Friday, October 31, 2008

First Draft: Leonardo Likes Gulls: Campaigning in Poetry

First Draft: Leonardo Likes Gulls: Campaigning in Poetry

The first thoughts that come to me...

  • You sing in poetry; you hum in prose.

  • You dine in poetry; you snack in prose.

  • You live in poetry: you exist in prose.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baseball slips into the black hole of fall

Ah, a win for the Phillies! I know many didn't think this World Srries was the big glitzy one they had hoped for, but of the final teams in post season, these were the two I wanted to see. I would normally be drawn to root for the NL team with a few exceptions, so a Phillies win is fine with me. Still, The Rays had quite a run this year and I am happy for them none the less.

Of course with tonight's game I am now at that point where baseball now falls into the black hole of winter, not to return till spring. There is a sadness that comes with that.

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." - Bart Giamatti

On another note, yesterday afternoon I was in a waiting room at the Doctor's office and was drawn by the late afternoon quiet void of activity to scribble out a draft of a poem. There, I mentioned poetry in my blog post. I feel so much better.

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John McCain / Sarah Palin

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Colors Among Us

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.  ~ Albert Camus

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Unconscious Mutterings Week 300

Unconscious Mutterings ~ link
Word & Thought Associations

here's mine:


  • Contemplate :: The Thinker
  • In the house :: Doctor
  • Classical :: Music
  • Quest :: Johnny
  • Best friend :: rare companion
  • 1991 :: Gulf War
  • Never will :: definitive
  • Fool :: bamboozle
  • Unhappy :: Sad
  • Best man :: Best bud
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    The leaves & cold of fall

    Yesterday afternoon I stopped by Boarders Books in northland to see local poet Rebecca Stallard read from her new book of poetry and and sign copies.  The book, And the Birds are Singing is available here.rebstal1          

    This morning I mowed the front lawn. The air was crisp and fallen leaves laced the lawn. Just a preview of more to come.

    This time of year is a mixture of things I like and things I dislike. Usually about October I start feeling the effects of the shorter days and it manifests itself in the form of feeling melancholy, especially in the early hours after rising in the morning. I use a special lamp which has lessened to some degree the impact but the period October through say March can be rough. This is not to say I don't find enjoyment in fall and winter. I prefer the cooler temperatures to hot summer days. I love the multicolored landscapes that we have available to us in Missouri. 

    After the end of the World Series I miss that baseball goes away. Football just doesn't have the same magic that baseball has.

    It seems that fall is ripe for writing. I don't know if it is the stark changes that occur but there is something that seems transformative and this seems to feed the creative process. I seem to often get a boost in my writing output. I don't mean quantity so much as I do that I seem to be happy with more of what I write.

    I've actually given thought to signing up for nawrinomo but I don't know if I can break myself away from poetry for a month to write [insert shudder here] fiction.

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Md. Police Listed Green Group As Terrorist : NPR

    Md. Police Listed Green Group As Terrorist : NPR: "Nation
    Md. Police Listed Green Group As Terrorist
    by Libby Lewis
    Audio for this story will be available at approx. 7:00 p.m. ET
    All Things Considered, October 24, 2008 · Three staff members of a Chesapeake environmental group were surprised to learn they were spied on by Maryland State Police and named as suspected terrorists on a state list. The state police has acknowledged it spied on anti-death penalty and anti-war activists."

    Gee you just never know do you. So many terrorists and so little time.
    We went through this kind of shit during the Nixon years. It gets old.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Three Poetry Events in a Row in Kansas City

    Thursday 10-23 6:30 PM Charles Simic
    Mabee Theater Rockhurst University
    54th Street and Troost Avenue
    Friday 10-24 8:00 PM Dan Jaffe Reading Writers Place

    3607 Pennsylvania

    Saturday 10-25
    Rebecca Stallard
    Reading and book signing
    Boardwalk Shopping Dist.
    Just off N.W. Barry Rd & I -29

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    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    The space inside the poem

    Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships. - Charles Simic

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    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Like they say, if you don't play you can't win.

    Patting myself on the back for submitting work to a venue I've never tried before. More because I submitted than anything else. Last year I submitted a lot of work early in the year and had great success. Then there was a brick wall. as a result, this year I have been lax in sending material out. Not lax in writing, so I'm not feeling like I've been lazy or anything, just not so focused on the administrative side of things and more on the art itself. That is a good thing isn't it? I think so. Still a balance between the two would perhaps be more desirable.

