Thursday, July 31, 2008

Series Info


I've decided that Sunday Eye Candy is going to be biweekly. I'll post an entry this Sunday; then start on the new schedule.

I have a few writers lined up for the WHY DO I WRITE series; however, I am going to keep my lips sealed. I think people will enjoy the writers who are going to participate-- I know I am looking forward to their responses.

I am working on adding a new series to the blog that will operate along the lines as WHY DO I WRITE, but it is going to be for elected officials. I've sent an invite to Senator David Shafer and Representative Jill Chambers. Hopefully, I'll have a response from them within the next week or two.

Over and out!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Dead Girls" by Kim Addonizio


show up often in the movies, facedown
in the weeds beside the highway.
Kids find them by the river, or in the woods,

under leaves, one pink-nailed hand thrust up.
Detectives stand over them in studio apartments
or lift their photos off pianos

in the houses they almost grew up in.
A dead girl can kick a movie into gear
better than a saloon brawl, better

than a factory explosion, just
by lying there. Anyone can play her,
any child off the street

can be hog-tied and dumped from a van
or strangled blue in a kitchen, a bathroom,
an alley, a school. That's the beauty

of a dead girl. Even a plain one
who feels worthless
as a clod of dirt, broken

by the sorrow of gazing all day
at a fashion magazine,
can be made whole, redeemed

by what she finally can't help being,
the center of attention, the special,
desirable, dead, dead girl.

~ Kim Addonizio
from what is this thing called love

Saturday, July 26, 2008


The laptop is finally fixed, and I hope it will remain operational. Life has been a bitch since it hasn't been easy to use the internet or access documents. As long as the laptop cooperates I will be able to restart the Sunday Eye Candy series.

Limp Wrist #2 will go live toward the end of September. The second issue will feature an interview with the divine Denise Duhamel and work by Kurt Brown, Nick Carbo, Ellen Bass, Karen Chase, Khadijah Queen, and more. I'm excited about the second issue, and the third issue, which will go live Jan 09, is starting to take a nice shape.

The only stable part of my life life right now seems to be work and writing two to four poems a week. I meet with a fellow every couple of weeks; we chit-chat then move into critiquing work. Yesterday, we met and did our thing. She was able to help me put some "finishing" touches on three poems.

Well, off to do some reorganization as my new filing cabinet is calling my name.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Estelle Getty, You'll Be Missed

7/25/23 - 7/22/08

Chris sent me a text message this afternoon informing that Estelle Getty had passed away this morning, and I can't lie-- I teared up for a moment at work. Hey, if you truly know me, you know I'm a sentimental kind of guy. Part of that is probably my life has been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster lately; however, it is a bit deeper that.

Four or five years ago, maybe more, I saw Lifetime's Intimate Portrait on Estelle Getty, and I will never part of her story. According to the show Estelle befriended one of the actors from the Torch Song Trilogy, and when this actor was hospitalized because of his battle with HIV, Estelle visited him routinely. Each time she visited him she took him chicken noodle soup because she said chicken noodle soup could cure anything. Also, I'll never forget Rosie O'Donnell's comments on Estelle-- she said Estelle was amazing supporter of assuring awareness of the HIV/AIDS plight and fundraising to find a cure. O'Donnell said Estelle was at every fundraiser for a cure that she every attended, even if Estelle had to be in a wheelchair... sunshine or rain, well or sick, she was on board for the cause. Her comes the sentimental guy within-- I'm a sucker for people who even when they are down, they still fight for the better good of others. And well, add in the fact that it is a sassy granny doing who is a compassionate activist and I am won over even more.

Here's a quote from one of Estelle's sons: “She was loved throughout the world in six continents, and if they loved sitcoms in Antarctica she would have been loved on seven continents." Click here to read the article on MSNBC's site, which is where I pulled the quote.

Enjoy some of Estelle's sassy lines as Sophia:
Dorothy: Well Blanche is certainly taking her sister's novel better than I would. I would kill my sister Gloria if she ever wrote about my sex life.
Sophia: You would kill your sister over a pamphlet?

Sophia: Blanche, a terrible thing has happened to you. But when life does something like this, there are a couple of things you got to remember. You got your health, right?
Blanche: Yeah.
Sophia: You can still walk, can't you?
Blanche: That's true.
Great, go get me a glass of water.

Stan: Hello, Sophia, you're looking younger every day.
Sophia: Hi, Stan, and that's a beautiful toupee you're wearing. Great, now we're both liars.

Rose: Sophia, why are you in such a bad mood?
Sophia: Excuse me, Rose, but I haven't had sex in 15 years and it's starting to get on my nerves.

