Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Check out your Rank on Google+

I have just found a site that allows you to see where you rank on Google Plus (Google+). For your information I am only 83040 places below Lady GaGa who is at the top.

Go to Social Statistics to get your ranking then post it the comments section. How popular are you really?

I am working to get below 80,000th.



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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Boneyard Boys aka The Graveyard Poets

"Though Casabianca and The Burial of Sir John Moore are actually nineteenth-century poems, they partake of that misty, moss-and-granite melancholy one associates with those of Gray’s contemporaries known as the Graveyard Poets (or the Boneyard Boys). These were a pallid bunch, for whom cemeteries were what bars and brothels would be for many French poets of the nineteenth century—a comfy home away from home. They were continually reminding us that we all have one foot in the grave.

Brad Leithauser

Read more: New Yorker - Why we should memorize

It takes all sorts of poets to make up the poetic universe but I loved Leithauser's description of the Graveyard Poets as the Boneyard Boys. I'll stick to bars and coffee shops myself.

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Poets Aiming with a Uzi - Head, Heart or Crotch?

"A poet takes aim at one of three areas: the head, the heart or the crotch. Occasionally, all three can be scoped in one piece if you have an eye for poetic detail or if the poet's imagination has an affinity for the uzi. Once in a while a poet comes along who can take aim and ignite every atom in one's being."

Nelson Gary talking about Todd Moore.

Wow - what a great thought. I can be a poetic sniper with a poetic uzi. The imagery is very outlawish. Sometimes I aim for the head, usually the heart and only rarely the crotch. I have certainly had the experience with a poet that Nelson Gary is talking about. The two poets who come to mind who have done this to me are Frank O'Hara and James. K. Baxter.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Guest Post: Master of Your Domain - a response poem

The poem below is a response by Paul Pindris to my poem Poopoo or Sex. My poem in itself was a response to a blog post about a quotation from Charles Bukowski. Paul is a great response poet so look out for him on Google+.

Master of Your Domain

Just minutes can we all forsake
The breaths that most for granted take.
One’s thirst, there’s but three days to slake,
Though weeks to eat, before the grave.
Since Eden’s loss we suffer bare,
And so must have but aught to wear.
The weather, often harsh, indeed,
Demands a refuge ‘gainst that need.

But things that each need to survive
Are more than what keeps us alive.
Regardless of what clock we keep
Eventually we all must sleep.
A wish to put off when to void --
We might delay, but can’t avoid.

The urge to mate, too, ceases not.
With puberty is cast our lot.
Though some immerse in God or Art,
Those carnal thoughts never depart.
If all alone, with no recourse,
A fantasy serves well, of course.

Paul Pindris

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Poopoo or sex

Did Bukowski have it right?
Does it really
come down
to poopoo or sex...

Seventy years without sex
can be done
I'm sure
but not by this poet
but several poopoo free days can cause death

I'm a sex poet
not a poopoo poet
But don't get me wrong
a good poopoo
beats the crap
out of sex.

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The Outlaw Poetry Network

Today I'm putting in a plug for a wonderful site called The Outlaw Poetry Network
This site has fantastic poetry for those renegades, outlaws and rogues who like pure, gut wrenching poetry.

Check this link for an awesome poetry is dangerous poster

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rogue Poet

Rogue Poet waking
to another morn.
Smells the city
garbage, smoke,and
Feels the chilling cold
behind the dumpster.

Brunch of stale bread,
behind the East End bakery.
Lunch a swig of port
no meat, no protein diet.
An evening soiree with
other poets
at the university
of hard knocks...

But still the stub penciled poems
come, between
the times
of disordered thought.

But free from the constraints
of trope and critic,
his poetry
speaks to those
dispossessed of earthly gain
huddling around
the beggars brazier.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Tool to build Blog Traffic

If like most of us bloggers you are looking for more eyes to your blog try this new tool called BlogClicker. You view others blogs and in return others visit your blog.

Join Here if you are interested in getting more blogs viewers.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Matter of Degrees

Does the poet need degrees
to explicate upon the world?
To write the verse unknoweable
outside the ivy

I think they do.
they do you know,
degrees of hunger, loss
and pain.

Of nature and depravity
of joy, and tears
degrees of our humanity.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

I am Old and Grumpy

Don't believe the bumph,
Old people can be mean and grumpy
We've played the game,
We rode the baby boom wave.

