Saturday, December 29, 2012
There is a undercurrent that is bubbling on a low simmer within me that wants to be something grander. I have felt it and maybe it's fear, or not knowing what to do next, of being too fractured in my thinking but there is something that has allowed me to go only so far that year that we are ending. Perhaps I want not supposed to go any further. Maybe I was supposed to find myself right were I am at the end of this year on a slow burn (knowing something different was ahead in my writing) and awaiting the next phase.
I spent another fall working with a poet on some things and again I found myself feeling growth in my work and again finding inspiration. As a coach and mentor this poet has a way of bringing about transformative awareness in where you are and helping you step out of that place and move ahead. I have to credit this low simmer as a part of that - telling me that what's cooking is something different and that I need to be ready to turn up the burner a bit and let new things happen.
So that is in this new horizon for 2013 is not in clear focus but I have some ideas. I've had ideas before and for one or more reasons this ideas have only gone so far. I've been experienced in finding one road block after another on paths here and there. 2012 has provided me with some successes for sure. I have a lot to be thankful for, but I'm not getting any younger and I've never felt that time was on my side. I do want to turn the burner up a bit and move ahead; I want to reach what is on that horizon and not feel like I'm swimming in an ocean after a point that never gets any closer.
HELLO 2013 - CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Some days it's better to get no mail then the alternative if that's bills. Today was a really good day...
1. Copy of Poets & Writers magazine.
2. Check for work published.
3. Card from another poet.
4. Rumpus letter from author Elizabeth Crane.
Not a single bill!
- Happy poet
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami’s crime consisted of reciting on November 16, 2011 a poem extolling the courage and values of the popular uprisings in Tunisia - Sign Poets petition here
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
It's been not one, but two weeks since my last confession.
I confess that I am so finished with last week. I can say that the sickness, the irritation, the overwhelming feelings of failure and hopelessness belong to you, the past and not the present.
I confess that I arrived at Monday fearing that all the sinus stuff would continue to plague me but like a passing storm my head began to clear.
I confess that even feeling like crap over the weekend I ventured into the mall maze of people and survived. I actually did it twice in one day.
I confess I need to get serious about writing this week as I've crashed and burned too many nights last week
My wife had a book come in the mail yesterday and while I'm happy for her I confess I wished there had been one for me as well.
Still have several books outstanding on my want, list. I confess the list never seems to end.
I confess that I cannot end this confession without expressing a sense of heartache over the loss of so many innocent young lives and the ultimate sacrifice of so many teachers at the Sandy Hook School shooting. This leaves a very empty feeling inside and yet I cannot begin to imagine what that feeling must be like to the families. My prayers go out to all of them.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I've been neglectful in blogging past week this largely due to feeling so drained by sinuse issues. Aside from work I've come home nightly with little energy left for anything else.
I've managed to get some reading done... little writing. Today I'm feeling better and a little optomistic though the energy levels are still at low tide.
In the senselessness of the Sandy Hook School tragedy combined with this dull sick feeling, it is even harder to keep from becoming frozen in dysfunction.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
All the good stuff that is Durotrope is no longer going to be available to users unless they ante up. Now I could say, "Damn, why didn't people support it?" But I am, case in point perhaps a reason for the downfall. Yes, I have contributed to it, but not often enough.
Now, I've seen one blogger post that this has caused a major uproar among writers and that many are saying they will do without the service before they will pay to use it. Of course that's a choice we can all make. If I was only submitting work two or three times a year I'm sure I could live without it. I did see one writer on Facebook objecting to the pay model that if they charged everyone $50 to use Facebook there would be mass exodus. I don't disagree, but I've never felt I could live would Facebook and I would not pay $50 to be on it. But this is apples and oranges.
Durotrope has been a top notch site in my opinion and further, they have made major upgrades to it in recent times. Only time will tell, but I'm planning on submitting a lot of work in 2013 and I'm going to need the service.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
It's been two newly purchased poetry books, a new pair of shoes, and one contract from a publisher to sign since my last confession a week ago.
I confess that while I was about 25 minutes late leaving the office tonight I was not ready for the fact that it was well on the way to being dark downtown. It just seemed so different then last night when I left. I mean Monday night It was still light when I arrived home and this was like spooky different. I don't mean that I was afraid or anything like that, it was just strange how different it felt. The drive home was not especially smooth. Traffic on I-70 played with my patience. I did not let it get the best of me though.
