Friday, December 28, 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Poetry in Vitro - Vol 3, No. 8

*Well - if you missed it & you didn't miss much - it's nice to be writing something again in any case...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Wedding Anniversary

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nicola Verlato (1965 - )

The Best For You Is Absolutely Unattainable: Not Being Born, Not Being, Not Being Anything,
oil on canvas,

The Stairway To Heaven,
oil on canvas,

2007, oil on canvas,
34x26 cm,

more of his work is available here

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rock's Poet Laureate

Montreal's Leonard Cohen is on his way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cohen was announced as an inductee Thursday. A panel of 600 industry figures selected the five acts to be inducted at the annual ceremony, to be held March 10 in New York. To be eligible, artists must have issued a first single or album at least 25 years before nomination.
Cohen, 73, went from acclaimed poet to a folk rock icon with "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag" in the late 1960s, making him a big part of the singer-songwriter movement.

How Could I Forget...

...what happened 27 years ago
on December 8th?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bob Dylan Revisited

Sam is in the process of posting 5 great Dylan songs on his blog. I figure that most of us have a few Bob Dylan song lyrics bobbing about in our memory banks. They harken us back to a time, place or stage in our lives. Most of the lyrics are as relavent today as they were at their inception. Here are a few of my favorites: --
10) Ballad of a Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited:1965)

Well, you walk into the room
Like a camel and then you frown
You put your eyes in your pocket
And your nose on the ground
There ought to be a law
Against you comin' around
You should be made
To wear earphones
Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

9) When I paint my Masterpiece (1971: Bod Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2)

Oh, the hours I've spent inside the Coliseum,
Dodging lions and wastin' time.
Oh, those mighty kings of the jungle,
I could hardly stand to see 'em,
Yes, it sure has been a long, hard climb.
Train wheels runnin' through the back of my memory,
When I ran on the hilltop following a pack of wild geese.
Someday, everything is gonna be smooth like a rhapsody
When I paint my masterpiece.

8) A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall (1963: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?

And what did you hear, my darling young one?

I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',

Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,

Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',

Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',

Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',

Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,

Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,

And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,

And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

7) Gotta Serve Somebody (1979: Slow Train Coming)

You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

6) Highway 61 Revisited (1965: Highway 61 Revisited)

Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King
I got forty red white and blue shoe strings
And a thousand telephones that don't ring
Do you know where I can get rid of these things
And Louie the King said let me think for a minute son
And he said yes I think it can be easily done
Just take everything down to Highway 61.

5) It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (1965: Bringing it All Back Home)
My eyes collide head-on with stuffed graveyards
False gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
What else can you show me?
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only.

4) Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (1971: Bod Dylan's Greatest Hits Vol. 2)

When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez

And it’s Eastertime too

And your gravity fails

And negativity don’t pull you through

Don’t put on any airs

When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue

They got some hungry women there

And they really make a mess outa you

3) It's All Over Now Baby Blue (1965: Bringing it All Back Home)

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

2) Down in the Flood ( 1971: Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits - Vol. 2)
**No Video**
Crash on the levee, mama,
Water's gonna overflow,
Swamp's gonna rise,
No boat's gonna row.
Now, you can train on down
To Williams Point,
You can bust your feet,
You can rock this joint.
But oh mama, ain't you gonna miss your best friend now?
You're gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow.

1) Masters of War (1963: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Sunday, December 09, 2007

On Poetic Rationalizations:

No contemporary poet is famous, but some are less unfamous than others. That’s because the poetry world, like most areas of American life, has its own peculiar celebrity system — ... The problem is, poetic stardom is an unpredictable business. Good writing doesn’t guarantee a reputation; bad writing doesn’t guarantee oblivion; nor can grace, money or nimble careerism entirely explain why Poet X reads to overflowing auditoriums, whereas Poet Y reads to his cats. Maybe it’s simply the case that, as William Munny remarked in “Unforgiven,” “deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” ...

After all, as Donald Justice once said, “there may well be analyzable causes behind the oblivion some good writers suffer, but the causes, whatever they are, remain elusive.” Still, if the causes of a lack of recognition are unknowable, the causes of recognition are equally obscure — which means that luck can always turn.

David Orr : "On Poetry Words of the World" - Sunday Book Review - New York times
via Jilly's Blog

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Nick's Picks

From - "The Last Waltz" (1978)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Daniel F. Gerhartz (1965 - )

Hind's Feet

Oil on canvas
96 x 72 inches
(243.84 x 182.88 cm)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

You Know....

I was about to take down yesterday's post. It sounds angry and frustrated to my ear. But then I thought about it and realized, albeit the tongue-in-cheek quality of it in some places - it's quite accurate a response to some of the e-mails that I received regarding the paucity of my recent publications or lack thereof.

However, I keep a record of my submissions as a folder in my Outlook. After tallying up the number of submissions versus acceptances for 2007 - this is what I have come up with:

Magazine Subs: 7 -

Chapbook Subs: 2 - MIPO Chapbook contest which Christine Hamm deservedly won & Kitchen Press (There are several still pending from late 2006 )

Acceptances: 2 - Nod Magazine 6th Issue & fourW eighteen Anthology

Nominated: For the Best on the Web by Edward Byrne from Valparaiso Poetry Review

These are admittedly some rather pathetic figures and a far cry from the number of publications that my poetry has enjoyed since 2003 when I had 21 publications. But all variables do not remain equal.

We are close to a year's end that has had some severe personal consequences. January of 2007 my wife and I were involved in a legal battle regarding our family business. Thankfully we won and our permit to run said business was not revoked. February 9th 2007, my father was struck down and killed as he was crossing a busy Montreal intersection. The driver that hit him was making a legal u-turn. He had just celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary. My mother, who suffered a stroke in 2003 was deemed mentally and physically unable to minister to her daily needs. A long and heated battle with my sisters to not have her removed from the residence which my father and I had put her in ensued after his death. My wife's ongoing battle with thyroid cancer reared its ugly head - when during a routine ultrasound a lump was found in her neck. Thank God it turned out to be nothing. She's going back for a full body scan in January 2008.

As you know if you are a regular reader here I do not as a rule write about my daily personal life or predicaments. This isn't a diary. And these are not excuses as to why I have not been submitting more or publishing or devoting more time to my poetry and to this blog. If my poetry has suffered and languished - well then so be it! Perhaps I should not be saying this here and in these circles - but there are more things under heaven and earth ....than poetry.