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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Charles Bukowski and Me

Once again, I offer up a poem against all copyright laws. But I can’t help myself. Here’s a poem from Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way, by Charles Bukowski. His words are rough and I love them. My response to his poem and then the revision to my response (just posted today - 3/28) appears after.

so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in

there is no other way.

and there never was.


And from me – after reading CB:

empty status

entrails ooze out slowly.
i stare from the great distance between my guts and brain.

the booze bottle is empty and still
i am tortured.

words on a page.
words in the air.

there is no repressing them.

they demand a full hearing.
no matter how deadening,
how dull.
no matter how empty.
like the booze bottle
with just the faint scent of gin.
and a few, stale drops lingering at the bottom.

and the revision:

i stare at the great distance between guts and brain

the booze bottle is empty and still
i am tortured

words on a page
in the air
in my head
floundering on my tongue and
the tips of my fingers

there is no repressing them

they demand a full hearing
no matter how deadening
how dull
no matter how empty

like the booze bottle
with just the faint scent of gin
and a few stale drops lingering at the bottom

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Wave That Flag Wide and High For Freedom, Justice, and the American Way

Was it just a few short weeks ago that I said to a friend at least McCain is against waterboarding, against torture?


Now McCain supports Bush’s veto of the bill banning waterboarding, claiming, in essence, that although it’s not right, nor just, nor ethical, nor appropriate for the military to use torture techniques (techniques which McCain himself endured as a POW), it IS certainly permissible for the CIA to use those techniques. Or rather, not be limited to the Army’s roster of acceptable torture practices (waterboarding is not on the list).

And it was just yesterday that I told me stepmum that although I didn’t like McCain, at least I wouldn’t be embarrassed if he was my president.

Yeah, right.

Waterboarding – a technique favored by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Burmese government. Gosh, the US sure does know how to pick its bedfellows, eh? .Ain’t ya proud? Let’s all stand up for the red, white, and blue. Wave that flag wide and high as a beacon of freedom and justice.

In the meantime, the Dems continue to shoot themselves in the foot with bickering, and a show down over delegates looms in the offing.

I despair. There is no hope for U.S.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

39 Questions

How would you answer?

1. Were you named after anyone?
2. When was the last time you cried?
Approximately 1 year and 3 months ago
3. What is your favorite lunch meat?
Roast beef.
4. Do you have kids?
5. Do you use sarcasm?
6. Gallows humor?
7. Do you still have your tonsils?
8. Would you bungee jump?
No. But I might parachute from an airplane.
9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
10. What are you most afraid of?
Becoming mentally incompetent when I’m old (not remembering who my children
11. Do you think you are strong?
12. What is your favorite ice cream?
Chocolate. No, make that Heath Bar Coffee Crunch. Wait, I mean coffee. No,
I’ll stick with chocolate.
13. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Voice, facial expressions, hands
14. Red or pink?
15. Who do you miss the most?
My parents.
16. North or south? East or west?
North. West.
17. What are you looking forward to in 2008?
Summer vacation and the general election.
18. What are you listening to right now?
The quiet of my apartment of a Thursday morning.
19. What did you watch on TV last night?
20. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
A man from New York.
21. What is your favorite sound?
Laughter.A bat hitting a ball out of the ballpark. A ball landing with a thud
in the catcher's mitt. And the sound of a man who cares for me calling me
sweetheart, or darling, or babe, or sweetie pie, or angel.
22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
23. What is your favorite smell?
Rosemary. Rain. Ocean.
24. What sport do you like to watch the most?
25. Favorite food?
Almost all of ’em.
26. Scary movies or happy endings?
Happy endings.
27. What is the last movie you watched?
Shenandoah with James Stewart.
28. Summer or winter?
29. Hugs or kisses?
30. Favorite dessert?
Crème brulee. Chocolate anything.
31. What book are you reading now?
Atonement. Spoken Word Revolution. Women Word Warriors. Check the Rhyme.
32. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Beatles. But ultimately – The Grateful Dead.
33. Heath Ledger or John Wayne?
34. Beethoven or Bach?
Neither – what about Vivaldi?
35. Where were you born?
36. Do you have a special talent?
37. What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?
Halfway around the world.
38. What is your favorite time of day?
Sunrise and sunset. Moonrise.
39. Beach or mountains?