Sunday, December 31, 2006

Any Way You Say It

新年好
Feliz Año Nuevo
Nouvelle Année Heureuse
Nuovo Anno Felice
С Новым годом
明けましておめでとう
Καλή χρονιά
Ano Novo Feliz
새해 복 많이 받으세요
Happy New Year

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fieralingue

I received an email from Anny Ballardini of NarcissusWorks today. She invited me to submit a sample of my poetry to Poet's Corner at the absolutally gorgeous Web Site Fieralingue.

Never have I had a response so quickly!! And, a few hours later, just like friggin' magic, there I is -- Laura Heidy with not just one but a even dozen poems!!

Thanks, Anny!! What a wonderful way to end one year and begin another!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

How A Woman's Eyes Grow Narrow

The earth is cold. A woman’s tears
are ice upon her cheeks. She fears
hot words, rough hands, and the threat
of a careless cigarette held
too close against her flesh. She’s small.
She’s old. She's skin and bones
with hips no wider than a boy’s.

She fears crude swastikas, white hoods
and men of every race. She keeps
within herself a litany
of epithets like a filthy
twisted handkerchief tucked hidden
in her breast. She's safe nowhere.
She hears the whispered jewbitchwhore
against her ear, behind her back,
inside the store, across the street
where spit seared scars beneath her hair.
There's no relief, she seldom sleeps.

When she was young her eyes were wide,
and clear, and hungry in her face,
but every time she raised her head
the world fed her hate.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Endeavor

Since I can't seem to write poetry anymore I've decided to tackle a new writing project. I've agreed to take over the editorship of our currently defunct condo newsletter, both hard copy and online edition.

I know very little about writing and even less about editing. Dan occasionally edits my poetry - much to my dismay most times, but that's about the extent of my knowledge as to how it's done.

I'm looking forward to it, however. It seems like a great opportunity to get involved in the community I live in as well as broadening my written word horizons.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Philosophy 101

If you move far away, to a place where you know no one and no one knows you, does the person you used to be still exist?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fusion Poetry Slam-a-Thon


I took part in a very well run Internet (AOL) poetry "Slamathon" a few weeks ago......and got this really neat winner's shirt in the mail today. Thank you, Fusion Poetry People!! I wish I could have gone on to compete in the semi-finals but the final grand "Slam-Off" (should I have advanced that far in the second round) is being held on December 16th, which is Hanukkah for me and I'll be in Jersey celebrating with family. I didn't want to commit to something I couldn't participate in and so I didn't sign up for the extended rounds. Good luck to whoever wins, though - genuine cash prizes involved!!!

Lindsay Lohan and the Amazing Condolence Letter

It recently came to my attention that Lindsay Lohan released her "letter of condolence" to the Robert Altman family to the press.....and the press picked it up, word for tortured word, and reprinted it. I'm not sure why she wrote it and I'm less sure why she released it to the press and I'm not at all sure why the press went ahead and printed it. Unless, of course, they hate her.


Here it is - reprinted in all its misspelled glory and incoherent phrasing:


http://usatoday.com/life/people/2006-11-21-lindsay-statement_x.htm

"I would like to send my condolences out to Catherine Altman, Robert Altmans wife, as well as all of his immediate family, close friends, co-workers, and all of his inner circle.

"I feel as if I've just had the wind knocked out of me and my heart aches.

"If not only my heart but the heart of Mr. Altman's wife and family and many fellow actors/artists that admire him for his work and love him for making people laugh whenever and however he could..

"Robert altman made dreams possible for many independent aspiring filmmakers, as well as creating roles for countless actors.

"I am lucky enough to of been able to work with Robert Altman amongst the other greats on a film that I can genuinely say created a turning point in my career.

"I learned so much from Altman and he was the closest thing to my father and grandfather that I really do believe I've had in several years.

"The point is, he made a difference.

"He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do.

"So every day when you wake up.

"Look in the mirror and thank god for every second you have and cherish all moments.

"The fighting, the anger, the drama is tedious.

"Please just take each moment day by day and consider yourself lucky to breathe and feel at all and smile. Be thankful.

"Life comes once, doesn't 'keep coming back' and we all take such advantage of what we have.


"When we shouldn't..... '
"Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourselves' (12st book) -everytime there's a triumph in the world a million souls hafta be trampled on.-altman Its true. But treasure each triumph as they come.

"If I can do anything for those who are in a very hard time right now, as I'm one of them with hearing this news, please take advantage of the fact that I'm just a phone call away.

God Bless, peace and love always.

Thank You,

"BE ADEQUITE"

Lindsay Lohan

Having been a "poetry judge" and a chat room host in a poetry room on AOL for several years, I can pretty well decode the spelling and decipher what she may have meant to say.......but that (12st book) thing really had me confused. At first I thought she was making a biblical reference, but afraid to trust my own judgement, I cheated and "googled" the phrase. It's from the AA 12 step program - and it's the fourth step in the recovery process.

That clears up that, I suppose.

What it doesn't clear up is "why?" Why release this to the press? I can understand her writing it in the first place.....the thought itself is kind and actually having the presence of mind and the grace to take the time to write a letter of condolence is more than I would have expected from the teenage actress ilk - but to release it to the press with no regard for spelling and/or coherence? Being regarded as a sex symbol is one thing - but do young girls really want to be viewed as nothing more than mindless senseless bimbos? As a woman I'm just fine with sexy - however, as a mother, I'm not so fine with stupid.

Here's a scary thought - maybe she never even realized it was poorly written.....according to The Los Angeles Times Ms. Lohan received straight A's from a public school located in Long Island. Maybe no one ever took the time to say "Look, Biatch, I don't care how pretty you are - this is just WRONG!!! You need to spend more time with your grammar and less time with your girlfriends." Sad to say, while it's shockingly incoherent and grossly misspelled, this letter is just not the worst I've ever read from a teenager.......and it's pretty much what I've come to expect. Doesn't mean I like it, of course, just means that it's prevalent and that I've become unhappily familiar with it.

Kinda makes you question the entire education system (as well as the parents) more than it does one poor misguided publicity-seeking young girl, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Art at Work

Came home from Thanksgiving Holiday to find an email from Paul Tulloch at http://www.livingwork.ca/index.htm telling me that a poem I had submitted back in April or May had been short-listed in their contest, Art at Work.

I barely remember entering it......which only goes to show I need to start writing this kinda stuff down somewhere again regardless of the fact that I submit very little anywhere anymore and I am convinced that due to sheer lack of volume that I will remember when I do (because obviously I don't.)

The interesting thing about the whole thing is this: The poem which was picked (out of three which were sent) is the one I was least sure had value. It's an old one and I remember workshopping it on Eratosphere some years ago to some really bad reviews. The general consensus was "too emotional, too overblown, too too" and "this is one to keep for yourself but not to show other people because it's poorly executed and you can do much better." And they're right....it IS emotional, and it is overblown and perhaps I can do "much better" but "much better" means different things to different people. I've always wanted to write poetry which people other than poets would appreciate. I was pretty sure then (and I still think so now) that some times both of those groups can be reached by the same poem (although apparently I am often mistaken about that particular line of thought.)

I'm often caught in between two worlds - the gritty one I've lived and worked in, and the "other" one where people write beautiful words which mean essentially nothing to anyone but other well-educated and refined poets. I can mimic the refined and I can fake the well-educated but more and more I ask myself, "Why bother?" Truth is - I'm neither of those things and I'm not convinced that my poetry has to be either of those things in order to be successful.

They're breeding emotion out of poetry now days. Virtually every poem I read which is current ends up boring the shit out of me. It's either sleek and sophisticated or it's full of gimmicks - and either way, it's more often than not as dull as hell. I don't want to write safe clean poetry which isn't dripping blood - even if the blood I have to drip is my own. I don't write often for that reason. It's painful, it extracts too much from me and leaves me with virtually no protection. And yet, it feels too much like cheating when a poem is written without some sort of personal emotion being not only involved but expended.

So, in a sense, I feel somewhat personally vindicated by having
Paul Tulloch and the other judges of Living Work having picked the free verse poem "Bless the Babies" for their short-list over the other (and more formal) poems which I submitted to them. It means that I had the courage and the conviction (and yes, the ego) to still feel something was good even when I'd been told by some of the best formal poets around that it wasn't.
It's good to believe in yourself.
Really good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Spanksgiving!!!!

