Friday, December 26, 2008

Quote Mona Simpson, Poem Tom A Delmore

Mona Simpson said, "What I'd finally say about truth and autobiography is that all writers are probably trying to get at some core truth of life, at some configuration that is enduring and truthful. I just haven't found the truth to be my vehicle."


The small birds come
Uninvited to a feast.
There is no searching out
A bridegroom or bride
Yet seed scatters ceremoniously-
The distance of a beak thrust.

In this heaving of seed
There is faith. Faith that others
Too frightened to come near
Will be filled like Lazarus
Under the cleft
Of Abraham’s bosom.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

up and running new poem

It is snowing today so no going to work. I have been relearning the computer per se since we got it back but we are now up and running.


She has flaxseed oil
And I fish oil. Hers
Sounds like it would protect
Outside as well as in.
A good oil
Too fight over.

Fish oil entails…enfins
An outward stench
Poured on gardens
That promotes growth.
The brown bottle arrayed
In coastal native art;
Red and black, type
On the label.

The fish oil swallowed
Is capsulated. The size
Of a wax suppository.
It swims, like salmon spawning
To my eyes
And keeps me seeing
Without the smell.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

computer down

We have been without a computer for two weeks so I will Blog when It returns.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quote: William Steig Poem: Tom Delmore

William Steig said, "If I'd had it my way, I'd have been a professional athlete, a sailor, a beachcomber, or some other form of hobo, a painter, a gardener, a novelist, a banjo-player, a traveler, anything but a rich man."

The poem below is from my forthcoming boook A Poultice for Belief

The Second Plague:
Frogs Swarm
Out of the River
When the frogs came up
From the river,
Their leaps took wing,
Sending them everywhere.
Every human footfall concealed
A crunch, a squish.
Frogs hung upon bodies
like ornaments
With no boundaries.
Magicians reproduced
Frogs, and said: ha!
Pharaoh spoke: I will release
Your people to worship.
Stop this frogging!
It stopped. All smelled the rot
of the Pharaoh’s renege.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Book to be published

I got an email that my book A Poultice for Belief is going to be Published by March Street Press. I am looking at galleys of some of my poems. One was published in DRASH last May.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Quote by-Graham Greene Poem- Tom A. Delmore

Graham Greene realized early in his writing career that if he wrote just 500 words a day, he would have written several million words in just a few decades. So he developed a routine of writing for exactly two hours every day, and he was so strict about stopping after exactly two hours that he often stopped writing in the middle of a sentence. And at that pace, he managed to publish 26 novels, as well as numerous short stories, plays, screenplays, memoirs, and travel books. He said, "We are all of us resigned to death: it's life we aren't resigned to."

Curing the Eyes

These young crows
Walked like the blind
Before Jesus, among
Dust and gravel.
Their beady black eyes
To see what is not visible.
Patrolling sameness
To find something useful
Something agitating-
Something their parents
Will steal from them.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Afghan T A Delmore Quote Stanely Kunitz


Wrapped in your crocheted plait
I nestle into my first experience
Of you.
Knitted into life by my mother’s
Hands, each pearl a piece of animation
From black border to mosaic center.
Couched afghan, lover’s web, smother
My shivers.

Stanley Kunitz said, "Poetry is inseparable from my life force, and that began very early. It was a great gift, and it has sustained me through the years, and the losses that have attended those years."
He said, "The poem comes in the form of a blessing, like the rapture breaking through on the mind."
And, "Old myths, old gods, old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our mind, waiting for our call. We have need for them. They represent the wisdom of our race

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quote: Sylivia Plath Poem: T A Delmore

Sylvia Plath said, "Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise."

Shopping Cart Blues

Hold my hand and squeeze
Cantaloupes. Push the cart
As I disappear underneath.
Ridged steel and unpaid
Groceries, essentials
Dad would mutter throwing
A bag of potatoes to my back.
Wurlitzer sounds bring me down
Isles that once held that big fire
Truck over frozen peas. Holiday fare.

Take me where you will
To the end
Of meat counters
The beginning of checkout lines.
No one pushes me down
Linoleumed isles anymore.
I am the giant to smiling eyes
Under the haul of carted food.
Gone are the organ sounds
Of Montavani in return
Is the smell of Havarti,
And too many memories.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn Poem by Tom Delmore


I am looking for autumn
in the staghorn sumac,
the gold of the vine maple,
the absence of apples.
A creeping cool that turns

furnaces on and stale odors
out. Fall has found me,
taking a ritual
of beauty, beyond the buoyancy

of my parents dreams, older than
the Bible. Autumn renowned
till cold puts pigment to mounds
blended for burning
or bagging.

All this pressed, years past
between wax paper
and taped to school windows.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We are in Austin Texas this week.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quote: Toni Morrison Poem TA Delmore

Toni Morrison wrote, "They straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for houses and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places ... but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. ... All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. Writers are like that: remembering where we were, what valley we ran through, what the banks were like, the light that was there and the route back to our original place." I posted this quote in Abbey of the arts blog.

