FOR THE WRITER IN YOU[R LIFE]
LIFE’S A BITCH
This is a poem that isn’t
But probably it could
Even though it shouldn’t
And even if it were
It more than likely wouldn’t
So, I was thinking (yes, I understand the risks)…
But, I was thinking, just imagine if each of the 25,109 and growing followers of this humble site were to donate just $1.00 to help me fund my film LEAVE…
Just imagine how much that would be!
Keep in mind that I am a product of the United States public school system, and that, by design, my higher level degrees have absolutely nothing to do with math, so my calculations may be a bit suspect…
But I believe that if every one of the 25,109 followers were to donate $1.00 to help me fund my film, that would come to the heavenly financial figure of… [finger cipher]…
Now that there would be a whole lotta of cheeze and it would help me in a whole lotta ways in realizing my cinematic dream called LEAVE.
Now, I’m a practical man (not!), and I know all 25,109 of you donating $1.00 each to support my dream is an impossible expectation…
But, let’s consider what you get here for free 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year non-stop and in perpetuity for as long as our pretty yet petulant planet revolves around the sun that may help motivate you towards donating that $1.00…
You get to publish your work to the RELATING TO HUMANS feature…
You get the IABS&R…
You get occasional “PRO-TIPS”…
You get LITERARY ZEN…
You get ARTWORK?…
You get HUMOR…
You get HEALTH advice…
You get MOTIVATIONAL ADVICE…
And you get so much more.
But, even with all this free stuff created just for you forever floating around here, I understand that my hope of everyone donating even just $1.00 is an impossible expectation.
But then again…
AND SO IS THE TRIBE WINNING THE WORLD SERIES!
BUT IT’S THE YEAR OF “BELIEVELAND” BABY!
THIS YEAR, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
WHICH MEANS, WITH YOUR HELP
LEAVE IS POSSIBLE!
Too much, right?
Sorry ’bout that…
Please donate what you can, if you can, my friends >> BELIEVE IN LEAVE.
So… yeah. I’ve been having some chemo brain issues for quite a while now and I’m in search of interesting ways to build up my brain muscle to counter these “cognitive disorder” side-effects, as my neurologist so neatly calls them.
I’ve never been a board game – or any game for that matter – kind of guy, but I’ve read and I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that board games do help with one’s focus and clarity issues.
And I found this:
As you can see, it tags itself as “A party game for horrible people.” And while I don’t feel that I’m all that horrible, after reading a few of the many thousands of reviews, it does seem like a game that would appeal to my interests.
Does that make me so horrible?
That was rhetorical.
Which brings me to the point of this pointy post…
Research, with you being my source information.
Have you played the game? And if so, what do you think of it? Is it fun? Challenging? Stoopid? Do you feel you have a stronger brain because of your playing it?
And don’t worry, just because you played the game doesn’t mean I will judge you as a horrible person.
I will, however, admire your courage for admitting it.
Still confused about the whole “me” or “I” thing, I see.
Listen, just slapping “I” in every sentence where there is a need for a pronoun for you isn’t going to make you seem smarter, my friend.
It will make you seem just the opposite to those who know the rules…
So what is the rule when it comes to “me” versus “I” usage?
Grammatically speaking, when you are the subject of a sentence, use “I.” When you are the object of a sentence, use “me.”
Yeah, I know… so what that means for you and me in plain English/American:
Simply take out the other name(s), noun(s), or pronoun(s) listed in the sentence with you and use whichever pronoun for you (I or me) you would normally use in the same sentence without them.
A copy was given to Rick, Steve, and (me/I).
Copy is the subject. The people are the objects.
Without Rick and Steve in the sentence we would easily know to say:
A copy was given to me.
So, the correct sentence would read:
A copy was given to Rick, Steve, and me.
Betty, Jane, and (me/I) are going to the library.
The three people are the subjects.
Without Betty and Jane, we of course would say:
I am going to the library.
So, the correct sentence would read:
Betty, Jane, and I are going to the library.
Piece of cake, right?
Of course it is. But that means you’ll have think (to do the grammar math) first before you speak so that may continue to cause you/us some problems.
