Monday, March 27, 2017



…Good morning, Monday.  You’re still as wet as ever, damn you.

…A lot more poetry spilled out over the weekend, but it seems like a time for a break here, at least until Wednesday or later.

…I haven’t been submitting at all in these last few months, but I did have this poem published last week in one of my favorite journals:

…And I learned one of my stories was selected to be in Best Small Fictions of 2017, which is a big honor, seeing as how there were thousands of submissions and only 55 stories selected.  The anthology, out in September, is sold in book stores world-wide.

…Melissa Studdard, a writer acquaintance of mine, posted this on Facebook that I found endearing and touching:

-Last night on the plane home, the cabin pressure made my hand lotion explode onto the very nice slacks of this young man sleeping next to me. It was a HUGE glob. The flight attendant said we should drop a cocktail napkin like a tent on his leg, and then as he was waking, he would brush it off, knocking the glob of lotion off with it. Several passengers tried to help, and finally I ended up folding the napkins until they were so stiff I could scrape the lotion off his leg. Still, there was a sheen as if a kid had wiped a snotty hand across his pants. The flight attendant said he probably wouldn't notice, so I decided not to tell him. Then I began to imagine that the guy was flying into town for a date with someone he was in love with but who was not yet quite in love with him and that when the person saw his pants they would decide he was gross and never go out with him again and then he would have his heart broken and the last of his money would have been wasted on a plane ticket for someone who could never love him because of his gross pants. Then I imagined all the children they were supposed to have who would never come into the world because of my hand lotion. I figured this would pretty much ruin his self-esteem and prevent him from advancing in his career, as well. So I decided I had to tell him, and when he woke up, I just braced myself and said straight up, "Dude, I have to tell you something. When you were asleep the cabin pressure made my hand lotion explode all over your pants leg, and me and the crew and the other passengers cleaned it off the best we could, but there's still a snotty looking sheen, and I don't want you to miss out on love and having children and being successful in your career because your pants are nasty." And then he started laughing and told me that this was the funniest thing that had ever happened to him and everything was okay and he didn't think his life would be ruined because of the lotion. I think this is what happens to a writer's mind when we go too many days in a row without writing. I think the imagination needs to be put on the page regularly, or it will leak all over the people and things around us. This is a public service message for anyone procrastinating on their writing today.

…And here are some other things I like to start the week:

-"Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done." Bryan Stevenson

-"To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”  Woody Allen

-“I need to concentrate on each sound so that every blade of grass is as important as the flower.”  Arvo Part, composer

-“I think the theme of this record is that we’re all prisoners of some desires, in that the very things we love are the things that hold us hostage and keep us trapped.
But I’m not a depressed person. I think most people go through ups and downs, and there’s that nagging sense of ‘what the fuck does this mean?’ Some people ignore that and it kills them, or some people focus on these negative aspects and become golems. I’ve tried to use them as fuel, and I also use the joy of playing music.  There’s something to be said for taking all that negativity and confusion and deciding: this is fuel, and I can burn this and make this into something, and the act of doing that is joyous. I can sing the saddest song with a bunch of people, and the feeling of sharing that energy activates in a way that either heals it or makes me feel like I’ve risen a thousand miles above it into space and I’m staring down on it as a little dot.  It changes things dramatically and I really like that.” Ryan Adams

-"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." Louisa May Alcott

-“For me, reading is like praying.” Sheldon Lee Compton

-“The true mystery of the world is the visible.” Oscar Wilde


  1. Ah man cool. It is like praying for me. Or meditation, that sort of thing. Glad you like that idea.

  2. Shel, you a wise man that I've never met but admire from afar. thanks for your wisdom and for reading.