Photos of Bob bring me comfort

I keep thinking I should move all my photographs from my crowded iPhone to some kind of storage device. However, I have to thank the phone’s capability to organize and remind me of the photos I have stored there. Almost every day I see another photo of Bob, as if he’s come by to say hello again and again since he died almost a year ago. We took many pictures together, but I like the ones I took only of him – especially with his ever-present small, half closed-mouth smile while he looked at me across a table. Some of course were action shots; for example, as he perused a tall agave bloom in our garden or stood against the Manhattan Beach pier railing while watching the boogey boarders and surfers down below. He loved having his picture taken. We went to lots of places together – in Europe, in Africa, in Israel, in California, in New York, and of course took tons of pictures. One of my favorite shots is of him and his college buddy Morty intimately chatting about all the years gone by. … [Read more...]

Congratulations, Keith Alan Hamilton!

My poet and walking friend, Keith Alan Hamilton, has just released his new book of poems: Peace Out Poems about My Abnormalities Normality. The poems are about stigma, mental illness - including depression and bipolar disorder, and suicide. "I hope for those who read it, it will be of benefit to them.  There is a huge stigma overshadowing those who suffer from mental conditions like depression or being bipolar.  Even more so for those who have committed suicide.  That reality will not change until my type of story is told and understood.  To me, the stigma overshadowing a day-to-day survivor is even worse.  When you are a depressive with thoughts of suicide cycling in your head day in and day out..... it is far harder to survive and keep going than it is to submit.   It is easier to be considered mentally ill and medicated, or to have taken ones life than being someone who successfully copes day-to-day and is a productive contributor to life.  If we are going to show others that … [Read more...]

Through My Eyes by Regina A. Walker

I have always loved New York - the sounds, the smells, the people, the sights. I love it even more after experiencing Regina Walker's new book - Through My Eyes, a photo journal in photography and poems. I wrote on Facebook the other day, "Everyone needs this book." I think the beauty of the images and words in it will grab you as much as they do me. My fellow poet and dear friend, Keith Alan Hamilton, wrote the Foreword. He says, "...I think you will find in this book the combination of her imagery and words go way beyond the magical, as well as the mystical...." Her publisher, William S. Peters, Sr. at Inner Child Press also raves about her work, "The first time i had the opportunity   to   view   Regina's   work   through   her   lens,   i   was   tremendously intrigued by her eye and her ability to Capture a unique perspective of the subtleness of life all about us. Over time i knew i had to get more involved with her work. . . my soul screamed it's  necessity  for  it   … [Read more...]

A good poetry practice – write in the style of other greats

Early on in my poetry workshops, we practiced writing poems in the style of other poets we liked. I especially liked Frank O'Hara's homage to Billie Holiday and tried my hand at writing in this style a couple of times. This poem came to mind when Whitney Houston died two weeks ago. Here is Frank O'Hara's poem for Billie Holiday The Day Lady Died It is 12:20 in New York a Friday three days after Bastille day, yes it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner and I don't know the people who will feed me I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun and have a hamburger and a malted and buy an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets in Ghana are doing these days I go on to the bank and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard) doesn't even look up my balance for once in her life and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I … [Read more...]

Writing down the memories

It was almost an obsession of mine to get my Paul memories written down. I even wrote poems and journal entries about how I went about it. And fortunately I did write them down because a lot of that material ended up in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. Memory List I'm making a memory list. I don't want to forget my son Paul, So I'm writing down all the things I can think of that were unique to him. I keep grabbing, scratching my bony claws at the surface of my brain to remember, to rediscover, to reconnect with how he looked, what he said, what he did, how he did it. I am continually searching for little mannerisms that were so Paul. I keep adding to it I keep going back to it I keep rereading it I keep editing it, so I don't duplicate what's already on it. But, hey, I know a little list of things he did or said isn't going to bring him back to me. That's the truth. You should have seen him. He walked so fast like the rest of the New Yorkers. I … [Read more...]