As I noted above I got two new poetry books this week. They are Factory of Tears, by Valzhyna Mort and In Broken Latin, by Annette Spaulding-Convy. (have more to say soon about these books) I truly am giddy when I get a new poetry book. Especially if it's one that I have had my radar on for a while. You have book radar don't you? I confess that I'm forever wanting this book or that book and usually several at a time. I just can't ever quite satisfy my thirst for books. I'm pretty sure that if you look in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) there is a code for people who can't own enough books.
I got a contract from a publisher this week. Don't wet your pants! It's not for a book but for a single poem. I confess that in all the time I've written poetry and had work accepted and published there has never been a written contract involved. Of course there has never been any money involved either.
This past week I've been exhausted every night by the time I've gotten off work. My work can be pretty intense, even stressful at times but since we've added a new case management program, I'm working in it essentially all day long. It's very labor intensive so I get to the end of the day and I've like done all this work and maybe moved two items off my desk. I know there is value to the case management program but I confess that I have a tendency to look at how far I've gotten into my work load and it can be depressing.
Slowly but surely I've been working on a manuscript. I confess that I've not written like I should have this past week. Gotten off my schedule and been more miss then hit. Otherwise my days have leveled out. Not a lot of great days but much fewer bad days. I confess I'll accept that this time of year.
Saturday, December 01, 2012
~ Book of Kells: Holiday Gift Guide: Poetry Book Edition (even if you don't write poetry, you can read poetry)
Excellent gift ideas from Kelli Russell Agodon. There are a couple on this list that I'm craving after her post.
Friday, November 30, 2012
I've miss the last couple of MW Poet Series readings but this one I've had on my radar. I first heard about Valahyna Mort in a Poets & Writers magazine maybe three years ago or so.
Valzhyna started her reading in Belarusian her native tongue. While not able to understand - the words had a familiarity. I too two years of Russian in high school and while I have retained little of the Russian the sounds were quite similar and I found the sharpness and the harshness of the language amazingly comforting. Her speech is soft but powerful. Her writing too shows a powerful command of language. These two components are interesting given the fact that she approached the microphone with just a bit of shyness maybe trepidation.
In Belarusian I as in other of her poems she blends a sociopolitical landscape into her work and does it well...
"even our mothers have no idea how we were bornIn one poem in memory of a book, I can tell you that everyone around me was hanging on to every word.
how we parted their legs and crawled out into a world
the way you crawl from the ruins after a bombing"
Valzhyna is a small woman of physical proportions but her poetic voice has strength and resonance. In her book Factory of Tears there is a line that makes me think of her...
I've been in need of an Artist's date and this was reading was just what I needed.
Additional biographical information:
Valzhyna Mort - Wikipedia
A video clip (August 2008 in Brooklyn)
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It's been a week since my last confession, but today has seemed like a week. Let's begin...
I realized this morning while in route to work that I had neglected to get my Healthy Choice TV dinner out of the freezer. I decided that I would just have to go out for lunch today and that was that. It's not really as big a deal as it sounds. I've done it many times, jut not lately. The cafeteria at the Federal Building down the way isn't bad... I mean food wise. I can usually find something to suit me, but not always the healthiest. Once a pretty reasonable price I confess that I'm less crazy about their prices these days and this is part of the reason I've been trying to bring lunch most of the time these past few weeks.
My morning was pretty busy and I was planning originally not to eat till 1PM (that was before I forgot my lunch) but as it reached the noon hour it occurred to me that if I wait till one o'clock the cafeteria at the Fed Bldg would be shutting down. So about 12:20 as I was getting ready to leave I made the mistake of taking a call rather then letting it go to voice mail. This call turned out to be important and I remained involved in the call till about 12:45. Then after a rest room stop (I know, too much detail) I realized there was no point in going to the Federal Building to eat. So I dug out some grapes I had in the refrigerator and that became my lunch.
I confess that I did pretty good for not eating a real lunch. I think in large part to the fact that the rest of my day was even busier then the first half. I confess that my office upon arrival was hotter then hell. I sought some relief from facilities management (they arrived about 4:45PM) and I confess that is was good that I was so busy because I normally get really cranky when it's hot. Keeping busy helped me push through the day without inflicting heat rage upon my co-workers. I turned on a fan I have and it mostly blew hot air around.
My day might not have been quite so tedious if I had not have to keep screwing with disappearing drivers and files on my computer. I confess I was starting to take it personally until I realized this problem was impacting others in our office. By the time I was ready to go home... I confess I WAS READY TO GO HOME.
One the commute traffic on I-70 became backed up due to a wreck. I realized then that impatient Mike was along for the ride. Yes we are closer then you might imagine but I'm not at all proud of him. Hell he even gets impatient with me! So, I'm driving along and I realize the problem up ahead and while Mike is getting upset I rationalize that no matter how bad a day I'm having, I'm pretty sure whoever is in the wreck is having a worse day. I confess this is where I bitch slapped impatient Mike and told him to count his blessings.
Well, I have arrived home. This is good. I getting my confession out of the way early. This too is good. Did I mention that on the way home my Chiropractic office called to cancel my appointment for "trigger points" tomorrow evening due to illness? No worry, I could be the one sick.
Best to everyone!
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Looking to pull together some poetry to submit. It's a bit hard to believe that I've had replies to every one of my submissions I've made. I never like to be without something outstanding. I'm referring to the word like you would a check that hasn't been cashed yet not the quality of the work, but outstanding work is good too. And that word check, I suppose that could be foreign to you. It seems to be going the way of things like typewriters, carbon paper, phone booths... I could go on but then I'd just have more to explain.
My Duotrope control panel tells me that I have an acceptance ratio of 8.1% and congratulates me and says that is higher the the average of users that have submitted material to the same markets. That's also sad. (I've added the last part)
It's actually not quite that late- but it seems like it should be. Time haunts me. It always has. I was a blue baby when I was born. A preemie not a smurf. So obviously I came out of the gate early, not exactly galloping but starting ahead of time. I never thought of it till now but you might say that I was cheating.
There is Evis, her deep meow and footsteps. She could be warning me but I'm not retreating to another room just yet.
I do need to get on with things. I can't continue with nothing under consideration. I've got to stuff to send out again and I've been looking at venues trying to decide what might be a best choice for each pieces. It's a task I dislike but as long as I keep writing - I have to keep sending.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
In between the screeches of outgoing missals
there are explosions that shake you about.
In between apartment buildings
there is concrete rubble.
In between parents are children
hunkered down in stairwells.
In between one family is an extended one
that has no place else to go.
In between the quiet
there are screams.
In between the periods of commotion
there is the stillness that teeters
in between hope and terror
and knows not which way to fall.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Chinese Poet Li Bifeng Sentenced to 12 Years in Jail : Harriet Staff : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation
Sadly the Chinese record on human rights continues to be dismal.
- Poetry friends
- Waterman fountain pen
- Coldstone Sweet Cream coffee creamer
- Black Walnut Ice-cream
- good books
- health care
- Surprise Maples
- our President
- our service men and women
- diet coke
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
"I didn't think that it had any relevance to my life, the feelings that I endured on a day-to-day basis, until I was introduced to the right poem. And the right poem is a different poem for everyone..."
Good Interview with Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.
Click here for Interview by Associate Press
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
It's been one week since my last confession. Oh my, another whole week.
But let's get started....
I confess that I love Fruit Cake. I may be the only person in the world who enjoys it but what the heck. Not everyone everyone uses it for door stops. One of my children once asked their mother who someone hate me who had sent me a Fruit Cake. She had to explain to some very bewildered children that their father was not being dissed
Mid November and I confess I have no clue how this happened. This has seemed like one of the fastest years. And yet, I confess that there have been some slow assed days. You physics people out there... how does that happen?
I confess this could be the month I replace my Blackberry with another phone.
I confess I need a haircut. I confess that I hope my wife reads this blog post. Cathy has cut my hair pretty much ever since we've been married.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Winds swirl my hair every which way.
My scalp actually pains under pressure.
Waves whack shoreline rocks repeatedly.
Each tide washes higher- a mist rises over me.
My face wet, my lips taste of salt.
I lean now with the wind.
The water, darker now
seemingly has swallowed the sky;
the two joined in force- rolling in.
Michael A. Wells
According to the store owner the response has been positive. Some people feel the random selection as somewhat serendipitous. What do you think?
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Late fall and winter are times when I am prone to feel blue. I'm not exactly sure that feeling blue is an automatic bad day. You see there are positive things that can happen on a day when I at a low ebb emotionally.
I have started not long ago to track my days in terms of the degree to which they are good. I discovered an application on Chrome that I am using both to help define a good day and to track what kind of a day I had.
The application I'm speaking of can be found at illuum.com.
The rating schedule runs from 1 to 9.
- 1- The Worst. You bought the rope but couldn't be bothered to learn how to tie the knot.
- 2- Almost the Worst. You spent the day wondering if you should put your head in the oven or drown in a lake.
- 3 - A Bad Day. It rained, you spilled your coffee, you got yelled at, a dog ate your face, etc.
- 4 - Slightly Below Average. Work Sucked, but there was something good on TV.
- 5 - Average. At no time did you feel particularly happy or sad you just carried on with the routine.
