When I drove home last night, rain began once I got to Richardson, two suburbs south of our home in Allen. Deep purple clouds rolled overhead. I had to delay my hike and mowing the grass. We went to the German restaurant in McKinney, to which I'd been once before and my wife had never been. I had the pork roast, while she had the Hungarian goulash. The food was good, as ever, and we had as our waitress the nice woman who appears to be related to the owners. She's wearing an engagement ring this time, whereas a few months ago she was not, and I thought to myself how all the people we see only in certain roles have their own cool lives in which things happen about which we learn nothing. I liked their sauerkraut, but I want it to be a bit more sharp.
The rain ceased, and I was able to mow the front and side yards quickly, if not necessarily well. We watched portions of Glenn Ford in the movie "the courtship of eddie's father", before I adjourned to the computer. I submitted four poems I've written, and not posted on-line, to a poetry journal. This is the first time in years I've submitted something for potential publication, but it won't be the last. I'll have to set up a file for "rejection slips" again. I used to have an artistic collection, but I'm not sure where they've gone. Meanwhile, gurdonpoems is nearly halfway filled with the 100 poems project. I don't mind, though, if I hit 78 or 123. I just want to keep myself doing a bit of writing, even when the results make me wince.
In a burst of inspiration after reading one of nacowafer's short stories, I've set myself a new goal--write ten short stories by year end, and submit them for potential publication. I've only submitted one or two short stories to literary journals in the past, and that was years ago. I remember the title was "Circle of Thirty", and it was about homophobia,
which interested me, because homophobic people used to hassle me when I was young, even though I'm not gay or bi. The story was fairly implausible, as I recall, with a "The Lottery" style confrontation at the end. I did have a short story published once in a high school literary journal. It was about a boy from Wabbadka, Arkansas, who submits a writing sample, but he can't spell or use grammar. That was also based on my life--in my story, an IBM computer assesses its literary worth, and finds it wanting.
Memories of bad literature past, though, casts me back to the summer in 1973 or 1974, when the novelist Jack Butler was some kind of "poet in residence" at Gurdon High School. He critiqued our poems. One of mine was a reasonably well-constructed image, on which he wrote the words "nice...like life".
The other poem, though, was the rhymed story of a plow which changed owners a lot. Its last line was "oh where, oh where, is that plowshare?". I don't remember exactly what Mr. Butler wrote, but it was not favorable. I've always thought that Jack Butler's "Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock" caught the spirit of the Clinton phenomenon perfectly, but it excited very little notice in its time. I think he moved on to the College of Santa Fe and wrote a cookbook. On days when I am out of things to think, I think to myself: "oh where, oh where, is that plowshare?".