Two-Minute Drill

Last fall, I was privileged to teach a writing seminar to wounded warriors of Task Force Phoenix at Fort Lewis, Washington.  Part of the classroom curriculum was a two-minute writing exercise requiring use of an image to convey a feeling.  No particular venue, theme or genre was prescribed; nevertheless, all but one participant wrote a … [more]

Bending the Bard

Poor old Bill.  He zags from genius to fraudulence. Everyone wants a piece of Shakespeare (yeah — I recognize the irony of criticizing the impulse in the very act of typing out his name…).  Quasi-avant garde lit geeks want to rediscover him as Chris Marlowe.  In a perhaps even lower cut, menstruating-edge feminists insist on … [more]

Coat of Many Colors

I had this garment, see: a coat of many colors. A Levis jacket, Chinese-made with American fade, it had almost every unit patch I’ve ever worn sewn onto the back. Peacetime insignia were in full color:  Second Infantry Division, my first assignment in Korea; III Corps where I worked personnel security for the corps artillery, … [more]

No buddy’s puppy

They’re some of the biggest dogs in the world. Pretty Wife has wanted one for 20 years, but it’s never been the right time. It’s still not the right time, but what could it hurt to look? The Craigslist picture was unprepossessing — a sad puppy with a blotchy gray coat stood staring dull-eyed at … [more]

Good Save

With the rain slowed to a drizzle, we sat around a guttering fire, working cuss words into the conversation for practice. Intent on winning this little competition, I was the last to notice that the other guys had shut up. And looked up. “Can I help you, sir?,” said the kid across the fire. That … [more]

Hanging in there

Hi, all. Quick link is all I have a moment for just now. This was a little observation in the Seattle P-I, our local, now more than virtually virtual news organ. http://blog.seattlepi.com/jacklewis/archives/200857.asp Middle age is a pain in the butt. This is not a figure of speech. Roll over wrong, sit up sideways just once, … [more]

No justice, no poets. Know one here but just us…

Nobody expects to make a pile of money on poetry. Poets — with their beady-eyed look at the dusty, abandoned corners of society’s soul — are largely ignored in our Costco conehead (“consume mass quantities!”) world.

Hallmark moment

So NSTIW (any military vet knows this acronym), standing in line at the Walgreens up at the corner in North City. It’s walking distance from our shotgun shack — not a “shotgun shack” in the N’Orleans sense that you could fire a shotgun from one end to the other, but in the Pacific NW sense … [more]