Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banned Book Week - Thought for the day

What progress we are making.  In the Middle Ages they would have burned me.  Now they are content with burning my books.  ~Sigmund Freud, 1933

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Confession Tuesday

I'm tired as I shuffle into the confessional tonight. 

Dear reader~

This seemed to be an exceedingly long day and I'm ready to get my confessions over with.

It's been one week since my last confession and it has been another week since I last submitted any work to the publishing world. Too many weeks I confess. So many that I am ashamed to offer a number so I won't.  It's not that I haven't been writing - just not submitting lately.

I also have to confess that I have become as scarce within the local poetry community as an ashtray in a hospital. Yes, I need to get out more often. I don't think I've read in public since April. Saying that sound worse. Ugh~

I've already mentioned in my blog this week that when I received my copy of Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room straight through without stopping when it arrived in the mail Saturday. I did not however mention just how rare this is for me. Because I have adult ADD I confess that it would be quite rare for me to do this because staying with a book that long without breaks can be quite frustrating at times.

I had Hamburger Helper Lasagna for dinner. I confess that I had been craving this for weeks. I don't think I've eaten it in years but I guess I had a bout of box dinner nostalgia.  I confess that it was "all that!"

Hope everyone has a great week. Till next Tuesday, I'm all confessed out.

Another Quote for Banned Book Week

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.  For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.  ~John F. Kennedy

120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature        You Can't Read This!: Why Books Get Banned (Pop Culture Revolutions)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Mentions

A few things in no particular order of importance...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quiet Pleased - Letters From The Emily Dickinson Room came in the mail.

My copy of Letters From The Emily Dickinson Room arrived in the mail.

I cannot be disturbed!

Doggie Angst

After a day of behaving beautifully while men were trimming the maples in our back yard for about 4-1/2 hours, in early evening I left my journal on the bed and went out back with my wife for maybe 15 minutes. Upon return, Mo had decided to add a few non-verbal thoughts to my journal.  Fortunately he was kind to the leather and just worked on a couple of pages. I suppose he was expressing himself so how angry can I be. He just needs to have his own journal for the future. Mine is not meant to be a collaborative venture.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Magpie Tales 33

The Other Woman

I stare into the mirror
at the dressing table.
Another woman looks

a young woman
amazingly foreign
to the ordinary geography
of my world;

black dress, string of pearls,
she draws her inner wrists
to her face, fair in the silver tone

gently the essence of rose
regal and voluminous
laced in lilac and vanilla
rises as she fills her chest.

How different
from the aroma
of tomato sauce
crowed out by basil,
garlic and pepperoni
amid the musty smell
of dishes from the morning
mingling in the sink with those
the night before—

2010© Michael A. Wells - all rights reserved

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Confession Tuesday - The simple and the complex edition

If you've come for the weekly confession, you're just in time. Come along...

Dear Reader,

It's been one week since my last confession and I have several things to confess this morning.

I confess that I remain in awe of the things in life that are simple and yet complex. A simple sunrise this morning (pictured here) greeted me. The layers of cloud cover with openings of sky soft pinks and orange and brilliant amber.

I confess that I am amazed that we (that I) can see with my own eyes things as spectacular as a sunrise like this. That these brown eyes of mine can take it all in and that somehow my mind processes all this and that I can in fact distinguish this as something of beauty.

I too confess that I am so impressed that we (people) can actually communicate such abstract things as beauty and hope and love and fear and desire and all these things that we take for granted as though they just happen and there is nothing complicated about the process of people coming to understand words that define such concepts.

Sure, I realize there are miraculous things that are happening every day in science.  But wow, you don't have to be looking through a microscope, a telescope, examining the contents of test tubes and petri dishes. There is awesomeness enough all around us if we just stop and take a deep breath and take it all in.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Magpie Tales 32


A stingy creation of man

we are cursed
by its gritty currency
that will not be told
to sit still or held
but sifts through the fingers
and is lost in yesterday
and the days before
until reduced to memories
or specks of sand
one indistinguishable
moment from the other.

