Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on Kickstarter!

Grace of God and raise your arms…Flood!

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So we had a flood – and thought it was a good time to have a craw boil, Nawlins style….

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Potatoes, 10 minutes; Chicken thighs, 5 minutes; Corn 3 minutes (after return to rolling boil); crawdads, 3 minutes; Shrimp 3 minutes; sausage (what the hell!). And finished off with Peychaud-laden (five dashes!) Manhattans (actually, at that point, frick! – might as well call them Birminghams!). Then cigars and port wine and conversation. Not a bad way to face the flood.

And her hallway moves
Like the ocean moves
And her hallway moves
Like the sea
Like the sea
She says “no, no, no, no harm will come your way”
She says “bring it on down, bring on the wave”
She says “nobody done no harm”
Grace of God and raise your arms
She says “face it and it’s a place to stay”
This, this is the way it was
This, this is the way it is
When the water come rushing, rushing in
She says
She says “anytime”
Raise your arms
Flood
And her hallway
Like…Like…Like a million voices call my name
Like a million voices calling
Not now, not never again…
Sitting here, now in this bar for hours
Strange men rent strange flowers
Seconds to…

One day in New Ionia or Tennessee, as the case may be…

straightlinedef

Do you read? Do you read? Are you in trouble? How did you get in trouble? If you are in trouble, have you sought help? If you did, did help come? If it did, did you accept it? Are you out of trouble? What is the character of your consciousness? Are you conscious? Do you have a self? Do you know who you are? Do you know what you are doing? Do you love? Do you know how to love? Are you loved? Do you hate? Do you read me? Come back. Repeat. Come back. Come back. Come back.

(CHECK ONE)

Four-olive Martini: A Minor Drama, Last Call

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Your eyes are drained as sapphires lost in blue
And ice. The frown your face is wearing tells
An adequate counterpoint to the tap
Of painted nails now playing up and down
A crystal stem. What is holding me from you
Maintains for us our several separate hells.
Our share in the punishment—your sullen lip
Against the rim, my olive quarto on
A cocktail spike—each rings as clear and true
As Gordon’s and diamonds (or Seagram’s and pearls).
Delivering the sudden burning sip—
The winter sting that splits us skin from bone—
“To each our own!” I say, and know it’s false
But wish to cut the crap with a little gin.

BREAKING: Wisconsin Marshmallow Farms Report Bumper Crop

What? Did you think they grew on trees?

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marshmallow farm cropped 1

marshmallow farm cropped 2

Early reports indicate that the graham cracker harvest will be equally vigorous this year—although no world yet on how the chocolate season will fare – it all depends on whether the cocoa fish will be as plentiful this year (last year they suffered from a caramel blight, reducing the total intake of chocolate oil for processing).

Film at eleven.

Does Anything Rhyme with “Nobel”?

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When I first received this Nobel Prize for Literature, I got to wondering exactly how my songs related to literature. I wanted to reflect on it and see where the connection was. I’m going to try to articulate that to you. And most likely it will go in a roundabout way, but I hope what I say will be worthwhile and purposeful.

To Arena

to arena

            Corpus mortale tumultus
Non tulit aetherios donisque iugalibus arsit.

                        – Ovid

That day the beach crept up on us,
The tide a sideshow of seashells,
We began our sunburn early,
Soaked in warm beer against curly
Sails, a regatta of tassels
Thrown to a chalky blue chalice

Of sky. We drank and drank it in,
Your eyes going crazy with thirst
And whispering about your art.
I sought to touch your skin to sort
Out my feelings. Worse came to worst
And you dozed off mid-sentence, slain

By cervezas, college finals
And sand-strewn immortality:
So California left its mark—
White underbelly of a shark.
The running surf made us dizzy
As it swirled beneath us, runnels

That heralded a tidal wave.
Except it never came. Instead
Your white one-piece provoked a flush
Desire upon your slumber. The flash
Of flesh, your tapering thighs, fed
My eyes, a hurt longing that drove

Me out well past the surf. Earth’s curve
Swallowed up a ship to its mast,
And swam me to shore to search for
More than Crusoe’s evidence, more
Than Friday’s footprints…. I lost
You in the crowd—and lost my nerve

When I found the beach blanket bare—
As if you’d been absorbed and left
No farewell, except sun and shade
That marked your place. With sunset tide
As my witness, the shifting sift
Of sand had scattered you anywhere.

