submitted for consideration. In the note, said publisher wondered if it (her work) was based on personal experience. More specifically, he point blank asked if she could shed more light on the background for writing the work... was it based on her own experience? So this was more then just wondering aloud so-to-speak.

Her dilemma of course is how to respond. I am not trying to make this an advise column. Keeping my own life in a reasonable state of order is well enough work. But I think we have all had individuals ask about a piece of work and wonder. I've seen that look like, come on, you aren't fooling anyone... this is you.

For Ivy, I suspect the question is a bit more surprising coming from a publisher whom we would assume has dealt with many manuscripts and you would think would be beyond asking such a question. If I were in her shoes, I suppose I'd say as little as possible in reply. Exactly what... I'm not sure. Then again, I am not trying to play Dear Abby here.

What I am wondering is exactly what our overall roll should be in terms of educating the general public on such matters. I'd like to believe the interest in poetry, even casual interest is growing. This of course would mean there exists a constant need to educate the consumers on the matter of poetic content in work. How do we as practitioners of poetry deal with this? Or do we? Should we just buck up and smile politely when others read our work and ask, "Is this about you?"

The concepts of "truth" and "fact" are not always easy for people to discern. Perhaps this in part is because by definition truth can be related to fact. But truth can also be about sincerity in action, character, and utterance. It can be about a moment. A speck of time. A feeling. In the broadest sense we all write from "truth" but what we write is not always factual. We bring our life experiences, feelings, perceptions, into the mix and these become the tools we use to paint a picture story on a canvas of paper with brushstrokes of words. Then comes the whole issue of the consumer of our work. How many of our readers have lives that are totally parallel to our own? Few if any. The results are, the picture painted by our words may likely appear different to a reader.

So what do we do? What is our responsibility to educate the consumers? Or do we just roll on through life grinning and bare it?

Friday, October 29, 2004

In the Spirit of Halloween

I took the Scary Test...

You Are a Little Scary
A Little Scary!
You've got a nice edge to you. Use it.

How Scary Are You?

My black ink is in the red...

It's late and I was hoping to print a few note from some other posts I wanted to comment on tonight but alas my printer ink cartridge is not cooperating. Even my ink refill kit is not doing the job. I have a few choice words I could add at this point but quite frankly I am too tired to.

I did note that Eileen was able to access the net and post on her blog from France. I'll have to go back and read it tomorrow. I had expected silence from her until after the first of November.

Ivy had an interesting post about a publisher wanting to know more about the background for some of her work. The whole issue of it's relationship to personal experience. This has caught her somewhat off guard and not surprisingly so. It seems odd coming from a publisher.

I guess that is it for now. God I'm glad it's Friday!

Tell Bush - See Ya!

You can tell Bush "See Ya!" two ways. Of course, don't forget to vote. That's the most important way. But you may also go to Tell Bush - See Ya! I did.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

the plath hughes project

This is an interesting looking blog that I ran across and wanted to share with anyone interested.

I've only had a chance to glance through it, but I hope to read it more thoroughly the next day or so.

let the poem ride on it own...

"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting." - Robert Frost

What If?

What if the Baseball Gods won't let the Boston Red Sox repeat a World Series win again until another lunar eclipse and the Would Series collide again for a possible 4th game win? Wow!

Just a thought....

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

36 Papers Abandon Bush for Kerry

Why am I posting this here? Because it is poetry to my ears. Howard Hurtz of the Washington Post writes about the editorial landscape out there this election among newspapers.

Of the many notables - The Orlando Sentinel which has backed every Republican Presidential Candidate since Richard M. Nixon in 1968. At least until now. "This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations," according to the Florida paper.

But the Sentinel is just one of 36 newspapers that endorsed President Bush in the 2000 campaign that have since ditched the President in favor of John Kerry. Newspapers like the LA Daily news, Chicago-Sun-Times and Memphis Commercial Appeal. To tally up the endorsements Kerry leads Bush 142 to 123 in endorsements.

Bush has won over only six papers that backed Al Gore last election. One, the Denver Post, which received 700 letters -- all of them protesting the move according to Howard Hurtz. Nine newspapers, that backed Bush last election simply decided to back no candidate.

How much any of these impact the election process is certainly debatable. They are kind of like yard signs. Newspapers don't vote, but you'd rather have more endorsements than not.