© 2010 Michael A. Wells

Magpie Tales 32

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poetry Books and Jelly Bellies

Tools of the trade at a poetry gathering.

Confession Tuesday

Tuesday again...  I'm off to the confessional... hurry along.

Dear Reader-

It's been a week since my last confession and I'm here before you with much to lay out on the table.

Last night Monday Night Football came to Kansas City. It's another sign that the baseball season is on the way out.  I've never been a big football fan. It's baseball that has my heart. A number of years ago I was into the 49ers Football when Montana was quarterback and before that Minnesota when Tarkington was QB but never have I felt about football the way I do baseball. I confess that I often get cranky about it encroaching on the last weeks of baseball.  And while I am feeling that way right this moment, my son texted me a few weeks ago and told me to keep the date open of the Chiefs-49ers game because he had tickets for us. Ok, I have to confess right here in front of the Gods  of the the ball diamond I'm excited about a 49ers game with my son.  I'm still thinking football has no business sharing the limelight with baseball as the season climaxes in the fall classic. I confess this leaves me feeling schizophrenic.

Tonight I attended a poetry group meeting of some friends. I was pretty taxed after work and a part of me just wanted to skip it but I confess it was nice reading poems and doing some writing from a prompt.
I shared a poem each by Marie Howe and Susan Rich. Also some of my own writing.

One of my writing friends named Pat has a book that has a page to read a day. She finds it especially uplifting and each day writes her own thoughts and observations in the margins, and these sometimes turn into poems. Do any of us write in margins she inquired? I confess to marginal writing on occasion.

Well, I'd like to confess to something that raised a few eyebrows  or started some gossip but alas, you just got all the juice for the week. Until next time, thanks for listening.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Love this quote

Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we? ~Terri Guillemets

Magpie Tales 31

I Saw

Framed within
weathered window panes
in the late afternoon
when shadows and light
toy with us—

filtered through a grotto
of trees reflected in glass;
I saw a veiled mother
awash in Kodachrome
as I imagined she might
appear to three children.

© 2010 Michael A. Wells
Magpie Tales 31

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Examining the Fear Factor

Reading Susan Rick's recent post with excerpt from her interview struck me because of her wealth of  personal experience and  her own cultural background. What she says on this subject is profoundly significant.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Confession Tuesday - Troubled by posts edition

My calendar says today is Tuesday but my body thinks it is Monday. I suppose this should be a good thing because it means the next weekend is a day closer but in reality it probably means that come Thursday or Friday it will seem like the week is in s-l-o-w  m-o-t-i-o-n. Since it is none the less Tuesday, let’s head to the confessional.

Dear reader-

I have a confession to make. Even as this blog passes its seven year anniversary, and the main theme of it is poetry, I have difficulty posting poetry on it. I know that sounds crazy but let me explain.

Sometimes I’ve posted snippets from my journal and occasionally they are a line or two that I really like (feel comfortable with) but I don’t often post poems that I believe are my best work. So I confess that readers are often short changed (hanging my head in shame) because the better stuff that I write is held back to be sent off as submissions to this journal and that journal. Maybe in reading some of my writing here you’ve already thought, “boy, is this the best he can do?” Anyway, aside from things already published elsewhere first, I’ve probably been pretty selective in what I’ve posted. This makes me feel disingenuous, and every once and a while it really bothers me that I am feeling such.

I suspect there are others who do the same, but I have no way of knowing this for sure. Of is they do, that they too are troubled by this.

I suppose I should be putting my best foot forward in everything I write and post. I should take the position that if I would not submit this poem to a journal it should not go on this blog post. But of course what would that leave me to sending out very little or I’d have to be a lot more prolific with dazzling material. You see the dilemma.

The Magpie posts that I have started doing may be a way of feeling better about this. I say that because if I write something from a Magpie Tales prompt then I already have decided it goes on the blog. These pieces are not ever planned to become submittable material but in creating them I always hope to hit upon something that would work – should work and hopefully does work well. I don’t know for sure if over time these will appear to me to ease what I described as above and that I will feel more straightforward about my writing I expose on the blog, but I can hope.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Thought for the week ahead...

