Reports from the Bunker

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Posts Tagged ‘Writing

DRAFT – Everyday with You

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Talks of nothing, but wind from the lips
filling the sails of our day
just to say “I love and miss you”
when life is dull and routine

up too late together, bonfire dancing
languid bodies, couch and digital flickering
your eyes upon me, face in my hands
across the dark of night

Simple stories and tales of adventure
still to come or long long past
whisper remember when
i wish we could

Fast, boxed, home cooked food
no veggies, butter noodles
the children that wont go to bed

Right here, up north, canoe trips no water
lounge and lay and talk and talk
cheap hotels and sexy squealing
aches, burns, hardly walking

Like, the fresh morning dew
the moon wax and waning
the sun always rising
we are everyday, but mystic and exciting

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Written by jamesjanus

May 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

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Home

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I have worn so many faces
Been called by so many names
So long and hard my journey
Searching for myself among
The rubble and the road
And
I have taken shelter in the
In the hearts and flesh of
Lovely muses as I’ve gone
Lonely on my journey
I knew they weren’t forever
So i traveled on
Falling to my knees upon
Frozen roads and desert floors
I wandered into temples
Begging gods to give me a home
Then one day I found her
Sleeping in my arms
I told her I’m a monster
She shook head and just said no
She peered right through my armor
Her heart is not a hotel
Her heart is not a temple or a throne
Her heart is where I live now
I am finally home
I found myself where she was pointing
Somewhere locked inside my soul
Mo Anam Cara
Our journey is just beginning
We can carry in together
Our hearts connected we are always home.

I love you woman…thank you and thank the divine and beautiful for you and your golden heart..my castle..my home.

Written by jamesjanus

May 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm

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Words are all that I adore

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Words, oh words, words that I adore

I’ve cheated on you with pictures

as I have pimped you for little dollars

like you were a cheap and easy whore

I thought I loved another, perhaps your mother

but it isn’t all that communication that I love

I don’t care about making sense or what it’s used for

all ideas are useless, empty at their very core

So I am standing ragged and remorseful at your door

knowing now it has always been you my beautiful

only messenger and not the message

only words in my heart, they are all that I adore

Written by jamesjanus

May 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

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The Spiritual Experience and I

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It is perhaps one of the things at the root of my craziness these last few days, and I have been crazy and my life has been crazy; that for a few brief days I could feel the presence of The Word, I could see the beautiful and the divine.  I am at my most confident and the height of my…”Muchness” when I can feel that presence, though I never, ever say that outloud, at least not in those words.

I don’t know what it is like or how it comes for other people, but for me, it always comes back to two things, writing and, for lack of a better word Information. I do not know why, but my conscious contact with God, comes less from kneeling down and praying, than sitting down to write.  In the average moment, my mind is the most interesting and distracting thing around. Constantly in motion in my head is a minimum of 5 different, focused, active and constant trains of thought, with literally hundreds more whirling around unfocused  and skipping across my consciousness  or running deeper in less conscious parts of my brain.

Done correctly however, when I sit down to write, everything can change, if I pause and try to feel idea, the problem, or simply the presence of The Word, then shortly after I begin writing everything can vanish and I  disappear too, thoughts and all, my mind is quiet and my whole being is a conversation between my fingers and God. I may not know what I am even writing once things get really cooking my fingers just seem to fly across the keyboard and words come out.  When I make it to this point and for some lingering time after it has past, I feel inside of me a presence that is dense and heavy, but powerful and good and what is more I feel the energy, the material, the matter of the universe around me and I given to the impression that it is information, the Ones and Zero’s of the divine and beautiful creation that is our universe and it doesn’t feel like something that is touching me, but rather like the rest of the same great fabric that I am a part of, not an extension of me, but the same as me; something of which all of the “ten thousand things” are just an expression. All expressed different, but all part of the same system, One

01000001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100101 01111000 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110011 01110011 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100110 01100110 01100101 01110010 01100101 01101110 01110100 00101100 00100000 01100010 01110101 01110100 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01110000 01100001 01110010 01110100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110011 01100001 01101101 01100101 00100000 01110011 01111001 01110011 01110100 01100101 01101101 00101100 00100000 01001111 01101110 01100101

Like this, but different. I am not Neo, but it that is a very similar analogy to how it can feel.  This is my love, this is my understanding, this is my gift and my song, this is my meditation and conscious contact and every-day from here on out, I will plead to hear the word, feel the muses moving in me and see and understand the divine and beautiful, because I must, I must in order to transform, in order to be useful, in order to do what I meant to.

