Songs I Sing When I’m A-Lonesome (A List)


These are the stories that writers do not tell.  Some weeks the words do not want to come to you.  You cup your hand and beckon; they shy away.  So, you write your way into their presence. Read on, Reader!

The Poem Will Not Bite You: Sonnets Demystified (Lesson Four)


Extension school on meats held at Cherry Valley, NY, in 1915. The instructor is ...


SCENE:  A set for a cooking show, but the view from the camera is crooked and lopsided.  COURTENAY BLUEBIRD is speaking loudly to the cameraman.

BLUEBIRD:  (Gesticulating wildly.)  Joe!  Keep that steak over your eye!  I am so sorry! (Squints at lopsided camera.)  Oh!  Are we on?  Whoops!  Ha-ha! (Cameraman Joe tilts the camera to the right position with some difficulty because he needs one hand to hold the steak on his eye.)

BLUEBIRD: Today is a really special day!  We are going to start to pull our sonnet making skills together into one cohesive whole!  Yes!  I had a, um, visual metaphor I was going to use… involving bouncing SuperBalls and the tightness of meter and form and quatrains, but we, ah, practiced in the studio and I hit Joe.  In the eye.  With a SuperBall.  The ball that bounces back!  Ah-ha-haaar-ah.  Hum. (Mouths “I’m sorry” to Joe.)

(Cameraman Joe exaggeratedly adjusts the steak over his eye and glares at her.)

BLUEBIRD:  Oh, Joe!  You’re such a card!  Anywayyyy— though that mishap has shaken all of us up a little bit, I think we should go forth and talk about the awesome power of the sonnet.  Do you have your two notebooks?  Your thesaurus?  Your dictionary?  Your pen or pencil?  Good.

BLUEBIRD:  Well, so far… (Something goes THUNK!)  OW! (Scratchy sounds of microphone)  The boom mike just… fell on my head!  That’s never happened before!  (Cameraman Joe shrugs and smiles.)  That really hurt!  Can we cut to commercial?  No?  Jeez, LOUISE this hurts!  Ah-ha-HA!  Ow.  Okay, we’ve covered rhythm and we’ve talked about meter.  We’ve even talked about the couplet.  And we’ve talked about method a little bit,  but we need to pull …. Read on, Reader!

The Poem Will Not Bite You: Sonnets Demystified (Lesson One)

Henry Lawson, 1915 / photographer William Johnson

Earlier this week I posited seven shaky hypotheses my overheated brain currently believes.

Many of you believe in similar hypotheses.  Especially the one about dessert.

What surprised me most is how many of you really do want to try number six on the list.

Well, I say it surprised me.  

When what I really mean to say is that my brain is terribly overexcited that you, too, think number six is hypothetically possible.

In case you’ve forgotten, let me refresh your memory with the specifics of item number six:

6) I believe everyone should try writing a traditional sonnet at least once in his or her life.  Formal poetry is mathematical in construct.  If you can do basic algebra, you can write a working Shakespearean sonnet that does not use hackneyed end rhymes.  (Rain, Spain, pain, blue, clue, shoe— you get the picture.  Don’t use these at the end of your rhyming lines.  Go with double-syllables) I have dyscalculia, so I cannot test this idea personally.  Yet, I do write sonnets.  Can I get a volunteer for this hypothesis?  I need someone who is functionally literate in math, yet has never written a sonnet.  Meet me in the comments section.  We’ll talk.


Here is what I am proposing for those of you who hinted, that maybe, you’d like to try writing a sonnet… someday?

Would you like to try writing a sonnet— starting, you know, now?

Sure you would!



Poetry is the most concise way to express tone and narrative in a small space.

Give your brain a minute to let that sink in, and we will …. Read on, Reader!

Our Sunday Best : Most Have Their Norgays (Dialogue Edition)

Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzig Norgay Shaking Hands

Miles Massey: Few great accomplishments are achieved single-handedly, Wrigley. Most have their Norgays. Marilyn Rexroth is even now climbing her Everest. I wanna find her Norgay. Read on, Reader!