Friday, July 30, 2010

sigh... firefox is ackinafoo again...

a great blogsite concerning literary journals...
http://lisacalderone.wordpress.com/

i'll add this to my blog list whenever firefox stops having hissy fits and lets me create a link for it...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

summer reading list 2010

(when not reading poetry submissions for mythium)

anthills of the savannah, chinua achebe
the woman of the dunes, kobo abe
fledgling, octavia butler
the electric koolaid acid test, tom wolfe
african short stories, achebe & c.l. innes
flight to canada, ishmael reed

up next:

naked lunch, william burroughs

thinking outloud online part 1

every couple of years i gather up the 20 plus years of badly written poetry, focusing on the last ten years in particular, with the intention of 'getting published'... so i read, reread and do some editing, siphon a million bad similes into 70 pages and shout to the heavens how THIS IS IT! my voice shaking the shit outta the firmaments... but then the transient taste of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment fades and i shrug; toss the manuscript back into dry-dock and go on about my business of being indifferent, literary-speaking.

i know for a fact that i'm a decent poet, but tho i consider my poetic approach 'scholarly' i have never once considered myself an 'academic'. i've spent a great deal of time studying the writers who've influenced me, but never while in a classroom setting... i've been encouraged to get an mfa in writing but again to what purpose? to teach? to sharpen the shape of my nose as i preach 'form' to the 'unlettered'? for vanity? for 'just because that's the way its done'?

certainly receiving my mfa would potentially add weight to my credentials as i talk to 'genuine' publishers about accepting my collections, but then what? i dont particularly need the approval of a publishing house to know i'm better than what passes as an average writer (and despite that last sentence, i am quite humble in this fact/even if it only exists in my own mind) - but unless i win a substantial prize, the role of 'poetry writer' is cupboard-bare skill once fully accomplished.

but i do want to publish my work. but #2, i dont want to self-publish. writing in my own journals is self-publishing all by itself, why would i want to spend my own money expanding the look and feel of my own poetic journal entries, especially since i can only name 10 people that might be interested enough to purchase one! better to just turn my manuscript into a pdf file and just send it to them via email for free, right? but such a hassle seems too much like an inept type of hustle to me. i'm not a mic-type writer standing outside the coffehouses pushing my wares... my dilemma is this: i write for both academia AND for the non-academics. i want one word to reach them both and be equal in standing.

this means self-publishing is most definitely out. or is it?

shit. its almost 2 in the morning... wtf was you expecting from me at this hour, an epiphany?!?!?!

go to bed and forgetchu was e'en herre.

or if you're reading this after breakfast/lunch/dinner/etc, then please proceed to vomit at the commencement of this sentence.

(watch the shoes!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

siblings...

its funny how much me and my sisters have in common but yet still know very little about each other and whatever it is that motivates us... i'm the youngest and the only boy amongst 5 girls (2 sisters from mama's previous relationship, 2 from daddy's previous relationship, then me and a sis from their union)...
there is off and on tension from a sister on my father's side who i think feels 'neglected' (or annoyed) by daddy's 'new' family. i think she feels like we enjoyed vast advantages of a loving home (which we did and then sometimes we didnt - its all relative to your own individual demons)
my other sisters think i enjoyed some 'loving, common bond' with daddy, as if i adored him and had a close relationship with him (which didnt exist and has never existed. as mentioned in the previous post i had much emotional acrimony towards daddy and not until he had lost the use of his legs did he seem to have much use to stay connected with me)...

i think 3/5ths of my sisters are extremely narcissistic. one would doubt it and turn it back on me, one would say 'yeah, and?' and the other would roll her eyes and hit me in the back of the head...
(one sister is a complete angel and we would never exchange cross-words with each other...
then again, maybe i just dont her that well... and the other sister, i just dont know her that well; daddy's funeral was the first time i'd seen her since i was a pre-teen - just found out she's been living within 5 blocks of mama and daddy's house for the last 2 years!)

anyway, we all have issues and are bound to have the wrong adjectives (see previous post) placed on one another's obituary pages when those appropriate times arise...

