Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Magpie Tales 71 - Poem: String Bikinis

String Bikinis

pantylines air brushed
into the night
blush Clorox bright

2011 © Michael A. Wells

Magpie Tales 71

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Confesson Tuesday - Size Matters Edition

Dear Reader:

It's been one week, one more anniversary, a blissful piece of Italian Wedding Cake and finally watermelon since my last confession.

Growing up and visiting my grandparents often in the green hills of north central Missouri I tasted some of the best watermelon. I confess a weakness for watermelon that has not diminished as the years have passed. But, I'm telling you that last year something happened to all the watermelons that made it to our stores.  Evidently some disease stunted their growth. Further, their price was inverted to their size.
It's been the same this year.

We actually now have bought two that were on sale at HyVee and for their sale price and size I'd say the two were almost a good fit.  Now I confess these two melons were to die for.

So last night I'm back at HyVee but the price is back to $7 bucks for a melon that might be good for three servings. I kid you not!  I passed on them. Where are all the normal melons?


My Facebook Writer/Poet page is stalled three "Likes" from becoming an official page.  I confess that you can make this poet happy by going here and "Like" the page if you have not already.  If you already did....  Thank you - Thank you!

That's it for this week...thanks for stopping by - may all your watermelons be big, juicy, and withing your budget!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Whole Poem Experiance or the Poetics of Location

Some recent chatter about the "multi delivery system" of poetry has me thinking not only about the topic but broadening the spectrum even more. I mean I guess I never thought a lot about the idea of the poetic experience very much until the conversation.  I mean even before the advent of a multi delivery approach to poetry there were varying delivery systems.

Of course newer on the scene is the e-reader but we sometimes read individual poems in a journal and later find them in a published manuscript by the author. Or we may find them published in an anthology. How do I feel about the impact on the source of the poem I'm reading? 

Another question that could be asked is how much credibility, artistry, etc. can be transferred to a poem by where it is found. What can such transfer if any add or detract from the overall experience of the poem. 

Examples could be  Filter Literary Journal - see here and here.  Such craftsmanship and individual artistry are something a traditional publisher doesn't match.  Then of course there is the difference between a very well established Journal like Paris Review, Missouri Review, Rattle as opposed to say a new Journal or one one to three years old.  Who else in in that same Journal, can that make a difference? Reading a poem in Norton's Anthology surely must seem antiseptic compared a Journal or The New Yorker. Then there is a well strung together manuscript or one of those same poems in a book of the author's collected works 1972-1998 surely this experiance is different.

I'm guessing that in reading a poem as well as my observation of many thhings, I am enfluenced by the sideshows more then I think. With this in mind, the whole discussion that Nic Sebastian has sparked is not a new issue, just a different version of the one above. One that I've never really explored till now.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hey Dad.... let's go for a walk?

The humidity is pretty overwhelming here today. Barry and I went for a walk a while ago and I was jealous of the people at the Disk Golf course playing. I've never seen so many in spite of the fact that it's I'm a killer day to go walking up some of those greens. Still, I haven't played for a while and I had been thinking about it several weeks ago so of course it brings it back to the forefront of my mind. 

I've been doing some office work I brought home and was ready to take a break and write some, but the idea of some exercise won over. I do need to write after while.

Kudos to Kelli Agodon for yet another award for her book Letters from The Emily Dickinson Room. I knew when I read this book that it was no ordinary book of poetry.

This is just a quickie - I've got to pick up my wife. I have several other things to blog about today but they will have to wait till later.

My Facebook Poet's Page

This week I set up a separate Facebook Writer's page. I say separate because it differs from regular Facebook format because it is intended for individuals who are especially interested in poetry in general and what I'm up to . Announcements about readings, newly published items, recommendations of other poets and books I think are worthy of mention.  If this sounds like information you'd like me to share with you then by visiting the page and clicking on the LIKE button you will there be kept abreast of  my world of poetry.  You must have a Facebook account to do this.  You can make this poet a happy poet by going here and clicking on the "like" this page button. 

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Confession Tuesday - Saint Monica of the Console Edition

It's that time again. Yes, it's been a week since my last confession. A week in which I laughed at Father's lame jokes during Mass, cleaned the dog-do off my wife's tennis shoes and swore life was too short to let other people's crap bring me down, and then I promptly let it. Now for the record, the crap I'm referring to was not what I scraped off my wife's shoes. Now to the confessional....

