Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is the last day before my working vacation and I have a funky poem I came up with...hopefully you'll like it. I was a little bummed by the formatting of it, but it's the only way I could get the poem into a picture format and be somewhat of how I wanted to originally be. So, understand that it's not completely the way I like it, but due to technology... I can't do much about it. Enjoy!!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It is called the Writer's Almanac, and it is hosted by Garrison Keillor. If you have not heard it, then tune into your local NPR station and figure out when it is on for you. That is, if you like poetry and random facts about authors or literary figures... I do! Also, if you don't want to listen all day to NPR to find it, you can go to this website: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/
I love the Writer's Almanac because it gives you a recital of a poem, as well as a literary 'This Day in History.' For the history section, you usually learn about the birthday (sometimes death) of some person who influenced literature. Sometimes these people are authors themselves, other times it could be just a patron who sought the dissemination of literature. Most of the time I have no idea who the show speaks of, but when I do it is fascinating to see how the fact enriches your understanding of a person (that is the geek in me speaking).
The poem follows, and it can be short or slightly long in length, depending on how much time was spent on the history section. Many of the poems come from modern poets, but there tend to be some surprises as well. Not all are liked, and some are just downright awful (my tastes there obviously). However, all are bookended by the closing line of the show: "Be well, do good work, & keep in touch."
As corny as it may be, I love to listen to the last line. I wait for it in my car when I am listening to the radio on the way to work. I don't know what it is, but I like it. Anyway, that's my plug for the day, and I hope you all will take the time and listen to the Writer's Almanac. It is definitely good for the soul!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
How will the world survive? Pretty simple, no one reads this so no one will really care :)
But on the off-chance I do get a reader who's psyched about reading the blog everyday, I did not want to dissappoint them with no warning.
Well, now on to the poetry part, sort of. I wanted to put down a part for a play I have brewing in my mind lately. This excerpt is a letter of a transplant recipient to the donor family and I was just hoping for some ideas from people to see if they like it, if they find it moving. Anyway, here it is:
Dear donor family,
Boy, that salutation just does not do justice for what you mean to me. But, how I’m starting this is inadequate as well. How does one sum up all the feelings raging inside them at a moment like this? Well, I guess honesty is a good start. I didn’t want to write this letter, at first. I was asked to do so by my therapist, and I resisted. (Yes, I did say therapist – dealing with death and all your sins can be really tough to do.) I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to justify my existence with your loss.
That’s when I realized I couldn’t. But I could tell you how my life has changed because of your son/brother/husband/??? And to tell you how it changed, you have to know how it was before. I was a chain smoker for thirty-five years, a workaholic, and a dead-beat dad. You could call me a dead-beat man, for I did not even deserve to be called a dad. I know what you may be thinking, and you’re right. Not a pretty picture in the least.
I thought I had the world at my feet. Have you ever felt like that? I felt that way until about five years ago. Have you ever had a cough that wouldn’t go away? Mine went on for about a year before I went to the doctors. At that visit, I had the world pulled right out from under me. Emphysema, they said, and bad at that. Roughly two years to live, but most likely only eighteen months. I freaked, literally. Long story short, I broke down and cried my heart out… And then I cried some more. After some time, I looked past my selfishness, and I saw past my condition. That’s when I saw the wreck that was my life and knew I needed to patch it together before my last breath. If that was possible that was. It took four years after that point, but I reunited with my daughter and son, and also with other family members. I focused on them and gave them my all. And even before that, I quit smoking.
I was prepared for death, and I lay in the hospital just waiting for my last few breaths. That was when a miracle presented itself and I received a lung transplant. When I woke up, I made a vow that moment. It’s a vow I plan to keep until the good Lord takes me: that I put family first, and that I thank God and your loved one for his gift of life. If you want, I would love to continue to write to you.