- 6 - Slightly Above Average. Generally monotonous, but maybe you had one conversation/idea/meal that made you smile.
- 7 - A Good Day. Smiles all around you. You went through your day enjoying everything you did.
- 8 - A Great Day. Generally good, but something amazing / memorable happened. A kiss, a party, a trip, an epiphany.
- 9 - Awesomeness! You bounded out of bed, had adventures, enjoyed your great relationships, ended the day exhausted and satisfied.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
It's been one leafy lawn week since my last confession.
To the Confessional:
I confess that last week I was looking at the giant maple in our front yard, then the lawn, and thinking, not many leaves in the yard. This morning as I left for work I looked at the lawn then the tree and thought - ah, not many leaves on the tree.
I confess that sourdough bread toasted with butter and orange marmalade seems like it was just meant to me.
I confess I'm thinking that based upon what we know thus far about the General David Petraues scandal that the e-mail between the two women sounded more like junior high students then a threat. "I saw what you did under the table." Really?
I confess that the story of the 28 year old woman who allegedly ran over her husband because he didn't vote and Romney lost the election was just a bit on the wacko side. I confessed that if you had asked me what state this happened in there was a good chance I would have guessed correctly Arizona. If I hadn't know the woman was only 28, I might have incorrectly guessed her name was Jan.
I confess that I realized this week my books I want to read/buy list is growing exponentially. Good news for booksellers, bad news for my budget.
I confess that some days I feel like I should be writing a "running with scissors" sort of memoir but then in the same breath I think how boring it would be.
I confess that while I was sick this past week I had weird dreams at night. One involved a modern version of a Volkswagen Westfalia bus that flew which only made me nostalgic for our Westfalia that didn't fly and sometimes wouldn't even run.
I confess that I have been working to assemble work into a poetry manuscript. I confess I've heard one to many people ask what has taken so long. I also confess that I have started to do this in the past and it has been hampered by a variety of forms of procrastination, self-criticism, and a hint of reality.
I confess I have been using an application called illuum to track happiness and varying degrees of it. It's been fascinating to see patterns to good days and bad days plus the frequency of good days. I actually plan to blog about this in the near future.
I confess that's all for today and I barely got this done in time~
Monday, November 12, 2012
Her work has grown on me and I've even revisited some of the first poems I read of hers and found for many of the a greater appreciation. Today I found one of her poems that I love. It's such a smart write. It is fresh and the whole concept of the poem is so brilliant you (or at least I) wish you had come up with it yourself.
The poem is titled Ceremony and it was published in The New York Times and originally appeared in her collection "Meadowlands" from 1996. You can read Ceremony here.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Yesterday was Anne Sexton's birthday - I've been sick and not been on my computer for two days so this is a belated remembrance. You cannot talk about those who have left their mark on American Poetry without mentioning her name.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
I confess that I missed confession here two weeks ago because I was not in an especially confessional mood. We had just put down one of our cats of some 14 years and it was a sudden and totally unexpected event. I've never been good in dealing with the loss of a pet.
Last night I confess was all about the election. Once I was home I was pretty much zoned into returns. You have to understand my political history to understand the nature and degree to which elections are an obsession to me. During the 14 years that I served on the Democratic Committee including the time I was Chairman of the County Democratic Party I considered myself the consummate vote counter. I elections I was excellent at projecting were needed votes were and how to turn them out.
My blog post from early yesterday indicated my last best assessment on the potential outcome of the presidential election based upon a number of varying polls, my recollection of 2008 returns and what I anticipated the turnouts would be like. Don't get me wrong I'm no Nate Silver. I'm not boy wonder, but I am better then average with such projections.
The results of my election picks were not bad. I was under the impression that Florida would be won by Romney even as I felt the numbers there were tightening. And while I believed we would win Virginia, I started doubting myself last night. There was no need to doubt in the end. Ohio I never really questioned and even as I watched it tighter at one point - once I was able to the the county by county returns and realized most of the Republican counties were 100% reporting or mid to high 80's and the Cuyohoga County (Cleveland) was only reporting 30% with Obama polling 70% to 29% Romney, I figured the slow counting reflected high turnout and recalling that Obama build up a roughly 200,000 vote margin there 4 years ago, I knew in the end the lead would hold.
So yes I was feeling a little nerdy last night. I confess this but with the caveat that this is about as nerdy as I ever get.
I also confess it was fascinating how many people were overly anxious in the early going. In reality I expected that the word would not come as quickly as it did. The worst "general" election nights I have suffered through are of course 2000 but also 1968 (my very first and while I was not old enough to vote in this election I spent a sizable amount of time each evening and on weekends working in the campaign.)