Dear Reader:

I confess that I'm worn slick by the drama of others. I've looked for ways to shake the negative drama dust off me but it seems to blow back with the wind. It gets all over other people, even people in our household, people you love just carry in (not wanting too) it just comes in on their shoes, in their hair, on their shoulders like it were dandruff. There is no shampoo for it, and this stuff ain't magic glitter!

And who swiped my creativity? I confess I've gone through a week of such lousy writing that this morning I wanted to post lost posters on poles asking if anyone has seen my missing creativity. I confess that I suspect a linkage between the drama dust and the absence of my creativity. It may also have been responsible for burnt corn dogs and the shocking escalation in grocery prices at Hy-Vee.

None of these things I've confessed are personal failings mind you, but I have another confession. The confession of a sneaky poet, a conniving poet, but a well meaning poet just the same. There is no one in my family who shares my appreciation or love of poetry. I'm not sure any of them suffer from metrophobia, that's quite severe, but they are clearly lacking the poetry DNA in their blood.

So this morning as we were driving into the city for work I carried out to the car my copy of Saint Monica (chapbook by Mary Biddinger) and strategically placed it on the faux turtle shell console between my place on the driver’s side and the passenger seat that would soon be occupied by my wife. I've done this before... a sneaky way of putting poetry out there within her reach. This time, I stopped at Quick Trip for my 52oz Diet Coke (what else?) and upon returning to the car, she was caught! Red handed! There she was reading, Saint Monica! She had finished one poem.... Saint Monica's Sweet Sixteen. I'm not sure but she may be scared.

Tomorrow is our 37th wedding anniversary. I confess I’d like a do over. The deal is I want all the same players for the repeat 37 years. Same awesome woman… the same children.  I just want to relive those years again with them!

That’s it for today. Until next week, shake off all the negative dust!

Monday, June 20, 2011


"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters
 who I remember he was."   — Anne Sexton

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Confession Tuesday - Where is my book edition?

It's been one crazy fantasy baseball week since my last confession. My team worked it's was to 4th place briefly and tumbled back to 8th place out of 12 teams.

Dear Reader-

Patience is not one of  my strong points. Oh I can be patient about some things... actually many things, but never when I've ordered a book.

It's one of the reasons I often order from Amazon. They tend to get be relatively quick to ship. I guess I  had a soft spot and ordered direct from a publisher recently.  I thought hey, let's support the small publisher.  I confess I am however sitting here tonight thinking, where's my book!  And yes, I did check my mail box first thing.  Ok, I admit I was wanting my book a hour after ordering. I know I'm unrealistic. It's a sickness I have when I want a book.  I won't even suggest that I'll try to be more patient in the future. I swear on a stack of poetry books I cannot lie.


As you can see from the intro to this post my fantasy league baseball team has been on roller coaster ride. It's a new week and my team goes head to head against another team.  I'm reminding myself the academic lesson of baseball managing in real life and fantasy league. The season is too long to get hung up on highs and lows. Things change. I confess I've been repeating this over and over all weekend.


I saw a poem on a poetry site recently that I had written several years ago, I confess that while I recognized the title and my name appeared attributed to it but it read better then I remembered it.  I actually had to go back and find a copy of it I had save just to make sure it wasn't another Michael Wells that had authored it.  Boy do I feel silly.


I confess that I'm all confessed out.  Thanks for stopping by - See you next week!  Be safe & have a good week!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Poetry Helps Us Connect

[I received this as an e-mail today - passing along]

by Michelle Obama, U.S. First Lady

When I was young, I was a passionate creative writer and sort of a poet. That's how I would release myself. Whenever I was struggling in school, or didn't want to go outside and deal with the nonsense of the neighborhood, I would write and write and write and write. I think it was my writing that sort of prepared me for so much of what I've had to do in my life as an adult.

Robert Frost once wrote, "A poem begins as a lump in the throat." In writing poetry, you all put words into that kind of emotion. You give voice to your hopes, your dreams, your worries and your fears. And when you do that, when you share yourself that way, and make yourself vulnerable like that, you're taking a risk. And that's brave.       Read more

Let me recommend a blog...

