Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Junkie Edition

Dear Reader:

It's been two weeks since my last confession.  Follow me to the box and let's get started....

I confess that I used a mind mapping program last night to brainstorm for an approach to a themed poem I am working on.

I confess that  my San Francisco Giants are in a free-fall. You can't get much lower then being swept by the Cubs. In each game it was by a single run but still...   They started out strong but the wheels seem to be falling off. Yesterday they stopped by the White House and Obama joked that the have a "habit of stopping by the White House". In honoring last years World Series Champs he reminded them, "Hey, you're a second half team."

I confess I need an acceptance letter this month. Does that make me seem like a junkie?

I confess this has become the summer of melons. Watermelon and Cantaloupe have both been exceptional this year and have become a staple in our household.

I confess I've been watching old episodes of Glee and 24 for the first time. I'm always a day late and a dollar short.

That's it for this week...  you are returned to regularly scheduled activities.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


"I thought the most beautiful thing in the world
must be shadow."- Sylvia Plath

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Mag 178: Moon on the Horizen

Andrew Wyeth - The Man and the Moon - 1990

When the land spreads out against the horizon
no man made obstacles to block the view
the moonrise breaks over natural terrain
is a sight to behold

And summer nights when the air is split apart
by the resistance of your bike on the road
your veins are rush with blood
as your body grows goose bumps

Not another soul in sight and the only sound
aside from the song of nature is the putt-putt
of your engine as you throttle down to a stop
dismount the bike and stand stark still

Facing the rising night light
in silent homage and obedience
to the calling stars
even a grown man cries

Michael A. Wells

The Mag

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Confession Tuesday - All-Star Edition

Dear Reader:

I confess that I am aware it's actually Wednesday but if you know me you know my world revolves around baseball. Yesterday was the All-Star game and my mind occupied elsewhere. But here I am tonight to clear everything up for the week.

I confess that something is amiss and the finger seems to be pointing to me. But maybe it's not. Maybe it's all in my head. For the better part of a week now people seem to be asking  me questions for which I have no clue. I'm not talking about the answer as much as I am the question. If I have a blank look on my face when the question is asked it's because I have no idea what the basis of the conversation is. It's as if people are assuming that I know things that  I don't. This is of course frustrating but more significantly it's actually bashing the hell out of my self esteem.  It has happened so much that I'm feeling pretty stupid. There is no accounting otherwise for the look I'm getting when I'm totally clueless. What else am I to think.

The dogs are restless tonight. God are they restless. Who gave them energy drinks? But it's not jet me they are driving crazy. My wife has about had it with them tonight.

And who is putting all the good TV shows against each other making the taping of them on our DVR difficult. I confess that we've gotten hooked on too many shows but we can only do two recordings at the same time - three requires magic.

Well, I've got a couple more days left this week and I hope I can find a little magic. Don't all poets believe in a little magic?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Realizing it is Us...

It's a quiet Saturday where I sit this morning. Everyone else in the household is off doing something but I've been reflecting about an article I read this week in Poets & Writers.  Actually I've been sort of triangulating between art, community and literary journals.

Most who read this blog will have no problem grasping the significance of art an/or literary magazines in daily life, but I do have friends who don't get it. Why should they, for most have no interest in poetry and any reading they do is for pleasure (nothing wrong with that) but I'm thinking for the most part what they are reading is pretty superfluous.

What has sparked my thoughts this morning is an arts magazine call The NewtownerFounded in early 2010 this journal of literary, visual and preforming arts is produced by a volunteer staff in a small Western Connecticut community  that became a house world this past December with the tragic shooting of twenty children and six staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Newtowner is a quarterly magazine. Following the that tragic December, Georgia Monagham, magazine founder reports that she felt like she didn't care if The Newtowner ever went to press again. But that changed as she considered the magazine had an opportunity to do something for the community. The Newtowner could actually play a role in helping to define the community rather then allowing it to be defined by the events on December 14, 2012.

What has happened since that time is to move ahead with a tribute issue to Newtown. Also a goal to put a free copy in the hands of everyone in Newtown, Connecticut.

Monagham's idea is a significantly positive message reflecting art. If a community can be defined by it's art, doesn't that make it's art all the more relevant? I think it does and I love the idea that out of this tragedy such a vision is possible, but must we have tragedy in order for us to define ourselves by art? Must it take such darkness in our lives to realize we are the art? I think more communities should explore their art. Newtown could be a ripple that undulates through communities around this country that allow themselves to find their talents and allow others locally to see those talents first hand.

Others who have lent a hand to this special issues include:
  • Nationally acclaimed authors and illustrators  Wally Lamb, Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson,and Steven Kellogg
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa
  •   Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka

I'm always hearing people say, "poetry is just not relevant to me" and perhaps when we see that  we are all poets, painters, photographers, singers, dancers, story tellers we will meet art and realize it is us.