But seriously, there were several people on Facebook that I felt were about to lose it by the time of 9PM poll closings. I'm not trying to make fun of anyone that messaged me during this time (there were several) but I only hope that my responses served as a calming voice of reason. It's easy to be a little calmer if you see early states going to the opponent that you never believed or counted on having in your path to victory. Meanwhile, I'm sure a more casual viewer gets a little shaky to see the other side have six or seven states called for them and your candidate just one.
I confess that more important then calling any state right is the victory. I don't always have happy predictions. But it's twice as nice to be right and have your candidate win.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Early States to watch -
- Virginia - Obama turned this state blue last time and is hopeful of doing so a again but this one could be very close.
- New Hampshire - only 4 electoral votes this state is more important to Romney then Obama - Could be close but I expect it to be Democratic in the end.
- Florida winning this state is likely more critical for Romney then Obama An Obama win here would be very bad news for Romney. Obama can likely lose this one and still have more options to to get to 270.
- Pennsylvania - Romney has tried to make this in play but it's probably more wishful thinking then anything.
- Iowa - Romney was hopeful of a win here and god the Des Moines Register endorsement still the polls look good for Obama.
- South Carolina should go to Romney. A loss here spells trouble for Romney.
- Ohio - Everyone says this is the state to watch, there could be reminders of Florida 2000 when it comes to counting votes here for several reasons I won't go into right now. If Romney wins Ohio then probably there is an upset in the making. The should be an Obama win when all the dist settles and is counted. Whenever that may be.
- Wisconsin with 10 votes will likely go for Obama. Ryan is not likely to help his running mate that much in his own state. Republicans thought they has a chance here early on, but the GOP awoke a sleeping giant when it took on labor here.
- Michigan - maybe close but I expect Obama to win.
- Minnesota - I don't know why I'm talking about this state except for Romney's wishful thinking.
- Colorado - it's all about the Latino vote. Will be a disappointing someone because both sides think they can win this one. My bet is on the side of Obama.
- Nevada - an active labor vote should mean a win for Obama.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Saturday, November 03, 2012
"The world would rather see hope then just hear its song. And that's why statesmen have to smile.Their pearly whites mean they're still full of cheer.The game's complex, the goal's far out of reach, the outcome's still unclear - once in a while,we need a friendly, gleaming set to teeth."
I think a lot of people are looking for the real manifestation of hope right now and not just the music. I found these words from the polish poet Wislawa Szymboraska strikingly appropriate for the week we've been through. Sometimes it is hard to see beyond the curvature of the earth up ahead and we are traveling so fast and furious and something like hurricane Sandy comes along and we apply the breaks but it's too late. Now everyone tries to put everything back together and the losses are so large.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
- The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Rescue Team is assisting animals and people in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's destruction, and is prepared for ongoing disaster relief after this historic storm. Click here.
- Catholic Charities Responds to Hurricane Sandy - Click here.
- New York Cares - Click here
Monday, October 29, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Ted Hughes once said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that he believes she never failed to finish a poem. She may have started with one idea and ended up somewhere else entirely (who hasn't) but she was seriously driven to by her writing. From biographies and her own journals I know that she was constantly alert to the world around her for - looking for material for her next poem. I believe this was very much a part of her brilliance. I would say that she lived a poet's life; always a poet in the moment. I believe this is one positive lesson that writers can take from Sylvia's life.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
caught in the vice of heated debate
over our future -
Two grown men-
more or less- and Candy
Crowley in a smack down.
If I even considered going for the frig
or my singing bladder
that all ended in spontaneous intrigue
as Mitt's secret weapon was unveiled
to millions of Americans. Take that Mr. President!
Do you have binders of women?
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
It's Tuesday and I'm going to pull over and quickly unload my confession. It's been one week and I don't exactly know where this is going but I hope I'm not going to be impound.
I confess that I will be one of those watching the Presidential Debate tonight. I also confess that I am not among the undecided. There probably isn't much either candidate could do to change my mind at this point. These two candidates are going to govern from such opposing philosophical views that the decision is not even a close one. I could talk about those and maybe I will between now and the election but I'd rather keep politics out of the confessional. ;)
I've been working with a writing coach for the past three weeks now. While I've been putting in more writing time it occurred that I have been journaling less. I confess I don't know if this is good or bad. It's at least good that I'm writing more.