Stand aside we're moving through
the market
the demographics
and God help
the rest homes
and hospitals
when we arrive en masse.

We'll have rock bands, bandanas
Woodstock memories
Mary Jane
Loud music
Man, it will be great.

So look out I'm old
and grumpy
and I'm heading for a
Jugular near you...

I am growing old disgracefully :)

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

I am not against academic poets

Those of you who read my last polemic may have thought that I am anti-academic poetry. For the record I am not. Academia and academic poets have a lot to offer (e.g. I recently completed the Modern and Contemporary American Poetry course from UPenn that was available as a MOOC and this course has changed my attitudes to and appreciation of poetry).

My complaint was more about some academics and notaries (not all of academia, Thank God) laying claim to the ownership of poetry, and claiming that lay people can not understand modern poetry.

Poetry belongs to all. Poetry expresses human experience in all of it's shades and hues. Prison poetry is just as valuable as academic poetry. They just have different audiences.

With the return of performance and slam poetry in the wider community, poetry is reaching out and this is good for all poets and poetry lovers.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

I am ANGRY - What a Crock

I have just come across this objectionable piece of bovine fecal material about the reason why less people read poetry these days. What a crock...

In an address to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs this February, the president of the Poetry Foundation, John Barr, described how the popular poet writing for the common reader essentially disappeared with the advent of Modernism. The 19th-century model of poets publishing in mainstream venues such as newspapers was replaced by the 20th-century model, in which the increasing fragmentation and difficulty of poetry required specialists to discern it, moving it into the college classroom. Today, to call a poem "accessible" is practically an insult, and promotional events like National Poetry Month are derided by many poetry diehards as the reduction of a complex and often deeply private art form to a public spectacle.

John Barr is completely wrong. Many are sick of this insipid, arid, anemic, wish-washy, dishwater served up in academia today.

I am offended as a common writer and reader. I deliberately steered away from post graduate training in poetry just because of people such as John Barr. I want to feel, and live and be a common, as opposed to a college, poet.

Rebels arise and condemn this academic led heresy...

Do such people know about slam poetry, outlaw poetry, the poetry of the streets.. I doubt it.


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Friday, January 18, 2013

Response Poetry

Response poetry is not a new phenomenon. One of the earliest examples is Raleigh's response to Marlowe in the Nymph - Shepherd poems. The playful or veangeful response to another's poetry has been a century's old game.

W. Todd Kaneko (2008) in a paper about response poetry noted some points about writing a response to someones else's poems. For the body around these points click the response poetry link above.

1. Write a reply to the poem.

2. Imitate the form of the poem.

3. Build off a primary metaphor that the poem works from.

4. Steal the first line of the poem.

5. Use a passage as an epigraph.

6. Turn Prose into Verse.

7. Write the opposite of the poem.

I encourage you to read Kaneko's paper to get a fuller explanation along with examples.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Guest Post - Morning Muse

The poem below was written as a challenge and response to my poem Night Time Stealth Poetry. Now I know whose bed the muse jumps into after mine. The poet is Paul Pindis

My Morning Muse

She slips beside me in my bed.
As yet, all others have not stirred.
She plants a kiss that says she’s here,
And once again my mind is hers.

I might attempt to close my eyes,
To hold off thoughts she chose to seed.
One might as well try block the sun
As not pursue what she’s decreed.

The inspiration that she brings,
Like clockwork, every day at dawn,
Will not delay a moment more.
I’m nothing but my muse’s pawn.

A mistress that won’t be denied,
‘Tis folly to think I’d complain.
For with her tasks she brings the gifts
No poet ever would disdain.

And here is my poem being which is being responded to.

Night Time Stealth Poetry

Why is night the time
To vent my spleen
Upon the page?

At night
The stillness creeps
into my consciousness
like a stealthy cat,

Maybe the day is far to real
To allow me
To wander, explore and
Inhabit the place
That lies
Between my mind
and heart.

The place called the
Night Time Stealth and Poetry,


Thanks Paul for rising to the challenge.

I now have a new genre of poetry called response poetry...


