June 1st, 2003

abstract butterfly

Sunday afternoon practical man

Today we went to Schlotzsky's for lunch. Our local Schlotzsky's has those nice wooden tables and nice inexpensive wooden chairs, under ceiling fans. I dislike about fast food places that they don't seat one in simple, comfortable spaces, instead insisting on corporate portabooths. I like a spacious pizza place booth as well as the next guy, but if space is going to be maximized, give me simple wooden tables and chairs please.

I'm devoting today to getting things done. I've been picking up my art room, cleaning up my car, and later today I'll mow and weed eat. I set up gurdonpoems to contain my poetic departures (and some of them are definitely dear departures).

I know that the economic recession is nearing an end now. Today my booklet, "Chess Poems for the Tournament Player", sold on eBay for the princely sum of 2 dollars. I'd placed it on hiatus, which is a polite way of saying it had stopped selling, so I stopped trying to auction it. But the latest bad poetry ferments got me back in the poetry sales business, and a fellow in Germany just bought it from me. I'm so pleased to be back in the "sold" column again. I will write another ad in the next week or two, as capitalism is fun.

Part of the fun for me is writing ad copy as kitschy as possible. Usually, I go for the mock-grandiose tone, comparing bad poets with the great kitchen table philosophers of chess. This time, though, I went for the simple, self-denigratory brief explanation of what the origins and limitations of the book. Ad copy is important, I've found, with an "exercise of poor discretion" type purchase. Everyone wants an experience, not a book, and the ad is part of the experience. I do have my pride, anyway. When Grandmaster Bill Wall listed my book among the "100 works of chess literature" recently,
I felt a touch of sinful pride.

My bicycle tires are going to be aired up today. My yard is going to look good today. My pictures are going to be picked up (and any fun ones posted) today. Soon I'll move my first three "100 poems" to gurdonpoems. Then I'll write some 97ish more. I am so impressed by the wonderful poems other participants in the 100 poems project generate. I am humbled in the face of genius. But it's not about bad, it's not about good, it's about fun, and it just is.
abstract butterfly


I got the yard mowed today, and did most of the weed-eating. I also increased my poem count in gurdonpoems to 10. The nice thing about this multiple poems project is that I can stretch as to topic and style, because each poem matters even less than before. Tonight I gave a try at writing about Charles Williams, whom I admire enormously, and yet the poem explores his storied failed passion rather than the triumphs he achieved. I made progress on getting my car and my art room in better shape, but I have much to do yet on that front. I took a break to walk in Allen Station Park, where the nature trail to the railroad dam was lined with "false dandelions". I saw a huge monarch butterfly, which made my heart leap.