Off on a road trip to Chicago to see 2 kids, 1 grandson, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 want-her-to-be daughter-in-law, 1 mother, 1 aunt, 1 sister, 3 nephews, 1 niece, some old friends, some old co-workers and a partridge in a pear tree. Back on Tuesday. Have a safe and happy holiday!!! Kiss someone special......make 'em know they are.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"If I Did It" - No One Wants to Read About It

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corp. announced today that News Corp. has decided to cancel the upcoming O. J. Simpson book and television special "If I Did It."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15820344/

Sometimes the people in this country really DO make a difference

Saturday, November 18, 2006

"If I Did It"....by O. J. Whatshisgame

I must echo Washington Post Op-Ed columnist, Ed Robinson and urge you to please, for the sake of all that's still decent in the world, please do not spend your money on O. J. Simpson's latest attempt at recapturing the limelight entitled, un-aptly enough, "If I Did It," or watch the Fox Television infomercial promoting said-travesty.

Ugh. I certainly hope that whatever money he makes off of the bozo's that buy this book miraculously ends up in the pockets of the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

I also hope there's a special place in hell for narcissistic ex-football players - along with their editors, publishers and press agents.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/16/AR2006111601360.html

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Picture's Worth.....



The coffin of Marine Cpl. Michael H. Lasky, 22, of Sterling, Alaska, arrives at Arlington National Cemetery in the back of a pickup truck as requested by his family.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time for a Change

I've decided that it's difficult to take pink seriously....and so I've developed a new look. It's like getting a new haircut with subtle highlights or having a sophisticated set of french-tipped acrylic nails applied.......a face lift that I didn't have to leave the house to get. Unfortunately, my blog probably won't wear sophistication any better than I do - so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Etheree at Barnard

A few days ago I received a message from the Formalista group which was sent out by a rather well known professor from Barnard University. She was searching for information on a little known form called an Etheree.

In my response to the list, I took the liberty of including a link to an Etheree I had written a few years ago and which can be currently found at The Hypertexts. Apparently she liked it, because she then personally emailed me and asked me if she could please use my poem as an example when she assigned the form to her students.

I was sincerely flattered, I said "Of course" and "Thank you" and now that I'm done dancing I feel very much like what my children would refer to as a major "poser."

Most days it doesn't bother me a whit....but sometimes, when something like this occurs, I am sorely conscious of my own utter lack of education and I wonder what in the hell am I doing here and who in the hell am I fooling?

Dan says it's not "fooling" people at all. A good poem is a good poem is a good poem and it doesn't matter how much or how little the author of the poem was formally educated.

Perhaps he's right....perhaps a poem stands alone, apart from the poet's background and education. It's just that there's so much being said about MFA's and doctorates and what school what poet hails from and what university what poet is a full professor at that I just feel totally lost in the shuffle.

Ah well, at least a poem of mine made it to Barnard.

Next best thing to having been there myself, I suppose.

Which Poet Are You?

Gosh, thanks to Reb I now know I can (and should) give up wracking my brain attempting to write poetry.


My score onThe Which Famous Poet Are You Test:

William McGonagall!

"You are, without a doubt, the worst fucking poet who ever lived. You have all the charm of a bowl of peas. You do not know how to have a good time. You have no sense of rhythm. You do not have a way with words. Your rhymes are hackneyed, and your ideas are boring. You could use a stiff drink and a good fuck, but the thought of it makes you a little uncomfortable. You should stick to your day job, because la vie poetique is not for you. You do not have a masterpiece in you. I'm sorry."

Take it!http://www.okcupid.com/tests/take?testid=8120684024692611744

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Innominate

Behold
the changeling child.
The insolate daughter
of the night. She is the sun's spawn.
She shines.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Celebrating Anne Sexton

Tapestry of Voices and the Forest Hills Educational Trust present

CELEBRATING ANNE SEXTON

with poets Lois Ames, Suzanne Berger, Robert J. Clawson and Victor Howes.
Sunday, December 10 at 2 pm in Forsyth Chapel at historic Forest Hills
Cemetery
95 Forest Hills Avenue, Boston MA.

If she were alive, Anne Sexton would turn 78 this year. Many of her friends,

students, and colleagues are still around, though, and still celebrating
her as a poet and a force. This November 12, they’ll gather for a fifth
annual tribute at Forsyth Chapel, reading her iconoclastic poetry
and their own. The reading ends with a walk to Sexton’s burial site
on the surrounding grounds of Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain.

People who love Sexton’s poetry - her rawness, her energy, her way

with words - would do well to attend the celebration. This is a chance
to meetVictor Howes, who knew Anne as a member of the New England
Poetry Club; Lois Ames, who edited Sexton’s "Life in Letters";
Robert J. Clawson, who managed her band, "Anne Sexton and Her Kind";
and Suzanne Berger, oneof her students at B.U..

Anne Sexton stirred up trouble with her poetry, and in her personal life.

She was wild, transgressive, and wildly intelligent, a break-out
from the suburban middle class. Her poetry still exudes disturbance,
excitement, electricity. Its aggressive honesty still influences poetry today.

Admission: $5. Directions and details at
www.foresthillstrust.org
or 617.524.0128. PLENTY OF PARKING

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fun Stuff. - Give It A Try

Warning: Addictive as hell. Help A Drunk Home

ALLEN CONCEDES

The joys of being a Democrat in Virginia.....or how I learned to love voting in my first election.

Actually, I'm not too thrilled with Webb, either, he just seemed like the lesser of the two evils.....a possible misogynist vs a known bigot......Well, that and the fact that I just wanted to have an "In your face, President Bush" moment.

Arghhhhhh......will there ever come a day when we can vote for someone who's NOT the lesser of two evils but the better of two goods?

Poetry....by Donald Rumsfeld

The collected poetry of Donald Rumsfeld.

Just an Old Fashioned Female

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

SENDING A MESSAGE

BOP shift

Of course, all is not won, oh no, all is not won. In my home state of Virginia there will be a recount in the hotly contested Allen vs Webb race.....and Virginia DID, unfortunately, vote in favor of the infamous "marriage ban," otherwise known as "Question 1" - which means that not only do gays not get any recognizable side benefits from living in a marriage-like situation, neither do Dan and I. Ah well, win some, lose some - as of this morning it looks like Allen is going to win, recount or no recount, it's just going to take until December to say so - and, in addition to winning The House and quite possibly The Senate as well, South Dakota voted against a ban on abortion so all is definatly not lost... in fact, most of it is WON!!!!!!

None of this is probably very good birthday news for my friend, Evonne but I'm happy with the election results. She got to gloat back in 2004 so it's only fitting that I have my turn in 2006.

Happy Birthday, Evonne, may you have a great and prosperous year to come and we'll argue politics again in 2008.


The Birthday Girl herself: (Can you believe this lovely woman is a Republican????}

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go On....Get Out There

VOTE!!!!

It's the one time in all times that you can make a difference. Most especially today with so many races so close.

I won't even tell you how to vote, you already know that.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Until I met a Man With No Shoes.....

I felt really bad last night - what with having Rex Grossman as my fantasy football quaterback and all....until I remembered that my son and 13 of his friends had traveled all the way from Chicago to Arizona to watch the game.

It's all relative, isn't it? And at least The Bears won the damn game.

(Although, honestly, I don't think anyone in the history of fantasy football has EVER had a quarterback who's been bad enough to actually loose them 14 points.

Rex G. - my opponent thanks you.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Poets for Peace and Justice Press Release

September 23, 2006

For immediate release

For more information, contact:
Francesco Levato, 312/546-4521
or francesco@francescolevato.com

20 poets protest war by reading for peace

Speak Truth to Power: An Evening of Protest Poetry, in tandem with an art exhibit, the World Can’t Wait protest, seeks to begin the end of the Bush regime


CHICAGO, IL
– The outcry of poets will be heard despite the city’s permit denial to the organizers of the World Can’t Wait Day of Mass Resistance Protest and March (scheduled and advertised for Oct. 5 in Grant Park, Chicago; San Francisco, and NYC, where similar protests have also been denied).

Speak Truth to Power: An Evening of Protest Poetry, organized by activist poet Francesco Levato and sponsored by World Can’t Wait, will take place during the Peace & Justice: Artists for Change art exhibit. The event is free and will be held on Friday, Oct. 6, from 7 – 9 p.m., at the Acme Building, 2418 W. Bloomingdale.

For the protest, Levato sought poets whose work answered yes to these questions: “Are you opposed to war without end; to torture; to eavesdropping on American citizens; to suppressing scientific truths; to a dangerous theocracy imposed on Americans; to holding prisoners without due process; to the erosion of women's rights to abortion, and so on?”