you always want more time...

the newly began chronicling of my relationship with my father has transcended the traditionally predictable rants of father/son angst and anecdotes into something remorsefully surreal...

yes, my sentences ramble in the most awkward of badly poetic ways, i'm sorry, that caint be helped, i eschew proper school-learning, especially regarding the academics of slang - slang is my shield, my
slang-blade...

anyway, i'm avoiding the actual reason for this inarticulate post - not wanting to say it...

my father passed away in his sleep the saturday morning of July 3rd, 2010.

my last conversation with him was the friday morning before, when he called me crying; not wanting
to return to the nursing home he had been rehabilitating in. i felt his pain and sorrow, but more than that i understood the actual origins to that pain and sorrow - information he had shared with me during the 18 months (plus the 3 years since then) in which i lived with him and mama acting as his human crutch and personal errand boy (a position i held with great honor and esteem, hoping it would at last earn me a morsel of respect in his view of me) ((those issues he shared with me will be addressed in later posts/probably))...

but the man who never seemed to hold much affection for me as a child or as an adult has passed away (not to be confused with 'love' because i knew he fully loved us all, he just was reluctant or just didnt know how to show it in ways that mattered on deeper levels, at least to me) - i think he came to trust me, at least 'value' me as his sounding board, but still i didnt feel his respect for me as his son and as a man... not that such a thing is ever a requirement, its just something nice to keep stored in your self-esteem when growing into a functioning adult. esteem should grow from feelings of familial love and not from the need to prove one's self as a valuable commodity to his closest kinfolk.
how can you empower your communal ties when you keep a chip on your shoulder at all times?

forgive me. this blog might be about me, but this immediate post is in honor of my father. i didnt intend to rant on about any preconceived misperceptions about manhood and family-ties.

i've lost my father. it was hard to like him and not always easy to love him - but i did both (at least after abandoning my long-seated bitterness and hatred towards him/strictly undeserved and entirely harvested from my own emotional aesthetics) - my sisters affectionately placed the phrase 'mean and surly' in his obituary in attempts to adequately sum up his most frequent disposition - traits in which we all have, either by blood or social osmosis! - and i've inherited my fair share of those characteristics.

but i also maintain a deep-rooted sense of overpowering love and the need to visibly express it; traits i thought i had created of my own volition... and the truth i came to understand was this: these, too, were traits i had directly inherited from my father. deep within him was an overflowing well of love, one that had been capped in life by intimate reasons i may never fully know (or openly express online, at least not yet).

for so long i had misunderstood my father... but the truth became extremely clear as i had began understanding myself: if i too am 'mean and surly' by blood and against my will, then perhaps everything i feel about love and intimacy should be attributed to him as well - what reason or right had i to conclude otherwise? if visibly and by temperment daddy and i were just alike, then he too held great desires to love and be loved equally in return...

daddy's 'negative' traits were exacerbated when the life he lived proved it impossible to fully express himself through his positive traits...

or maybe he and i are just full of shit, i wont rule it out... at any rate, i found myself when going through my father just as i found him when going through myself: he was the theatrical 'dark knight' and i was just the campy ol' televised 'batman' - our origins are the same. only the cinema was different.
"mean and surly" - i know its said with affection, but to me it represents 'the unknown (and maybe now unknowable) reflections of his past' - not who he actually was but more reflective of the things in his life that made being 'mean and surly' his most adequate armor protecting whatever softer underside he may have had... in those inner-realms of himself is where my true daddy resided... reserved and calculating every single acquaintance by those conditions of an unknown extenuating circumstance - the iceberg tip to his emotional titanic.

the more i got to know daddy, the more i realized that he was soft, had grown insecure of his life choices and was badly in need of a hug, acceptance and understanding... things he was now unable to express since his mean and surly armor had long ago become the prison by which he was now held by and most commonly viewed through, condemning him to live out his last precious moments as a characture of himself to those he needed the most support and understanding from.

rother davis
1937-2010.

- in love and obedience.

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