Friday, December 29, 2006


I am always interested in how some people are open and honest and some are closed and, well, not exactly dishonest, but always behind a screen whether one of formality, culture, family conditioning, or other forms of being closed. What makes the difference? What makes the difference to even think about whether you are open or closed. I always wonder when someone says, "Let me be honest with you..." If you are not open and honest do you expect your creative work will be open and honest? In any art, what attracts people is the open honesty. Most of everything else is just show.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Xclsv, Iclsv.

Before considering any concept on poetry, approach the concept as to whether it is inclusive or exclusive. In easier words, does the concept allow for more of whatever is written to be considered poetry or less of what is written to be considered poetry. In the study of poetry, only consider what is exclusive, and ignore the rest.

Do you really want to be a termite?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No Such Thing as Poetry

There is no such thing as poetry. There is only the person who writes the poem. The poetry is the person. Poetry does not stand alone without the person. It takes a long time to agree with this concept. But the concept gets convoluted: poets think that if the poem is full of their own self--that something poetical will come out of it. Seldom does a poem so full of its author as subject become a poem.

Poetry is the person.

Picture; Who says suburbia isn't beautiful?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Number of Poets

There are a number of poets I read and at present watch for their names. So tell me what to do: I usually hang back and don't comment much for fear of saying something wrong that offends--because poets do seem to lack ego training. I recently read a poem by a poet I respect, who is knowledgeable, skilled, and so forth, and I can understand their frustration at their own lack of recognition (anywhere, although widely published) [frustration at not getting 'respect'--in other words--the response is muted praise, convivial generalities, deathly marks of mediocrity]--and so, I read a piece by this poet, and I can see their effort, but as I read I want to puke, which is a strong reaction, I know, but for goodness sake: when I can delineate the fraudulent tones, the obvious fake push for poignancy, the wooo-wooo singing from a branch, what do I do? Ah! Keep silent! Of course. Unless you have a better idea.

So often poets are afraid to speak up--which is the same effect in corporate America: speak up and you instantly become an outsider, a danger. What little ant colonies we live in. Imagine everyone speaking up and saying what they think--uh oh.

But wait----isn't that what poetry is for?

Saturday, December 09, 2006


I've had a lot of fun in not being, may I say, positive toward most poetry. I dispense, disparingly, a dearth of praise. So some have thought me negative: an actual negative person. "I am not negative," I maintain. Every ten or fifteen years I come across one decent poem.**

Name the most recent classical composer of symphonies.
Name a living artist who is alive and great today.
There aren't many anywhere, and the same is true for poetry. Yet if one mingles with poets, there seem to be a multitude of poets who are great, right there, all around.

**Well, more than that. But I am trying to make a point on the pattern, not the exception. The exception to the rule does not disprove the rule.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Chili's Theory: customers don't know.

I went to a Chili's once, and was so disgusted by the fake food, the wierd windowless atmosphere and the zombies slurping down the junky garbage they think is human nutrition and a lovely dinner, that I've never been again. That was over 30 years ago.

If a poem needs interpretation to be understood, begin to question. So many poems are simply fawning elaborations on the poet's own self or 'tremendous powers of observation.' Sure, observation is important and is to be a part of poetry, but when all it does is offer up the 'poet as poet' there is nothing there but 'yuck as yuck.'

If you have a poem you have written and there is no 'golden line' in the poem, no truly outstanding single sentence, begin to question the validity of the effort. Strings of phrases, prosey 'but then the' and lists of non-relatable objects stuffed into faux stanzas do not a poem make.

One single memorable golden line. Do you have one? Which one is it? Underline it. Study it. Say it outloud. Is it poetry or is it prose in costume? Hundreds of modern poets have written a dozen books and yet there is not one good line. The first thing a phoney will say is, "Why does a poem have to have one good line, or any criteria at all? Why can't poetry just be whatever the poet wants or what the reader wants?"

This is like saying why can't everyone in the world be rich? Do you think rich people are going to dig the ditch where the water pipe comes into your house? So if you plan on writing forgetable poetry, avoid good lines.

Eat fake food, write fake poetry.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Dog Goes Prancing

Sometimes, just before the sun goes down, a dog goes prancing by on his evening walk, his head held high, maybe chasing something.