36 Papers Abandon Bush for Kerry (


Check it out - I had close to seventy new viewers today alone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Excerpt from "Coming Out"

In their proper place,
miniature nick-knacks
adorning shelves.
Space assigned to them
so providential,
standing among their own.
Delighting onlookers
on command
Twirling in whirly-skirts
Till taken down,
played with
and returned.
from Coming Out by Michael A. Wells

Post Card Tuesday #4

It's Post Card Poetry Tuesday again for me. Today I'll script another poem on post card and drop it in the mail (yes snail mail) to Ivy who is across the Atlantic in Wales.

This experience (writing a post card poem and exchanging it with another poet on a weekly basis) has been a good one for several reasons. It provides a incentive to set down on a specific day and create a new work under a bit of pressure. By mailing it that day, you don't have the ability to tinker with it a lot. I certainly believe in rewrites. And rewrites and rewrites... (you get the point) but there is something to be said as well for letting your creativity work in this sententious period of time and become what it will and nothing more. Sometimes you can overthink something and that can actually kill the creative process.

There is not illusion here. I don't believe I am writing a defining opus on these postcards, but I was quite pleased for example with the second Tuesday's work. In fact it was the center of a lot of attention when I shared it at one of my writing groups after the fact.

It is also exciting to see the work in the poets own script. Admittedly Ivy can write quite small and it at times has taken on an experience not unlike translation. [chuckle] I have had on one occasion to actually rewrite one of Ivy's in my own longhand and work a bit to finally determine two words. I suspect my own writing is perhaps just as challenging to read. At any rate, we are each getting a poem in the poet's own handwriting. Which is kind of cool.

This is the fourth and final Tuesday of the month... which is kind of sad I guess. I am hoping as I put my mind to work on this later today that I will indeed come up with something I am satisfied with as it falls into the mail box out of my reach. For when that happens, there are no take-backs.

There is this international factor as well. Of course two people in the same city could be exchanging poems but in this instance, the exchange is truly international.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Weekend Mailbag...

Saturday I received the newest Poets & Writers magazine. A variety of irritating campaign mail. Irritating because much of it was "stock crap" put out by the Missouri State Republican party that they are mailing against most Democratic candidates and it has a vary unsavory message that evidently they believe the majority of the public is dumb enough to by into.

Friday, another poetry postcard from Ivy. I'm so confused. We are doing Tuesday's and this was the third such poem this month from her. She's ahead of me! She evidently is writing in the future and sending them back in time. I do well enough to do them on time. Yikes! More on the postcard poetry later this week.

No rejections.... no acceptance letters.

Tomorrow night is Open Mic @ Writers Place.

Writer's Place
3607 Pennsylvania
Kansas City MO 64111

Friday, October 22, 2004

Profound Escapes Me

I was thinking about writing something very profound tonight... but I guess I haven't thought hard enough. Actually there are several topics I have wanted to get into lately and perhaps this weekend I will.

So glad it is Friday. First half of the day went so quick and the rest seemed to drag on and on. Planned to watch Jag tonight with wife. It wasn't on. Instead, I watched First Night with my daughter. I've seen it before and Meg has too - but for her, it was only recently at school. I'm quite found of Arthurian literature and this movie is pretty decent for a updated version of Camelot. By the way... for those that might be interested there is an excellent Arthurian resource site on the net. [click here]

That's the extent of my functional dialogue for now... Hope everyone has a great weekend. I promise to do better tomorrow.

Zeitgeist Poetry

No halloween pumpkins
were harmed in this creation.
So, who are the victim here?
Katelyn Faber,
Andrea Mackris,
or the Yankees?
You think the Red Sox
are Team America?
The Cardinals may
have something
to say about that.
This Ramadan
who is hotter,
Angelia Jolie
or Tupac?

Hey, I did it for the hits! :)

Stick Poet Superhero

Stick Poet Superhero
Originally uploaded by stickpoet.
Able to leap tall verbs with a single noun... It's Stick Poet Superhero. Defending your poetic rights!
Check out Stick Poet Superhero Gear

Thursday, October 21, 2004

A Little Bragging About the Little Woman

My wife (Cathy) has just finished a bead project that is so kick ass! This is not by any stroke of the imagination her only masterful piece - but it is so striking that I am hoping to get a good photo of it to post on here soon. There is another one that.... well, you'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully my daughter can help me get a couple of pictures this weekend that might be able to do them justice...