Written by jamesjanus

April 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Once upon a time, there was a little boy

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who didn’t fit in, wasn’t good enough, felt abandoned, betrayed and punished by the world around him; he tried to be different, he tried to fit in, he tried to do what was asked of him and failing that he built walls around his heart, cut himself off, turning to rage, sarcasm and a false sense of superiority and to cope with the side affects of that, he turned to booze and drugs.  Over time, he lost faith in mystical things, listening as his humanity, his soul and imagination whimpered and starved, caged off behind walls of fear, shame, guilt and loathing for everything including himself.   All of those feelings of inadequacy, hurt and fear followed with him in his heart, making even accomplishment and success taste bitter.

I was that boy and though I am undergoing a process of recovery and there are very specific steps to healing that have been laid out before me, even though while I am actually doing the work and following those steps I can feel the pain, doubt and self loathing lifting from me, as faith, hope, courage, humility and gratitude take their place; I find from time to time, that I get distracted and pause in the process, and when I pause in the process I find fear and the moment that happens, that little boy hops into the Captain’s chair in my mind and suddenly everything that the day before was so beautiful, acceptable and right, turns dark and sinister and ugly.

I am in the middle of what are supposed to be the most transforming steps in my program of recovery and I paused because I allowed other things to seem more important and now I am suffering, now I am afraid. Now I am wrestling with what must seem to be a ridiculous question of faith to some and I am terrified of letting go suddenly of many of my character defects, because they have been like an armor to me, a cursed armor that has been killing me even as it protects me, but none-the-less it has been protective. To trust, really and truly trust other people, indeed to trust god and myself has a ring of horror to it. It is such a ridiculously simple thing, what it all boils down to in the end.

Come to trust and accept that all is as it should be, learn to relax and embrace myself and life itself, finding serenity on the other side of that surrender

or, reject that continue on in pain and misery.

What is the nature of my crisis of faith?  I fear people will laugh and not understand, but it is very real to me and is not some kind of melodrama.

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. – Rainer Rilke  Letters to a Young Poet, Volume One

Though beyond the odd poem or blog, I have written very little over the last 6 years or so, I have always considered myself a writer because I cannot stop the impulse, cannot stop thinking about it and it has been that way since I was in grade school.  It has been known to me from a very young age that this is God’s universe and that I have been given these gifts for a reason. This is the cornerstone of both my faith and my current crisis. A little over three years ago, driving to an AA meeting in North Carolina, I had a spiritual experience, my first legitimate one since childhood. It suddenly struck me that I had not only wasted my talents for writing, using them for nothing but making money; I had chosen drinking and drugs over my gifts that mission that I was given.  I was so moved that I had to pull over and weep. I made my apology to my own divine trinity, The Word, The Muses and The Divine and Beautiful.

I soon forgot, circling back from time to time, expecting some sort of order, for the Muse to tell me what to write, though I have had little conscious contact with them or The Word. I have many ideas, many impulses to write, but I left them alone, shrugging off time constraints or paralyzed by uncertainty which of things in my head are a part of the mission. Painfully, I see today that there is a possibility that all of it, any of it, could be what I was meant to put down. There will be no moment where Brigid  or Gabrielle or any other muse or angel will appear to me and announce the instructions to my mission.

And here is the final bit that I hide from everyone I know, myself included: I believe – I am a believer, a mystic, transcendental poet, capable of working words like a prophet, with the heart of a child and the trembling soul of one charged with illuminating a divinity I myself could not possibly hope to understand. This is why I cry when I watch or think too much of Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh, or Alice – because while my head my have turned from faith, from the mystical truths and power of belief, my heart, locked away in the dungeon I created for it, never did and somewhere, I knew I was betraying my heart and the God’s that created it.

