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The other day one of my friends told me he visited my blog, “po-atrocity.” Or maybe it was “poe-strosity.”

I love you, too, sweetie.

I was writing a poem recently and used a crayon-colors metaphor, so I went to the crayola website to validate the names of the colors in my memory. The box of 64 used to be the top of the crayone line — the compact box with the built-in sharpener and three tiers of crayons. Now there are containers with 96, 120 and 150. Compulsives like me would love the “twistables” crayons, each with its own auto-sharpener.


There are new gem tone colors (like lapis lazuli), colors that have been retired (bye-bye thistle), and colors that have been renamed (e.g., flesh is now peach (logically, most of the skin color on this planet isn’t that peachy color)). Some of these color names were my first introduction to great words: raw umber, mahogany, burnt sienna, goldenrod, and periwinkle — to name a few.

I may just have to go out and buy myself a crisp, new box.


My idea of how most people use Twitter is to ascertain or disseminate completely useless information, i.e., “where are you?” or “what are you doing?”. Not unlike most of the cell phone conversations I’m forced to endure in public. Anyway….

Twitter haiku is available now on Twiku. Some are a worthwhile read… some, not so much. Still, it’s more poetry moving through the universe, and that is a very good thing.

If you enjoy modern, spoken poetry (like HBO’s Def Poetry Jam), you’ll enjoy Russell Simmon’s new show, Brave New Voices.

The show is part documentary, part performance, all engaging. The show’s page has links to the selected poets’ full performances, since they’re edited for the documentary. Some of these kids are amazingly talented and insightful. Most of the poems will stand on their own without their charismatic performers. Even if you don’t subscribe to HBO, you can see the shows on Watch it.

Yes, it’s April 5th, and it’s snowing here in Wisconsin. Sigh. The bright side points: it’s Sunday, so I don’t have to go out. The view out the window over the laptop is beautiful. The snow makes it a “good writing” day (which is almost as good as a “good hair” day). I have a working furnace, food, and a good novel to read when I’m done writing.


I’m working on a poem about understanding a zen koan — the process and the frustration. In case you don’t know, a koan is “a paradoxical anecdote or a riddle that has no solution; used in Zen Buddhism to show the inadequacy of logical reasoning.” – Wordnet. So, any attempt to understand or solve a koan is tautological. Circumlogical. Impossible? That hasn’t stopped generations of zen practitioners, and it won’t stop me. Contrast a koan with a mondo, which (I think) has the same goal, but uses a question and answer model to elicit an insight. I usually do “get” them or at least gain an insight from them. It takes adding a parallax point-of-view, or widening back, or minding the edges.

A recent entry on my Zen Page-a-Day calendar® was this one — which I still don’t understand: “What is the Way? In a dead tree, the dragon sings.” Thank you, March 17. Arghh.

NPR did a story recently called Six Word Memoirs. based on an exercise that turned into the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning, by Larry Smith. The excerpts provided by NPR are terrific, although none have quite the poignancy of the catalyst, Ernest Hemingway’s, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

So, sitting in the looming shadow of a writer as skilled as Hemingway, I wrote my own:
Reluncantly less redhead, deliberately less read-head.

Poets & writers magazine is posting a great poem every day in April. There’s nothing like a poem you haven’t read in a long time, or even better — one you’ve never read before. Try it! Better than May flowers.