Anyway... just a little bragging on my bead artist wife. :) If I could be as masterful with words as she is with beads... *sigh

Happy Birthday To Jilly

Fellow (there should be a feminine form of that word) poet/blogger Jilly is #& today. Happy Birthday!!! I wish I was #& again... [smile]

My gift to you is NOT singing Happy Birthday. Trust me... that is an awesome gift. LOL

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Reading Wednesday Night

B&N @ Zona Rosa
Open Mic
off I-29 and N.W. Berry Road
At Zona Rosa Shopping Mall
North Kansas City, Missouri
Sign in starts at 6:30
I plan to be on hand - I expect some of the Northland Writing Group and Park University writers will be there.. and well as others.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Originally uploaded by johndakar.
A pile of rubble,
A puzzle, broken
Down into blocks
Of hardened earth
From the architect-
That once imagined.
From the Poet-
That once dreamed.

Verse Libre Quarterly - Current Edition

The Latest Issue Is Available


Therapist finds poetry can unlock doors - Daily Herald

While this is a topic that I've touched on here before, I thought this Daily Herald item was worth reading.

Daily Herald

Sunday, October 17, 2004

It's a Wrap...

Geeze Louise, when have you seen such good poetry blogging as Victoria & Eileen have sparked this past week? I'll lift a glass of Beaulieu Vineyards "BV" Chardonnay 2000 to toast this weeks exchange. But hell, It don't take much for me to want to pop a cork of BV Chardonnay.

Well, Tonight I put together a packet of five poems to submit to New Letters which takes me up to 7 submissions for the month.

Northland group met this afternoon. I read the Post Card Poem that I sent off to Ivy last Tuesday. It was well received.

That's about it for the weekend... Been keeping an eye on the playoff games tonight. Hated to see the Cards lose. I think although that series is tied at two games apiece... I think they will endure to play the World Series this post-season.

New York vs. Boston.... what can I say. The curse is the curse. Deal with it. Looking for a Cardinals Yankees series. Ah, baseball is so poetic!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Friday, October 15, 2004


Originally uploaded by leduardo.

Two sixty-three and change
A shrill scream to go
With a few too many pints
Crimson blood
Soaked Camies
And uncontrollable sobs
That no amount of hankies
Will ever hold
Back the rivers
Of loss
Xeroxed a thousand plus

accolades around blogland

WTG Jilly - an acceptance for Ink Pot. Meanwhile Ivy is the featured poet over at Babylan Speaks for October. Speaking of Ivy.... I'm anxious for my next post card poem from her. This snail mail stuff really teaches patience. Or something...

Oh, I almost forgot! Aimee Nezhukumatathil has a poem translated to Italian. I'm so Impressed!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

House Owned By The Babe Demolished - Baseball Gods Not Likely Amused

My wife told me about this story this morning. It cracked me up - we both looked at each other and immedately thought this only compounds the curse! - Sports - House Owned By The Babe Demolished

A Healthier Shade Of Flesh

For anyone who was concerned about my liver enzymes as Eileen evidently was, I feel compelled to say I am alive and doing fine. That is not to say that I am free of envy for those who will be able to partake of the panel discussion on poetry publishing at SF State that Ms. Tabios is participating in on November 9th. Still, in a very round about way, I believe she has cleared up a bit of the mystery on cultural capital from her original post. If I may say so, without hindering her desire to remain "flakey" in her own right, and on her own blog... I believe she is speaking of cultural capital in the context of something many other would relate to as a form of networking.

This is starting to click for me now. While not at all a new concept to me, I think she is giving it new meaning to me. Of course I would much prefer to be a mouse in the corner of the room when she gives this presentation or a poet in the audience would work quite nicely... but I at least believe I am now in the ballpark on what she is talking about.

It is with some degree of amusement that I recall another post of hers earlier in the week I believe when she spoke of how she kept screwing-up having a career in poetry. Hum, methinks she is not screwing-up too badly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I have to take my hat off the Eileen for a most enjoyable and thought provoking post. She has brought a unique view of the "poetry world" today into focus in this blog post. If you missed it, go check it out.