I believe:

  • Anything, anything conceivable by the human mind is possible
  • That there is not a force more powerful or important in this Universe or any other more powerful that love. Which means it must be the very essence of our creator
  • I believe in the power of words, that they are more powerful that medicine or weapons; so how we speak to ourselves in thought and out loud to others is of great importance. Negative words, construct negative ideas and drive negative behavior..from the choice of words to care with which they are spoken and cadence that they march out of us, every syllable counts
  • I believe being awe struck, filled with wonder and incorrigibly optimistic are some of the best food for the soul
  • I believe that every single thing in the Universe is beautiful and divine, and a part of a system created by the The Word that is perfect, that all apparent systems within in are copies of the larger system and that if you understand one of those systems, you understand everything.
  • I believe in the muses, I believe that they not only work to inspire and illuminate for me, but actually push the message of the word through me, whenever I get out of the way
  • I believe that all acts of communion among human beings are divine and wonderful, this includes acts of mercy, consenting acts of passion and sex, kindness, community prayer and worship, rituals, family gatherings and so on
  • I believe in the message of Christ, of Buddha and other great religious figures
  • I believe that Martin Luther King and Gandhi where recent avatars of God
  • I believe requirements for faith are not God’s concern, that turning from your creator does not make his/her ego bruise, but will cause you suffering, because you must go through everything frightened and alone
  • I believe that I should be writing more

I believe that if I can let that scared and angry little boy grow up to have trust, faith and wonder again, that great things are ahead for myself and for everyone else in my life.  I believe too that since it will not leave me alone, one day, I hope sooner rather than later I will return to writing regularly and that whatever I am supposed to do will be done in time.

Written by jamesjanus

April 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Higher Power

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I’ve done it, I got myself a Sponsor. It may sound simple, but for for an alcoholic it is something to be proud of. When not drunk, we are shy and awkward, but full of pride and it is most difficult to ask a near stranger for help. It also easy to be caught up in looking for the “perfect” person, as it requires a good deal of trust to put some of the quality of your sobriety into someone else’s hands. I am utterly intimidated and confounded by step 4 though and I knew I had to pick someone, so, while I didn’t make my choice without consideration, I made the criteria very small and picked someone who seems to have a serenity about him, is working the program and has himself definitely done a 4th step before.

 

I also shared last night, for the first time in a long time, from a deeper place inside my heart and it felt good. There is so much work left to be done and I am still waiting to really feel that connection with my higher power returned and to re-establish proper habits of prayer and meditation. I am not yet, fully engaged and committed, but I am dedicated and working on it daily. It is hard, getting back into it. I feel awkward at times at home, my mind still holds apprehensions when talking about spiritual things and wonders what Kim will think or feel if before I crawl in bed I kneel down to pray. However, I want that, I want the humbling and to truly, deeply and honestly commit myself to God and hand myself over to it.

 

It may have been easier before, because I had a real concept of what that god was, now I am not so sure and though I know that is okay, there is something disquieted in me by that. I suspect to whatever force exists out there, whatever created the grand experiment that is the universe, names and concepts mean little. Kim is right about that, God is vast enough and great enough that we could have no greater concept of him than an Ant or Gnat can have about us. The Buddhists’ would say that we are to God as a single grain of sand is to the whole of the Universe.

 

I do not believe we are puppets, I do not believe that God is angry, jealous or punitive. I do believe in divine intervention, guidance and a strength that we can draw from. Writing this now, I do not know what I doubted my concept of God, except some desire I suppose for it to be less lonely. Some part of me wants to belong to some form of organized religion because it is easier.