Note: you can help with funding the project to put a copy of The Newtowner in every home in Newtown by making a contribution here.     Or pre-order get your own copy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Daily Challenge

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. - E.B. White

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Confession Tuesday - the Celsius Edition

Dear Reader:

Tuesday means confession time and I confess that I'm feeling  a little punctual today so let's head to the confessional.

Reader it has been a week since my last confession and
this seems all a bit circular if you know what I mean.

I confess that I wanted to surprise my wife by cooking something new from a recipe book of quinoa dishes. This idea came to me because Cathy has utilized quinoa in cooking - though not in ways that particularly seemed appealing to me. We both like stuffed peppers.  I've made them with ground beef and ground turkey and when I saw a recipe for stuffed peppers with quinoa I thought this would be a great dish for us to try together so I embarked on it tonight.

When I make stuffed peppers I usually do it in the oven & use a Pam like spray on the peppers.  At say 350 degrees.  This recipe called for them to be submerged in warm water and cooked at 180 for 10 minutes covered and another 5 minutes uncovered.  I thought this was incredibly below temperature and time but I trudged on with the cooking. I confess while I deep down knew this was not possible it never occurred to me that the recipe was in Celsius, hence it would have been about 400 in Fahrenheit. Consulting with my wife we made necessary changes and went on successfully finish the dish. I confess that in spite of my lack of common sense we were able to  create a really enjoyable dish.

I confess that this week I've wasted way too much time playing Words with Friends. My wife got it on her new phone and she got me to playing it again. I've had something like #%*!( games going at once.

Some of this may be because the past few days I've had problems with my laptop and it has frustrated me and caused me to get off track on writing and the has emotionally drug me down.  I know this is no excuse - simply a reason.  I've spent too much time on the phone with tech support and this thing is going back. Then I resort to playing  games. Vicious cycle.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Hardly Worth Mentioning

A poem I wrote several years ago found a home at Punchnel's.

 Hardly Worth Mentioning  is the second poem of mine  to appear in  Punchnel's Magazine these last two months.

I always find interesting material in Punchnel's...It's a fun stop on the Internet and not just because of my work. ;-)

Friday, July 05, 2013

You Are WHO You Are

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”  Dr. Seuss

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Yeah for the Simple or No Xanax Required

There are simple things in life that can make your day.  I'm dog sitting away from the house today missing  my family and the normal 4th of July stuff.... (Happy Birthday Shannon!)   It is however an opportunity to do some writing and reading.  I have an ASUS laptop that I've had just shy of two months now. I've previously used and loved Toshiba. This ASUS laptop is thinner - or svelte, there are things I like about it but the one hang-up I've had has been the touchpad (I usually use a wireless mouse) which constantly is activated by my palm as I type no matter how hard I try to be careful. This means that frustratingly my cursor is constantly getting moved all over my page inserting  words where they were not intended and making a mess of almost any project I'm working on.  I never experienced this problem with other laptops.... only this one.

I spent  close to two hours today with support trying various methods to disable the touchpad. This is something that is supposed to be option. Pushing the Fn button and the f9 buttons should disable it, but no, not for me. We tried numerous other possibilities which always came up empty. Tried uploading other files and setting changes - nothing. I finally gave up for the afternoon. I refused to do a refresh as that would have meant reloading programs. I was not up to that tonight.

A few minutes ago I did the Fn & f9 buttons (something I've tried repeatedly and Walla!  They worked! I'm typing this without the touchpad miss-interruptions. It's really cool! I'm a happy person again.*

 *No Xanax was used in the creating of this happiness.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Confession Tuesday - Keep Calm Edition

Dear Friends-

Yet another week has come and gone. Won't you come with me to the confessional?

The planetary alignment is not presently good for the vehicles in our family.  We have multiple car issues that have all hit at once. I confess that car problems are a big stressor for me. Fortunately we have not had a lot of them lately but the astro-vehicular alignment was like a plague yesterday and we are still dealing with the repercussions  and likely will be for a couple days more. My poor tired daughter picked me up from work, took me to the chiropractors tonight and then my final destination for the evening.  She still has places to be yet tonight. I confess I appreciate her help but feel for her and her late nigh driving saga.

With the 4th of July holiday falling on Thursday I confess that I feel cheated. Monday or Friday would work quite nicely. I'm pinning for a 3 day weekend and I cannot lie. I confess right now I have the melody for "I like big butts and I cannot lie" running through my head and an the words "big weekends" substituted for rumps. It's a  little weird, I'll give you that.

I got some really good poetry news yesterday but I confess that I cannot share it just yet.

I confess that I'm reading in my Kindle more lately. I confess I STILL prefer real pages in binding. I do like the convenience of it and the % as opposed to page numbers.

I've debated some things lately with respect to my poetry and these little internal debates while not new, have presented with levels of  clarity I've not been accustomed to. This is good because it means that I've not been fretting as much about such things as do I enter this contest; to I submit the work here or there and then being a piece with myself after the deadlines have passed.

I think I'm becoming a calmer poet. This also seems to be crossing over into other aspects of my life. I confess that this feels like a good thing.