Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Feeling My Way Around Mexico

IMG_0306 - CopyThis is not an extensive travelogue and it doesn’t cover all I saw during my trip, but rather these are some really subjective impressions of traveling in and around Mexico City, Guanajuato, and Puebla recently with my 24-year-old daughter. She is such a private person, and so far the only way she has allowed me to show her image on this blog is through this caricature a wonderful artist did for us. She’s beautiful and as the portrait suggests, she looks young for her age. She’s a sweetheart but don’t let appearances fool you: She’s also a tough cookie.

Before getting to Mexico, I had a feeling that it would be a life-altering trip for me and I wasn’t wrong. In addition to wanting to see my daughter, I was well overdue to shake up my routine, get away from worries, clear my head, and just relax. Being around my daughter’s energy was a huge factor in helping bring me back in balance.

The Guantajuato mountainside

The Guantajuato mountainside

At first, I was a bit nervous about the trip because my Spanish is not very good. However, it’s true that when you lose one sense, such as sight or hearing, your other senses get stronger. In this case,  (more…)

Lock and Key

Today is the first day of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims. Among other restrictions, they take in nothing by mouth from sunrise to sunset.

The time of year for the fast changes each cycle because Muslims use the lunar calendar, so next year Ramadan will start in late June. I remember when I used to participate in this fast that it was much easier to do during the winter months, and how much more difficult it was to fast during the summer months–not drinking water during the hot humid days with as many as four more hours of daylight before the fast ended at sundown, compared with the winter months.

Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims because supposedly it was the month that the Quran, the Muslim holy book, was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is believed that during the month of Ramadan, Satan and his minions are locked up behind the gates of hell and they can’t get out to perpetrate evil in the world until the month is over.

The implication, if you believe such things, is that because Satan is out of the picture for the month, any evil that occurs during this time comes strictly from the hearts of humankind. There is nothing else to blame. Also, it’s a window of opportunity where every good deed takes on that much more significance.

This whole idea has always intrigued me. I used to imagine, and even now, though I don’t practice the faith anymore, that the world feels a little less oppressive during Ramadan, and at the end of the month, which this year will be around August 7, I’ll sense  the world settling back to business as usual.

Not for nothing. Really. Just wanted to share that.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

Hey, Millie Jackson

Hey, lady, where you at,

you who didn’t want to be like the others
singing ’bout “My Guy”
and living in his midnight world in Georgia?

Where you at, girl,

you who sang ’bout oral sex and love and desire
and other things women think and do
but nobody wants to hear us say,
still,
not even some women;
you who sang ’bout being pissed off,
who wrote an operetta that only had two words–
fuck you?

Girl, where you at?

You did your thing?
So really the question is,
where are we who should be wearing your mantle?
Where is Janis reincarnated,
her voice a razor cutting through the bullshit?

Where are the Nina’s
who never compromise their art?

Have all the GaGa’s of the world
run out their 15 minutes of fame?
Remember Nicki Minaj?
She used to be a mother fuckin’ monster.
Now she’s an American Idol judge–already.
Where are you rioting pussies?

If y’all are in the underground,
you need to bring your asses up to the surface.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

Dreamscape #8

clouds
shield our eyes
from seeing through to
infinity

420px-Infinity_symbol.svg

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

The Rule of Three

these three things
occur in daylight

body anchors
to time and space

sanity crawls over
a frayed tightrope

spirit hovers quietly
in the background

after dusk semblance of order
becomes

lost
to the
terror of night

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

Prying Loose My Thoughts

Reality and Perception

I see me as reinventing myself, in a manner of speaking. But what does that mean? Is it changing my hairstyle, revamping my wardrobe, rearranging the furniture, taking a different career path, altering my lifestyle, shifting priorities? As I do these things, am I really becoming somebody different or am I aligning myself closer to who I really am? I think of the lyrics of a Beatles song, “Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.”

Isn’t It Comedic Tragic Ironic

The better I become at writing,  the harder it is to do.

You Really Like Me

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Kalyani Magazine has accepted two of my poems for publication. I took them down from the blog but some of you may vaguely remember them: “7 Haiku: Geese” and “they said.” I’m really excited because this type of recognition of my poetry has eluded me for years. Although it’s good to believe in yourself, it’s nice to have a little external validation once in a while. And if any self help gurus are offended by that statement, you have just proved my point!

The Poetry Business

976300_52203064I have a regular freelance writing gig with a magazine that features profiles of entrepreneurs. Having interviewed quite a few of them for my articles, I’ve come to admire the ability of those in business to talk positively about themselves and to promote their brand. They brag about revenues, awards, and milestones with no pretense of humility. And whoever doesn’t like it can kiss their asses all the way to the bank.

I think about myself and other poets who are trying to sell books. Very few poets make money writing poetry. Part of that is because the buying public doesn’t place much value on poetry, not realizing that the world would be barren without it. Are actors, pro sports players, and novelists really more essential than poets? If poets are ever going to be paid what they are worth, the demand has to come from the public. But there are not enough public relations spinners out there telling the masses that they need poetry.

And don’t hold your breath waiting for poets to make the case, either, because money is rarely a motivating factor for us. We poets are compelled to write poetry whether we get paid for it or not. It only makes good business sense not to pay us for it. It doesn’t get any more pathetic than that. We are our own self-deprecating enemy.

Madness in the Method

When I sit down to write poetry, the thoughts seem to occupy a physical space in my brain (the location changes from poem to poem). I have to tunnel through to extract the thoughts. I always worry that I’m going to lose my way, or if I’m able to get to that space, I won’t be able to pry the thoughts loose. Even if I accomplish those two things, I fear that I won’t be able to find my way back out again.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

Words for the Wise

Word after a word

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

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