Post 20160328

Hey, can you believe it? National Poetry Month IS IN 4 DAYS NOW! I’ve already started stalking the NaPoWriMo web site. And I am ready to tackle the prompts. In addition, I’ve just submitted my first pamphlet/chap book to a contest and I’d like to do something special for everyone who comes to my site, whose poetry I read, and who takes the time to read my poems (sometimes through their fingers, I’m sure).

Open Mic

Yes, inspired by Rose at https://poetrummager.wordpress.com/ (but not officially endorsed by her), I’d like to do some audio recordings of my poems. And I’d like you to join in. During the month of April, record yourself reading one of your own poems (it has to be yours so I don’t go to jail). Post it to your site, and add the link in the comments below, do a pingback, both.

And before any of you say you can’t, or you don’t like how you sound, let me just say that I am pledging to do at least two poems, and I hate the sound of my own voice so much that when I hear myself recorded, I turn into The Hulk and beat myself senseless.

So let’s all push boundaries, read and listen to each, and embarrass the hell out of ourselves. And if you can’t be embarrassed, great–I’ll get some rye and Swiss to go with all the ham.


OPEN MIC

Simple steps.

  1. Record yourself reading one of your own works.
  2. Post it on your site.
  3. Include a link to this post in your post.
  4. Comment below or send me a message using the contact form (I might see the pingback from your post).
  5. I will post a link with your name and  poem title RIGHT HERE.
  6. You’ve got all month.
  7. It’s an open mic invitation. NOT a challenge.

Remember, just pop your link in the comments or email it to me using the contact form and I’ll add it to the post.

Ok, as the host, I am going first. If you didn’t see it already, here is the link:

Crow Reading 20160406
https://wordsandfeathers.com/2016/04/06/reading-20160406/

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Poet Rummager Celestial Stars
https://poetrummager.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/celestial-stars/

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Elusive Trope Zeitgeist
https://elusivetrope.com/2016/04/12/zeitgeist/

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Crow let us go 20160428
https://wordsandfeathers.com/2016/04/28/let-us-go-reading-20160428/

Post 20160101

It’s the first day of a new year and I’ve decided on something new.

I’ve been running this blog for over a year now, just over a year. November of 2014, I decided to try to write a poem every day. At least one poem every day. I wanted to do this for a couple of reasons. First, my novel writing wasn’t going anywhere. Everyone would tell me my writing was good, but no one wanted the novel I had produced. t was discouraging to say the least. And I had this old WordPress blog for years that had been sitting silent and getting dusty. Why not use it to put my poems out into the wild?

So I did.

And two, I really had an itch to write poems. Maybe it had been building up in me for years. Maybe all those embarrassing self-indulgent poems I wrote in high school weren’t out of my system. Whatever the cause was, I had poems that needed to come out.

The result? A little more than a year’s worth of poems, almost one every single day of the year. I think I may have missed less than a handful of times, and I posted other things too. Pictures. Songs that got stuck in my head. The occasional post baring my soul on one or another topic. But really, it all came down to the poems.

Now, with a new year upon, I’ve decided take the WordPress blog and squeeze it into my other social media accounts. Facebook. Twitter. Google Plus (is that still really around?). Even Tumblr. Why?

Because I am indulging myself. The poems here are not to everyone’s taste, but they are to mine. Some are not good at all. In fact, some are downright bad. Most are okay. Some are spectacular.

And that’s not just me having a big head, though everyone who’s ever encountered me knows, my head needs its own zip code.

So enjoy the poems if you can, hide them if you can’t. Because every day for a year. I’m going to crank them out. Good. Bad. Mediocre.

The internet is my notebook in 2016. Thanks for reading.

Post 20151220

IMG_4688

So this is prose and rambly, and won’t be very skillfully put down.

Tonight my wife and I went to a local mall. If you live or have been to Southern California (or have ever watched one those news programs about malls and how much money they make at Christmas), you may have heard of South Coast Plaza. It’s been around for years and years, and has evolved apace with the unending passionate consumption South Orange County. When I was a kid, the had a Woolworth’s and my dad would take me to the lunch counter after church for lunch, usually greasy deep fried burritos.

I have no idea how or why Woolworth’s was selling these fake-a-ritos. I’m sure they were the Mexican analogue that Chun King chow mein in a can is to Chinese food. But to a kid, they were good.

That was over forty years ago. Woolworths is long gone. Many stores appeared and disappeared like capitalist fever dreams over the years. Sears has remained, maybe the one and only store to not change. That and the carousel.

Tonight though, my wife and I went to get her an early Christmas present. Spur of the moment thing, something she’s been wanting, but not really asking for. We are weird when it comes to presents for each other. We avoid waiting for birthdays and holidays, and if one of us really wants something, we just buy it and the gift is presented with a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Birthday” even if those events a half a year away. So this was a little unusual, this trip so close to Christmas to buy a present. (Though to be be true to our own natures, there was no wrapping or waiting. She opened the gift when she got home.)

After buying her present, there was no need to rush home, so we walked around. And I discovered, that, without the pressure of having to be there, of needing to find the perfect present or toy without which Christmas would be ruined and our children would have to seek therapy later in life, without that hanging over my head, it was really kind of wonderful to walk around. To see people.

Yes, there were some, rushing, pinched, panicked faces, and I could relate because I have been where they were. But I wasn’t tonight. I enjoyed the happy people who were just enjoying themselves, the kids excited to see Santa, the kids screaming because they wanted to be anywhere else, the couples clinging to each in the crowds, the music, the bells, the lights, the lights, the lights.

The press of people, for once, didn’t bother me.

