Bark of a Wooden Dog

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Block Writer Block Writer

About Me

Just a Lost Poet (no patrons; no diplomas; no institutions; no grants), stranded upon a heap of one thousand dog-eared poems - words born of miseries witnessed in many lives and landscapes.

Regarding the name Misery:
In 1991 I was searching for a poetry nickname for myself. Nothing seemed to “fit” my style of poetry. Late one night I was walking past a video store. The store was closed, it was about 11:00 pm on a weeknight, but in the window of the store was a poster advertising a movie. It was a dark winter scene with snow on the ground and snowflakes falling from the night sky. The title of the movie was a single word: MISERY. When I saw that title I said: “That’s it!”
Since that night Misery has been my poetry penname and the zeal and the energy behind my written words. To separate me from Misery is to separate me from my source of joy in writing.


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Posted 8 Years Ago

I Am! (John Clare 1793-1864)

I am—yet what I am none cares or knows;
My friends forsake me like a memory lost:
I am the self-consumer of my woes—
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes
And yet I am, and live—like vapors tossed

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life or joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems;
Even the dearest that I loved the best
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Un-troubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

Written by John Clare at the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum, England.

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Posted 8 Years Ago

Imitation is a form of flattery.
"Are there two?"
"Should there even be one?"
How many little boys picked up basketballs and proclaimed: “I am Michael Jordan”?
Answer: Thousands.
How many little boys have picked up pens and proclaimed: “I am Misery”?
Answer: Apparently only one.
Thus Michael Jordan has his thousands, and I have my .... one.

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Posted 10 Years Ago


MR. KEATING: Open your books to the J. Evans Pritchard introduction entitled "Understanding Poetry".

‘To fully understand poetry, we must first be fluent with its meter, rhyme, and figures of speech. Then ask two questions: One, how artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered, and two, how important is that objective. Question one rates the poem's perfection, question two rates its importance. And once these questions have been answered, determining a poem's greatest becomes a relatively simple matter. As your ability to evaluate poems in this manner grows, so will your enjoyment and understanding of poetry.’

MR. KEATING: Excrement! That's what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard. We're not building cathedrals, we're talking about poetry. Be gone J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D! This is a battle, a war. And the casualties could be your hearts and souls. Armies of academics going forward, measuring poetry. No, we will not have that here. In my class you will learn to think for yourselves again. You will learn to savor words and language. No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world. We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are all noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman:

“The question,
O me! so sad, recurring…
What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here…that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”

What will your verse be?