Who’s Sport?

She does Tai Chi with less guilt.
Baseball books sell better in winter.
Her husband would never understand
DiMaggio a coffee spokesman.
Forever, his sultan of swat.

Soft feet on red brick
The thrill of the grass
Or the grasshopper position.
He can catch fly balls
She can move energy.

She will eat
Her husband one day
Mantis-like, sell
His baseball books
And keep her Mr. Coffee.

Till then his kiss
Is a double latté
No foam.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Grahame Green Quote Tom Delmore Poem

Graham Greene realized early in his writing career that if he wrote just 500 words a day, he would have written several million words in just a few decades. So he developed a routine of writing for exactly two hours every day, and he was so strict about stopping after exactly two hours that he often stopped writing in the middle of a sentence. And at that pace, he managed to publish 26 novels, as well as numerous short stories, plays, screenplays, memoirs, and travel books. He said, "We are all of us resigned to death: it's life we aren't resigned to."

The Smell and Taste of Test

This morning has
The smell and taste
Of a math test.
The one you know
You already failed.
The air holds no empathy
Only Mr. Fortier who knows
Long before you entered
You flunked. Compassion
Is a wind that never rested
On my weary shoulders
But drones as a hornet
Outside the rain spattered

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Back in July I went on a PRH Retreat in Port Townsend Washington. We were asked to go out and be chosen by a tree. I had a hard time with this because I am good at choosing beautiful trees, but one that would choose me? I followed no path and saw many trees that I liked. As I approached one a branch nudged my shoulder. I kept walking but then decided to turn around. It was amazing! If I could have climbed inside of it I would have. We talked, hugged and had a wonderful time. Yesterday I was walking my dog in a ravine by my apartment. About a third of the way through I saw a huge bird take off in front of me on the trail I thought it was a hawk. It landed in a low tree not far from me. It was a Barred Owl, in all its splendor! I had 3 minutes to chat sound and praise the universe for being chosen again. The bird considered me in a way that i could not ignore.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quote: Naruda Poem: Tom Delmore

Naruda:" All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are."

Radio Jesus

Out on the coast
Christian radio stations
Come in loud and clear.
Over several waves
As if
Walking on agitated water-
Held up by hymn and verve
Could save.

A savior among static.
The smell of salt
Rotting vegetation.
He says: Come rest in me
Broken crab, razor clams
Shattered sand dollar.
For the word
So wet to bring them
That much closer
To the undertow of salvation.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Quote and more Boxing

I am continuing with my boxing poems again this week. These poems and a few others will be part of a collage that i am putting together.
Thanks for the comment last week. Always good to hear from people.

There is no excellent beauty that hath not strangeness in the proportion. From Hermitage Journal Blog

The Sweet Science

On the ropes is where
You find him trying
To fend blows and jostle
An opening with his head.
The bell now more important
Than the round. The bikinied
Girl carrying the numbered sign
Had blurred by the fifth.

On the ropes is where
He was trained
To avoid, and no rope-a-dope
In his repertoire.

Move, move, the corner
Shouts, his legs wobble
Like the recipient of
A first kiss of a lover
Except for the blows.

His ring expectations
Have never been so narrowed-
Ali standing over Liston.
His vision now vertical, not
In the stance of a champ.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Quote: Edgar Lee Masters Poem: Tom Delmore

Edgar Lee Masters said, "How shall the soul of a man be larger than the life he has lived?"

Pugilist at the Transit Center

He has a face like a boxer
But I could not say he boxed.
Chiseled and boney where blows
Would blossom red. The ears
Have yet to attain vegetable shapes.
Maybe a peek-a-boo puncher-
Floyd Patterson; except white.
A welter weight- quick
Guessing here, since he’s just standing.

When he moves his butt
Over thighs and calves
Not anticipating a blow-
But quick to be in motion, a leg
To lunge. My words
Activating this languorous lad
As I spar in the distance.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quote Ferlinghetti Poem Tom Delmore

Ferlinghetti said, "Like a bowl of roses, a poem should not have to be explained."

Edward Curtis

When you died
The box camera
Would not fit in
Your casket.
Certain that your dreams
Could be held in
Sepia toned photogravures.
Just one more wax cylinder
For heralding angels was a silent

Among Nez Perce you
Caught shadows on glass
And dressed warriors
Out of time. So much apparatus
Your troupe
Outnumbered the tribe.

In debt you photographed
Jewels embedded in eyes
That no one could purchase,
Just a people a language a time
Fading away.

When they buried you
A shelf should have been laid
Round your body
Formed of your exposed

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Quote:John Hollander Poem: Tom Delmore

John Hollander said, "I want my poems to be wiser than I am, to know more about themselves than I do."

You’re the Weeds

It was a frustrated phrase
The end of the line.
A step not to take. It came
After much agitation,
Like plastic covering furniture.

When mom went speechless
She fumbled the ledge
For the beating stick. One half
That was aggressive
Was not as strong as the half
That wanted to leave it be.