The response was so overwhelming Levato could not accept all the poets who wanted to read. The reading will feature a total of 20 readers from Chicago, Virginia, and New York City, including:

Emily Calvo, public relations director for the National Poetry Slam Championship in Chicago; Nina Corwin, author of Conversations with Friendly Demons and Tainted Saints; Dan Halberstein (VA); Mary Hawley, author of Double Tongues; Laura Heidy (Alexandria, VA); Wayne Allen Jones, publisher Fractal Edge Press, author of Decades of Rehearsal; Allison Joseph, editor of Crab Orchard Review; CJ Laity, publisher of ChicagoPoetry.com; Francesco Levato, activist; founder of Street Level Series & author of Marginal State; Lauren Levato, author of Marriage Bones; Mars, founder of She Laughs, a female interdisciplinary improvisational poetry/music mob; Brent Mesick; Erika Mikkalo; Mike Puican, author of 30 Seconds; Steven Schroeder, author of Revolutionary Patience; Purvi Shah (NYC), Executive Director of Sakhi for South Asian Women, a community-based anti-domestic violence organization; Lina ramona Vitkauskas, editor at Milk Magazine, author of Failed Star Spawns Planet/Star; Michael C. Watson, host of Wordslingers radio; Ruan Wright.


Speak Truth to Power: An Evening of Protest Poetry

DATE:
October 6, 2006

TIME:
7 – 9 pm
LOCATION:

Acme Building

2418 W. Bloomingdale

Chicago, IL 60647

COST:

FREE




###

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

T. O. Taken to Hospital For Allergic Reaction

Reports: T.O. taken to ER for allergic reaction

"Cowboys coach Bill Parcells previously has said that Owens' pain medication had made him ill.

Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT, citing sources it did not identify, reported that Owens was taken to Baylor University Medical Center by a fire rescue crew, and that doctors were trying to induce vomiting. "


I'll tell ya what.....I worked in an ER for 13 years and on an ambulance for 10....not once did I ever see anyone induce vomiting for an "allergic reaction."

I've seen oxygen given, I've seen Benedryl given, and Epi, as well as certain helpful steroids......but mostly it just takes time and systemic support until the symptoms dissipate and the offending agent leaves your blood stream.....if your patient is sick enough that he doesn't have time, you intubate him and manually or artificially support his respiratory system until the allergens have left his system and he does have time.

Those are your standard allergic reaction protocols.....inducing vomiting is not part of the protocol or standard treatment. As far as I know, inducing vomiting isn't going to do a damn thing to reduce the effects or alleviate the misery of an allergic reaction. Not a thing.

There are, of course, other conditions which do warrant the administration of an emetic. Offhand, I can think of two - one is accidental and one is intentional.

An "allergic reaction" is not one of the two.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I've made some changes to the sidebar....eliminated dead links and added a short listing of links to some of Dan's work which can be found on The Internet.

That's about the entirety of my weekend, too. Ran off to Charlestown early yesterday morning with Dan. Had a good time, stopped for lunch, came home, went grocery shopping and got sick. Up until the "got sick" part it was a darn good Saturday.

Dan's off at a friend's house watching football, eating chili, drinking beer and discussing "man law" with a bunch of old buddies. I was invited - but due to yesterday's stomach-thingie I figured it probably wasn't an optimum time for me to be hangin' wid da boys and so I stayed home and cleaned house with a vengeance...a phenomenon otherwise known as "woman law." I've added a second litter box in the vain hope that whatever skinny black kit-kat has taken it into his little skinny black kit-kat head to poop on the rug will decide that the new litter box is much more interesting than that enticing spot right there in front of the heating unit. It's either that or we're off to the kitty shrink. The little moron just stares and me and poops....like he's daring me to do something about it. I realize he's probably upset about something and he has no other way to convey his displeasure for slights real or imagined - but geez.....I get upset too, but you don't catch me squatting in the middle of the floor.

I need to write a poem or something. I've not written anything in ages other than rants on Eratosphere and I've got the beginning of that itchy and vaguely dissatisfied craving that always sets in right before I realize I want (need?) to create something metered out of something as disorganized and fleeting as a feeling.
It'll simmer for awhile and I'll get more and more cranky and become more and more withdrawn until even "I" hate who I've become and then, hopefully, I'll find a poem and pull it out of my ass and ta-da!! I'll feel better and I'll once again become a nice ordinary woman who has better things to do than hide under the table.

Until then, don't expect much.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Long Time Runnin.....

Whew....it's been weeks since I've written anything here, hasn't it? Don't rightly know why, either. I'm just burnt on a lot of things lately....and poetry is one of them.

However, this afternoon, in an attempt to once again do something about it, I found a submission announcement for a poetry reading in Chicago on October 6th and I thought, "What the hell..." and Dan and I both sent in a few poems for consideration....and whadda ya know? Within hours both of us are readin' in Chicago on October 6th. Got round-trip weekend plane tickets and a car waitin' and everything already.

I'm getting psyched already!!! Poetry and family all in the same weekend. My son will be picking us up at the ungodly hour of 715AM on the day of the reading, we'll take him to work and keep his car for our own personal enjoyment and transportation. (It's not like he never took mine, yanno....oh wait, he never did, I didn't let him. Opps!!) Then it's off to my mom's house....to surprise her with our presence for the next three days. Yep, that's right, it's a no-tell visit!! Hopefully she'll be pleased and even more hopefully, she won't have a stroke at seeing her long lost daughter without prior notification.

Besides being the perfect excuse to run home and see the family again, the poetry reading sounds extremely interesting in it's own right....it's sponsered by The Poets for Peace and Justice and it's part of a Special Day of Reckoning being held across the country by The World Can't Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime people. If there's anything I like better than maudlin depressive poetry, it's hot angry political poetry.

And so....what's not to be psyched about? Poetry, protest, people I love and and (since it IS Chicago, after all) the fourth "P" which will set my entire world right....real honest-to-goodness midwestern-style PIZZA!!! (The stuff they try to pass off here in Virginia as "Chicago Style Pizza" is just NOT any pizza I've ever eaten in Chicago.)

Edwardo's, Aurilio's, Sanfrantello's, the hometown pizza possibilities are absolutally endless.

This is lookin' more and more like it's going to be an absolutally wonderful October weekend.

Speaking of wonderful - there's a new blog of note -- Pearls Before Swine.

And speaking of weekends --- Hראש השנה --- or, in other words,
Happy Rosh Hashanah!!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Congratulations to Steve Schroeder on his appearance here. Nice work, Steve.

A big thank you to John Baker for letting me be one of his "featured bloggers" this past week. Interesting questions, fun to answer.

I received my contributors hard-copy of "Rhyme and Reason," The Canadian anthology compiled and published by Neil Harding McAlister and illustrated by Jonathan Day. It's always fun seeing a poem in actual print and to have it appear in a book which looks so fine is an extra special bonus. Thank you, Neil.

It's a three day weekend starting NOW!!! We're catching the tail end of Hurricane Ernesto (or John or somebody) here in Northern Virginia....It's kinda like a good old middlin' Midwestern tornado only it lasts all day and all night. The wind sounds like something wild and fierce from up here on the 14th floor - glad I'm indoors for the night.

No plans for the holiday. Dan's got a fantasy draft tonight but I'm limiting myself to one league this season so I'm not involved in this one. Tomorrow is a lazy day - nothing at all to do except be glad we're not at work. I've got ideas about what to do, but I don't think they're gonna fly with Dan, so it'll probably be the library, the bed and a bag of cheetos for me. His sister and her husband are going to be in town on Sunday so he's going to meet them at a nearby hotel for breakfast. I can't go, though, so I'll be cleaning house or something fun like that. "Our" league drafts on Sunday evening, so maybe I can just take some time and get my draft order all set and ready to go.

I've been spending a lot of time reading over on Eratosphere again lately. I don't know why, it only ever ticks me off anymore. Bad poetry and worse manners....It's still one of the best formal workshops on the Internet, but some of the old timers would do well to leave their attitudes at the doorstep. Myself included, I'm sure.

Big discussion about using real names of real people in poems. I'm against it...It can be hurtful and it's a real violation of privacy if you ask me. No one did, of course, but I said so anyhow and the poet got huffy and removed the poem. It wasn't just the naming of people which I objected to (in the end, that's between the poet and the people mentioned) but along with the real names of two people, A.A. was heavily featured in this poem and that just put it over the top in my estimation. One of their basic tenents is anonymity and to violate that is just so not right. At least I don't think so. :)

And that's my weekly story - past, present and future - what's yours?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Mote in Katherine Harris's Eye

What's with political-type people nowdays? "Christian" political-people, mostly, although I'm not 100% sure I should be limiting my disgust to the so-called "Christian politicians" at this point.