Follow this simple grammar hack and you and me will get along just fine, my friend.
I would like to thank Author Vivian Biro for donating to help me make my movie. It really means so much to me that others are willing to support a dream of mine in such tangible ways.
Please help me thank Vivian by visiting with her at her website, by purchasing her debut novel, and, by all means, letting her know what you think of her writing by sharing an Amazon Review.
And I tell you what, this April Fools’ Day Joke of hers is hilarious and completely genius. Check it out…
WARNING: This post attempts to make a bit of humor over various religions’ garb requirements
When I joined the US Navy in 1983, sailors were still allowed to wear beards. However, with the military, prompted by the dictates of its Cold War Warrior Commander-in-Chief and President Ronald Reagan, in a fast-paced process of snapping out of its ragtag and drug-laden Vietnam
War Police Conflict low-standards hangover, the navy outlawed full beards in 1984.
After which, many o’ Old Salts requested to Go Ashore permanently, as they would rather quit or retire from service than retire their beards.
I was just a young “Boot Camp” of a wog at the time who could barely grow even a little patch of peach fuzz let alone a full beard, but I still remember how passionate my Senior Chief was about keeping his beard.
And this passion of his and other bearded Old Salts like him was stirred simply over a style choice and tradition, so I can only imagine how one must feel about the importance of keeping one’s beard as a religious requirement, which is exactly the passion three enlisted servicemembers who are of the Sikh religion must be feeling right now as they petition the military for exemptions to be allowed to wear their religion-required beards and turbans.
Sikh Army enlistees file lawsuit seeking beard, turban exemptions: https://t.co/NlJtdmXmDT
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) March 31, 2016
If I remember correctly, I believe the primary reason the Navy gave for no longer allowing full beards was that they did not allow for the proper donning of gas masks, which created a health and military readiness risk. Another, and probably a more driving reason, was that beards did not allow for the professional military appearance that the Top Brass was striving for.
My position on this has evolved over the years, as it has on many social issues.
Now I’m like, meh… the military makes many exceptions for many situations so why not these?
For example, many servicemembers are allowed to wear beards under a doctor’s order. This is common when, typically a male, is prone to get in-grown hairs from having to shave his face so often.
And as for turbans and other religious requirements…
Now, I’ll admit, all the various grooming and wardrobe requirements that all our various religions place upon us is, in my opinion…
I mean, c’mon. All the goofy hats the Pope wears (hence the sarcastic saying in response to a obvious/stoopid question: Does the Pope wear a goofy hat?) is enough to outfit a circus show, not to mention all the goofy hats all the other religious leaders and religious wannabes insist on wearing.
CLICK THE IMAGE FOR ATTRIBUTION
Obviously I’m a bit skeptical about any religion that requires one to dress a certain way in order worship its god, so obviously I sympathize with the military and its position of restraint when allowing exemptions for, what I’m sure are way too many, all of the various religions’ various garb requirements and impositions.
Besides, the military, and especially the navy, is doing just fine with all its goofy hat requirements, as is evidenced by the hat that young “Boot Camp” of a wog who can barely grow even a patch of peach fuzz for a beard is wearing in that ancient picture on found on the sidebar…
However, as our nation is, and is quickly becoming much more, diverse, I can foresee it becoming harder and harder for the military to not allow for more and more exemptions in the future.
Besides, doesn’t this Royal Air Force officer look striking and professional in his militarily accommodating military garb?
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?
…and the Sailor ducked.
Ba dum bump!
Okay, just a couple of quick announcements while I’ve got your attention.
I am overwhelmed with happiness and joy now that it is Spring, and because of all the wonderful submissions we’ve received to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature in celebration of Women’s History Month. We still have a week or so to go for #WHM2016 and I am still posting to the blog all submissions received to the feature.
If you’re not sure what all this Relating to Humans stuff is all about. I attempt to explain it all here.
All RTH submissions received prior to 2016 have been moved to the RTH Archives. There is a lot of compelling reading to be found there so check it out if you have a chance.
