About Me

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I am a writer, poet, and free-lance editor. Author of Lawmen of the Old West: The Good Guys and Lawmen of the Old West: The Bad Guys. I've had poems and stories in di*verse*city, Blood and Thunder, West View, The Enigmatist, and others. I love poetry but enjoy all forms of writing and editing. I'm the author of two books of poetry, Songs on the Prairie Wind dealing with the people, land and history of the rural Southwest and Voices of Christmas, the traditional Christmas story in free verse persona poems. I do contract editing of other writer's manuscripts. I'm the worst guitar player in the Common Folk band at Trinity Episcopal Church. I'm an imperfect husband to the perfect wife (she might read this sometime), father (great grown kids) and grandfather (they're great kids, too)

Monday, September 05, 2005

That dirty rat!!

Well, yet another way to get out of writing. Someone seems to have invited a very naughty member of God's creation to share my house with me. If I don't get rid of it soon, it may have the house to itself. Some mousey critter has eaten it's way through the water lines to both my washing machine and my dishwasher. I know it's been dry around here but that's ridiculous!

Ok, got that off my mind. I've been concentrating on my poetry lately and, in that process, picked up a book that I had somehow missed, I Wanted To Write A Poem: The Autobiography of the Works of a Poet by William Carlos Williams reported and edited by Edith Heal. If you are interested in poetry and, like me, missed this little book, go find it. Whether you like W. C. W. 's poems or not, the history of his writing and how he came to find his later voice is fascinating and instructive. My experience, as far as training in writing, and his have been very similiar and I didn't expect that. I find I have been through some of the same stages and can only hope that, having started a bit later than he did, I will be able to reach the same level of, if not craft, at least understanding, before I die.

He struggled to come up with a definition of the type of poetry he wrote and settled on the term "variable foot" to describe the way he organized the structure of his poems. He was adamant that what he wrote later in his career was not free verse but organized verse controlled by this concept. I'm not sure I understand his "variable foot" but I don't doubt that he was in controll of his poetry. WCW was not the sort of poet that I have to occasionally deal with who believes that words splash out on the page in the order that some unknown muse gives them and, once there, they are sacrosanct. A great deal of the poet's comes in the act of chiseling away the unnecessary works and thoughts in order to reveal the one great thought contained in the material from which that poem is being crafted.

So, what's the point of all this? Just that writing is work and the hardest of that work is poetry. If we can learn to find the perfect words and put them in an order that will let them sing, then we are poets.