Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
A dragon of a dragonfly
beats his green wings
against the lightbulb outside the window.
He is behaving like two moths
who compete for the glow.
Being God, I switch off the lamp
and observe my kingdom
from inside the bright kitchen.
The dragon, shunned
lover, flings himself,
at the window screen
clinging quietly for a moment.
I speak gently:
"Who are you at my window?
What have you come to teach me?"
He is the most barrel-chested
of any dragonfly I have ever seen,
all emerald-green like Oz,
and in a perfect tizzy to impart something.
But what? What?
(*as appeared in Bent Pin Quarterly)
Friday, March 27, 2009
The world creeps along and we judged for 8 years
without moral authority,
like we were transporting bananas through fields of bones.
And we dare to ask about Justice.
Some church stating good intentions sends Bibles to cure AIDS.
Someone points out we must save the innocent
by bombing them for weapons they never had.
We stretch lazy across borders and ask about Justice.
The hypocrisy is packaged like corn flakes.
We made men stand naked on a small wavering box,
blindfolded as Lady Justice, a noose around their necks,
threatening to kick the box out from under them
like we were haggling over the price of gasoline.
This is the Justice we hand out like purple thumbs.
We justify our actions like we justify someone else's poverty.
We do not investigate the infected mold of FEMA trailers.
We do not investigate contaminated food given to the School Lunches.
But we allow fraud to exist in non-bid contracts to War contractors
who build things that fail the soldiers.
Justice is a smirking recruitment poster.
We would rather teach children about values
from a book written by a man who was arrested
after violating three of those values.
This is justice.
We bring justice like bombing raids.
When enough damage is done,
there will be final assessments
of the success or failure
although the end result does not matter.
Justice will be served on a platter like empty collection plates.
If you ask me about justice we have offered these eight years,
will I have an answer that matters?
Will justice come to take me away for speaking?
Martin Willitts Jr's recent poems appeared in Blue Fifth, Bent Pin, Glass, Flutter, Coal Hill Review, New Verse news, The Centrifugal Eye, Quiddity, Autumn Sky Poetry, and Sea Stories. His tenth chapbook is "Garden of French Horns" (Pudding House Publications, 2008) ad his second full-length book "Hummingbird" is forthcoming from March Street Press.
(author retains copyright)
"Hurons Reflected In Water" - Poetic Origami by Martin Willitts, Jr.
Click here to see more of Martin's work and his poetic origami at 3 Lights Gallery
Thursday, March 26, 2009
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Girl wearing a hemp hoodie on EBay
Check it out.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
What I like about it is that it's raw with primitive undertones, and it reminds me a little of Joan Miro's work. I appreciate most of the surrealists, for that matter.
I wish I could paint like Picasso, Gauguin, Cassett or Matisse (who is my favorite), but I don't, so I will continue painting in words and video, and I will continue to appreciate those who can evoke such feeling with their palettes.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
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Sunday, March 22, 2009
Here is a peace music video I made two years ago. Even though Bush Jr. is no longer president, the sentiments remain the same. I post this in honor of Emilio Ramirez.
Friday, March 20, 2009
See the rest of the story.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
According to bird enthusiast and writer, Judy L. Evridge, "The hummingbird being the tiniest of all birds is thought to bring "special" messages. What is the hummingbird's message for us all? It is thought that the hummingbird teaches us malleability or compliance. To "roll with the punches" and adapt to whatever life may hand us! To accept life as it is, and make the most of a bad situation! And to never, never look back at what might have been."
Mark and I have noticed a mother hummingbird guarding two eggs in her nest perched in a jasmine bush beside our home. Her presence coincides with the passing of Emilio, our young neighbor. I know that this lesson of "rolling with the punches" and "accepting life as it is" is easier to impart than to practice, as family and friends grieve this senseless loss.
When I move close to the jasmine bush to capture mother hummingbird with my camera, at first she is startled; she flits and hovers. When she realizes that I mean her no harm she quickly resumes her post atop the eggs. She's a protective and vigilant mom, imparting her warmth to the eggs.
Her eye is on me until I have backed away and disappeared into the house. And so it is with any dedicated and loving mom, like Emilio's. No parent should ever have to see their child die before they do. It's a rip in the silken fabric of time.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
We are all suffering a stunned silence right now, after learning that our across-the-street neighbor, one of the triplets we have known for ten years, Emilio, passed away last night in his sleep. Every one of these boys has been like a comet, a burst of energy zooming in and out of our sphere, as they matured from boys to men in the time we have known them. All three of these talented triplets have been singing, dancing and performing in theater musicals for many years, bringing joy and laughter to those who have had the opportunity to see their work. We all thought they were clearly candidates for "America's Got Talent."
I thought it would be nice to share a youtube video called "Rama Lama" in which they all perform, as an homage to our friend, Emilio Ramirez, who would have turned 20 on July 24. Emilio, we will all miss your exuberance and your loving smile.
Monday, March 16, 2009
This is a little music video I pieced together with a clip from San Diego's best cover band, Serious Guise, along with "snap videos" taken with my Canon Powershot which fits in the palm of my hand. Thus, I call it "A Pocket Production" and I will from time to time upload these video sketches from my life as they are so much fun to piece together. This one shows you a bit of night life and overall good times along with some behind-the-scenes production shots. Featuring MacGyver (aka MaGruber), Hugh Jackman and Beau Bridges. I hope you enjoy it! Be sure it plays in the "High Quality" mode.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Back in 1973, Carolyn Forche was my poetry teacher at Michigan State University. She mentored me and helped me get into the prestigious Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont, on a working scholarship. There I met some of the world's leading poets, including Galway Kinnell and Mona Van Duyn.