Some poetry seems to be 'throw away' poetry. You read it once and don't really want to read it again. Other poetry gets read over and over, across years as well. So what is the difference?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh please, tear the house down.

Am I the only person who thinks these poets, for the most part, sound 'pretentious?' Can anyone else hear the last vestiges of the Victorian era? Why do poets think that suddenly when they write poetry all these fake tones are supposed to pop up and interfere with the usual sense of things?

Click Here

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Virtual Read

The 'Virtual Read' is mostly done, about 15 pictures more to go. Test it out if you will, and any feed back is appreciated.
Visit and Click "Virtual Read" on the left.
Or here

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Virtual Reading

Coming soon to a computer near you, a virtual reading experience, read all the poems in Virtual White Orchids, my only in print book, on the web! No need to buy anything! Poetry should be free.

Each page will be photographed and visible, as if you are there reading it yourself! Ah, there is nothing like taking time to read a poetry book, through lunch and the evening!

Watch here for when it is available, and wait for the surprises! Next week!

An international on the internet first!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


The missing element on the charts is the element of time. We live without much regard to the fact that not far above our heads is the edge of space, and small planets passing by. I look out there every day. Do you?

Saturday, October 21, 2006


You never know what is going to happen next. There is nothing more difficult than dealing with an individual who does not bring all their thoughts to the surface and express them, but is tied to subconscious traumas and psuedo means to resolve unconscious snags and patterns. It is so tiresome, energy draining and a waste of life.

Life is to be a form of art, not unconscious bibble-babble, like most poetry today.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Almost a Year

I have been working on one poem almost a year. Twelve lines. It has also been a very busy year, doing other things, the things that are fun but don't make any difference. Everyone wants to make a difference.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dawn the other day as I opened the front door.

Not So Interesting

If the poem you are writing has you yourself as the end result, however interesting you think your opinion or view is to the world, put the poem back in the drawer. The reader doesn't want to know about you, the reader wants to know about how to get along in life better, how to see things more clearly, and so forth. And you, you are probably not so interesting, that is, if the subject is always you.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Every few months I get myself in a situation by which I am terribly confused and/or it is tangled up in some complicated manner, so much so that I need advice. But where can one get advice these days? Everyone knows the catch: if you need financial advice ask a financial planner--but if the financial advisor knew anything, he wouldn't be wasting his time being a financial planner except to his friends, and who takes financial advice from a friend? So where does one get advice about ones own artwork in progress? If a poet needs advice he will end up talking to practicing poets and practicing poets can't see anything objectively, so, there is no advice except some sort of background noise guidance. But I have advice for poets. If the poem you are working on about is about you, stop writing the poem.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Few subjects, many subjects

I once heard that there are few subjects for poems. Love and death. Well, everything we do we do for love. After doing what we do to survive. But then, there are an infinite number of little awareness items to joyfully ponder, that is, inbetween surviving and love, which often can be the same thing. Stingray at Sea World a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Poetry blogs everywhere, not one about poetry. I read poetry blogs whenever I can, but can't find any that talk about poetry. Just schedules, meetings, announcements, stuff, general stuff. Not much different than the poems I read.

WELL TOM, that's the way people are. Most people are concerned with their immediate world, since they have to be concerned with their immediate world.

If you don't have something to say, don't put it in a poem.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Main Street



True Light

Out in the midwest, an evening shindig as the last of the light fades. Half a dozen musicians sing songs and play tunes, and the locals come out and sit their chairs on the bricks of main street. True light, very close the marked geographic center of the US.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Now a-days, every time I listen to poets talk, I am shocked by how much they want to belong. They really want to belong to a group or class or something. Imagine Van Gogh or Picasso or Frost squabbling to belong to some group full of wanna-bees, old women and old men blithering on about stuff they know.

NOW TOM, everyone wants to belong and to be understood by their peers. Who else really understands them? In the poetry world, the audience is made of people who write poetry themselves, thus the group is formed whether or not anyone chooses to be a part or not. Relax, be friends with the people who even have the least inclination to appreciate similar values in any art field.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


There is an old rule: if you are negative, people won't like you. Therefore, it is better to be positive and praise everything, then you will be liked. Human nature simply thinks in this manner. It is a sort of mob effect. Everyone wants to be liked.

What to do? Just try not to draw anyone's fire. What poet said that?

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Poets do exhibit personality trait patterns. The first is arrogance. This remarkable trait has several major functions, such as to cover over insecurity and mediocrity. Arrogance hides behind politically correct signposts: the poet will not explain their art, they act unapproachable, and they 'network' which means they praise others to get praise back. Another form of hidden arrogance is exposed by listening to the substructure of their expressions; this is very subtle: they talk 'inclusively' rather than 'exclusively.' True creativity by nature is exclusive. But if one can't be creative, well, one might as well be included, so they put on their party hat and say, Look at me! I'm a poet!

I probably sound like an old sourpuss.

Some watch TV, some stay up all night,
their keyboard struck with lines of blue moonlight.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Classic, Contemporary

It seems only poets read poetry. However curious, the general public does not read poetry. At least not on a regular basis. There doesn't seem to be any classical thinking when I read contemporary poets, everything is, well, contemporary, and usually the poem seems to be art-therapy of some sort for the poet, not the reader.

Art to be art must be classical. One more poem about the dead uncle's hat found in the closet and...nothing.
Contemporary becomes classical? Oh, sure, but what level are we on? Let's stay on a high level. Class struggles, religious wars, and culture inequities are not of raised consciousness. Classical essence is to create how the future can be considered and seen, not how the past or present is considered or seen.

When you write, write for the future. If I said this before here, sorry.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


There is a need for good worthwhile poetry, and it seems the poetry world, if there is one, seems to be heading off in some downward, away from aesthetic principle (not creating new ones to the objections of the old schools) and toward nothingness.
I read all the major journals today and I don't even want to read another one when it comes in the mail.

I am always amazed that todays trend of poetry, and there are trends, tend to not have anything poetical within the subject of the poem. Once all the trappings of the form are taken away, what is left is some weird garbage-thought, or something packed full of snooty irony, or some dumb half-thought. Why would I want to read anything like the stuff packed into lit mags these days?

I wonder if the truth is that the writers can't actually think of anything worthwhile to say? If you can't draw, scribble.

However, possibly it is best not to say anything: if you do, people will object.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I've been away, sort of away from art, and to family. I gave no resistance.
What interests me in the process of coming back, reading what people write about poetry, is how much is pure ego. I can't believe how much of what people write is ego.
When you write, leave your ego behind.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

No Matter What

No matter what you do, no matter how long you do it, you must get away from it awhile--that is, sooner or later. Only by getting away can anything be seen clearly.
Sleep is the food of genius, and rest is the friend to art.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The View

See the sunset view below? The house sold for $445,000 at auction. The state appraisal is $373,000. We were there with our miserable little bidder card and hopeless wish, and so were many others. The same house without the view would be $195,000-$210,000. So how much is the view worth? Sunsets over water are for sale. So many things that used to be free become expensive in a crowded world. Poetry is now crowding the world. What to do? Where is the value system? What is it all about? When is the last time you read a poem that had and still has an impact on your life? Has any poem changed direction in your life?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Flower Light

An old pen and ink drawing.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Poetry Equals Time

Nice view. Views like this are expensive. Is it worth working really hard to have a view like this? Writing a poem is really expensive, too. The time taken to write a poem is time not doing something else. If the hours to write a poem are added up, say, twenty hours, how much was spent in writing that poem? How much is twenty hours sitting around the house? Add up the mortgage, the bills, the phone, the electric, the internet, all of it, and if you want to write five more poems this month, it is a lot of time. Poetry equals time.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

On the Wire

All the poetry world today seems to be little factions divided into groups, each group a network of people who work together to be a part of something bigger and better in the poetry world. Members tend to be belongers, and nestle themselves on telephone wires between telephone poles, rustling their feathers, being cozy, praising the weather.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Some see the door knob, some see the sun a million miles away.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Personal Peek at the Universe

Our own personal peek at evening and the universe. Our silly dribbling words, do they match nature--not that words are supposed to match or be nature, but is there ever a link between our words and this rare little sphere in space? A poet needs to be a nature poet. What else is there? Malls and international politics? There must ten thousand poems about war, and only a handful of poems as to why women are interesting unto themselves, apart from any man.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


The great wonder of living is how to tell someone what you think and not offend them. The photo above is a pretty sunset. But supppose who took the picture thought it was a great photo, a work of art? Then what? Make nice sounds and walk away slowly, but what if the photographer is your friend and they are deluded? Don't you want to help? There is no easy answer, each person being different. How many people do you know who are specifically interested to know the truth in all things?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Chair, Pen and Notebook

If you are not writing, you are not doing anything. Of course, if you are not doing your art, your music, your driving of your racecar or sailing your sailboat, etc.