She would become a Martha Graham dancer
With a prop. Flying around the dining room
To pantry, and kitchen, my twin
And I knowing she could only catch one
Or get tired and give up.

I look at my aging face
A scar below my left eye.
Is that a consequence of escape
Or choreography?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quote: Eric Hoffer Poem: Flying

Eric Hoffer said, "When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other."


Rounding the turn
Stood the man on slew edge,
Like an outcropping of duckweed.
His pole an awkward extension
To the water. Not moving
Imitating the traffic around him.
Letting his line feel the current-
Becoming heron.

His transformation or failure
Are not my issues.
I am in motion
And will not see him fly.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Quote: Wendell Berry/ Poem: Tom Delmore

Berry: If you’ve lost the capacity to be outraged by what’s outrageous, you’re dead. Somebody ought to come and haul you off.

Note Fever

It’s all jazz in my head-
Miles, Miles, Miles, sketching
Spain and fusing it to a dream.
Man, its dizzy making my path straight.
Hubbard- who keeps my cupboard in dis-
array. Gershwin moistens my meerschaum pipe
as damp as a clarinets reed.
Coltrane, Coltrane, Coltrane, chugging
in the synapses of my cerebellum, and Basie
getting lacey with his wand.
Its Chet making licks full of love
with voice and metal hum.

All this gives me note fever
and I pray
no cure!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quote by Naruda Poem by TA Delmore

Naruda" All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are."

Car Worries

How do you write a depression
One that sinks lower
Than a jelly fishes underside.
A material depression
That carries a partial guarantee.
As we walk up the steep grade
My little one says: my car
Will never die.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Quote by: Margaret J. Wheatley Poem By: Tom Delmore

Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context.
Margaret J. Wheatley

When dad did not speak
Of where he came out
(A womb with Native
American markings)
We ventured
Like a tribe marched
Into silence.

He tended the land
A garden in each yard,
Worked for the Steel
Horse people.

You could see the native
In his mother yet she
Spoke French, and broken

When he was ill
His mind gone
He said something
To mom, very native
But too late.

“He wanted to die
At home,” she blurted
Through sobs.

“With my people”
Is what any elder
Of the Iroquois
Would have requested.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quote by Deepak Chopra & Poem by TA Delmore

On uncertainty: “The known is our past. The known is nothing other than the prison of past conditioning.” - Deepak Chopra


I would open a window
and let bee's trickle in
to be closer to you.
I would hum in the midst
of being stung to smell
what the wind honors
of you.

I would bend to lift
you up just to touch you
now and then.
But I am
where I began,
catching bees in a blue jar.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Quote by: Francine Prose Poem by: TA Delmore

Francine Prose said, "For now, books are still the best way of taking great art and its consolations along with us on the bus."

Bird of Prayer

The crows are gardening again.
Up with the sun they peck
the earth.
On some occasions
they bring their young crying
to the land; morsels are stuffed
down tender throats, raw
from cawing.

In Summer they solo and caw
to God, pause, caw again, move,
and caw once more. A trinity
of praise.
In that joy, hopping,
flying; movement in prayer,
crow recreates a dance of thanks,
never seen by Noah.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Poem TA Delmore Quote Iris Murdoch

Prometheus Father

He did not create
the Frisbee but brought it
to the family as a means
of sport and exercise. He
was the master of the flicked wrist
and cutting air. He made
his children wanting-
but not wanting enough.
Always control
and accuracy of the disc.

When he noticed his tykes
becoming his equal with the disc
Prometheus went out, purchased
a ping pong table and started the cycle
all over again.

Murdoch said, "Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quote by: David Deida Poem by: TA Delmore

Right now, and in every now-moment, you are either closing or opening.
You are either stressfully waiting for something—more money, security, affection—or you are living from your deep heart, opening as the entire moment, and giving what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.
If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer.
Every moment is the most important moment of your life.
No future time is better than now to let down your guard and love.
Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone.
Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety.
Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression.
Your glance can awaken joy.
Your words can inspire freedom.
Your every act can open hearts and minds.
Opening from heart to all, you live as a gift to all.
In every moment, you are either opening or closing.
Right now, you are choosing to open and give fully or you are waiting.
How does your choice feel?

David Deida, from 365 Nirvana, Here and Now by Josh Baran (as quoted on Tricycle)

All will be Revealed

Take my fathers rhymes
Add my mother’s gifts,
Give it to me, fresh
As home baked bread Strong
As an oak tree. Stiff
As carded wool.
My time, aging and moving
Carrying bits of memory;
When trolleys sparked
And asphalt was agitating.

Bend my days and cure
My soul
Let me lean into it.
Lend me clues, a green leaf
Into tomorrows yellow.
A cracked chestnut
A caressed nipple.

Take a son’s conversation
That leaves a line
Hung with wet laundry.
A missing button on a sun dress
Revealing. The crow on the wire
Waiting. Life in domino zags.
A sticker bush of yesterdays-
Rose full today.