And for that, for being able to enjoy that time with my wife, I am grateful. And I wanted to say it.

Well, write it.

IMG_4689

Post 20151119

I’m going to say thank you to Doug at his terrific blog Elusive Trope for nominating me for the Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge.

How the challenge works: I nominate three others to also embrace this challenge and, on three consecutive days, to provide a quote along with your take on it. As far as I can see, that take can be a post (like this one will be), or a poem, or a photo. Hey, how about a song, or spoken word?

Here are my nominations:

Optional Poetry
Poet Rummager
Linton’s Legacy

And now, the quote. As a warning, it’s a little heavy.

—–
Men are what their mothers made them.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

My mother died last year, three days after Christmas, and today is her birthday. We were very close when I was growing up. My father was, for many years, out of the picture except on weekends, and she was the literal center of my world. The older I got, she told me that I would grow up and leave her, and I swore, I promised that I would always take care of her. She had a tremendous fear of being left alone. If she had one defining characteristic, it was that.

Of course, I did grow up and got married, and moved out. Even before that, the older I got, the more complicated my relationship with her became. She loved secrets and kept some real whoppers from me, some which I will never ever get to the bottom of now that she’s gone.

Her mother died of Alzheimer’s. She was terrified that she would develop it too, and since she was already a bit scatterbrained even when she was younger, was convinced that it would claim her. Ultimately, it did take her. She was 80 when she died. And I was not there for her or with her.

We’d had a parting of the ways some fifteen years prior. And without being specific–even thought the principal players are now dead–she made a choice that I disagreed with, and didn’t want my young family involved with. So I made a choice that separated us. And though we kept in touch by phone, I never saw her more than a handful of times years before she began forgetting the names of my children.

There’s a pretty good chance I’ll develop Alzheimer’s. Maybe it’s karma for being a bad son, or just seriously fucked up genetics.

Are men what their mothers make them? I don’t know. I was her last child, her baby. I got more than my share of attention. My mother loved me. I loved my mother. But I felt like I couldn’t have her in my life. And the guilt of it sometimes crushes me.

Post 20151024

Here’s one of my infrequent posts.

I just posted something a little spooky. Probably not too spooky. But here’s the deal. I love Halloween. So I’d like to offer a challenge to anyone who still reads this (my stats indicate I don’t get many actual visitors). We have exactly one week until Halloween. For each day, pick a Halloween theme and write a poem. For example: a trick, a treat, something scary, a Halloween memory, anything as long as you can relate it to Halloween. Tag it with “halloween challenge” so I can find it.

No prizes. Who am I, Rockefeller?

Post 20150924 (3 Days, 3 Quotes–Quote #3)

Day three of the challenge. I’ll repost the rules, one last time. See the first post if you want to see who I tagged.

In a nutshell, here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

2. Share one new quote on three consecutive days on your blog. They can be from anywhere, anyone, or anything that inspires you… Which means, it can be from yourself, too!

3. On each of the three days, nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this mission impossible endeavor (if they dare!)

Here’s my quote for Day Three:

“Oh you’ll have your heart broken… Is that what you’re waiting to hear? It’ll be broken, all right. But you’ll never get anything done if you walk around with an unchipped heart. That the way of it, boy.”

–Peter Straub, Shadowland

This book a was a revelation to me when I was a teenager, and this quote has remained with me for almost forty years. I’ve never found it to be contradicted.

Post 20150923 (3 Days, 3 Quotes–Quote #2)

Day two of the challenge. I’ll repost the rules, although I remind you, I’m not following the rules. See yesterday’s post if you want to see who I tagged.

In a nutshell, here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

2. Share one new quote on three consecutive days on your blog. They can be from anywhere, anyone, or anything that inspires you… Which means, it can be from yourself, too!

3. On each of the three days, nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this mission impossible endeavor (if they dare!)

Here’s my quote for Day Two:

Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those which a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.
–Buddha

Another great quote about the ultimate nature of reality. I’m something of an agnostic about metaphysical matters, and I’ve always felt that people should be agnostic. In fact, they shouldn’t feel that they know. Every single person I have met who is sure about what the universe is all about has turned out to be closed-minded and judgmental, and not just about metaphysical matters. I honestly think science holds a lot more answers than any other discipline because of it’s intellectual rigor. But that’s because the driving force of science (and the truth behind this quote) is always we don’t know, but we should try to find out through experience.

Post 20150922 (3 Days, 3 Quotes–Quote #1)

So I’ve been tagged. Don’t worry, no spray paint got in my eyes. Instead, it’s a challenge to present one of your favorite quotes and tag three other bloggers with the same challenge.

In a nutshell, here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

2. Share one new quote on three consecutive days on your blog. They can be from anywhere, anyone, or anything that inspires you… Which means, it can be from yourself, too!

3. On each of the three days, nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this mission impossible endeavor (if they dare!)

—-

Okay. I hate rules, but I will follow them to a certain extent

First off, thank you, Elusive Trope for picking me. I enjoy your poems and am glad that you enjoy mine. Everyone, please go and look at his site. You can come back here later.

Second, the quote. I have a quote in my sig file. I see it every time I send an email and I send a lot of email, but I don’t always think too much about it. here it is so we can all think about it.

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
–Edgar Allan Poe

It seems almost trite, but in two lines he sums up what may be the biggest tenet of Buddhist philosophy. All of the boundaries between us are illusions of our making. We are all one, all in this together. Also, it has the cool Inception/Matrix vibe going for or over a hundred years ago.

Third, I’m only nominating three bloggers in total, and they are:

Hopefully they all check their pingbacks!