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5021. arkymalarky - 6/25/2003 10:54:30 PM

I'll pass your remarks along Rick. He'll really appreciate them.

I think he's all politics and uses it to get the right on his side. But, that's nothin'.

Dealing with that on the state level too makes it doubly frustrating.

5022. RickNelson - 7/4/2003 12:12:12 AM

Canopied Path:

That squirrels dance through the branches
somehow making them more alive.
Limbs full of leaves move in the wind
and the sky behind adds depth perception.
As many make their way into gardens,
I look to treed paths and the canopy.
When I hear the crunch of pebbled
or wood-chipped paths under my boots,
I feel more alive. My movement adds
to the noises above. There are special,
poignant moments during such times.
For example the sun may suddenly
appear from behind clouds and
the rays shoot down through the
canopy. Then the sun and moving leaves
create hypnotic movement. I peer through
the glistening movement for birds and squirrels.
When the small red ones move, my heart
jumps just a bit. These are somehow
important to me, and for no apparent

I was small once and felt different. One
feels that way from time to time. Out here,
alone on a canopied foot path, being small
takes on new meaning. Letting what is be
and what might be out of the equation.
It’s just now, and with reverence, I open
my little notebook and write .

Inspired by Billy Collins via the Fallible Fiend (in Slate). Good Ol' Billy was on the t.v. with Charlie Rose the other day. Damn he's good!

5023. RickNelson - 7/4/2003 12:36:19 AM

Hey! I see a few Moties about. I suppose you might have popped in and read this and others.

Stop and give me a note. Or Seamus or Macnas too. There've been some good poems during this lean time.

I like the one I just wrote and I want to know if others like it or not. Drop me a note.

5024. NuPlanetOne - 7/5/2003 4:03:21 PM


Well, and you should like ‘Canopied Path.’ That is solid. You moved through it and never strayed. No fillers, and nothing wasted. You have always been a work in progress, my friend, and I have had doubts, I will admit, but I feel with that one, you are at a nice level. Do you feel it?

Anyway, I have been absent as always, not even lurking. The nice thing is though, that aside from seeing you reach a point where putting the words together is finally coming naturally, I am quite pleased to check back in and find that our mutual friend seamus didn’t just drop in with his usual encouragement or good tidings. Seamus, you old dog, that São Paulo piece is just marvelous! All of it, well designed. It is nice, at least, even though we are not here often, that we are working at trying to make the ideas, obtuse or otherwise, come alive. I’m drinking to that!

5025. NuPlanetOne - 7/5/2003 4:04:09 PM


These Things

I must agree, that our beginnings
And endings appear to be unique
That our collection of cells, smells
Sights and sounds, recollection
In a conscious way, the ability to say
To wonder, to try to explain, to pray
These things, and our blind empathy
With a universe, perhaps wholly alien
Yet made of the same stuff, it brings
Me to clichéd conclusions, full of fluff
The usual suspected illusions, the grand
And expected delusions, repackaged
Algorithmic denials, the false hopes
Or eureka pained smiles, all symphonized
By digitally perpetuating files. What
Else to call the universe, but our own
I swat a bug because it annoys me. I hug
The icon so that nothing destroys me. I chug
Along like a car in the train and I refrain
From circumspection, that upon intense
Inspection, these things, are, one definable
Continuum. And so I morph into oblivion
Into the obvious, like ants or bees, those
Clichés hung on trees, all alive in a hive
In a line with a purpose with a point. Yes,
Having a point is our purpose. It ought never
Be proved that life is meaningless, we are alive
And death is beside the point.

5026. RickNelson - 7/5/2003 11:24:28 PM


Thanks my friend! This one does give me that feeling. You're praise adds volumns to my well being around it.

Then you grace us with another poem, alive and to the point.
Damn you're talented! I just happen to mention you, cigarlaw and Hashke' to Seamus' post to 'Canopied Path' poem in Slate's P-Fray. You've strong influence with me. I wish you all the best, always.

I've been busy in Slate's P-Fray, and I was inspired as I said by a Billy Collins style poem by The Fallible Fiend.

I've some long-winded sharing to relate also. (Smiling, and thinking how others will think about me being long-winded). I'm the epitome of long-winded.

5027. RickNelson - 7/5/2003 11:24:55 PM

So, without more ado here is Linda Patson's: 'Cousins'

COUSINS by Linda Pastan

We meet at funerals
every few years – another star
in the constellation of our family
put out – and even in that failing
light we look completely
different, completely the same.
"What are you doing now?"
we ask each other. "How
have you been?" At these times
the past is more palpable
than our children waiting
at home or the wives and husbands tugging
at our sleeves. "Remember…?"
we ask, "Remember the time…?"
And laughter is as painful
as if our ribs had secret
cracks in them.
Our childhoods remain
only in the sharp bones
of our noses, the shape
of our eyes, the way our genes call out
to each other in the high-pitched notes
that only kin can hear.
How much of memory
is imagination? And if loss
is an absence, why does it grow
so heavy? These are the questions
we mean when we ask: "Where
are you living now?" or
"How old is your youngest?"
Sometimes I feel the grief
of these occasions swell
in me until I become
an instrument in which language rises
like music. But all
that the others can hear
is my strangled voice calling
"Goodbye …" calling
"Keep in touch…"
with the kind of sound
a bagpipe makes, its bellows heaving,
and even its marching music funereal.

And then my related prose:

5028. RickNelson - 7/5/2003 11:25:36 PM

I must first speak to "Cousins" by Linda Patson.

It probes my heart and my psyche. How I want to know all about those who are connected to me. It's akin to my heartbeat, always palpable.

