Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sounds like search

Sounds like search: "Sounds like search
Please enter some word or phrase you'd like approximate matches for
Note: This gives you words which 'sound like' your word, but
it's not necessarily a rhyming dictionary

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Page views to this site by country.

Flash; Breakfast

Sarah carefully constructs my egg and cheese muffin, muffin well done, two, three times a week.

She works silently, diligently, caringly -- toasting, then re-toasting the muffins before she wraps them tightly in crinkly wax papers and places them in paper bag, folds over the top, neatly, and takes my few dollar bills and some change.

It's not a fair trade. I can watch her cook, assemble my order, take my cash, and answer the intercom to take other orders.

I inquired civilly, and came to know that she is a single mother of two. A boy, one, and a girl, five. She hasn't missed a day of work for years. Never sick, never tardy.

Today, all alone until her shift partner arrives, she seemed a little lonely and smaller still in the big kitchen, filled with shiny stainless steel forms and surfaces. The juice machine bubbles away, the milk machine letting a few drops fall into the waste tray and the espresso machine releasing a little steam. The grill smokes from a few pieces of bacon crumb or is it a scrap of egg?

Her skin is clean and clear and her pink ears stand out like little shells stuck on her head. She wears her hair in a ponytail. Her ponytail wrap is all business. A big, red, rubber band.

I noticed today that her arms are long and lean from holding and feeding babies and reaching over the hot grill to fry my eggs. The veins show through her arms from her wrists to her upper arms. Her forearms are discolored from burns from the black, iron plates covering the gas burners.

I left her a thousand dollar tip this morning at the drive-through window. I stuffed ten, one-hundred dollar bills in the jar and drove off just after she gave me a milk bone for my dog. I didn't say anything, and will deny everything the next time I'm in for an egg and cheese muffin, muffin well done.

Flash; Sketch III

I had just finished reading Ann Lamott’s book, and some of her anecdotes were fresh in my mind. 

I got into a conversation with my friend Judith, that morning, and we talked about our childhood. I told her that mine was terrific, unlike my school chum, Conrad, whose parents abandoned him after they drove a stake through his ankle and left him on the steep, clay bank above the old Mobile station.

Flash; Sketch II

Yep. I saw it. He pulled into the handicapped spot, jumped out, and walked to the front door of the gym. There was no handicapped card on his dash, clipped to the mirror, or anywhere in sight on his car. He parked in the handicapped spot so he wouldn’t have to walk from the only open space about hundred feet from the front door. I was curious, so I went in, pretending to be a visitor, and I saw him on a treadmill in the front row. He had taken off his sweatshirt, and I could see his muscle-t and the big, Adidas logo. He was in his thirties or early forties. In for a fast workout.

Short Fiction; Sketch I

He was in London with his wife, Edith. He bet her a dinner over a trivial fact in the morning Times, and the looser was to make dinner for the two of them that night. Edith lost the bet. They went to Harrod’s to shop for the ingredients. Bob wanted something special. Haggis is made with the sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach. Harrod’s was fresh out of haggis, including the frozen. They ended up with a couple of tins of haggis, got some other ingredients, and headed for the hotel room. They opened the tins, and Edith cooked the meal in the suite’s microwave. Bob chuckled to himself, knowing what haggis was. Edith, not knowing anything about Bob’s Scotch heritage or diet, didn’t find out what she was preparing or eating, until they finished their meal.

Edith threw Bob’s suitcase out the back window into the lane behind the hotel, and told him not to come back until she felt that he was really sorry for what he had done. She was a sore looser. 


Monday, December 13, 2010

Flash Fiction

I Believe in Reincarnation

I promised friends and two of my favorite cousins that I would be coming back as a Golden Retriever.  A few months after I'm beamed up, “…the first Golden that sniffs their crotch or lifts his leg on your shoe, will be me.  Count on it.” I've always liked the Golden Retriever. They are smart, gentle, and everyone likes them.  Hence, my choice for a vessel to exist in after death.

The day I died, everything went quiet and black for a few months, then I found myself opening my eyes one day and I was nestled in a big basket next to an iron stove in someone’s living room. My stomach was full, I felt strong and rested. Big hands picked me up and I found myself staring into the face of an older, whiskered fellow with kind, brown eyes.  He tucked me in the hollow of his arm near his chest, and I could hear his heartbeat and his breathing.  A woman appeared, and then a couple of big flashes from her camera.  Her voice was familiar.  It was my cousin Joan. Somehow, I was in her home, held in the arms of her boyfriend or husband, and she was clicking away with her camera.  Matthew was the man’s name. He smelled like the woods, and had a deep and soothing voice. Joanie couldn’t stop smiling, and I swear I could see tears in her eyes.  She still wore the big piece of jade I had given her years earlier.

Joan gave me little bite of warm bread that she was eating. It felt good in my mouth, and the butter stuck to the little hairs on my muzzle. 

My hope to return as a Golden Retriever came true. I would live another thirteen or fourteen years as beloved member of Joan’s family, and then I would be happy to go to sleep and stay asleep, forever.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

One Page Per Day: A web typewriter for authors.

One Page Per Day: A web typewriter for authors.: "What is it?
It's a very simple web typewriter that presents you with a single blank page each day. You are free from the tyranny of the infinite page.

How does it work?
There is no signup, you just log in with your existing google account or twitter username and password. Then you'll see your first blank page in front of you. Go ahead, try it out.

Then what? You get a gentle reminder to do your page each day, then you just sit back and watch your book come together.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What It's Like to Win the 'Bad Sex' Award

What It's Like to Win the 'Bad Sex' Award: "The sex scenes in Rowan Somerville's The Shape of Her are so excruciating that he was awarded the Literary Review's annual Bad Sex in Fiction prize. But you have to feel for him after reading his account of 'winning'.

To refresh your memory, here's one of the passages that warranted the prize:

The wet friction of her, tight around him, the sight of her open, stretched around him, the cleft of her body, it tore a climax out of him with a final lunge. Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thinking about a book of Flash Fiction entitled Indeterminant Sentences

What say?  There are some books on Amazon named Indeterminate Sentence (singular), but I don't think they are talking about sentences in the sense I have chosen.

Top 50 Blogs in: flash fiction -

Top 50 Blogs in: flash fiction - "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, November 29, 2010

MFA vs. NYC: America now has two distinct literary cultures. Which one will last? - By Chad Harbach - Slate Magazine

MFA vs. NYC: America now has two distinct literary cultures. Which one will last? - By Chad Harbach - Slate Magazine: "We are all MFAs now.

On the flip side (as McGurl can't quite know, because he attended 'real' grad school), MFA programs themselves are so lax and laissez-faire as to have a shockingly small impact on students' work—especially shocking if you're the student and paying $80,000 for the privilege. Staffed by writer-professors preoccupied with their own work or their failure to produce any; freed from pedagogical urgency by the tenuousness of the link between fiction writing and employment; and populated by ever younger, often immediately postcollegiate students, MFA programs today serve less as hotbeds of fierce stylistic inculcation, or finishing schools for almost-ready writers

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Poetry/Quotes from Librarianchick


Free Literature Templates | Cruzine

Free Literature Templates | Cruzine: "Literature is, definitely, a self-sufficient type of art. However, when words are supplemented and thus enforced with some professional graphic layout design – a poem or any other literary work turns into a real masterpiece with high aesthetic value. This is where designers can help poets and writers. With free literature templates, such as those presented below, one can ensure the best visual appearance of the literature. If you are good at manipulating with words, do not hesitate to download some of these free literature templates, created by those, who are good at manipulating with colors and textures.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Free Printable Poetry Frames and Poem Templates - Associated Content from Yahoo! -

Free Printable Poetry Frames and Poem Templates - Associated Content from Yahoo! - "Free Printable Poetry Frames and Poem Templates

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

VersePerfect - Download

Although I'd rather be riding in a herse
than create rhyming verse, here is a free tool:

VersePerfect - Download: "“Looking to write a poem? Here's some help”

by Francesca Migliorini

about VersePerfect

This powerful application
Might lead you into an ardent temptation
To spend hours and hours
Writing joyful poems, inspired, perhaps, by summer flowers.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Heteronym Homepage

The Heteronym Homepage


POETRY "sim­ple. you’ll see one word at the top of the screen.

you have sixty sec­onds to write about it.

click ‘go’ and the page will load with the cur­sor in place.

don’t think. just write.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Teaching Poetry — Teaching College English

Teaching Poetry — Teaching College English: "Teaching Poetry

by Dr Davis on October 24, 2010

This is notes from The Chronicle’s forum on Teaching Poetry.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to be an Old School Journalist [video] - Holy Kaw!

How to be an Old School Journalist [video] - Holy Kaw!: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

714 page views for this BLOG in September

The passive voice should be rewritten

“Passive voice” is a fancy term invented to make writers feel bad for not having a better technical knowledge of grammar. Don’t worry; it’s easy to spot.
If someone’s doing something, it’s active. If something was done by someone, it’s passive.
Passive sentences feel wordy, limp, and lifeless.
Active sentences feel tight, energetic, and immediate.
For example:
  • Passive: The magnificent copy was written by the copywriter.
  • Active: The copywriter wrote the magnificent copy.
Passive voice isn’t always a bad thing, and the Copyblogger police won’t show up at your site and write you a ticket for using it. Just keep it to a minimum.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Short Story Radio - Download free podcast episodes by Talking Bookshelf/Short Story Radio on iTunes.

Short Story Radio - Download free podcast episodes by Talking Bookshelf/Short Story Radio on iTunes.: "Short Story Radio
ByTalking Bookshelf/Short Story Radio

To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Game Boyz; Short Story

They worked in the newest building on the base.  No windows  and a heavy, steel door. During the shift, five of them, all under forty, one as young as twenty,  flew drones to targets six thousand miles away, lined up the laser site, and released a fifty thousand dollar missile to take out a couple of guys on the roof top, or an enemy rocket launcher crew hurrying away from some horrible mischief in a beat-up Toyota on a dusty road in Southern Afghanistan. 

Target reported, target sighted, cross hairs on target, light it up with laser, get OK from the duty CO, release weapon.  Just like the kind of video games they had at home or the kind their kids played with.  Click. A few moves of the stick, another click, and the missile was on its way in daylight or the dead of night. Everything was in view, lit by the eerie, green light of the infrared camera.

They sat in comfortable chairs – almost a semi-recliner, in front of big, control consoles. They each had two monitors, lots of switches,  indicator lights, and a heavy black joystick with rubber hand grips used to fly the drone and release the missiles with a crooked index finger and the thumb safety on the stick.

All the men graduated from the Air Force Weapons School  in Nevada. George, Brad, Bud, Larry and Saul were the five men assigned to the duty on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  They worked ten hours each shift and were able to rest and relax on their days off.  All of them lived nearby in new housing developments.  All of them drove fast cars, except Brad – preferring his old Mazda pickup. 

Saul was the joker, and was close to being disciplined for his conduct, but he was never really caught at it, and his workmates kept quiet about his antics while on duty. One day last week he was being particularly silly and manic, and mimed some kid dancing at the local club.  He was sitting, but demonstrating how the kid was grinding his sexy partner.  He took his eyes off the monitor for a minute, and when he composed himself, he forget his last target clearance and went ahead, rushing,  and triggered the launch. He took out a couple of civilian families that had gathered for a wedding party.  Ooops. No one else saw it, as they were too busy with their launch codes and reconnaissance.  Saul kept quiet, knowing enough about his job that it would be hard to prove it was his missile that did the damage. Sometimes Saul would come in with a bad hangover and would report enemy movement where there wasn't any, or would do an extra low flyover for a second look.  He drew attention to his drone one day, and an enemy shot it down with a hand-held rocket.  A four and half million dollar drone blown up with a cheap rocket.  Good thing there was some poor communication from the radar aircraft in the area that afternoon.  Saul escaped another problem and any disciplinary action.

George was the quiet one.  He kept to himself.  At 26, he still lived at home with his mom.  When he left work, he stopped for drinks, and his hands shook until he got the first two or three drinks into him.  He had nightmares about his job.  He kept seeing faces that he had blown up, although it was impossible to see anyone's face with the optics in the drone.  You could see figures, but the resolution was not good enough to see faces – yet he did. He could see the faces of the people he blew up.  He could see the look in their eyes when they realized that a missile was coming right at them at over 900 miles an hour. He imagined that they could hear the sound a fraction of a second before it struck.  Just enough time to open their eyes wide and for their pupils to dilate.  Maybe a quick utterance or silent scream. When George got home, his dinner was ready for him.  He ate quietly, watched the news, and went to his room.  He read a lot of history and let his mind wander into places far away from what he was doing and what he wanted to forget.   He still had the dreams.

Bud would leave his shift without saying anything, jump in his 'Vette and drive home to his house and family.  His oldest boy, Jake, was playing with his game console in the living room. Bud thought, “What a pussy.”  He doesn't have any reflexes at all, and he misses about half of the most obvious targets. That kid is going to be a total looser. He'd never qualify for our school. Pussy!” Bud and Effie didn't have any kids of their own.  Jake and his sister were adopted. Bud could shoot at work, but shot blanks at home.  It had a big effect on his personality.

Brad left after everyone else.  He had a little extra work to do this evening.  He was the most responsible, but was also the most paranoid of the group.  He checked and double-checked the system shut down, logs and the security safe. He powered down the equipment, wiped off the consoles, and reviewed the days “kill” stats.  His numbers were always the highest. He had a few years of computer programming under his belt and had hopes for advancement in the next few months if things went well.  Brad even had dreams about flying a drone over his enemies houses and taking them out.  Of course he never uttered a word of this to anyone – especially the base shrink.  If he could take over one of the drones at the base for an hour, he would wipe out all the fools that made fun of him behind his back or that ever pissed him off in high school or college – including the Mayor, most of the City Council, and a half-dozen service people in town – especially the plumber that charged him two-hundred bucks to snake his drain last week. Oh, and the car dealer that charged him so much for undercoating.

Larry was the lifer.  He planned to make the Air Force his career. He was an only child, a confirmed bachelor, and a bit of a perve.  He would drive a  couple of hundred miles to the city on his weekend off, rent a motel room, and call an escort  service for his entertainment.  He liked to dress in woman's clothes, he liked to be humiliated, and he especially liked a black, spike heel shoved into his groin. The rest of the time, back at work, he was “normal”. He was polite, courteous, helpful, conscientious and a model airman.  He performed all his duties at 100%.  He just had a little secret.  No harm. He always made it a point to make church service in town on Sunday, before driving home.

Monday morning, 5AM, Saul was the first one in his chair. He was wearing sunglasses, and the start of a new mustache.  He really wanted to be a jet jockey, but a minor physical problem kept him out of the cockpit. He flipped on the UPS, a couple of power strips and his instruments and monitors buzzed to life.  The weekend crew had shut everything down to do some software upgrades and testing, so it took a few minutes for everything to initialize and come on line. His first assignment was a plane on the ground at the far end of the base.  He was to take it up and track some suspected enemy movements near the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.. In seconds, his drone was in the air on its way overseas, and he had a few seconds to grab a coffee and doughnut from the kitchen area. He put on his reading glasses, checked his log and any notes left for him, and put his eyes on the screens.  Something was wrong.  His joystick wasn't reacting normally.  He pushed the nose up a little and the drone stayed level. He pushed it down, and nothing happened. He was tracking the drone and it kept on a flight path back toward their base in Nevada.  He called Larry the Lifer over to his station and told him the problem.  Larry took the controls, but didn't have any luck adjusting the Drone's path.  He cut the throttles.  Nothing.  In fact, the drone picked up a few knots. He tried a couple of other things before he cut the power.  Nothing.  The drone carried the full complement of missiles and two, 900 kilogram bombs.  The Global Hawk, at fifteen tons, was one of the biggest drones in the bases' arsenal. Most of the crew gathered around Saul's console, except Brad, who was flying “an assignment”. They did some troubleshooting and tried some things, but they couldn't regain control.  Larry got on the radio and reported the problem to the tower, asking that they dispatch a couple of fighter planes to shoot down the Hawk.  The nearest planes available were on an exercise over the California coast, and couldn't get to the drone fast enough. The drone was a few miles out and at ten-thousand feet – making a beeline towards the base at five hundred miles an hour, loaded with bombs.

Brad was in the corner, busy at his console, trimming the flaps and adjusting the flight path on the big Hawk that he now controlled.  The software patches he made on top of the ones made over the weekend let him take control of Saul's drone.  Brad was going to put the drone into a power dive, unleash the bombs, and put the plane right smack into the top of the building they were sitting in.  He'd show 'em. They weren't going to talk about him behind his back any more. He'd show 'em.


Being sad makes you more creative - Holy Kaw!

Being sad makes you more creative - Holy Kaw!: "Holy Kaw! All the topics that interest us

Being sad makes you more creative
Posted Oct 20th, 2010 at 6:09 PM and seen 5326 times

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Watch these 3 annoying online punctuation lapses -

Watch these 3 annoying online punctuation lapses - "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Poem Accepted by NCTE

My poem, "Certain Poems Need to Be Released from Their Cages", accepted by National Gallery of Writing Contribution, Oct., 2010  See:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Find blogs :: BlogSynergy :: Guest blogging made easy!

Find blogs :: BlogSynergy :: Guest blogging made easy!: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Find Blogs by Category

Find blogs to write for by looking in categories related to your blog.

Google Can Translate Poetry

Google Can Translate Poetry: "Google Can Translate Poetry
Written by: Peter Jalbert on Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Snakes of Summer

All summer I saw them
as they scurried in front
of my whirling mower blades.

Some of them evaded the
metal blades.
The slower ones were halved
and quartered.
The first time this happened,
I was shocked and saddened.
The second time
angry at myself
for mowing the fields
I called home
and thought of 

as my private park.

I made adjustments.
I walked the field with my dog
before I mowed, chasing the
gopher snakes ahead of me to their dens.

These slow moving, diurnal creatures
usually sunned themselves in my field,
readying themselves for active nights
hunting lizards and rodents.

Their prey is suffocated by the
constriction of loops of their
chocolate spotted body, and
then they dine, shyly,
maybe a little remorseful
about what they’ve done.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gallery of Writing

Gallery of Writing: "- Sent using Google Toolbar" Read published work...contribute. NCTE is the National Council of Teachers of English. I published here last November (09).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Station by Maria Hummel

Days you are sick, we get dressed slow,
find our hats, and ride the train.
We pass a junkyard and the bay,
then a dark tunnel, then a dark tunnel.

You lose your hat. I find it. The train
sighs open at Burlingame,
past dark tons of scrap and water.
I carry you down the black steps.

Burlingame is the size of joy:
a race past bakeries, gold rings
in open black cases. I don’t care
who sees my crooked smile

or what erases it, past the bakery,
when you tire. We ride the blades again
beside the crooked bay. You smile.
I hold you like a hole holds light.

We wear our hats and ride the knives.
They cannot fix you. They try and try.
Tunnel! Into the dark open we go.
Days you are sick, we get dressed slow.

Source: Poetry (September 2010).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Poetry Group

Nine of us sat around the cheap, folding table
covered with a stained bedspread
baring our souls and changing our lives
at the end of each line of poetry
we cautiously shared.

For eight weeks
drinking green tea
and snacking on nuts
and homemade puddings,
we took our turns
growing bolder and bolder.

Sally, the owner of the meeting house,
a mousy housewife with a runny nose,
a chubby caretaker,
a retired CEO,
a personal caretaker that loved her cat,
a large man wearing shorts fashioned from sweatpants,
his thin, nervous wife filled with the spirit of the Lord;
the grim, suspicious moderator
with no sense of humor,
and me – a middle-aged man
with an attitude and a loathing for
rules of grammar
and authority.

- James Edge

Monday, September 6, 2010

The easiest way to write your life story | OhLife

The easiest way to write your life story | OhLife: "Write your entries by email

Every night we'll email you the question 'How did your day go?' Just reply with your entry and it's saved here instantly.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Contemporary Poetry - An editorial from my pal, John

On 8/23/2010 1:37 PM, John wrote:

Hey guys,

This is from Sweetest bleeding by Karen Volkman:

Sad sirens burn and sigh,

caressing the umber inner of a thigh –

unfolding in the flimmer of their hair

the swimming timbre, the wakeful stare

loosens its wooing, and wakes to die

drowning mutely, hollow as the sky.

I used to read a lot of poetry. I wrote some. Published a little. I still read books of poems occasionally. But, lately, I’ve attempted to read some contemporary poets, such as those published in Poetry, a magazine I subscribed to and then dumped when I realized after two years of monthly publications I only “understood” or “enjoyed” 1 (one) poem.

Is it just me?????

We go to critics and reviewers for understanding. And guidance. Read the above poem fragment by Karen Volkman. I have no idea what is going on. So I turned to a critic/reviewer (in the 9/08 issue of Poetry) and this is what I got:

The project is Symbolist, with the “opacities,” “limpidities,” and “polarities” of Symbolist abstraction; the book is the densest, most obscure I have read in a long time, though that is not to say it has a simple or antagonistic relationship to meaning. The poems have a ratiocinative component, where the obscurity is obscuring something, and a Steinian component where it is not. In the former there is a centripetal tendency in the syntax, form, and recurrent vocabulary, and one senses that the writing is in fact taking the shortest path between some two points, somewhere. While I cannot supply a reading for phrases like “cardinal animal in an ordinal net” and “fallow nominal of a touchless near,” they somehow succeed in suggesting they have one.

Got that? Very instructive, eh? What the f--- is up with this shit? Why am I sitting around reading this stuff? Is this what has become of the “Liberal Arts?” Life is short and this kind of thing makes it both short and uncomfortably turgid.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Cowboy Code


The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
He must always tell the truth.
He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
He must help people in distress.
He must be a good worker.
He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
The Cowboy is a patriot.

Poetry Quiz

Take the Intermediate Poetry Quiz on line, FREE, at:

New work forthcoming...

Other priorities take me away from writing now.  Mainly reading.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Poetry in Hell

Poetry in Hell
Poetry in Hell is a web site dedicated to the poets, both in the Warsaw Ghetto and elsewhere whose poetry, under the leadership of Emanuel Ringelblum, was secretly collected by the members of the “Oneg Shabbat Society“, preserved and buried in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

How do you know when to use "who" or "whom" in a sentence?

How do you know when to use "who" or "whom" in a sentence?
if you can replace a word with "he" or "she," then it is the subject of the sentence and you should use "who." If you can replace the word with "him" or "her," use whom.
Example: Who or whom ate the cake.

He ate the cake........use who

Him ate the you would not use whom

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One of the best books on writing I've read in the past couple of years.

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit [Paperback]
by Brenda Ueland Get it at Amazon: Several used copies available.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Head Man

They scrubbed the heavy, white tiles on the counters
and the acre of white, linoleum floor.

They wiped down the long, steel tables with strong-smelling chemicals,
and polished them until the hard, overhead lights glared back at them.

They made ready for the boys and girls that would soon lie still and quiet in the room.

Far away, the head man took his hands from his hips,
hooked his thumbs in his belt
and pulled his pants up tight.

Moving his head slowly,
looking over his shoulder at his face in the antique mirror – which reflected the faces of other presidents - he chuckled, adjusted a few strands of hair on his forehead,the neat knot of his bright red tie,
and reflected on the brief phone call
that sent the effusive, gray bombers off to do their duty.

I Write Like

I Write Like: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finding the Right Stone - rev. 17 Jul

No, not the diamond for the engagement ring.
Not the perfect opal for the October birthday.
The stone had to be just the right size.
Palm sized. Not too big to kill.
Big enough to injure.

Azar’s husband tired of his wife’s drooping breasts
and the way she prepared the rice and hummus,
accused her of adultery.

Sentenced to stoning,
buried to her chest in soft earth
and told that if she could escape,
she would be set free.

A circle was drawn. The crowd gathered outside the circle,
chanting Allah hu Akbar”*, and threw the stones
at Azar’s head.

It didn’t look like it does in the movies.
Everything inside of her came out of every part of her.
Nine minutes later, she was
unconscious, and left in her hole to die.

Allah hu Akbar.

*God is great

The shortest story contest.

From a posting on Tribe.

Your story should include:
1) a queen as a character;
2) some reference to God
3) a little bit of sex
4) some mystery.

Seven sentences, maximum.

My entry.

Ann prayed to God that the enigmatic problem with her vibrator would be solved.


I watched the little, brown man
and the tall fellow this morning.
The little guy, pushed his model airplane
through the grass for one takeoff.
Just one, and then the crash.
The plane went back into the trunk of the car
and they left.

The older lady
speed walks
and pumps her arms
moving on the trail
through the grass.
She went in
circles for a minute for some variety
or was she fooling with me
because she thought I was watching?

The old guy made square corners
for a couple of laps
on the big, green lawn.
When he saw me, he made
a hearty, overhead wave,
a real down to earth,
howdy, sincere wave
and held it long enough for
me to smile and wave back.

It's gray outside but the
light near my head is bright and warm.


Sting Ray

It was a field trip to Bodega Bay.
The boys found a dead sting ray,
hauled it out on to the pier.
Examined it for a while.

Turning it over,
I took my knife and
plunged it into the silver-gray back
of the beautiful creature.
The knife went in easily.
Up to the hilt.
I was surprised at how effortless it was
It frightens me
forty years later.

Boys and young men do
foolish things.
Fascinated with guts and
Fearful at the same time.

Men at war are the same.

Shoot the kraut, the nips, gooks, rag-heads,
then run your
knife into his neck
or his belly
and see how easy it is
to the hilt.


Writing poetry ... the Self and tradition

Writing poetry ... the Self and tradition: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
When one is compelled to reach for the pen, and to write lyrics and poetry, there are two distinct forces that gravitate toward each other to bring a poem into existence: the Self, and so-called tradition.

The Self is a colorful, complicated, and unique combination of all its desires, dislikes, experiences, likes, losses, memories, motivations, wants and victories … surely you get the idea.

The Self is YOU, and every big and little thing that makes you YOU.

Tradition on the other hand, is another colorful, complicated, and unique combination of all its cultures, expectations, histories, norms, mores, rules, societal influence … surely you get the idea.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Issuu - Groups / Poetry

Issuu - Groups / Poetry: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
Poetry publications at ISSUU.

A new poem by Kushal Poddar

The Carpenter Ant Noon

The carpenter ants again;
building a home around a home,
inside a home,
eating a home,
slipping into one.
The carpenter ants again;
building a home around a home
while Sunday takes a lonely shape;
dancing tunes at twelve feature
the radio’s short and long
and I bravely laze
in the summer’s heat wave.

-By Kushal Poddar
Kolkata, India

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Overcast Sky

Today is one of those ordinary Saturdays.
Jazzbow and his wife are having a garage sale next door.
We talked a bit about our lavender plants, chatted about the weather,
the used radios, teapots, sleeping bags, the old clarinet and
the two, large boxes of stuffed animals.

His girls, now having reached the age
when they are hugging their husbands,
rather than stuffed rabbits and bears
when night comes.

Sample of my poem read by SpokenText.NET on line service; free

The poem:

Small Box

I looked for a box big enough for the bird.
Not too big. I was going to bury it in the garden.

Yesterday, a sparrow, disoriented by the reflection in my window,
Flew into it. Hard.
It fluttered on the step, wings beating, frantic,
too hurt to fly away.

I picked it up, held it in my palm,
as a tiny, red flower grew in its mouth.
Eyes blinked, then closed for the last time.
No one to blame.
Man has put things in the way
of animals, birds,
and each other
since he walked the earth.

TTS Online : Free Text to Speech Voices : Read The Words

TTS Online : Free Text to Speech Voices : Read The Words: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Monday, July 5, 2010


He shaved his neck
down to his chest
in the eighth grade.
He was cool.
The best slow dancer in high school.
He had the shiniest shoes
spit-shined with steel clips shaped like half-moons
fastened with copper rivets on the heels.
His Levi jeans draped just right,
tight, rolled cuffs, exactly a half inch over the heels.

He played football, and after the game at the dance,
his Saint Christopher medal tangled in his shiny, black chest hair
when he slow danced and dipped the big girls
we always gaped at because of their broad hips and long legs.

I ran into him years later
selling men’s shoes in a dark, narrow store
in the city, a 100 miles from our valley home.
I felt sorry for him.
My hero. The coolest guy in high school,
He was a man in the eighth grade,
shaving his neck
to his chest hair, with a pack
of Luckys in his t-shirt sleeve
and a new, leather jacket.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bulwer-Lytton writing

"George Bulwer-Lytton writing contest at San Jose State
For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.

Molly Ringle
Seattle, WA

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

In The Pink

Mr. Jonathan Sutton, p-h-d,was in the pink.
At the pinnacle of his career
a consultant,
married into a rich family,
blessed with a generous spouse.
He lived in a liberal ghetto in Maryland,
“by choice” as his wife says.

Their large, paneled, oak, front door
framed by two brass lamps, polished weekly by
the handy man.
The steps, round,
of used, red brick and granite.

A fat Australian Shepard always on the by the door,
appeared in all the Christmas photos,
his blue eyes reflecting the Brinks security sign
on the lawn nearby.

His wife, a thin, delicate and exacting intellectual
took videos of the new snow on their deck
and sent them to their friends
and the kids in Florida.

He, goofy looking since his teens,
used his heavy, ivory comb to fit, calibrate,
a lock of hair carefully across his forehead,
each morning, polished his gold, rimless glasses
and wore brown, corduroy pants that
squeaked as he walked
in cordovan loafers.

Mrs. Sutton has problems with her menstrual cycle,
making her life
and those around her,
miserable and on tippy toes
as she lay in the living room,
her eyes covered with a wet, linen cloth –
two, maybe three days each month.

- James Edge
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental

Friday, June 25, 2010

Marvin Bell, poet, says this about writing:

post icon
"Be less and less embarrassed about more and more."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blue Hour Press

Blue Hour Press


Our reading period is now open. Here are the guidelines:
  • Chapbooks should be sent to as either a .doc or .pdf attachment (the latter preferred). In the subject of the email, please put, in all caps, your last name, your first name, and the title of the project (i.e. ASHBERY JOHN SOME TREES). If you choose to do so, include a short cover letter as the body of your email; this should include a small bio and restrained publication history—please, no "explanations" of the work or statements of purpose.
  • Attachments should have a cover page, then an acknowledgements page (if the poems have appeared elsewhere), then the content.
  • Chapbook should be somewhere between 10-40 pages in length. If your project falls on the outside of these limits, email us first before submitting.
  • If your chapbook is under consideration by another press, please make this explicit in your submission and notify us if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • Our reading period will remain open until August 1st. Unsolicited work after this time will not be considered.

Weird Deer — A New Privacy

Weird Deer — A New Privacy Call them, leave your poem by phone.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

YouTube - Lunch Poems: Robert Hass

YouTube - Lunch Poems: Robert Hass

Poets read on YouTube

After We Quit - by Kushal Poddar

After We Quit

The air
after quitting smoking
is flavored profusely by us,
our smells,
as if
we begin to exist.
Your sweat,
my paintbox,
the tubs of blue flowers on the porch,
the bees with honey on their legs,
the dung of wayward animals
behaving normally.

Chapman’s resonating voice
seems milk
and we complain
about how milk smells.
I am assured
the milk is all right. 
We are just beginning to inhale.

After we learn to live
without smoking
one or two birds come inside,
they usually do,
this time we notice
they smell of half the forest
and half our neighborhood.

The puffs of clouds
are going south. 

© All Rights Reserved By Kushal Poddar 2010

Kushal Poddar (1977- ) resides in the city of Kolkata, India. Apart from poetry, he has written fiction and scripts for television mini-series. His English poetry have been published in online and print magazines all over the world.  Examples include: “Shine”, “Apparatus”, “Heron’s Nest”, “Word Salad Magazine”, “Turbulence”,” Birds on line” “Four and Twenty” and “DR. NI'S NEWS”. He is the author of “All Our Fictional Dreams” and he has been published in “Poor Poet’s Pantry: Collaborative Poems”. A forthcoming book is “Surviving Cyber Life”.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wednesday Writing Essentials: June 3, 2009 | Gather

Wednesday Writing Essentials: June 3, 2009 | Gather
The components of constructive criticism include:
  • objectivity No need to run down someone's work because it doesn't appeal to you.
  • encouragement Your goal is to educate, not embarrass.
  • honesty that reflects sensitivity to the writer's feelings
  • specificity Rather than ramble about the article's weak spots, get to the point.

What's in it for the writer? The benefits of receiving constructive criticism depend on the receiver. Ideally the writer will be open to others' thoughts and opinions. The writer can learn differing points of view and more fully understand how his or her work was received by others.

My experience in receiving concise feedback is that I feel very affirmed. I know that my work was carefully read. I consider what others had to say and then compare that to how I intended my work to be interpreted. If I feel a valid point was made, I have an opportunity to change my words. I don't have to take every comment, regardless of who makes it, and acquiesce to their suggestions. Sometimes, I believe I wrote exactly what I meant to say and I don't change my words.

By Susan Budig, Mindful Poet

Friday, June 18, 2010

Albany Poetry Workshop Home Page

Albany Poetry Workshop Home Page: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

poetry courses

poetry courses: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

What is the future of poetry? | Books | The Guardian

What is the future of poetry? | Books | The Guardian
The Poetry Society's Palmer says the open-ended nature of poetry worries many readers, and the effect can be most insidious with teachers. "Poetry has not been taught well in schools for a long time," she says. "Because of the national curriculum, teachers have not been allowed to try things out freely. So instead of looking at a poem and saying 'Don't you like these words?', or 'Doesn't it make you think interesting thoughts?', they are saying to students 'Where is the adjective and the adverb here?' Knowledge of poets is shockingly low among primary school teachers, and because people are now teaching who were themselves taught under the national curriculum, they are scared of poetry. They look at a poem and ask, 'Is this right?', as if it's a puzzle you can unravel, but poetry is ambiguous and multi-layered. Poems will mean different things to us at different times in our lives."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Search Results | Gather

Search Results | Gather: "- Sent using Google Toolbar" Poetry groups at GATHER.COM

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The 'Technique' of Rereading - - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

The 'Technique' of Rereading - - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"
You have to learn to learn, if you're serious about writing. It's not that hard. First, you should realize that no teacher is going to tell you all that he or she knows. Second, however much he or she tells, you will hear only as much of what is said as you are able to at the moment. You can take from a given teacher a few tricks, perhaps one or two ways of writing, but what you might better seek beyond that, for the long haul, is an attitude toward writing and an attitude toward how to read as a writer.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Urban Haiku site:

Pastor Allbright

a man the community knew.
A pious man
diddled his niece
under the Thanksgiving table
testing her leg with his
salad fork
and inching
his bulbous thumb
across her thigh.

Slipped out back
through the screened porch
stepping into the
starry, autumn night.
out of sight of the family
and lit a smoke.

A sixty pound ball
of frozen waste
a blue ball of doom
from the belly
of a passing airliner
struck the pastor
square in the center
of his baldpate
killing him instantly
his cigarette
still burning
in his mouth
as he lay across the
red wagon,
to be found
their pie
Published in Turbulence #11, October, 2012

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Harvestman

Most conspicuous in the fall
the harvestman.
In the house, we call them
daddy long legs.
Its head, thorax and abdomen are
all fused together.

A leggy creature,
the harvestman.
If you try to handle
one of his legs, it might
fall off.
He can escape his enemies this way,
but his legs are important to him
as they tell him about his environment, since
instead of looking at us with eight eyes,
he has two.

The second pair of legs
are the ears
and nose
and tongue
and maybe the second
set of eyes.

In my house
he dispatches
the moths
and flies
and mites
that may live inside.
Notice how after each meal
he draws his legs
one at a time through its jaws,
cleaning them

Make a friend of the
He doesn't eat much
he's quiet
never complains.

General Tsao's Chicken

in the afternoon,
I'm overtaken
by an urge to get
a pound
or two
of General Tsao.

Today, while in line,
a woman of seventy,
or so
at least a foot shorter,
smelling good
not too much cologne,
with a thick, German accent,
waited for service.

We exchanged a few opinions
about our love
for General Tsao's chicken
and how much we would like to meet him.

I was smitten.
Not only was she as cute as a bug,
She had a wonderful sense of the absurd,
and I could listen to her for hours.

Ever See a Crow's Nest?

not the
one way up
the mainmast
on a sailing ship.
I mean the one at
the top of the pine tree
made out of twigs and lined
with rootlets to anchor the nest
in the tree as they once anchored
the plant to the ground. The crow's nest
that holds the shy, black,shiny birds. A sailor first
saw the America's from a crow's nest on Columbus' ship.
Crow's post a sentinel in a nearby tree top to watch while the
rest of the flock feed, below. This bird, against which the hand of
every farmer is uplifted, is shy and cunning. They post a sentinel in a
nearby tree top to watch while the rest of the flock feed, below. When
the crow moves on, the horned owl might move in if the tree is in a dense
forest. The crow, on the other hand likes his tree in an open field, as long as it's high

Monday, May 17, 2010


Mom, Dad and I used to sit at the kitchen table
cracking the heavy, dark shells of
the Brazil nut.
Dad called them nigger toes.
They didn’t look like any toes I had ever seen,
but I was only six or seven at the time
and had not yet traveled the world,
nor had I seen that many feet of strangers.

The nuts were hard to crack – even across the length.
It took more than one squeeze of the nut cracker to break the shell into enough pieces so the nut meat could be dug out with the fingers or a nut pick.

I was ten or so when I learned the real name of this nut, but I often think of the name dad used, even this morning when I picked a handful out of a bag of mixed nuts and ate them first.

Dad used the term without blinking or chuckling, or looking for a reaction from me or Mom. He said it as if it was the real name of this delicious nut and used the name as easily as if he was talking about the weather.

Cover of forthcoming chapbook

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sharkbite Bob

Sharkbite Bob told the pretty girls
in southern California
he lost his leg to a shark
off the port side
of his sailboat
while swimming with otters.

Part Comanche,
a fearless man, a little shy of 66 inches
in his tan Timberlands.
He was a long-distance truck driver.
Sharkbite lost his leg
to thrombosis.

Early one Sunday, last year,
he lost his life to exiles
of the Soda Butte wolf pack,
in Yellowstone.

All they found was his camera
some aluminum pipe -
all that remained of his left leg,
and some bones,
gnawed by bears.

The last picture
recovered from his camera
the hungry pack surrounding him
as he balanced on a log in the clearing.
Crowded together
jowl to jowl
muzzles wrinkled,
dripping with saliva
eyes aglow
in the red light of
the morning hunt.

Bob and Roberta Were Swallowed By Their Television

Bob and Roberta Bongwater were watching TV
last night.

Bob was watching a re-run of a Tom Waite Interview.
Roberta wanted to watch a show on how to grow containerized vegetables.

They were fighting over the remote
when a high pitched tone was emitted.
Then the sound of a giant vacuum
from the front of their sixty-five inch flat screen.

They were both sucked out of their recliners into the box,
into the black hole created by a wound in the time continuum.

Only Bob’s burning Camel and Roberta’s 64 oz Slurpie remained on their seats.

This has happened twice this year in the area, and authorities are baffled.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How to Print a Chapbook

How to Print a Chapbook 20.07.2009 | Author: Pier55 | Posted in Scrapbooking
Are you tired of keeping your poetry a secret? Decided it’s time for the world to take note of your writing skills? If you are just starting out as a writer and want a cheap easy format in which to share your writing with others why not make a chapbook? A chapbook is a short, inexpensive booklet that you can make at home. It can feature your favorite poetry or even short stories or articles if you so desire. The world is your oyster when you print a chapbook of your very own!

Make a mock-up of your chapbook. Take five sheets of paper, fold them in half and decide where you would like each poem or story to go. If you are adding pictures or photographs to your chapbook make sure you leave some pages open for these.

Now, number each page so that you have a workable layout for your book once the pages are laid flat. If you print a chapbook from scratch phase 2 will be a master copy.

The back cover of your chapbook should include:
* A short description of the contents that invites readers in.
* A short biographical note about the writer or (if it is a group effort) a list of the names or all the poets or authors and their contact information (if you choose to include it).
* Contact information for the publisher i.e. yourself (don’t leave this out – it could even turn into a lucrative business opportunity for you!).
The back and front covers can be printed on one side of one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.

Chapbook Publishers

Chapbook Publishers

Pudding House Innovative Writers Programs, Columbus, Ohio

Pudding House Innovative Writers Programs, Columbus, Ohio

How to self-publish your poetry - Self-Publishing

How to self-publish your poetry - Self-Publishing

Thursday, April 29, 2010

N.J. scholars say poetry therapy can improve patients' emotional health | -

N.J. scholars say poetry therapy can improve patients' emotional health | - "'When people listen to words, there is a chemical change in their bodies,' said Diane Kaufman, an assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at University Hospital in Newark. 'Poetry does not have any side-effects, and you can always get a refill.'"

Thursday, April 1, 2010


an animated line of little people
are led by the house.
A trio of smiling ladies lead, flank, and take up the rear.
The squirmy train snakes along the path
each boy and girl held close by a loop of coarse rope.
Hands hold the tether, tight
walking, half-stumbling, moving along the sunny street
unconsious, dreaming of lunch, that big cupcake,
their dog, the cat in the window,
or the morning’s fable still fresh in their mind.

Not speaking to them directly
from my bench nearby -
I’m careful to make eye contact with the smiling ladies,
as I address them all,
“Hello, kids. Have a nice day. Enjoy your walk.”

I wave, sadly, missing my chance
to pick one up and hug one, tight,
hoping a little innocence and joy would rub off.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Main Page - Copyright for Librarians

Main Page - Copyright for Librarians: "Copyright for Librarians is a joint project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL), a consortium of libraries from 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. The goal of the project is to provide librarians in developing and transitional countries information concerning copyright law. More specifically, it aspires to inform librarians concerning:

* copyright law in general
* the aspects of copyright law that most affect libraries
* how librarians in the future could most effectively participate in the processes by which copyright law is interpreted and shaped."

Sunday, March 21, 2010


shot himself through the heart
in an alley outside a friend’s house.

Mr. Linkous developed a style
that sent sunny, Beatles-esque
melodies through a filter of
crackling, damaged
folkrock. His songs were filled
with entropic imagery.

He was born to a family with
roots in the coal-mining country.