Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Confession Tuesday - feeling life edition...

Tuesday again! Come along to the confessional...

Dear Reader:

It's been a week since my last last confession. Much of that confession dealt with a death watch for my mother-in-law. She has since passed and we put her to rest in a funeral service yesterday. This turned my weekend into a three day weekend and I confess I believe we all in this household were worn down by the weeks leading up to this. 

I confess that the service was short but nice. The weather preformed perfectly and it added an uplifting element.  But this is now past. Life goes on.

I confess that  the "life" part of that is what I want to focus on. I confess too that I want to feel life more deeply. I want not to miss any part of it. I want to be passionate about life. I want to see more art in life, sing more songs and read more lines of poetry into each minute of the day. 

Praise be to Life!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Why Poetry Can be About Anything

"Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting  and beautiful." - Gertrude Stine

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Confession Tuesday - stalking death edition

To the confessional....

Dear reader:

Tuesday night and I've just got home a short while ago. It's been a long-long week since my last confession and I'm ready to get this over with so I can put it behind me and move on and unwind tonight.

My wife used to talk about driving a fast 45 MPH  or a slow 45 MPH. But 45 is 45 right? I guess it's kind of like time. Twenty-four hours is twenty-four hours and yet some days seem like an eternity, and extrapolated a week of those kind of days are like, a week of eternities. My mother-in-law decided to stop dialysis recently and of course the result of that is that the body will finally shut down, death becomes imminent. Her decision has dictated much of the past ten days or so.  My wife has been dutifully at here bedside some of every day. In many instances spending the night with her. I've watched her (my wife) attempt to find some degree of normalcy each day where there is nothing normal. I know this is far more difficult for her then myself, but I confess it's not easy to watch my wife go through this with her.

There have been several times that we thought, or someone would convinces us that it was her time.  Her time has really been taking it's time. I got a call from her today at work and rushed home to run her out there. She had not planned to go out till tonight but they called from the care facility to tell us they though the family should come out. On of here brothers had been there all day and they had been in touch throughout the day.
Oh, and they said they were putting out refreshments for the family. Refreshments?  Really? I confess this seems a little circus like.

We went out and were joined by other family members. Honestly she looked pretty good. Her breathing pace has slowed but she was not breathing labored. She is in a sleep. Some occasional facial expression changes though not many. She once sort of squinted open her eyes. Cathy ended up staying the night (as she had planned) but she and I agree, Mom is not looking like tonight is the night.

There are aspects of our life that seem on hold. Only because of the uncertainty of the end time. Each day is another possibility. I know Cathy hopes it is sooner then later. She has at times asked me to pray that it comes soon. I confess that I feel uneasy with such prayers.

In the meantime, death (a subject that clearly takes me outside my comfort zone) seems to dominate my day and night and I have no control over it.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Submission Saturday

It's been a morning of submission. Normally I submissive to the publication Gods in the afternoon on Saturdays but I did a morning gig today and it feels good to have it over with.

One rejection letter so far this week. It was a journal I had not tried before.

I have a poem that I am nearly ready to move out of the draft garage this week and park it with the other work that I submit from.  I've got several    drafts that are keepers that are approaching that same nearly ready for prime time status but I don't like to push these along too fast as much as I'd like to.  I have I've always believed in that I've sent to several journals without success and I am thinking of messing around with it some more to see if I can get a new perspective on it before I send it out again.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Confession Tuesday - petty anger edition

Dear Reader:

I confess that I did  not confess last Tuesday and I don't remember for sure why - except that it has been a crazy time these past  week to 10 days and if I would pick most any night last week I could tell you with certainty I was exhausted and on low function by the time I got home most evenings.

I finished off a journal, switched out the copy with a refill from my journal binder yesterday. I confess a brand new journal refill always leaves me feeling fresh and hopeful. I'm weird that way. I guess my hope is that the new journal will have smoother flowing hand writing, less crossed out or scribbled things, and perhaps more interesting writing in it. See how naive I can be?

Sooner or later it was bound to happen... I fell off the NaPoWriMo wagon this week. THIS is why I don't like doing it. This is the same reason I dislike New Years resolutions. What part of doomed do people (me) not get?  I am however going to move forward writing a poem today and hope that over the next week I can catch up and finish out the month with 30 poem drafts. No promises though...

This morning my wife dropped me off at work and kept the car so that she could drive out an check o her mother in the nursing home. I saw that someone was in my designated parking spot in the lot. I have to tell you that I was angry about this, even though I was not going to need the spot today. Sitting at my desk, I was fuming about it until I started feeling petty about it. Then I confess that I rationalized that the driver (who has been warned this is designated parking) had no idea that I would not be driving today and still had the nerve to take the spot. But then I felt petty again.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Tax Culture & Finding a Little Happiness

I did my taxes last night. The past two years I've gotten them done early but the important thing is they are finished and filed two days before the deadline. It's that deadline that I'm writing about today.