The remarks on cultural capital sparked my interest. I would like for her to have been more specific. Perhaps if she ventures over and catches my post here, she will feel compelled to comment further. (Hey, one can hope!)

As I am typing this very post, my body is turning green. Green with envy of those who will be catching Eileen at the panel discussion she'll be giving on poetry publishing at SF State November 9th.

The Chatelaine's Poetics

On a totally unrelated note, I just realized that I missed the one year anniversary of Stick Poet Super Hero last month. Oh well, Happy 13 month birthday to me.

Bovine beauty

Bovine beauty
Originally uploaded by ark.

It's always all about you!
Why you,why not me?
Look at me. What do you see?
A stake? A milk shake? A belly
full of grass?

Fuck you! I am COW
and I can stand on my own
four stout legs. I flick
the flies off my own back
never lifting a finger for I am COW!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Roll Call - Who are novelists voting for?

Slate has provided a sampling of American novelists and their political persuasions this election. Some of the answers are.... well, novel. :)

Roll Call - Who are novelists voting for?

MSNBC - The Life He Left Behind

A very powerful statement by Patti Davis in Newsweek. On a sad note; the passing of Christopher Reeves, Ms. Davis speaks about the cause he championed these past few years and what it means to others.

MSNBC - The Life He Left Behind

Monday, October 11, 2004

Post Card Poem Exchange

As I posted earlier, I am exchanging Post Card Poems with Ivy this month. Writing One each Tuesday in October. This is really a great idea. Ivy is doing this with several others. It forces you to create something quickly on a time-table and get it off to another (which can be a bit humbling) and then of course the excitement to seeing something the created under the same kinds of circumstances.

Wow... Ivy's Five Minute Call took me deep into the persona of a woman's soul.

Breaking Silence

Ah, I have been a quiet one over the weekend. At least on blogland.

Hosted the Northland Writers group at our home one Sunday, so I was mostly busy getting ready for that ( an a thank you to my family for the help) and I am happy to say it went well.

The only disappointment was that I was up and down quite a bit and as a result didn't get to hear everyone or at least all that they wrote.

My cousin Jon and my wife's step-mother joined us. They have been doing some writing. Jon poetry and Janet is taking a creative writing class. I hope we didn't scare them... Too much!

Scot entertained them with a couple of his "God series" poems. Theology will never be the same.

Chris shared something he created from Pat's workshop... taking liberties with her instructions and moving a bit further into the realm of creativity. It was interesting because it was a short piece and Chris is such a prolific writer... (he is just beginning to learn that you can do something complete in less than 75,000 words. Ok, I am stretching it a bit, but he is an excellent writer and he can get into some marathon writing stretches.

Sheila didn't read. She is still weeping from her Germany piece. She killed the baby and didn't see it coming. Emotional writing but wow!!! I truly expect her to do something with this piece. It needs to be published.

I missed most of Ann and Don's readings - heavy sigh. Jon and Janet were bold enough to read in front of us. Some first timers aren't... Jon did two poems... and Janet did a couple pieces which were along the lines of journal entries or life memories. I think she really could do a lot with them.

Missi arrived late as usual. (smile) She was, however not the latest. She beat Don! Missi brought some children's poetry that she had been working on. I think this may be a real strong genre for her. I've heard other things she did in the past that were inspired by her four year old son. She also cracked me up with a poem that was a take off on a Toy advertisement. Sometimes she can write stuff that reminds me so of Billy Collins.

I did just two readings.... Poems I have posted here this past week.
Next week we are back at the college for more formal writers workshop. Work without the food and social amenities.

Friday, October 08, 2004

When Barry Met George W.

Barry & the Prez
Originally uploaded by stickpoet.


Originally uploaded by johndakar.
what would Jesus do
with the burnt ends
of daily embellishments
minutes squandered in omission
social repudiation
over the tops of our noses
scornful of someone
distinctly less
to swell ourselves up
to make something aggrandized
but less
and sell out humanity
for the price
of a quick upper

what would Jesus do
with egocentric
nose thumbing pride
slurping the cream
and leaving sour
rings on the bottom
for forage

what would Jesus do
with our silly weapons
while we restrain
or triturate anyone else
that poses a thought
of parity

what would Jesus do
with our self-righteousness
in the temple of the would
what would he do

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Take Notice

Originally uploaded by .hexodus.
I declare
a state of intoxication
Exists by overdose
of regulations
from the commonwealth.

