Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My First Kiss

It is June 17, 2009. About this time of year in 1950, I was fifteen years old, and in love with Sylvia, whose family came over from Yazoo City, Mississippi, to visit relatives in my little country town of Castor, Louisiana, during each summer. I was euphorically in love with her. She filled my eyes. In those days there was no such thing as having sex, and the most one could hope for was maybe holding hands and acting stupid trying to impress the girl with inanities that were usually blurted out and immediately regretted for being totally non sequitor and out of place. Here is a little poem, sort of, I wrote a while back about our kiss on that star flung spring night.

First Kiss

The July moon dappled the old
porch and steps with silver
through the sycamore leaves,
painting the yard pewter
with deep moon-shadows.
Embraced in the warmth of the evening
and the heat of each other
we sat nervously in the swing on the high old porch,
talking about whatever fifteen year olds in 1950 talked about.
Trying to say the right thing.
Groping for words to amuse and touch.
Afraid, hearts thudding at the
closeness of the other
The mystery of what was happening, drawing
together and pushing apart in uncertainty.
Then, a sudden stillness.
A mutual decision to stop the parrying
Our faces drew close
Our lips touched.
There was cold fire and I spun out into the
Summer night with Orion and Pleiades
We were too young, too afraid to think of more
than what our lips were about.
We kissed and kissed with the hunger only lips
can know, being lips, until our lips were bruised
wanting more but kissing was all there was.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

He who owns your food owns you

He who owns your food owns you.

Assuming that there are sheperds out there watching over us, they are asleep or we have given over our lives to the wolves. While we were sleeping Montsanto has bought you, your food, your body, and all the seeds that may be grown to feed you and your family. These seeds are genetically altered to resist pests and weeds. They are specialized. Just a few years ago there were hundreds, maybe thousands of varieties of potatoes, corn, even apples, but now they are reduced to a specialized few, and in the corn and grain business, they are owned lock, stock and barrel by Montsanto. Take out these limited varieties of food, and there is no food.

Watch this:

Farmers who lived on their land, grew grain, wheat, rapeseed, other vital crops, had an unwritten law that one farmer didn't do anything on his land that harmed another. The very first case we learned in property law was Fletcher v. Rylands, where a farmer diverted water flowing over his land onto his neighbor's property. Fletcher won, for one can't do anything on his property that will injure his neighbor. Simply the Golden Rule put into law. This has been followed until now. The powerful Montsanto raises its horrible head.

Montanto has genetically altered seed. These seed were carried in a truck along a road boarded by an old time farmer of grain. The seed falls out of the truck along the way, mixing with the crop of the farmer. The farmer's crop is now mixed with the creation of Montsanto. Montsanto sues, saying the crop of the farmer now is owned by Montsanto, for he is using genes created by Montsanto, now locked into the farmers crop, and the genes of Montsanto are patented and everything that has that gene is owned by Montsanto. Montsanto won. The farmer of fifty years is bankrupt.

Carry this a bit further. You eat the grain, the grain becomes integrated into your system. Montsanto can, eventually, carrying this into the extreme---own you. If Montanto has its way, it will. Up until this time, there was a basically sacred rule that one cannot patent and own a living organism. But Montsanto, through legal maneuvering, managed to get through the Supreme court of the US a little ruling dealing with having exclusive right to a genome or gene of a created organism that ate oil spills, but that then grew into a larger monster for the law expanded into allowing anything containing the created gene to belong to the patent holder, Montsanto, Dupont, etc. Now every ear of corn is literally owned by Montsanto.

Now to Armegeddon. Suppose, as in the potato famine in Ireland, there comes a blight or totally immune insect or disease, that takes out the now genetically altered corn crop which has become so specialized that there is only one kind of corn? The law I live by is "If It Can Happen, It Will Happen." Creating crops resistant to pests and unwanted weeds seem smart, but the human consuming these foodstuffs are now consuming an alien food that can, and will, eventually alter the human being who evolved by eating natural foods, now foods altered to resist insects, which genes are different from the genes eaten by man's ancestors. So with the worst possible scenario, we could be exposing ourselves to famine and mutation of the species.

Then, the old fear I learned in economics in college that was generated by Malthus, that population would outstrip food supply, will come to pass. If it can, it will. So man is truly fouling his nest in as many ways as he can imagine, and soon will realize his ultimate nightmare come true, for he has been working hard at it for a while. If he doesn't bring the roof down economically, through physical nuclear destruction, he will do it by the substance he consumes for his very life.