 

Here is, the best I can describe it, what I believe. There is a creator, that creator is his own creation or rather is exists within him/her. In simplest terms, all things are God and God is all things. Most of all God is The Word; the whole of creation is an expression of his/her mind. All things issue from The Word. Creation is built on systems, many of them, all with parts that perform their functions and it all works, as it should. There are more things in this Universe that are beautiful than we know or appreciate. That which is beautiful, when observed, appreciated and illuminated to our eyes is also divine. This world of ours is teeming with the beautiful and the divine. The system of muses (angels or demi-gods) is present, completely obvious and invisible and it is that system that works through inspired thought, destiny, intervention, ideas and emotion to turn our eyes, our words, our minds and hearts toward the beautiful and the divine. People, Flora, Fauna, Events, Sex, Family, Accomplishment, Arts, Music, Emotions (All of them can be beautiful, save hatred), Words, Ideas. It can all be beautiful and divine if we are looking for it, if we hear the call and see the signs the muses throw at us. It expresses itself in all of us differently.

 

For me, when I am kind, when I love, when I forgive, when I help, when I write about the beauty I see around me, when I am intimate or reveling in sexuality and worshiping the human form, when I am sad or comforting someone who is, when I am angry for the right reasons, I find the beautiful and the divine and therefore I find The Word. Most of all, when any of these things, or anything else leads me to understand that even regardless of whether it is full of suffering, joy, sorrow, ecstasy or pain, life is always the most beautiful gift and that we or anything at all exists is so improbable as to be truly deserving of the term “miraculous”. Without Life, there would be no suffering, no pain, no addiction, but there would also be no life. Living, while sometimes painful provides the possibility of joy, non-existence does not.

 

My concepts have been much informed by my Catholic upbringing, but I am no Christian. I am child of the universe, a poet and writer, a prophet of the muses and it seems to me that no matter whose prayers I use when I connect to my higher power it feels like something much more ancient, more substantial and far more loving than and worthy that the angry, self involved god of the old testament.

 

I am not sure why any of this should matter so much, because, what I do know for sure is that when I pray for help, for strength for guidance, I seem to get it. When I pray for those same things for other people, it seems to help. I do feel better now though, having gone through this exercise today, Felt really plugged in there for a little bit, which tells me I can still make the connection.

Written by jamesjanus

January 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Explosive Thought Poo

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Before any of my other friends, I knew what my path was; I knew what I wanted to do with my life, at least in a general framework. I had not yet started high-school when I realized I wanted to be a writer and poet. Ill-equipped for learning within the confines of any institution, I assumed I would not make it through college, so starting in middle school and continuing beyond high school I set about a rigorous study and practice of literature, language, philosophy and communication. In all humility, I would come in time to discover that my cirriculum was much more intense than any school would have been. I took the hard road one could say. By the time I was 20, I had written (and thrown away) two novels, had poetry published and was giving readings all over Detroit and in little bohemian galleries and cafes as far away as the Irish Hills. I read constantly and wrote for hours a day, I always had a notebook with me and even if I was occupied all day and found myself at a party, I would dissappear for at least 30 minutes to write for a while.
There are certain truths and realities to this kind of life, the life of a dedicated poet and freelance writer and chief among them are that accomplishment and reward come slowly, if they come at all. In my early twenties, some 13 years ago, I found growing in me a lack of patience, a material desire and a yearning for more immediate accomplishment than my choice could provide. Thus, I found my way to my career as a business and technical writer. At first, given the instant rewards and more swiftly and easily won accomplishments, I was elated and felt victorious. I told myself, whatever they are intended for and produce, all words are words and all writing was writing and  I was getting paid to do it.
Yet, there was a sacrifice it seems. For ten years now, I have struggled to read, to write and to enjoy writing, anything not related to my occupation and it has made the job itself sour to me. I lost the discipline and the joy of it somewhere. What I do write is now so clinical and lacking in soul, emotional honesty and full expression that it reads like a grocery list or a technical manual. It is in fact seldom that I can contact that energy that enables me to write in a very personal way and most of what I write is about topics, subjects, events (in a deeply clinical fashion).
When I write anything now, I am obsessed and anxious about it being useful, being a usable, purposeful excercise and with it being praise-worthy. Kim and I had a discussion last night about how I should write daily if I want to get back into the discipline. Sounds simple and honestly this is not the first time it was suggested, not the first time I will have attempted it, but she said several things that make it different and multiple realizations last night during our discussion and today in my head make it different.
– What to Write
When I practiced writing daily and when the love and joy were there, what I wrote hardly mattered – sometimes I would just write stream of consciousness lists of word, write a word, then the next word after it that entered my head and on and on. Sometimes, lists of favorite words, words I loved because of how they sounded. I wrote essays, journals, none-sense, fragments of poems and dreams and just anything without concern for quality, or purpose. I did it to write, I did it to feel the pen in my hand and the paper under it; also to type, just to feel my fingers hit the keys, often closing my eyes and just languishing in the feeling of my fingers on the keys, the music of the typewriter hammers or the more quiet clacking of keyboard keys on the computer. To feel connected to the ancient practice of wordsmithing and to the spirit and ghosts of those who have done it before me and the divine spirit of inspiration that has driven us. Usually, there was no drive to accomplish anything, so when I did decide to accomplish something it came easy.
– Make it personal, honest (when it must be a cohesive thing)
Comparatively, one could examine my life today against my life 15 years ago and find that it has grown dull. I am sober, in no great danger from myself, my lifestyle choices or anyone else. My time is not spent amongst the self important or the intellectually elite anymore and such is my perspective that I don’t really want to be. More and more of my friends are clean, sober or both and are, for the most part pretty mellow with lives as simple as mine.
This would not really be my perspective though. I would instead point out that I have more going on now and more of it enables me to relate to other people and allow them to contact the things that I write about. I am sober for the first time since I was a pre-teen, my whole life and person has and continue to change dramatically. I feel human for the first time ever, happy and hopeful are also new. I have two kids in my life whose anecdotes, antics and victories and struggles I can write about. I can write about my struggles having gone from childless to having two kids in grade school and trying to figure out how to be not just a parent, but more delicately, a step-parent. I have their mother, Kim, the love of my life and our relationship which while exuberant and loving is challenged by the ghosts of our relationships past and my own alcoholic personality challenges that rear their head sometimes. Learning to balance work, home, health and AA is another big thing for me to address.
In a way, not much has changed, the more exciting part of my writing has always been the inward struggles and thoughts of my life. For sure, many of those struggles and thoughts are different now.
– Try doing it at the end of the day
Typically, like today, I write my blog entries at work with fragmented effort through the day as I am able to sneek them. it would be better to have the day behind me and write about or whatever I am going to write and do it all at once.
– That I need particular conditions, things etc to really be able to do it
Excuses, nothing more. I don’t need anything except the conviction to re-obtain the discipline.
There are some things that will be helpful however
It is time for an new copy of Letters to A Young Poet
Reading one of my literary hero’s
Dig out and play with drafts and poem fragments
Though I need to try and be careful not to make the entries anything but what my fingers determine needs typed and must forget that there is a potential audience, I still think that for ease the blog is the best way to do my daily writing. So, this blog will change yet again to some degree and if it is not interesting to anyone who reads it regularly, or the entires have no cohesive themes either among or within them, you have my apologies.