The proletariat hereby
restricts your ass from
penetration past this

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

It's All Here

the smell of October
damp leaves
the taste
of flying vermin
off course
crashing one’s mouth
the wreckage
spit upon the sidewalk

It's Here!!!!!

It's Here!!!!!
Originally uploaded by stickpoet.
Pat Berge - co-editor of Under The Telling Tree Anthology e-mailed me today to tell me of the arrival of the proof copies. I called her to see if she was a wired as the e-mail sounded. She was! Good thing she was inside because the sky could not have contained her.

I have three pieces in the anthology which will be available very soon!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Barry & Bush

Barry & Bush
Originally uploaded by stickpoet.
Barry, my faithfull Doxie heard a Village in Texas is missing an idiot. He felt obligated to return him to Crawford.

WTG Barry!

Polite Reminder - VP Debate Tonight

Just a reminder - Edwards Cheney Debate Tonight!~

First Tuesday In October

It's Post Card Poem Tuesday. The first one to be precise.

I just sent off my first poem poet card to Ivy and I have to say, as it disappears at the post office and you turn and walk out the door it is a humbling experience.

Other people are going to read this.... A postman or two and of course another poet. Suddenly, you wish this were something you spent a week or more on, not a spontanious exercise in poetry. [Gulp!]

Monday, October 04, 2004

Zing! I Knew that!

Don't you just hate it when people have to tell you something that you already know before you actually get with the program? Thanks Brian Campbell for your advice thought it is not exactly a new concept.

Yeah, you too Jilly for admonishing me to get off my butt! Just because it's the last quarter of the year, this is no time for a lassitude attitude! Geez!

So, after going through my stuff last night, I sent off two poems today and more forthcoming this week.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Naked? I Hardly Noticed

I was not going to comment on the debate. I'm not sure why... I just thought I'd let it stand on its own. After reading Greg's post today, I decided what the hell.

What most struck me about the President in the debate Thursday night was the arrogance of his posturing when John Kerry responded to the moderator. In more instances than not, Bush's look (rolled eyes and all) was as if the say, Well here we go again...

Body language was what spoke strongest about him. It overshadowed everything. Including his nakedness.

Some will say Bush kept it simple and stayed on cue. That this was a good thing. I don't believe he had a choice. What really struck me during the debate was not a totally new revolution, but it was finally one that I believe was confirmed beyond the realm of theory. Bush may not be "stupid" but he lacks the complexity to deal with broader issues that are often not as simple as black and white.

My example:

When Kerry discussed the idea that a preemptive military strike was something so serious that there was a global test or standard that had to be meet, Bush simply did not get it. This is something I have felt strongly about from the beginning. Yet here is the Commander-In-Chief, the man who prides himself in telling us he has what it takes to do this job ( inferring that Kerry lacks it) and he simply was dumbfounded by Kerry's remark.

Many people argue that it is pointless to argue this issue after the barn door was left open and the cow escaped. However, such decisions impact the way the rest of the world views us. In spite of what some people feel, this can become critical. Bush's own simple view is, We'll go to war when we want to and not when someone says it is ok. That is well and good, but the world opinion on this war and the way we prosecute any future wars, may well impact the support we get at some important juncture when there really are WMDs or justification. Will other nations look back and take a pass on supporting us because we cried wolf and there was no wolf? The misrepresentations that occurred and the President's arrogant posturing to any who disagreed with him is of real concern.

There is something we can learn from the mistakes in Iraq. We need to grasp that.

There was something to learn from Vietnam and many still are in denial about that lesson. These are costly mistakes to repeat.

Friday, October 01, 2004

October Already

Ah, Friday at last!

I'm going the a reading tonight of some friends at the Maple Woods College campus. Tomorrow, my youngest daughter has a karate tournament locally. Should be an all day event. I'll take note book and reading material.

I'd like to get a lot done this weekend. It has just hit me that we are down to the final quarter of the year and I don't have much material out floating around right now. I need to make a final push. I've got stuff that can be sent out, just need to do it!

The poet must get off his butt!