Monday, March 30, 2015

Stone Soup Is On

The show must continue.  I'm off to host Gloria Mindock's reading tonight.

No Oddball Posts Today

Hopefully, we can make a strong comeback tomorrow.  Today, we're resting.

Catch Me In The Latest Wilderness House Literary Review

My poem "Number" appears in Volume 10 Issue 1 of Wilderness House Literary Review. I can honestly say I don't recognize anyone else who's in the issue with me (though fellow contributor Scott Outlar already reached out to me). That's kind of fun! And it hasn't happened in a while. Click here for my poem if you want but check out the rest of the magazine too.

Annoying Thoughts Presents: Magic

When I was young, I received a Tyco racing car set one Christmas morning. It was already assembled and ready to go. I remember my father looking really haggard that morning. He was more than a little out of it. He stated that Santa kept him up all night banging around downstairs and putting the racing track together. 

I'm sure it's clear to anyone old enough to be browsing the internet unsupervised that it was my Dad who assembled the race set, staying up until the wee hours of the morning. It was not however, clear to me.

Maybe that should have been the year I figured it out. However, my parents were a little too good at convincing me that make believe things like ghosts and monsters existed (more on that another time). I think that backfired on them in the form of my naivete.

I don't remember what age I was when that obvious Santa-debunking clue in the form of my exhausted father went flying over my head. Truthfully, I'm a little ashamed to try and figure it out at the moment. I will say that I remember sometime later arguing with fellow students that Santa was real. I was in the fourth grade. 

I know my father loved me in spite of myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if that morning, just for a few moments, he thought I was a complete asshole.

Though he's no longer with us, I feel my father and I shared the same frustrations regarding certain attitudes. Like him, my strength is in my ability to work. I'm less of a thinker than he was, but the amount of effort I put in and what I've accomplished on any given day is pretty clearly defined, if only to me. I have difficulty tolerating anyone young and naive that refuses to see the amount of work adults have to do to keep everything going. 

Young people (and I speak from experience) have a hard time coping with the time and effort it takes to accomplish anything of note. I don't think this is a new phenom, but it is something evident in the young people of modern society who don't have to work the coal mines at age twelve. Children--and sometimes teenagers, and sometimes even young adults--can't deal with all that work. They view it as impossible and something only an adult can accomplish though mysterious means.

If a young person accomplishes something, they regard it as grueling and consuming of all their time. If an adult does something for them, it's magic.

I don't begrudge the young for this mindset (I more begrudge my younger, stupider self). Young people eventually learn by sink-or-swim methods nowadays and hopefully grow into responsible adults. What concerns me is that in this day of specializations and technology, there are more and more adults from various generations unwilling to learn or understand how things work around them if it's not their job to learn it. It's almost as if the technological world, and just the world of knowing or wanting to figure out how things work, have become a kind of magic to them.

Think about it the next time you volunteer to look at a copier with a paper jam, or a printer that has a weird error message coming up, or a program on a colleague's PC that isn't working in a textbook fashion. You're not an expert. You never even attended that laughable orientation session. But you've finagled devices like this before. And will you look at that, you got your hands dirty and the doohickey works again!

Now go to your boss, your peer, whomever. Tell them you fixed it and explain how. Then take in the million mile blank stare they will in all likelihood give you.

You could be speaking in what is both your native tongue in the simplest words possible, maybe even slowing your words down a bit ("IIIIII, turrrrrrnnnned iiit offffffffffff thennnnnnnnnnn ooooooonnnnnnnn agaiinnnnnnnnnnn"). They will still look at you like you're using a made up language found in a H.P. Lovecraft story.

I think about these people who seem to take pride in being dumbfounded. I've come to the conclusion that their ancestors must have been the type to burn accused witches.

After all, if they couldn't figure something out, it had to be witchcraft.

A few centuries back, they would be burning me for teaching their children to read.

That can't happen today, but give it another generation.

Work. Magic. They can be scary stuff.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Gordon Marshall Has A New Project Idea

Check out Waterwheel Poetry. 

What is its significance to Stone Soup Poetry?

Not sure yet.  But we're talking.

It looks like you'll find out when I do.

March 30: Gloria Mindock Has Much to Celebrate at Stone Soup

I hope you will all join me this Monday for what will surely be an excellent reading by poet, editor and publisher Gloria Mindock. As I've written and said elsewhere, this will be an excellent transition reading. Not only will Stone Soup be segueing into National Poetry Month but Gloria will also be celebrating the tenth anniversary of Červená Barva Press, a publishing imprint she founded and continues to operate out of her home. This is an amazing accomplishment. The best way to thank her for her years of work and service to the poetry community is to be in attendance for Monday and stay tuned for any future celebration readings, which I may or may not be a part of.  Also, read her poem from Friday's Stone Soup Servings column in Oddball Magazine.