I feel we, as Scientologists, have the only way out, and I am not considering it through what one may believe or what one may achieve through prayer though I feel prayer is important, but what one does to clear himself of those things that make him do what he is doing to himself is vital. The only technology existant is that of Dianetics and Scientology to solve and the only possible hope mankind has to save himself. We are nose diving into a horror for the basically good beings in this universe that we can only imagine. First of all, buy Dianetics and read it. It is in every bookstore. It will give you the truth, the real idea of what you are up against, and it gives the answer.

So the only way to tell one of a problem he has is to propose an answer. If you just give him a problem, you are not a good person. If you awaken him to a problem that is jeopardizing his life, and give him an answer, you are a hero. I am giving you this gift.

Sunday, June 7, 2009



All of us have a bit of Poet in us. I have written things, never thinking of myself as a poet, just a scrivener writing scattered shots about things I have to say or words that seem to burst into my subconsciousnes and beat at my bay doors for release. I am not a poet, just a writer who occasonally gives birth to something akin to poetry. I am still not sure what poetry is for it seems to take many forms and I have never studied it at all.. I was accidentally awarded the first place prize in the International Contest for Poets for Human Rights last year. Must have been the only entrant. No, there were hundreds.

Poet In Prison

I am a child of the universe.
I am a song, a poem, a living thing
I care not what you do to me.
for I am a forever spirit.
You cannot contain a song
A Poem
A spirit
With your Bars
With your Fears
With your threats of reprisal for reaching and touching.
I will always be here singing,
writing my poems
when your bars are rust
when your fears are memories
when your threats are but echoes
of bad dreams long forgotten.
My song will still ring among the stars.
November 7, 2008

I re-discovered Billy Collins, American Poet Laureate. He makes it look so easy. I find it so much more satisfying to read a poem than hearing it read. There must be a better way to read poems than those I have heard or read myself.
I have listened to poets read their stuff, and stuff of others, and wondered how a poem should be read to get across the spirit living within that sparse distillate of language that says so much. Tasting a poem a la carte, licking it directly from the page, actually gives me more sustenance than hearing it read. Those words lying quietly on the page seem to take hold of my mind as I am feasting on the entirety of the way it looks, naked and wanton there, offering all of itself to me, not giving itself in small verbal bits and bytes across the space between the reader and me. I think the way words lie on the page have a magic that the spoken word lacks, regardless of the way the meaning touches me.
I am a fan of Billy Collins, American poet laureate, as well as W.B. Yeats and his mystical “Lake of Inisfree,” and numerous others---there are poets everywhere—peering out through the foliage of their hiding places---many not wanting to be known. I could never get into Keats. Too much is enough. Poetry flows and works its way through the cracks of cathedrals, prisons and outhouses, Grand Ole Opry, kindergarten and in the mist that rises in the woods just before dawn. It is a touch of soul that can be savored in a moment, for the poetry I love is not epical, but in little mind candy packages, easily unwrapped and quietly sucked for a quick trip into that place you go when you can forget where you are.
I was raised in the country in N. Louisiana, white anglo saxon protestant country. It was a place where there was no music, except the current pop and hillbilly music of the late forties and fifties (I graduated high school in 1953) and there was very little “culture”, or “refinement.” My mama read poetry. I never realized how it touched her or appreciated her for that until recently. I should have. She was a very unhappy being, alone, though she was married to my father and later to another man. She would sit in a darkened room, with barely enough light to see, and read poetry. I have two of her collections. I never appreciated her for that. She killed herself in 1997. There was depth there, too much depth for her to swim. It took me a long time to appreciate poetry. And I do, but find myself in abyss of mystery unless the poetry is clear and not too oblique, like the real world poems of my good friend Stazja McFaydden.

I chanced upon the following piece on how to read a poem out loud, and since have been able to convey the content of poetry when I read it. As a result, I have been asked to read to groups. I simply read slowly, articulating all of the words according to their rank of importance as I see it, and make sure by looking up at the listeners to make sure they are getting it, and they do. It isn't the reading, it is the listening and duplicating that you are about.

But with all that said, here is a little piece by Billy Collins, on how to read a poem out loud.