My phone has been giving me fits lately. It's a Blackberry and I've had it for quite some time. I've gotten a lot of good out of it but I have actually thought that wen I replace it I might try an iPhone I confess I've never been excited about iPhone There is no craze here. One of the few things that I dislike about my Blackberry is that I can't use Instagram. But there are other options I know. In fact my daughter Meghan switched to a Galaxy III and I admit I've watched a lot of commercial feeds on this phone and quite frankly it's awesome. I confess that I don't care for the thickness of it. It seems perilously fragile but then the iPhone seems that way too.
My Giants were awesome in the Red's series. After falling behind 2 games to none at home they traveled to Cincinnati and needing to will three in a row they did just that. I confess I believe they can take the Cardinals and win the NLCS. This team has a lot of young talent that just doesn't ever stop believing. They are split a game each as they move the St Louis to play game three tomorrow.
Well, it's about time for the debate and I haven't been ticketed and towed yet so I gonna split.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
lost in quiet darkness.
But when the growl comes
heat engulfs the region;
I sit up in flames of hunger.
The body answers
where the mind holds back.
A light switch finds my hand.
The kitchen acknowledges me
but I will wake in the morning
and know nothing of this.
Michael A. Wells
The Mag 139
The air remains a bit chilled. I can handle this, but I probably won't spend much time in the outdoors anyway. I should (heavy emphasis) get in a walk today. I will try to make time for it.
As winter is coming I'd like to get our treadmill upstairs and in working order. It's belt has moved cattywampus. I need to be walking at lest three times a week and eliminating anything that creates an obstacle would of course be beneficial.
I've been writing a lot more. Or at least more focused writing. I've actually been journaling less as a result of concentrating on the more creative. Speaking of focus, I need to get busy because I've got a number if things I need to accomplish today and there is the Giants playoff that I will have to squeeze in as well. Sunday's always have a sadness about the finality of the weekend. How to I make that go away?
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Dear Reader: It's been one week since my last confession. A week that saw me hall all the plants inside as the temperatures dropped.
This past week I got a lot of writing done. Over 7 hours and that's actual writing and re-writing drafts... not including journaling or blogging stuff. I confess that I had distractions to deal with but I meet them and worked through. (insert pat on back) I actually did feel frustrated at times so maybe the pat isn't deserved, but then I did surpass the previous week's writing.
I've decided that I need an art date really soon. I saw a quote the other day that really hit home with me. I'm sorry to say at the moment I cannot recall the person to give proper credit to but I will try and find it later. For now I'm paraphrasing it... Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I confess that disturbed rather then comfortable seemed to describe me much of this past week. So I'm feeling especially needy of an art date. I'm pretty certain that it would not hurt my writing one bit.
I am sort us upping the ante on my writing for the rest of the year. I confess that I am in a driven sort of energy mode and I want to keep it up because the fall and winter time of the year are generally tough on my emotions. I'm hopeful that I can channel that into more positive successes in my writing by staying committed and being more focused.
There you have it. Everyone go in peace and I'll be back next Tuesday with another round of confessions. I promise!
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Saturday, October 06, 2012
HOW TO HELP FRIENDS AND FAMILY UNDERSTAND YOUR WRITING...
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Let’s head to the confessional, shall we?
Ah, much is going on. In addition to all this there is my day job which has been demanding as usual. I confess that many days it is noon or one o’clock before I realize it. This is usually a pretty good thing because the work can at times seem long and intense. I always appreciate it when I realize that I’m already on the downhill slope to quitting time.
We are painting our home. Or having it painted is more precise since I’m not dancing on a ladder and flailing my arms about trying not to fall and break my neck or other body parts. I came home last night to see the color for the first time, at least the base color. I confess that I had no idea what color it would be. We have known the painter for years. He did the last painting some 10 years ago. Then we close the colors. We had to budget this since we also needed to do some repairs and keep within budget. We were told that leaving some flexibility would allow the painter to get us a better deal on the price of the paint. Of course that required some degree of trust. What I saw last night I liked.
There has been a lot of activity at home this past week, movement both inside and outside the house. Not the most conducive environment for creative work. I confess that I've fared relatively well all things considered. While not painting, I've done a lot of stuff on the inside of the house. Some others have been more busy then I but all the while there has been commotion. I confess I would love a week of normalcy if such a thing exists. Oh wait… the commotion has been normalcy for us. (Sigh)
I went to listen to a friend of mine read at the Writers Place on Friday. I confess I had not seen Amy in quite a while. It was nice to catch up with her. She is an awesome poet and sometimes when I’m looking to jump-start myself when I’m at a wall in my writing there are several poets that I like to keep a copy of their work close at hand because if I read a poem or two it always reminds me of what’s possible. Amy is one of these poets. Sometime soon I’ll do a special post on poets who inspire me.