Catherine Harris, the Congresswoman from Florida who is currently a Republican candidate for the US Senate, recently announced to the world that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws."

She also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.

Her exact remarks were: "Separation of church and state is "a lie we have been told," Harris said in the interview, published Thursday, saying separating religion and politics is "wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris said."

AOL News

and

CBS News

Huh....this would be the SAME Katherine Harris who has been twice singled out for taking illegal campaign contibutions from corrupt defense contractors (1994 and 2004)and is now, once again, being questioned by the FCC in regards to $60,000 in excess campaign contributions.

Herald Tribune

Katherine made her remarks concerning "Christian behaviour"
in an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

Personally, I think that if God heard her, He would have thrown her out of The Temple along with the rest of the corrupt money-changers.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Definitions

Confatuation - what happens when normally intelligent women begin exchanging email with convicted serial killers

Benjamatic - The automated response of a stripper when she sees a $100.00 bill

Neurotica - a sexual obsession with women on Prozac

Robalization - when the thought hits a man that the only thing his wife ever wears around the house is a ratty old house-coat

Scholarchip - Frito Lay's new snack food aimed at brainiacs

Foxclaimation - any biased news announcement made by a right wing newscaster

Thursday, August 24, 2006

For Dan...On His Birthday

August is always a very good time for me. Dan's birthday happens, my birthday happens and our "anniversary" happens. (We met 5 years ago just FOR our birthdays!!)

So....it's





and it's also Dan's birthday.....what better way to celebrate both than with a terzanelle?



Barely Breathing


One long leg, tucked unfeeling, underneath your own,
with one bare arm, casually draped across your chest,
we settle, inhale in tandem, to your rhythm alone.

This is the last moment...the moment where I rest
my head against your shoulder, and end today
with one bare arm casually draped across your chest.

The candle dims, the shadows finally held at bay
for now. And I am once again content to place
my head against your shoulder and end today.

Exhale... I match each breathe with simple grace.
Inhale...and I'm aware. Our hearts beat in like-time
for now, and I am once again content to place

my trust inside your hands - my faith inside your rhyme.
I lie here lost in nowhere, needing, barely breathing.
Inhale...and I'm aware our hearts beat in like-time.

In sleepy awe, I hold you, disbelieving;
one long leg, tucked unfeeling, underneath your own.
I lie here lost in nowhere, needing, barely breathing.
We settle, exhale in tandem, to your rhythm alone.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Congratulations, Seth!!!

Congratulations to Seth Abramson for his appearance here today.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Monkey Girl Finds Home

YAY!!! Finally!! My very first sonnet finally found a home. I had to go all the way to England to find it, but find it,I did.

Fourteen Magazine in the UK published my beloved "Monkey Girl" in it's Summer Issue #4 this month. I received my contributor's copy a few days ago.

The poem looks wonderful....there's a fantastic illustration by Nadene Lewis accompanying the poem which I was not expecting but which totally makes the whole thing come alive. The two page spread positively giggles at you. I'm a big believer in "placement" of poems....it's good to be at the very beginning, at the very end or in the very middle. This one is smack dab in the middle...causing the magazine to naturally fall open right (boom) there.

I don't usually get this excited, but Monkey Girl is one of my favorite poems. I'm seldom satisfied with any of my own poetry, but this one has always pleased me for some reason. Maybe because it's joyous and that's just so unlike me.

Fourteen is a very decent little publication. I say "little" because each issue is restricted to fourteen poems of fourteen lines each. It's fairly big in quality and the scattered illustrations are (to quote a friend) "to die for."

Check it out sometime....you won't be sorry.

Fourteen

Friday, August 11, 2006

Where Do Terrorists Hide?

I received this in the mail this morning...from a friend in Israel. She asked me if I'd find a way to let people see it.

This is my way.



PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS AS FAR AS POSSIBLE.
Subject: PERTH, AUSTRALIA: REPORT IN TODAY'S PERTH SUNDAY TIMES NEWSPAPER ON PAGE 32

There are thousands of Australians who hold dual Lebanese and Aussie citizenship. This story should be sent around the world ASAP.


(Please click on picture to enlarge the article beneath it)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Unfinished Conversational Rondeau





Forgive Me, Love


Forgive me, Love, for words unsaid -
for letters written, never read -
for poems I write and then erase-
for all the walls I keep in place -
For barriers I've built in dread.

Some fantasies are best unfed,
some truth's are tales that liars spread.
Some day I'll leave without a trace.
Forgive me, Love.

For dragons underneath my bed -
for demons writhing in my head -
for all my strange and savage grace -
for every tear that streaks my face -
for all the fears I'll never shed -
Forgive me, Love.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hey Julie, I Think He Called Us Hunchbacks!!

Thanks, Greg!!!

It's always fun to check your hit counter and find that a lot of visitors are coming over from someone else's site.....you immediately have to run over there and find out why.

"Quasi" indeed!!!!

And now that I finally possess an actual working computer I really have to get back to my "formal" roots and start rhyming again....especially since Greg's got me batting clean-up after such fine formalists as Julie Carter, Mike Snider, and Alan Sullivan.

Women, Get Thee to a Gym!!

And, Girls, unless you want to totally ruin your weekend,
you don't want to read about how old Marjorie
here happens to be.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Circuit City A-No-No

Never again will I buy anything at all from Circuit City. Do I make myself clear? N -E - V - E - R!!!!! Not once, zero, zip, nada.

The story began two weeks ago....Dan bought me a new computer for my birthday because my old one took a big dump and crashed beyond repair. Very nice of him, yes? He even got me my longed-for but unexpected flat screen monitor to go with it, even though I had a perfectly good monitor already.

We get the computer home, after waiting roughly 45 minutes to be waited on at Circuit City and then spending another 25 minutes telling the salesman that "no, we don't want anything else. Not a printer, not a wireless mouse, not a high speed internet connection, not a special warranty, not a thing, nothing...just the damn computer, please, and quickly."

I put it together, amazingly simple nowdays since everything is color-coded and ta-da....I have a brand new working HP desktop....but wait, did I say "working?" I meant...NOT working. Actually, it DID work, but every time I attempted to shut it down, I would get the message "WARNING!!! HARD DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT...BACK UP FILES IMMEDIATELY" definitely not something I want to see splayed across a new monitor coming from a new computer. I got in touch with the HP people who said, "Hmm...doesn't sound good. Take it back to the store and have it replaced. Tell them we said so." They even sent me an email saying those exact things.

Circuit City has a return policy which states all defective computer related products must be returned within 14 days for a full refund. Not a problem. We took it back yesterday, on Day 12.

First we went to Customer Service where the man behind the counter said, "No problem, take it over to the Computer help desk and they will look at it and take care of the problem." No problem for him, maybe, but the damn thing weighs a ton and it's in an huge box on top of that. We cart it over to Computer Repair and there's one guy working and about 6 people standing in line. We hold our box for 15 - 20 minutes and he finally says, "What's the problem?" We tell him our message story and he says, "Fine, take it back over to Customer Service and exchange it." Which is exactly what we tried to do a half hour ago. We ask him to please call the desk and tell them he is sending us back and that it's ok to exchange the computer and he says, "Ok, if you want me to."

We cart the box back over to CS and there's a line of 5 or 6 people in front of us. We patiently wait our turn and finally, after another 30 minutes, get to the front of the line. We ask if the man from Computers called and we get a blank look in return. The CS rep then has to call over to Computers and get the ok we were promised a half hour ago.

The CS rep then asks us if we want a refund or an exchange. I really liked the computer, so we ask for an exchange. He says, "Oh sure, no problem" and gets on his computer. After a 10 minute search he says, "Gee, we don't have any in stock, would you like me to order one for you?" So I ask how long it will take and he says, "Two weeks" and then, when I look crestfallen, says, "Maybe Wednesday." I say, "Ok" and he starts ordering the new computer. After another 10 minutes, he says, "It's a discontinued model. They aren't making it anymore. Would you like a comparable model?" I say, "Sure, show us what you've got" and he says, "Let me find you someone who can help you."

He finds a gentleman who works there, speaks no English, and is waiting on three other people, but the dude's game, and he asks us to wait a few minutes and he'll be glad to help us. (At least I think that's what he said...he may have cursed my mother for all I know, but at least he did it with a smile.)

