Poem for Independence Day: When It Was Dark Enough

Reposting my poem When It was Dark Enough to honor my father and uncles who were WWII veterans. I often wonder what they thought during our Fourth of July family picnics when their kids lit off fireworks. Complex irony between the horrors of war and childish fun.

The link takes you to the poetry page on my website where When It Was Dark Enough is the first sample poem.

My Reading for the Shade Literary Arts Benefit June 19, 2020

Here is a clip of my segment from the zoom Reading to Benefit Shade Literary Arts, which was organized by Cristina Deptula of Authors, Large and Small.

I was honored to read with several amazing authors: Mary Mackey, Alice Taylor, Henry Hitz, Martha Franks, Kiran Bhat, and Gini Grossenbacher.

Authors, Large and Small and Shade Literary Arts acknowledge the injustice of wrongful law enforcement killings of Black people. Both organizations support Black Lives Matter and see and hear the affected communities.

Shade Literary Arts and Authors, Large and Small Literary Publicity are coming together to host virtual benefit readings for Shade Literary’s emergency fund for queer writers of color struggling due to coronavirus. The fund distributes small direct grants, usually of a few hundred dollars each, to as many individual applicants as possible.

If you would like the full recording or a transcript, or if you would like to contribute to Shade Literary Arts, please email authorslargeandsmall@gmail.com.

I read from my collection The Poet’s Garage.

Barcelona Opera Reopens With An Audience Of Plants

The Barcelona Opera Plays to Plants

I love this story from NPR. Plants are such good listeners. I talk to mine all the time and they often respond, though not as enthusiastically as Pearl, our Golden Retriever.

Unfortunately, the concert coverage did not include interviews with the plants and their general reaction to the music. I know from experience that plants can be both encouraging and critical in their analysis of human actions. But they appreciate music more than most of our noisy clatter. In times like these, the plants’ Top Ten might be the music we need.

My wife’s reaction to the story was more practical: what if all the plants had to empty their pots at once during intermission? But I believe most plants would rather bask in the fluorescent overhead lights and let the concession staff–butterflies and hummingbirds–bring them selections of pollen and rainwater.

The Barcelona Opera performed in honor of health care providers. On the behalf of the plants and all of us, I pass my appreciation to the honorees and the musicians.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/06/22/881943143/barcelona-opera-reopens-with-an-audience-of-plants

Sentient plants and birds are among my favorite writing subjects. You can find several examples in my poetry collection, The Poet’s Garage

First Chapter of Lucky Ride, My Irreverent Sixties Road Novel

After finishing the Lucky Ride copy edit based on editorial feedback from the publisher, Unsolicited Press, I wanted to share the entire first chapter here: Lucky Ride

The novel will not be published until next year, but I am excited to complete this step in the editorial and production process.

Here is the synopsis:

Set in the Vietnam era, Lucky Ride tells the story of a recent veteran, an unraveling marriage, and a hitchhiking trip steeped in hippie optimism, post-war skepticism, and drug-induced fantasy.

When his friend Rick shows up in Binghamton, New York, with an interstate weed delivery, Flash jumps at the chance to escape his wife Ronnie’s affair with her middle-aged boss. Joining Rick on a speed-fueled drive to Fort Worth, Flash dodges a highway stalker and recalls his military service on Adak, a desolate cold war outpost where Seabees bravely defended their country with marijuana and LSD. Hitchhiking west from Fort Worth, Flash confronts Texas Rangers, amorous witches, armed felons, and good Samaritans, all offering advice and misdirection. But his dreams of starting fresh in California recede like a spent wave, his money gone and no chance of a job. Ronnie offers reconciliation and Flash must decide how much he still trusts the seductive pull of the irresistible campus radical he married before the draft descended on their lives.

Benefit Reading for Shade Literary Arts and Authors

On Friday June 5th, at 4pm PST, I will participate in an online benefit reading for Shade Literary Arts.

Joan Gelfand, Neil Perry Gordon, Anlor Davin, and Hari Lamba will also read, and I am honored to be included with these fine writers.

Details of the event are summarized below and more information is posted on the eventbrite link. Please note that you do not have to donate to watch the reading.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/diverse-authors-read-to-benefit-shade-literary-arts-queer-writers-of-color-relief-fund-tickets-102942838802

Description of virtual benefit readings for Shade Literary’s emergency fund for queer writers of color

First of all, Authors, Large and Small and Shade Literary acknowledge the injustice of wrongful law enforcement killings of Black people. We support Black Lives Matter and see and hear the affected communities.

Shade Literary Arts and Authors, Large and Small Literary Publicity are coming together to host virtual benefit readings for Shade Literary’s emergency fund for queer writers of color struggling due to coronavirus. The fund distributes small direct grants, usually of a few hundred dollars each, to as many individual applicants as possible.

These events are pay-what-you-can – no one turned away, but please give as much as you can because your help directly impacts people’s lives. These events take place Friday June 5th, Friday June 12th, and Friday June 19th, all at 4pm to 5:00 pm PST and will be recorded so ticket-holders can listen later.

Here’s the lineup for the third event, Friday June 5th, at 4pm PST

Joan Gelfand (novelist, poet and filmmaker, will read ecological poetry about the Pacific Northwest)
http://www.joangelfand.com/

Terry Tierney (poet, speaker, scholar of Victorian literature, will read from his latest book A Poet’s Garage)
https://terrytierney.com/

Neil Perry Gordon (historical fiction writer, will read from Hope City, about 1890s Alaskan pioneers)
https://www.neilperrygordon.com/

Anlor Davin (tennis star, classroom teacher, Zen meditation leader, will read from her memoir Being Seen, about life with an autism diagnosis)
http://anlordavin.com/

Hari Lamba (engineer and environmental activist, will read from his new book Brighter Climate Futures in honor of World Environment Day)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/hari-lamba-292848a/