I confess that I have NOTHING out in the world being considered. How this happened I don’t know. I cannot ever recall a time since I began submitting work years ago that I had nothing under consideration. I usually get a rejection or an acceptance and have several others pending and promptly shoot work off elsewhere. Getting an acceptance over the weekend I updated my submission tracker and realized with this acceptance I had no more outstanding submissions I was waiting on. I confess this feels like a major lapse. Like you missed an important payment or something… How could this happen? Well I shall get at least one off tonight. I won’t feel right if I don’t.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
- Tree branches sway to the choreography of the breeze.
- My weakness if we must go there/is black walnut ice cream./Black walnut, I love you more than bacon!
- Heavy lines drooped from pole to pole/eventually tied off at buildings/like circus elephants on moorings.
- If I write myself into a poem I don't like will I be able to get out?
- Planted roasted marshmallows in our mouths, then kissed the sticky off each others lips.
- Holding time inappropriately in ones hand.
- I'm tired and feel horribly grungy today...
- Picturing poets playing poker with metaphorical faces.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
For a short (I mean very short) while it seems I was getting away from the stranglehold that time and death seem to have had on me for most of my adult life. I feel it creeping back into the picture again. It's not a good way to live...
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Come along, it's confession time and I'm sure I have something I can confess.
Yesterday I was driving through the city when I pulled up behind two other cars at a stop light. Hearing the deep sound of gears engaging I saw on the passenger side of the car a big yellow monster taking up the better part of two lanes between myself and the curb. Said yellow monster was backing my direction while on the front end it was lifting a heavy metal plate from the asphalt. All of this was under the direction of a man who was talking on a cell phone in the drivers seat. I confess that my Capricorn sensibility cause me to utter out loud WTF is this dumb shit doing? Neither I our our car was harmed in the incident. All I can say today looking back was thank God he wasn't texting. People - this does not seem like a multi-tasking sort of job. As I drove away I said a prayer that no bad incidents occurred the rest of the day at this work site.
Monday night is one night where we especially enjoy the TV shows. Major Crimes and Perception being two shows we watch. It's a night Cathy (my wife) looks forward to watching TV. So last night was a most inopportune time for our cable to crash but it did. Now I could I could see how some people could say make the best of it and do something like... read a good book. I confess I did not do that. I too look forward to Monday night TV not only because of the shows but because it's something we do together. So last night was a downer for both of us. I confess we ended up going to bed earlier then normal. By the way, tech support was unable to again get it running and we remain without it again tonight and it will be tomorrow before the service people can come out.
I probably should confess something related to writing so thinking back this week I guess there are a few things I can touch on about writing. One is that I am excited that I am about to begin a six week mentoring session with an awesome poet. This will be the third fall I've done this and it is something I really need this fall. Personally I think this is the kind of thing every poet should plan to do once a year. I confess that if I had 6 books published and another one or two waiting in the wings I would think there is value in this. So yes, I confess that I am excited. I'm always a little anxious at the same time because your work is going to be under more scrutiny in the draft form.
Coming upon the last quarter of the year I always try and take an inventory of where I am in my writing. I confess this can be a humbling experience. So I've been thinking a lot about this year a lot these past few weeks.
And last- on an upbeat note of sorts. A rejection letter this week with a positive note,,, It read in part, "Dear Michael, thank you for submitting to XXXXX Journal. It was great to see your work in our reading line up again. We have carefully reviewed your submission. Although it was not selected for publication this time in our journal, we wanted to let you know that your poems XXXX and XXXXXX did make it to our final round of readings for their wonderful images and subject matter...." I confess that if you are going to be rejected, that a pretty decent rejection.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
- September 8, 2012 - Oh how I love to start a new journal. Empty pages to welcome me. I always promise to try and be neat about my entries but I know at some point I will disappoint myself in this regard.
- September 8, 2012 - How many unwritten considerations/belong to the wind?//The future collect unclaimed thoughts.
- September 8, 2012 - I did not speak/for bewilderment /I did not speak/for an elevator fell/to the bottom of my stomach.
- September 9, 2012 - "The invented person, borrowed from the real- abstracted, isolated- is the person we finally know, or feel we know. I made myself up from everything I am, or could be. For many years I was more desire than fact. When I stop becoming, That's when I worry." ~ Stephen Dunn
- September 10, 2012 - There is a relevance in numbers/you can have a bullet with each one's name/with nothing to erase the massive history.
- September 11,2012 - Feeling better these past couple of days about the Obama campaign. GOP is spending money like mad but the candidates, Romney and Ryan are making so many mistakes and their campaign handlers are really amateurish. I can hope this continues.
- September 13, 2012 - Heard in a Lionel Richie song this morning on the radio during drive time... "...people want me to be what they want me to be..."
- September 13, 2012 - You keep tabs on the important stuff/the primary colors of our life/I've always dealt with the more mundane-/the black and white...
- September 14, 2012 - from a comment in Modern Poetry class, "the how of what you say is more important then what you say..."
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Sunday, September 09, 2012
Below are a few interesting reads on the Internet for poets and those interested in poetry- hope you find something the touches your interests.
- Letters of Interest - shares Letter to a Young Poet
- Poetry Magazine - 100 Poets for change - back for a second year
- The Guardian - John Clare, The Poet of the Environmental Crisis - 200 Years Ago
- Washington Times - Photo of Emily Dickinson at 30?
- The Atlantic - Found Poetry from Amazon Kindle Reveal
- SF Gate - Chandler Poet finds focus after bipolar diagnosis
- NPR - Safe Landing For 'Stag's Leap'? On Sharon Olds' latest book
- The Atlantic - How Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey Wrote Her Father's Elegy
- The Christian Century - No Poetry in Politics
In a way perhaps it is fitting that it passed without an anniversary fan fair post. I'm probably blogging less these days then I have in the past. In 2005 I had a total of 421 blog posts - a nine year annual high. The last time I exceeded 400 posts was 2007 and last year I had a total of 257. There are times when I want to so a particular post on a topic but I'm busy and days pass and so does the urge to write that particular post and I'm thinking about something else to write about altogether.
I would like to believe that as I move into the tenth year on this blog that I find topics and craft writing that is increasingly interesting and perhaps is more engaging with readers. I don't want to be just going through the motions of blogging for the sake of it.
The fact that I have blogged with less frequency is not to say I have less interest in blogs as a media. Some have suggested that Facebook and Twitter have diminished the relevancy of blogging. I disagree with this notion and believe that these two newer venues have significant places in the communication spectrum but when best used they supplement blogging rather then replace it. If you said today we must do away with two of these three forms of communication I would argue to save blogging.
I do think Facebook and Twitter have become popular for a couple of reasons. One is the narrowing focus many have on reading. To may 140 characters has become something the can wrap their attention around. Maybe that's because of how busy we have all become but I think it also reflects a decline in the emphasis overall of reading. The other aspect is the electronic aspect of socialization that has in many respects replaced real face-to face-socialization. In this respect, blogging differs from Facebook and Twitter and underscores why I believe it remains an important means of communication.
All this is to say that I Stickpoet enters year 10 with a anticipation of continuing dialogue and information as well as sharing some personal aspects of my writing journey. It's my hope that we will look back on this current year no matter the number - with quality first and quantity second.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Monday, September 03, 2012
- Oh my God it's September! So hard to believe that this year has actually come to this. This month will be the stretch for the Giants run to post season.
- Lazy Saturday under the potion of stationary rain pushed here by Issac with a September chill piggybacking the storm.
- The shadow cast dirt upon the stairs-/each time I've walked them today I've been barefoot and lax in my resolve.
- The neighbor's flag waves-/it's the most friendly gesture I've seen.
- No one much minds us-/I like it that way. The quiet/turned inside out.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
This has been a lazy approach. The cap on my fountain pen comes off, I write a line or two, re-post the cap, few sips of a drink and something hits me again and I jot another one down. There was no certain number I was looking for or specific amount of time. I fixed something to eat during the process but at some point I thought, this has been a good start - and after some rest tonight, the second phase of some free writes will start tomorrow.
On another note, I love it when I go back to my old journals and read through them only to find a poem draft that surprisingly I says to myself, did I write this?
Immersed in the unexpected satirical dialogue with an empty chair, I thought why do we have elections anyway? The line between serious and funny morphed into the sad and pathetic. Poor Client, a man of major significance, with Dr. Emmett Brown hair managed in two hands full of minutes reduce himself to cognitive deficiency before millions of people, mock a sitting president at the same time he demonstrated significant disregard for facts.
The extent to which any of this was funny lies not in the lines themselves, but the fact the the convention handlers allowed this miscarriage of both fact and humor to eat up one sixth of the national TV coverage
prime hour on the mos significant night of the convention. Who was responsible and what might they have been smoking?
Saturday, September 01, 2012
Moons have often been the subject of songs, poetry and props for movies. Sometimes I think God hung the moon in the sky for writers. A guiding light at night to write.