And a friendly reminder, April is National Poetry Month #NPM
And a friendly reminder, April is National Poetry Month #NPM
Before I share let me say, I am aware of the cynical tone of this piece.
I said, “of this piece” because I am not a cynical person. Sarcastic, yes, but not cynical.
It’s not the quarantine or the Covid 19 bug that is bugging me, hell it’s not even the empty shelves in the grocery stores or having to wipe with an oak leaf. That is not a big deal, remember I was a piss poor country bumpkin so this just reminds me of happier days as a child.
So what brought about this Friday’s Free-For-All on this Good Friday? It’s the peee-puuul! Well not ALL the people – and definitely not you friend. (Insert winky face, smiley face and through in a bunch of virtual hugs)
Sigh. People never fail to amuse me.
So while I am feeling amused during this holy time I thought I’d get up on my Hickory stump podium and compose a poem. (And a picture)
You look for your Jesus in a cheap red suit in December and a bunny suit come Easter.
You dress Him in costumes and [unknowingly?] mock His sacrifice.
You keep Him naked, wounded and nailed to a cross; not to remind you that he was the Passover Lamb but to have him languish in his suffering. You sacrifice him over and over again, creating molten images to hold him on the cross.
You have married Him to Santa and a goddess named Easter/Ishtar; you worship their imaginary offspring of pretty packages and hard boiled eggs, savory sweets and bunny rabbits… none of which can save you. Ha! These objects of your affection are inanimate – they cannot even save themselves!
You dress for the occasion – Sunday’s best. Is this your costume?
Donned in your fetching attire you sit down to feast and stuff your belly with unclean meats and your spirit starves. But it’s “holy”. .. So holy! You take it all in and shit it out. Cleansing?
Amidst fearful news you fret over toilet paper and regurgitate biblical verses [verses you haven’t taken the time to read, much less comprehend] and warn of Christ’s coming… of the great rapture.
Ohhh child, you are ripe for the devil’s picking.
Have a blessed Good Friday & Happy Easter Y’all
I am doing a new experiment with an old retailer.
Smashwords, based in Los Gatos, California, is an e-book-distribution platform founded by Mark Coker for independent authors and publishers. The company began public operation in 2008. Wikipedia
Okay maybe Smashwords isn’t that old but it is older than my Indie Adventures.
So, here’s the deal. Smashwords has a publishers option to let the reader decide the price they are willing to pay for a book as in: “You set the price!”
Yep! You can pay $0.00 or $1,000,000,000 for a book. It’s up to you. And I have made that option available for all of my titles with Smashwords. Seriously. No fooling.
Man wouldn’t that be cRaZy nice if someone dropped a million bucks on one (or all) of my books. Woo-hoo! I would be like, (happy dance ensues)
“Yo fans and frenz it’s party at my place.” We would have soooo much fun with beers and grilling and…
(Dream comes to screeching halt. Author frowns and regains composure.)
Anyway… Check it out. [Note not all titles are up on their site yet and many copies at Smashwords are from years ago but I am trying to update while adding to the list.]
I’ll let y’all know how the “You set the price” experiment goes sometime in the near future.
You all know April is National Poetry Month so we have that to look forward to, right? Right!
In the mean while just look at my Nectarine tree blooming and making little baby Nectarines. The babies look like something from a horror film now but before long they will be scary delicious.
Does anyone have a poem about Nectarines?
No? Well here’s to inspiration.
It seems Edgar Allan Poe was born an orphan and subsisted as a lonely dejected urchin all his life. His father David Poe Jr. abandoned his mother Elizabeth early on. A couple of years after his disappearance Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis; all before little Eddie was three years old.
A couple named John and Frances Allan took Edgar into their home and fostered him until adulthood or the age of eighteen. At 18 Poe joined the United States Army under the alias Edgar A. Perry claiming to be twenty-two years old because he could not [reportedly] find gainful employment
Tick tock tick tock.
Frances died and Poe was disowned by John Allan—the men had been at odds for some time. Poe did not turn out be the man Allan expected and Allan turned out to be a man Poe despised. One could not abide the other’s vices. That is my summation.
Poe had problems. He drank too much, dreamed too much and lived with depression. That’s undoubtedly obvious.
Tick tock tick tock.
Poe married his first cousin Virginia when he was 26, she was half his age. Yeah, and after a decade of harmony guess what? January 30th 1847 she died of tuberculosis.
Alone again and in failing health Poe became increasingly unstable. On October 3rd 1849 he was found wandering the streets of Baltimore bedraggled and in a state of delirium. Four days later on October 7th 1849 Edgar Allan Poe died in hospital. Alone.
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were – I have not seen
As others saw – I could not bring
My passions from a common spring –
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow – I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone –
And all I lov’d – I lov’d alone –
Then – in my childhood – in the dawn
Of a most stormy life – was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still –
From the torrent, or the fountain –
From the red cliff of the mountain –
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold –
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by –
From the thunder, and the storm –
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view –
The official cause of death is not recorded, perhaps it is not known. Speculations abound. Alcoholism, tuberculosis, syphilis, encephalitis, concurrent disease, murder…
All I know is this: He was only forty years old and was (like most of us) his own worst enemy. Despite his inner darkness I think Edgar Allan Poe managed to shine a light. I pray he is not alone and that the demon no longer hinders his view.
His remains are buried at Westminster Hall Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
We are going to mIx iT uP this final week of NMP. Today (Monday) let’s take a look at Poet Dreaming by Loretta Diane Walker and mull it over.
Mull it. Ha! That sounds like a fish or a bad haircut.
Tsk!Tsk! Ignore the clown behind me and clear your mind.
No sky could hold so much light.
Poems are nomads paddling through darkness
collecting words from the arms
of Orion, Sagittarius, and Perseus
before camping in a poet’s dream.
She sees souls as colliding galaxies,
holes of light burning
with millions to trillions of stars
too bright to fit in the cavity of sky.
Those stars are poems
crammed in the dusty envelopes of mortal bodies,
shimmering beneath white ribbons of bone.
A silhouette of stars floats in the window of her eye.
The energy of need forces tiny hands to brush
against the small wings of a sigh hovering in the evening.
She hears the silhouette speak
in a voice the timbre of a piccolo,
“Look Mommy! I caught a butterfly.”
On the other side of her dream, she sees the light of joy,
and a moth beating its powdery gray life
in the basket of a child’s palms.
From In This House published by Blue Light Press.
Now let us ponder…
I was immediately captivated by the first line poems are nomads paddling through darkness. I could literally perceive souls as colliding galaxies and got lost in the poetry until I felt like Loretta Diane Walker pressed me [unwilling] into a mortal body and awakened me to the wonder of a child’s voice. I regret I do not have a better photograph to compliment the imagery of the poem. I even added stars among the fireworks in this picture but it does not suffice… Oh well. In short, Poet Dreaming was a relatable piece and by golly I liked it! As a matter of fact I heard a little bird say I will be getting a copy of In This House for Mother’s Day.
I wrote some poetry once Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)
I am Going To Bed Until My Hair Grows Out
I am going to bed until my hair grows out
A month a year I do not care
It is bobbed, butchered and ruined no doubt
So I’m going to bed till my hair grows out
Halt the mail and hold my calls
Store my stuff in ole mothballs
Give away my favorite dolls
I will be old when my hair grows out
*Patience, personal evolution and creativity can all be learned from a single bad haircut.
Reminder: Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) will be FREE April 18th through the 21st while we do this A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me.
Okay, I might have been wrong in yesterdays post. We received [well] over 13 downloads of Getting Me Back. Thanks y’all. It wouldn’t matter if we got 13 million – we are sticking to the plan. We bought the ticket – we’ll take the ride. That’s my spin on a Hunter S. Thompson quote.
This photo was taken in front of Hemingway’s house in Key West, Florida. Of course it is now a museum. I look like I am either drunk or crying. I think it was both. Talking to ghosts sometimes has that effect on me.
Did you shake his hand –?
the hand of a man’s man?
Did you see how his eyes searched the space around him as the world grew smaller?
Did you learn the secrets of Africa or discuss his tomes over drinks?
Of course not.
You could not for we were mere children –
our wedding day marking the twenty second anniversary of his exodus… his rise to immortality.