"No doubt, most of the readers will be students with little or no experience in reading poetry out loud, especially to such a large group. And we know that a poem will live or die depending on how it is read. What follows, then, are a few pointers about the oral recitation of poetry. The readers, by the way, should not read cold; they should be given their poem a few days in advance so they will have time to practice, maybe in the presence of a teacher. In addition to exposing students to the sounds of contemporary poetry, Poetry 180 can also serve as a way to improve students' abilities to communicate publicly. Here are a few basic tips:
1. Read the poem slowly. Most adolescents speak rapidly, and a nervous reader will tend to do the same in order to get the reading over with. Reading a poem slowly is the best way to ensure that the poem will be read clearly and understood by its listeners. Learning to read a poem slowly will not just make the poem easier to hear; it will underscore the importance in poetry of each and every word. A poem cannot be read too slowly, and a good way for a reader to set an easy pace is to pause for a few seconds between the title and the poem's first line.
2. Read in a normal, relaxed tone of voice. It is not necessary to give any of these poems a dramatic reading as if from a stage. The poems selected are mostly written in a natural, colloquial style and should be read that way. Let the words of the poem do the work. Just speak clearly and slowly.
3. Obviously, poems come in lines, but pausing at the end of every line will create a choppy effect and interrupt the flow of the poem's sense. Readers should pause only where there is punctuation, just as you would when reading prose, only more slowly.
4. Use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words and hard-to-pronounce words. To read with conviction, a reader needs to know at least the dictionary sense of every word. In some cases, a reader might want to write out a word phonetically as a reminder of how it should sound. It should be emphasized that learning to read a poem out loud is a way of coming to a full understanding of that poem."

Nonetheless, I always return to Yeats, whose "Innisfree," "When I am Old," "Wandering Angeus," really penetrate this thick covering of my being and go right in, carrying a mystic message that tells me there is a world beyond mortal sight, something better and wonderful that maybe I can reach "when feeling out of sight for ends of being and ideal grace". We all came from that magic universe once upon a time, and that is why we strive to the stars or to the places and spaces that mimic to some faint degree that which once was that we know was who we were before we spiralled down into this dismal place we now are. But we do have poets, and poetry, and song----.

The Cloths Of Heaven (Yeats)

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dick Zimmerman, Rembrandt of our time

How wonderful to have a compelling talent that has been touched by Angels. Such is the talent of Dick Zimmerman,, my old friend of twenty years, who has been known as the celebrity photographer of our time, now turned to his old love of painting.
Dick is a true genius, who, as you can see in this portrait of a beautiful young girl, can capture on canvas a spiritual instant. Like the Mona Lisa, the subject's personality, a moving flicker of light, the best of the person, the inner self, caught forever through the eye and brush of this amazing artist. I am in awe. Go to his website and watch the video, see the many portraits, read his intriguing inside stories about Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Salvador Dali, Michael Jackson, Tom Selleck.
I am writing his bio, and there is a plethora of material on this unusual and gracious man, for his photographic career carried him into places and lives of people the entrance into which are forbidden to the normal human being. Such are the ways of genius---somehow their talent, when blended with boundless energy, a sense of purpose, an ethical foundation and that something else that seems inherent in this rare combination of beingness, opens doors into a labryinth of wonders that we the comparatively mundane never dream of knowing or seeing.
I intend to help him become who and what he deserves, to be recognized as the Rembrandt of the century, the Da Vinci of our time. He will come to the home of the subject, set up the whole scene, and then use his skills toned over three decades as a celebrity photographer to capture images on his digital cameras, and then return to his studio to paint them on canvas. That is where he is able to transform technical skills in photography with traditional portraiture, and while that is not unique as a method of reproducing images on canvas, his eye and talent of putting it all together to draw out the thetan, the spiritual beingness of the subject is what makes him the unique artist he is. I want to help this man.
We are taking commissions now. Usually, after a sitting, the portrait is complete and shipped within sixteen weeks.
Dick usually works from nine at night until four in the morning Working at night leaves him undisturbed and free to become his art and meld with his subjects to produce that certain thing that only he can do for his subjects. I consider this a privilege to work with Dick. Smoking cigars, sitting out on the windy porch of his sixth story condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, talking about art, our Church, our goals and aspirations, planning the future, is a real joy.
Call me if you want to schedule a sitting for a portrait. 727 667 1191. The fee depends on the size of the canvas and the number of faces. I find it interesting that he will only paint a face that is of normal size or larger on a canvas. He says he doesn't paint shrunken heads, so if there is a large group, as in some of the paintings, the canvas has to be large enough to accommodate each head being normal size.
It is a great day in Clearwater.