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The Overwhelming Urge To Help

In conversation with a close friend recently, we ranged into a territory that felt important, maybe even profound for us both. We began to talk about that edge where the urge to help takes on a somewhat driven quality. It is that place where a good instinct to help, can morph into something not so…

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Become The Artist of Your Own Life

Listen to me… You’re no artist! Ever heard that little inner voice in your head say such a thing? Have you ever talked back to that voice? After all, what is art, if not our own simple, honest and immediate response to life. It took me years of writing to begrudgingly call myself a writer and a…

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After Paris… What Is There?

It all shows up together… The shock, the grief and the unbearable pain, right along side the amazing courage, compassion and strength to keep moving forward. Who could blame anyone for reacting in fear after this latest terrorist attack in Paris? Of course this would also be a time where hastily made comments may not be as…

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How Rat Little Stole My Courage

They called him Rat Little. This kid was the poster child for mean + bully. I remember one Friday night at Shoneys Restaurant seeing him use the cast on his broken right arm to wail unmercifully on another kid. And the cast? Yes of course, the result of a previous fight. Rat Little was 16 and…

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Welcome To My Pity Party

I recently had dinner with a good friend. At one point the subject of psychotherapy came up. We both agreed that we were glad we had done some therapy along the way. I said my wife had once stated flatly that she would not have married me if I had not done therapy. I still love that she…

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Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know…

Do you sometimes feel that poetry is all prim and proper? That it is rarified and can only survive in the hot house environment of a lit class? I say not. It lives right where we live.   Mad, bad and dangerous to know… …is exactly how one famous poet was described just after writing a barn burner of…

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The Universal Guide To Finding (or Writing) Great Poetry

This week let’s go for the impossible… Let’s define the characteristics of a great poem. Let’s see if there are some universal features that we can use for our detective work… again and again? So we can spot the keepers we either find or write. I mean we know what finding just the right poem…

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Keep Your Shoes Shined Zeek

Since I was 5 years old, I’ve had a special dislike for shoes that are not shined. In fact, to this day it is virtually impossible for me to attend an event that includes my wearing leather shoes that are not clean and shiny. You should see my handy work with my well-worn shoe brush and the old…

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