Monday, March 31, 2008

Eating Crow and Box Kitties

Oh hell, if I quit blogging, I've got to quit taking cat pictures....and then what would I do for fun?

Besides, once I calmed down, I found I HAD saved my sidebar information - just in case I lost it in the upgrade (which, of course, I did.) So, I spent a few hours converting hard-learned HTML back to plain English and eliminated a whole bunch of links and TA!DA!! a sidebar of sorts.

So - here's box kitty and I guess I'm back.

Thanks to everyone who wrote here or emailed me.....I appreciated your support.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


This blog is closing.

I'm tired of "Updates" which wipe-out my sidebar. One of the only reasons I kept this going was because I liked having all those favorite links in the same place.

Once again, Blogger has destroyed them. I've replaced them numerous times over the years and I just can't seem to find the time or patience necessary to do so once again.

And so - I'm outa here.

Thanks to everyone who's ever read or commented here and I'll miss you.

It's time to move on.

Love ya,


Friday, March 28, 2008

An Eye For an Eye

An Ear for An Ear.

It's That Time of Year Again

Welcome to Washington - home of hundreds of Cherry Blossom Trees and millions of tourists - and no place to park for those of us forced by love and circumstances to actually live here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Eratosphere In Exile

There is a Temporary 'Sphere here for those who can't live without it.....sign-up is quick, easy and free.

There is a recently published poem by Dan Halberstein here and if you like your poetry bloody-well rare and oozing satire, this is the kind of meaty stuff you can really sink your teeth into. (Read the poem and you'll understand.)

There is a newly-found poetry blog by G. H. Palmer here with all sorts of interesting opinions and links.

There is a contest winner announcement here but, alas, it is not me. I did make the first cut but lost it in the home stretch. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. (Which is only metaphorically true. The truth is, I've never been a bridesmaid and I've been a bride three times....which just goes to show you that I make a better wife than I do a poet.)

I recently noticed that Jessica Smith's Look/Touch blog which I used to link to and occasionally read before it went "private" has now gone semi-private (for lack of a better word) with a twist - the "private" parts are now available to the general public for a yearly fee of $6.00. People are puzzling over it here. Jessica herself explains it here although in the first link she does say that it's mainly for her "friends and fans." My question is - who charges their friends to read their private thoughts? I thought that's what made them friends in the first place - the fact that they are willing to listen to us rant about our problems for free. She also says she needs the money. I dunno - when I needed money, I went out and got a second job....I may have driven my friends crazy whining about how tired I was but at least I didn't charge them for the privilege.

Interesting concept, though....any opinions on personal blogs created on a free web server charging admission?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eratosphere Update

Since it appears that every other visitor here has been searching for information on "Eratosphere" I thought I'd perform a public service announcement for those people who, like myself, are lost without the old familiar Internet haunt.

The site was apparently hacked late Sunday/early Monday by someone calling himself some sort of Saudi-Hacker and serious damage to the server resulted from the attack.

There's much more detailed information available at Dr Whoop-Ass's Poetry Roundup. It's filled with technical terms like virus and corrupted and configuration and time bombs.

I have to admit, I understand viral entities like Ebola and SARS much better than I understand computer ones.

I understand enough, however, to know that both types are extremely dangerous and potentially deadly - and recovery from either is time consuming and filled with major difficulties and set-backs.

As of Monday evening, Alex sent word through an Erato-Mod that he was working virtually around the clock and had hopes of rebuilding the entire system and being back in business within a few days.

I have no idea what's involved in reconstructing an entire server but I don't imagine it's anything even remotely simple.

I have a new respect for Alex as well as for the word "addiction."

I'm jonesing.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Consequences of Speaking Out Against Genital Mutilation

Am I think only one who's seeing an ugly connection between the death of this model and the disappearance of this one?

Two women, both former super-models, both childhood victims and well-known outspoken critics of female genital mutilation, and now one's dead, a victim of an unfortunate drowning "accident" (and this was a woman who lived, mind you, LIVED, on a houseboat - tell me she didn't know how to swim) and the other one suddenly gone "missing" - and both within mere weeks of one another?

Come on - give me a break. Where the hell are those guys from CSI when you need them? I hardly think this is all just so much coincidence, yanno? The question is - why aren't the police, or anyone else for that matter, questioning the possible link?

Never mind. What once was lost has now been found.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I'm a Grandma and.......