The trees, yellow like
Lamp light before dark.
Cut grass with its smell
Windows that shine an autumn
Collage, reflecting moments
In a harvest moon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quote : Fred Astaire Poem TA Delmore

Fred Astaire said, "The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."

Nesting Crow
The crow
through my window
only goes
left to right
south to north-
beak breaded with bits
of nest.

This is the season
of one direction
of erect
and earnest constitution.

the void of right
to left, north
to south is something
maybe sensual.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Quote by: Tennessee Williams Poem by: TA Delmore

Tennessee Williams said, "I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really."

55 Ford with Heavy Doors
I miss supermarket music
The ones absent of lyrics.
Elevator ditties
That hid my crying
Among carrots and beets.

Holding my thumb
As it throbbed to purple
Parents shopping
And talking. Dad’s hanky
On my wound. There was no
Move to the isle with Bactine
Or iodine.
Just another wound on the boy
That festers years later.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quote by Grotstien Poem by TA Delmore

When innocence has been deprived of its entitlement, it becomes a diabolical spirit.
(Grotstien 1984)

Light in the Foyer

That light will never be
the same. Its least intensity
was when the front door was open
and darkness absorbed all one hundred
watts of naked glow.
I remember the light as a liturgical

After midnight mass
as we came through
the birth of Jesus
and swept steps.
Tangible gifts soon to be opened
but sleep first.

The porcelain switch
worked upstairs
to ward off nighttime strangers
or downstairs to uninvite
the evening. It had the same luminosity
for Easter Vigil inviting
Christ’s Resurrection.

It was the terminal light I saw
my father alive in; strapped to a gurney
dimmed like an over-exerted fuse
and no copper penny.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Quote by Robert Henri Poem by T A Delmore

Robert Hénri said in his wonderful book, The Art Spirit, written in 1923,
Do not let the fact that things are not made for you, that conditions are not as they should be, stop you. Go on anyway. Everything depends on those who go on anyway.

Missing Poster: Last seen 7/21/07

She was last seen in her room
By her mom-
Wearing a checkered skirt.

She was last seen by her dad-
Who is certain
Her eyes were always green.

She was last seen by her friends-
At school, carrying her blue
Backpack, slung low.

She was last seen by her brother-
From the adjoining heat vent
Near his bed.
She was naked.

She was last seen by her abductor
Who didn’t care
Who she was.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Poem: Thy will Not mine Quote: Walker Evans

Thy Will not Mine

Grace was weighted upon
By many books, stacked
In disarray,
showing just angles.
From memory: a Carvaggio
Angel, presenting conception
To a child unwed.

In presentation, the true weight
Of the universe penetrated
This virgin most pure.
She knew beyond years
That no amount of words
Laws, or skeptical husband
Would betray this moment.

All this mind you
From a stack of books
Waiting to be packed in storage.

Walker Evans said, "Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Quote: Victor Frankel Poem: Post-Toddler Lesson

What is to give light must endure burning. Victor Frankel

Post-Toddler Lesson

The brown shoelace rests
Untied on the brown dining room chair
The lace looks like the ones that
Hold my baby shoes together today.

This is where I knelt
Maybe five but already
Sacramental- confessing to God:
“Help me make a bow and I’ll be good.”

The curse of the left handed is that
The teachers are right handed.
What they showed was frustration
Of labor knotted by a sibling bribe
If I got it right I could go or be left
Behind on a trip that now has no memory.

So many years later
Mom relinquished my baby shoes
Only after being placed in a brown bag
And only after a shoemaker had shined them.

What I received
Was un-bronzed
Shine of dull brown
Worn in heal and toe,
And goddammitt
Still untied!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Judith Guest Quote Poem by me, TA

Judith Guest once said, "Living the blessed life is the luck of the draw. We don't get control over the cards we're dealt, but we do have control over how we face the odds, how we play them. Some people with awful cards are successful because of how they deal with them, and that seems courageous to me."

A Patsy Cline Moment

I feel like a character
In a Patsy Cline song.
Already broke up and cryin.
No happy notes to hang
My hat on, cause she took
All them away. Never sayin
What you meant till after
I married the wrong women.
All those streets of tears, salty
And not worth a wipe.
We could have danced to another
Song or just let me play
Out my own.
But your voice said it over and over
And no kiss can get you back.
I fall to pieces.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

good enough story

We are all even at our lowest a good enough story- never forget that!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Quote by Anna Quindlen Poem by Carl Sandburg

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.
Anna Quindlen

- Carl Sandburg, 1918

THERE is a wolf in me … fangs pointed for tearing gashes … a red tongue for raw meat … and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fox in me … a silver-gray fox … I sniff and guess … I pick things out of the wind and air … I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers … I circle and loop and double-cross.

There is a hog in me … a snout and a belly … a machinery for eating and grunting … a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun—I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fish in me … I know I came from salt blue water-gates … I scurried with shoals of herring … I blew waterspouts with porpoises … before land was … before the water went down … before Noah … before the first chapter of Genesis.

