Category Archives: Writing

Night Walker

Earlier this year, in one of my stream-of-consciousness blathers, I mentioned the idea of mounting a television to a treadmill, enabling me to watch an odd mix of television series and made-for-Netflix movies while getting some exercise. If I did … Continue reading

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I Can’t Write this Morning

I can’t write this morning.  Writing suddenly seems a luxury, a shameful waste in the face of real necessity. My mood will change, I’m sure. I am fortunate, in that it always does. But maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe the escape … Continue reading

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When Life and Death Were Simple

In my mind, I picture an ancient cave-dweller, a man in his early twenties. During the time he lived, the average lifespan of humans was only twenty-six. The rare thirty-year-old or rarer forty-year-old were considered extraordinary. And they were. They … Continue reading

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Struggling

I keep coming back to Struggles, the imaginary town in Arkansas that is grappling with its history of poor management, populations flight, and an uncertain future. I say I keep coming back to the town, but I haven’t been writing … Continue reading

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Telenovela

It finally became too much. Not too much to bear, just too much to tolerate. Too much to process. Too much boastful self-absorption to willingly witness. And, so, you washed your hands of it. You rinsed off the sticky goo … Continue reading

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Rumi

I spent an entirely unsatisfactory fifteen minutes earlier this morning attempting to learn more about the Persian poet, Rumi. The time was unsatisfactory because, for one reason, I was unable to wade through the various Persian and Arabic and other … Continue reading

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Farmers’ Rebellion

Kenneth “Hurricane” Whackman was confirmed as Secretary of Weather only three weeks after Charlene Floore was sworn in as the fifty-eighth president of the United States. Two days later, Tyson “Popeye” Monsanto was confirmed as Secretary of Agribusiness, the position … Continue reading

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Elvin’s Exorcism

I’ll try something different today. Instead of attempting without success to craft a wannabe witty stream-of-consciousness screed, I’ll explain myself. My name is Elvin and I live inside a body that is not my own. I use it because it … Continue reading

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Lacking Credentials

Poetry fills an aching need within the poet to express emotions that cannot be expressed otherwise. And poetry enables poets and their audiences, whether readers or listeners, to establish intimate emotional bonds. Sometimes—more often than not, it seems—the words of … Continue reading

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Talking to Myself

I have started, and in a few cases finished, several new posts over the last several days that have yet to be published. Even the “finished” posts, though, are incomplete. There is something about the words I have written or … Continue reading

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Safe Places

Safe places are the stuff of folklore. They exist in ever smaller numbers today, numbers smaller than zero and with even less substance. Safety, always a figment of the imagination, has vaporized into an evanescent fantasy so vague and ghostly … Continue reading

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Fiction and Reality, One and the Same

There was a time, not so long ago, that I found it easy to write about fictional dystopian horrors, experiences unlike anything I ever experienced. My imagination allowed me to picture those ghastly nightmares as a dispassionate observer, watching through … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Covid-19, Empathy, Writing | 2 Comments

Struggles (AR) in the Times of Pestilence

The fictional town of Stuggles, Arkansas morphed from a small town coping with abandonment by its principal employer, a manufacturing plant, into a community on life support, thanks to a virus for which no immunity nor any treatment exists.  The … Continue reading

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Love is the Richest Emotion

I love you. You know who you are. I could listen to your voice for hours if you’d let me. And I suppose you would. But what reason could I give for wanting to hear it? What excuse could I … Continue reading

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Distortion

Consider how radically different your life would have been if you had been adopted in 1962 by a Chinese peasant couple who traveled to the United States from their rural home outside the tiny village of Zhongxin in Guizhou Province, … Continue reading

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Structured Thinking with a Bit of Flex

A tiny bit more structured introspective assessment, please. Nothing imbued with gravitas, though; let’s keep it light and airy, to the extent introspection makes that possible. Keep it flexible so it can bend the way my mind bends. Mind-bending. Does … Continue reading