If you have a spare moment this weekend and you have not already seen this blog, I recommend it.  For several weeks now I've been reading Writing with Celia.  Her Friday post was really a good reminder of things I should know and need to keep reminding myself.  The post Poetry Revision 101, Lesson Four: Do I Sound Fat in This Poem?  As the title implies she has been doing a series of these poetry revision posts.

On another note... weather turned out fine for last reading last night in Excelsior Springs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bubble Wrapped Morning

When I started the day it looked like the near future had rain in store for us. Suddenly the sky got the green light and the rain came. 
Tonight I am supposed to be in Excelsior Springs for a reading. North of Kansas City - more small townish than urban and what seems to be a somewhat well beaten path for sever storms that pass north of Kansas City.

My fingers are crossed that the weather isn't cause for people staying away from the event. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Of Ponderance and Brain Freeze

Great questions posed by Jeannine - Relative Success, Relative Failure - Life as a Poet.  Lots of food for thought.  No easy answers to these questions. Also the dialogue Nic Sebastian has been having on exposure for poetry - (see her post at Want Poetry Readers? Publish in multiple formats - some free) gives poets a lot to think about.  Then I read an article today... The author as entrepreneur, and the dangers it poses.  The author talks about a program similar to Kiskstarter but specifically for writers.

There are just so many things for writers to ponder today.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Everyday Saint

 After absorbing the Mary Biddinger interview that appeared Febuary at The Fine Delight - Catholicism in Literature the newly receased chapbook has moved on my radar from want to read to must read!

It seemed to me upon reading the interview that (the idea) Saint Monica came to Mary in almost a casual way and I find it fasinating - the transformation from this inception into a series poems bringing the saint into the everydayness.

I've only read one of the poems at this point but have seen the titles of a number of them this has been enough to hook me. That and the cultural aspect of Catholicism and poetry molded together.  The book just came out on June 1st and is available at: Black Lawrence Press  or Amazon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Confession Tuesday - Daydreaming Edition

Dear Reader...

It's been a week since my last confession and I'm back to lay everything out in the open.

I confess that as I was driving this evening after work I was daydreaming.( For the record, this was before I picked my wife up. She thinks I can't drive and do anything else safely.)  At the right you will see the Center for Preforming Arts here in Kansas City that is under construction.  This morning as I passed it I wished I had taken a picture of it so tonight I did.  And as I proceeded to drive I thought about what a cool place if will be to attend the Symphony Orchestra. Then a funny thing happened. I suddenly got to thinking about the building filled to capacity for an event. Actually it was an unlikely event. Yes, I pictured thousands of people, myself included attending a poetry reading at the new facility. Can you picture this? Wouldn't it be awesome?

I'm not sure what brought this on. Maybe it's because I've had readings on my mind lately. But I admit it would be cool to see a packed house in a building this size taking in poetry.  I understand that in Russia they have filled stadiums for poetry readings.  I confess I wish more people valued poetry in America they way they do in many other countries.

On a side note I have been in a pretty good sized theater for a Mary Oliver reading that was packed. Nothing the size of the Center for Preforming arts though.

Monday, June 06, 2011

What am I Doing this Week?

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.  ~ Anais Nin

It's a new week.  I'm thinking about Anais Nin's words.  I'm thinking about the difference between writing and writing that is meaningful. Note to self... Step back and look at what you write and revise this week. Even if it is about the familiar, how does it offer a fresh perspective, a different view or image. Am I writing or is this meaningful. If it is not meaningful can I call it art?

Saturday, June 04, 2011


The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. ~  Frederick Buechner

Reading Frederick Buechner's words above struck me tonight in many different ways. While Buechner may well have been thinking more in terms of the example our life leaves for others, I was also thinking about how far our influence goes in other areas such as art. Our own tastes in art. Our own creations in art. The influence of one's creativity on others. Really any influence we have on others can ultimately travel far. When we write a poem - paint a picture or create a song don't we really hope that it touches someone else?  The more someones the better.

Stepping Out

Unfolding before me
an accordion of dark.

Leaving behind
hope, italicized security.

Each step grayer
in doubt than the last.

Each footing more
to the dark side

a narrowing aperture
a pinhole possibility.

2011 © Michael A. Wells