My deepest regards and sympathy,
Monday, October 26, 2009
I feel that slam poetry should be encouraged by all poets on the simple fact that any and all attempts to make poetry more accessible are good for the health of poetry. Although described as more masculine and akin to sports by one critic, slam poetry merges the popularity of rap music with the allure of competition. These two are very popular with youth (and adults) who do not have any exposure to poetry, save from their English class. Slam poetry provides a venue to "see" poetry in action, as opposed to just having to read it for an assignment. Having someone speak out passionately about an emotionally charged topic can be exhilarating if you let your senses take in what's being fed to them. Unfortunately, when many of the critics hear slam poetry, they tend to take in the words only...where they become subjects to dissect, analyze, and excoriate to see if they stand the litmus test of time. Just as great teaching does, slam poetry stimulates more than just one area of the mind.
Now, even those poets who don't believe all of the previous statements, hopefully they can admit to this one: slam poetry brings a wider audience to the table. That alone should be enough to convince poets of all styles to unite behind its support. Likewise, slam poetry needs to bring more of the 'conventional' poets to the audience's attention. Slam poetry has the potential of being a 'gateway drug' for budding poets to move to different styles. I think by embrancing both sides, each could provide a mutually benefitting relationship. The end result of this relationship should be in a larger support for poetry in general.
What argument could be more important than that?
Friday, October 23, 2009
I want to make sure that I don't infringe upon copyrights during any of this, for I feel that hopefully by linking to the work, and not reproducing it, I can avoid any unnecessary troubles. Here's to fingers being crossed!
Anyway, I read the poem and thought it was cute. I didn't put much thought into until when I signed into here, and looked at the blog of a good friend of mine, here's the blog link:
I picked Fleda Brown's poem from the list in the current issue of The Georgia Review mainly because I thought her name was funky. In her poem, she speaks of how we often, in our arrogant ways, think we understand nature after having observed the scientific aspects of an event. Also, that in nature, everything is cause and effect. As if to say that birds migrate only because they're programmed to do so, and not of a volition to act. Then as I read Jessica's blog about how plants can sense their "siblings," (and after reading the article: http://www.livescience.com/environment/091020-plant-siblings.html) it seems sibling plants apparently will share ground space and nutrients, while they will compete against foreign plants. Once again, we need to reevaluate how we view plants and their ability to communicate.
Maybe we should reevaluate how science views the migratory flight of birds? Along that note, I always wonder about the last few geese, the one's and two's stragglers that you'll see flying very late into fall... are they fighting the urge to fly down south because they found a nice place to stay? Do they not want to leave home, like a teenager resisting the finals days before inevitably heading off to college?
Just a thought and a post about coincidence, cause, and effect...
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
So it was very much my surprise when, after glancing through the "Teen" section, I chanced upon a book by Ellen Hopkins called Crank. A black cover with the word "crank" written in powdery yellowish letters. I picked it up, opened it up to the first page contained the following lines: "Life was good before I met the monster After, life was great, At least, for a little while." I read the dedication next, and then reread the intro lines. A sorry pun intended, I was hooked. I began reading the novel a little while longer, but immediately mentioned to my wife that this was something I would like to have. She always likes to buy things for me, and I rarely want stuff, so I make sure to let her know when the occasion does arise. Anyway, with the book purchased, I took it home and the next day began reading it.
To give a brief description of the novel:
Written in verse, the novel is a collection of poems that narrates the unfolding of one girl's addiction to methamphetamines. That is all I feel I can really say without giving away too much. I know it's not much of a description, but then again, I did say it would be brief.
The novel is intriguing and should keep most readers engaged completely. However, if you are not one who simply rejects all forms of poetry, then this novel is not for you. For those that keep open minds, but may not have liked the 'traditional' poetry read in their past, this is not Shakespeare. That neither diminishes Hopkins's work nor Shakespeare’s, but it’s to say that Crank is more like a striped down version of a traditional novel. After leaving out punctuation (most at least), paragraph structure, complete sentences, and bogged-down lines explaining the minute details, what's left is a hot-rod sleek story that goes full-throttle, relentlessly taking the reader along the ride that is called "the monster."