April 15th is a day the tends to resonate in the mind of Americans. It's a date that's particularly memorable to us. Ask a married couple what day he/or she proposed and they often won't know right off. What day is Tax Day? April 15. Bang... right away they know the answer.

In American culture taxes have become tied to death as two things you can't get out of. It's no wonder April 15 has become such a dreaded but easily remembered day. In recent years various businesses have played on this trying to evoke some cheer and pleasure in the lives of ordinary people by offering give-a-ways... food and other items of cheer.

This year I've searched for some of the Tax Day Perks and found some interesting things.

  • Between 6PM and 8PM stop by participating Cinnabon  bakeries and get free Cinnabon bites.  A little sweet to make you smile. 
  • Arby's offers curly fries & potato cakes all day Tax Day with coupon. This is their third annual give-a-way & what's better on such a day then comfort food? 
  • Office Depot will do up to 5 lbs of shredding for free with coupon on Tax Day
  • Get a Tax Day Rib-bate for 2 for $10.40 
  • White Castle - 15% off entire purchase on Tax Day with coupon.
  • Free HydroMassage on Tax Day through April 19 with  coupon..
  • Sorry, this was for early filers but In LA and San Francisco you could get a "brand new" Trojan Vibrator while supplies last on Thursday and Friday. (Glad they were new). Anyway, this stimulus package may be the most innovative yet.  
So if you are feeling blue, and your pockets are now empty, you can find a few ways to pick yourself up after you've paid your taxes. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

Thought for the Day

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us. ~ Paul Valery

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Celebrating Poetry

While National Poetry Month is relatively new I will share a like to The Academy of American Poets web site where they feature a list of 30 WAYS TO CELEBRATE. I'm sure everyone can find as couple of ideas on now to make this month one of enrichment for themselves and others.

Meanwhile I've completed poem #3 on the third day of NaPoWriMo so I've not fallen off the wagon yet. (fingers crossed)

Recalling Dana Gioia's book of essays, "Can Poetry Matter?" I give you the following link to a Chicago Tribune story on Maj.General John Borling who writes poetry of survival.

Have you written or shared a poem today?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Poet Crush List Edition

Dear Reader:

It's been  one Giants Baseball regular season game, 6 & a half innings of another, one NaPoWriMo poem and  one one week since my last confession. 

April is that cruel month when some of us inflict the agony of 30 poems in 30 days on ourselves. I confess that I've stepped knee deep into this madness again this year. Some years I avoid the pressure and other times I just plunge right in. This is a plunge year.

This month being National Poetry month I though it would be a good time to update my Poet Crush List. I started doing this some time back and I believe the last time I did it was like May of last year. So almost a year and being April I thought it would be a good time to revisit the Crush List and revise it. As writers, we are supposed to be all about revision  aren't we? 

So my Poet Crush list is comprised of ten  living poets. If I would do this three or four times a year it would likely  fluctuate back and forth like undulating waves coming ashore sometimes what's left behind is familiar and sometimes it's new. With that in mind I will give you the new list and my last list. 

NEW LIST  - April 2013 
I Confess these poets rock my world!!!

  1. Mary Biddinger
  2. Dean Young
  3. John Ashbery
  4. Denise Duhamel (new to List)
  5. Kelli Russell Agodon
  6. Stephen Dunn (new to list)
  7. Sharon Olds
  8. Natasha D. Tretheway (new to List)
  9. Diane Ackerman (new to List)
  10. W. S. Merwin

I Confess these poets rocked my world last May
  1. W. S. Merwin
  2. James Richardson
  3. Sharon Olds
  4. Kelli Russell Agodon
  5. Dean Young
  6. John Ashbery
  7. Mary Biddinger
  8. Ada Limon
  9. Charles Simic
  10. Beth Ann Fennelly

Later this week, what makes these poets special...


Monday, April 01, 2013


It's National Poetry Month and NaPoWriMo month as well. I typically struggle about committing to NaPoWriMo as I have a sort of love/hate relationship with it.  I don't really care for the pressure to create because I feel that it conflicts with the best physical and mental dynamic for good writing. I have no problem writing daily and I strongly believe in it. But saying I'm writing a poem every day of the month is a lot of pressure.

There are days it comes easy. There are days & nights that it's tough to birth a poem no matter how hard you try. I consider these all poem drafts because rarely do I ever write a poem in a single setting. I generally try to get something that shows enough promise to be a keeper - something that can be improved over time. But for the sake of NaPaWriMo, these are poems in the most primitive context.

If after 30 days I have 30 poems and 6 or 8 are real keepers, then that's an outstanding month. That is the bar I'm setting this year.

I am posting my daily work on a private poetry forum. This gives me some accountability and allows for some feedback but at the same time is is off the beaten path of the Internet so that the work is not truly published and I am free to work on these pieces for possible submissions down the road.

Are you participating?  How do you approach it.?

I intend to be very active on my blog this month.  Tomorrow is my normal day for Confession Tuesday. It's been almost a year since I did my last Poet Crush List. I'll be updating that list as part of my Confession.