There is a baboon in me … clambering-clawed … dog-faced … yawping a galoot’s hunger … hairy under the armpits … here are the hawk-eyed hankering men … here are the blond and blue-eyed women … here they hide curled asleep waiting … ready to snarl and kill … ready to sing and give milk … waiting—I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.

There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird … and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want … and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes—And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.

O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head,
under my red-valve heart—and I got something else:
it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart:
it is a father and mother and lover:
it came from God-Knows-Where:
it is going to God-Knows-Where—
For I am the keeper of the zoo:
I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work:
I am a pal of the world:
I came from the wilderness.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Poem, no title Quote: John McPhee

Seek first the kingdom before
anything was the word.
Realm found in most unusual
places, among markings that tell
something, that imitates more
and imparts less. But on some days
they are ten for a dollar. Then on another
they are two for three dollars.
Who do people say that I am-
is as good as a greeter at Wal-Mart
not comatose in some aisle but dying
with dignity. Grasping at straws is
dissimilar to grabbing for loved ones.
Wills read are not the same as eulogies said.
Family is always there and wondering
who got what. Moses taking off sandals
is what made the ground sacred-
the fire always speaks.
I am.

When asked what he writes about,John McPhee said, "I'm describing people engaged in their thing, their activity, whatever it is."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Derek Walcott said, "The English language is nobody's special property. It is the property of the imagination."

I have run across an activast, Van Jones who is trying to connect green living and the Black community. He is a prophet worth listening to. I have been reading the Iliad, taking in the seige of Troy, and then go back and ponder. One page of writing and you find out it has been ten years these warriors have darkened the sand with their blood.
I have signed up for a PRH classes to help unravel who I am at the age of 52. If you want to know more there is a link on this Blog. I have a poem coming out this summer in Drash Magazine, and will be doing readings.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Our first President from Writers almanac / Poem Grazing Moon

Ten Things You Never Knew about George Washington, born on this day in 1732:

His dentures carved from a hippopotamus tusk. They were drilled with a hole to fit over Washington's one remaining tooth, and they rubbed against his natural tooth in such a way that Washington was in constant pain, and so he used an alcoholic solution infused with opium.

By the time he reached 30, he had survived malaria, smallpox, pleurisy, dysentery. He was fired at on two separate occasions — and in one of them, his horse was shot out from under him and four bullets punctured his coat. He also fell off a raft into an icy river and nearly drowned.

During the last night of his life, a doctor friend came over to perform an emergency tracheotomy on Washington. Arriving too late, the doctor tried to resurrect Washington by thawing him in cold water, then wrapping him in blankets and rubbing him in order to activate blood vessels, then opening his trachea to inflate his lungs with air, and then transfusing blood from a lamb into him.

He enjoyed playing cards, hunting foxes and ducks, fishing, cockfighting, horse racing, boat racing, and dancing. He bred hound dogs and gave them names like "Sweet Lips" and "Tarter."

His favorite foods included mashed potatoes with coconut, string beans with mushrooms, cream of peanut soup, salt cod, and pineapples.

He snored very loudly.

He did not wear a powdered wig, as was fashionable at the time. Instead, he powdered his own red-brown hair.

Washington had a speech impediment and was not good at spelling. He would often mix up i's and e's when speaking and in writing.

There are 33 counties, seven mountains, nine colleges, and 121 post offices named after Washington.

He delivered the shortest inaugural address ever. It was only 133 words long and took 90 seconds to deliver.

Grazing Moon
I linger for the full moon
The ones seen by my grandfather
On a North Dakota night. His solitary
Light as he stumbled home to tell Louise
His wife, another financial lie. His conductor
Buttons of brass as close to coins that he
Could muster.
Louise’s anger laced in French
So her swearing was ignored
And waved at like a moth
As her drunken Pat
Peed on their moon-glow fence.

A son missed him at the station
And at the bar of his demise,
And all normal paths
A son would guide his father home.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


"This is not a book that should be tossed lightly aside.
It should be hurled with great force."
~ Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fun Trip

We took the long way to Walla Walla to see our friend Margaret. The pass was to iffy. We drove to Portland then through the Columbia gorge. The weather was perfect!
Margaret has a show at the Pendleton Center for the arts, displaying her "robes" characters universal to the human psyche. It ends on Feb. 22nd. I hope she shows it in many venues.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

This War and Lent

Last night I watched the documentary, Rush to War. There was a quote by Dante about a place in hell being reserved for those who are neutral. Not being to take a stand on the war in Iraqi. What follows in a compilation of poems and articles and some photos about this war. I have not been silent; peace marches and rallies, but as to my gift of being a poet I have kept these in files. Now i share them with you.

Ash Wednesday is this week- What does the cross on your forehead mean to you?

Lent began with the drums of war beating. As I look over the poems that were written in anger then as prayer,Five years ago it is truly sadness that rises in me. Far away, safe yet called as a poet not to ignore the enormity of this war.

Susan Sontag, discussing pictures and wars.

