Poems for May

Did some poetry yesterday:

Here are some tweetpoems (not necessarily haiku but 140 characters or less).

The city sleeps
falls quiet
birds sing their glorious song
Spring arrives in Maine.

Symphony of spring
birdsong
before the world awakens.

Bad Houses **

Bad Houses by Sara Ryan (story) and Carla Speed McNeil (illustration).

Story just didn’t grab me.

I think there definitely could have been more there.

I think graphic novels are most interesting when they either embrace the spare in a beautiful work like Jeff Lemire’s Essex County. Or if they provide a snapshot of an unknown world in Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang or Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis”.J

There is also the power of work like Palestine by Joe Sacco. But for relatively standard storytelling the effect can actually be pretty thin.

I feel like this could have been more interesting in more traditional narrative, like the characters live richer lives that what is shown in the book. The central couple’s story is just beginning in the book, and I think can get richer.

Ok at best. Definitely disappointing.

Reading Poetry for Future Poetry

I seem to be in a reading poetry mode.

Write Bloody Revivals. Bukowski, Franny Choi, David Perez, Robin Merrill Kristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. Misspellings. Amazing chapbooks from new poets like Kirsten Uhde.

Great stuff.

Inspirational.

A Hundred Years of Haiku in English… Planning to go to a haiku workshop again in my yearly retreat.

Taking information in. Taking styles in.

It’s future poetry.

Not writing as much as I like but I think it’s coming.

Listening to poetry, reading poetry, writing poetry. It’s a happy circle.

I like narrative poetry. I like clear language. I love hilarious poetry that makes me burst out laughing. A hilarious poem is a great poem.

So the poetry is simmering up. Looking forward to what’s coming and of course reading more poetry.

I hope for the well to flow again.

Patience

One breath at a time
one eyeblink at a time
one heartbeat

Many thoughts
many mediums
So much information.

But
it’s one step at a time
one day at a time
one conversation at a time
breathe
slow down
learn patience.

The world doesn’t have to move fast
breathe
slow down
learn patience
breath
rest.

Listen to nature
walk
hear the birds
watch the wind through the trees,
See the season slowly turn.

Listen to the water,
life giving
cold
breathe
pay attention
be patient
one thing at a time
The world can wait.

Live richly
pet a cat
walk the dog
take a nap,
watch children play and smile.

Eat
slowly
sit down
Cook.

Life is about little moments
one breath
one conversation
crying
laughing
loving
be humble.
Love.

Sketch poem

This came from writing on a sketchbook at Dobra Tea.
Small cap lines should be indented.
————-

Read
    anything
Create
    with abandon
Draw
     outside the lines.
Love
    with all your heart
Listen
intensely
without judgement
without interjection
Learn
everything
then learn more.
Write
poorly
Write
anything
Write
Create
Believe in yourself.

Fail
keep going
Draft
edit
keep going
Sketch
draw
watercolor
Keep playing.
Buy local art.
Be a patron.
Be a fan.

Create,
Listen,
Write,
Laugh,
Love
yourself
your journey
listening
creating.

You are an artist.
Believe in yourself.
Create.
Listen.
Love.
Create more.
Share your work.
It’s beautiful.

Numbing Agents

We are often uncomfortably numb.
Not engaging.

Using crutches
pain pills
alcohol
Facebook
cigarettes
pot
TV
Radio
Internet.

Keeping feeling internal
hard to shar

Afraid to say what we feel
Worried about offending others.

Wanting to be the good guy.

Not connecting to people in person,
social media isn’t that social.
It’s a lot of words,
a lot of noise
not much connection.

Texts
for hours
for hundreds of messages
while driving
while with an actual person
in front of you.

There are a lot of things out there
retail therapy
commercialism
you need more crap, more stuff,
more shit.

We live in bizarre times.
Don’t know out neighbors,
have hundreds or thousands of “friends” we hardly know.
That are at most acquaintances.

I like social media,
I can like TV,
like beer.
But there is just too much noise right now,
too much static.

We need to connect,
need to talk,
need to interact,
with people in-person,
not just online.

Need to connect with people,
of different classes,
races,
ages,
genders,
backgrounds.

Realize we have more in common,
than different.
That those with a difficult life,
little money,
families in jail,
addiction,
illness,
madness,
need love.

What a better life we would live if
we could just be
“Excellent to each other.”

Don’t be a dick,
listen,
too many people are bogus.

Love people for who they are,
“party on dudes,”
listen,
cry,
laugh,
love.

The world needs you.
Needs you to love.
To listen, to write, to create,
to be only the person you can be.

I am trying,
it’s not easy,
there is so much shiny, so much debt, so much hardship.