Oriole

oriole audubon

For SW-D, on her birthday

What pleasant crudities this May extends
Beyond the riddled weeds of latent spring—
Its azure heaven plays it coy and lends
Its crush to underbrush. A lightning wing
Ignites the fire-crack of smoky buds—
Now rendered aureate as Christmas trees.
Each second’s inch of fluted branch eludes—
Detains—and spills with orange melodies.

The spring in flood resolves its snag in nests
Among the greening limbs. A throbbing tune
Converts dactylics into anapests.
Staccato notes that span the Yucatan
Now reach with gumbo-limbo limbs that soar
And dive with arils big as Baltimore.

Five Tanka for Creation

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Ὅταν οὖν τι σῶμα κατὰ μηδὲν ἐξαλλάττηται
τῶν προϋπαρχόντων, ἡσυχάζειν αὐτό φαμεν…. -Galen

1
Photosynthesis
Before there was anything
To kiss or embrace,
Before our bed was warm with
Your soil or my seed — hunger.

2
Caress of plasma,
Hydrogen and helium —
Touches my face as
My giddy hands graze your thighs,
Heaven’s dizzying columns.

3
Tectonic spangle
Of plates on the lithosphere;
Your soft surf of breasts
Against my trembling shoreline;
You alone, tsunami’s love.

4
The original
Hertzsprung-Russell diagram,
This random order
Constellates your dark features;
Your fuse burns a comet’s tail.

5
Trout scales, clade branches,
Ascend in rainbow patterns —
Your body pulses
Shallows beneath coral cliffs;
Your eyes glitter dark, seaward.

6
Eukaryotic—
The foundation of all flesh,
Dante’s (h)O-M-O
Draws me to your deepest earth —
Creative, an act of love.

7
The cool part of day,
A sort of post-coital
Tristesse setting in;
For you walk in my garden—
So perfect, so incomplete.

May Day

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on the Occasion of the Marriage of Peter and Lauren

I
Lay by a sense of time, in all the works
And days that harvest out your bonds of earth
Under stars that will sift and shift like sparks
Resplendent, ever new as things that birth
Engenders deep within this bloom of May.
Now take again what time’s plenty bestows
And pluck this fifth-month day. Let no decay
Negate the moment. Build instead the rose
Deep as the hottest blessings of the sun:
Proposals are preludes to all the things
Enlightened in the asking. There’s but one
That gives an answer, shaded in songs
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring
Recalled in time: Lauren and Peter’s song.

II
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring,
The world has put its ear to earth, a kiss
Recalled in time: Lauren and Peter’s song

Is played with strings that circle squares. We bring
Our bodies to the dance, our souls in place,
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring.

But which among our million moments ring
The clocks to bring us round and feel the trace
Recalled in time? Lauren and Peter’s song.

The wine is pure, the bread is everything
That calls us to witness what will suffice,
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring.

The kiss that makes a mutual language sing.
So yours and yours becomes a single space
Recalled in time. Lauren and Peter’s song

Will play on — God bless and earth avow — these strong
And willing partner to a strident grace
Exclaiming May the Sixth, a day in spring
Recalled in time: Lauren and Peter’s song.

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KORREKTIV 2017 POETRY CONTEST WINNERS

Thank you all for participating in this year’s sonnet contest. Suffice it to say everyone was up for the challenge who submitted and suffice it to say that it wasn’t an easy decision to make regarding the winners. (Judges always say it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.)

First, here are the three Honorable Mentions – in no particular order.