Sharing Something That Has Been on My Mind-- Random Fact Time

Despite the lofty claim that "all men are created equal," equality has never been an American birthright. In 1882 Congress suspended Chinese immigration on the assumption that the Chinese were an inferior people. Calvin Coolidge in 1923 asked Congress for a permanent ban on Chinese immigration, saying that people "who do not want to be partakers of the American spirit ought not to settle in America." Not until 1965 was discrimination against the Chinese and other Asians effectively eliminated from U.S. immigration laws.
~ taken from The American Democracy, 6th Edition

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Little End Ode" by Sharon Olds

Little End Ode

When I told my mother the joke--the new kid
at college, who asked where the library's at,
and the sophomore who said, "At Yale, we do not
end our sentences with prepositions,"
whereupon the frosh said, "Oh,
I beg your pardon, where's the library
at, asshole," she shrieked with delight.
"'Asshole,'" she murmured fondly. She's become
so fresh, rinsed with sweetness, as if she is
music, the strings especially high and bright.
She says it and sighs with contentment, as if she has
finally talked back to her own mother.
Or maybe it is the closest she has come,
for a while, to the rich, animal life
she lived with her second husband--now
I can see that of course she touched him everywhere,
as lovers do. She touched me there,
you know, courteously, with oil
like myrrh; soon after she had given me life
she gave me pleasure, which gave her pleasure,
maybe it felt to her fingertip like the
complex, clean knot of her Firegirls
tie-clasp. She seems, these days, like a very
human goddess. I do not want her
to die. This feels like a new not-want,
a shalt-not-want not-want. As soon as I
dared, around fifty, I called her, to myself,
the A-word. And yet, now, if she goes,
when she goes, to me it is like the departure of a
whole small species of singing bird from the earth.

~ Sharon Olds
borrowed from APR

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

from the blog of Rand Knight

Saxby continues to make Shameless decisions!
Posted by: Rand
on 6/11/2008

This week, newspapers around Georgia ran a column with the headline: GOP Hopes Saxby will be part of Firewall.

This statement should have Georgians gravely concerned.

The Republican Party is banking on the re-election of Senator Chambliss. This would place him among the 41-senator “firewall” the Republican Party is attempting to build. This 41-person group would prevent the Democrats from stopping any Republican filibusters.

The November election is five months away, and the Republicans are already planning strategic maneuvers to thwart any legislation rooted in democratic values from being passed.

Saxby’s voting record proves that he is not in favor of Family-Friendly policies:

-Senator Chambliss voted against expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program

-Senator Chambliss voted against funding for the Medicare program and supported ending the federal guarantee of insurance provided by Medicaid

-Senator Chambliss voted to cut education funding

-Senator Chambliss voted against increasing the minimum wage

-Senator Chambliss voted against appropriating $14 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration for the years 2006-2010

Saxby Chambliss has illustrated that he is not concerned about children, families, students, workers or veterans.

As his constituents, we deserve to know, for whom is Senator Chambliss concerned?

The answer to this question was made very clear yesterday in the Senate. Senator Chambliss voted against allowing the Senate to take up a bill which would have increased taxes on oil company profits and rescinded oil company tax deductions- thereby allowing oil companies to keep $30 billion in profits that would have gone back to men and women in America.

We cannot have another six years of Saxby Chambliss as part of the “firewall” that blocks family-oriented legislation in favor of legislation to benefit corporations.

When I get to the Senate, I will fight for the people of Georgia. You will be my top concern. I will support legislation to provide healthcare for those who need it, benefits to veterans and increases in education funding. I will sponsor legislation to bring new family-supporting, union-friendly jobs in renewable energy to this state to revive our economy.

*All the above is from the blog of Rand Knight*

Rand Knight for US Senate

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Antilamentation" by Dorianne Laux

A friend of mine is a huge Laux fan and recently sent me the poem below. Hope you enjoy:


Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don't regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You've walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don't bother remembering
any of it. Let's stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

~ Dorianne Laux

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Editorial in DAVID

Atlanta Pride was this weekend, and it was a blast. I'm still recovering-- not from any form of partying, but from working the event. I'll share more on the weekend later. For now, I want to share an editorial I wrote about Pride for David Magazine, which is a free gay publication here in Atlanta.

‘Showy & Impressive’
Time for the gays to take center stage


Pride. For the primrose Baptists, it's a time of sodo-sinning. For the city of Atlanta, it's a nice economic boost. And for the evening news, it is a gathering of leather-daddies, dykes who march or ride bikes, and barely dressed twinks.

Webster has a handful of definitions for Pride, but the one that strikes me like a pair of Bette Davis eyes is "a showy or impressive group," because this is one of the things the Atlanta Pride Festival is for me.

It is a time we come together as the LGBT community to show ourselves and our numbers with a Vietnam mantra of "Hell no we won't go!" And I hope our elected officials and political hopefuls have enough time to quit bagging interns and stop smelling the bribes to realize these numbers translate as votes.

I hope our numbers translate as opportunity to businesses — not only as potential customers, but as potential employees. Recognize us with the same employee benefits as you do breeders, and market to us outside of gay publications and productions. I think I'd probably buy any product, even Spam, if it has an advertisement featuring a cute gay couple in People or runs during "Grey's."

