Between the Words

Posted by Dale Wilsey Jr. | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012

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Caravaggio's St. Jerome
There's a space between the words. A brief moment where you breathe. And for a split second, everything is still. Everything is clear. I spend every day trying to capture that moment. To live in it. I haven't been successful just yet.

Sometimes I feel like my words are as light as bird bones. Like they'll slip from between my lips and float off into the sky without ever landing on the ears I wish they would. There have been too many times the words I speak aren't the words you hear.

Other times everything that spills from my mouth is lead-heavy and falls to the pavement below. Just stays there. This might be because I can't look people in the eyes. And that might be because I look away every time things fall apart around me.

Everything has been in some state of disarray for so long, I'm not sure what the words whole and complete really mean. I keep thinking I find the definitions written in dust, but the winds always blow the wrong way. I swear I hear them laugh every time.

All this will sound like the ravings of a lunatic to most. Some will get it. Some will know how it feels to be driving down the highway at 65mph wishing you weren't the only one in the car singing like a madman to your favorite tunes.  Some will know the feeling of an empty bar-stool next to you. How the curves of a bottle are the most familiar.

A friend asked me a few days ago, "Where do you want to be?" I didn't know how to answer. There are places I want to be that I don't think I'll ever see. There are places I want to be that I only get a taste of.

The space between words. That moment where I breathe and everything becomes still. Peaceful. The portion of the Lacrimosa dies illa in Mozart's requiem where that one angelic voice rises above the rest of the chorus as Mozart's last breath rolls forward from the composition. The space between light and dark of Caravaggio's work. That's where I want to be.


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The Fall of an Empire

Posted by Dale Wilsey Jr. | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Saturday, July 14, 2012

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By Jim Prisching, AP
"The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims...Four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University -- President Graham B. Spanier, Senior Vice President-Finance and Business Gary C. Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy M. Curley and Head Football Coach Joseph V. Paterno -- failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade." (Freeh 14)

These are some of the opening lines of the 267-page Freeh report that outlines the history and magnitude of the child abuse perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky at Penn State. Abuse that was, as the report outlines in incredible detail, enabled by the inaction of university leaders in an effort to keep the face of Penn State clean.

I read the report. Every detail. With every page, my stomach tied into knots. (download it here)

There's no justification for it. Any of it. Paterno, Spanier, Schultz, and Curly are, in my opinion, just as responsible for the ruined lives of the victims as Sandusky. While none of these men perpetrated the physical crimes, they did nothing to stop them either. They chose, instead, to bury the actions of Sandusky to avoid tarnishing the reputation of Penn State and the PSU football program. And they denied it. No longer. The Freeh report has exposed their true colors.
Yet some people continue to support Joe Paterno and his football empire. Why? Why should any of these other men avoid blame for what they've done? True, Paterno has since passed away, but that doesn't negate his utter incompetence concerning the abuse and how Sandusky was, or wasn't, dealt with.

It is this blind praise that borders on worship which allowed these abuses to happen in the first place. Paterno was not, and never will be, an untouchable god. He was a football coach and he is responsible, along with Spanier, Schultz, and Curly, for allowing a sexual predator to continue abusing children on campus grounds for over a decade, as the report outlines.

How can anyone review the evidence, see the lives ruined and devastated by these crimes, and then say, "Well, yeah. But he did a lot of good for the university," or, "But he was one of the greatest coaches that ever lived."

It doesn't matter. His good deeds do not change the fact that children's lives were ruined. That he, along with other high members of the PSU regime, turned a blind eye to a child molester to avoid bad publicity. The rights and well being of children took a back seat to everything else.

Is this what we've come to? Elevating sports above morality and child safety? Why do we grant individuals, like Paterno or Sandusky, an "untouchable" status?

Let's look at it this way.

Mr. X is a man of somewhat high standing in a community. He's not the most well known or important figure in the community, but people know him. He does, however, work alongside the community's most respected and adored figure, Mr. Y.

Years ago, Mr. Y had planned and set up funds to create a recreational park for the community. Mr. X, to gain notoriety and good standing with the community, has decided he wants to fund a playground for children in a section of the park. He does this under the good graces and support of Mr. Y.

Now, being the man of importance he is, Mr. Y has an assistant. One night, while walking through the park and checking on the general goings-on, Mr. Y's assistant observes Mr. X molesting a child in the new playground. No one else is around. The assistant is the only one to see this.

Immediately, the assistant goes to Mr. Y to report what he's seen. Although Mr. Y shows concern, he is worried about the possibility that any media coverage of the incident may not only make his park look unsafe, but it may make him look bad as well. Instead of alerting the proper authorities, Mr. Y decides to have a talk with Mr. X about the situation.

After the talk with Mr. X, Mr. Y puts the incident behind him and assures his assistant that everything has been taken care of. But it hasn't. Mr. X continues to molest children at the park. He continues for years. Mr. Y hears rumors. He knows it's happened before, but he does little to nothing to stop it or alert the proper authorities.

