Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Little Song, A Little Dance,...

"A little song, a little dance, a little Seltzer down your pants"

Sometimes it's the greatest little bits that are the best. I pulled that one from a dedication on "Modern Family," a great show to watch.

Well, I have another preliminary poem for you called Lists:


Reasons Why I Work Here:
1) I need money.
2) I have bills to pay; thus see number one.
3) I cannot find another job.
4) For the jobs that are out there, I do not have the proscribed amount of years experience, exact match in degree, and I do not know anyone within the company to look past the buzz words and see the actual talent in me.
5) I am not rich beyond care and do not have a sugar momma.

Pleasant Alternatives to Current Situation:
1) Not work here.
2) Have a job with a real career path.
3) Have a job where I can expect to grow and be challenged.
4) Have a job with some reasonable amount of security or knowledge of termination date.
5) Work in an environment that inspires communication, not attention to a blinking cursor.
6) Win/Inherit a ridiculous amount of money.

Things I Would Do with a Ridiculous Amount of Money:
1) Make a money sandwich and eat it all down until my crap turned green.
2) Once I passed all of that, finally call in to say “I quit” à la Scarface in Half Baked.
3) Put a urinal in my bathroom.
4) Start a foundation for out-of-work clowns and circus members.
5) Work towards the dream of world peace, and smile, but with not too many teeth showing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Preliminary Poem

Well, I felt since I skipped yesterday, and today has been just as busy, and that today would have been my mother's 61st bday today... I decided to post up a preliminary first run of a poem (although, most of my stuff is first run to be honest :)) as a way to try to remember her. Hope you all enjoy:

Wishing to dream

With time and distance, memories begin to fade
And the thoughts once routine are tougher to
Hold on, longer in searching, more thought than picture…
But I hold on, long for your voice, long for your warm
Touch, and regret knowing the last time I held your hand

For when you came to me you were love and attention,
And I was but young and all-knowing in my invincibility
And surroundings…what a time that was, what a sweet,
Ridiculously naïve boy I was, and how fast one can grow
Up given the proper awakening, the official club entrance

But I’m too hard on myself, I did the best
I could at the time, and I am trying my best now
Would be the words out of your mouth, for sure.
And I try to remember your words, and the sound
They made against my pliant ears, and the feeling
Brought from within by Mother and Child,
Mother and Son
Because I’m tired of having to rely on others’
Recollections and stories of you and them,
And not on the ones between you and I

That is why I am wishing to dream you,
Wishing my subconscious will take over
And bring back the home videos and tapped
Conversations that should have documented
Our time together had we the foresight

And it is there I will see your face, and the
Joy felt with Mother and Child, Mother and Son

Monday, November 16, 2009

Explore Different Poets with Collections

As I have said before, I am not an expert at writing. I write (this blog and other outlets) for the release of creative tension I feel when (I allow) other things to get in the way, or when I make that tried-and-true excuse of "I don't have time." It is exercising my mind in a meaningful (for me) way...much as someone would go to the gym to workout around others, as opposed to in their home. Further, when a person goes to the gym they tend to pick up new techniques or exercises by watching the more experienced at work.

Well, I am that person in the analogy. I write to workout my thoughts into forms that others will find interesting/uplifting/whatever emotion I set out to achieve. Like that person, I also watch others working out as much as possible, which means I read other works of poetry. I always find the best way to improve your writing is to read others' works. I know, that's advice that's been given time over, but it's just about the best out there. To "watch" poets at work, you only need to pick up a collection of poems. Collections of poetry allow a reader to hit a wide variety of authors, often within the same vein of styles. I know, that may sound contradictory, but pick one up and you'll see what I mean.

If you don't know much about collections, then reading one will offer you a look at writers who may not be familiar with, as opposed to the tried-and-true authors we have known from school. The format of collections is usually based on theme: example, what have you lost? is a collection selected by Naomi Shihab Nye that explores loss in various formats (loss of a loved one, of childhood, of freedom, of clarity, etc). In this collection, you will be able to read the works of writers whose voices are seldom heard (maybe some for good reason, others for not). And that, to me, is the best aspect of collections: being able to explore fringe authors in a genre. The under-represented, to me, usually have a tone the speaks to their hearts, not to the planning of a publisher looking for high volume sales. But that's the cynic in me...

So go out to your bookstore, grab one off the shelf, and start reading...or do so online. Happy reading!

Friday, November 13, 2009

So, once again, due to the whole alignment of font and lack of technological capabilities on the blog I have added the poem as an image. This takes me way too long than I can to do and wish I could easily just cut and paste and be done with it. The trouble I go through for this website :) I hope you enjoy and, as usual, critiques are welcome regardless of the severity.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I think this is a day that we all need to remember. That one would give their life for another is something that transcends all political or social views. I have immense respect for all soldiers and as such think this is a day I should not contribute my own poor poetry.

Therefore, here is a smathering of poems I feel should be remembered and read by all. I hope you enjoy them and remember their meaning:

In Flanders Field:

Arguably one of the most reknown poems from a war, this poem came from Lt. Col. John McCrae. McCrae wrote the poem after seeing the death of a fellow soldier. He threw the poem out, but thankfully an officer saved it from the trash. Which goes to show that you should never throw away a poem no matter how much you hate it at the time.

Another side note: I am not sure if this tradition is common knowledge to many of us younger generations, but the wearing of red poppies to honor of the fallen was a result of this poem, along with one from Moina Michael that follows.

In Flanders Fields
Lt. Col. John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Here is the response by Moina Michael:

We Shall Keep the Faith

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.

Here is another selection I think fitting:

A Nation's Strength
Walt Whitman

Not gold, but only man can make
A people great and strong;
Men who, for truth and honor's sake,
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly --
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.

The next poem was also written during WWI. An interesting note: The first and last lines of the poem were borrowed by Ronald Regan during his address to the nation after the NASA Challenger disaster.

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward, I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Finally, this poem has some of my sentiment of not wanting to write today, but with a very cynical tone to it directed at politicians. It was written in 1928.

On Being Asked For a War Poem
William Butler Yeats

I THINK it better that in times like these
A poet's mouth be silent, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter's night.

I guess the last thing I will leave you with is a link to the Poetry Foundation. The link will lead you to a few poems about Sept. 11th. I decided to link it for I feel this is the link that defines most of the current generations. For most of the younger generations, I would argue that the word "poppy" is usually followed by the word "drugs." The image of Flanders Field is not readily available to most. Therefore, I think it is important to remember Sept. 11th as we honor all soldiers who gave their lives.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

William Blake

So, this is going to another cop-out for an entry because I ran out of time today. But if you've never read William Blake, I suggest you do. He wrote some really good stuff and was a wickedly strange dude. Here is his website:

He also painted, as you can see from the image I attached. Read up, and enjoy!