Saturday, February 25, 2012


I did a poetry reading tonight at a Quaker House Church on a theme of war & peace.  Not a big crowd but a friendly bunch... no pun intended.

Besides reading some of my own work I introduced them to a poem by Carolyn Forche and talked a little about the subtlety in her work and how effective she is with witness poetry without sounding preachy.

After a reading dry spell, this makes my second reading in two weeks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mixed Bag - Wednesday

Ouch!  I realized today that I plum missed Confession Tuesday.  On the upside, I took time out of work during my lunchour to make Ash Wednesday Mass so maybe I can have special dispensation.... Please!

Received a rejection letter from Rattle today but I won a poetry book, Dreaming in Darkness Jessica Kristie. Anxious to to read this book. Always love to be exposed to new poetry. I get a real rush from it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Magpie 105: Collision

image: epic mahoney

The future and history crash
in a flat lined hub of fiber optic nowhere.
The long gone party-lines,
core black telephones decried
 iconic -pink princes phones
that came to link transient families,
translucent friends, truncated business
associates and cordial customers
in a national dialogue.

Colorful language went silent—
we pause to reflect
we pause to listen to what has become
a chorus of tapping finger tips
chipping finger nails
but void of human voice
of human color.

Our mind is left to add warmth
and pictures to text
and try to find the humanity
in the middle of everywhere.

Michael A. Wells

Magpie 105

A few gems from Tom Leonard ‘100 Differences Between Poetry and Prose’

among my favorite:
·       poetry is the subliminal history of linguistic shape
·       poetry has four wheels, two wings and a pair of false teeth
·       whoever heard of war & peace having the line as a unit of semantic yield
·       the square root of poetry is an ever-evolving quark
·       poetry is all the juicy bits in the juiciest order
·       you can talk about prose without mentioning school

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Poetry Brain

"Poetry is a different area if the brain [from prose] - much closer to music and mathematics." Margaret Atwood, BBC Radio 3, June 1995

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Crossroads Coffeehouse Reading Last Night

Great readings last night at the Crossroads Coffeehouse- 310 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, Mo 64108.  First time I've read in a while - but the crowd was great and seemed appreciative to all the readers.  Several readers on hand that I know but  some new ones too. 

A thanks to the owners of the Crossroads Coffeehouse for
sponsoring the event. They plan to do it every third Friday.

Pat Burge on the left reading.

 Shawn Pavey lower left reading

Magpie 104: To Be

She finds it exasperating

she has the duty

to be—

the plastic clown

the elastic  cheerleader

the Wal-Mart greeter

picking up the slack

the life coach

the mom

the wife

spiritual guru

on the scrapheap of life

Michael A. Wells

Friday, February 17, 2012

Finally Friday

It's finally Friday. Yeah!

A bit of an oddity to report - I went nearly two weeks without a Diet Coke but alas I had one last night. That's a really long time for me to abstain. It is a legitimate food group in my book.

Lot of ups and downs this week, and there is nothing metaphorical about that comment. Some grueling work days and some good stuff too. There was Valenine's Day.  That evening - well, after midnight our time we got a call from our youngest daughter Meghan. To set the stage you need to realize that clear back to her high school days Meghan would always stop if she reallized it was 11:11  be it AM or PM and say, "11:11 Make a Wish."   So a 11:11PM (her time) she is awaken by Brandon who tells her it's 11:11 and to make a wish.  (I picture her as perhaps a we bit foggy as she is waking up...  anyway, I'm sure her eyes popped wide open as he presented her with an engagement ring. How freek'n romantic is that! The guy has class.

I'm reading tonight at an open mic. I have no read in a while. I used to read publicly fairly frequently but not so much these days. Having been under the weather off and on these past three months - at times with incessent coughing, I'm a little nervous about tonight.  I've been beter these past few days but even yesterday as I was ingagued in a lenthly meeting with a cliant my throat became a little horse and I was fighting back coughing sperts.

A mail bag note for the week:  On Wednesday I received a cool Valentine from Kelli Agodon...  The poet Pablo Neruda on the front... it was a cool picture and of course what poet would better represent the best of Valentine's day. Thank you Kell!

That's it for this morning... wish me good luck tonight!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Friday Night Open Mic Locally

Feb 17h -  Reading at
                  310 Southwest Blvd. K.C., MO 64108

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Confession Tuesday - Valentine Edition

Dear Reader:

It's been a week since my last confession. Actually 6 days if I'm going to be totally honest.

It's Valentine’s Day and I stayed especially busy at work. Shouldn't Valentine’s Day be a holiday? A paid day off? Of course it should... I know you must agree.