It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly.  - C. J. Cherryh

Speak Out Against Hate

There is a part of me that hesitates to mention this because I'm reluctant to want to give theses people any more publicity than they have already garnered.  This reluctance however is overridden because of the insanity displayed by the actions of these few individuals and the degree to which their actions incite and foster misinformation and hatred in this country.  It would seem that we are not exactly in short supply of ignorance these days and I believe ignorance is a dangerous thing.

The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla. has called for a 'Burn the Koran Day.' It says the burnings will be held on church grounds "in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam.

It seems incredible that persons professing to be Christians would demonstrate such a hateful act considering:
  • A fundamental precept of the Christian faith is to love not hate your neighbor.
  • That there are 9-11 families that have openly asked that this day not be politicized.
  • That there are Muslims that were also killed in 9-11. Both victims in the Twin Towers and first responders.
  • They surely would not appreciate someone else hosting a massive Bible burning day.
  • The the actions do not foster peace and understanding but rather hate and more ignorance and revenge.
  • This is one more act that causes persons around the world to view Americans in a negative light.
I suspect the Church believes in what they are doing but there are perhaps other motives. They sell T-shirts at $20 a pop as wells as other items. The city of Gainsville has denied them a permit but they plan to go ahead.

These actions seeks to cloak all of the Islam religion in the actions of a few terrorists on 9-11.  This would be like saying all Catholics, Boy Scout leaders and Christians are child molesters because some of those connected with their organizations were.  Certainly the actions of  The Dove World Outreach Center have the potential to give others utilizing the same narrow view to think the same about all Christians or all Americans.

Americans of all faith and even non-believers need to speak up on this. Public Officials need to forcefully reject this notion that there is some righteous end in this kind of thinking and such actions.  To the extent we have already seen across this country violence and vandalism in isolated instances associated with this kind of behavior it is clear that there are those among us that can easily be persuaded to such actions, and the likes of Pastor Terry Jones are simply a can of gasoline looking for a fire.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Magpie Tales 30

[two writes this week]

One Bite

All alone
on the kitchen table
red, freckled
and blemished;
awaiting a suitor
who could appreciate
my inner beauty—

and you came,
took one bite
and left.

First Bite

A violent sound
a chunk of an iceberg
splitting off the core
and falling away—

a starburst of juice
cascades over and about
the gums; roll to the tongue
exploding in flavor.

This is no ordinary apple;
one in season,
ripe with intensity
to awaken.

© 2010 Michael A. Wells

Magpie Tales 30

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Round The Net

I've struggled yesterday and today to write a post prompted by Magpie 30.  Right now I'm in from mowing our back yard and recouperating before I tackle the front. I thought I'd post a few poetry related links while I'm resting.

She delt with the uncertainty of fate of family and friends in Haiti after a massive earthquake with poetry.

The poet Diane Lockwood has provided a list of online Journals that she has given a thumbs up to. Credit to Kristin Berkey Abbott for her post that lead me there.

Banned Book Week is coming up.

At 26, I'm part of a generation raised on gadgets, but actual books are something I just refuse to give up story at SALON

Gratitude Journal

  • The touch of a hand to my arm or shoulder in bed at night or early morning.
  • Quick Trip when you need a diet coke.
  • Knowing the Padres lose on nights the when the Giants don't win so  they lose no ground in the standings.
  • Toilet paper in the utility closet when the spool is empty.
  • Friday Night TV with Cathy.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Head Start on Labor Day Weekend

It was take it or lose it time for vacation so I took a vacation day.  This afternoon I did a  double platelet donation at the blood center, came home, did some cleaning and cooked dinner for my sweetheart! Stuffed Peppers.

My amusement for the day come from the following quote:
That's the way it is with poetry: When it is incomprehensible it seems profound, and when you understand it, it is only ridiculous. -Galway Kinnell