April 6: Come to Stone Soup and Support DiDi Delgado

While most of my fellow writers will be celebrating National Poetry Month normally, DiDi Delgado will be having surgery and recovering from a time.  Still, there is plenty of time for her to kick off the month and for you to help donate to her medical costs and speedy recovery.  While it's true that her gofundme drive set up by friends is over half-funded I speak from experience that there will always be surprise bills and unforeseen expenses to account for.  More is always needed.

Please consider going to the fundraiser Stone Soup will be hosting for Didi Delgado on April 6.  It promises a wide range of performers, including members of her poetry group SOUP (no affiliation), former Cambridge Populist Toni Bee and newly christened poet laureate of Somerville Nicole Terez Dutton.  If you can't attend, consider donating to the cause via the gofundme link above.

The Followup to Monday's Stone Soup

I had asked the person responsible for the outburst this past Monday to write a letter of apology. I gave them a deadline of today. I looked in my email this morning and found the following message, written Saturday night:  

"I'm sorry my comment caused so much excitement. It was off the cuff and it exploded. Sorry about that. It's too bad that it has to end on a bad note but I don't belong.
Good  bye,"

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Music Lesson in JP Lime

This week's Twist of Lime at Oddball Magazine does much to school me about hip hop the last few years. Actually, I got a bit of this from the test podcast on Wednesday. Here, I feel like I'm getting the cliff notes to that chat, but that's all good too.

A Story in Poetry

Janet Cormier's Bamboozled No More! today in Oddball Magazine.

Annoying Thought of The Day

When you're mad at someone who hurt you, you sometimes talk in clichés, especially if you're young and inexperienced in how most people work.

You say things like how you wish people wouldn't stab you in the back and why can't they confront you face to face.

So when you inevitably meet someone who can stab you in the back and look directly at you at the same time, you're not sure what to do. 

Hopefully, by the time you're older, you're also mature enough to tell yourself, look, forget about saying anything to these people, forget about even getting close enough to be stabbed, JUST STAY AWAY. And hopefully, you can.

I'm still waiting for that thought process to kick in as a natural defense mechanism. You'd think it be like breathing by now.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Last Spring Poem (that I'll be writing or linking today)

James Van Looy provides the last poem column of today at Oddball Magazine.  Read James Van Looy's take over at It's All One Thing.

Seasonal Haiku

March out like a lamb
running into lion's mouth
just to get warm

Thursday Poem Columns Forever

Today at Oddball Magazine, the poem columnists have gone the route of Spring (as best as they can remember anyway).  First up is Andrew Borne's Seven Times column and it's piece of the week, "Iris Bloom." 

The Boston National Poetry Month Festival is ON

Click here for the information that's out so far. There's not much there. There's no list of participating poets yet, as far as I've been told. Hopefully that will change soon.

The Vermin Supreme Documentary

There are those of us lucky to have met Vermin Supreme back when he was running in 2000 for the title of Emperor for a New Millennium. 

Sure there were other positions he made up and ran for before 2000. There have been others since then. But that year alone would have immortalized Mr. Supreme even if it had been the only time we saw him on the streets and at conventions.

His policy on dentistry and clean teeth was genius.

Now you can get the even bigger story.  Check out this article for more information.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This is What I'm Doing Right Now

With  Jason Wright of Oddball Magazine along with Prof and Scholar of JP Lime Productions.

Check out our test run of The Oddball Show.

Today at Oddball Magazine

The Rest of Yesterday at Oddball Magazine

Check out Helen Picard's poem with art by Ira Joel Haber, who just yesterday celebrated a total of 36 appearances in Oddball Magazine since 2013.  Congratulations, Ira.  We are very glad to have you.

Yes, Jason Wright Wrote a Response Poem

Having also witnessed what happened the night of VCR's feature, Oddball Magazine founder Jason Wright wrote a response poem that was published yesterday in his Jagged Thoughts poem column.  Read it by clicking here. It does a better job at breaking everything down than I'm able to do right now with mere prose.

My Statement on What Happened at Stone Soup Poetry, March 23, 2015

When someone shouted "White people too!" at the end of Vernon C Robinson’s feature, it reminded me how far we've come creating inclusive communities, and how far we have to go

That statement did not reflect the views of myself, Jason Wright or the rest of Stone Soup's Poetry's organizers.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Off to Stone Soup

Monday's Oddball Activity

Bruce Wise, a poet who has made multiple appearances over the last couple of months in Oddball writing on current events, comes back with a poem that might take a few Google searches to get.

And a powerful piece by the poet only known as The Girl Next Door.

Those Who Serve...Often Look Like Crap

I'm noticing a disparaging trend that the harder I work for other people, the more horrid my appearance online and even in-person, tends to look.

But they look GREAT.

This is a trend that needs to trend.

Sunday, March 22, 2015