Poetical interlude 3

October 14, 2011

apart
a part of me
shorn off
torn away
amputated
nine months later
phantom pain
still wakes me in the night
no solace from it
but no malice either
it just is what it isn’t -
gone
it’s impossible to come to grips
with a missing hand

(July 19, 2011)


Poetical interlude 2

October 14, 2011

Resurrect the past?
I can’t.
Why?

Because a moment does not last
and every blink of
eye

takes it further away.
Even as my brain
pretends

it happened yesterday,
I must lay the ghost to rest;
it ends.

Life delivers a new
second, minute,
hour

not a dream. Better to undo
the latch so crazy birds
devour

nothing more of me.
Show them the door so I am
free.

(January 8, 2011)


Poetical interlude 1

October 14, 2011

so long ago and yet so yesterday
you were here and then you went away
and a little piece of me has died
i’ve lost count of all the tears i’ve cried

so long ago and yet so yesterday
i still remember what i didn’t say
all my dreams broken
by words unspoken

so long ago and yet so yesterday
i cringe to think you’ll pass my way
because life is not a theater set
there’s no easy line and no sure bet

so long ago and yet so far away
i dream a dream and come what may
we’ll get another chance
to dance

But I doubt it

(Decemeber 10, 2010)


Holiday weekend in Dial Up Land

September 2, 2011

Nothing much for posts are planned.
Instead it’s quiet time with folks
who may or may not share good jokes

So back to blogging for sure on Monday
Hope the weekend has a sun day
or three before the cold winds blow
and clouds above deliver snow


A song I made up while I was durnk

July 21, 2011

Er.. drunk.

Anaconda
Anaconda
Do you love me,
you ten foot snake?

If you love me
then show me
Please squeeze me
say you’ll devour me

Anaconda
be true to me
Anaconda
be true to you
Anaconda
do what you do
and squeeze me
tenderly
devour me
with glee

Anaconda
Anaconda

Anaconda
Anaconda

Anaconda

As it happens, the microphone I thought I had with which to record this is not actually here. I don’t know if you should count your lucky stars or feel sad about that. It’s actually kind of wistful and cute when I sing it to myself, like I did on the way home from Taste of Saskatchewan tonight. CFI-Saskatoon aka Saskatoon Freethinkers held a “pub night” at the venue this evening that was pretty well attended, although not everyone stayed across the whole of it. Mostly we just hung out by the South Saskatchewan River nearish the Bessborough Hotel and watched boats and hot air balloons go by. We also talked about music, LSD – in relation to Aldous Huxley who wrote Brave New World, our next banned book – and complained about shitty ends to relationships – at least, two of us did.

A couple quotes got tossed around regarding, not specifically that, but life in general, one from a book one of the guys was reading that quoted someone named John Gay:

“Life is a jest, and all things show it; I thought so once, but now I know it.”

Which apparently was used on the man’s gravestone, according to the guy reading the book.

The other was a related quote by Elvis Costello:

“I used to be disgusted; now I try to be amused.”

Which led to some debate about whether or not that had religious overtones but by that point I was gearing up to go home and I don’t know if anything got decided either way. Not that it matters. We just like to ruminate and ponder. I don’t think actual answers need to be found and pinned down most of the time.

All in all it was a good night and I was glad I got out and hung out with my peeps. I told them tonight that I don’t know what I’d do without that group; I’d probably resort to finding another tv obsession. That got a few laughs. (This group never knew me in my Buffy the Vampire Slayer days. They don’t really get how serious I was in stating that. They really don’t…)

Also going on, tomorrow night we’re having a Skeptics organized BBQ. What’s there to be skeptical about you might ask? No idea, but I read today about a recent Google science fair project regarding carcinogens and whether or not certain marinades will make a difference in reducing them. I’m not a big BBQ fan myself but I think I can drag a few wieners and buns over and chow down with relish (both the condiment and the emotion). There’s nothing like grilled or campfired wieners to make summer feel real. Assuming the rain can stay away another day. Crazy country…


“funny headlines are serious business”

May 13, 2011

I quote an article from the Atlantic where there’s some concern over what guides an audience to an article online. In early days of paper publishing, a pithy headline was a guaranteed eye-catcher. These days, though…

Despite the fact that Crowley has won ACES’ top award for headline writing, he regularly finds that his funny headlines for the Review-Journal have been re-written by the online desk to be more search-engine-friendly. For example, when Harrah’s casino announced plans to build a new entertainment center with an observation wheel, Crowley came up with the headline “Brave new whirl.” The online desk changed it to “Harrah’s plans retail, entertainment center.”