SONTAG: I don't think images can stop war, because I don't think images just come all wrapped up with their meanings very apparent to us. I think the images, as I say, they'll disgust you with war in general, but they won't tell you which of the wars, let's say, that might be worth fighting, like World War II, and the ones that you should bring to an end as quickly as possible or pull out of. For that you have to have a politics or you have to have an ethics, or you have to have some knowledge. And that's why you need words to go with the images.
It's not the pictures that are going to tell us that specific message. The pictures are going to tell us how terrible war is. But they're not going to help us understand why this war is wrong.
Because you know, the other people will just say, "Well, hey, war is hell." I mean, don't you know that? But grow up. You know, did you think war was pretty activity in which nobody gets killed? Of course! War is hell." So the pictures are not going to tell us to stop a particular war, a particular war. And for that we need debate and we need a two party system, which we no longer have in this country.
So this is a book that really wants to talk about how horrible war is. Precisely in the way that images both convey it and can't convey it.
MOYERS: What do you mean? They convey a slice of it, but not the totality?
SONTAG: Well, they can, of course they can't convey the totality. That goes without saying. No image can. But it's also that when you watch things through an image, it's precisely affirming that you're safe. Because you are watching it. You're here and not there. And in a way you're also— you're innocent. You're not doing it. You're neither being killed nor are you firing the gun.
You become a spectator. It confirms you in a kind of feeling of invulnerability. On one level it's people looking at war as spectacle. But they don't just look at it as spectacle. They just look at it as, well, that's a terrible thing. Really terrible. And they turn the channel.
You know, I opened — I'm a very faithful reader of the NEW YORK TIMES every morning. And when I see that section, "The Nation At War," and I look at those incredible color photographs of the Iraqi mother with her children cowering and, you know, and some bombardment or dead bodies or American soldiers or debris or destroyed houses, day after day after day, I think, "Isn't it extraordinary that we can be here and we're so safe? And they're there." And that's a situation we're just going to get used to.
This interview was done by Bill Moyers for NOW.

It was not too long before I began to see a parallel between this war and certain Stations of the Cross, (Jesus walk toward his death), then there was a place for resurrection. It came in the photo of a man weeping, It was
this utter sadness, sitting in a museum that held so many artifacts that were destroyed. He could weep but he could not stay there forever.
The poems were not done in order. I would see a photo and wait for the words. In the poem of The Good Thief, it began as a story of Barabas. But I could not shake that there were three bodies walking. This shift was
powerful because there were others that suffered in this place called Golgotha. One who could not see Jesus as the Christ and another who recognized Him.
The late Archbishop Murphy of Seattle once said he watched the movie Dead Poet’s Society so many times before he saw that some students in the movie, didn’t stand up to recognize the teacher as he left. Belief happens in stages. I always believe that the one thief, who did not recognize Jesus came to that place, came through the pain to see like the Good Thief.
Photos give us the freedom to see a snapshot of something larger, if the imagination is allowed to break open the scene. St. Ignatius in using the bible as prayer says to go into the scene, become one of the characters.

