Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

The Journal Of Outsider Poetry Is a Dirty Trick

January 28, 2016

The Journal of Outsider Poetry is a dirty trick, and editor Henry Wolfsburg should be ashamed of himself. We all have a deep fondness and admiration for Dr. Wolfsburg due to his bravery in the Zombie Apocalypse of 1978, but after nearly three decades he has emerged from his complex in Vermont to take a position as a specialist in poetry therapy at the Vermont Institute For Reformation.

Many find his techniques questionable, and his claim to be able to cure conversion and somatoform disorders unfounded by the evidence. His poetry circles have created some highly entertaining slam and spoken word poetry, for sure, but as a concerned colleague I have to ask at what cost?

Some fairly barbaric methods were employed during the darker times of psychiatry, but poetry? What kind of a sadist forces poetry upon his own patients. Most people spend their lives running from poetry, but Dr. Wolfsburg recommends an abrupt and total immersion into the nightmare world of poetry. Some have even accused him of running a poetry sweatshop where inmates write haikus, sonnets, even confessional poetry 12 hours a day.

I beg my colleague in this appeal to stop. Stop with the poetry already. It is a cruel and unusual method that went out with The Dark Ages. You’re better than this, Dr. Wolfsburg.

No Real Ax To Grind

May 1, 2015

There’s no real good reason why I have a parallel blog to Zombie Logic. Oh, wait a minute, yes there is. I didn’t think Jenny and people I knew would ever see this blog, and although I didn’t intend to use it to express thoughts or events I didn’t want her to see, it just made it easier to write about certain things that didn’t seem appropriate for Zombie Logic, where I almost never write about my actual thoughts, feelings, or daily occurances. Even now I’m only writing because I haven’t logged an entry in over a month and I don’t want the search engines to forget about me.

I spent the winter becoming increasingly more paranoid about my health. It began in September, around the anniversary of my heart surgery, and started with anxiety over having a stroke or internal bleeding, and that soon led to panic attacks. Going to bed convinced it was a distinct possibility I would die during the night. Arms and legs going numb. It all just built upon itself until I was a wreck and contacted my physician asking for anti-anxiety medication, which he prescribed. But even after this I had an incident where my feet turned purple. This turned out to be Reynaud’s Syndrome. I was was relieved it was not a blood clot or more severe blockage or anneurysm.

Still I was experiencing numbness in my hands, arms, feet, legs, and on occasion face and neck. I soon became convinced I was developing MS. Weeks passed and the symptoms persisted, so I asked for a referral to a neurologist. After a short office visit he ordered a blood panel but told me he didn’t think I had MS. I instantly felt better. Not entirely better, but over the next few weeks many of my symptoms lessened. Only my right hand persisted in being numb. Eventually I considered the possibility that spending too many hours on the computer might have led me to contract carpal tunnel syndrome, so I started using my left hand two weeks ago, and I’m starting to feel much better.

My neurologist called and said my bloodwork was normal, despite having a pretty common vitamin D deficiency. I have been taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day, trying to get some sun, laying off repetitive tasks with my right hand, and just in general not thinking about death. I’ve had a good six weeks.

Why am I telling you?

I’m not, really. I’m telling myself. After two post-midnight cups of tea and what promises to be an exhausting weekend of art shows and a garage sale, I’m just trying to appreciate every moment when I feel good. I know many people have it so much worse, and I’m grateful for what I have.

I guess I should say a little something more to get to the magical 500 word count. After five years of careful crafting and nurturing, Google seems to have lost favor with my Zombie Logic Blog. I have faith eventually they’ll realize I’m doing all original material and art, but for now I’m apparently not of any interest to the cyber Universe. Here’s a recent piece I’m ok with.

Poem Thomas Vaultonburg

I Stepped On a Shiitake Mushroom

April 5, 2015

Feeling a lot better with the MS the past couple of weeks. The sun has helped. Got my blood panel results and I have a serious Vitamin D deficiency. Not surprising since it’s cold and gray 350 days a year here. Really happy to be part of Spring Art Scene again. Jenny and I collaborated on two pieces. Last year we had a dozen pieces up, and we sold all but two.

Big Thing

Just put all the mini Plants v Zombies toys in plastic eggs and watched Jenny hide enough candy to feed the entire nation of Ecuador. Can’t sleep. The second printing of our children’s book should arrive Monday or Tuesday. It’s a new printer, and I have no idea how it will look. You still have a few days to pre-order it here.