Aurelius, Zeno, and I are vibing to some Nine Inch Nails Ghost I-IV right now, in case you were wondering.
Anyway… With just about all RTH past submissions now archived, that means there is a lot of white space for you to post your work.
We all know that the early bird gets the best spot where all the book worms like to hang out, if you know what I mean… So submit early and submit often, but only submit one article or piece at a time per feature. If you want to submit something new to a feature that you already have something submitted to, let me know and I’ll archive the old so you can share with us the new.
From now through the summer months, I plan/hope to be heavily involved with the raising of funds and then the production of my short film LEAVE out in Los Angeles. Fingers crossed.
Consequently, I am not going to have as much time to spend writing stuff here for you to read, hence the awkward necessity of this awkwardness. Consequently, I am going to be looking to your submissions to the various RTH features to pull from and post to the blog. Consequently, I am going to need you all to post a lot of compelling and awareness-raising stuff up there for me to pull from. Consequently, I am going to be adding even more features for you to submit your work to.
Can you dig it?
I’m thinking new features such as: “Health Issues,” (notice how I put that comma before the closing quotes? strange how we do it that way here in ‘Merica (prounounced: mur/e/ka) when our good friends across The Pond would put them outside the closing quotes… isn’t life wonderful with all its little peculiarities like that? though, in actuality, since I’ve now added this interesting – at least to me – parenthetical aside, I guess the comma really should go after the closing parenthesis… oh well. my blog my (broken) rules.), “Criminal Justice Issues,” and although I’m a bit hesitant about this one because I’m not totally convinced it fits comfortably with the other features but we’ll see how it goes… “Relationship Issues.”
I am going to ask/require that all human-related creative submissions, such as poetry as the primary example, be submitted only to its designated creative artsy-type feature. In other words, please submit your poems, photography, flash fiction, etc. only to its specific feature. In other words, all poems submitted to the “Women’s Issues” feature will be moved to the “Poetry” feature. To me it will be more interesting to read poetry or any other pieces submitted to the artsy-fartsy type features that cover many diverse, human-related topics in one feature. In other words, I hope I didn’t confuse you as much as I just confused myself.
April is “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” so, unfortunately, there may be opportunities to speak to that very unfortunate and sadly big issue.
Let’s start identifying “Trigger Warnings” where applicable, please. I think for a place like this those are a crucial necessity.
So… that’s about it. Please start submitting away and I will move all the submissions that move me to the blog so they can move all of us into a broader, more compassionate understanding of all that’s going on in and all around this pretty yet petulant planet of ours that we all can and do and must relate to because like it or not we are all humans and we are ultimately all related.
One last thing!
Have you considered donating a buck* or two to help me get my short film off the ground? If you do, I will help you promote your book, your project, or a cause your most passionate about. You can learn how here.
And if you’re a Newsletter Love subscriber, I’ll promote your work to our dedicated, and growing, newsletter group, as well.
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, vote for Trump… or stumble headfirst into bars.
For pain will surely ensue if they do.
To enlarge, click the image.
To read the article, click here.
If I had a bit more courage and a lot more scholarship, I would have discussed the similarities and differences between a haiku poem and a senryū poem in the introduction of my newly released book of poetry Short Verses & Other Curses: Haiku, Senryū, Tanka & Other Poetic, Artistic, & Photographic Miscellany. However, seeing that I am woefully deficient in both, I will have to enlist someone adequately courageous and scholarly to discuss these subtleties for me.
What little I do think I know about these two popular Japanese poetical forms is that both are diminutive in structure yet powerful in purpose and meaning, with haiku typically involving nature settings and the zen-like moments often evoked by them and senryū typically involving the vagaries – and vulgarities – of the lives that we lead, often by employing humor and sarcasm. But then, what do I really know about it…
I have no answers
I know just that grass will grow
and that leaves will fall
For those of you who appreciate a little more scholarship and authority, here is what Richard Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate, has to say about haiku in his beautifully edited and translated book The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa (Essential Poets). (I find no direct mention of senryū in the book; though it seems to me much of his discussion of haiku can also be applied to senryū as well.)