A letter to Americaby Margaret Atwood America: This is a difficult letter to write, because I'm no longer sure who you are.
Some of you may be having the same trouble. I thought I knew you: We'd become well acquainted over the past 55 years. You were the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck comic books I read in the late 1940s. You were the radio shows - Jack Benny, Our Miss Brooks. You were the music I sang and danced to: the Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, the Platters, Elvis. You were a ton of fun.
You wrote some of my favourite books. You created Huckleberry Finn, and Hawkeye, and Beth and Jo in "Little Women," courageous in their different ways. Later, you were my beloved Thoreau, father of environmentalism, witness to individual conscience; and Walt Whitman, singer of the great Republic; and Emily Dickinson, keeper of the private soul. You were Hammett and Chandler, heroic walkers of mean streets; even later, you were the amazing trio, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, who traced the dark labyrinths of your hidden heart. You were Sinclair Lewis and Arthur Miller, who, with their own American idealism, went after the sham in you, because they thought you could do better.
You were Marlon Brando in "On The Waterfront," you were Humphrey Bogart in "Key Largo," you were Lillian Gish in "Night of the Hunter." You stood up for freedom, honesty and justice; you protected the innocent. I believed most of that. I think you did, too. It seemed true at the time.
You put God on the money, though, even then. You had a way of thinking that the things of Caesar were the same as the things of God: That gave you self-confidence. You have always wanted to be a city upon a hill, a light to all nations, and for a while you were. Give me your tired, your poor, you sang, and for a while you meant it.
We've always been close, you and us. History, that old entangler, has twisted us together since the early 17th century. Some of us used to be you; some of us want to be you; some of you used to be us. You are not only our neighbours: In many cases - mine, for instance - you are also our blood relations, our colleagues, and our personal friends. But although we've had a ringside seat, we've never understood you completely, up here north of the 49th parallel.
We're like Romanized Gauls - look like Romans, dress like Romans, but aren't Romans - peering over the wall at the real Romans. What are they doing? Why? What are they doing now? Why is the haruspex eyeballing the sheep's liver? Why is the soothsayer wholesaling the Bewares?
Perhaps that's been my difficulty in writing you this letter: I'm not sure I know what's really going on. Anyway, you have a huge posse of experienced entrail-sifters who do nothing but analyze your every vein and lobe. What can I tell you about yourself that you don't already know?
This might be the reason for my hesitation: embarrassment, brought on by a becoming modesty. But it is more likely to be embarrassment of another sort. When my grandmother - from a New England background - was confronted with an unsavoury topic, she would change the subject and gaze out the window. And that is my own inclination: Mind your own business.
But I'll take the plunge, because your business is no longer merely your business. To paraphrase Marley's Ghost, who figured it out too late, mankind is your business. And vice versa: When the Jolly Green Giant goes on the rampage, many lesser plants and animals get trampled underfoot. As for us, you're our biggest trading partner: We know perfectly well that if you go down the plug-hole, we're going with you. We have every reason to wish you well.
I won't go into the reasons why I think your recent Iraqi adventures have been - taking the long view - an ill-advised tactical error. By the time you read this, Baghdad may or may not look like the craters of the Moon, and many more sheep entrails will have been examined. Let's talk, then, not about what you're doing to other people, but about what you're doing to yourselves.
You're gutting the Constitution. Already your home can be entered without your knowledge or permission, you can be snatched away and incarcerated without cause, your mail can be spied on, your private records searched. Why isn't this a recipe for widespread business theft, political intimidation, and fraud? I know you've been told all this is for your own safety and protection, but think about it for a minute. Anyway, when did you get so scared? You didn't used to be easily frightened.
You're running up a record level of debt. Keep spending at this rate and pretty soon you won't be able to afford any big military adventures. Either that or you'll go the way of the USSR: lots of tanks, but no air conditioning. That will make folks very cross. They'll be even crosser when they can't take a shower because your short-sighted bulldozing of environmental protections has dirtied most of the water and dried up the rest. Then things will get hot and dirty indeed.
You're torching the American economy. How soon before the answer to that will be, not to produce anything yourselves, but to grab stuff other people produce, at gunboat-diplomacy prices? Is the world going to consist of a few megarich King Midases, with the rest being serfs, both inside and outside your country? Will the biggest business sector in the United States be the prison system? Let's hope not.
If you proceed much further down the slippery slope, people around the world will stop admiring the good things about you. They'll decide that your city upon the hill is a slum and your democracy is a sham, and therefore you have no business trying to impose your sullied vision on them. They'll think you've abandoned the rule of law. They'll think you've fouled your own nest.
The British used to have a myth about King Arthur. He wasn't dead, but sleeping in a cave, it was said; in the country's hour of greatest peril, he would return. You, too, have great spirits of the past you may call upon: men and women of courage, of conscience, of prescience. Summon them now, to stand with you, to inspire you, to defend the best in you. You need them.
*Margaret Atwood studied American literature - among other things - at Radcliffe and Harvard in the 1960s. She is the author of 10 novels. Her 11th, "Oryx and Crake," will be published in May. This essay appeared originally in The Globe and Mail (Toronto), March 28, 2003.

All Poems by TA Delmore
East of Baghdad

They begin shooting
In groves of figs,
Spattering fruit
Onto limbs
Of bodies lost.
Sweet nectar
That runs the face
Of a mouthless soldier.

Before figs
Were collateral damage
They were a delight,
Eaten as refreshment
A treat.

So many mouths lost
Their taste
In a coppice
East of Baghdad.

I heard her weep
echoing off stone walled soldiers.
From some land faraway dripping crude,
oil, rusty colored blood
or at least as important.

Letters always come late, the sender
so naive. A granite formation, one that sears
home all those who never knew: Jose or Alvin,
now infused into one monument.
In the desert there is no such memento,

sand had no intention to mix with body parts.
Can you hear the echo, following those dead? A thumping
beat. One that sounds louder after death. Freedom isn't
free. Again it is just an echo much like a crack of a rifle.
So weep Vietnam generation and cheer you Gulf War PSTDers

bury all your woes on confetti filled avenues, trip not
over this solemn thought: you will fight for oil
under the heading of, NEW WORLD ORDER, and fall face down
not to Allah but to Exon.

The Sound

When a regime falls
And the world
Is asleep, who wakes
The world up?

A bending of steel
A yawn of sound;
Saddam, Saddam.

When the world
Wakes up,
And sees truly
Sees, the mess of nations,
Our children will leap frog,
Play kick the can
And shout: “red rover
Red rover, send humanity over.”


I am thinking about
tolerable losses
in human terms.

There seems to be a
gap in this connection.

Less a shock, more
like an irritating hum.

Tolerable losses are our sons
and daughters gone down
to defeat in a sporting event

Tolerable loss is a missing
front tooth or a new scab forming

Not limbs, and loves
languishing on desert

Photos, not taken of
the dead, heaped
on bases none can pronounce.