Rose Thorn

Within the night’s expiring hour we lie,
Together, still yet sundered as by miles –
Unwitting, was it word or deed that I
Unfolded too ungently, joy defiled?
Tis true, they say: that every blooming rose
Doth hide beneath its blush the piercing thorn –
That every swain who guards the ambling cows
Singeth sorrow to the beckoning morn.
I feed my love upon thy favorite song –
The minstrel says that love is but a game
An easy guest, who bids farewell ere long –
And wonder, hath he entertained such pain?
And in my heart I know: thou’d not have fled
If this in time might I to thee have said.

Poison, “Every Rose Has its Thorn” – By Rebecca Bratten Weiss

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oops beer again

This sin I do to you in shame confess
That made thee sure this more than friendship be
And knowing not thy poor heart’s sweet distress
Did’st yet again make light of constancy
If now I can beweep thy outcast state
Mine own love’s strength thus to subside
No prayerful petition could abate
The wilting of what hidden in me lied
You played with me, thus I with thee dids’t play
And from thy catechizing looks I learn’d
By rote the bookish glances that today
Your gull’d heart thinks it has by spending earn’d
Forgive me for bending thy thoughts in pain
O cold conclusion! I did it again

Britney Spears, “Oops!… I Did It Again” – by Roguish O’Leary

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mercury beer

At dawn when I arise the sun to greet
With forbidding dread its sovereign eye,
And tread my course with ever-failing feet,
My heavy soul doth seem content to die.
I hie me to the glass to there confer
With mine own visage, who cries out perforce
To heaven, and, as weeping boughs of myrrh,
The bitt’rest tears his pleas to thus endorse.
O, Lord, thou knowest well I have kept faith
With thee, this long and empty run of years,
Though weary time hast made of me a wraith,
Love’s ledger sadly fallen in arrears.
And so, I crave a boon from Thee above,
Canst Thou not find me somebody to love?

–Freddie Mercury, “Somebody To Love” – Courtney F.

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beatkees

Third Place:

Should I conceal myself ‘neath bluebird wing
As she gives song, and should the bird of dawn
Forsake his office – what a glorious thing!
Alas, he calls. I rise, I blink, I yawn.
I hie myself unto the lavat’ry
To shave. The razor, like ingratitude,
Is cold, and like a sometime friend gone by,
It stings; yet gladsome is my attitude.
Thou thought me once a brave and horsed knight
In habit white, but since discover’d me
A man, no more; an ordinary wight
Who spends not money, but good times with thee.
O be ye blithe and merry, sleepy Jean!
Believe thy daydreams, my homecoming queen!

The Monkees, “Daydream Believer” (written by John Stewart) – Father Richard Libby

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ain't no mountain

Second Place:

Recall when I emancipated thee
Thy trust in me thou could’st enumerate
I vowed that day to ever faithful be,
If thou should wist, in somewise be there straight.

Nor wind nor rain nor winters bitter cold
Mayst stop me if you feel yourself travailed
Thou art my destination and my goal
E’en if I’m cabined, cribbed, confined, assailed.
My love lives in the chapter of my bosom
Though miles might keep us both so far apart
If e’er thou need’st a hand to help thy dorsum
To answer in the method of the heart…

No mountain’s high enough, no valle so low
No rill so wide enough to keep me from you.

–“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye – William Lasseter

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can't get no...

First Place:

Alas, no satisfaction cans’t I receive
Though the attempt repeatedly I make
Whilst rambling in horseless carriage, without reprieve
Some gentleman drones counsel I shan’t take
Say I, I cannot find contentedness
Though heartily do I endeavor more
The flashing box promotes dementedness
Of a launderer whose tobacco I abhor
Again, bereft, unsatisfied, I cry
Whilst I bemoan the maid with eyes so fair
Who to answer my entreaty doth deny
Even a fleeting glance with me to share
Cheerfulness eludeth me ever
In delight I shall indulge myself never

-The Rolling Stones “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” – Karen Ullo

Congratulations to All the Winners and Many Thanks for those who participated!

And Happy Shakespeare Day!

p.s. I will be contacting the winners soon to find out where to send their prizes!