So now we sit down and wait another 15 minutes. (Are you with me here, we've been in the store for over an hour and a half and we've accomplished exactly nothing.) The salesman comes back and walks us over to Computers and immediately tells us that we got a very good deal on the original computer and there's no way we're ever going to find anything comparable in that price range, but he'll be glad to show us the ones which cost several hundred dollars more if we want to stick with HP...or he can show us E-Machines which are only a little more expensive than what we spent last week. Not gonna happen, yanno? I don't WANT to spend more, I want to spend the SAME. It's not my fault they sold me a defective machine and it's not my fault they don't have any more in stock...it was not sold as a discontinued model, it was not advertised as a discontinued model and I didn't BUY it as a discontinued model. We ask for a manager. Salesman gets snippy, but agrees to find us a manager.

We stand in the aisle and wait....and wait and wait and wait....for over a half hour, we stand and wait. I go to the bathroom...a public bathroom in the store. One with a sign and everything. Not an "employee's only" bathroom which they let me use, but a regular, run of the mill, ordinary, public washroom. Inside there is a store employee leaning against the wall, talking on her cell phone. She tosses me an annoyed look, I toss her one back. I think she'll leave out of politeness, she thinks I'm an idiot who is ruining her talk-time. I go into the stall and pee...she leans against the wall and continues her conversation at the top of her lungs. I flush the toilet...loudly...three times. I am annoyed. I don't LIKE to pee where other people can stand around and listen. It's impolite. She doesn't care. There are 25 customers waiting to be helped in the store, but goddamn it, this is obviously an important phone call...I can tell it's important and probably work-related because it's laced with profanity and loud squeals of indignity at "What he did after that."

I go back out and Dan is STILL waiting for a manager. We start stopping everyone who walks past us and asking, "Are you a manager?" No one is.

Finally the manager comes and says, "Can I help you folks?" Arghhhhhh!!! We explain the situation to him and he says, "No problem, let's see if another store has this computer still in stock." Ok, I'm game, Dan's game, off we go - back to customer service where we wait another 10 minutes for them to look up the computer availability at other stores in the area. Turns out there are two of them....one in Fairfax City and the other in Rockville, Md. Nice....if you want to drive for an hour or better each way to pick up a computer that you deliberately bought only 5 minutes away from your home. We tell the manager we really don't want to spend any more time on this whole mess and could we just get our money refunded. He says, "Sure, minus a 15% restocking fee since the box has been opened." SAY WHAT?????

1. Dude, you are so not going to "restock" it, it's defective. It doesn't work. It's broken. It's going right back to the manufacturer and becoming their problem.

2. How would we KNOW it was defective if we hadn't opened the damn box?

3. I am so NOT paying a restocking fee.

Seems Circuit City has a "refund policy" which states that opened computer items can only be exchanged if they are defective. If you wish the store to take it back and refund you your money, you must pay them for the privledge.

Fine, but they can't even-exchange my computer, they don't HAVE my computer. Manager says, "ah, but we do have it.....in Fairfax City or Rockville." I say, "Fine, I don't have a car. Can you have it shipped here for me and I'll pick it up when it arrives?" Manager says, "Sure, if you pay for shipping."

This is going nowhere quickly. I am getting louder, Dan's face is getting redder and people are looking at us. We've now been in the store for well over two hours on our only day off.

In desperation, I say, "Fine, find out if the store in Fairfax really has the computer and we'll go get it." The manager then hands us over to another salesman and leaves.

We ask the salesman to call Fairfax and confirm that the computer is, indeed, there. He says, "The computer says it is, I don't have to call." I say, "Dude, two hours ago the guy at the service desk told me that he had the computer in stock here and he didn't." I say, "Humor us. Call them." He does and wonder-of-wonders, they really DO have my computer. We say we'll take it, and salesman says, "Fine. I'll turn you over to Customer Service and they will take care of you." (Isn't this where we started?)

We wait there another 10 minutes for a CS rep to be able to help us. He is upset because someone apparently already entered our returned computer into the computer system and he can't figure out how to move it from "returned" to "exchanged." He is waiting on two other customers while he complains about our "already entered" computer. He finally decides he needs HIS boss to come tell him how to do this. That takes another 10 minutes. His boss is busy. We must wait some more until he is free.

Finally we get the paper work all finished. We ask directions to the store in Fairfax because neither Dan nor I are familiar with the area. The CS rep and his boss say, "No problem...just go right down Route 7. You can't miss it. It's on the right hand side of the road."

Wonderful....off we go!! We drive 35 or 40 minutes down Route 7 - we find Circuit City - on the right, just as promised. One problem....it's the WRONG Circuit City. They gave us directions to the WRONG Circuit City. The Circuit City WE want is over on the other side of town...but no one in THIS Circuit City can tell us exactly where.

It's now Hour FOUR Going On Hour FIVE. We're hot, we're tired, we're irritated beyond rationality. We decide that the casino in Charlestown is also "right down Route 7" and that's where we're going.

And we do.

We got up early this morning, I MapQuested the Fairfax Circuit City and we drove an hour and picked up the computer and then drove an hour home.

Best Buy....Next time I'm going to Best Buy. Or Office Max. Or Dell. Or Something. Not Circuit City, tho....never again Circuit City. I urge all of you to do the same.

Buy anything anywhere - just don't buy it at Circuit City.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sex Poems - Poetry Thursday's Fault

Don't blame me....blame




Shatter

Stand straight
so still
in your slick-silver
high-heeled
fuck me shoes.
A thousand shards of
mirror'd glass reflect
the curve of silk-clad calf.
Stand still
Breathe in
Breathe out

Rise
Reach
Bend your knees
and kiss the floor
before dawn.
Do as you're told
Breathe in
Breathe out

Stand on tip toes,
ruby lips parted -
with his hands
around your neck.
He rules tonight.
His name is written
in the swell of your nipples
and his voice
echoes
across the hollow of
your spine.
Breathe in
Breathe out

He'll tell you when.
You own the shoes.
He owns the rest.
So stand
so still
in your slick-silver
high-heeled
fuck me shoes
and
breathe in
breathe out

before you
shatter
in the shards
of the looking glass.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why Young Chicks Cross the Road





Why Young Chicks Cross the Road**

Young rooster's calling, hear him crow.
The farmer's in the barnyard, tho.
He will not see me cross the street -
loose chicklet running to and fro.

The broody hens are fat and sweet,
content to keep their breasts and feet
inside the coop, behind the wire,
surrounded by the corn and wheat.

But I am young and filled with fire -
a pullet cheeping with desire.
The only other sound's the beep
of blaring horn and screeching tire.

The road is scary, stark and steep -
but I've a cock I've yet to meet
and eggs to lay before I sleep
and eggs to lay before I sleep.

**Thanks to editor, C. Sharpe, at Folly who took a chance and published this....and who consistantly puts out an ezine of top-shelf, high quality "lite verse" several times a year.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Every Mother's Nightmare

Got an email at 5AM this morning from my Oregon son.....the heading of the
email read as follows: "BAIL ME OUT OF JAIL"
Uh huh - just what a mom needs to read when her son is 3000 miles away
and her bank account reads $0.00 and even if it didn't, she has no idea
where the nearest Western Union is located.

Fortunately for all of us, I did manage to open the email and read
a little further before panicking and calling my own mother
for money.

The body of the email was as follows:

This year, I have the honor and pleasure of participating in
MDA's Salem Telethon Executive Lock-Up 2006 to help "Jerry's Kids®".
To reach my goal I need your help!

I'd like to include you or your company on my list of contributors
who are helping me reach my goal. Your donation would help MDA
continue the important fight against muscular dystrophy. Check out
my web page by clicking on the link below. There you'll find all
kinds of information about MDA, and be able to make your tax-deductible
donation on-line using your credit card.

MDA serves people in our community with neuromuscular disease by
providing clinics, support groups, assistance with the purchase
and repair of wheelchairs, braces and communication devices,
and summer camp for kids. MDA also funds research grants to
help find treatments and cures for some 43 neuromuscular
diseases that affect people of all ages, right here in our community.

I sincerely hope that you'll take the opportunity to support MDA.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail me.

On behalf of the families MDA serves, thank you!

Warmest Regards,

Jeremy Kudlo
Click here for Participant's Page


Click there - help get my pride and joy out of jail.....you'll be glad
you did - it'll be the first time you helped a friend's child out of
jail and had it be tax deductible!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Tons of Good Things Goin On

WOW!! Talk about a stellar day. And it's a Friday no less.