Now, ask yourself this. Is Mr. Y guilty of any wrong-doing, or does his standing in the community and what he's done for it purge him of any fault? Although he didn't commit the actual crime, doesn't he have a moral obligation to do anything possible within the law to prevent it? Should his concerns be about the children or his public image?

Spanier, Schultz, and Curly deserve nothing from PSU. They, along with coach Paterno, let their community, the institution, the students, and, most importantly, the victims of Sandusky's crimes down. They allowed a sexual predator to roam free amongst them. They deserve no pity. They deserve no leniency. They are, for all intensive purposes, as responsible for these crimes as Sandusky.

As Sandusky sits in a cell awaiting the inevitable 300+ year sentence, he's thinking. He's retracing every event and every memory. At one time during a meeting with one of the victim's mother, Sandusky commented that he, "wished he were dead." I can only imagine that wish burning a hole right through him at this moment.

But while Sandusky is sitting in a cell pondering the expansive amount of time he'll be locked away and the almost certain notion that he'll die enclosed withing cinder block walls, we should all be thinking, too. We should be examining this incident and those like it perpetrated through the Church and other organizations.

Children's rights and safety should never be pushed to the wayside. And we as a society have a moral obligation to obliterate any possibilities of that happening. We must not grant any individual leniency because of their position or standing in a community.


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Finding treasure in the slow hours

Posted by Dale Wilsey Jr. | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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Work days have been slow. Excruciatingly so. I've found myself reading random snippets of news. Searching unknown poets. Researching odd topics. Today, I found myself reading children's stories from an old book on Google books.

I've never got into "creating" found poetry. To me, found poetry just seems to be the art of extreme editing rather than writing. Chopping away every ounce of fat from the words of previous writers to boil down the story into a pure, concise form. For this, though, it seems useful. One thing I've always had trouble with, and I'm sure most writers do, is knowing when to cut the fat from your work. Our words are our children and butchering them is never easy.

Below are a few "found" poems from the day's boredom.



Wolf and Lamb

Wolf lapping
running brook,
stray Lamb
paddling
distance
down

seize her,
he bethought
how he
might justify
violence

“Villian,”
said he.
“you muddle
water”

Lamb,
humbly,
water runs
from you
to me

“you called me
ill names”

trembling,
a year ago,
I was not
born

“that is all
the same;
it's no use
to argue”

he fell upon
helpless Lamb
tore her
to pieces

Two Packs

every man
carries
two packs

one in front,
one behind
full of faults

front holds
people's faults

behind,
his own

men do not see
their own

but very clearly
the faults
of others
Lion in Love

Lion in love
with Woodman's
daughter,
wanted to marry

begged him
to give
the maid

Woodman could
not think
of such a thing

Lion roar furiously,
and father, in great fright,
bethought a way

I cannot give
my daughter
unless you first
have your teeth
& nails drawn

desperately
in love,
he consented

when it was
all over, asked again
for the girl

Woodman, no
longer any fear,
drove him off
with jeers


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Each of these were extracted from stories in an 1881 printing of The Children's Book: A Collection of the Best and Most Famous Stories and Poems. I found it here on Google books. I'm not sure how often I'd venture into the "found" poetry practice, but it helped to pass some time and make me consider editing and word choice.

I'd suggest trying it if you're a writer. You may find it helpful or, at the very least, entertaining. Share some found poetry in the comments section if you'd like. See what you can come up with.


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Original Prints by D.R. Wilsey Jr.

Posted by Dale Wilsey Jr. | Posted in , , , , , , , | Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2012

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As some of you may know, especially if you keep up with this blog or are acquainted with me personally, you know that I dabble in photography. I've displayed in a few galleries and have had some people ask me about prints for sale. Well, now is the time and the chance for that.

I'm going to start offering a different print every so often. These prints will be limited in numbers and once they have sold out, they will not be offered again. Ever. The only way you'd get to see one if you don't buy one is to come view my copy hanging on the wall. Prints will be signed, numbered, and shipped by me personally. They will come printed on quality photo paper and shipped with care.

The first print I'm going to offer is one that many people have loved when they see it called "Alley at Night". This photo was taken during a quick trip to Tunkhannock, PA for the purpose of catching a sunset over the Susquehanna river valley. When that didn't work out, I began wandering around town.

I came to one of the more interesting buildings in town, the Dietrich Theater. I began snapping shots of the theater as the sun set and the neon began glowing. As I began to walk away, I noticed the alley right next to the Dietrich. At any other time during the day, the alley would be a boring, normal alley. But, in the new darkness of the evening, the exit lamp above the door at the end of the alley breathed life into the bricks. The color was perfect and the shot was too good to pass up.


"Alley at Night" © Dale Wilsey Jr. (Click for larger image)

20 x 30 print - $80 + shipping
12 x 18 prints - $30 + shipping

Email me directly to order:

Please include your name, address, and size
of the print you'd like to order. Prints available
while supplies last.
"Alley at Night" will be limited to 
80 20x30 prints and 100 12x18 prints.
Paypal accepted and preferred.

Thanks in advance to anyone who purchases a print.


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