Pride is a time for us to take notice of our allies, "enemies," and GLBT entrepreneurs. When you walk through the festival and watch the parade, take notice of who chooses to be a part of Pride. Never forget any organization who 'fesses up to gayness and show them some love.

As far as I am concerned, Hannibal Lecter and Clarice had it right — quid pro quo. Why in the hell should we give money to businesses and organizations that don't support us?

Pride is time for our numbers to come from all cities and counties in Georgia. People need to realize that we are a part of every community. The gays are not only found when you take a fieldtrip to Atlanta.

Damn it, the LBGT community is not just Inside The Perimeter! I confess, I live OTP, just barely though. Don't judge! I could spit on the interstate, but I don't believe in spitting.

Each year, I seem to meet someone who has traveled from a bo-funk city that I couldn't locate with my GPS, much less find on a map Which makes me ask the person, "You sure that's in Georgia?

It is always a similar story: Pride is the only time when the person from Bo-Funk, Ga., gets to be out and proud without worrying. As a guy from a small town that has the motto of shoot it, stuff it, or marry it, where any minority is always watched with one eye, I can relate.

Creating a safe haven for GLBT people is my leading reason for being a volunteer with the Atlanta Pride Committee.

Ok. I have been pretty damn serious about Pride, but don't get me wrong. I am far from a prude; just ask those two guys from New York I met during my first Atlanta Pride back when I was … well, I was young and hot.

Pride is a time to enjoy yourself! Let your hair or shorts down — maybe both, it's your preference. Just remember to do it in a safely.

If you're letting your shorts down, have a quick HIV test at the festival (they are free!) Then grab a Durex or three; someone is always giving them away — take a handful for that "friendly" friend.

Don't drink and drive, and don't forget: No alcoholic beverages may be brought inside the Civic Center complex during the Pride Festival. But stay away from anything you snort or inject — it's trashy, like Bridgette Fonda in "The Point of No Return" before her CIA transformation, not good trashy like "Sordid Lives."

So yeah, make it a gay ol' time and have loads of fun! And when you're having fun, I hope you'll have the mindset that there are no ifs, ands, or buts — Pride must take place.

borrowed from DAVID

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Why Do I Write" ~ Ellen Bass

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Ellen Bass

I write to make the unbearable bearable. Poetry is the way I pray, the way, as the Buddhists advise, I "lean into" my experience. When I am confronted with terrible events, poetry gives me a way to handle them—literally, to touch them, to feel them with my hands. And to hold them as part of the human experience. Writing doesn't change how I feel, it doesn't heal me. But it gives me a way to live inside the pain. Elie Wiesel, writing about the Holocaust, said, "You can hold yourself back from the suffering world: this is something you are free to do..., but perhaps precisely this holding back is the only suffering you might be able to avoid."

I think this is true of our more personal grief as well. When I try to avoid my sorrow, when I feel affronted by the pain of my life, the impact of my grief seems to increase. Paradoxically, the only relief at all for me is to surrender to the fact of my grief, to accept my burden and try to carry it as gracefully as I can. Writing is one way—one of the most important ways—I do this.

And I write to sink more deeply into the joy. Happiness, it would seem, should be an easier emotion to experience—and obviously in many ways it is. But there are a million opportunities for pleasure and gratefulness that I miss—we all do--every day. Poetry allows me to pay attention—which is its own pure form of prayer. It allows me to praise the ordinary and extraordinary moments of this one short life.

"A Different Story" ~ Denise Duhamel ~ from APR

A Different Story

The day after I'd written a poem about her,
my new friend asks if I sometimes steal stories
from other people's lives. She doesn't know
many poets, but she once met a woman
who wrote self-help books about dating.
We're at a diner, where great stories
are often exchanged. The writer utilized
my new friend's tale of woe but made it even worse,
more embarrassing than it actually was.
I say writers are always stealing, we can't
help ourselves, and she says she understands
though it gives her the creeps. I don't confess
my own theft but instead tell her about a poet
whose ex writes thrillers. One of his recent characters
has her name, her physical traits, and her most
unflattering of habits. Worst of all, the character
is stabbed to death in the final chapter.
Writers must have a lot of issues, my new friend says, lifting
the limp pickles off the pale inside of her hamburger bun.
We both fall silent. She eyes me suspiciously
as she salts her fries. I stop asking her about her past,
about her day, fearing she'll tell me something so good
I'll be tempted to take it for another poem. Our diet cokes
are almost drained when she wonders if the poet,
having suffered her own fictional fatality,
has changed her ways, has stopped using her friends
as subject matter. Imagine how you'd feel
if someone recreated your life and it wasn't very pretty.
I start to write the poem in my head, the one
describing my blubber, my crowded teeth, my penchant
for gossip, the smell of my feet after a long day
in plastic sandals. My character is cheap,
fearful, controlling, duplicitous, a dunce.
Want to split a slice of pie? I think she says,
but I am already slapping a twenty
on the Formica table, sliding out of the booth.
I have to get it all down before someone else does.

by Denise Duhamel
(borrowed from APR)