My wife and I did not do cards today. She has really become kind of negative on buying cards. I gave serious thought to writing a special poem for the occasion but my work on it the past week did not impress me and I could not expect it to be received by her any better so I scraped my various drafts. I will work on it again in the future when I am less pressured by time.

I confess that it was while on the way to work this morning and bummed out that I had not satisfied my original plan that another thought came to my mind. I dropped my wife off at her office and proceeded to my own. That was during the 7am hour. I decided to text my wife with a short note as to something I loved about her. And then sometime each of the next hours until 5pm I repeated another text with another love proclamation of some type. Several hours into the day I received a text saying, "you're too sweet."

I confess that a couple of the texts she found amusing. There was some light heartedness - it was not all serious stuff. Not bad for a Capricorn huh?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Magpie 103: The Surgeons Hands

The Surgeons Hands

reaching skyward the chiseled hands

cupped as a vessel

yet extended in exaltation

extended  fingers—   precision tools

against the distress of body

against the anguish of passing

fingers that move the veins of life about

that spread open incisions— explore - extract

supplicate the God of mercy

for the generosity of more time

more life

a precious organ

the hand offers

dear God

make this body whole


Michael A. Wells

Friday, February 10, 2012

Like that Chrysler Super Bowl ad with Clint Eastwood? Thank a poet

Of the three people credited as copywriters on the powerful Chrysler advertisement, the one featuring Clint Eastwood that aired for the first time during Sunday's Super Bowl, one is poet Matthew Dickman.


Trying to catch up on some reading...

Perhaps you've missed one or more of these items:

Nobel winner left behind new poemsA new book of poems by Nobel Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, who died at the age of 88, will be published in 2012.

Texting As Poetry? Rubbish, Says Oxford Professor ~ "Texting is like the old ticker tape: highly dramatic and intense if it's reporting the Wall Street Crash or the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, not through any inherent virtue of the machine. Is the breaking news which runs at the foot of the screen on the BBC news channel condensed and consequently poetic? I fail to see how anyone could rationally claim that it is. Again texting is linear only. Poetry is lines in depth designed to be seen in relation or in deliberate disrelation to lines above and below."

Taking A Second Look At Gertrude Stein - And Finding A Lot To Like ~ "Not every 'genius' is equally suffocated by the label. Readers know the extraordinary reputations of Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf, but some prefer 'Richard III' to 'Richard II,' or 'Mrs. Dalloway' to 'Orlando.' They feel at liberty to discriminate. Fewer readers imagine they can create their own Stein; many feel she is beyond their capacity to understand." The

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thursday Confession

Yes, I missed Confession Tuesday. 

I will also confess that I have blown off writing in general this week for the following reasons:

a. tired
b. feeling under the weather
c. my stressors like rubber bands have been stressed to the point they no longer retract to their normal size.
d. my creativity has left he building
e. when what I write today sounds like yesterday and he day before that, something is amiss and needs a break.
f. I'm not sure, but I may not even care.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Nothing New

"Most of my life was spent not understanding, and I can assure you it was not easy."  ~ Rilke

Superbowl Sunday and I have no desire to watch this years game. The puppy bowl is no alternative because once you've seen it - you've see all there is - ad nauseum.  What I could go for is simply a special feed of the Super Bowl commercials back-to back. 

Yes, I sound a little cranky.  I'm cranky for a number of reasons of which one is the fact that for the third time since Thanksgiving, I'm sick. Three times in three months!  Who is responsable for inflicting these germs upon me? I'm ready to turn my body over the Dr. House knowing full well he'll make me sincker before I get better... but then I will have the answer.  Calling Dr. House!  Calling Dr. House!

"Patients sometimes get better. You have no idea why, but unless you give a reason they won't pay you. Anybody notice if there's a full moon? ... let's rule out the lunar god and go from there." [citation]

I'm not a person who does sick well (in case you haven't noticed) and my family knows that once I get down, it means really not feeling well because I'm the kind of person who fights it. All the time the body signs are screaming "your sick," my matra is the repeat, "you are not sick, you are not getting sick, you will not be sick..."  I suppose you could argue that there is a degree of deleriam associated with my view of the surrounding facts. 

So here I am, tired of lying around this weekend - caughing till my chest and head are sore. Feeling closed in.  Knowing that what I want to do is throw the windows open and let some air (albeit cold) throughout the house.  I want to do something besides look at the ceiling from the bed and I certainly don't waqnt to watch the Super Bowl OR the pupy bowl tape loop - both of which make my stomach turn. Yes, I know the puppies can be cute. but it isn't long before it's like reading principally the same poem written by six different people. There is nothing new.