First, here's the book jacket for my selected poems and love poems, due out February 15.
Here's the jacket more complete, thout it lacks the blurbs for the back cover. I've received several good ones already though I'm still waiting for some heavyweights to weigh in.
Exciting stuff for a 54-yr.-old poet who thinks of himself as a journeyman but longs to break the glass ceiling.
Yesterday was my late daughter's 31st birthday. I was sad but kept busy; I never broke down in tears though I would have welcomed it. Her presence continues with me and is especially strong when her sisters are present--almost palpable.
I will see my daughters on Thanksgiving, along with my stepson and siblings and extended family. Great holiday, Thanksgiving, uniquely American if not lost in gluttony and commercialism. Every day should be a day of thanks but it's nice to have a nationally recognized holiday for it.
Why do Pilgrim's pants fall down?
Because they wear their buckles on their hats.
Ben Franklin thought the national bird should have been a turkey, instead of the warlike eagle. That's well and fine until you start making military uniforms with the insignia of a bird easily shot and eaten. We have a large flock of wild turkeys nearby, and some of them must weigh--prior to plucking--40 lbs. or more. They say the oldest Toms have the tenderest meat, unlike veal. But I don't know anyone who eats veal in California anymore. We just passed a measure where our chickens have to be able to move around in their cages, very humane. This will likely hurt business and bring Tyson Chicken to a bigger market share in our humane but economically challenged state. We may bankrupt ourselves even more (we're 11 million dollars in debt on the current budget) by legislating impossible green technology requirements in the short term that can cripple the transition as much as aid it. I mean, everyone talks about "clean coal," where 50% of America's energy comes from, but burning coal cleanly is prohibitively expensive at present, requiring CO2 to be buried deep in the ground and multiple burners and exhaust modifications.
Where Obama's $15 billion/yr. for green technology should go is straight into basic research, and only later, development. We lack an affordable technology to clean up our act and ethanol is a joke, hurting poor countries like Mexico by stealing cheap corn, with the government's help and subsidy, for our thirsty automobiles.
And how about the big three automakers? Per usual mired in their lack of foresight in the face of diminishing resources, trying to multilaterally pull their gashog SUVs and luxury trucks out of their respective assholes. And who foots the bill for our lack of imagination in not imitating the rest of the world and its more fuel-efficient cars? Yes, you guessed it, our children and grandchildren. These bailouts illustrate the modern socioeconomic dilemma: how far should government be involved in the economy? Too late to ask. The government has become a corporate welfare state to shield the consequences of greed from the top players to the bottom consumers. Fascinating. I wonder what Jefferson would have thought of our present dilemma--except that in his time, near 98% of Americans had farms and there were no steam trains yet.
Now farming is composed mainly of conglomerates who thirst for pesticide and fuels as much as any industry, and the small farmer has been eclipsed. I encourage everyone to grow vegetables at home; it's cheaper, healthier, and they taste better. Even in this weather I have a healthy lettuce crop but I could do much better.
A good friend of mine, Beau Blue of Cruzio's Cafe' (J. J. Webb) is facing an angioplasty and needs your prayers. He's a good man and I would like him to stay around a while. Go check out his site for some unique entertainment.
Do I have any poems to post? Let me see...ah, I've been revising some rough formal attempts from 2007:
I don't believe “Don't let them see you bleed.”
My heart is open. I have no regrets
Worthy of contemplation. I am whole
And wounded. I have not hedged my bets,
I put it all in play. My given role
Of doctor, teacher, father, I accept.
My former dreams of prominence amuse me.
No glowing seraphim could disabuse me.
I have no reputation to protect
At least none I would defend to the teeth.
I'm not looking for a laurel wreath.
A publication here or there's enough,
The knowledge that some people like my stuff,
Stuff better than this sonnet gone to seed.
So I end on a whimper, not a bang. But here's one more picture of my late daughter, Rachel:
How I miss her!