The insistence on time and place was crucial for writers of haiku. The seasonal reference was called kigo and a haiku was thought to be incomplete without it.
If the first level of a haiku is its location in nature, its second is almost always some implicit Buddhist reflection on nature.
When the hokku [what haiku were originally called] became detached from linked verse, it also cast off the room the tanka provided for drawing a moral (thought not all tanka do moralize, of course) and what was left was the irreducible mysteriousness of the images themselves.
There is so much to consider about these two subtle yet so often at the same time plain-spoken Japanese poetic forms. Considerations such as:
– Zen and its influence
– the influence of China and its poetry
– various poetic techniques found in much of traditional Japanese poetry, to include haiku and senryū, such as kake-kotoba (pivot words) and kireji (cutting words)
– the 5/7/5 structure and its relevance to the Western haiku poet
Hass’ book covers much of the list; however, instead of continuing to discuss about these poetic forms, let’s just experience some of the best of their kind and enjoy them as they are.
A petal shower
of mountain roses,
and the sound of the rapids
to see lightning and not think
life is fleeting
leaking through the roof,
dripping from a wasps’ nest
Taking a nap,
against a cool wall
Winter solitude —
in a world of one color
the sound of wind
He’s on the porch,
to escape wife and kids —
how hot it is!
Cover my head
or my feet?
the winter quilt
Flowers offered to the Buddha
down the winter river
The man pulling radishes
pointed my way
with a radish
A dry riverbed
All the time I pray to Buddha
I keep on
the old dog
leads the way
and so no sin,
a winter day
From the website HUBPAGES
speaks the sober truth
only when drunk
looking for fleas
The face of her husband
looking for a job —
she is tired of it
An empty sickbed
an indented pillow
in weak winter sun
A falling petal
strikes one floating on the pond
and they both sink
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HUNTING THE DECEITFUL TURKEY
When I was a boy my uncle and his big boys hunted with the rifle, the youngest boy Fred and I with a shotgun–a small single-barrelled shotgun which was properly suited to our size and strength; it was not much heavier than a broom. We carried it turn about, half an hour at a time. I was not able to hit anything with it, but I liked to try. Fred and I hunted feathered small game, the others hunted deer, squirrels, wild turkeys, and such things. My uncle and the big boys were good shots. They killed hawks and wild geese and such like on the wing; and they didn’t wound or kill squirrels, they stunned them. When the dogs treed a squirrel, the squirrel would scamper aloft and run out on a limb and flatten himself along it, hoping to make himself invisible in that way– and not quite succeeding. You could see his wee little ears sticking up. You couldn’t see his nose, but you knew where it was. Then the hunter, despising a “rest” for his rifle, stood up and took offhand aim at the limb and sent a bullet into it immediately under the squirrel’s nose, and down tumbled the animal, unwounded, but unconscious; the dogs gave him a shake and he was dead. Sometimes when the distance was great and the wind not accurately allowed for, the bullet would hit the squirrel’s head; the dogs could do as they pleased with that one–the hunter’s pride was hurt, and he wouldn’t allow it to go into the gamebag.
In the first faint gray of the dawn the stately wild turkeys would be stalking around in great flocks, and ready to be sociable and answer invitations to come and converse with other excursionists of their kind. The hunter concealed himself and imitated the turkey-call by sucking the air through the leg-bone of a turkey which had previously answered a call like that and lived only just long enough to regret it. There is nothing that furnishes a perfect turkey-call except that bone. Another of Nature’s treacheries, you see. She is full of them; half the time she doesn’t know which she likes best–to betray her chid or protect it. In the case of the turkey she is badly mixed: she gives it a bone to be used in getting it into trouble, and she also furnishes it with a trick for getting itself out of the trouble again. When a mamma-turkey answers an invitation and finds she has made a mistake in accepting it, she does as the mamma-partridge does–remembers a previous engagement–and goes limping and scrambling away, pretending to be very lame; and at the same time she is saying to her not-visible children, “Lie low, keep still, don’t expose yourselves; I shall be back as soon as I have beguiled this shabby swindler out of the country.”
