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15 Thoughts on Planting 30 Flowers

July 15, 2013

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I am posting notice that effective this past Sunday afternoon we have ended our run as the Shame of the Cul-de-Sac. Thank you for your patience, dear and not-so-dear neighbors.

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Strong Wind, Strange Soil

June 27, 2013

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Fresh rain pours into the face of the fishermen on the concrete dock dock beneath the great black sky of Wednesday here at the center of everything and nothing. It is one of those nights of storming from the West.

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Another Dinner, Another Downtown

June 16, 2013

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He keeps trying to negotiate with Fate, but she won’t return his calls. Does he even believe in her besides? Karma, more like it, which is, you know, something else entirely. He thinks, as he swirls the just-delivered cucumber-tequila, red salt-encrusted margarita, in a glass the shape of the letter ‘Y’.

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When the grass needs cutting

June 9, 2013


The grass needs cutting, it’s that damn season when the grass always needs cutting. Not to mention the spidery brown corpses of last year’s porch-side plants I still haven’t ripped out yet.

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Meditation on a Lime Margarita

May 29, 2013

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The city lulls. A woman sings passionately on the restaurant stereo, her voice an open faucet of sound above the bar, unintelligible except for this or that word you recall from Spanish high school class, which I nearly failed in college.

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Six Vignettes, One About Two Attorneys

May 22, 2013

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The well-heeled partners cruise by the brewpub window in their dark-blue sharkskin suits, or at least, suits I cannot afford. I’ve long admired their well-oiled hairdos. They must cost $500 an hour, these guys, what do I know. What do I cost?

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Pen, Paper and Indra’s Web

May 15, 2013

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I read the national award-winning poet to juice my cadences. Maybe to steal his stately, nutritious, languorous lines. For it has been months since a pen, a real ink pen, touched down upon the snowy lined plains of my journal.

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Diary | Of Spaceships and the Hills

April 9, 2013


We moved onward, into the hills. There are very many hills in West Virginia and within their folds are secrets. And horses. And horsedogs.

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Saying goodbye to W.Va. native Lou Myers

February 26, 2013


Actor, musician and West Virginia native Lou Myers died Feb. 19 at the age of 76 . A 2011 Gazette profile captures some of the wide range of a man who was much more than just Vernon Gaines on “A Different World.”

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The Busy Machines That Click and Hum

February 20, 2013


It is hazardous to write poetry when you are tired, horny, disgruntled, lonely, in need of a lover’s ministrations or even just a session of kisses. This may be, of course, the only time, even the best, to write poetry.

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His Fourth Death (Accompanied by a Little Blue Guitar)

February 19, 2013


It was his fourth fourth death. Not that he was counting. But he thought about it later. ‘Keep yourself in the room,’ some oracle of wise practice — was it the Zen Hospice Project? — had said. How did you do that?

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Fragments Before Bed (on a Day I Never Left the House)

January 5, 2013


Fragments stop me in my tracks — Charles Wright, Taiga’s Zen, T.S Elliot. Wait, one more check, there is the number (2) atop my Facebook page. One more fragment of attention before bed.

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The Last Man in the Woods

January 1, 2013


I think if I did not have the woods to get off to I might be a madman. I know that sounds an exaggeration. But there comes a time when nothing else will do and if nothing else would do, could I do without?

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Stories of 2012: Thomas Merton and the Tracks of the Spirit

December 30, 2012

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In the first part of a series of reprinted articles from 2012, a profile of Trappist monk Thomas Merton, on the occasion of the founding of a Merton study group in Charleston, West Virginia.

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You’ve tried to write like a son of a b*tch. Now what?

December 2, 2012


So, you’ve taken part in National Write Like a Son of a B*tch Month this past Novermber. Now what! Set down to your pencils! It’s time to Mail & Deliver.

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4 Addendums to National Write Like a Son of a B*tch Month

November 13, 2012

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Please note these important addendums to National Write Like a Son of a B*tch Month in order to further your success and rescue your so-called self-esteem as a writer who, like, actually writes.

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Announcing National ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month’

October 31, 2012


Writers need deadlines. Writers need motivation. Writers need a sharp kick in the keister to get up from the sofa where you’ve been hypnotized by a “Big Bang Theory” marathon. Hence, the need for ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month’ Join today.

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Monastery Nights: The Monk’s Old Outhouse

October 28, 2012


What happens when you find the monk’s old outhouse has not been used for years in the West Virginia woods? A new chapter of ‘Monastery Nights.’

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Poems Without a Book: ‘Harvest Time’

October 21, 2012


It serves no fruitful purpose to wax melancholic in your late middle years as rust-colored leaves drop, one by one by one by one, from the sycamores, the oaks and maples, and whatnot trees on this cold October morning.

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