Things I am happy about and thankful for:

WORK
Health Insurance which come with my job. A job I like. A job with a physician who promised me a health care plan after 6 months of employment but has now decided to give it to me after I've worked only one of those six months. In 24 days I will no longer be part of that miserably frightened group of Americans known as "The Uninsured." Insurance is a terrible thing to try living without...and an even worse thing to try dying without. Fortunately for me, in less than four weeks I will apparently no longer be in danger of having to attempt either.

POETRY
Fourteen Magazine and its editor, Mike Loveday who sent me an email today notifying me that I had made the final cut and my sonnet, Monkey Girl, will be appearing in the Summer Issue of the magazine later this month. YAY for England!!! This will be my first "overseas" publication.

Mary Alexandra Agner, a woman and poet I much admire, has seen fit to mention a poem of mine on her blog. She's got me with excellent company, I might add.....Katherine Lee Bates and America the Beautiful. Thank you, Mary.

A thank you to Anna Evans while I'm at it. Anna is the editor of the formalist/metrical journal The Barefoot Muse and somehow she's seen fit to list a link to this blog on The Barefoot Muse's permanent link page.

and on the home front:

This, The Times 2006 Illinois Male Athlete of the Year award, would be none other than one of my three favorite nephews, Erik Hanson!!! Way to go, Erik!! Congratulations on a job well done and an honor well deserved.

On a final and more somber note:
This happened today, which is not happy/thankful news, but considering my own first-born son was foolhardy enough to run in Pamplona three years ago, I am exceedingly grateful that it wasn't him this happened to. I do send prayers to the victim's mother and family, however, even as I thank God that Jason apparently inherited his mother's long legs as well as her winning disposition and managed to outrun his own particular bulls. I also wonder, now that he has a two year old son of his own, if he'll be doin that stupid shit again any time soon?

Life is good to me today. May it treat you all as well.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

SHANTIH





"Confessional" it is. (Yoda inversion deliberate)

Shantih

No longer do I taste each tear,
or hear the sirens drawing near
(Is it not somehow much too strange
how rapidly the dreams can change?)
I hear instead, inside my head,
the rasp of tongue, the gasp of breath
from tortured lung and then, and then -
I rest content.
And then I know, the truth is told
this time - this time.

I roll across the crimson sheets
and as I stretch
you reach -
you reach -
and bring me down with tiger teeth.
Love, not for naught
does tiger prowl
and not for naught
does tigress crawl -
her belly low against the ground.

I hear the baying of the hounds –
(like mermaid songs that don’t belong)
and now I hear them singing where
the sirens always sang before.

Tonight, I hunger for the taste
of tiger tooth and tiger grace.
Somewhere in a different place,
I bruised, I bruised, I bled inside.
I hid before. I will not hide.
It's time, it's time.

The sirens lied.

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Raintown Review

Well, that was totally unexpected!! I received a copy of the latest issue of Raintown Review in the mail last night. Much to my surprise, I was in it!! I love when that happens. < grin > Totally unexpected, I might add. I was aware that the editor had taken three poems from me, but I was not aware that one of them was being used in this particular edition. In fact, I'm quite sure he told me it wasn't. My memory's often faulty, however, so I may have misunderstood.

Be that as it may, I have another poem in The Raintown Review. That makes me two for two with them, and that's a happy accomplishment for me.

What makes it particularly rewarding is that TRR is a damn fine journal. The poetry is all top rate and I'm proud to have been associated with it two editions in a row.

Don't tell anyone, but they still have another poem of mine and I'm hoping to make it a Three-peat next February.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Under Water

In Northern Virginia.....or why I now own a new car.





Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The New Blue Retro-Mobile

I'll show you why in a day or two....Meanwhile, meet the newest member of our "family."




Friday, June 23, 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's "Poetry Thursday" - Again

Poetry Thursday

Seeking Definition

You tell me love is more
than moments spent
too artlessly entwined.
You tell me "Love is Fire."
I say that hell is hell
because it's kept
too goddamn hot.
You tell me hell
does not exist
and pull away in ire.

I tell you "Love is gentle
heat - The smallest embers
will survive." We agree to
disagree and love's left undefined.
These, I think
are moments.
You brush the hair
back from my eyes.

We settle back more cautiously
and watch the clock unwind.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

On Finding Yourself

It's always interesting, and quite egotistical, to "google" yourself. Once I found out I was a porn star that way. (Well, not really "I" was....but someone who called herself "Heidy" was...and she also did me the courtesy of linking her site to mine....we don't look anything alike, tho, she's a brunette and I am a blonde. I'm pretty sure we're not even related.)

Late last night, along with the expected results, I also found I had been quoted on a web site called Quoteland.com - or more to the point - a poem of mine had been quoted there in The Flower Quote Game.

I don't know why I was so tickled, but I was. It's always good to find out people are not only reading your poems, but that they are remembering them. Especially people who aren't family or friends - and don't have to read or remember you.

Come to think of it, even my family doesn't read my poetry.

Huh.

That's weird. Or maybe not. They'd read it if they knew about. At least I think they would. Maybe. Most of the time I'm pretty glad they don't, though. It's embarassing more than it is anything else.

It's not "who I am." At least I don't think it is. Poetry's more like this secret vice than it is anything else. My dirty little secret.

One of em, anyhow.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Funny Test - Accurate Results

Thanks, Seth.


I am a colon!
Find your own pose!



Colon Traits and Tendencies The Colon is the chosen pose of individuals who, on their own, seem awkward or remote. They may be the sort who responds to telephone messages with email, or spends their lunchtimes quietly pedometer-walking in lieu of socializing with coworkers. But when a Colonist finds its mate, together they acquire a grace and ease that surprises friends and family.

Comfort Zone The Colon is one of the Sea Sleeper poses. Other Sea poses you might try: The Ticket Puncher and Sixth Posture of the Perfumed Forest.

A Note About Coping Since Colonists rely so heavily on their partners to give them context and spark, the times when business or family obligations take one of them away from home can leave both sleepers demoralized. To temporarily fill the void, swap in a large, carnival-sized stuffed animal, making sure to keep candles, space heaters, or other combustibles well away from the bedside.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Desperation vs. Asymetric Warfare?

You decide. But don't trust what Rear Admiral Harry Harris tells you. It seems to me that he's a bit too slow on the uptake for me to take seriously. Apparently it hasn't yet occured to him that future suicidal inmates could conceivably commit suicide in the middle of the night as well as in broad daylight.

Some days U.S. policies absolutally disgust me...other days they just amaze me.

Three Guantanamo Suicides Under Investigation

"They hung themselves with fabricated nooses made out of clothes and bed sheets," Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris told reporters in a conference call from the U.S. base in southeastern Cuba.

"They have no regard for human life," he said. "Neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us."

To help prevent more suicides, guards will now give bed sheets to detainees only when they go to bed and remove them after they wake up in the morning, Harris said.
Click Here for Complete Article

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Good Things Come In Pairs of Two




My beloved Sea Lions are so "last week's news" -

They were good last week - but here's two good things for this week.

A friend of mine, Rose Kelleher, (who is a great formal poet in her own right) has put together a comprehensive listing of poetry venues which are "form friendly." While it's not too terribly difficult to find places to submit free verse it is much more agonizing and time-consuming to locate those few and far-between publications which appreciate the more formal varieties of poetry. Rose has somehow completed the herculean task of assembling many (if not most) of them in one place....and she's done so in her usual clear, concise and easily-understood manner. If you're a formalist, or if you've ever dreamed of becoming one, check it out - Venues for Formal Poetry

Secondly, I received an e-mail this week from a very poetry-passionate woman named Diana who is involved in something called Famous Poets and Poems.

Not only does she appear to be a very energetic and enthusiastic person, the site itself is also energetic and enthusiastic. Lots and lots of great poems and poets -and interestingly enough, many of them are also noteworthy and/or notorious "Formalists".

Let's hear it for rhyme and form!!! Two For One this week!! It almost makes up for having to work for a living and (once again) missing the formalist conference in West Chester, Pa.

Visit them both. It'll make for a Happy Saturday.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mo' Poetry Thursday - Already!!





Pegasus

When you were a bare-legged raggedy child
did you watch the sky for a white-winged horse?
Did you dance a delighted duet to wild
whispers until your father whistled - coarse

and tunelessly from the flower-less front yard -
and all the incantations went instantanously dead?
The fury so rapidly replaced the magic, and scarred,
unimaginably, your tangled twisted head.

When you were a child, did each tear turn cold before
it hit the ground and fed the worms? The earth
didn't care that it was conceived in heat - and what's more
the whistle warned you early on that birth

is, in itself, a kind of newly begun death. Never mind,
it didn't scare you nearly as much back then.
Do you still search the sky for horses of the unsafe kind?
If they flew there in the past, perhaps they'll fly again.

