What do you do with your lines of bad poetry?
I rewrite the ones that had a glimmer of a thought, throw others away. I post some thinking they are not bad only to discover that they really are years later when they pop up in Facebook memories. Then embarrassed I copy them to rework.
Sometimes a line or two pops out. Like a sculptor carving marble, I then have to chip away at the poem to find the art within. Some lines end up in snippets of paper buried in my pocket for a few days, some are in binary code deep on a hard-drive somewhere and who knows if they'll ever be seen again.
I have millions of words. Painters paint, writers write. I found a line of a poem on an old bank stub under my keyboard the other day. no idea why I wrote it on the stub and it wasn't even that great of a line. It was an old stub and the date and the amount of withdrawal or deposit(likely withdrawal) was faded beyond readability.
"I saw a sparrow eating bugs off a dead cat and thought about resilience."
Sometimes we even save the bad lines.
The importance of writing bad poetry is that maybe good poetry will eventually come, that if ideas are engraved, even if poorly, someone, somewhere, sometime can witness an unexpected moment of you. The importance of bad poetry is so much more significant than posting a meme or wasting a perfectly good meet up with a friend bitching about the price of gas. In other words, even bad poetry, in the grander scheme of things, has priceless meaning.
So I write (though these gas gas prices!!!!)
Is that my....
Of sad eyes peering out behind happy ones,
Beneath the old untouched stones of forgotten roadways,
Beneath the granular of dried mud.
Is that my soul?
It’s a baffled relationship of stars and poet's words,
Of lovers tongues silenced,
Of a rapping sound repeating.
Is that my heart?
The dirt beneath my nails is my signature,
There is a perfect rhythm out there waiting,
The door is open.
I close my eyes and taste the wind.
Is that the depth of my experience?
A bitter woman prays in a flowered 70s dress in a house four blocks a way as she listens to sentimental music while hating liberal commie faggots and smoking long filtered menthol cigarettes.
My old teacher's words I finally heard for the first time today, 30 years later, because it was time finally.
I cut this grass cut out of desperation to fit in.
What bad poetry do you keep around?
Ever feel like you're juggling too many things at once?
Well I'd be lying if I didn't say that has been my life of late It seems the candle can burn from both ends.
I've been putting my camera between my eyes and some interesting and fun things. A lot of freelance work for my friends at Allegheny College and last week, in-between AC gigs, a few sports and stories for Eight & 322 I participated in a photographer panel discussion and helped a fellow photographer out with an interesting fun shoot for a cookbook to go along with the Barrow-Civic Theatre production of Nonsense the Musical which will go on sale this week at the theater and hopefully in time for opening night..
Look for more on this show coming up and keep and eye of their Facebook page for updates.
I've been a photographer now for almost 40 years. I began with black and white film that I developed and printed myself. Oh and those things called slides that we suffered through pesky family gatherings after grandma and grandpa went to see the Grand Canyon or Old Faithful or worse, visiting cousins we've never even met and likely never will meet.
I went to a professional photography school where I learned a lot about everything photography related. Some of which I remember, some I have to refresh from time to time.
Concepts of how to light everything from a huge factory to the tip of a pin.
I also went to art school after photography school and my photo work went all over the place. So I had a lot of options to figure out what I wanted to show.
I don't know much about my fellow photographer's work that will be displayed all around my work, but there wasn't a theme for us to focus our work around. So I chose a series of on again off again images that explores what control over a person means - even when the person is alone. Much of this idea originated from the machismo teaching and a predominately male centered history that I grew up learning but was fortunate enough to question.
How women have been fitting into that notion has modern validity.
I look around me and there it is still still. Male dominating culture all around the world and even still in this country where we have made such great strides.... but not enough.
These images are a small part of greater explorations but they are connected in at least one key way visually - so I decided that would be the work I would show.
The tea cup is a delicate vessel into which we tend to pour warm liquids to enjoy quietly - often in a reflective quiet moment. The fancy tea cup does have a connotation of a gathering of women, a support group perhaps.
This work explores tradition and even contemporary issues. It doesn't define anything, but hopefully leads us to ask further questions.
I'm looking forward to seeing this show conceived and curated by Stewart Armstrong. Not because my work is in it, but to see what other photographers are doing.
It opens with a repletion on April fools Day (which may be appropriate for me) from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is expected to remain open until April 24 with hours from noon to six on Saturdays and Sundays. The artist's and a few wonderful volunteers will sit at different times in the gallery. I have signed up for two Sundays April 10 and 24 noon to 3. I may be there noon to 6 on the 24th.
