Need to write

It’s been a long time since I’ve put fingers to keyboard in service of creative writing. Too long and I don’t really know what to write here. I write for work, and while challenging, and creative in problem solving and working on teams, it doesn’t really provide an outlet for making something new.

I’ve collected some various prompts and images in the last few years. Kids were born, bought a house. Life continued, which should provide plenty of material to generat-icise new poems.

I even have the start to a chapbook that I haven’t looked at in… at least two years.

One line I have written down is

This poem will piss you off.

I think it’s supposed to be in the voice of the president. But I can’t even see through my own anger to start writing it. I have no distance.

I have pictures of various atrocities. But again, I have no distance.

There is a way in which my jaw has not unclenched in almost four years. Longer than that, I guess.

There’s a need to pull it out of the gut like gutting a fish it should be messy and a little gross and inelegant. Righteous hellfire wrath were faith still important. Though it’s all some people have they’ve swallowed the hook. There is not a pretty way to exorcise that barbed point.

There are old photo albums at my mom’s house that we all looked through on Mother’s day recently. Pictures from when I was about my oldest son’s age. And am I completely surprised by how much me and my brother are reflected in pictures of my two sons.

So it’s not all anger and frustration.

Mess and making

These posts are not planned out. They are messy, and I’m allowing them to be messy. Maybe in being messy they’ll make something mew. New. Maybe they’ll make something NEW.

The boys couldn’t agree on what kind of muffins to make today, so we have two kinds of muffins to eat now. I don’t even like muffins. I like cookies. The oldest one ate all of the cookies today.

I’m not even upset about it, even though he had plenty of muffins he could have eaten.

Part of having a sick parent is you have to go over there. Or maybe it’s I’m lucky enough to live close enough to go over there and help. It’s been a lot better lately, but at first it was not. At first it was more like having to help with things the nurses had to do at the hospital.

Home health care is not really a thing in this country. They came twice a week for the first two weeks out of the hospital, which were also the first two weeks of stay-at-home orders.

I don’t want to share too many details.

It was really difficult and at least I had the experience of watching my wife give birth and cleaning up after newborns and toddlers. At least I had the Marine training to do what needs to be done no matter what. But you don’t want to have to apply that experience to a parent.

The human body is amazingly resilient with the right doctors.

I should keep writing, but I think I’m done with this post.

Allow things to be messy, push boundaries to that next step where you’re about to fall over. Everything else has been pushed there already, embrace it.

Make something new.

Grief and Isolation

There is a lot of grief in the world right now.

For you.

For me.

I hope your grief is not unbearable.

Despite all of it, I have gratitude as well. I don’t exactly like that word, “gratitude.” It has religious connotations to my ear. But, well, it works.

I am lucky that I can work from home. My company has been fantastic, and actually quite surprisingly agile.

All of my loved ones are still with me. We have had to be in the hospital with unrelated illnesses, and yet we are safe.

Since the last time I wrote on here two years ago, the new baby has grown. He’s two and a half now.


Oh, I am sad. Sad for my country, sad for humanity, sad for each person lost to this virus.

I try not to be sad for myself, but yes, I am. Serious illness struck my family just as the virus was catching on here in the US. It’s still very serious, and putting strain on all of us.

I am also angry. Mostly about how the government handles this pandemic. Profiteering and cronyism. Cynicism and pandering. Politicization of a public health emergency, for the purpose of making money.


Because we’ve had several hospitalizations (not related to COVID-19), and taking care of one of our family, I am not as isolated as I want to be.

And yet I am lonely.

And this adds to my sadness.


I’m using this to process. You would think there’s all kinds of extra time to do things like productive writing, yard work, etc. But no.

There is no time. There is even less time than when I was commuting two hours a day.

What a strange world.

What strangeness it is to see profit opportunity instead of humanitarian opportunities. What grotesque macabre times we live through.

Inane cruelty. Stupid selfishness.

What protest can we mount while physically distancing?

Find a way. Write. Put it out there.


Two Years

Time flies by so quickly.

I have many new things to write about. And because of the many things, little time to do it in.

Let’s see if I can try.

More soon.

I’m not potential prophesying procrastinating; you are (potential) (prophesying) procrastinating.

Well it’s Alright…

I’m feeling a bit like this tonight:

From the last year of this country, I need that refrain. “Well it’s alright…”

I don’t have a direction for this post tonight. I want to speak to the political situation in our country. I want to speak to the division between those who want to champion other’s rights to a voice and those who would take away those voices. Continue reading “Well it’s Alright…”

It’s a Night Off Writing, I’m doing Laundry and Work

So I think I will spend a bit of time catching up on some old Poetry issues. Never got to them because I got a job, bought a house, had a baby with my wife. Which is all boring life stuff.

I started this on Twitter a couple of months ago, and then life happened again, so I’ll continue now. Maybe I’ll post some thoughts after I read a bit and think on some of the poems.

Anyways, here’s to you and your life stuff.

Over at The Word Cage, Mary Biddinger Contemplates Going Back to Paper

This is something I’ve always been interested in. How do poets choose to write their drafts, and how does it impact the poem?

Personally, I love paper. It slows me down, makes me consider the words and sounds more closely. But when it comes to form, that really takes place on the screen, where I can see the whole poem. With my handwriting, there isn’t a whole lot of room in the notebooks I use to worry too much about form.

Revisions, too, usually take place on paper. After typing up and printing out the draft. Often, that translation between paper and typed poem also results in on-the-fly revisions.

Anyways, I’ve long thought about this (at least back to 2011 or so).

What are your preferences, and how do they impact your writing?

Letter to Eric

Dear Eric,

Why not begin a new year’s writing practice strong? Get a calendar, mark it up, make promises.

Make commitments to people.

Granted, you don’t know these people. They seem nice enough on Twitter. Considerate, considered in thought, unwilling to put up with bullshit. But you’ll commit to them to write a blog post once a week for the whole year. Maybe some weeks you’ll write two, or even three. Hopefully many will be more thought-out than this one, but hey, it is a journal, not a Journal.

More important, make a commitment to write poetry. Once a week, for an hour. In the quiet right after everyone else is in bed. Make a commitment to revise for an hour a week. Make a commitment to send at least one submission per week. Make a commitment to work on that manuscript that keeps disappearing into obligations and home projects. Continue reading “Letter to Eric”

Welcome to YAWB

Maybe you came here from Twitter. Maybe from one of my defunct blogs (they’re still there though: Poetic Idealism and Poetry Thesis Musings) (I’m ignoring the tumblr thing).

I like the shape YAWB makes in the mouth, and the sound it makes in the ears:





It’s wide open, like I hope this blog will be. I’ve imported the posts and pages from the blogs linked above, so all the history is there.

My first real blog post will be this Friday, and I’ll be sure to share it around Twitter at least.

*edited – corrected links to previous blog spaces.