Kindle Garden

Before I get to the Kindle here the ‘real’ books I’m currently reading: brother to brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men ed Essex Hemphill (1988). I bought this re-issue as it is the only Hemphill in print. I did attempt to get his out-of-print poetry collection but it got lost in the mail & I had no way to prove that & so lost the $ I paid for it 😦 Anyway this is an excellent collection. Sadly some of the racism that black gay men experienced then is still happening. The chapters on HIV are heartbreaking & brought back memories of may work in palliative care.

I’m working this the box in Brick Books 50 books for $30.00 offer. I alternate one of those with the Whitman on my Kindle. I now reading monkey ranch – Julie Bruck. Excellent contemporary poetry. I loved this deal but at the same time it reveals the financial rewards of being a published poet. 

My kindle presently has Escape From Baghdad! – Saad Z. Hassain Set in Baghdad during the US invasion. It feature religious fanatics, mercenaries, occultists, soldiers & an ancient watch that doesn’t tell time. Gritty, no one can be trusted. The ‘science’ around the watch is more compelling than the ‘war’ elements. I enjoy the setting but so many shifting characters, shifting allegiances it gets a bit confusing.

Looming Low Vol. 1 – ed Justin Steele & Sam Cowan. This is an amazing collection of eerie short stories. Atmosphere over gore can’t be beat. Simple off-kilter setups lead through multilayered stories. The old Twilight Zone influence only adds to the power of these stories. Highly recommend. 

Complete Poems – Walt Whitman. Who knew Walt wrote so much! I was somewhat familiar with Leaves of Grass – but that about 10% of what he produced. I try to read a certain % of it then alternate it with something else. 

I also am working though: 12 Books – Steven Leacock; Complete Fiction – H.P. Lovecraft & 120 Bonus Poe stories; Slavery: Not Forgiven, Never Forgotten; Complete Works: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Works of Hall Caine; Complete Works: Emile Zola; The Ultimate Collection: novels & essays Mary Shelly; 51 Classic Works: Mark Twain; The Complete Works of Bram Stoker.

The Leacock & Twain are delight. Lovecraft good in limited doses. Slavery is a massive set of writing by early Black writers: poetry, novels, biographies. Doyle gets a bit dry with his historic romances. I read about Hall Caine in a biography of Bram Stoker. Hall was, at one time, the best selling novelist in the British Isles & a known homosexual, so I had to read him – very much of the period. As is Stoker’s fiction which gets a bit dry one the blood sucking stops. Zola is a writing God & one of my inspirations. Mary Shelly is interesting enough but is also caught up by literary styles conventions of her time.

Collections from Story Bundle one of World SciFi novels & anthologies & one of horror/ghost novels & anthologies. Seeing the future by non-North Americanized eyes is worth the effort. Some of these are the closest I get to reading contemporary fiction, as well, other than the occasional novel I’ve downloaded written by friends.

cerise

Your Eyes

what color are your eyes

really 

you know that’s my favorite color

honestly

well not really

I guess my favorite color is 

a sort of cerise

<>

you know the red of sherry 

when you spill it on an off white rug

just as it soaks in a little

I love that red

can’t get enough of it

<>

though I do really like the contrast 

of a suddenly spurt of blood 

on newly fallen snow

blood warm enough to melt sink

clotted crimson in a thin gleam of ice

that is a sweet color too

<>

or the tinge of a bruise after the third day

when the blue black is ebbing out

to that green blush along the edges

till finally it becomes as faint 

as a finger print on a knife hilt

or a the kiss of a rose 

trodden underfoot in a muddy field

after the police have searched for days

looking for clues

the dark deep brown of fresh dug earth

or ground recently patted down

to a sort of smooth quality

like skin untouched for a year or so

dried in the corner of a basement

who knew Aunt Sally was down there

we thought she had gone back to Florida]

<>

I love the color of her eyes

what was left of them anyway

a beige blackened

with whites jellied dried pink rose petals

<>

so I love the color of your eyes

yes that has to be nearly 

my favorite color in the whole wide world

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Abundance

Week 6 of the Artist’s Way is about abundance/money. One of AA’s promises is ‘the fear of money & economic insecurity will leave us’ – the trick being the word ‘fear’  as ‘economic insecurity’ never leaves us – just ask Trump about his tax returns & his fear flares up instantly. I’ve rarely heard anyone say they have too much money or that the money that they have makes them all that secure. Money can’t buy you happiness but it can get you a decent therapist.

As with the other weeks there are lots of lists to make. Here’s one of mine: silver cloud rolls royce; spaniel; lilacs; maple pecan ices cream; kiwi; cauliflower; bbq ribs & bake potato; endless list; red. Can you guess what this is a list of? In some ways this list a challenge because some of the items where areas of my life I that aren’t very relevant.

The artists dates have not been going someplace but cleaning neglected nooks & closets in my house & making discoveries. Caches of photos from 1973; rough drafts of early novels; old notebooks; boxes old bandages (do they expire? I tossed them regardless). An abundance memory, dust & paper-clips. Letting go of that stuff has become easier creating an abundance of space, space I’ll not to refill.

The Way doesn’t really address the culture of materialism – in which having enough is seen settling for less. Compulsive consumers are seen as the key to progress – so one wants to be unblocked creatively in order to make more money to keep the wheels of progress turning. In the USA now there are people who see social distancing impeding progress. I guess money $ for the funeral industry is actually a good thing.

One thing I did do that created an instant sense of too much & wow! was indulging in a sale that Brick Books is having – a box of 50 poetry books for $30. Mine arrived this past week & I was amazed. The books average at 18.00 each – which is $900.00 worth of books. Then I reflected on the nature of becoming a published poet & was saddened. https://www.brickbooks.ca/30-for-a-box-of-books-sale/ . But what won’t keep me from enjoying the books. Guess what my friends are getting for Christmas 🙂

My Luck

when I tell people

I’m lucky to be alive today

they react as if I’m over-reacting

because in many ways

my life has been a breeze

I didn’t suffer any physical 

sexual 

emotional 

abuse growing up

never went hungry

my parents never divorced

so what do I have to complain about

 

it’s not that I’m complaining

merely making a statement of fact

I’m lucky to alive

that was a time

when gay teens 

were put into institutions 

to be cured

given shock treatment

lobotomies

behaviour modification

so they could be normal 

gender conforming

boys & girls

 

what saved my life 

was music

music never judged you

never waited outside school 

to beat you up

didn’t tell on you

didn’t turn away

when you searched album covers

for inspiration in words

in the tight pants of lead guitarists

or the sturdy arms of drummers

mooning over Keith Moon

 

never knowing anything 

about their lives

maybe if I had known 

Jim Morrison 

was really a backdoor man

Moon was a bi guy

I might have had a glimmer

of hope 

 

but even though they had talent

fame 

that allowed them freedom

but not enough to be out

careers would have been ruined

and when the music was over

they self-destructed

I was lucky to be alive

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

nothing thanks to covid19 😦

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet