Apathetic Fallacy

The evening valiantly teased rain
a slight shift in the wind wheezing through
desiccated leaves of trees awilt
offering neither respite nor reprieve


A rogue cloud pushed through the smokiness
flicked five faint drops echoing Cetus
against the soot-encrusted window


Before they could trace the constellation
with their blackened cracked and blistered fingers
it faded into insignificance


All around them the fire ate the world
smug in its inevitability
licking at the fields and the forests and the sky
still unopposed by any long-blinded witness

Written for “Poets in Response to Peril” upcoming event (April 2022). Hear my reading and see video below (posted by Rico Sitoski).

Event details here: https://www.rsitoski.com/event-details/poets-in-response-to-peril

A little ways up north

the .410 bore was perfect
full choked for partridge
either perched or flying

he’d dropped another one onto the small pond
getting his feet wet
when he’d stepped through the ice

he dressed it - wings tucked then yanked quickly -
and placed the breast in waxed cardboard
the carcass tossed aside for any hungry vixen

walking the path that ribboned through pines
he picked up boughs and cones
to decorate the hunting shack

smoke from the rusted chimney
carried wintergreen and blueberries
mixed with breadcrusts ready for stuffing

his uncle looked up from the woodstove
woodspoon in hand
white beard streaked from sampling

“Looks like you got yourself soaked…
take your socks off and hang ‘em
in front of the fire.”

They sat together sharing a bottle of port
telling stories and retelling memories
eager for another perfect holiday meal

Winter stump © R L Raymond

Through the woods…

Leafless Trees & Harvested Crops © R L Raymond

Through the woods 
in late afternoon in autumn

as the colours
drain brown
stain water
humus
over broken
branches
all bark-stripped
smoothworn
they blindly rush
hoping
the leaf-slick
deer-run
leads them away
from dusk
hanging low
so soon
to the hollow
where the
flask of scotch
was hid

Originally appeared in “Gorilla Pamphlets”


Some experimenting below. I thought it may be interesting to append to this post. This would be a good exercice à la Beckett to achieve that “detached” vibe in one’s writing.

Gambrinus

Perched on the barstool
on crossed feet to look taller
he downed another pint
smacked down the mug

When he wanted to
if push came to shove
if the shit hit the fan
he could really mix it up

A low centre of gravity
fists as fat as hams
and an acumen buoyed
on barley and hops

He’d left the crown
on the bookshelf…
tonight was about drinking
and whatever else came his way

From Sonofabitch Poems, 2011

Circles, Silos, Niches

Creative writing for the likeminded — and ONLY the likeminded

I sometimes take the opportunity to rant. This is a rant.

It appears that the entire intent of ‘literature’ and ‘poetry’ is to create and define niches. Because the world — read: virtual world — is so vast, everyone is trying to cut a little piece of the landscape and call it ‘home.’ But, there are only certain guests that can and will be invited into these ‘homes.’

Open call for writers from ___ with experience in ___ and a ___ background.

The creative writing world is laser-focusing on the micro-niche. Only certain writers and certain readers will interact in shared, manufactured spaces. People will read what they write and write what they read, creating a tight, closed, exclusive little circle.

  • Poetry contest.
  • Submit to our ___ theme.
  • Only $25 and every entry gets a “free” one-year subscription.

The likeminded buy their way into likeminded publications that create a reader-base on a specific call. I understand the need for reading fees and the likes in a world where funding is dwindling; this said, the original need becomes a foundation for niche-building. Each publication becomes a silo that contains only the “type” of writing seeded in calls, inflating circulation numbers to readers who bought a subscription. That year wasn’t free.
Exclusive content only $___ per month.

$3 here, $5 there, $15 hither, $25 yon… all to buy into a place that feels like ‘home.’ But all the people there, the likeminded, they also bought in, for the same reasons, sparked by the same call, the same ‘experience,’ the same ‘background.’ The home is peopled with writers that sound the same, think the same, read the same…

…creating a tight, closed, exclusive little circle.

I miss the days of pulp mags, of mags that published a variety of conflicted, conflicting, interesting stuff. Now many — and I should note that it’s not ALL — journals or mags or publications just put out pages of I’ve-seen-this-before-and I-can-pretty-much-guess-what’s-coming-next.

Break the circle – Write outside the silo – Make the world your niche