B-sides and Backslides

Guess what I received in the mail today all the way from Singapore…

This book was sent to me by a lovely lady named Damyanti Biswas whose blog Daily (w)rite  focuses on subjects of far greater import than mine.  She’s also a acclaimed author whose work seems to span many genres.  And (as if that wasn’t enough) she is the force behind We Are The World, in Darkness, be Light, a group of bloggers from around the world who inspire to restore faith in humanity through stories of hope. 

From time to time, Damyanti also hosts guest bloggers.  Recently the title of one of those guest posts caught my eye.  Dear Writer: Are you a Good Scavenger?  Here’s a teaser:

Conversations overheard and snatched. Tying down the balloons of scattered thoughts. Finding a wry insight into an unusual sight. Turning over an image for a pun. Decoupling couplets. Allowing a rhythm to run rings round your head.

They’re the poetic equivalent of doodling, writing exercises you do to limber up. – Felix Cheong

At last, I thought,  another writer for whom a cafe is a place to eavesdrop!  Another writer who sees a stranger on the bus and can’t help imagining where they’re going and why.  I responded that I when I scavenge thusly, I feel like a vampire wantonly taking what is not mine. I guess he liked that comment because Damyanti sent me an autographed copy of his book (with a very nice note from her).

B-sides and Backslides is a collection of poems which Mr. Cheong wrote between 1986 and 2018 and put on the back burner.  We all have those pieces we’re sure aren’t good enough. But we can’t quite throw them away because either we may be wrong or because we hope at some point to have the wisdom and skill to figure out what they’re missing.  And so with that in mind, Mr. Cheong has “remastered” his early pieces “for contemporary consumption, complete with my own version of liner (linear) notes.” 

(don’t know what this hashtag means though, do you?)

Anyway, thank you Damyanti and Felix!  I’m sure I will enjoy the read!

Mom Saying Goodbye

I was going to blog about the best cars to buy to survive the coming Zombie Apocalypse but then a friend of mine sent me this beautiful poem which seems much more appropriate for this Memorial Day weekend.  Those of us with elderly parents can easily relate.


Mom Saying Goodbye
by Carol Teltschick 

I call my mother everyday
California to Texas
We talk and laugh

Around and in between the spaces
of a disease in her brain
We talk and laugh

Of things she knows but can’t remember
We know she loves
We talk

I remind her she combed lice
From my hair for
hours

My hair was thick her hands grew tired
Always home for the daughter
who traveled to wild places

Still so much easier than
hanging up a phone
today

How do I turn this thing off, honey? What do I do with it now?
Ok, that’s the end of it.  Do I push anything down? Does it go there?

It’s always something going. I don’t know why.
We’ve got to get this thing going down.

Honey, can you help me? Gosh, she sounds so sweet.  I have to get it…

She’s gone? She’s gone.
Ok, it’s bye…

California to Texas: expect delays and alternate routes
We talk and laugh
With love

Morro Bay, March 2019

On a Fine Day

On a fine day,
I took a walk in the hills with a friend.

Someone I’ve known for a long time and with whom
I’ve shared many ups and downs.

We even dated the same fellow and
worked at various times for each other
which is the true test of any friendship
and there were times, ah yes, many times. . .
I was sure our friendship was no more.

Offshore a storm was posed to strike
one rumored to slowly pass and drench the hills,
and flood the coast.
But we did not talk about the weather.
Only of the silly things,
the frogs in a nearby pond frozen to silence
by the loudness of her laugh.
Frogs are shy, don’t you know?
The way horses read your feelings
(through your butt bones).
And our adventures with cannabis,
now that it is legal.

And we ended as we always do,
finding it hard to say goodbye.

Goodbye 2015

Eileen

Christmas will never be the same without this lovely and fun lady!

I did not end the year with a list of bests and worsts; nor did I start the new one with resolutions. There are reasons why, of course, but let me just say 2015 provided a lot of challenges and brought many tears to those in my family. I am not lying or trying to gain brownie points when I say that you, my blogging buddies, have been a bright spot in an otherwise difficult year.

Goodbye2015

Goodbye and good riddance 2015!

As a thank you I’mddduke.128.625110 posting a poem by Duke Miller who regular readers will recognize as my reclusive, social media hating buddy down in old Mexico. This poem, along with a group of others he’s currently working on, is from his WIP Spider In My Mouth.
For fans of his work, I’ll post them under the Poems tab at the top of this screen.


 

poem

i’m trying to redefine cringe
as a good feeling
by shaving the contours of my eyeballs
into the shape of a big wooden door key hole
the gold kind with rust that frames little old ladies
dead and unattended
sitting in rocking chairs
i’m having trouble
my friends tell me to stop
but i can’t
the rocking chair is on lay-away
and i don’t want to lose my deposit


How about you?  Happy to see 2015 in the past?