Just after that she won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her book of poems called "Gathering the Tribes" and her career began to soar. She became a "Poet of Witness" finding herself present at important crossroads at crucial times all around the world. You can learn more about her simply by googling her name.
The only photograph I have from Broadloaf, Middlebury, Vermont, 1973; it was a double-exposure of a group of my fellow writers, from a roll of 35 mm film, its outcome completely unintentional
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This is a great little site for writers. It gets the cogs in your brain to start rolling and can be very inspirational. This prompt inspired me to post a small collection of my photographic self portraits.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Mark read the sign. "Six bucks to get in. What a rip-off."
"Yeah," I agreed. We had to watch our finances carefully now. Our campsite cost us seven fifty a night. Six dollars seemed frivolous just to ogle two dead sharks. So we handed our camera to a passerby and asked him to snap a photo of us pretending to be swallowed by the jaws of a red-lipped shark, which is what the front entrance of the museum was built to look like.
On we strolled to the waterfront where we came upon a park and marina. Near the marina a man approached us. He seemed anxious but not dangerous.
"How youse doin'?" he wanted to know.
"Good," we said.
"Tourin' the area, are you?"
"Yes, how could you tell?"
"I've lived here all me life, never saw youse two before."
"That makes sense," I said.
"How would youse like to go on a shark-fishing trip?" he asked.
"What do you mean?" said Mark.
"On my boat. You charter me and my boat this evening."
Mark and I looked at each other. "We're interested," Mark said. "How much?"
"Twenty-five apiece. We goes out for four hours on me boat I supply the fishing gear. You bring food and drink if you want it."
"How big of a shark are we talking about?" asked Mark.
"The kind that can leave a mark like this," said the man as he lifted his T-shirt. A keloidal scar zig-zagged around the left side of his waist where something had tried to take a big bite. Maybe it had proved to be too big a mouthful, since the man was standing here talking about it.
"What happened to the shark?" I asked.
"Dead. So are you interested in tonight's excursion?"
"Why not?" Mark said, looking at me. Although the guy had just given us a graphic display why not.
"Well good. Then I'll meet youse here at 6 PM tonight and bring the fifty in cash." He turned to leave.
"Oh, by the way, what's your name?" I asked.
"I'm Patty and this is Mark." We all shook hands.
"Okay, see youse at six," said Forest, moving away.
I watched him go. Was he limping? This was going to be a definite adventure.
Mark and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking, eating and sight-seeing. When 5:30 rolled around, we found ourselves dragging our feet towards the marina.
"It's starting to get a little chilly," I said. "Don't you think it'll be even colder on the water?"
"Maybe he'll have blankets on the boat."
"He didn't seem like the kind of guy who caters to his clients' comforts."
"Are you saying you don't want to go?"
"Well, it's fifty bucks. Do you want to pay that kind of money for a shark to get a big chunk out of you?"
"Having second thoughts, eh?" Mark grinned. "To tell the truth, when I saw his scar, my enthusiasm definitely waned."
"What do we do?"
"Well, I think we ought to go over to meet Forest like we promised, and tell him we changed our minds."
Dusk was settling on the marina, on sailboats motoring towards their slips, and recreationists packing their day away.
"Everybody's coming in, nobody's going out," I said.
"Yeah, I know."
"Well, guess Forest didn't make it," I said, but before the words were all the way out, we spotted Forest on a 12-foot skiff which he was tethering to a pier.
"Do you think that's the boat that takes you out to his big boat which is anchored in the bay somewhere?" I asked Mark.
"I have a bad feeling that is his big boat."
Forest's eyes lit up when he saw us, and he almost cracked a smile. "So youse came. Didn't know if ya would. Got the fifty?"
I looked at Mark, master negotiator. Mark said, "Fifty's a little steep for us. Would you accept forty?"
My heart lurched. I didn't want to get into that toy boat and provoke sharks. At night.
"Sorry, mate, it's fifty or nothing. It's me overhead, you know."
"Oh!" Mark looked disappointed. "Well, if that's the way it is, I respect your decision. Good luck to you, then." Mark took me by the hand and we walked away.
When we had covered enough distance to leave Forest well enough behind, Mark and I turned to each other and laughed.
"I think that was brilliant," I said. "But what if he'd accepted your offer?"
"Oh? Then we'd be joining that poor sucker." He pointed out at Forest's boat where a lanky man was stowing some things aboard.
"It's not too late," I said, tugging on Mark's hand. "Fifty's not much. For the last money you'll ever spend!"
Mark laughed. "Let's get something to eat." He tugged me back towards town. "Shark tacos, anyone?"
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Bob, at 89, is still very sharp and remembers minute details about his flights from the past. He told me about his most memorable adventure as a “fly boy” during World War II. While flying as command pilot on his 20th mission, his B-24 “Sack Artists” was shot down over Switzerland. Cardenas, suffering a head injury, landed on the shore of Lake Constance, on the German side, and immediately swam to the Swiss shore. He mentioned that it was nearly as dangerous in Switzerland for American soldiers as it was in Germany, and that a woman he met helped him sneak into France. Shortly thereafter, he was flown to England.
After the war ended, he continued to serve in the Air Force. His prowess as a commander got him designated as Principal Project Pilot for the YB-49 “Flying Wing” test program. He was to fly evaluation tests and make a report as to whether this aircraft should be built en masse. He said that he wanted to see how she handled when he put her into a controlled spin. As soon as he tried it, the wing started tumbling backwards. Here is how Bob explained it to Joe Godfrey, a writer who profiled Bob on AVweb (an Independent Aviation News Resource) in 2001:
Monday, March 9, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Wow, this is an unexpected pleasure!
And later that same day .....
Mark and me with Platinum Ava and Gold Aurora Awards - Photo by Martin Shapiro