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I wrote two poems last night. Sometimes a piece comes almost perfectly formed and other times a piece will take ages to get it to the state I feel comfortable with review. After the fact, I think it was because I immersed myself in some of the best writing ever. In this case it was poems and songs, but I don’t think the medium matters. Read really good writing, listen to really good writing, visit art – that’s the key to pulling your own muse out from under the basement stairs.

I watched Tavis Smiley’s interview with Joni Mitchell on the PBS Roku channel. (Thank you inventors of the technologies that make “internet TV” possible!). Joni looked so amazingly cool still – she’s 71. After the interview I put on her music, cranked it up, and sang along for an hour or so. I can do that. “I am a woman of heart and mind with time on her hands, no child to raise.” Or is it, “Just another silly girl when loves makes a fool of me”? Probably both.

Here is one of the poems from last night. 

The Arts

I thought I was a play

the simple story of a life

wherein the actor

survives the shifts, the plots

in the scuffle for the front of the stage Read the rest of this entry »


My writing this morning has been scattered. My morning walk normally centers me as I do walking meditation or other awareness tools. Instead there was a rock in my path (I noticed it, so I had to pick it up. Yes, I have a minor obsession with rocks.) It’s pyramid-shaped, pink granite with one side that’s very rough and the other two and the base worn smooth. Since I picked it up, all I’ve been able to think about are the men who’ve affected my life over the years. I squeeze the rock in my hand, and the edge cuts into my skin. Not quite enough to break the skin but enough to feel the sharpness and the pressure. Honestly, there have been many men, but most were barely a blip of a dalliance. Only three still prod and provoke me. or at least their memory does. Each relationship’s outcome seemed pre-destined, inevitable (do I believe in that, I wonder?). Or is it just the benefit of hindsight?

When I think of one, it’s been nearly thirty years since I’ve seen him. I have been working on a poem about our relationship for over a month now, and I just can’t articulate my feelings well enough to write coherently. Maybe that’s what I should write: how hard the idea of one person is to contain completely in one poem. Nah. That would be a cop-out. Am I showing my age with that slang? What’s the current way of saying that? I’ll have to research that.

I don’t have writer’s block, but I do get writer’s pinball — where my mind pings around without focus distracted easily by the flashing lights and bells. My thoughts stumble and careen like a sorority girl after a night out with sailors.

But at least I’m writing.