Blog

Writers Conference September 30, 2017

On Saturday, September 30 the Lorain County Public Library System offered a writers conference at the North Ridgeville branch.  I attended along with about eighty other local writers gathered to learn the strategies for getting published.  The speaker was Chuck...

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Art Is Not . . . Art Is

Art is not something to look at. Art is the act of seeing. Art is not something to look at. Art is a lesson on seeing. Art is not something to look at. Art breaks the looking glass so we can see past our reflection in the mirror....

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Libraries

If all the words expressing all the thoughts contained in all the libraries of the world came pouring like noisy bangers out of bars into city streets shouting three cheers for thoughtful reflection, how much good would this riot of intelligence do?  How much good has...

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Walt Whitman’s American Dream

After reading Walt Whitman's great celebration of America, how can things go so wrong?  After Song of Myself, how could we forget who we are and who we can be?  Maybe we didn't read it. Maybe we need to read it again. A current slogan stirs the pot of political...

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The Thrill of Phenomenology

Two words you seldom have seen together, ‘thrill’ and ‘phenomenology’.  Perhaps the later word you’ve never seen at all. We will begin there. Phenomenology is a philosophical word.  It begins with things as they are - - - wait for it - - - things as they are - - -...

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The Double Bind

The double bind of our human nature; the more  human we become the more unnatural we are. To date, our human enterprise has been  to become less and less a part of and more and more apart from the natural world. Because of this, humanity suffers and the biosphere...

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Old Things  

I am old and I deserve the privilege of being around old things.  Now most things around me are new. When I was a child I was surrounded old things. Our neighbor Mrs. Cedarholm was old.  She lived in an old farm house on the edge of town. She was surrounded by old...

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The Poetry of Politics

Yesterday morning, cold and wet and dark, I woke up in the unfinished stanza of the great poem called America.  A new poet had taken over the manuscript: Donald J. Trump. His stanza  was full of powerful words and imagery. It began on June 16, 2015 with an escalator...

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Metaphor

Everything is what it is and also something else. It is the poet's work to articulate the intercourse between the 'is' and the...

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To France

Today I am leaving for France, homeland of ancestors, haven of art, house of gastronomy.  I have long appreciated how the French refuse to pit logos against eros, rationality against sensuality, spirituality against physicality.  The French do not want to pick this...

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The Strangest Life

“This is the strangest life I've ever known.”                                                                                                                  Jim Morrison, The Doors It is life enough. And life, this one and only life, is very strange indeed. To what...

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The Seductive Expediency of Guns

Yesterday I sat on my patio in the deep heat of summer, finches at the feeder, deer lying in the cool among trees, a newspaper on my lap. One would have no need to imagine a more delightful day. Yet I am leaden, body, mind, soul weighted down. I read the newspaper. I...

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Reading: A Taxonomy of Knowledge

(poem posted on 7/5/16) At first, this poem may appear to be pure nonsense. It may not even look like a poem. It begins with an unfamiliar word taxonomy and looks like a list of unrelated and ridiculous statements. Who in their right mind would think this was a...

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Obligation

Do we have an obligation to always be the person people have gotten used to us being, our persona, or can we respond to the urge to be...

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Death & Good Cheer

I’ve received a complaint about Poetry Breaks Things. Too much talk of death, too many poems about dying. Too gloomy. Too morose. Cheer up a bit already, I was told. Be a little more positive. That would be hard to do, since (1) I am positive I am going to die, and...

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Birthday Reflections

Today is my birthday. How old, you ask? I was born in 1943. You do the math. Since then, every odd year I get even, every even year I get odd. 2016, an even year, and I am feeling a bit odd. You might think it odd to ponder aging. They say being old isn’t so bad when...

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How to Read a Surrealistic Poem

First, remember the source, the unfiltered unconscious. Second, you must want to dig something out of the poem. You must believe that the poem contains ore to be mined. The meaning will not be obvious at first. The poem will appear nonsensical, incomprehensible. You...

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