Would love to see some old friends come by and say hello and see some work produced by local photographers.
Does the wind ever die?
Or does it just rest until it gets picked up again for the next ride?
I mean is it possible that the wind that blew across the field today once blew across the cheek of Socrates? Maybe once cooled the Roman Army on the summer battlefield in Gaul and also Tiger Woods on the 16th hole at Augusta? The same wind that blew through the church during Napoleon’s coronation fueled Genghis Khan fire’s and then pushed away the toxic cloud over Nagasaki in 1945?
What history does the wind hold?
I’m not as optimistic as Dylan, oddly - if the wind holds the answers, we’re not listening well enough.
Perhaps it does bring us more questions than answers?￼￼￼ Maybe that brush with Socrates cheek changed the wind forever.
Yesterday I sat outside in a lawn chair eating salad and a sandwich. Yes the date at the top of this post is correct. It is warm enough still to sit comfortable in the sun in November. The night's get cold and we have had enough of a frost to kill off most of the things pollinators live to...well pollinate. It's also taken away what these little fellas eat. So there are far fewer of them about and yesterday my normal reaction to shoo them away was taken over by a fascination to watch and the feeling of empathy that came over me.
This could be this hornet's last supper I thought. His last days of being. Is there a hornet heaven? Will it come back as a chihuahua? Or was this all its mortal coil had to give?
I think about this stuff sometimes.
So I began making some iphono photos because it is how I deal with this fleeting f life.
When I was done making photos, I carefully scraped off the food and bug onto the little plastic table so this being could still eat whatever it was trying to eat.
And it stayed there.
I admit this little act made me feel good. I was able to be a friend to a fellow creature, even though this fella's relatives in the bee-hornet-world have been known to send me scurrying for Benadryl and hop in a car for a ride to the ER.
Still, they don't mean it, and this bee-ing sure did me no harm.
After I looked over the photos I began adjusting them within the edit feature in the Photos app on my phone. One move I made really saturated colors and it really reminded me of the artist Wayne Thiebald. So I pushed that idea as far as the equipment would allow. And I came up with something I thought really resembled a Thiebald.
Then a strange thing happened about an hour later, one of the art groups I follow on Facebook began posting Thiebald's works. Now, up until this point, I had only thought these thoughts and not shared them with a soul. I didn't even utter them out loud for Siri and I didn't even look him up or type his name - I just thought it.
So then I began getting all conspiracy theory wondering about Big Brother watching every move anyhow. Facebook is a scary thing and Google is even scarier.
Then I realized I'm over dramatizing and this stuff happened way before the inter webs. And no I con't think my COVID vaccine planted a microchip in me to read my every thought.
This was just a cool coincidence - one that made me think we're even more energy and spiritually connected than we really know.
So I hope this wasp lived or is living out it's days as best as it can and I hope we all get to do the same. Maybe someday when I'm nearing the end and wandering aimlessly, someone will share a little bit of their salad and sandwich with me and not shoo me away.
You can get in my way,
you can cut me down,
you can steal from me,
you slander my reputation,
you can build an army against me,
you can make my life hard.... but
I still reach for the sun,
because that is better than
wallowing in your shadow.
and so sustained
where once life
creeking sounds remain
as hard nails steadfast nestled
begin to weaken
like old photographer's knees
or the mind of a surgeon
lost to crosswords and shaky pen.
The same folk who drank the milk
from cows once attended to,
who ate the hay stored in loft
and old men leaned on tractors
solving the problems of the country
as their bones began to creek
as hard cartilage steadfast holding
but weakening with each grunted step.
The skeleton remind's of a time
lost, but perhaps it is the reminder
of the death of progress,
of abandonment and scars
of the driving force of dreaded
children's hopes moving away,
Of culled sharp swear words echoing
in what is left in the silo.
Though beauty is found still in
the carved names of young love
in the rafters in the basement, that love too,
likely long gone in a grand-parents stone
in a field somewhere nearby, though once
acknowledged, perpetrated on the family
it never goes completely away.
I remember staying up late at night writing
maybe dreaming, a place,
a time, a fragment...... a real thing.
These seconds of memory pound.
They are what we are.... despite the hundreds of thousands of thoughts that try to say otherwise.
Late at night alone we truly figure out who we are, but many sleep through that... others can't understand it, some think they get it.... but until you stand in the wind flowing up the river in the dark alone, you have no clue---though its not practical.
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