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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Poetry App for iPhone and iPad

Hi All

I am plugging the Poetry Foundations application called Poetry which is available for the iPad and iPhone. It has thousands of categorised poems, contemporary and older and when you spin it gives a list of poems across two parameters e.g. 49 poems on BLAME & NATURE (Check out Electrocuting an Elephant); 151 poems on HUMOR and LIFE
and 31 poems on BOREDOM & YOUTH. There are more combinations than I have time to outline in this quick post.

I find that I need to read copious amounts of poetry to keep my own creative juices flowing. A day without poetry is a nightmare.

Check it out and let me know what you think.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Fragments of New Zealand

Barbecues, jandals and the long hot summer
Soaring mountains, clean fast-flowing rivers
virgin bush.

Can do, she'll be right
Yeah right Tui ads.

Kiwis, Kiwi Burgers
Maori and Pakeha
Treaty of Waitangi

Nuclear free, proud of it
and don't forget the
Rainbow Warrior.

Michael Joseph Savage, Norm Kirk, Keith Holoyoake
Gentleman Jack, David Lange and Spud Bolger.

Land of the Long White Cloud.

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A.R Ammons - eclectic poet

Ammons was known as an eclectic poet in his time (he died in 2001).

The New York Times had the following to say:

Typing some of his work on long strips of adding-machine tape, Mr. Ammons wrote more than 25 books of poetry, including ''Garbage,'' a 1993 book-length poem that won him his second National Book Award.

It was one of many prizes that he collected in his long literary career, which he started while in the Navy in World War II. His honors included the Tanning Prize for ''mastery in the art of poetry,'' a MacArthur fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the Frost Medal for Achievement in Poetry Over a Lifetime.

In 1973 he received a National Book Award for his ''Collected Poems: 1951-1971,'' and in 1974 he was awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry of the Yale University Library for ''Sphere: The Form of a Motion.''

It's good to see the re-use of adding-machine tape.

One of his poems called Poetics is reproduced below:

I look for the way
things will turn
out spiraling from a center,
the shape
things will take to come forth in

so that the birch tree white
touched black at branches
will stand out
totally its apparent self:

I look for the forms
things want to come as

from what black wells of possibility,
how a thing will

not the shape on paper -- though
that, too -- but the
uninterfering means on paper:

not so much looking for the shape
as being available
to any shape that may be
summoning itself
through me
from the self not mine but ours.

I particularly liked the phrase, from what black wells of possibility.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Fragments of Oakland

Coffee and the BART
Berkeley and East Oakland
stylish hip dress
and jazz to die for.

Dangerous but bubbling with life
infused with color
and a cacophony of sounds.

The Best Western
Jack London Square
The pub with the sloping floor
on the waterfront.

The bar by the fruit market
Ferry to SF
Gumbo food...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Radical is Good

Complacency sits
with its smug, self-satisfied smirk.
The self righteousness of
death before life.
Give me the razor sharp,
acerbic tongue anytime,
so that I might
squirm in turmoil
and feel alive.

Give me the bearded and pierced radical
with fiery breath
and sworded tongue
The polemic voice
that shatters all of
our comfortable

Live on the edge
and feel the pain
the cold, the hunger
of the poor and dispossessed

Capitalism stinks
Communism stinks
all the isms stink
Bring back the prophet
the bard
the radical
the poet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fragments of England

Snow, the Toon, Newcastle Brown Ale
Trees, parks, pristine fields.
The Underground, Metro and Railways,
Newcastle to London at 6am,
London to Newcastle at 6.05pm.
Castles, walls, history,
Literature, poetry.

Bronte, Woolf, Bloomsbury
Garsington, Sissinghurst,
Monks House, Charleston,
Leonard, Hogarth Press.
London, Birmingham, Nottingham
Hove, Shar, Hooriyah, Soleman.
Seamus, Andre and Yuliya
NUTH, Royal Berkshire.

The Black Swan, Victory
Millstone and Bacchus.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Surround Sound

Wind whispering seductively,
Traffic rumbling
A holiday afternoon
On the sofa of a friend.
By a park
Surrounded by sound,
With wind chimes tinkling,
To the accompaniment of

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Azaria Joy

Bright eyed and inquisitive,
A baby full of life,
Curious explorer, exploring
With eyes and mouth
Hands and skin.

Five months
With the genes
Of manifold

Azaria brings joy.