My days now…
Before any of my other friends, I knew what my path was; I knew what I wanted to do with my life, at least in a general framework. I had not yet started high-school when I realized I wanted to be a writer and poet. Ill-equipped for learning within the confines of any institution, I assumed I would not make it through college, so starting in middle school and continuing beyond high school I set about a rigorous study and practice of literature, language, philosophy and communication. In all humility, I would come in time to discover that my cirriculum was much more intense than any school would have been. I took the hard road one could say. By the time I was 20, I had written (and thrown away) two novels, had poetry published and was giving readings all over Detroit and in little bohemian galleries and cafes as far away as the Irish Hills. I read constantly and wrote for hours a day, I always had a notebook with me and even if I was occupied all day and found myself at a party, I would dissappear for at least 30 minutes to write for a while.
There are certain truths and realities to this kind of life, the life of a dedicated poet and freelance writer and chief among them are that accomplishment and reward come slowly, if they come at all. In my early twenties, some 13 years ago, I found growing in me a lack of patience, a material desire and a yearning for more immediate accomplishment than my choice could provide. Thus, I found my way to my career as a business and technical writer. At first, given the instant rewards and more swiftly and easily won accomplishments, I was elated and felt victorious. I told myself, whatever they are intended for and produce, all words are words and all writing was writing.
Yet, there was a sacrifice it seems. For ten years now, I have struggled to read, to write and to enjoy writing, anything not related to my occupation and it has made the job itself sour to me. I lost the discipline and the joy of it somewhere. What I do write is now so clinical and lacking in soul, emotional honesty and full expression that it reads like a grocery list or a technical manual. It is in fact seldom that I can contact that energy that enables me to write in a very personal way and most of what I write is about topics, subjects, events (in a deeply clinical fashion).
When I write anything now, I am obsessed and anxious about it being useful, being a usable, purposeful excercise and with it being praise-worthy. Kim and I had a discussion last night about how I should write daily if I want to get back into the discipline. Sounds simple and honestly this is not the first time it was suggested, not the first time I will have attempted it, but she said several things that make it different and multiple realizations last night during our discussion and today in my head make it different.
– What to WriteWhen I practiced writing daily and when the love and joy were there, what I wrote hardly mattered – sometimes I would just write stream of consciousness lists of word, write a word, then the next word after it that entered my head and on and on. Sometimes, lists of favorite words, words I loved because of how they sounded. I wrote essays, journals, none-sense, fragments of poems and dreams and just anything without concern for quality, or purpose. I did it to write, I did it to feel the pen in my hand and the paper under it; also to type, just to feel my fingers hit the keys, often closing my eyes and just languishing in the feeling of my fingers on the keys, the music of the typewriter hammers or the more quiet clacking of keyboard keys on the computer. To feel connected to the ancient practice of wordsmithing and to the spirit and ghosts of those who have done it before me and the divine spirit of inspiration that has driven us. Usually, there was no drive to accomplish anything, so when I did decide to accomplish something it came easy.
– Make it personal, honest (when it must be a cohesive thing)Comparatively, one could examine my life today against my life 15 years ago and find that it has grown dull. I am sober, in no great danger from myself, my lifestyle choices or anyone else. My time is not spent amongst the self important or the intellectually elite anymore and such is my perspective that I don’t really want to be. More and more of my friends are clean, sober or both and are, for the most part pretty mellow with lives as simple as mine.
This would not really be my perspective though. I would instead point out that I have more going on now and more of it enables me to relate to other people and allow them to contact the things that I write about. I am sober for the first time since I was a pre-teen, my whole life and person has and continue to change dramatically. I feel human for the first time ever, happy and hopeful are also new. I have two kids in my life whose anecdotes, antics and victories and struggles I can write about. I can write about my struggles having gone from childless to having two kids in grade school and trying to figure out how to be not just a parent, but more delicately, a step-parent. I have their mother, Kim, the love of my life and our relationship which while exuberant and loving is challenged by the ghosts of our relationships past and my own alcoholic personality challenges that rear their head sometimes. Learning to balance work, home, health and AA is another big thing for me to address.
In a way, not much has changed, the more exciting part of my writing has always been the inward struggles and thoughts of my life. For sure, many of those struggles and thoughts are different now.
– Try doing it at the end of the dayTypically, like today, I write my blog entries at work with fragmented effort through the day as I am able to sneek them. it would be better to have the day behind me and write about or whatever I am going to write and do it all at once.
– That I need particular conditions, things etc to really be able to do itExcuses, nothing more. I don’t need anything except the conviction to re-obtain the discipline.
There are some things that will be helpful howeverIt is time for an new copy of Letters to A Young PoetReading one of my literary hero’sDig out and play with drafts and poem fragments
Though I need to try and be careful not to make the entries anything but what my fingers determine needs typed and must forget that there is a potential audience, I still think that for ease the blog is the best way to do my daily writing. So, this blog will change yet again to some degree and if it is not interesting to anyone who reads it regularly, or the entires have no cohesive themes either among or within them, you have my apologies.

Written by jamesjanus

September 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Writing

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