On The Satisfactions Of Verse

My late wife used to describe me as a combination of a poet and an engineer.   She was right.  Sometimes, for me, the sense of having created art is the primary motivation; and sometimes, the process of writing a poem has its own rewards; its own satisfactions; its own frustrations. For example, I imagined the […]

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Plainsong v 2

Years ago, when I was at Rice, I had a roommate named Fred who was very musical — he played the piano and guitar  and had a powerful but sweet tenor voice.   One evening, he claimed to me that he could sing anything, absolutely anything.  I challenged him and offered a textbook øn differential equations.  […]

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My Father's Face

I wrote the first version of this poem around twenty years ago in San Antonio, Texas. My late wife, a city councilwoman at the tine, was attending a National League of Cities convention, and I had accompanied her. My father and stepmother drove up for the day from their home in Kingsville, about 180 miles […]

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Vietnam and Iraq

In 1966, I thought my life was over.  I had just graduated from college with a degree in a subject I wasn't interested in — Chemistry, and had determined that I wasn't going to go to graduate school, at least not yet.  I was caught in what seemed to me an unresolvable moral dilemma; on […]

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A is For Arnyx

It occurred to me that although I have posted a sample illustration from my book of verse for children, A is for Arnyx, I haven't posted any examples of the verses themselves.   Here are three of them,   The first, The Arnyx,  was also the first to be written.  I made up the name "Arnyx" and […]

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Variation on a Theme by Baudelaire

The following variation was written a few years later than the Variations I describe  here.   The theme it varies is from the "To the Reader" introduction to Les Fleurs du Mal, or rather from my translation of "To the Reader,"  which I may share at some point.   It’s true, my friend, you have free […]

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Peace March

In 1969, I was working for System Development Corporation in Santa Monica, in the job I wound up in after I was almost sent to Vietnam.   (I'll write about that and about the complicated mix on anti-war revulsion and sense of duty that I felt at the time in conjunction with a forthcoming poem).  1969 […]

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Palimpsest - a Sonnet

Someone asked me the other day if a poem I had marked as autobiographical was "true".   I replied that it was, like most autobiography, fiction based on a true story.   The same holds true for the following verse.   Here is its true story.   I was standing behind a pretty woman named Barbara at work as […]

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To The Fair

Here I go again.   I said here that I didn't write songs, and yet here is yet another verse turned into a song, this one from the early 70's. Intro: My mother made me take you out She said that you were very sad, Because your mother and your dad Had perished in a roundabout. […]

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On the Decline of Light Verse

As I have indicated here , I grew up in a household that loved verse.   My mother was an actress, who appreciated recitations.   My father was a college professor turned rocket scientist who loved to recite.   I grew up with W S Gilbert, and Lewis Carroll and Ogden Nash.   In those days, […]

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A blog about all the arts, including politics
"for 'twere absurd to think that nature in the earth bred gold, perfect in the instant;
there must be remote matter." - Ben Jonson
"I don't know what the question is, but art is the answer." - Guy Conner

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