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    Unconscious Mutterings Week 299

    Unconscious Mutterings ~ link

    Word & Thought Associations

    here's mine:

    Magical :: Mystery Tour
    Shrimp :: Cocktail
    Project Runway :: Fashion
    Economy :: Tank
    Porch :: Front
    State of affairs :: dire
    .com :: bubble burst
    Fifty cents :: Rap
    Ripping :: Christmas
    Bull :: Shit

    Correction on Rebecca Stallard's Reading

    Please note that I made an error with respect to the announcement of Rebecca Stallard's Reading this coming Saturday- Is is at Border's but I was thinking Zona Rosa Shopping district and that would be a competitor to Boarders. It is on the opposite side if I-29. It should read Border's Books - just off N.W. Barry Rd and I-29 in the Boardwalk shopping district in Kansas City North on Saturday, Oct. 25th 1-3PM.

    I will make the correction by edit in the original post as well.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    The Series I Wanted!!!

    Well, assuming I couldn't have my Giants in the World Series, I wanted to see the Phillies  and the Rays.  Hot Damn!!!  They finished off Boston tonight.  Great pitching. It's time for fall ball!!!

    CHARLES SIMIC - Thursday - Oct 23 - Kansas City - Rockhurst University 6:00 p.m.

    The Midwest poets series in Kansas City has once again tapped a top flight reader for its reading series. Poet Laureate Charles Simic, Pulitzer Prize winner, SimicMacArthur Fellowship recipient, and winner of the Wallace Stevens Award will be here to read.

    Simic has as I count them, something like 28 books (but that is more fingers than have and I may be off by one or two) of which four were released just this year.

    The event is at Mabee Theater located at 54th Street and Troost Avenue on the Rockhurst Campus in Kansas City, Missouri. Reception at 6:00 p.m. - Reading starts at 6:30 p.m.

    Kansas City - 75,000 turnout for Obama

    Following the record crown Obama drew in St. Louis earlier yesterday, he found Kansas City supporters awaiting his arrival 75,000 strong. Recent Rasmussen poll shows Missouri: Obama 52% McCain 46% an important number given the fact that Missouri the last two elections was a red state.

    Is the spread that wide in Missouri? I wouldn't call Missouri a safe state for Obama, but if the turnout is high in St Louis and Kansas City, both Democratic strongholds, 2008 might just go blue. A video clip of Obama in Kansas City can be seen here.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    Record Crowd in Saint Louis for Obama

    Missouri Republicans must be seeing blue tonight.... Over 100,000 turned out in St. Louis earlier today for an Obama rally. This surpassing the previous record crowd of 75,000. large_obamastlouisIt is on to Kansas City here in the western part of the state where another large crowd is growing for an evening rally.

    Anxious to see what we draw here. I don't expect anything like 100,000 but the crowd has been growing nicely.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Book Reading & Signing Saturday Sat. Oct 25th

    rstallardFront_Cover_262x400Local Kansas City area writer Rebecca Stallard will appear at Boarder's Books - Border's Books - just off N.W. Barry Rd and I-29 in the Boardwalk shopping district in Kansas City North on Saturday, Oct. 25th 1-3PM.

    Stallard will read from her book And the Birds are Singing, a poetic narrative that chronicles four generations of a family, their happiness and desire for laughter against a backdrop of their tragic hereditary plight

    Rebecca Stallard is a member of the K.C. Metro Verse - a local chapter of the Missouri State Poetry Society. Her book is an extraordinary work of ancestry and poetic style.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Unconscious Mutterings Week 298

    Unconscious Mutterings ~ link

    Word & Thought Associations

    here's mine:

    Zoo :: New Zoo Revue
    Neighborhood :: watch
    Salute :: tribute
    Immortality :: uh, poetry :)
    Dominion :: dominate
    Rhonda :: help me
    Parties :: political
    Prince of Darkness :: Joker
    Garbage :: collection
    Standard :: time

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Bohemian Ball

    Saturday night I attended the the Bohemian Ball - a fund raiser to support the operations of the Writers Place in Kansas City. There were a few in costume and many who weren't. The evening got off to a rocky start when writers arrived to find the building dark and candle laden. The power on the entire block had gone out at the most inopportune. The muse in the end smiled upon us and the night ended in the light. Photo_101108_006 Photo_101108_005

    Among the food and drink there were these long flat crackers that were so damn addictive. Picture wine + poets, only more. We just shortened the word cracker by dropping the er.