As I mentioned before, I finished the book within a day. A note for readers, I am an extremely slow reader and usually take a summer to read one novel. If you're like me, you might find the verse liberating, allowing your imagination to fill in the details while you can wrap yourself around the emotions and tragedy of Kristina Snow.
So far, I've made this seem like the greatest novel ever. Well, to be honest, it is depressing in terms of story line. The reader does not receive a warm fuzzy at the end, even though the resolution is more upbeat and positive than the rest. Also, Hopkins's way presenting the worst case scenario out of many of the events (ex. the main character becomes addicted after her first use, and
Overall, it is a great read, and I suggest all to read it. I will be passing along my copy soon!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As a result, I am changing things around here. Instead of one poem per weekday, I will have one entry per day, but the topic will still be centered around poetry of some format (either my own or others). I do make this promise: two poems per week at the minimum. I think that is an obtainable goal. And if I fail on this aspect well then it doesn't matter because no one reads it anyway.
So I guess this will have to be considered a restart to the blog. Tomorrow I will have a post about Crank, by Ellen Hopkins. If you haven't read it, I highly suggest it. It's a pretty quick read; I read it in a day and I read stupidly slow. Well, until tomorrow!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Unfortunately, I had to take the poem down... boo to wanting to submit original unpublished work
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Now, we do have the ability to access the Internet through our Nintendo Wii. It is good for just surfing some pages and such, but writing is a whole different matter. You see, for their internet program, unless you have a wireless keyboard, you must use a pop up key pad on the screen. A whole key board pops up and you must aim with your remote at the small buttons. If you can imagine, writing long pieces is practically impossible, as the likelihood of making mistakes is high. One wrong aim and then you have doubled your time to just hit that one character.
Anyway, I wanted to have something down for the day, so I created the small rhyme you saw as my stand in.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
For right now I am writting this from home
Whereby through use of a Nintendo Wii
I make my entry, don't you envy me?
Character by character I must push
Until distracted, I come up with “wush”
As a ‘word' to try and to fit the rhyme
So I can finish before it's bedtime
To hit a button on a very small screen
Is verging quite a bit on the obscene
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I will admit right away that I do not have permission to publish this poem, but since no one views this yet, and I do not collect money for this blog, I feel I can get away with it. Also, I am trying to credit the hell out of the author and where I obtained the information. If you click on the title of this blog you'll be linked to the website. Please do not sue me if you have the power!
Here it is from Poetry 180:
Introduction to Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
from The Apple that Astonished Paris, 1996
University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Ark.
Copyright 1988 by Billy Collins.
All rights reserved.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I took off the poem. Sorry, had to if I want to submit it!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Oh audience of none, thank you for your consideration.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Iridescent, it’s open to the fates
Pause, slow down, catch it in your hand
Reflect, look, it waits your command
Though but small, its power never abates…
Through struggle, it will be your constant guide
In the day, it outshines the light
And quell all the waves in the night
It will pull you as the moon does the tide
Yet it cannot live where one is so blind
In heart, and is futile against foes
When shut out and shuttered from those
Whose spirit is separated from mind
These are the thoughts to which I hold so dear
So as not to lead a life of wretch’d fear
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Sneeze Unsavored
Poised, tenaciously hunched over
I wait for blast-off like some intrepid astronaut
The anticipation, the creeping tickle
Spreading through my nasal cavity implores immediate action
Bracing, rapidly inhaling
The fuel to spread those noxious bodies at amazing speeds into space
Stupefied, but still hovering
The moment must surely be upon me
Frustrated, and tense
When the hell is it just going to happen?
Exasperated, and unresolved
A dull throb indicates no glorious climax, no soothing relief – and a glorious moment wasted
How damn annoying.