Saturday, March 30, 2013

April is National Poetry Writing Month

Here is another writing exercise that some of you may like to give a whirl.  April is National Poetry Writing Month or, NaPoWriMo.  While I don’t believe it is sponsored by the Office of Letters & Light (the brain trust behind, National Novel Writing Month), I do believe that it has their blessing.  The goal is to write a poem, every day during the month of April.  Here is where you can find all the details:

As the, ‘About’ section explains that, “NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.  NaPoWriMo was founded in 2003, when poet Maureen Thorson decided to take up the challenge (modeled after NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), and challenged other poets to join her. Since then, the number of participants has gotten larger every year, and many writers’ organizations, local, national and even international, organize NaPoWriMo activities.”

A wise carpenter once told me that, “You have to have the right tool for the job.”  This is true with any job – including writing poetry.  I am not going to boor you with a review of iambic pentameter or the difference between a Haiku and an Ode; you can review that for yourself here:  It will help you choose the right tool for the job.  That said, beware.  Poetry is a dangerous thing.  For me it is best when it uses the least amount of words to convey the greatest amount of meaning.  It is raw.  Like the emotions that it represents.  Stark naked and quivering finding its strength by putting one word in front of the next.  Poetry looks into the corners and shins a light.  It helps us to explore these dark places to nurture or to kill whatever may be living there.  It does not have to rhyme nor does it have to have meter – but it must be honest.  It must tell the truth.  Illustrate.  Illuminate.  Poetry; however, can mean different things to different people.  It becomes truly dangerous when it means something to you. 

Case in point, Charles Bukowski, in his collection of poems, “Love is a Dog From Hell”, could have told you about a woman that he is in love with.  He could have said that her behavior is just this side of normal at times but that he is captivated by her.  He could say that her passion, her soul is honest and true but instead he wrote…

…she’s mad but she’s magic, there is no lie in her fire.

That’s dangerous.  That’s real.  In those two sentences from, “An Almost Made Up Poem”, Bukowski illustrates not only the truth about her but also a truth about himself.  He is in love with this woman and he says so in these two beautifully crafted lines.  It illustrates the raw truth & emotion that a well-crafted line can evoke.

So, am I in?  I’m thinking seriously about it.  If I decide to press onward then I will only do so for myself.  As I have already established, poetry is dangerous and while I am pretty much an open book there is some writing that is just for me.  Poems are like that.  It’s just less hazardous that way.

April, it appears, is shaping up to be a dangerous month.  As always, misery loves company, if you’re in welcome to the madness.  If not, I understand.  It is dangerous work.

“Danger’s my middle name.” – Austin Powers

Happy Easter

"He is risen.  He is risen, indeed."

Happy Easter, Gentle Reader.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Meteors & Dash-Cams

A meteor flashed across the skies of South Jersey last night.  Actually, it was seen from Delaware up to New York.  I’ve read reports that speak of an orange trail and a burning green streaking by down into the tree line.  I missed it.  The eastern seaboard isn’t Russia and I don’t expect there to be all that many videos.  I do not know why the Russians had so many dash-cams but I am now seriously thinking about getting one.  This will be good if a Yeti crosses my path or for the next meteor / visitor from another world who decides to show up while no one is looking. 

Come to think of it, why did the Russians have so many dash-cams when the meteor hit there on 2/15/13?  As per the Washington Post’s article, “Why are there so many dash-cam videos of the meteor?” which can be found here:  Why?  “Answer: to prove who was at fault in car accidents.”  Apparently, driving is a bit more… adventurous in Russia and there are loads of scams, hit & runs, and the roads aren’t safe… 

You know what.  This could just as easily be American roads.  True story.  Before Christmas, 2012, I was a passenger in a van.  The vehicle was being driven responsibly; however a guy in a pickup truck decided that he didn’t like us.  He pulled in front of us and slammed on his breaks in an attempt to teach us some twisted life-lesson by attempting to kill us.  The tires squealed and people’s bodies strained against seatbelts.  I got out my cell phone to take a picture of the pickup truck’s license plate but my cell phone was too slow.  The hero of the day made a sharp turn and disappeared.  He could have just as easily been fleeing from the scene of an accident that he would have caused.  Here is a picture of the truck that almost killed us:

I firmly believe that the Russians are onto something here.  It’s simply a matter of time that dash-cams become standard equipment.  I’d do it.  I’d do it and live feed it.  With all the road-rage out there on the American Mad Max highways at least there would be a “Black Box”, so to speak if I couldn’t.  Further still, I would do it because it would have a tendency to keep people honest.  After an adjustment period of people realizing that their words & actions mean things some semblance of accountability could be enforced and, maybe – just maybe, people would become more responsible.

Why would I get one?  Well, for the simple conclusion that the Russians have arrived at; I DON’T TRUST YOU.  I do not trust anyone on the roads.   Most of the time I can see it coming – some idiot with a head full of bad wiring, that guy trying to assert some sort of dominance over every other driver on the road, the person who must by any means necessary teach the other drivers of the world a lesson, the passing on the shoulder guy, the bully who has to get home to beat his significant other, the person who does things because they’ve never been called on it before/yet, the guy with “nothing to lose”, the ass directly on my bumper, that guy with the plastic hanging testicles from his trailer hitch, the drunks, the texters, the distracted, anyone selfish enough to put their fleeting whims up against other people’s lives.  You may or may not know who you are but the fact remains, I DON’T TRUST YOU.  I never have.  You’re not responsible for yourself so how can I possibly believe you’ll be responsible with the lives of other people?  I can’t.    

As it turns out, I don’t trust me either.  I suppose looking out for both of us makes me a more careful driver.  I tell my girls that you can be doing everything right, obeying the laws, the speed limit, the wisdom of common sense and still become collateral damage for some selfish mouth breather with a drool cup who simply does not care about anyone or anything.  It would be fine if they only killed or maimed themselves but the fact is that’s not how it happens; they take others with them.  Fox Mulder from, The X-Files was right when he said, “Trust no one”.  While driving this is the best policy.

Please, please, please, be careful out there, Gentle Reader.  It’s not a race.  It’s not some vendetta on the highway and if it is pull over, count to ten, and let it go. 

Life is too short & too precious. 

Until such time, I stand with the Russians.  Besides, there is a Yeti out there I’m trying to film.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Edison VS Tesla!

And now, an Epic Rap Battle between Edison & Tesla!

Spoilers... I'm pro-Tesla.