For example, my long absent cousin who played bass for Vixen, her oldest brother and family, and her other elder brother who has passed away. The family he created is also to know and my aunt and uncle, now frail. Then my mother’s younger sister passed away not long ago, how I hated to have her die! I miss contact with her three children, but one of them is doing some contact, and some is better than none. None is what I get from the California cousins. Man! I hate that. But, I've seen their father and mother on a few reunions in the 90's.

Furthermore, missing those who've passed goes without saying. But, missing those I've barely met, one aunt, whose hateful and abusive husband and son don't allow her to participate in anything drives me to distraction. I would literally punch them to death if I had my way. So violent I can be when my family is threatened. These two, these imbecile humans, treat my mother’s sister like dirt and that her son is directly related by our genetics wouldn't stop me from smashing him to bits. He and the fists that caused so much hurt.

Lastly, my dear cousins whose mother, my aunt just passed. How I want to be around them, how it hurts not to be. All this on my mother’s side.


5029. RickNelson - 7/5/2003 11:25:50 PM

Somehow, on my dad’s side I am more in tune. No, it's not somehow, I know how to be with them. They are around and they want to be around. Therefore I am around. It's not like my mother whose aloof attitude toward a lot of her kin causes so much distance. My mother angers me for this attitude. Hurt or not, just get the fuck over it! My dad hasn't been the dad most know, but I'm getting over it. I must and I am doing the best I can. I want to see him and we do. I get to know all his cousins too. See, it's like that on his side. So, when a Nelson passes, I cry and cry.

When the maternal side passes away, with the exception of my maternal grandmother and my mom's youngest sister (I cannot stand their absences), I've not known my connection to those others as well.

All this is with me and I know it. Then considering Linda’s poem, I can address the notion of commonality. I’m reading that she knows me, that then lead to my knowing her. So, thanks extended human family for being like me.

5030. RickNelson - 7/5/2003 11:51:29 PM

There is some significant news out of New Jersey.

Amiri Baraka has been fired as Poet Laurette. I've not read the article, but I welcome ideas about his approach to Isreal, poetry, attitude and how he was ousted.


Read what Amiri says about it here

5031. judithathome - 7/5/2003 11:53:47 PM

I thought someone named Billy Collins was Poet Laureate?

5032. judithathome - 7/5/2003 11:56:02 PM

Ah, I see Mr. Collins is US Poet Laureate and Mr. Baraka is New Jersey's.

5033. RickNelson - 7/6/2003 12:14:00 AM

Yes both have the status, Collins I aspire to with style, and Amiri is having trouble expressing himself.

Amiri's political slant has gotten negative reaction from the powers of N.J.

Joy-zzeee don't want no Baraka slamming politics.

Ha, what did they think would happen?


5034. judithathome - 7/6/2003 12:20:36 AM

Well, I thought the position was to promote poetry, not one's political beliefs.

5035. wonkers2 - 7/6/2003 2:32:20 AM

Sometimes it's impossible to separate the two. Probably so in Baraka's case.

5036. RickNelson - 7/6/2003 10:54:29 PM

With his first amendment rights in question, I am looking for an answer to where he was specifically prohibited from speaking? If this happened then his rights are violated. If it did not, then as he mentions in the link I provided, there me be some straw he can grab to find N.J. at fault. It's not good enough though.

He got fired, they have that right. He lost a mass venue that hurts his ability to diseminate his poetry and message. That alone isn't a violation of his rights. The consideration of his job is the reason. He was gainfully employed and his employer fired him via something they meant to reproach him. That seems a violation, but it's not unless they stopped him from and organized speech for which he missed via the firing. I need to know this, I must know this or I cannot support Amiri!

I have to know!

5037. RickNelson - 7/8/2003 10:09:51 AM

Nostalgia fans might remember Robert Pinsky in the Fray

I've still not learned the truth about Amiri Baraka.

5038. RickNelson - 7/8/2003 10:12:24 AM

This link does not contain the break of the other link, so visit the old Fray and Robert Pinsky

5039. NuPlanetOne - 7/10/2003 3:44:03 AM


Confessions of an Athiest: Or, how the
angels saved an overheated puppy panting
on the beach.

I want to talk about a warm summer’s day
About the way the late morning sun has begun
To heat the surface of things and how it brings
Out the bees and the butterflies and how it fries
The asphalt and sand that scorches the soles like
Coals or torches but warms the tidal pool as if
Only to cool the feet of swarms of smiling children
And how at noon it is so soon very hot and there
Is not a wisp of wind but instead just a lisp, a faint
Murmur as if some invisible being walked slowly
By and gently disturbed the air or this angel out of
Fear tried to fan a panting puppy by flapping its
Wings and how the blue so pure against the white
Of fluffy soft clouds can make the wishes of night
Feel possible and give a fleeting glimpse, a moment’s
Sight to something larger and perhaps a contrite
Pang that it is a life worth living that bathed in the
Light and warmth a need for giving can swell up
And bad thoughts that could smell up the air become


5040. NuPlanetOne - 7/10/2003 3:44:25 AM

Clear and less odious and easily ignored as a steady
Breeze now begins to awaken as if now all the angels
Had forsaken their heavenly nap and began to flap
Their wings in unison because such a day can trap
A belief in angels and allow it to linger and push doubt
And despair to a distance so that to compare the two
You must choose the miracle and as I foreswear such
A choice to the heavens I let a sand crab crawl across
My foot and sigh as I try to hold the moment and deny
That I ever, at least I never, refused to listen or lie
About our magical existence as on this day as I lay
Awash in the sway of a brilliant sun’s persistence
I did not pray, yet, gone, was my unfailing resistance!
And to say I believe in nothing, is to miss my deeper belief
It is like saying angels can’t save puppies or that good
Must end in grief.

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