Monday, April 17, 2006

We live on very thin threads of chance.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

One thing is for certain; follow one blog and it leads to more and so on and so on. There must be millions of blogs, all clamoring to supposedly be heard, like the poems. Right now, at this moment, there might be one million people in the USA typing on their blogs. Amazing. Is it fair to ask a question such as, of all the people, poets, in this case, blogging, writing poems, who will matter soon? I just read a few poems in a 1918 edition of the Literary Digest, and all of it would be considered laughable by all today. Quaint tripe. What popular poets will be tripe tomorrow? It is hard to tell.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


What we see takes a while to see. Off to the left, in the chrome rim, is a dot--not near the edge. It sits there, in the middle of high tech and metal and flashy steel and glass. It is the moon overhead.

Monday, April 10, 2006 my two eyes....

Everything you do you do for money. Sounds awful, but it isn't. It is all amusing.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Such a Blue-Collar Worker

Today I worked. I went all the way downtown and bought some 'wheel stops,' which are those things at the end of parking spaces so your car won't bump into things like a post or a building. So I brought five home, painted them bright yellow, and then took them out to a building, and started installing them. Each one is 200 lbs. I had to measure, drill, caulk, shim, and sledge hammer the rebar, two in each. Then I cut limbs off trees in back of the building. Then I got out the weed-trimmer.

Why all the detail? It's fun to do labor, every poet knows. To be humble puts the abstracted poet back on earth. Weight, materials, tools, tape measures.

On the way home I had three ideas in my notebook. Ideas, or themes, substance, interest.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Sure! Advertising. Never thought I'd do it, but I thought it would be fun. Four or five years from now, I might get a check for a $100.00. I told Suzie to make reservations at any fine dining restaurant.
Quick, somebody click that poetry contest one.


In any art, the main basis from which the art goes forward is integrity, which could be a catch-all for many other words and ideas. If an artwork does not have clearly understandable continuity, it has no integrity. What is integrity? I have been most concerned with this since teenage years for some reason. Apparently, not the only one. Merriam Webster:

Saturday, April 01, 2006


So, the question is why don't the poets talk about poetry? Where is the deep analysis of the writing? Either the poets don't have any idea of what they are doing, or they don't want to spill their secrets, or they don't want to give away the tricks of the trade. Maybe there aren't any. Maybe it is like movie stars: either they have it or they don't.
So, poets, write down on one piece of paper all your golden lines, the lines that make you a poet. Are they any good? Is it poetry? Either you know or you don't.

Friday, March 31, 2006

I wonder

I've been reading as many blogs as I have been able to recently, and as usual, I focus on blogs by poets. I wonder of the process by which most of the blogging done by the poet bloggers is not about poetry. Just the usual stuff. If a poet is not focused on the writing, the art goes backward, and fast.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sometimes, what can be said? I showed this once to someone who I didn't think knew me at all, and he said, rather quickly, "I know who that is. I know what this is about." I was very surprised. One of the workings of art is to help people discover how they feel about things, how they want to feel, or should have felt, or should not have felt, so many variations. This is not the same thing as telling someone how to feel. Dance for someone, dance for yourself, you are liked. Tell someone how to dance, and they don't like you. The art of art.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The only great encumbrance to creativity is the time factor. And the capacity to be driven beyond what many others might think is uncomfortable. Today I listened to a woman salesperson lie to two of her buyers for about 10 minutes. People seem to have no limit to how much they will lie to one another. How was this woman lying? She was, in essence, saying to them, I really don't want to waste my time with you today, so you go do all the research, and when you are ready to buy, call me, so it will be a more efficient way for me to make money, regardless of what you buy. I am always interested in how people, who basically consider themselves good people, become different when it comes to making money. This leads to the great question of all time: why aren't people honest with each other all the time, to all people?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Some people like to argue and some don't. I've been arguing now for years, and still no one listens to me. Arguing doesn't do any good. People come around or they don't or they keep their ideas and don't want or need to change. You know all this. But there's nothing wrong with a little humor.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Was there ever such a world for you? How sad it is I am at an age to look back and see what I have missed. At least I learn what I have missed, and know the difference now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Everything you can hear.