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The Cost

Words left unspoken Thoughts never shared Love never given Hearts never bared Hurt not softly soothed Life like a cell Hate freely given Tears never fell Eyes lacking for sight Regret not felt Emptiness so cold Knees never knelt Heartaches … Continue reading

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Shrapnel

The confetti from the explosion filled his chest. There was still room for his lungs and his heart and his liver and so forth, but the formerly roomy spaces were clogged with shrapnel. The wounds in his flesh healed over … Continue reading

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It’s Over

You wanted to tell her how much she meant to you, but you waited too late. You waited until she didn’t mean as much. You waited until her faults flooded your brain and drowned your good intentions. You put off … Continue reading

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The Bad Poet

The bad poet mangles words and scorches meanings, bludgeoning beauty until it resembles a bloated corpse left in the desert sun for an entire season. The bad poet ruins ideas, polluting them with bias as thick as an atmosphere of … Continue reading

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Doing Alone

When friends’ shoulders aren’t there for the crying, when love is a wall made of stone, when life seems a prelude to dying, when you’re lonely and weeping alone. That’s when you create your own salvation, you craft it from … Continue reading

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Making Music

If I could start recording my voice at any given moment simply by pressing a single, easily accessible button, I might have recorded dozens, if not hundreds, of songs by now. Only the lyrics, of course, with no musical accompaniment … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Poetry, Writing | 2 Comments

Hush

I am a dormant volcano. A raging inferno whose fuel, spent in spectacular displays of fire and molten rock, has disappeared into the center of the Earth. I may be, in fact, an extinct volcano, one with no recorded eruption in … Continue reading

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Someone Else Thinks Inside My Head

Several of his friends regularly commented about Skyler’s writing, frequently expressing amazement at how vividly his words painted his characters’ thoughts and physical surroundings. “It’s as if you were there, behind his eyes, recording every detail,” Ophira O’Malley said to … Continue reading

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Elbow

Elbow McMaster stood facing the front door, poised to spring upon the woman the moment she entered. His eyes, fixed on the peephole well above his eye level, noticed a momentary interruption in the light on the tiny circular glass … Continue reading

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Writing Like a Curative Drug

I once wrote, during a period of personal introspection and social observation, Writing is like a drug; it can be a cure or an addiction. A lot was missing in that simple statement. One missing piece concealed the danger of … Continue reading

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The New Realm

“Lance, would you please get the ax for me? It’s getting close to dinnertime and I need to get Little Johnny ready for the roaster.” Lance looked up from his crossword. “All right, Suzanne, just let me finish this last … Continue reading

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Listen

Listen to the sky. That’s not the sky, it’s an echo of your emptiness. Listen to the horizon. That’s not the horizon, it’s a sigh of hope. Listen to the river. That’s not the river, its a murmur of possibility. … Continue reading

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The Core Within and Other Matters

I wish more people would read and listen to poetry. I wish they wouldn’t dismiss it as linguistic egotism. I wish they would try to listen to it without judgement and disdain. Instead, I wish they would try to hear … Continue reading

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Entanglements

My thoughts this morning comprise a jumble of unrelated and incomplete ideas that careen through my mind as if they were running from something dangerous. They stumble and fall and bounce off the inside of my head as they flee … Continue reading

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Another Try: Wisdom

Wisdom involves knowledge, but knowledge alone does not constitute wisdom. Wisdom is the abstract application of knowledge with discernment. That is, wisdom is not just knowledge, it’s knowing what to do with knowledge. As I am wont to do when … Continue reading

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Living in a Dead Man’s Journal

He wrote the following in his journal on November 14, 2009: I wish I could bring myself to reveal all the secrets I’ve kept locked away for so very long. One day, perhaps, I’ll write a memoir, though I suspect … Continue reading

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The Effects of Fire on Fuel

A screed. A diatribe. A rant. An inflammatory evangelical oratory capable of inciting fury. An opportunity to express the ferocity of my feelings without having to defend them. That’s what I’m looking for. An occasion to bitterly complain without offering … Continue reading

