Archive for memoir

With Respect

Posted in Americana, En Memoriam with tags , , on January 31, 2010 by raindog51

Here’s part of a poem from last year that is currently in Heavy Bear 4 and was previously mentioned in the last post.

The Donna Ramble

When I got the news

I didn’t shed a tear

But got straight to

Work on the dishes

A daunting task

At best

As I had let myself go

To seed

Reduced to just getting by

On a pot, a pan and a bowl

While the sink began to

Look and smell like a

Plane crash in a swamp

So at best

It was ominous work

But it had to be done sometime

And sometime arrived with that

Phone call

I put on some lively radio

And while the sink filled

With hot, bubbly water

I took a hit off the pipe

I was ready

The pile of porcelain and

Blackened metallic things began

To disappear amongst a

Billowing cloud of milky white

Bubbles

I dove in

It was dirty work

But as the job progressed

I found my groove and

Settled into a rhythm

While I was on auto-pilot

I thought about you (not

The generic “you” that

I often think about

While doing the dishes

But you, my dearly departed friend)

I thought about my seeming

Hard-heartedness

How I had no tears for you yet

Maybe you are not dead to me

Maybe you are still going to

Call me back

Maybe I’m mourning you

Over a sink full of metaphors…

(continued at Heavy Bear 4)

Melancholy in B-flat

Posted in Americana with tags , , on December 1, 2009 by raindog51

Try as I might, I just can’t make the jump from casual blogger to daily blogger.  Maybe it’s too time consuming (I am a one-finger typist after all)…answering emails takes me several hours and by the time I’m caught up, I’m also burned out!

Since the last entry, I have been to another reading, this time at the Sacramento Poetry Center with Bill Gainer.  Our hostess, the ever elusive Eskimo Pie Girl of Sacramento Poetry, Arts & Music (that’s right, SPAM), emceed the night with panache.  It was a reasonable sized crowd and I managed to sell four books (thus paying for the gas and part of the car rental)…not bad.

Saw my dad too, but couldn’t make it back up for Thanksgiving, so it was a little bittersweet.  But this was balanced out by my being able to visit with some friends that I hadn’t seen in quite a spell.  That’s what makes these trips worthwhile, otherwise I’d just drive up the day of the reading and drive back the next day…bim, bam, boom! Instead I went to Grass Valley, Shingle Springs (to see Michael Paul and his wife Claudia Licht), drove around the Sierras for a few hours, went to Sacto and then, on the trip home, stopped in Bakersfield to visit Nick Belardes before getting into the rush hour traffic in L.A.

It’s always the full plate with me.

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AND THAT’S THE WAY IT IS

Posted in Americana, En Memoriam, political with tags , , on July 20, 2009 by raindog51

Uncle Walter is dead. He died last week at 92, just short of the 40th anniversary of the original moon walk by my namesake Neil Armstrong. I remember watching that momentous event with my friend, Karen Lang, in ’69.  I had just graduated from High School and was wondering what life had in store for me.  I was waiting for my draft board to decide my fate and there wasn’t room for much hope or optimism, aside from being in love (and even that was fraught with trouble, as I had discovered the month before when my “girlfriend” had dumped me for a college boy…). But that day, for one brief afternoon, there was a break in the storm, a moment in history Continue reading