Dispatched by men
Wearing silk suits.
That is tragedy and
Death, and most of all

The Church of St. Therese
Three candles burn down
On the altar, other light
Gives little hint
From where it comes.
Church light is like that.
The pastor prays mid-pew
Alone among the scattered.
Her place of quiet is restless.

Red banners hang on whitewashed
Pillars. Blood soon to be spilled,
Spilling. The click of the rosary
Against a mahogany pew, brings
Thoughts to prayer. The pastor
Rises, whispering words
No one hears. Side altar
Extinguished candles.
There is no escaping
Smoke from such blows,
More a feeling of invocations.

Out into the cold, looking
Thinking of a war, thousands
Of miles away, and many days
To pray.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Moon Pie Press - Our Writers And Artists

Moon Pie Press - Our Writers And Artists

Quote: Robert Pinsky Poem: House Finch

Robert Pinsky said, "The longer I live, the more I see there's something about reciting rhythmical words aloud — it's almost biological — that comforts and enlivens human beings."

House Finch
Maybe the house finch
sees me as I am. The ochre-
like an embarrassment
is the color he shows me
as we peer at each other.
Or an obtained color
from seeing something
not meant to be viewed.

Perhaps the house finch
truly shows that color
when humans are about,
and the true self, like me
is dull, with feathers askew.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Quote:Martin Luther King, Jr./ Poem:

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Half-way to Heaven
or Where was God?

Based on film/photos of the holocaust

These were my girls- stacked
like cord wood naked to a ditch.
Limbs in all directions, along with men-
a death orgy in shades of black & white.

Once we stood in bars leaning on one another
touching layers of material to fumble arousal.
Their names so easy
back then
to remember.

When I entered this death place fatigue-clad
led by stench to this magi-less scene,
those alive like ghosts from a Dickens’s tale
pointed to these heaps of limbs, half-way to heaven.

Modesty untangles the bodies
as those filled with sin and dust
drag and straighten atrophied appendages
for burial.

These are not just
my girls, come to think of it
they are me
they are you
the abyss the tight rope.

I danced with her
I’d know her ankle anywhere,
and yes that knap of neck, now
so elongated that my lips
would fit thrice in that space-
when one kiss was always
enough. Those places on bodies
we never mentioned but moanly vocalized-
splayed to nausea and overted eyes
and no light. There is no light.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Quote: Edgar Allan Poe Poem: Crows in the Belly

Edgar Allan Poe wrote, "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."

Crows in the Belly

For Sally

In the belly
so dark past wounding
crows emerge; like witnesses
to a prayer service under
a canvas tent.

Wings raised in decrepit
angles of praise and pain.

On his back lays the slain.
Warm hands
Combing ruffled feathers.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yakima Fruit Market Surprise!

Thanks to the Yakima Fruit Market for putting my name in lights! My wife Gwen called me from under the sign to tell me. Here is the poem:

Yakima Fruit Market in Winter
Funny fruit people adorn
articulated doors as vacancy
erupts all around.
The Christmas trees are gone-
a carpet of needles shifts
above the ground.
Steel poles holding nothing.
they are the last structures
to go before March.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Quote: Murial Rukeyser Poem: Tracing Yesterday

Rukeyser's advice was to write about the things that they tell you to forget.

Tracing Yesterday
Do you remember standing
Between here and there,
Laughing with glee
That the chase was on?

Watching dust billow
From those Red Ball Jets.
Resting to drink from a hose
Any hose; the taste of rubber
into cool water. Soaking your shirt
Then your whole body. Summer hot
And wet.

Moms call us in with their dog day warnings
And they’d be the only ones who’d nap.
Harnessing our youth in afternoon calm.

Looking out the window
That now seems smaller
And yards shrunken
It seems right to jump
The bulkhead once more.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Quote: Hebbel Poem: All can be Reflected

"Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion."


All can be Reflected

Take my fathers rhymes
Add my mother’s gifts,
Give it to me, fresh
As home baked bread, strong
As an oak tree. Stiff
As carded wool.
My time, aging and moving
Carrying bits of memory;
When trolleys sparked
And asphalt was agitating.
Bend my days and cure
My soul
Let me lean into it.
Lend me clues, a green leaf
Into tomorrows yellow.
A cracked chestnut
A caressed nipple.

Take a son’s conversation
That leaves a line
Hung with wet laundry.
A missing button on a sun dress
Revealing. The crow on the wire
Waiting. Life in domino zags.
A sticker bush of yesterdays
Rose full today.

The trees, yellow like
Lamp light before dark.
Cut grass with its smell
Windows that shine an autumn
Orange, reflecting moments
In a harvest moon.

Brothers and sisters
Who rested in father’s lap
Now scramble for familial
Security, yet find no comfort
Without the coarse weave
Of rumpled trousers.

Supple memories pillow dad's funeral closet.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bear Myth for New Years

The constelation lost a star, it landed in the wounded eye of bear who could not stand on two legs for long periods of time. On all fours, searching the sky created the hump in bears neck.