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Honesty

Honesty is dangerous, especially when it reveals flaws once hidden. Honesty is ruinous when it shatters trust and breaks the bonds of love. Honesty is a toxin we best not ingest if we hope to stay alive in a world … Continue reading

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Roller-Coaster

A group of people from the Writers’ Club and a few spouses will come to the house this afternoon for wine and hors d’oeuvres and a read-around. We’re expecting to have around thirteen people, all-inclusive. Early this morning (up again … Continue reading

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Practice Practice Practice

“If things had been different, we might have had an affair. Or something even more lasting.” Garrick’s head bowed slightly as he spoke, as if his neck was giving way to the weight of a sigh. Stella’s reply would remove … Continue reading

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Awakening to Light

I can hear slivers of sunlight cracking through the predawn darkness. Daylight is attempting to pry open the edges of a sealed chamber; a cavity in which night spent an eternity blocking the sun’s rays. Once light begins to flood … Continue reading

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Convolutions

Cooksie Sherwood slaughtered his opponents in the mayor’s race. Not literally. At least not all his opponents. But when his closest competitor, Ivory Lambrusco, was found dead in the front passenger seat of an overturned two-seater Mazda convertible, questions arose. … Continue reading

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Keepers of Private Notebooks

Yesterday, I read parts of something Joan Didion wrote in 1968, entitled, “On Keeping a Notebook.”  One excerpt in particular struck a chord with me: Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, … Continue reading

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Distant Presence

I wonder if she hears me rifling about in her dream? Probably not. We’re both fast asleep and many miles apart. But if there’s anything to the occult, she might sense my presence as I pull back the covers and … Continue reading

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The Man Who Loved Poetry

Poetry did not die with him, but it might not have lived without him. Bud Kenny loved poetry almost as much as poetry loved him. Absent Bud’s unapologetic shoulders upon which to sit and proclaim its fierce entanglement with the … Continue reading

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Visionarium

Malcolm Disarray’s eyesight decayed over the course of ten years, beginning when he was thirty-one years old, at the rate of less than six percent per year. By the time he was forty-one, he was nearly blind. What little he … Continue reading

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Silence

Silence can be the savior we did not know we were seeking. Silence can soften the blows we did not realize we were feeling. Silence can serve as a weapon, as lethal as a knife and as soft as a … Continue reading

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Anchor

In Macbeth, Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth is ambitious and heartless. She believes her husband is too full of kindness and compassion (the milk of human kindness) to take the most expedient path (the nearest way) toward the Scottish crown. That is, … Continue reading

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Meticulous Chaos

Brighton Davis joined the crowd of women surrounding the car. “What’s going on?” A distraught woman replied, “There’s a baby in that car! We can’t get the doors or windows open. I’m afraid it might die in this awful heat!” … Continue reading

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Bless Your Soul

The price the fellow offered to pay was more than Sleet McMaster could pass up. So, after an obligatory period of haggling, Sleet agreed to the terms: McMaster’s soul in return for thirty years of exorbitant wealth. “Just to clarify,” … Continue reading

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Old Canadian Misfits

There are so many possibilities for this little vignette. But I’m getting tired of writing it and I don’t have the mental stamina even to go back and tighten up what I’ve written. Instead, I’ll leave it as a foundation … Continue reading

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Nothing is Impossible

Imagine, if you will, an enormous United States rocket, poised on a launchpad for liftoff on a trip across the galaxy to a distant planet. Then, just moments later, deafening sounds engulf the sky as the monstrous beast’s engines ignite, … Continue reading

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Letting It Ferment

Writing allows me to process my thoughts and experiences. It is therapeutic in the sense that it allows the “poison” of experience to be diluted, while being flushed into the wider universe. Often, I don’t quite know how an experience … Continue reading

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Vishnu Islam Apollo Poseidon Chaucer-Townsend

My son’s given name is Vishnu Islam Apollo Poseidon. His surname, like mine, is Chaucer, but with the addition of a hyphen, followed by his mother’s maiden name, Townsend. So, his full name is Vishnu Islam Apollo Poseidon Chaucer-Townsend.  Alice, … Continue reading

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