This time, silence the unoriginal fear.
The whispering of white wings are all you need to hear.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

New Job - Day Three

Ugh...I forgot what it's like when your time belongs to someone else. I love the new job - I hate not having time for anything else besides sleeping and eating half-thawed TV dinners while half-asleep. This is the first time in my life that I've had a job AND a relationship. Hard work - hats off to those who've managed it for years and years. If you threw kids in, I'd never make it.

As for poetry -- What's poetry?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Wedding Report

What can I say? It was a beautiful wedding with a beautiful bride and a handsome groom and a wonderful time was had by all. The flights were nightmarish in the extreme....between my two sons, their mates and ourselves we took 9 flights (including connections) and only ONE was on time. Southwest Airlines is NOT the way to go!!!!! Besides their archaic and totally chaotic seating system, their flights just don't run on schedule.

Dan and I left DC on ATA at 130PM EST on Wednesday, 1/2 hour later than scheduled and arrived in Chicago at 2:40 CST. Our Southwest connecting flight was scheduled to leave at 5:30CST and we did not end up boarding until 9PM CST and then we sat on the runway until 11PM. We arrived in Portland at 1AM PST (4 hours later than our estimated time of arrival) and then had to wait over an hour for our rental car. We finally arrived in Corvallis and checked into our hotel at 430AM - which was 730AM "our time" - exactly 24 hours after we had gotten up the day before.

My two other sons and their mates were supposed to leave Chicago (on Southwest again) at 5:50PM CST on Thursday. Since they live fairly close to Midway Airport, they called ahead and were told the plane was running several hours late. They were advised to remain at home until 9PM and were told the plane would leave at 1030PM. When they arrived at the airport and checked in, they were THEN informed that the plane was "overbooked" and two of them could not take the prescheduled flight as planned. Apparently my oldest son went ballistic and insisted that they all be allowed to board as they were expected to be at a wedding rehearsal in just a few hours. One again, Southwest stuck by their "first come, first serve" rule and refused to issue them 2 of their 4 tickets. Finally, at the last possible moment, some very nice gentlemen who had heard of their plight turned their tickets in and wished them all a good wedding and they all boarded their plane - at 2AM. They arrived in Portland at 430AM PST - (630AM "their time") and proceeded to travel 2 more hours to our hotel. Only 8 1/2 hours late.

The bride's family came from Florida with very little difficulty - only virtually all of them (5 out of 7) had the stomach flu. Ick!! Putting things into perspective, I decided that I'd much prefer our late flights to their vomiting.

Friday was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner which went well. Two bridesmaids had not yet arrived from Florida and one of the groomsmen was MIA, but everyone handled it well and the dinner afterwards was wonderful. The poor bride, who had done everything, and I mean EVERYTHING herself (decorating, flowers, favors, invitations, place settings, booklets, table settings, etc etc) had a migrane and went home early, but the rest of us stayed and stayed and got acquainted and reacquainted with one another. After that, the "boys" went to shoot pool and drink beers and the rest of us went back to our hotel rooms to collapse.

The wedding on Saturday was perfect - absolutely perfect. I cried buckets, as a mother is supposed to do, and everyone else cried with me a time or two. The ceremony was short and quite moving - they were married by a friend of theirs who is the Youth Minister at their church. It took place in an amazing setting called "The Barn" in Independence, Oregon and it was just beautiful. The kids had done all the decorating themselves and it was all white canopy and thousands of little twinkling white lights overhead.

After dinner we danced and danced. (Well, not me, I don't dance - but my feet moved alot under the table) and everyone was simply beaming. Speeches were made, jokes were cracked and kisses were freely exchanged by everyone.

I'll have pictures this weekend (I think) if anyone is interested.

We spent 3 more days in Oregon - one on Corvallis and two in Portland, and I'll write more about that later....for now, we're all safely home and sound - tired but happy.

The trips home were as horrible as the trips there were. The kids were each 6 hours late and we were almost 8 hours late - but here we are and I miss everyone already.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat - only on a different airlines.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

For Today's.....






Bhauta

There is no safe tomorrow, only fear
which follows night. Anticipation waits
behind the sun, beneath the moon. I hear

the voice of God each time the wind abates -
each time a shadow falls - each time the rain
revives a drowning ghost then dissipates

to bonelesness in soft tearstained refrain.
I've been insane. I've been the woman, frail
and wan, with parchment skin. I've been restrained.

I've traced my name in raindrops on the pale
soft flesh of strangers until God foretold
the danger and the downpour turned to hail.

I've been afraid. I've watched the storms unfold
around me while my lover's lies grew cold.
I talk to God. He leaves the truth untold.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Travel Tales

This will be the last post for 10 days or so.

Tomorrow I am doing a "trial" day at a nearby doctor's office for a position as a "front desk person." I'm not sure what a front desk person does, but I'll find out soon enough. It'll be nice, I think. I'll still have "patient contact" but it will be limited to the phone and behind a desk and it fully meets my wish list of "nots." In other words, I will NOT be in a position to get puked on. I will NOT get blood on my shoes. I will NOT be in a place where I will get hit, slapped, scratched, punched, bitten or otherwise mauled. And, since this doctor specializes in Rehab Medicine, I will NOT be routinely exposed to things like meningitis, chicken pox, SARS, Bird Flu or any other exotic disease of the week. Nothing will be on fire, nothing will be underground, no one will shoot at me, no one will pull a knife on me, there will be no cars about to fall on my face, nothing will be underwater, nothing will be 40 feet above ground, no one will die in my arms, no baby will try to come out to greet me feet first in someone's dirty bathroom, and (mundane, I know, but) best of all - nothing will drag me out of bed on the weekend, on a holiday or in the middle of the night!!!! As an added bonus, as if all those things were not enough, this doctor actually offers health insurance after 6 months, vacation time, bonus money, AND a pension plan to add to my already vested previous employment....AND (I love this) I only have to work 3 eight hour days and 2 three hour days in order to collect all this good stuff. What's not to love?

And then, on Wednesday morning, we are off to Oregon for a whole honking week!!! My middle son is getting married on Saturday. YAY!!! He and his soon-to-be-wife have been planning this wedding for over a year now. All by themselves, since both of their families live far far away. It's a big job for two young kids and I'm extremely proud of both of them. I can't wait to see them. I've not set eyes on them for over 2 years now and I can't tell you how much I miss them. Dan and I will get there late Wed. night and then my youngest son, his girlfriend, my oldest son and his wife will all arrive together late Thursday evening. I have not seen any of them in months, either, so it'll be a grand reunion as well as a grand wedding. My mother, unfortunately, is old and ill and cannot make it but I've promised lots of pictures and a full retelling of the events. My ex-husband has not been invited, but they've asked Dan to stand in as family and we are both extremely touched by the thought and the gesture. It's not always easy to blend families, especially when part of the "family" is not legally hitched. Some people are funny about things like that--fortunately my children do not seem to be judgmental. Maybe that's a fringe benefit I didn't plan on when I tried raising them to be openminded and accepting of people and their differences. It worked, and I benefited. YAY accidental parenting bonuses!!!

So that's my story....and I'm sticking to it.

You all have a great week and I'll post pictures when I return.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Poetry Thursday - 2 for 1

Wow!! I can't believe it's already time for

again!!!

But it is....and so, here goes - with a twist. Two poems...one written by a male, and one written by a female. There has been so much talk lately about bias and gender and male vs female poetry that I'd like to experiment just a bit if I could. You tell me - which is which? How easy is it to tell the difference? (And, if you have the time - what tipped you towards your pick?)

______________________________________

Justine’s Sunset (#1)


Black and blue and blood-streaked sky,
pleasant-warm and moist
Desert hot at noon, and dry.
Is this your sunset choice?

Youth in Spring, when gentle gray
meant a calm, endearing rain
Gunmetal, thunderclaps in play —
No stigmatic foretold stain

Innocence is how you might
phrase that free and fertile time.
Yet your breeze is no less bright
for your red and welted clime

Heat, extremes, have driven you
to this madness, yet you love
Blood streaked sky, and black and blue
As below, so above.


___________________________________________

Justine (#2)

And are you waiting for Justine to break and cry,
her voice - the uneven colors of a faded bruise -
Her wishful dreams reflected in your jaded eye?

If left to her own devices, Justine will choose
to lie alone and bleed a deeper shade of red -
her voice - the uneven colors of a faded bruise.