Here you go. Internet radio stations, a list.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This is in Luling, Texas, a small town about an hour out of San Antonio. This is part of the old town center, where the railway still goes through the center of the town. Many of the storefronts are empty, although a few establishments prosper and some try with little coffee shops and hair salons.

The light here, with the sun low and near the horizon, as any photographer knows, has minutes to go before it is gone, and I am jumping as fast as I can to get twenty or more shots of the street as I can, before the light is gone.

I'll post a few more, dear imaginary viewer.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Learning to see is learning to unsee.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Small single events change life in drastic ways. Sometimes I feel I am barrelling down the road, trying to steer by balancing the barrel through traffic and away from cliffs, and, quite often, between dishonest men on one side and inept men on the other.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sometimes, there is hardly time to slow down and notice the workings of earth, the little blue globe floating in space.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I used to draw like this. Hundreds and hundreds of pen and inks. I have no idea where I found the time to do it.

Yes, I do. No family, no car, no job, no money, no friends, no TV, no radio, no computer. I didn't have anything else to do.

Maybe I should rethink things.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sometimes it is hard to find beauty anywhere in the bustle of the suburban world I live in. So, I try to stop and smell the shopping carts.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Early in the morning, ah, the New York Times before me and a thermos of coffee. I live in a kind of heaven. Don't you?

Sure you do.

If you don't, why not?

If you can't see the poem before you, put the pen away.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006


The kind of artwork in a house
expresses coded values on the walls.
If garish paintings show a hasty prowess,
and every slap-dash scribble begs applause,
a guest intuits trendy fashion laws.
If coffee table magazines sell treasure-
official replicas complete with tacky flaws-
the clods will never note a crucial measure
and rather pay for sport and dumb-downed pleasure.

So, who will skip the small-talk trough,
avoid the icky raves of passing leisure
and pull the abject, jerky abstracts off
presumptive walls, art not worth a dime,
and speak an honest face to worthwhile time?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Always a vision on the dashboard of life. Full tank, ready to go. Look where others are not. Watch where you are going. Zero miles an hour. Get ready. Set. Go!

What else is there to do while in traffic?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I've been thinking about something, old and new, which I could hardly bring up beforehand to people I know, peers in the poetry fields. I guess it is better just to do something than talk about it, whether or not it works or not.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Poem

The Digital Clock

The digital clock is in the fireplace.
Electronic works keep steady time;
the overlapped numbers drain the hours,
count down minutes, blip the seconds.

To put the clock in a proper place,
an empty wall or a clear shelf,
between dire projects and burning goals,
is too much trouble to trouble time.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The back wall of a Starbucks

So many things look great in the early morning light.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I think this is a scene from a movie. Everyone knows who this is, and my point is that there are thousands of faces I have looked at and somehow this face is memorable. I don't know the politics of Che, and I haven't read anything about him. Your face, your art? The Greeks say you make your face by forty.

Think I'll let my hair grow long.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Until next year.

Christmas is over.

Two fatties working off the lard.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Everything is where you look, what direction. I heard this once: sit next to a friend; speak out loud what you see for a minute or two, then the other person does the same.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Today is an odd sad day. I had asked someone to be a partner in an experimental business model and today they said, "oh, I'll be able to get around to something next week." That is the end of that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

At the Office

Well, sometimes I don't read it. I take a picture of it and read the paper later. When you read the newspaper a week or so later, you already know what is going to happen with current events, so it is a form of time travel. It also saves time.

This is the scene of people driving to work. I don't actually have a job, but I often drive down to Starbucks and read the New York Times. On rare occasions, there is something interesting in the paper.