This Should Have Been a Better Day

February 17, 2015

Boxes and boxes of the latest Zombie Logic Press book The Zen of Beard Trimming were dropped off by UPS today. Here’s a picture of boxes of books. Then the writer of our last book, Iced Cream, was on NPR this morning. As a publisher, sounds like a pretty good day, huh? So, why am I here still at the downtown office at 8:30 p.m. lonely and depressed, feeling like I’m wasting my time and my family’s. There’s a line in The Natural where Richard Farnsworth’s character says about the coach, “He gave his heart and soul to the game, only to have it trampled on.” I feel beaten up tonight. The proportion of work I’ve invested to the amount of payoff is ridiculous. Not even justifiable.

Boxes

I’m looking at this picture of these books and instead of rejoicing and congratulating myself on sheparding in another very worthwhile project, I’m wondering where the hell I’m going to put most of them. Nonetheless, like a junkie, I still look forward to the next few book projects we already have lined up. I can’t go to any event here in Rockford without someone approaching me and pitching a book. Which is great, because Rockford is a place with its share of misery, and I’d like to think the two books a year I’ve been doing, and hope to continue doing, give voice to some of that misery. But the fact is even the local media and Buy Local/Chamber of Commerce/Arts Council types do almost nothing to help anyone promote their product outside, even inside the confines of the city. They talk a big game about hope and accentuating the positive, but if your positive isn’t something they don’t profit from, and none of their buddies profit from, they don’t have much interest in it. So, I continue to make products NPR and others find unique and original and worthwhile, but no one in Rockford will say anything about.

Anyway, I’m sure some of you hear me knocking. Publishing is a rough trade. Always has been. This could have and should have been a more joyous day for me. The work is good. The pay sucks. Thanks for letting me complain. Check out our product line at Zombie Logic.

Zombie Logic Press Book Selected For NPR’s Winter Reading Series

January 26, 2015

I was really happy this week when I discovered one of the books I edited at Zombie Logic Press, Iced Cream, by Jesus Abraham Correa VII, was selected for NPR’s Winter Book Series.

It sorta sucked I had to find out by doing a random Google search for my own press, but nonetheless I did find out. The 2015 WNIJ Winter Book Series, which begins Monday, Feb. 2, features authors from throughout northern Illinois. At 6:50 and 8:50 a.m. each Monday in February, Dan Klefstad speaks with an author about his or her book as well as his or her motivation and inspirations and invites the authors to read selections of their published pieces.

Iced Cream was the first time I had published another person’s book, and the first in our Rock River Valley Literary Series. Our second book, The Zen of Beard Trimming, by C.J. Campbell, will be out in February. It gives me deep satisfaction to discover new voices right here in Rockford, Illinois, and expose them to a national audience. It would be nice to get more help locally, but I wasn’t expecting it, and recognition isn’t really what I’m in this for. I love my hometown, and think the literary community here is very brave and noble, and want to do all I can to give them a voice.

Iced Cream was published at a great expense, because it contains nine original works of art as well as short stories and poems, and I insisted on doing it sparing no expense. I’m proud that NPR has chosen it for their series, and hope it’s only the first in a long line of quality books that help spur a resurgence of Downtown Rockford and the entire community.

If You Had To Write In Your Own Blood, Would You?

September 24, 2014

Or you could just be happy for something small like feeling in your pocket and discovering your keys are there after you hear the door to the building lock behind you.

I’ve had a strange day. In my thoughts, at least. I have to be honest and admit I curate about a dozen blogs. Mostly because I like to write about various things like horror movies, poetry, fantasy football, politics, culture etc. I even have a blog about news stories in my hometown. I want to put some links to some of the various works I do here in case you’d like to take a look at it. Not sure why you’d be interested in Rockford, Illinois, other than the fact that it’s considered the 3rd fattest, dumbest, most violent, miserable city in America, and that where I sit and write this among the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. None of that really crossed my mind when I took the garbage out. Dummies Dummies

About 2,500 people read what I wrote today. Some bloggists might look at that number and scoff, others might think it’s a high number. The fact of that matter is the majority of those reads were a blog about piss. The rest were mostly about fantasy football.

Now if I were to write about something close my heart, like poetry, 27 people might show up on any particular day, but if I wrote some schlock about Elvira, Mistress of the Dark‘s boobs, I’d have steady traffic for months.

If I pretended to be an attractive woman writing erotica, I might get several thousand people to look at my writing on Amazon, but if I wrote a decent, heartfelt book about rhinos, crickets.