    At one point a chorus of singers did a ditty to the tune of Abbas' Dancing Queen changed to Writing Queen.

    Lots of silent auction items. People were carrying out tons of spoils at the end of then evening. The only downer beside the initial dark was the Chardonnay running out quickly. I don't do red wine.

    Photo_101108_001 Photo_101108_003

    Some upcoming Writers Place events:

    Sunday, October 19, 2008 -- 7:00 p.m.

    Main Street Rag Poetry Showcase Featuring Tim Pettet and Prometheus Unbound

    Main Street Rag hosts a production of "Imagination, Please" featuring the voices of Sharon Eiker, Shawn Pavey, Timothy Pettet and others.

    Friday, October 24, 2008- 8 p.m.

    Dan Jaffee Reading

    Poet Dan Jaffee will read political and social issue poems for the "First Tuesday in November".

    Political Poetry

    Just in time for the election a new version of the Magnetic Poetry Kit lets you add a bit of political rhetoric to your verse. It comes with 200 nonpartisan words, but you can change that!

    The kit has a suggested retail price of $9.95

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    October Surprise

    Photo_100508_001Saw white pumpkins for the first time recently. I guess you never get too old to be surprised.

    Surprises can be a good thing. But we often see them in a

    negative light. Unpleasant surprises. In politics there is the often dreaded "October Surprise".  You probably never want to see a mobile news team pull up unannounced at your business. The present economic turmoil, while somewhat predictable puts us in uncharted waters that continues of offer unpleasant surprises.  

    I think poetry often embraces surprise. Certainly learning to find the surprise in even the simplest of daily life has been a paramount importance to me as a poet.  I think all art is about a perspective of view. Perhaps poetry more than any art form requires us to present unique perspective. It seems to me people that are most appreciative of poetry are the ones who are able fined the surprise elements in verse, who can read something and have that "Ah ha!" experience, seeing something in a different light.

    I hope your day is filled with surprises... and I hope they are all good ones!

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    Thursday, October 09, 2008

    OMG this is too Funny!


    I must confess my negligence in not stopping by This is All Your Fault of late. I have no excuse. Of course having seen one of Christine Hamm's latest posts a little self inflicted pain is in order after realizing what I'm missing. My First Death: The High Window ~ such image... wow!

    Wednesday, October 08, 2008

    Bohemian Ball 2008


    This Saturday night - 6:00 to 9:00 PM all of the serious local writers in the Kansas City area will be in one place... The Bohemian Ball!

  • Wine and beer
  • Lavish buffet coordinated by Murray Gorman,
    Food and Beverage Director for the Nelson-Atkins Museum
  • Jazz and blues by Brother Iota
  • The opportunity to bid on our 100 Silent Auction items, including
    • Theater tickets - American Heartland, KC Rep, and The Unicorn
    • Gift certificates from popular stores and boutiques
    • Feasts at favorite restaurants
    • Gift baskets for holidays, cat lovers, kids, homes
    • massage, yoga , language lessons, creativity coaching, computer repair
    • One-on one sessions with some of Kansas City's best writers

    Proceeds from The Bohemian Ball support The Writers Place’s community literary programs, readings, and workshops.

  • Sunday, October 05, 2008

    Unconscious Mutterings Week 297

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    Unconscious Mutterings ~ link
    Word & Thought Associations

    here's mine:

  • Insight ::  view
  • Irksome :: annoyance
  • Maybe :: possible
  • Confirmation :: Bishop
  • Bib :: overalls
  • Stop! :: sign
  • Lobster :: red
  • Boys :: choir
  • Fire away :: militia
  • Give up :: white flag
  • don't bother being poetical

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    A true poet does not bother to be poetical.  Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.  ~Jean Cocteau

    Palin's Campaign Continues Disturbing Aspects

    The polls have widened and the days till the election are fleeting. This morning I noticed further indication in the desperation of the McCain campaign as they have seen Sarah Palin out to deliver messages of unsubstantiated fear. Fear is what people often turn to when things are not going well in a campaign. Fear and innuendo becomes the hallmark of political desperation. 

