poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)
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Announcement in Monorhyme

I’m on the brink–
I’m back I think,
And I won’t blink
At scattering ink
Or making a stink—
I’ll never shrink
From rhyme, or link
To folly, or wink
And have a drink
To nothing—
I’m on the brink!

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June 25, 2016   1 Comment

An Old Sonnet, for my Daughter Lee

Old Songs

 

When I got home my wife was gone, and so

I bought a mandolin—eight more strings

To tie me to a world I didn’t know,

In which my daughter’s fenced from me by rings

Of law and fear. Almost the only things

Her mother let us share before the end

Were meals and music. Maybe she still sings

“I’ll Meet You in the Morning” with a friend,

And thinks of me, and remembers how we’d spend

Our Wednesdays with a funny jugband song,

A round, a Scottish air. I could depend

On her to get them right when I was wrong—

Her ear was better. She was eight years old.

What songs we sang when she was mine to hold!

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April 17, 2015   No Comments

Happy Birthday, Lee!

Wherever you are, I hope you’re doing good work and feeling good about yourself.

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April 17, 2015   No Comments

Nothing’s Changed—Nothing’s New

Higgledy-piggledy
Speaker John Boehner must
Kneel to his masters, his
Pants at his knees—

Tea Party hooligans,
Corporate money men,
Bankers and plutocrats
Do as they please.

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November 9, 2014   4 Comments

Hoopla!

I’ve got two poems, an older sonnet and a brand-new sestina up at Halvard Johnson’s Truck. Be sure to check out some of the other poetry there. Anny Ballardini is guest curator for today’s work, and she’s done a great job, if I do say so myself.

Update: I didn’t notice until I saw the sestina posted, but there’s an extra foot in the first line of the last sestet. This fixes it: “Whoever’s there that day to kill the lights,”

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November 3, 2014   1 Comment

This makes me absurdly happy …

We were looking for beer to accompany our Indian takeout tonight, and were disappointed that the liquor store we visited, run by Indian immigrants, had no Indian beers in stock. But they assured us that they would have some very soon, and they did have chocolate peanut butter porter from DuClaw, named Sweet Baby Jesus. We bought it, though we’ll probably find some other place to get some Kingfisher or Taj Mahal for tonight’s meal.

Sweet Baby Jesus!

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March 22, 2014   No Comments

True Colors Revealed

Higgledy-piggledy

Speaker John Boehner now

Bows to his masters, his

Pants at his knees—

 

Tea Party hooligans,

Corporate money men,

Bankers and plutocrats

Do as they please.

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September 28, 2013   No Comments

About Time

For the first time in nearly 2 years I sent out some poems today, and I’ll send more tomorrow to another market.
On another front, my friend Ming Diaz helped me get the humbucker on my Phoenix Jazz mandolin reinstalled today so I’ll be playing it this Friday at Big Larry’s Comic Book Shop in Leonardtown, MD. I want to particularly thank Kent Armstrong, the maker of the pickup, for his generous offer to fix it free of charge if it had failed and for his time re-soldering its connecting wire when the pickup itself checked out OK.

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May 28, 2013   No Comments

Linkedin—you’ve broken your presence on the iPad

First, your app sucks. It’s hard to find anything. Requests for connections don’t appear at all. And now you’ve broken the web site on the iPad also, since no matter how trivial an action I perform, the entire screen fills with an invitation to download the app. Used to be, that if I dismissed the invitation, things would continue as normal on the web site. Now it loses what I was trying to do. Which it also does when I accept the suggestion. If it’s not fixed, I’m leaving.

5/28/13: They fixed it. Hoorah.

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April 1, 2013   No Comments

Starting All Over

Well, not really.

I’ve just started violin lessons. I’ve owned a decent violin for years, but I never played it much, mostly because you actually have to read music to play the thing. It’s not like mandolin (which is tuned the same way), where it’s easy to find tablature which tells you just what fret to use, and in any case there are no frets on a violin so you have to be much more accurate with the left hand and you have to stretch your left hand fingers just a smidgen more than you do on a mandolin. I’m flat all the time except when I overcompensate and go sharp. It feels like starting over.

But when the band died a couple of months ago I found myself with some time and decided to take the plunge and learn to read music by learning to play fiddle. I’m terrible at it, and, without scheduled practices where other people are depending on me, I’m not so good at scheduling the time I thought I’d have for private practice.

I’m not sure it’s a good thing my teacher is patient. I think I could use a few raps on the knuckles with a ruler.

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March 14, 2013   2 Comments