When a person is ignorant and confiding, this immoral device can have tiresome results. I followed an ostensibly lame turkey over a considerable part of the United States one morning, because I believed in her and could not think she would deceive a mere boy, and one who was trusting her and considering her honest. I had the single-barrelled shotgun, but my idea was to catch her alive. I often got within rushing distance of her, and then made my rush; but always, just as I made my final plunge and put my hand down where her back had been, it wasn’t there; it was only two or three inches from there and I brushed the tail- feathers as I landed on my stomach–a very close call, but still not quite close enough; that is, not close enough for success, but just close enough to convince me that I could do it next time. She always waited for me, a little piece away, and let on to be resting and greatly fatigued; which was a lie, but I believed it, for I still thought her honest long after I ought to have begun to doubt her, suspecting that this was no way for a high-minded bird to be acting. I followed, and followed, and followed, making my periodical rushes, and getting up and brushing the dust off, and resuming the voyage with patient confidence; indeed, with a confidence which grew, for I could see by the change of climate and vegetation that we were getting up into the high latitudes, and as she always looked a little tireder and a little more discouraged after each rush, I judged that I was safe to win, in the end, the competition being purely a matter of staying power and the advantage lying with me from the start because she was lame.
Along in the afternoon I began to feel fatigued myself. Neither of us had had any rest since we first started on the excursion, which was upwards of ten hours before, though latterly we had paused awhile after rushes, I letting on to be thinking about something else; but neither of us sincere, and both of us waiting for the other to call game but in no real hurry about it, for indeed those little evanescent snatches of rest were very grateful to the feelings of us both; it would naturally be so, skirmishing along like that ever since dawn and not a bite in the meantime; at least for me, though sometimes as she lay on her side fanning herself with a wing and praying for strength to get out of this difficulty a grasshopper happened along whose time had come, and that was well for her, and fortunate, but I had nothing–nothing the whole day.
More than once, after I was very tired, I gave up taking her alive, and was going to shoot her, but I never did it, although it was my right, for I did not believe I could hit her; and besides, she always stopped and posed, when I raised the gun, and this made me suspicious that she knew about me and my marksmanship, and so I did not care to expose myself to remarks.
I did not get her, at all. When she got tired of the game at last, she rose from almost under my hand and flew aloft with the rush and whir of a shell and lit on the highest limb of a great tree and sat down and crossed her legs and smiled down at me, and seemed gratified to see me so astonished.
I was ashamed, and also lost; and it was while wandering the woods hunting for myself that I found a deserted log cabin and had one of the best meals there that in my life-days I have eaten. The weed-grown garden was full of ripe tomatoes, and I ate them ravenously, though I had never liked them before. Not more than two or three times since have I tasted anything that was so delicious as those tomatoes. I surfeited myself with them, and did not taste another one until I was in middle life. I can eat them now, but I do not like the look of them. I suppose we have all experienced a surfeit at one time or another. Once, in stress of circumstances, I ate part of a barrel of sardines, there being nothing else at hand, but since then I have always been able to get along without sardines.
And God spake unto Moses, I Am That I Am!
And I speak unto thee, Well then, so am I!
I mean, seriously, that That in the name of God has to be the most ambiguous pronoun in the history of pronouns…
I mean, seriously, that That’s antecedent can be literally anything…
And yes, I do mean “literally”…
I mean, seriously, we are talking about God here, right?
Ergo, if that That in the name of God can mean anything at all within the expanses of the endless and infinite universes – those of the past, the present, and the future – then that That in the name of God can surely mean me.
Ergo, if God Is Me He Is, then it must mean that I Am God I Am.
Now, after reading this, I’m certain (and not just because I’m God) that some of you are beside yourself right now and are literally, yes, literally, damning me (not Me) to Hell for all of infinity right about now.
Well, all I have to say in response to your damn damnation is…
May God bless you.
And I do.
A Short Film of Suspense and Danger
Starring Aurelius & Zeno
It seems that some of you may actually think this blog is now about dogs and ramen. It’s not. That post about dogs and ramen was an April Fools’ prank. This blog has been and will continue to be all about books and writing in general and Kurt’s books and writing in particular. Right on?