She sings so soft that every other word's unsaid,
yet still she sings, and still she wants, and still she waits
to lie entwined and bleed a deeper shade of red.

She's lost between the chasm and the chain. Her fate's
the cruelest master - one who taunts her with her fears.
Yet still she sings, and still she wants, and still she waits -

and while she waits she wrings her hand and hides her tears,
obsessively, possessively - afraid to need
the cruelest master - one who tempts her with her fears.

And now she's kneeling just for you - for you, she'll bleed.
Are you still waiting for Justine to break and cry -
possessively, obsessively - afraid to need
her wishful dreams reflected in your jaded eye?

__________________________________________________

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blogger Gone Missing

Oh where or where has Jeffery Bahr gone
Oh where or where can he be?
His sites disappeared and his address is wrong
Oh where or where can he be?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14, 2006













Oh, Hal, I don't think so.
Unless, of course, we do away with
Father's Day, too.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Now Spying on Americans

"After the New York Times disclosed the eavesdropping in December,
the White House dubbed it a "terrorist surveillance program" and said
it involved only international communications by people with "known links"
to al-Qaeda and its allies. The Washington Post reported in February
that about 5,000 Americans had been subject to eavesdropping under
the program and that nearly all of them had been cleared of suspicion."
May 12, 2006
Washington Post


Maybe back in February, the question we should have asked was
"Just how are you FINDING the international
communications without listening to the national communications first?"

If we had asked that question, we'd have had our answer this week....opps,
turns out they ARE listening. Well, they say they aren't, they're just
amassing our records for "data"....according to USA Today,
the telephone companies are removing the names and addresses of
their customers from the records they give the NSA. Just like Justice,
Data is supposedly blind.

How goddamn dumb do they think we are, anyhow? (I sound like Seth now,
don't I? Please tell me I sound like Seth.
I so much admire his rightous anger and his ability to speak it well)
Just because AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and
BellSouth Corp. say they are removing our names and
addresses from the TWO TRILLION call records they have forwarded
to NSA we are supposed to believe that they are? Are we
supposed to believe that NSA doesn't know who we are? That NSA really
doesn't have that information? That NSA can't get that information?
My ass NSA doesn't have or can't access that information. It took me
all of 5 minutes to find
this
, this and this for absolutely free
on The Internet. Like the government can't afford to do the same thing.

"Afford" brings me to another interesting point. Did you know that NSA
has no obligation to report it's budget to the people like us who
finance that same budget? That information, along with information
regarding it's size and workforce numbers is deemed confidential
under federal law.

Sweet, huh? Not only do we have no idea what the hell they're
doing to us, we also have no idea what it's costing us to let
them do it to us, even though we're the ones who are paying for it.
(and in more way than one, apparently.)

It's a good thing we're a rich country. It's a good thing we're a
rightous country. It's a good thing our government is concerned
enough about its citizens and our children that they are willing
and able to spend what probably amounts to billions on collecting
our domestic phone records in an attempt to locate International
Terrorists. It's a damn good that our tax dollars are being put to
such good use. Good, good, good, it's all just so damn GOOD, isn't it?

Oh wait -
United States ranks 2nd Highest in the Top 10 Industrial Nations in
Infant Mortality
is not such a good thing. According to the CDC's
statistics (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr54/nvsr54_17.pdf)
on infant mortality, in 2005 there were just over 26,000 infant deaths.
That's TWENTY SIX THOUSAND babies -and that's about how many babies
die in the good old safe United States of America each and
every year.


I'm not a mathematician but I think it's safe to say your odds are
better of surviving a terrorist attack than they are of being safely
born....even though we've only been seriously fighting terrorists
since 2001, and we've been birthing babies forever.

It's all in the way your tax dollars work.

Just don't call me on the phone to talk about it, ok?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today's "Poetry Thursday" Contribution

Damn....forgive me for saying this - but it's hard to just "pick a poem" and post it.

Anyhow - this is the one I've settled on. It's one of my favorites, although I can't tell you why. I think because it's rhymed, but not rhymed, metered but not metered, formal, but not formal. It's "not-quite-free-verse"!!! - It's free verse tightly reined and closely constrained - which is, when you think of it, perfect.

The Artist

You're painting me in chains - my aching arms
held high above my head, my hands restrained,
my legs spread open wide enough that worms
can crawl between the crevices and gain
control. Your dragonflies sew shut my eyes
while seven snakes sleep nestled in my hair.
Wild bees wax close my lips, my ears. My thighs
and hips are stilled by spider-webs. You prove
you're worthy to be hung in a museum while I -
I wear indignity as easily
as if it were a dress I could remove.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Poetry Thursday

Two bloggers, Liz and Lynn, have started a new blog, aptly titled,




The premise is simple enough, write them and they will link to you and you will, in turn, post a poem on Thursday. Doesn't even have to be your own, far as I can tell, although they request you honor copyright laws when using other people's poetry.

They are listing some guidelines for each week, but they are my kind of "guidelines" - the kind you aren't really required to pay any attention to.

Sounds like a worthwhile project to me - why not join them this week? Or, if you're not ready to join, read 'em this week and join 'em the next.

I'm gonna give it a try.....although, much to my dismay, I have to give it a try from someone else's computer - mine just up and died on me.....taking a whole bunch of un-backed-up poems with it when it went.

Ugh. I'm so damned depressed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

How Much Hair

Is in YOUR Sink This Morning?


Friday, May 05, 2006

Drinking & Driving & Rehab, Oh My!!

I'm sorry....but
this
just irritates the hell out of me. I know that drug addiction and alcoholism are classified as diseases, and as such, they demand my respect
and my empathy. However, the fact that I spent a good portion of my adulthood trying to clean up after an alcoholic pretty much emptied my pity-purse for
good.

It's such an easy answer.....do something wrong, sign yourself into a
hospital. You just might get better and even if you don't, well, you've
at least assured yourself several weeks of peace, quiet and relative safety.
Not so your family, of course, they're the ones left holding the bag,
so to speak. But you, you'll be protected from anything unpleasant
like reporters, police officers, angry constituents, demanding bill
collectors, displeased bosses, disappointed family members, etc etc etc.

I speak from experience, obviously. When I was barely a kid myself,
in my very young mid-20's, my then-husband got into trouble at work and
signed himself into a rehab center. I was left at home with a young son,
a baby son and another baby on the way. Oh, and did I mention that I
was also penniless and jobless at the time? I had no way to pay the
bills, we had no heat in our apartment and I was getting daily calls
from his ex-wife, his bill collectors, his boss and his family
demanding that something be done. (As well as the occasional call
from the concerned bar-maid down at his local bar & tap....and
believe me, she was really concerned.....for reasons I was too naive
to figure out at the time) Anyhow, his visitors were restricted to me,
myself and I....and only for an hour on Tues and Thurs and every other
Saturday. The rest of the time, while I was scrambling alone to keep a roof
over our heads and food in our mouths, he was busy talking to
sympathetic doctors, nurses and social workers, attending group therapy
meetings, putting together jigsaw puzzles and just generally doing whatever recovering alcoholics do. All I know is, my kids were hungry and the
food there looked a damn sight better than what I was
putting on my own table at home. His counselors warned me repeatedly not
to "upset him" during this vital and important time. In other words,
I could visit, but I couldn't complain. Hell, complain,
I couldn't even confide. When my damn apartment building
caught on fire due to the faulty furnace leaving us with no place to
live, I was not even ALLOWED to tell him. Instead, I was left with
two kids and a pregnancy out there in the cold, all by myself because
to bother him with such a disaster just might interfere with HIS recovery.

Well, goddamn!!!! Maybe that's what "I" should have done, huh???
Gotten rip-roaring drunk and then signed myself into a hospital and
let someone take care of ME for a change.

Ok....I'm done. :) But ya know what, it felt good to just SAY it...
just this once. I've been "through" rehab a total of 5 times with two ex-
husbands (hmmm, do ya think something about me encourages addiction?)
and nothing about it left a lasting impression other than it appears to
be a lot more coddling than any one person deserves....regardless of his
or her disease. I don't think there's another disease in the world that gets
catered to so kindly.

But I digress.....Patrick Kennedy has taken the position that he's ill
and he needs help and he's seeking it pronto....like before anyone can
question him any further or before he has to prove he had honestly come
by his 'scripts for Ambien and Phenagren.

The only question I'd like to ask him is this - since he states he
has "no recollection of the events surrounding the crash into a
barricade on Capitol Hill early Thursday."
then just how can he
be so damn sure that he wasn't drinking?