Archive for January, 2010

Ghost Writers – Separated at Birth?

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , on 2010/01/27 by jamiejthomas

Emo Phillips.

Gwendolyn Brooks.

A stranger comedic poetic duo there could not be. If Gwendolyn Brooks DID write all of Emo’s better (better?) material, as I have always suspected, it would explain the relative silence of Emo since Gwen Brooks’ death in 2000. And why you never saw them together in the same place. Sometimes my ears can’t tell them apart.

Gwen? Emo?

Emo? Gwen?


My daughter’s letter to Santa

Posted in Letters to . . ., Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , on 2010/01/22 by jamiejthomas

Something I wrote to teach my students about over-writing, or the need to write in an over-blown, over-professional, self-important manner. It poses as a daughter’s letter to Santa, with “help” from her parents, for a class assignment. Enjoy.

Dear Santa,
Pursuant to the agreements of our prior meeting on 9 December 2009, regarding, among other subjects, the status of my inclusion or not on your master document detailing all the juvenile members of our behaviorally upstanding citizenry, as well as the nature of the material objects of my desire therein received, resulting from my capitulation to the aforementioned agreements, I formally request complete and timely dispensement of said material objects in the hours leading up to the morning of 25 December 2009 in return for my overall and detailed compliance to your directives, including but not limited to succumbing to the instructions laid out by any and all figures of authority in my general proximity, consuming in complete, without resistance, the whole of all vegetable matter residing on my personal serving vessel during each dinner hour, and retiring peacefully to my sleeping quarters at the required time, having participated in the cleansing rituals there associated.

In return for your timely appearance with the appropriate load of merchandise, I agree to provide you with the traditional accoutrements of baked dessert goods and a lukewarm beverage originating from the bovine ilk. thank you once more for your own compliance in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.


“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him”

Posted in Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , on 2010/01/19 by jamiejthomas

Easily one of my favorite MLK Jr quotables (and he’s astoundingly quotable). And so hard to follow in a practical sense.

Hate–it’s a powerful tool. Motivator. Focusing agent. Sometimes to the point of obsession. Your task becomes like crystal, though often your insanity becomes like crystal also. What’s hard for me is the not hating people who deserve to be hated, who deserve  some well honed ire fired in their general direction.

I guess Martin’s trying to tell me (us) not to perpetuate it. I can dig that. And then I hear someone badmouthing muslims for something happening halfway around the world. And I hear that “Jesus trucks and Islam sucks.”  And then I hear a black woman on TV talking about how once upon a time she wouldn’t have had the right to vote, or live with the full rights of our citizenry, and how America has come so far–it’s 2010–so that we all have a say, and how glad she is that she was able to help vote down a Gay Marriage proposal thank the lord. With complete unironic abandon.

Are you kidding me? I’m thinking Jesus H. doesn’t “truck” nor does he think “Islam sucks.” And I also think that the Jesus I like to believe in would make sure that the “irony” of the situation come to full bear on those who deserve, nay need, to see its full existence.

And then I remember Dr. King’s little quotable–and I realize my dilemma. If you don’t sink to their level, they’ll never hear you tell them that it offends you when they spout their mono-syllabic-hate-mongering.

But if you do, then you have . . .

Jon Stewart, you are my hero

Posted in Entertainment, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , on 2010/01/15 by jamiejthomas

I’ve been passing this clip on to anyone who has 6 minutes of their life they don’t mind giving up.

The one where Stewart calls out Gretchen Carlson (of Fox and Friends infamy) for dumbing herself down (thanks to Huffington Post for keeping it alive).

The Daily Show is Genius (talk about one for the “super over obvious file”), and this clip shows Stewart at his inflective best,  the comedic-timing is spot-on.

A little poetry Jeopardy . . .

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , , , on 2010/01/15 by jamiejthomas


An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,


Man hands on misery to man.


What is, metrical variation employed with great rhetorical effect.

Hardy? Larkin? Rock on with your bad selves.

Posted Some New Audio (as in clips–not anything groundbreaking in audio (sorry audiophiles))

Posted in poetry, Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , , on 2010/01/13 by jamiejthomas

Finally got around to adding audio to the audio page (an apt place for it). Just a sampling of a few poems.

Still footage courtesy of the Rothko Chapel,  The Poison Pen Reading Series (Poison Girl – Houston TX) and from AWP Chicago 2009 (Josh Okun appears courtesy of himself).

Well enjoy it . . .

Happy Birthday to Me

Posted in Stuff I assume other people care about with tags , on 2010/01/12 by jamiejthomas

“I was having a good sleep in my car / in the parking lot of the Showboat Casino Hotel . . .”

So goes the Cracker song. Kind of sums up how I’m feeling about this latest b-day. The sleep is good, as good as car-sleep can be. The casino is, well, a casino–like sex and pizza, no casino is all bad. But it is the Showboat. 37. 37’s a strange number. That’s late-thirties.It’s not that I feel old–though the creaks have increased–it’s been more of a lack of focus thing lately.

On another note, the morning news just reported a study that said that men who have sex twice a week are 40% less likely to have heart disease, as compared to those who have sex once a month. Apparently 1000 men were in the study, though they didn’t study whether this had a similar effect on women.

So, they didn’t even bother to test the women participating in the same test, even though they were participating in the test?? Typical. Giving us a bad name. Way to go male scientists. Cure for breast cancer?–not yet. Multiple boner-pill brands?–apparently so. Cure for male pattern baldness?–allegedly.