Let's Speak The Same Language

Sunday, December 10, 2017


I'm sorry. Twenty days plus since my last entry. Here's why. I've done little to no work towards either of the entries on my bucket list. I've been working on old poetry and a few new poems that represent my style since my lyric days are past, the poetry of my past that came alive from dreams and intuition. I plod nowadays but am rewriting and reworking old poetry. My next goal is to enter into contests a book of poetry that I wrote 25 years ago in a certain pedestrian style that was inspired by the poetry of Hanshan as translated by Gary Snyder. Here's one of them:


Twenty-five summers since I wrote these poems, Han-shan,
Inspired by the pedestrian style that shunned the forms and fashions
Of the Tang Dynasty you were living in, abandoned on rocks,
On cliff faces that you passed by in your wanderings. Unlike you,
I must admit that all these years I’ve craved fame and found none.
Now the lyric flights that rose from my dreams have flown away. I’m left
Barren, abandoned, old master, limping along with unanswered questions.
Did you dream of fame as I did, and why did your thoughts turn to stone?

The reference to stone comes from the fact that no one knows who Hanshan was and by the fact that "his poems were written on rocks in the mountains he called home." Quotation from Wikipedia.

Monday, November 20, 2017


you know who
If what I say today sounds a little blurry, it's because my eyes are dilated. At exercise today, a beautiful new inky floater bloomed in my right eyeball accompanied by a ton of tiny circular floaters. After my cataracts were removed, I was told to watch out for this phenomenon as it might be a sign of retinal detachment. Thus I hurried to a nearby optometrist and had the eyeball looked into. No detachment, but now I have a bleeder on my optic nerve, the sign of a "violent" but fairly common detachment of vitreous matter [floater] from the back of the eye that will now drift in my eye in perpetuity. 
Salinger at war. PTSD in later life?

As to literature, the supposed purpose of this writer's blog. I'm giving up at the halfway point on reading House of the Seven Gables by Mr. Hawthorne. When I was working on my Masters, I was drawn to his writing, but no longer, it appears. His rhetorical flourishes are too much for me. However I was surprised when, as an antidote, I picked up Ten Stories by J.D. Salinger and realized that Salinger's method of writing can be traced back to Hawthorne — the p.o.v. of their narrators', the rhetorical flourishes and asides they employ, the way both take the reader into their cubbyholes, so to speak, to talk to them about their subjects and subject matter. If ever there were a scholarly article, there is one to pursue, i.e. similarities in technique and p.o.v. between Salinger and Hawthorne. I did a quick Google and found none. For reading, I've got Durrell's Judith and, somewhere in the limbo of inter-library loan, Ron Padgett's poetry is plodding its way toward my home. 

It's obvious to me now that I can no longer write lyric poetry. My lines no longer sing, but Padgett's poetry may be my out. I've now written 6 or 7 poems in the style I imagined I saw in the Jarmusch movie, Patterson. So I continue to rewrite some of my 8 line poetry in the mode of Han-shan's poetry with an eye to creating a chapbook length work for submission to contests, etcetera, while also trying to create a few original poems. Still in the tube, the rewrite of my science fiction novel Ghoul World to remove some of the cleverness I thought was just too precious for words. And another movie???

Thursday, November 9, 2017


blowing his own horn
Thank you to the 81 people who looked in today. I guess I must accept I'm a poet first and foremost. Look at the record. In April this year, my poem "Legacy" was accepted by Washington State poet laureate Tod Marshall for the anthology WA129. In September two of my poems were accepted for publication in Aberration Labyrinth. In October another poem was accepted for inclusion in Portland's Work Literary Magazine, and the Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal is still holding another poem for a "possible" future issue. All this while I'm waiting for someone to accept one of my novels for publication. Today, inspired by the movie Paterson and the poetry of Ron Padgett included in the movie to try a completely new approach to writing poetry, I tore off rough drafts for a couple of new poems. I feel rejuvenated to write poetry in a new way for me. We'll see if inspiration continues. By the way, if you're a poet at heart, watch that movie. It's a paean to poetry by Jim Jarmusch.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


a catheter at close range
I've reduced most days to only three catheterizations: bedtime, morning (as late as possible) and in the afternoon. I've discovered that I can urinate normally for several hours before my bladder gets so extended that the urge to go becomes uncomfortable and it's time to insert the old catheter once again. This urinary practice extends the time between catheterizations. It is one of the benefits of not drinking 64 fluid ounces a day. I've had to learn all these things by myself. No one in the medical profession seems to be expert on the actual trials and tribulations of using a catheter.  

Now some happy literary news. I've had a poem accepted at Work Literary Magazine. Julie Madsen who edits it put out a call on Facebook. She hadn't received enough submissions to fill her online magazine. She's been doing the editing for ages. The poem combines a moment in Henry Miller's Tropic Of Cancer when two turds appear and my job cleaning toilets as a janitor in the very college I received my undergraduate degree from. I was janitoring at the University of Dayton after I had earned my BA in English. The labor was during my drinking and falling apart days when I was cruising the bottom of my capacities, but for all that, the poem is quite interesting, and it's about time someone gave it a home. You can find it online after October 30th.

Monday, October 9, 2017


This afternoon I found the energy to do a final rewrite of the screenplay, Distant Enemies. It wasn't much of a chore. I was just tidying up a few errors Mertie found while doing a final read through of my script looking for typos, lapses of logic and et cetera. Still, I feel hopeful about returning energy. The senior exercise class I attend at Firstenburg Community Center is paying off.

I have learned another useful health fact. If your bladder is not working properly, do not follow the suggestion to drink at least 64 ounces of fluids a day if you have spent your entire life training your body to function while drinking much less than that. I'm certain that my recent attempts over the past six months to follow that 64 ounce recommendation gave me hours of unnecessary excruciating pain and discomfort. Still catheterizing, but I'm doing just fine on a much smaller intake of fluids, and I'm getting longer periods between. My doctor told me that the 64 fluid ounce requirement is just a recommendation and that the figure was for all intents and purposes "made up". His words exactly. The fluid intake falsehood might be another of the many fallacies brought to us by the medicine distrusting and vaccination avoiding Boomers who have made up health directions and diet recommendations from whole cloth. Most of them in order to create health and diet businesses for themselves.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Find photog here
Sitting at home today as I have been for the past few weeks. Today am joined by my working wife who threw up this morning and continues to feel nauseous. I am becoming accustomed to catheterizing myself and, yesterday, was on an 8 hour schedule rather than a 6 hour schedule, but it didn't last. Fortunately, I'm getting a lot more hours of sleep but still not enough to feel at all creative. However, I'm feeling well enough to walk more and exercise more. I've recently joined a group of senior exercisers at Firstenburg Community Center that meets Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the morning. The commitment to that will help. If this trend continues, maybe the return to working creatively will emerge again from the darkness of my subconscious mind and exhausted body. I wish I had more to report, but it is what it is. People are still looking in on this blog, and I thank them for the continued interest. Not too long before my bladder quit functioning properly, I did send off six queries for the novel Ghoul World, but not one has been answered. Maybe ghouls and zombies are on the way out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Four times a day, I shove the red rubber foot and a quarter worm that I hold in my right  hand [that's right, my "right" hand], into my terwilliger until its snout says, "ur in." I then direct the "result" into a plastic pail to be quantified and logged in my "Daily Urination Log". That's right, I've joined the Urine Nation. Six, noon, six and midnight I do the deed. Often, I'm left with an uncomfortable sensation  — although the process is more uncomfortable than painful — that resembles an urge to urinate. This sensation keeps me awake when I'd rather be sleeping. I believe I'm living on 3 to 4 hours of sleep a day. Today I tried to go to the gym to exercise. I could only exercise about 20 minutes, but I did feel hale enough to go to the senior room where I attempted to play cribbage. I hesitated to join in playing cribbage because I suddenly feared I couldn't remember how to play cribbage after a lifetime of playing cribbage. I imagined at first that my mind was going, but I believe, now, that my exhaustion is so severe as to deprive me of my full mental capacity at times. If you think I can do much writing in this state of mind, you must be losing yours. My life resembles the life of someone in a railroad car where a terrorist bomb has just gone off. However, I am messing around with rewriting some very old poetry that I cannot do much damage to. I sent five of them off last night when I wasn't sleeping. I asked my urologist the other day, if I would be needing to do this "drilling" for the rest of my life. He didn't make any promises but suggested he has a few tricks up his sleeve. Meanwhile, for the next few months, I'll be trying to adjust my life to this daily boring process.