Time of Birth: 5:45PM
Weight: 8 pounds 7 ounces
Length: 21 inches
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Bright Blue
Name: To Be Announced

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Poetic Epiphany

I was talking with Dan last night and this morning and we were discussing what makes a poem work - or more specifically - what makes a "formal poem" work and I had the following epiphany.

It's not enough that the rhyme and meter kick us in the ass, the thought conveyed must also jump-start our brains and stop. our. hearts. at the same time.

All the mechanics in the poetry-world mean nothing without a thought behind it. It's something, god forgive me for saying so, but it's something many of the "New Formalists" don't always seem to grasp. It doesn't matter how many double-dactyls you can use or how clever your metrical substitutions, it's not enough if your iambic pentameter or your occasionally and casually introduced spondee is perfection personified, what matters is that you are able to use your metrical skills as a physical (and secondary) enhancement of your all-important cerebral ability.

A competent poem can say nothing brilliantly, but it'll be forgotten shortly after it's read - while the more memorable poem, the one which sticks in your head and haunts your soul, is the equally competent one which says something brilliantly.

Most poets today can master one or the other - but not both. The various free-versers (for lack of a better word) can sometimes conceive the most interesting thought and/or idea, but they cannot skillfully design the vehicle capable of transporting it to the final destination. The Formalists, (for lack of a better word) on the other hand, can design the most impeccable-appearing vehicles but they often appear incapable of filling the interior space with anything even remotely relevant or interesting.

The following poems and poets are proof-positive, though, that some poets are capable of doing both - and at least one editor, Kate Benedict, has an uncanny eye for recognizing it:

Prologue by Michael Cantor

It took me several reads to even realize there's not a word of true rhyme, internal or otherwise, in this absolutely stunning and metrically perfect poem - that's how perfect the metrics are and how strong the message. (There is, however, a brilliant use of sound in the ending words, stone, storm, bones and moon which may be what carries the melody so well.) The stand-alone ending line scares the crap out of me. It becomes an unforgettable line - which, in turn, makes the entire poem unforgettable.

In camera by Julie Carter

What can I say? The final image of a small, sometimes awkward little girl as a distant lone purple flower with arms just takes my breath away. The alliteration present in this poem is woven so skillfully that you barely see it happening - but Lord, can you feel it. Free verse DOES work. Here's proof.

Poor Dolores by Rose Poto.

Poor Dolores, indeed!! The imagery in this poem is both satisfying and striking - it hits you right between the eyes and almost blinds you. The rhyme is sparing but it's judiciously placed for maximum effect, the detailing exquisite, the last two lines, well, they're to die-for. We've all known Dolores - a few of us have been her, many more of us have been the girls crying in the stall. And that, my friends, is what makes this poem in particular stand out. A poem in which you recognize yourself is one of the greatest poems of all.

The Agnostic's Villanelle by Marilyn Taylor.

This poem was the catalyst for this post. When I first read this one, I was stunned enough to read it twice and then read it a third time - only out loud to Dan. It sparked a long conversation about what the poem meant or didn't mean. A discussion intriguing enough that I ended up enlisting Marilyn's help in "decoding" the poem. The concept here is simple enough - why would a god, any god, strike Milton blind and Beethoven deaf? Where is the mercy? What was the reasoning? Dan believes it happened for the same reason that Babel was destroyed - those that seek to attain perfection are bound to fail - but by God's design or by their own presumptiveness? Were Milton and Beethoven so stricken because God does not allow anyone to reach his own dizzying heights and they, perhaps, were getting dangerously close to perfection? Was it divine irony - or was it just that "simple twist of fate" that Bob Dylan speaks of? Regardless, this is one of the most thought provoking poems I've read in a long time. The form, the meter, the rhyme - it's well handled and finely executed - but the question it asks is what takes a complicated and difficult exercise in form and transforms it from the merely mechanical into the truly memorable.

If you think you've not got the time to peruse the entire Spring issue of Umbrella, peruse these four. I guarentee you'll want to read the rest.

One last thing - a word of warning to the editors and publishers of all online and print publications.

The bar has just been raised.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


There's a new issue of Umbrella out today and I'm in it!!!

Even if I wasn't, however, I'd highly recommend the magazine to anyone with a taste for fine poetry.

I've read the entire issue, cover-to-cover, and it rocks.