Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Confession Tuesday - Stuffed Edition

Quickly…. I’ve much to do so let’s get started.

Dear Reader-

It’s been one week, one turkey, one Monday Night Football and one 4 day break from the office since my last confession.

I confess that I did not want to get up this morning in spite of the fact that I slept like a log last night. When I awoke the hear dog bladders calling and looked at the clock I wanted to stuff my head under the pillow and shut it all off. I didn’t though. There was the whole bladder thing and besides they start to get ravenous this time of morning.

It’s the time of year at the office when they start cranking up the heat before we arrive. I confess that I cannot understand why they think it is any more comfortable to bake in to bake in the office then be cold. This therefore is the time of year that I must go into the office and issue my “cranky” warning. I confess it is true that as the heat goes up, I’m a far less happy camper. At least I give disclosure.

I confess to cheating on baseball last night. I met my son and others at a bar to watch the 49ers football game. My Arizona daughter was at the game with her boyfriend and I confess to “Text-Trash –Talk” as the 49ers never had to look back in the game. Towards the end I asked them if they were having a good time which I suppose is a little like asking, “Other then that Mrs. Lincoln how did you like the play?”

So how was your week? Hope this next one is exceptional!

Thoughts on Poets #3

Women make us poets, children make us philosophers. ~ Malcolm De Chazal

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thoughts on Poets #2

We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones
who write in words. ~  John Fowles

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture

First - Credit to Suzanne Frischkorn who posted this - which is where I originally found it. I love Handel's Messiah and in particular the Hallelujah Chorus. Thanks Suzanne for making my day!

Hard Ground - by Tom Waits - Poetry from the street

Tom Waits is an American singer-songwriter and composer.  I've not really been personally familiar with him but do recognize some of is material done by other big name artists - "Jersey Girl", performed by Bruce Springsteen and "Downtown Train", performed by Rod Stewart are examples. I understand that he has somewhat of a cult following  himself and those who know his songs frequently find them to be atmospheric portrayals of dark, often seedy characters and places. Maybe then it should not come a a surprise that Waits has announced the release of 'Hard Ground,' a collaborative book that combines his poetry with photographer Michael O'Brien's images of the homeless.

The idea of the book, is modeled after 1941's 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men' -- a collaboration between poet James Agee and photographer Walker Evans, whose shots of Depression-era farmers were incorporated with the poetry.

This book is due out in March.

Gratitude Journal - Post Thanksgiving

I do suppose it is a good time to indulge in gratitude acknowledgement:

  • Presently I'm thankful Barry is looking better (as in his head seems less tilted) 
  • I'm thankful for occasional messages from Arizona daughter even if they come after midnight.
  • I'm thankful for Turkey wings - and the wonderful person who salvaged the wing for me. **heart you**
  • Thankful for time with son and KC daughter and wife on thanks giving day.
  • Thankful for time with wife - even watching TV together late nights.
  • Thankful gas prices came back down (even if temporally).
  • For egg bagels.
  • For Swiss cheese.
  • For new slacks.
  • For poems to read.
  • For poems to listen to (Whale Sound).
  • For poems in the mind and finding their way to the page.
  • For the San Francisco Giants Winning the World Series (in my lifetime) and maybe it can happen yet again!
  • For Eco-friendly light bulbs.
  • For Klaus walking even if wobbly.
  • Cool days - warm hearts.
  • Journaling. 
  • Friends.
  • Laughter.
  • Poets who help other poets.
  • Work.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Magpie Tales 42

The Cup

Tell me again its history
the metal muscle – the fortitude
the way it survived
crossing the Atlantic
stayed within the family
through those early years
when famine forced much sacrifice
and trading value for sustenance.

Tell me how it was passed on
father to son to grandchildren
and when the male linage legged
it became the daughter
bringing it forward
and how it survived into marriage
and nurtured still at great cost.

How it paused briefly
in Independence, Missouri
and then journeyed
on west— surviving
Indian territory, hard times
again on the trail when other things
were set aside – at immense emotional price.

Show me the moth eaten velvet beg
that clung to it when you found it
packed among grandfather’s furnishings
where you plucked it free
before the estate sale.

And remind me when it is my turn
to treasure it—

in the time honored tradition

2010© Michael A. Wells

Magpie Tales

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being Made Captive

"Sometimes the briefest moments capture us, force us to take them in, and demand that we live the rest of our lives in reference to them."  — Lucy Grealy from Autobiography of a Face

Confession Tuesday

Dear Reader... It's been a week since my last confession.  Come along and we'll get down to the crazy details.

