College Poem Accepted, and a Review

Mug my violinist friend made for me. Taken by me.

A few weeks ago, when looking through a drawer of old stuff, I came upon some writing I did in college. A poem struck me as tolerably good, so I submitted it, and it has now been accepted by Right Hand Pointing. I was probably eighteen at the time I wrote it, which means it is from 1983! Talk about evergreen content.

The poem is Asian-inspired, in more ways than one. When I was growing up, my friend’s mother translated Chinese poetry, and I was interested by it. And at the time I wrote the poem, I was taken with a Chinese violin student at Oberlin. We were never more than friends, but I enjoyed his company, learned from his teaching–he would burst into my practice room and help me phrase better–and appreciated the mug he made for me, shown above. My poem uses the mug as a metaphor for how I felt about him.

The mug still makes me happy when I look at it, and the prospect of sharing the poem is a joy.

And now, for something completely different, a review:

More amazing Holocaust references here. Also, I note similarities between my life and work and those of Russell T Davies that in no way mean I think I am equally talented–they just struck me.

Poem about Poll Watching Accepted at Quaranzine–Plus, a Review

Photo credit: Melissa Wilkins, “Jolley’s sporting a new Trump 2020 flag.” 2 March 2019. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.0. Slightly enlarged.

I am pleased to report that Third Estate Art, “a group of artists and activists living and working in Chicago,” has selected my poem, “Poll Watching: Alabama, 2020,” for its online magazine, Quaranzine. According to the submission guidelines, poetry is an especially competitive category, so I am especially honored and grateful.

The poem is about my experience as a poll watcher last November, and I was driven to write it by my observations. On the one hand, the polling place was well run, and there were no untoward incidents or behaviors. On the other hand, the proportion of whites to Blacks I observed roughly matched the ratio of Republican to Democratic votes, and the whites seemed to feel much more free to express their support for the fascist yam than the Blacks did to express theirs for the Democratic candidates. The almost palpable attitude seemed to be, “Sure, you can vote, as long as we win.” I can only imagine the shock and horror in certain quarters over on the other side of the line, in Georgia, where patrons of a symphony I play in have posted racist libel about the Obamas, told me climate change was a liberal lie, and explained to me that slaves were happy.

I am not sure when the poem will come out, but I will post about it then, and you can read it. In the meantime, I will leave you with this joke that was making the rounds the day after Raphael Warnock, who is Black, and Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, beat yam-adhering COVID profiteers in two Georgia Senate races (Ossoff later confirmed his win in a runoff):

A Black man and a Jew walk into a bar in Georgia. “What’ll it be, Senators?” asks the bartender.

And, of course, a review. No one makes insensitive remarks better than Emma Thompson as Vivienne Rook:

I Admire Davies’s Work and Unleash My Political Views

I didn’t know my politics ever were leashed, but my son claims they are unleashed here.

Minor trigger warning for Bernie fans. To be clear, I agree with many of Senator Sanders’s views. I felt a moderate would be more likely to win the election, but I may certainly have been wrong about that. The reason I don’t care for Bernie is his weak support for Secretary Clinton once she was the only candidate standing against the toxic yam. I do think the inaugural mittens were adorable.

The Jesus Wars Arrives, and a Review

Picture of my novel, The Jesus Wars. Taken by me. 6 March, 2021.

I was really looking forward to getting my author copies of The Jesus Wars today, and initially I was very happy with how they turned out. I had to choose a back cover for the paperback, and I was anxious about whether it would match the front cover, but everything was beautiful–until I found a honking big typo in one of the chapter headings. And Amazon’s editing software was down for maintenance. And of course my friends were the first to buy the book, so they get the ugly typo. This is all my fault, not that of Amazon, which is a great way to self-publish, in my experience.

Oh well. I’ll correct it as soon as I can. It’s only in the paperback, I think, since there’s a different process for preparing that manuscript from the one used for preparing a Kindle ebook. I’ll correct it and order some new author copies. It was tiring to prepare the paperback manuscript, and nobody’s perfect.

The good news, is, this is a really funny, good novel, and I encourage you to get it and inform yourself about the comic excesses of Christian nationalism. Or, if you’re from around here, revel in them.

In the meantime, here’s another review of the excellent work of Russell T. Davies:

The most harrowing TV I have ever watched. I mean that in a good way.