Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Baseball Poems, Teenager Achievements, and Best Songs of the Year

Well, the holidays got off to a busy start in our household, with the usual Thanksgiving feast followed closely by my granddaughter's baptism and the after-party at my house with 40-plus people.  I am exhausted.  I also just finished another poem-a-day challenge for the month of November, the "chapbook challenge" on Robert Brewer's Poetic Asides blog. As usual, he gave participants a daily prompt, and recommended that we try to write poems on a certain theme to include in a possible chapbook manuscript, after which he will run a contest for the best manuscript.  I chose baseball as my theme, and I did manage to write at least thirty poems on the theme in November.  Most are hardly future classics, but I think they hang together well enough to make a decent chapbook.  We'll see.  Also, I will be featured on the blog sometime later this month with an article about my five favorite poetry books.

Not much in publication or conferencing news - I will probably skip Peter Murphy's upcoming Winter Getaway, just because the time and money involved make it impractical to do every single year.  Also my son's Eagle Scout Court of Honor will probably be the same weekend.  Speaking of my son, he got his first two college acceptances.  Woohoo!

Music: XPN is getting ready to compile their annual list of the best 200 songs of the year, as picked by their listeners, who are asked to submit their top 10.  Here's mine:

1. Down Down the Deep River - Okkervil River
2. Lose Yourself to Dance - Daft Punk
3. Trying to Be Cool - Phoenix
4. I Had Me a Girl - The Civil Wars
5. A Case for Shame - Moby
6. Good Things Happen to Bad People - Richard Thompson
7. I'd Rather Be High - David Bowie
8. Reflektor - Arcade Fire
9. Ragtime - Neko Case
10. Heavy Feet - Local Natives

And some Honorable Mentions:

The Perfect Life - Moby
Get Lucky - Daft Punk
Night Still Comes - Neko Case
Super 8 - Jason Isbell
Heartbeat - Kopecky Family Band
Entrance/It All Feels Right - Washed Out
Don't Swallow the Cap - The National
Goldtone - Kurt Vile
Photon - Pantha du Prince
Jubilee Street - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Song for Zula - Phosphorescent
Caught in the Briars - Iron and Wine

Poetry: I thought I'd share one that I wrote on November. This is a not-so-light verse:


Forget those things I said about
the home runs that you've hit,
how you never are an easy out,
that you're muscular and fit.

Forget about the time I said
you're wizard with the glove,
you chase balls like a thoroughbred
with hustle that we love.

Forget the times that I was pleased
you won all those awards,
World Series rings and MVP's
and tricked-out custom Fords.

Forget the glowing things I'd say
to praise you as a true
role model for the kids who'd play
to grow up more like you.

Forget all that, it's all erased;
those drugs, your hangman's rope.
So why, if you're the one disgraced,
do I feel like the dope?

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