We are all in this together, kid.
Cliches and all.

Love. Love. Hug. Cry. Listen. Or just be there.
There is someone who needs you,
and someone you need,
blessings to you all.

Peace.

edmund

My Dear Aunt Sallie

(This is a work in progress — expecting to edit but really like the idea.)

My Dear Aunt Sally
learn it in school

Multiplication
Division
Adding
Subtracting

So 8*5/4-3 = 40/4-3 = 10-3 = 7

My Dear Aunt Sallie

Multiplying
student loans
Multiplying
interests.

dividing
families
dividing
relationships.

adds
debt
adds
fees

Subtracting
opportunity
spending money
the economy

Adds
new dorms
for-profit schools
tuition.

Subtracting
meritocracy
affordability

Multiplying
Government profit
Debt Collectors.

Dividing
young from old
rich from poor

It’s a mortgage.

If you can’t afford it
here is some “student aid.”

More semesters
more student loans
more debt
even in public colleges
even when working in school.

The tuition will be fine
the loans will be fine
college will pay off.

Will give
chances
opportunity
growth,

Make you a better person.

Successful, rich.

If you are so smart, why ain’t you rich.

Poets, artists and philosophers have never had money
unless they had a benefactor.

Give money
give money
give money
give money
10, 20, 30 years.

Disabled
pay me
mental illness
pay me
bad job market
pay me

Pay me
calls
pay me
default
plus give me 18.5%

We want your money
you signed a contract
sorry, no bankruptcy.

Sorry we can’t help you
go back to school,
take a forbearance,
take more debt.

Sorry we can’t help you
pay it in full of 18.5%

Pay me. Pay me.
Pay me.

My Dear Aunt Sallie Mae
forgive us.

We know not what
we signed

We just wanted to
go to school.

Send it was aid

Just want to go to
school
FAFSA said
I needed loans.

just wanted
to learn
to learn

opportunity
to learn
to learn.

Forgive us.
Forgive our debt
forgive the debts.
forgive. forgive.
forgive.

Improve the economy
end sleepless nights
allow creativity
allow entrepeunship
allow people to use their degrees
for good.

Giving our smartest people
who had parents without money
or enough money
a mortgage to start life is insane.

Just end Sallie Mae.
End it.
Forgive it.

Maybe less people would go to school.
That’s okay.

Student aid should be grants not loans.
Should allow people to follow their passion,
not take jobs that pay enough money.

We need to do better as a society
to the strivers
from poor, working class, middle class
families.

To improve themselves,
bring creativity,
bring a better world.

And not have the shackles
of thousands,
tens of thousands,
even hundreds of thousands in debt.

It would make the world
a better place.

edmund

The Goose Swacks

Some short poems I wrote yesterday.

The first was from a goddess moon postcard I got from Ryk McIntyre for a poems from a postcard chapbook project. Did so many versions. After talking to someone yesterday I just wrote the third stanza for the poem.

————-

The goose
swacks its love
loud moon song
falls
across still waters.

————-

Original(s) were many but yesterday I had some including:

Moon hides
behind earth
hiding in the middle of the night

Brings wonder
sleepness nights
darkness
umbra.

——————-

The flying fish
flies to moonlight
shimmering over water
helping geese fly.

————–

(new one)

The fish
flies through
the moon’s light
eclipsed
by darkness.

_________

The flyish fish
jumps to moonlight
shimmering

The stones
worn by tides
pushed by goddess moon

The goose
it swacks its love
moon’s song
falls
across still waters.

————–

Circular calls are circular
calls are circular circular
are are calls calls
circle calls are calls circle.

———–
(Started yesterday (1st stanza), added 2nd today)

Phone useless
Galaxy’s power destroyed
Paper has power.

Pen or pencil.
The page beckons.

————-

From 4/15 (3 haikus)

Mahna Mahna
Haiku haiku haiku
mahna mahna.

————–

Get here early
poetry limited seating
wonderful words.

—————-

Winter branches
blowing in the wind
not yet green.

———–

More from yesterday:

Song of eons

tides
fall, flood

rocks
erode
uplift.

———-

Lava flows
new islands

water erodes
lost islands.

———–

Mountains hiding
under the tides
life hides from the land.

———–

The lava
explodes
from the earth

flows
down
worn peaks
over
and under
crusts of rocks

sizzling shore
new land.

———

Poetry mind
and fully
conscious mind
very different places.

————

Wordplay is fun
fun words play
play is word.

—————

(today)
Poetry is fun
Poets read poems
Write poems
Hear poems
recite poems
wonderful circle of words.

—-

Thank you for hearing and reading my words.

I love good feedback,
writing is a journey.

edmund

Time of Renewal, Time of Peace

Easter.
Time of Renewal.
Time of Peace.

Mid-April.
Green slowly returning in Maine,
an explosion of color in most of the world.

April in Paris.
Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC and Japan.
Magnolias in the American South.

Easter.
Time of Egg hunts
and chocolate.

Of the scary bunny,
with hollow dead eyes.

Of eating off the top of
chocolate bunnies
head first.

Jelly Beans.
Easter Grass,
odd plastic stuff.
What weird times we live in.

Of thankfulness,
family,
forgiveness.

Of praying for your sins,
to improve.
To flower along with the trees
and grasses, annuals and perennials.

Jesus.
The Prince of Peace.
May you help heal a broken world.
Help the meek,
help the poor,
help those suffering.

People need help
in these greedy times.
Capital is merely a tool,
Capitols aren’t supposed to
controlled by capital.

Enjoy the green,
enjoy seeing winter trees slowly bud,
the birds slowly return.

The sun is almost set,
Easter in the morning.
Blessings to all
in this holy time
of Easter, Ä’ostre and Passover.

May it bring renewal to your life.
May it bring peace.
After a difficult 2 years I could use peace in my heart.

Blessed be.

A Day Without a Smartphone

Smartphones are amazing things. What would be considered a super computer not that long ago in the palm of your hand.

The ablility to send a Tweet around the world. The ability to send a Facebook message to all your friends and followers. Amazing apps, games, messaging ….

You know you can turn them off. No, seriously you can.

My phone died on Tuesday afternoon. Put it in my coat pocket, went to fix my car and then weird squares on the bottom left.

I went to the Great Lost Bear for mac and cheese and beer and it wouldn’t work. I tried removing the Otterbox (which has a horrible design on the Galaxy S4 that already broke from Thanksgiving with loose rubber and breaking plastic that doesn’t seal), and changing the battery but the problem continued.

I want to tweet and message about the the first date going on next to me. It did seem to be going relatively well and I think they will have a second date, not sure if it will be a long-term relationship, but they will likely be friends.

I also tried the crazy mix at Great Lost Bear that is mac and cheese, topped with baked beans, topped with cole slaw and then three fried pickles in a mason jar. It was good but I think wicked farty.

Yesterday, I didn’t really miss my phone that much. I was mainly zoning out and watching stuff like “Orange is the New Black” (which is awesome.)

Usually at work I use my phone more. I check in with my wife, I use it to listen to music since I lost my iPod a few weeks ago, and I play smartphone games (been addicted to FIFA 14).

But the Galaxy is down for the count and the SD card is missing from my old Evo so most of the apps don’t work.

So on my downtime I read more. Read a bunch of the April “The Bollard” (easily my favorite free paper in town and favorite newspaper considering the Portland Press Herald kind of sucks these days.) And I read quite a bit of the 2013 Entertainment Weekly with the 100 best of all time. Really “My Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West is the 8th best album of all time, really? Between Aretha Franklin and “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys, really?

And as much as I love Woody Allen and adore Annie Hall, I just don’t like Manhattan **, I have tried multiple times but it’s just ridiculous. Why would he really fall for Muriel Hemingway’s HS character, does he have some weird thing for young girls?

But, when I left work I felt like my mind was working on writing ideas. That I wasn’t as distracted all day. That I had a very good day.

So, I am getting my phone back on Monday, ok a replacement phone, but I think I will just turn it off more. I really don’t need to keep checking Facebook or Twitter or FIFA 14. It’s a weapon of mass distraction.

I am ADDish enough without it.

So, I hope to read more and smartphone less.

One of the things I love about my retreat every Memorial Day weekend in the Berkshires is that phones and the internet don’t work. I engage with people more. I don’t hear the traffic. I hear the running water, hear the birds tweeting their songs, not the clatter of millions in under 140 characters. I experience the green and beauty of a sacred place. It’s magic.

I have been feeling the need for a smartphone vacation. I miss my old Evo dying of battery faster. The Galaxy is too good at being a mini-computer. The Google Chrome works too well. Sometimes it runs better than my laptop at home.

So, I don’t think I will disconnect, but I will connect less. People are much more important than devices, if you find you can’t ignore your phone at a poetry reading, turn it off. If you can’t ignore your phone while having lunch or dinner with someone, turn it off. Seriously. If you want to connect it will still be there. If you really want to connect with actual people you should turn if off.

Seriously. Try it!

C’mon. Try it!

I know you don’t believe you can, but your public can wait. Especially if you have to pay attention to the road.

Be safe. Be mindful,

edmund