  • This past week I attended a Reading.  I usually try and shoot a picture or two at readings in order do a post on my blog.  I thought about shooting pictures at this one but they announced at the beginning that pictures were not to be taken. Not during the reading, not at the book signing or at the reception. I was shocked because I don't every recall this in the past.  I did in fact refrain from shooting pictures but I did think about it so dose that make me a sinner or a near sinner? The whole thing is strange because I've taken photos at this event in the past and there never seemed to be a problem.
  • My efforts to settle into more of a regular routine for my writing too a back seat yesterday to a trip to the grocer for a turkey. Then delayed again while I spent time with my wife watching some of our favorite TV. Finally I settled in to write after she fell asleep and then my Arizona daughter - looking for some one to chat with texted me. It was very late and I don't get a lot of one on one time talking of texting with her so I again put my journal and pen aside.  When Meg was all texted out, I picked up my journal and got down to work. A very late session, but it turned out to be a very good one.
That's it for this week.  Everyone have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Recording poetic particals

It seems that each time I visit Terresa Wellborn's blog I am blown away by something she has written, some picture, some great quote or particle of truth or sometimes it's a combination of these. This morning was no exception.

Today it was a quote from the French novelist Gustave Flaubert - "There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it."

This quote tends to give credence to the value of notations in a journal of interesting things that come your way each day. It is from these particles that the gems, the precious molecules of poetic matter come. To let them pass without record surely means many are lost and never committed to use.

Anyway, thanks to Terresa I am reminded the value of notations of some life's small wonders.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Magpie Tales 41

Eleventh Hour

The eleventh hour
a repudiation of the one before.
Older, wiser, clutched the present
staking claim to so much more
then any earlier period of history.

Still this cannot be self contained.
Time is a currency that is devalued
with each passing moment.

The tarnished silver replaced and the
cycle continues. Each click of a second
the spin, an empty chamber of a gun.
–a misfire, misspoken pronouncement;
the anti-matter.

2010© Michael A. Wells

Friday, November 19, 2010


Sadly one Republican Senator is is again playing games with important legislation.  This time it is Senator Jon Kyl and he is holding up a vote on passage of the arms control treaty between the United States and Russia. 

The new START TREATY  is important and failing to act at this time to ratify the treaty could risk disrupting relations with Russia and the international coalition that opposes Iran’s nuclear program.

Call Senator Kyl's office and tell him you want the Senate to act on the Arms Control Treaty NOW!  Tell his office you are tired of one Republican Senator holding up important votes!

Senator Kyl's office numbers are listed below

Phoenix (602) 840-1891

Tucson (520) 575-8633

Washington (202) 224-4521

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Confession Tuesday

Dear reader - it's Tuesday and time for me to head to the confessional.

I confess it's been too long since I posted anything.  I guess it was Thursday and that seems like an eternity ago.  As I'm pretty sure that I indicated earlier that I was sick last week - it was a very draining week for me and it was accompanied by the additional drama of car problems that resulted in a new starter.

I'm much better today. Not 100% but probably something above 75% which is way improved over just a couple days ago.

I've been reassessing my writing.  Thinking about the best times to write. Tinkering with things and trying to settle in on a process / routine that I will commit to at least for a while and assess how it fits.
I confess that last week my writing output was off but I did pull together one draft that I think has promise. I feel it understandable that I let my physical condition impact my work, but there seemed a lot of drama in my life during the week and I let a lot of frustration bottle up. I confess this is an enemy of mine and one I can do without.

Here's to a great week for everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Signs Tell People Not to Drink from Toilet

Signs Tell People Not to Drink from Toilet

Chandler, Arizona City Hall has signs warning patrons not to drink from the toilets and urinals - what's wrong with this picture?

It's a new state of the art building with lots Eco emphasis. The new building and all its features will be dedicated on Monday before the first City Council meeting there. Free refreshments and entertainment from 5 to 7 p.m. will proceed the formal session. Presumably the refreshments will not come from the toilet.

Read more:

Magpie Tales 40

The Medallion

The mystery may be better
than truth.     Her lips wore
the zig-zag stitches, secrets

untold. Wednesday nights
she took a eerie bronzen medallion
from a brushed velvet box
hung it about her neck and left
for a weekly women's social.

Butter and cucumber sandwiches,
crumpets, Egyptian Licorice Tea,
Moroccan Orange Spice,
and Redbush Chai.

Those Wednesday nights
belonged to her alone.
Dad never questioned

but we talked. We wondered
if they met to sharpen their knives
over shared husband stories

or maybe their bonds
were physical - touching on
what was then taboo to speak.

©2010 – Michael A. Wells – all rights reserved


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Save The Words!

If you are a lover of words... this post is for you!

My wife sent me this link to a NPR story about saving dying words.   An Intellectually Locupletative Promotion: A Site Trying To Save Dying Words    or go directly to  the site itself:  Save The Words.

Confession Tuesday A Day Late

Dear Reader - forgive me for I have sinned.

I confess that I am late and really don't want to be writing this. Monday night I became sick and yesterday was very non functional. I will spare you the gritty details but it was exhausting and I was not on my computer at all yesterday.

I went into the office this morning only because I had a client coming at 10AM and did not want them to have to reschedule. Besides, my illness was not something I was going to transmit to others. Appointment finished, I returned home.

I confess I am still pretty weak and disinterested in doing anything though I did force myself to do my writing session just before this post. Seeing as how I didn't meet my commitment yesterday.

My mind can't even seem to focus on much of the past week so I'm not really a very good historian of my possible failings. I'm sure they must exist. I plan to do better next week!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I've been thinking and then I saw this...

Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing - soften their roughest edges - to accommodate themselves toward a group response.  - Mary Oliver

Without trying to put words in Mary Oliver's mouth, I saw this quote and it resonated with some thoughts that have been running through my mind lately.

There is this thing about writing poetry in such a way that it resonates universally. Some feel the more universal the better the work.  But such accommodation of the masses seems to defy my most fundamental view of art. If it's so universal that everyone sees it without any exercising the limits of their creative thought, have we not created something so simple, so basic that it lacks uniqueness and could therefore be reproduced by any number of people?

And is not art initially about the image the artist sees? And if it is not so universal, then it challenges others to find their own view. 

With this, I'm off to bed.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

My Bi-Annual Dig on DST

Mood:  I'm here aren't I
Listening to:  Forever by Kenny Loggins just ended Making Love out of Nothing at All by Air Supply just started.
Note to those who dislike Daylight Savings time as much as I do.... 

A proposed federal law calling for Russia to end its daylight saving practice has been brought to the State Duma and is now being discussed at a regional level. Daylight saving time (DST) may no longer be used in Russia in the future if this proposed law is approved.

Furthermore, the proposal’s summary raises the issue of people’s biorhythms being distorted because of DST, and that Russia had enough energy savings without needing DST. It was discussed that the elderly and children struggled with biological clock changes associated with DST.

Interesting information on health risks.

Good Lord - Russia is looking more progressive on this then we are.

Ok, enough on this...

Was up early this morning writing - I've been exploring my optimum writing times.
I'll talk more about this in the near future.

Lots left to do today. Need to shower and get started.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Crawling out of skin and other acts of strangeness.

Went for an exercise walk and ran across this snake skin left behind. I know there is a poem there somewhere.

Am I lame or what?  I could not get a block before I stumbled and fell. So now I feel invigorated but with sore knees. Geez!

Strangest thing... my great grandfather who died in 1968 has crept into two pieces I've written in less then 24 hours.  Very strange karma or something.

Magpie Tales 39

Making Time

A meager urge to procrastinate
rests below the surface-

I can look the other way
scratch in the gravel
and miss a good part of the day

if I'm lucky, no.
It's like a crime
that never pays.

My great grandfather
in his old age-
the hardening
of arteries years,
would move his pocket watch
backwards or forward
to suit himself.

He could make of time
what he wanted.

Few of us
have that luxury.

2010 © Michael A. Wells – all rights reserved

Magpie Tales 39

Friday, November 05, 2010

Kanas City area Poet is the Poetry Daily contibutor for Friday

Was reading Poetry Daily tonight and there was Michelle Boisseau!  Congratulations!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Poetry v. Prose

While I've had non-poetry work published, I don't devote much writing time to anything except poetry.  When I saw a post by Susan Rich titled Poetry v. Prose: Lovers or Fighters?  I was captivated by the following:

A poem that stays on my computer I can still love, has taught me something, can still be relevant to my writing life. However, an essay that stays on my computer waiting for her dance card to be filled feels entirely different.

Susan offers some interesting perspectives on what poetry means to her. I like reasoning.

Tackling Poems You Think You Love

Often in my earlier writing I would find that I wrote something that had promise but on the whole was clumsy or lacking in any lyrical quality or maybe just pretencions. Very rookie mistakes for any poets. It became a common problem to really rework these pieces. Cosmetic shifts here and there but you become so married to a particular aspect of the poem that you find you simply cannot go beyond a certain point.

Last night I pulled out one such poem and began reworking it. I spent over an hour on it and the real victory was that I was willing to tackle it at all. This morning I'm thinking that while it is much improved, I'd like to really take it apart some more and see if I can take it some other direction altogether, and what that might look like.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Confession Tuesday - I voted edition

Dear Reader:

I confess I have returned from the polls where I cast my vote for candidates and propositions, amendments and and ballot initiatives.
It was a long ballet this year and I frankly am glad the election is over. I can tell you that I am not expecting to be pleased with many of the outcomes - unless I'm very surprised. 

I am not pleased with the tone of this election and it is very disheartening that we've seen the retread ideas of Carl Rove repackaged and propagated in advertising ad-nausea. This, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling earlier that will have long lasting repercussions.  But I don't want to spend my whole confession on the election. I have other things to confess today.

I confess that I believed in the San Francisco Giants down the stretch of the season when many thought it a half-baked idea that the ragtag team assembled this season could win the World Series.   And of course, the did!

I'd like 5 minutes to explain to Paul Siegfried why he should never be allowed to supervise anyone in a workplace. I must confess suddenly the McDonald's brand name leaves a very bad taste in the mouth.

One of the best finds on the Internet in October was Whale Sound. I confess that I am addicted to Nic Sebastian recordings of poems. She has a wonderful reading voice.

As we move into November I confess I have a anxiousness about the last two months of this year and my personal perception of my writing for the year. I have this feeling that I must salvage the year in these last two months. Pretty heavy load to be carrying - I'm aware, but I feel I need to finish strong and begin the next year with momentum. Sort of trying to find my mojo I guess.