He won the Nobel Prize for Literature the year you were born – did you know that?
I was but two months in the womb when he placed the beloved twelve-gauge inside his mouth and obliterated the ciphering pheasants once and for all.
Did you see how he caressed her?
How her cold, soft metal against his finger was as pacifying as the perfect daiquiri… how she (his beloved) alas cured him of the demons.
In a flash she rooted them loose one by one from their hiding place – a place liquor nor currents could mole; a cavern so deep no joule or watt could grasp. Ahh, but she did.
She exorcized them, set them to flight riding on soft grey tissue laden with hemochromatosis and fragments of bone.
Christ might have offered the fiends a swine but not her or better yet not him…
A sacrifice for the Bay of Pigs?
It was all such folly — such unholy madness for a simple man and a literary saint.
*Hemingway’s Beloved was first published in the HWA (Horror Writers Association) Poetry Showcase Volume I.
So Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) will still be FREE April 18th through the 21st while we do this A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me.
What else can I say about Ernest Hemingway that has not already been [acceptably] said?
I have received like 13 emails suggesting I should offer Getting Me Back FREE during National Poetry Month. I could do that – and do you know how many downloads it would get? Probably about… hmm… I would guess thirteen.
A dozen others said I should be posting my own poetry and a handful of gun-ho NaPoWriMo writers invited me to participate in churning out a poem every day.
My inbox looks like a suggestion box right now but you know what? I love that people are so involved and enthused.
So here’s what I’m gonna do.
For the next four days Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) will be FREE. During these four days I will also post a poem I have written and heck, we’ll do A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me but forgive me guys I cannot handle the pressure of NaPoWriMo, not at this moment in time. I’ll just have to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Getting Me Back
Tissue thin transparent bits and pieces
by the millions I gave to you…
To be received, to be tended or
to be rendered useless as you deemed fit
old inhabitants of terra firma.
Slivers of my soul….
What did you do with these pieces of me?
Where are the misplaced microscopic stars of
my spirit, where are they laid?
Did they dissolve beneath a soft autumn rain?
Or burn in the heat of a cruel summer day?
Were they consumed by the dust mites of fate?
Giving me away was easy….
Getting me back seems nearly impossible.
I saw a fleck of glitter this morning,
caught in an abandoned web of time.
I retrieved it ever so carefully, pulling away
the tiny choking strands; polishing it in the palm of my
hand till it shone bright like a
minuscule star… exploding… and
I recognized it as the twinkle I once saw
in a smiling photo of me.
I chose this photograph for the sign and the turkey looking past the sign. This in no way implies that I think Sue is a turkey; on the contrary, she is a talented poet and photographer. That’s why I chose her SCENIC OVERLOOK to start week three of National Poetry Month.
Some would say life has brought me backward.
I grew up poor in a rich town
where I had to hide my dark hair
beneath a golden hat, which only
made me feel hot and awkward.
Now I live poor in a poor town,
a place most of my old classmates
wouldn’t get caught dead in,
but at least I blend in:
another gray wisp of a cloud
on a sunless day,
another brown leaf on the ground
of a winter wood full of leafless trees
in muddy March
when spring’s new hope
feels like a crazy dream…
But I digress.
Yesterday I drove through some rich towns —
just looking —
not like an open-mouthed tourist
but like a coroner searching for clues to a death.
I examined the details as I saw them:
the handsome man with the perfect haircut
jogging on my side of the road
wearing clothes that I recognized
cost more than two week’s of my groceries,
(he forced me to the wrong side on a curve).
Then I pulled over to gaze at a view,
and to avoid the impatient BMW surging
at my back bumper, like the rough waves
against at the rocks at the beach
with the “No Trespassing” signs, whose beauty
I had to observe from afar.
But I will keep my scientist stance
because I don’t like the flavor
I theorize the owners of these million dollar mansions
with empty yards would naturally
look like the jogging man because their parents
looked the same, and because beauty and wealth
go together like cut glass and cognac.
Why would hothouse plants live among weeds
that may choke them
Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. AND to show my appreciation for your support there will be a gift of random books by ‘moi’ each weekend in April. Check in, check them out and follow my Author Page at Amazon for future updates.