New words and slide blues

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Saturday, June 23, 2012


There's been an absence of words here, but they're spilling out all over my desk. The floor. Pages and scraps of paper. I've begun work on a poetry manuscript. I've been revising old work and starting new. The season is new. The weather is new. My energy and mind are refreshed.

Busy days. Incredible nights. Weekends are always full of something. This weekend, Prose in Pubs swings back around to Jack's Draft House in Scranton on Sunday. Open mic. The first time it has gone non-invitation. It should be an interesting lineup. I'll be reading some new work. Stop on by.

The manuscript is coming along slowly but surely. It will be some time before I have a rough draft completed and probably some time after that until it is finalized and ready to send out. Then I'll find out that it is not yet finalized. Edit, submit, edit, submit. These are the hurdles of writing.

I've picked up my guitar again. Bought a glass slide to try and mimic Bukka White. It's coming along even slower than the manuscript, but it's a release of energy and creativity. It's needed when I cannot form the words. What better way to clear the mind by making music. Or noise. Sometimes I just like to strum and croon along with the old blues masters.

I've been tumbling some ideas for blog entries around my mind, so bare with me. Be patient. Not that you've been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting in anticipation for me. Maybe you have. I'd like to think you have.

Time to fill the apartment with music and the scent of whatever I feel like cooking. Until next time...

The right to rights

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Sunday, June 03, 2012


In early May, president Obama publicly voiced his support of gay marriage and the rights of gay Americans. This has obviously been met with backlash from the (religious) Right and supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act, which attempts to define marriage as that between a man and a woman and deny rights to gay couples under the guise of preserving the "sanctity of marriage".

When you boil it down, DOMA is nothing more than an unconstitutional law conjured into existence to pacify the Right and, more specifically, the religious Right. DOMA is, for all intensive purposes, no different and no less discriminatory than Jim Crow laws [sic] of yesteryear. 

The unconstitutionality of DOMA has finally been recognized by a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Whether the decision was made easier by the president's public support of gay rights and his refusal to enforce DOMA or not, this is a step in the right direction.

The court's ruling will undoubtedly head to the Supreme Court. My question is, simply, why?  Why are gay rights even a question in this country? We've been through this argument of discrimination and equal rights far too many times. To deny any American their rights is a step in the wrong direction. This is why the 14th amendment was drafted and passed. In case you're a bit rusty on your Constitutional knowledge, Section 1 of the 14th amendment states:

...No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Rest assured there will be those who point fingers and scream about the president and any politician who support gay rights and marriage trampling on the Constitution without actually acknowledging what is written within the document. (Hint: The constitution does not define "marriage" as between a man and a woman.)

Most of those fingers will be pointed from behind the pulpit and screamed between recitations of Leviticus 20:13 and various other Bible verses. This is not an attack on the religious but, I challenge you to prove me wrong, what other reasons are there to deny gay rights and marriage besides those of the religious Right? There are no reasons based in law or constitutionality that should prohibit this country from providing equal rights to the GLTB community.

Every argument spewed forth by supporters of DOMA and "traditional" marriage has been nothing but bunk and hysteria. From Bristol Palin's ironic assertion that "we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview," (source) to the incredibly moronic and baseless argument that interspecies marriages would result from granting gays the right to marry.

There is no logical reason to continue to deny a portion of our citizens their rights. The suppression of gay rights and marriage is nothing more than blatant, unconstitutional discrimination perpetuated by the religious lobby, alarmists, and extremists.

It's time the "pick and choose" view of right and wrong be exposed for what it really is. If the Right wants to point toward the constitution to uphold their rights to bear arms, then they must also point to the 14th amendment to guarantee the rights of all citizens. And, if the religious portion of this nation wants to point toward Leviticus to deny gay citizens their rights, then they must also point to Mark 10:9, Matthew 19:9, and any other verses pertaining to divorce and the "sanctity" of marriage.

If we are to truly honor the Constitution and what the founders of this nation set forth to grant its peoples, we mustn't deny any rights to any citizen. We cannot allow our laws to be filtered through a biblical sieve. We must remember the Declaration of Independence and its resounding call for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That statement has, and will continue to be, the basis of this country's true greatness. However some may try to mar and tarnish it, we must continue to uphold that one perfect and pure idea.

We are all human. And as such, we are all entitled to happiness, love, and life. To deny anyone these rights is, truly, un-American. Who's really trampling the Constitution, then?

I'll leave you with an incredible performance from Andrea Gibson, poet and activist: