Writing isn’t some mystical mystery


PUBLISHED
UPDATED ON
4 Minute Or Less Read Time
Writing isn’t some mystical mystery

The Struggle & The Mission


...so I’m not saying I get it all.

Younger women don’t seem to grasp the struggles that their moms and grandmas went through for women to have the lives they have now.

Without a feminist movement that secured expanded rights it would be even worse.

All this femi-nazi horseshit spewed from the likes of Limbaugh (rot in hell), Hannity, et al., is simply propaganda designed to keep women out of competition with men for power and control.

I have a woman friend, virtually “met” thru Twitter, who sends me sexy pics of her cleavage etc. and flirts within self-imposed boundaries (See pic above).

I like her quite a lot, she’s smart, funny, honest and a long time teacher and mom.

But she wondered aloud who else I might be “chatting with” (meaning: Are there other women sending me sexy pics too?).

She can’t quite believe that she could be special enough to be unique to me, just for being herself.

For what it’s worth, I do get the irony of enjoying these treasured “private” pics while I’m claiming to champion women’s rights…

Hey ladies/women/girls we got our work cut out for us, huh? We’ll never find a mission of greater importance, but I’m kinda guessing that a lot of you knew this already, right?


The Gift

A TY note to a friend

(A poem from a few years back, as relevant today as it was back then)

Last night I woke-up wondering if the poems I’m writing these days are just ego-maniacal bullshit.

Writing as much as I do, every day and trusting, hoping that the quality is there, but never being sure, I mean, how does one ever really know?

But a few hours ago, from author Roland Smith this text arrives: (line-breaks, mine) “I finished your poetry book. It’s the best thing you’ve ever written, which is saying something because you’ve written fabulous things.”

I’d given him the collection a couple of months earlier and had forgotten all about it.

But on December 24, 2016 he sends me this best X-mas Eve gift I’ve ever received.

So, yeah, much as I hate to admit it the approval of colleagues and other writers, especially ones like Roland, whom I admire a great deal means a lot to me.

Our profession is a lonely one at times and our work isn’t over even when we’re dead, because with luck the work lives on and with grace and miraculous wonder, it can outlive us by a long time. Ask Huck Finn. Ask the ghost of Uncle Walt hiding in those leaves of grass. Ask Holden Caulfield. And, hopefully, decades into a future that won’t include me, ask Sheehan Trueman. Ask Shawn McDaniel.


The Poet…

permanent ink

The poet must take what’s lying on the ground after the bloody battle is done: words and ideas, as scraps of flesh, and brains and sinew in sticky, drying puddles, ignoring the stench of murdered words, realizing that every battle is but a single moment in the war. And that losing this war of heart, kindness, decency, curiosity, and finally the death-fight for triumph of the human spirit, is never an option. So the poet begins to rebuild for the next skirmish because the war cannot conclude until the final battle is won. Words matter. Ideas matter. Poems are invisible tattoos on our souls.


I Wrote Two Poems…

Catching a break

(A poem from 2016, revised to fit for today.) I wrote two poems an hour ago that disappeared, totally without a trace. One was about mobs after a lynching heading home, happy, after murdering some poor innocent kid. The other about ignorance and selfish greed and cruelty. Both were symbolically about the 2016 election. At the time of the writing, I felt sure that the world could barely go on absent my pithy insights and righteous rage but as I said the poems simply disappeared, typed into an invisible electronic space of nothingness before I could hit “Save,” and thus protect them for posterity and historical significance. In other words, like I said, sometimes you catch a break because, these poems don’t exist nor did they ever deserve to — Whew!


Reputation

Me neither Joan — for the most part

The older I get and the closer to the grave, the more I think about legacy and reputation.

Bukowski laughed at being called “The Poet Laureate of Skid Row” because it was partly true and partly bullshit.

He knew that his job first and foremost was to write, get the words down and let them float or fly or crawl out into the world.

One of his strategies for making sure that his reputation could never hurt him was to present a far worse image of himself than he knew was true. He also eschewed doing anything too horrible (child molesting, animal torture, voting. ever, for any GOP).

He tried not to do anything that he wouldn’t be able to later deal with, even if simply by smiling a “no comment” smile.

I’m not so worried about my reputation that I’ve stopped doing embarrassing shit.

But I am worried, just enough, to hope that when I die the worst of that shit gets buried with me.


I’m In One of These Phases…

You know what I mean?

I’m in one of these phases where everything I sit down to type feels like pure brilliance/genius to me. No one ever warned me that aging had this dangerous side-effect. But then again no one has ever told me I’m wrong about this shit either. Kind of like these assholes: Republicans don’t quite understand they are digging their own grave. Only difference is that they’re totally full of shit for sure and I only might be.


The Unconscious is NOT a Funny Thing

Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies

So the other day I set my beard-trimmer down (On the entryway table, as it turned out) And went out and got the mail. When I came back in I wanted to find/use the beard-trimmer (this was no more than 3 minutes after I’d set it down). I looked for it for a good twenty minutes, minimum, Absolutely Unable to find it. Patti said, “I’ll help you look.” And I got angry for about 5 seconds (Because that’s what elderly, befuddled old fucks DO When embarrassed and humiliated,) Until I happened, (by sheer unconscious will) to glance at the entryway table And voila: My beard-trimmer! Getting older is not for sissies… What was I talking about? Again… Please?


Prioritizing

Putting what matters up front

Thirty-third So here’s the deal we write things down so that we don’t have to memorize them. Writing isn’t some mystical mystery; it’s simply taking the words you think and feel and using them to record and remember those thoughts and feelings. Words, words, words, representing all you know and think and feel. It’s not the writing that matters it’s what and who you are, the why and wherefore of your heart and mind and spirit in words, words, words. You’re a human being first, a writer a distant second or maybe thirty-third. More and more often, when I’m too tired or disinterested to bullshit people and I just tell them what I really think: “No, I’m not encouraging you because your novel isn’t very good.” “No, I don’t have any old high school pals in my will.” When I speak these simple obvious truths. being honest I’m immediately accused of wrong side of the bed wakeups or being in a bad mood so let me say, “No, that’s not it I’m just tired of lying to make you feel good.” But come to think of it I doubt you’ll believe this either.

Just Weighing Separator