“I understand the shift toward search optimization,” he says. “But I think we’re losing something when we take the wordplay and surprise out of headline writing.”

In a widely circulated 2010 article criticizing SEO practices, Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten made the same point by citing a Post article about Conan O’Brien’s refusal to accept a later time slot on NBC. The print headline: “Better never than late.” Online: “Conan O’Brien won’t give up ‘Tonight Show’ time slot to make room for Jay Leno.”

Off, but near topic, I search specific keywords when I look for things to write about, (usually “God news” or “Jesus news”) and I’ve noticed a predilection for some of the results to highlight a religious connection to the story, even if the story itself could be about all kinds of topics. If it’s a celebrity interview, for example, the article headline might note some comment made about that celeb’s beliefs as if that’s more important than the train wreck their career is having. (Assuming that’s actually important. Sometimes I question what qualifies as “news”.) All the Lindsay Lohan stuff comes to mind as a prime example. Between her father’s religion, his crimes, dreams of God rehab, and now forays into Scientology, it seems like religiously inspired topics get used just to keep certain people in the news, not because what they’re up to is particularly newsworthy.

Getting back to the article:

Before the session wraps up, a young copy editor raises her hand to ask Crowley about the conflict between funny headlines and SEO guidelines.

“A lot of times I’ll write something, and the online desk will rewrite it because it doesn’t work.” He crosses his arms and leans against the dry-erase board. “And that’s because Google doesn’t laugh.”

If hilarious headlines are less desirable in respected online papers, at least there are blogs to pick up the sarcastic/ironic slack. Slate gets mentioned in the article as being a site that still makes room for humour while staying true to the story because they know what their core audience wants and appreciates. They appreciate being in on the joke, for one thing. Popular bloggers (and virtual unknowns like me) might have a better shot at catching the audience eye because they aren’t under any guidelines about what makes for an “acceptable” headline. I’d joke even more than I do already in order to snag the notice of readers who might not have clicked my links otherwise. There are still people who appreciate a play on words. It’s evidence of wit, but more than that, it’s evidence that we’re trusting the audience to understand it. It’d suck to reach a point where nobody can anymore.


I missed “Poem in your pocket day”

April 17, 2011

Dagnabit. It was on April 14th.

I found out about this
through Digital Cuttlefish,
but is it now too late
to properly participate?

Alas, there is a lack
of calendars to track
this type of information.

Oh, what am I
to do to try
to make up for this abomination?

I guess I have to write it now
and hope you all forgive me.
What’s the best way to remember? How?
I’ll forget again next year, just wait, you’ll see.

Then again, it isn’t like
a day to write needs saying
Any minute, any hour
can be a time for playing.

All it takes is time,
a little drive, ambition.
It doesn’t even have to rhyme
I just tend to make that happen naturally. It’s a gift, what can I say?

So there is it, the poem from me,
this year’s late addition
to what really, seriously, ought to be
a lifelong, loved, tradition.


Anyway, the point of the day is to actually share favourite poems, not write your own necessarily.

So, now I’ll share mine. It’s hardly insightful or anything but a favourite it is and has been for 20 years or so. It’s called “Haunted” and not even Google could help me find an author for it. I’d copied it into a poetry journal I made in school. Fortunately I kept that. I never could have quoted it verbatim otherwise.

One summer day down by the lake
I threw a stone at a little snake.
I only meant to scare him some
And to relieve the tedium.
It didn’t just scare him. It killed him dead
Now his thin little ghost comes each night to my bed.

He comes every night and gives me no rest,
He curls on my pillow, he lies on my chest.
He wails in his little snake voice, so pathetic
His little snake sobbings so soft and poetic.

“Oh why did you kill me, you nasty big brute
When I was so little, and helpless, and cute?
Now I’ll never feel sun and I’ll never eat fruit
Or talk to a newt but you don’t give a hoot.
With that horrid big rock you just put me away
Now I’ll haunt you and haunt you until you are grey.”

He doesn’t pay heed to my pitiful cries.
He just lies there and stares with his little snake eyes.
His tiny snake body full of sorrow and spite.
His little snake body so see-through and white.

I can’t tell my mother. I can’t tell my dad.
For I know I’ve been wicked, I know I’ve been bad.
With this weird little ghost, I know I’ll be cursed
Till I’m old or I’m dead, whichever comes first.


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