My Type of Poetry

I recovered this article, by chance recently, and offer the introduction of it to anyone interested in the subject of poetry and poetic expression.
–From the Nashville Scene 2004 by Pablo Tanguay

In 1980, at the height of what might be called the Era of Confessional Poetry, a literary period characterized by its obsessive inward gaze, two young poets named Mark Jarman and Robert McDowell, with one book published between them, began a revolution. Weary of the meditative obscurity they saw in contemporary poetry, from fuzzy forest poems not quite sure of their trees but sure of their feelings about trees, to the bewildering, self-referential obfuscations of critical favorites like John Ashbery, the two upstarts set themselves on a mission to rescue American poetry from itself.

The two sought to wrest poetry from the grip of an effete good ol’ poet network and return it to ordinary readers. In earlier generations, poets like Tennyson and Frost were popular in large part because they got the story right—they knew a barge from a shallop*, a birch from an oak—and because they were precise. In the muddled world of contemporary poetry, however, telling an accurate, understandable story was often perceived as the telltale sign of an unsophisticated poet who hadn’t yet broken free of such tired conventions as plot and character. Jarman and McDowell had had enough.

I too, came to the same conclusion in my readings of  “University poetry anthologies,” and submit for your enjoyment two poems that are representative of my non introspective, non meditative obscure type of poetry:

I Once Was

Once I felt the tainted saint, no more
Once I was bruised. I a’int, no more
Once was I a worn out ‘plaint, no more
A tepid boy, used to faint, no more.

Once I possessed a delirious doctrine,
Once I lived by feast or famine.
And once I feared dying the gamin,
But now I can look and also examine.

I once was afraid to decide or commit,
Once I didn’t know where I fit.
And once I could not even sit,
But now my days are sunny lit.

How Now Ground Cow

Once you were a proud
Beast of the field,
Indolent and Indifferent.
Now you are the product of
The meat factory yield.

And as I gaze at you
In my dinner plate
I weep for thee, oh
Bored Bovine of mine.

For, I too was
Indolent and Indifferent.
But I escaped your fate.
And these are happy tears
That no crocodile ever spent.

*Light sailboat

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Scenes From My Life

Today a happenstance occasioned in me a need to respond NOT as I did at the moment it occurred, but as an after thought, which is the way I’m sure you’ll agree most people think about such incidents.

 A tradesmen who I tapped my horn at twice–to get him to get the drivers in front of him moving through an intersection strewn with glass and broken auto parts–followed me to my destination to protest loudly how he was in his correct lane and how dare I give him the horn! 

 Well,  I started to approach him to reply, and quickly remembered “THAT’S USELESS” since he’s (this guy) is just trying to BE RIGHT (maintain rightness) or looking for fight.  Either way, I stepped back and away, saying THANK YOU! 

 End of incident, or almost.  Later I contemplated a scene, since I am a screenwriter, and here is what I contemplated:
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Experiment Proves How Raw Milk is Safe

Did you know that quality, grass fed, raw milk actually has its own built in “immune system?” Raw milk actually has an elevated white blood cell count, amino acids, probiotics and more and these help reduce risk from pathogens. Pasteurized milk does not have any immune system to protect it.

Mark McAfee, a dear friend of mine, ACTUALLY INJECTS PATHOGENS INTO HIS RAW MILK as an experiment to prove how safe raw milk actually is.
Continue reading

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Garbage is garbage?

Or a funny thing happened on the way to the dumpster.

 A few weeks ago the manager of my residence enforced a rule that was in force many months ago but was not being followed:  “Take your garbage to the dumpster, do not put it in the trash containers on each floor.”

 What was the funny thing that happened?  Not only did the unsightly bulging, smelly and bug infested containers disappear but the amount of garbage in the dumpster, normally overflowing ( I wager because of the convenience of the nearby trash containers on each floor), disappeared as well. 

$25 no garbage sign


 What got me about this funny occurrence was that it took a regional manager and his shocking discovery to order the manager to enforce what was clearly the policy of the residence since it began.

I had already taken the flea-bitten lids off two container bins, cigarette burned into ugly displays themselves, and gotten rid of them.  Totally unnecessary at this stage of their life too.

The manager remarked how many of the residents thought it a good idea, with a few hold-outs who complained.  Nothing new there. 

These couch-potatoes, or worse, now have to walk all of 100 feet to dispose of their garbage and trash.  But then again some folks love the insect community so much it is a wonder they don’t just move into the dumpster with them.

Your correspondent on the ground,

R. U. Listening




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The Best Reason To Drink Milk Direct From Cow or Goat

 Get the idea of a woman breast feeding her infant. But, before she can give her milk to the baby she has to squirt her milk into a pitcher which is then heated to 160°. 

 The only reason to pasteurize any milk is if it is known to come from a contaminated source.  Just as hikers and survivalists know to boil water from a stream or pond before drinking. Continue reading

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The $157.78 Lesson

Some lessons in life contain pain, quite a bit. Today I escaped the pain. Learned a valuable lesson this time for keeps. When You Know You Know, an earlier essay I posted was written about certainty, personal certainty and the importance of knowing when one is certain or not.

The 157 dollars and seventy eight cents paid for the release of my car that was towed. Why towed? Simple, I disregarded a signal, a knowing, and the result was a non-optimum solution.

Here’s the picture: it’s late in the evening, It is hot and muggy, I’m in traffic, after a rain storm during rush hours.

I’m almost home after using alternate routes to avoid long lines of cars one behind the other waiting and waiting. I am within three blocks sitting at a red light for three, no, four turns since the lights ahead two blocks are out, due to the storm. Didn’t notice that however until the fourth turn of red as I was sitting in 1st position to go when green. I got so fed up with inching the rest of the way home I took a right through an industrial park whose businesses were closed and parked one block away, but next to one of the buildings. Shouldn’t have done that.

Now, the real goof, with the lesson learned is this: at the red light or just prior, I could have turned right on a street I knew well—had walked several times—then parked on the vacant street and walked three blocks home. Would not have been towed. That’s the lesson. As I recall it now I distinctly rejected doing that because it would have required that half way home, the 3 block solution way, were the train tracks, but two sets only. No trains were traveling nearby and I had crossed those tracks safely many times.

Lesson learned. A valuable lesson learned.


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I was brought up around a guy who several times told me “No one gets off this planet alive.”

Poor fellow, was impotent too.  Seems he blamed it on battle shock, what we modernly call ­­post war syndrome.

I believe he was mouthing someone else’s consideration rather than it being is own true belief or observation.  Too many still do this sort of mindless mimicry simply because it sounds clever or suits the moment of their desire to create an effect.

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Protected: OT Humor – Chapter II

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If there is no past (previous) life, why do people say, “I’m looking for my soul mate”?

How is it that a person can be walking along a street and suddenly turn around and find a friend or acquaintance at a distance looking at them but saying nothing?

In what way as it has been reported in historical records that in dueling, the victor has felt the “ghost” of the victim run up the arm of his rapier or haunt him for months until reparation to the dead man’s family is made for killing him?

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette, Romeo declares to his cronies just after Tybalt has pierced Mecurio with a sword, “Mercurio is but a few feet above our heads,” and proceeds to use this a championing call for immediate revenge.

How can one person say to another: “Be me for a minute, and see how it feels.” Bodies don’t be other bodies.

Do we discount “gravity” because we don’t see it?

Do we stop breathing air because we don’t see it? And,

Do we ignore electricity because we can only see the effect it creates exposed to air?

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