    According to Reuters news service, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin Palin told of supporters at a rally in Carson, California that, "There is a time when it's necessary to take the gloves off and that time is right now." Pain went on to a accuse Obama of "palling around with terrorists." The remarks were referencing a New York Times story referencing Bill Ayers, a former Vietnam War-era militant that served on a Charity Board along with Obama.  The story went on to conclude that Ayers, now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Obama were not close.

    On the heels of the Katie Couric interview in which Palin was asked what she relied on to informs her she relayed that she read magazines and newspapers. When Couric inquired what publications, Palin offered not a single name.  At the Carson rally she noted, "There has been a lot of interest in what I read, and what I read lately well, was reading my copy of today’s New York Times... OK, now I get to bring this up not to pick a fight, but it was there in the New York Times, so we're gonna talk about it."

    It would appear that either Palin is intentionally misrepresenting the story, or she is skimming articles and has a comprehension issue. If it is the latter, I'm not attempting to suggest that Palin is a moron or anything, as I would expect her schedule these days is hectic and required a good deal of multi tasking. So if it the that latter, than she is perhaps not quite up to the riggers of the job. If in fact it is not the latter, it must be considered misrepresentation of this story to interject fear into the campaign in the final weeks. Saying there is a Friendship between Obama and Terrorists gets big headlines. The McCain campaign is wrong to suggest it.  Be it lies or lack of competence. As evidenced by the stakes in this election this country can ill afford a President and Vice President of either stature.

    Saturday, October 04, 2008

    Letting Go (part two)

    As a follow up to my initial "Letting Go" post, I've continued to contemplate the Andre Malraux quotation about what profound art requires. Revisiting the whole idea of abandonment of the control of certain powers (pertaining to art) when writing, I'm reminded of a common topic of discussion which often centers around poetry of the Beat era. There has been a school of through that many of the beat writers relied heavily upon their initial written inspiration. That a higher value seemed to be placed upon the minds first reflections and some writers were hesitant to mess much with original words committed to paper.

    I cannot subscribe to the idea that such writing is never enhanced by revision, but I will agree that a mind that allows a truly uninhibited freedom to explore is a desirable foundation from which to begin any poetry.

    The Spanish Poet Federico García Lora championed the idea that great art depended upon a vivid awareness of death,  and an acknowledgment of the limitations of reason. Certainly one can draw distinct comparison between what Lora espoused and the later argument made by Andre Malraux and quoted in part one of this blog post.

    I'm wanting to to find that unfettered awareness that sometimes can be hidden beneath the surface.  I want to write without self censorship and then; I want to be able to work to shape this rough language into the best work while retaining the strength and power of what originally came to me.

    Friday, October 03, 2008

    Victoria Chang Brings Her Poetry to Kansas City


    In a reading before an appreciative crowd at the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, Thursday night, California poet Victoria Chang shared poems from Her books, Circle and Salvinia Molesta.

    Chang was the lead off guest of Park University's 2008-2009 Ethnic Voices Poetry Series. Her voice often on the dark side but not disparagingly so, offers a credible balance to a whole host of story lines including that of family history, the business world, relationships and more. While soft spoken, Victoria is quite accomplished with empowering words to their fullest.

    It was another excellent Library Poetry Reading experience. The Central Branch Library has established quite a reputation now for poetry readings. The only downer for the night was the local bookseller Rainy Day Books which was advertised as being present was a no show. Instead a small handful of Victoria's book were swooped up right away and many wanting autographed copies were left in the cold.

    And I still made it home in time for the debate. Wahoo!

    Wednesday, October 01, 2008

    Visiting My Journal

    Bumper Sticker seen tonight on car in Target parking lot:  Spiritual people inspire me / Religious people scare me.

    Few Journal Bits this week:

    notes to self....

    topics to inspire future poetry

    • Grandma fishing at Muscle Fork
    • the act of shaving
    • peanut shells on the floor
    • geese on the ball field
    • pill routine

    polite conversation drizzled us/two scoops of vanilla ice cream, side by side with chocolate syrup

    flies behaving badly in a seedy joint

    I should like to have been there./Been somewhere emotion ruled/even if to have been speechless/but in the body./To witness a pair of long exposed legs/and feel some kind of movement.//

    the stakes in the garden lean from the westerly fall winds