Trying to figure out what an audience wants in this life is fruitless, and it’s not something I’ve ever spent much time doing. What I do instead is I just write what I want, post it at one of my niche blogs, then go tinker with my fantasy football team.

I had a thought just before i took the garbage out that I wondered how many people would still write if they had to do it in their own blood. Not sure I would anymore. There was a time I would have.

Here’s some things me and my creative partner have made that you can buy.

Mermaids

Poetry

Kickstarter Is a Low-Down Dirty Trick

June 23, 2014

I hate Kickstarter. You probably do, too. Nothing is worse than seeing your friends begging for money on Facebook. Here’s my Kickstarter campaign. It’s for the poetry book Iced Cream, by Jesus Abraham Correa VII. I knew I was going to publish this book nearly ten years ago when I first saw this guy’s poetry on MySpace. I didn’t even know him then. I was just blown away by the originality of the poetry. It wasn’t even really poetry I was reading, it was just a snippet of a story he was telling about some woman he had seen at a local restaurant, and how her absolute disdain was almost edible.

I subsequently became a friend of Jesus and one night over drinks a few years ago asked him if he had enough of those stories to make a book. He said maybe he did, and we agreed to do a book together. That was three years ago. I’d see him on occasion and not want to pressure him, and he’d say he wanted to do illustrations to go along with the poems. So, I waited. But about three months ago I was tired of waiting. This book needed to happen, so I asked him one more time, and he said let’s just go ahead and do it.

Iced Cream is the book.

And you can buy it here Iced Cream By Jesus Correa

 

Image

Scream For Jesus Correa’s Mind-Altering Iced Cream

June 23, 2014

Jesus Correa talks about his first book of poetry.

Love and Other Dirty Tricks

April 30, 2013

You really have to love what you’re doing in this life. Otherwise gravity will crush you. And I don’t mean love like people claim to love bacon. I mean you have to love it. Like when a child you adore digs his nails into your neck because you have to be the one to stop him from running into an object more solid than he is. The same child the next morning sees you emerge from sleep and wraps his arms around your legs like you’re the fourth most important person in the world. And that makes you the fourth most important person in the world. So you better watch your diet and get some exercise because that’s a lot of responsibility.

Poetry is hard, too. It hates 99.99% of the people who have ever tried to write it. It likes me, but not enough. Not enough to make me one of its chosen few. 

Love is a dirty trick. It keeps you on the path. Keeps you from careening into the aether. Pulls you back from some of the dark places you might have disappeared in. 

Getting old is hard. The pain. The dampening power of pain. A blanket of ice on your bones. 

This morning I was awakened early by my mind. It wanted to enjoy every second of this first brilliant day of Spring. But it didn’t consult my body, which is tired. Very tired. And sick. I’m struggling to remain happy and gracious because I really have looked forward to this day for many months. But I’m tired deep in my bones. And afield from a lot of the selfish desires I have for myself. 

I’m enjoying listening to R.E.M. I have a friend who is dying and making a record of it via social media. I also am dying, but more gradually, and my head is slightly fevered this early afternoon from the flu. I am partly here, and partly other places.

You have to love it or it will kill you. It will sniff you like a predator and sense your lack of commitment and it will devour you. I don’t suffer from any such commitment, but I fear I will be dissipated. I suspect I will be. Hopefully my dissipation will result in leaving the better parts of me behind in some form others can benefit from. I feel like I want to write poetry now.

March Madness Is a Dirty Trick

March 24, 2013

March Madness is a dirty trick. Fortunately they’ve started doing it so late, and including so many teams, that by the time my bracket is destroyed and I have to watch seven women named Millie from new jersey who have never seen a basketball game, let alone even know a basketball is round, win the CBS challenge, it’s baseball season and I can start letting the Cubs ruin my life again.

It looks like the big ten is doing well so far. I saw Ohio State beat Iowa State on a last seconf three pointer while the kids were going crazy at Monkey Mania, or whatever that germ factory is called. Then we got home and I think I saw Indiana do almost the same thing to Temple. In general I root for Big Ten teams so the tournament seems to be going well that way.

I’m working on a project to archive the contemporary history of poetry in Rockford, Illinois. That’s been taking up a lot of my “free” time, but also has rekindled my passion to make The Zombie Logic Review a great poetry journal. I’ve received some really good poetry over the past couple of weeks and am excited about it. 

if Minnesota and Illinois could somehow pull monumental upsets I think it would considered one of the best tournaments in Big Ten history, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for either team in the 2nd round.