It is with heavy but happy heart that I say goodbye to my old me – the novels, the poetry, the short stories, the haiku – and say hello to the new me!
A me that only wishes to blog about that which he loves most, not counting his lovely and loving wife and children, of course…
And that which I love most, not counting you know who, is My Dogs & Ramen!!!
Let’s face it, my writing efforts just aren’t cutting it. Have you bought one of my books?!
No, of course you haven’t.
So why deal with that stress and frustration when I can do something here that I truly enjoy…
And that is to embrace the inner Pet Lovin’ Foodie in me and begin posting pictures of my dogs and all the ramen joints that the wife and I love to seek out and enjoy!!!
So, without further ado, let’s get this party of a new blogging format started, shall we…
Since you all know my dogs Aurelius & Zeno, two loving but highly destructive Plott Hound brothers, I shall commence my new photo-blogging journey with a picture of Baltimore’s newest Ramen Joint TenTen Ramen
As I wrote to my friends on my private Facebook page, which probably didn’t include you, TenTen is hands down the best ramen joint my lovely and loving wife and I have had the pleasure of eating at in the States.
Yes, even better than any in New York City.
In following issues I will discuss the history of ramen (you cannot imagine how exciting and full of intrigue it is) and we will have an in-depth conversation with the man behind TenTen Ramen.
And because this blog is also now dedicated to my dogs as well as ramen, I will share a few shots of my boys with you.
I should add here that, even though I will no longer post literary things here, after reading more about the Clean Reader app, I have decided that I am going to endorse their efforts after all, instead of opposing them. The founders are good Christian people with good intentions. So, since I am no longer opposed to censorship in literature, I feel it is best for me to be more prudent with my photography and edit over that which may be offensive.
Well, I hope you are as excited about my blog’s new direction as I am. Wish me well!!!
Have a Pet-Lovin’ Food-filled day!!!™
It’s hard to say where a poem and its ensuing conversation will lead. It’s even harder to say where it will eventually end. To understand how it is we are about to arrive at the fortunate post-poem, post-conversational point to which we are headed, I will simply refer you to here instead of wasting precious time and space with a reenactment in paraphrase.
With that out of the way, I can now get us to the point to where we wish to be by pleasurably presenting to you the publication of this humble site’s very first play, penned by our good friend and literary phenom Paul Xylinides, author of THE WILD HORSES OF HIROSHIMA.
Tweeting in the Immortal Nineteenth Century
A Play in One Act
by Paul Xylinides
(Dedicated to K. Brindley)
William Wordsworth: Poet
Dorothy Wordsworth: Sister
The Wordsworth Lake District cottage
The Nineteenth Century
Sound effects: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet
Dorothy: Get out of bed, Will! You have poems to write and sheep to cuddle!
William: Groan. You are the only sheep/I wish to baa baa/But, listen, “Tweet, tweet/Tweet, tweet,” methinks it tells/Of a golden age to come again.
Dorothy: My Word, ’tis but a bird, dish up some rhyme with your porridge and share a bit with that dusty bird – look it shakes off the night it spent in our roof again. Time to put on a new shingle, Will.
William: Must get ready for Coleridge, sister mine. The Lake air does him much good. Mayhap he leaves his pipe in the city.
Dorothy: He smokes too much of that Chinese poison. I suspect there lies the reason for his not finishing his Kubla Khan.
William: Yes, he came up short somewhere, although it is his story that the mailman ringing on his door disturbed him. Hark! The bird tweets again!
Dorothy: And Byron, ought of him?
William: I fear they shot his pigeon. Perhaps the mail coach will have something.
Dorothy: Whatever it is, don’t light the fire with it, brother mine. We are short of paper, you know.
William: Ay, the back of it will serve for future eyes.
Dorothy: You think then it will be an improvement on our last Golden Age?
William: Without a doubt, sister mine. Give it a century or two.
Dorothy: They will be reading you beyond that, brother mine.
Sound effects: Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet
(End of Play)