"Passerine" published in Full of Crow

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , | Posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Recently, my new poem, entitled "Passerine", was accepted for publication in the October 2012 issue of Full of Crow Poetry. Full of Crow Poetry is edited by Lynn Alexander who I had the pleasure of receiving a personal correspondence from after submitting. Lynn collects and eclectic mix of poetry from all over the world for Full of Crow Poetry and you can check out the rest of the submissions, as well as mine, at this link: Full of Crow Poetry October 2012

For information about submissions, visit the Full of Crow submission page here.

We are looking for content that is bold and unapologetic,
 presented in thoughtful and purposeful ways. We like work 
that touches on the surreal, the mythic… enduring themes 
and images that are rooted in something deeply personal
 but connect to something transcending and universal. 
As many editors say, we know what it is when we see it.
~Full of Crow staff


For more of my published work, visit my 'published work' page.


Recap: Breaking Ground Poets @ the Vintage Theater

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Monday, October 29, 2012


There's a storm blowin' in. Sometime. At least that's what they say. I'm not particularly worried, though. I've weathered the storms before. All kinds of them. Some of them worse than others. They say this one is a big one. Panic and scrambling people clearing the shelves of milk and eggs. All I grabbed this morning was some coffee and tea.

The weekend was long. Incredible, but long. Full of surprises and poetic beauty. On Saturday night, the Breaking Ground Poets, led by Tunkhannock Area teacher Katie Wisnosky, held their first poetry slam of the season. I had been invited to be a judge in the event. I was, to say the least, blown away.

Lauren Zuniga @ the Vintage Theater
The Vintage Theater in down town Scranton was packed. It was a a sight to behold on a Saturday night to see so many people out supporting poetry when they could have been at any number of Halloween parties and gatherings. 

Lauren Zuniga, a nationally touring poet and teaching artist, opened the night with a half hour performance. Zuniga moved effortlessly from piece to piece, delivering her words with beautiful sincerity. For the remainder of the night, she MC'd the event introducing the student poets while interacting with the crowd and keeping the momentum going.

What can I say about the students? It's difficult to come up with the words. Judging them was no easy task, either. All of the poets ranged in age from 16 to 18. The imagery and delivery of their work was simply impressive. Those students stepped onto the stage, ripped open their chests, and poured out everything beating against their ribs. We all ate it up and were belly-full by the end of the night.

Lauren Zuniga and the Breaking Ground Poets
Now I find myself a bit nervous. Nervous to step into a room with some of these students and lead a workshop. Nervous to partake in the next slam where the students will take on the adults. Somehow, I've been roped in to competing against them. I've got to sharpen that dagger pencil and scrawl something impressive because these students aren't going to go down easy. They've got fight. They've got heart. And none of them are afraid to use it. To bare it all. I commend them. 

Nervous or not, I'm excited to work with them. I'm excited that something like this is taking place with the youth in Tunkhannock and all around the area. Kids excited about poetry? Who would have thought. Much respect to Katie Wisnosky for pushing forward and on to make this happen.

And here's to the students. In the wake of the storm, I sit here contemplating my own words. They've inspired my own thoughts and I can feel my own words beating and pounding on my ribs. They need out. Where's my typer...

Mourdock's Divinely Ordained Silver Lining to Rape

Posted by Unknown | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Richard Mourdock (R)
“I just struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." 
~Richard Mourdock (R-Indiana)

After reading this quote from Republican Treasurer of Indiana, Richard Mourdock, and watching the accompanying video of these exact words leaving Mourdock's mouth, I still couldn't believe it. Multiple times I checked the site address to confirm I hadn't stumbled on to The Onion. 

But it shouldn't surprise me. After Todd Akin's (R-Missouri) "legitimate rape" comment where he endowed the human vagina with, apparently, magical powers to differentiate between rape sperm and consensual sperm, I should expect anything from the mouths of politicians.

What really got to me this morning was reading Texas Senator John Cornyn's support of Mourdock and his biblical pandering. Coryn is the chairman of the Senate Republicans.

“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans — including even Joe Donnelly — believe that life is a gift from God. To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous. In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s come to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life.”

Many have blasted Mourdock, rightfully, for what he's said and have accused him of suggesting that God ordains rape to bring about life. Mourdock stated in a post-debate interview:

"God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.”
This is the problem with inserting personal, religious beliefs into politics. Mourdock says God does not ordain rape, but he ordains the pregnancy that may occur from it? Where does he pull this twisted logic from? It's certainly from somewhere much lower than his mind and lower yet than his heart.

Let's assume Mourdock didn't mean to insinuate that God pre-ordains rape. We're still left with the blatant disregard for women's rights and the interjection of religious beliefs into Mourdock's political intentions. Mourdock has every right to believe whatever spiritual or religious beliefs he wants, but he has no right to impose those beliefs on a country where not every individual, let alone every woman, share them.

And politicians like Cornyn support this kind of backward thinking? Since when? Coryn and the rest of the Republican party threw Akin under the bus for his "legitimate rape" comment earlier in the year but, now, the Senate Republicans are reconsidering their position on even this. Why?

Akin and Mourdock are both candidates in some of the closest election races this year (Akin for the House and Mourdock for the Senate). During one of the most polarized elections the country has ever witnessed, support for these two is bolstered by their party regardless of how absolutely asinine their positions may be. Why are the Republicans backing Mourdock and now rethinking their position on Akin? Because they can't afford to lose. They don't want to lose. And they'll sacrifice anything to gain the seats.

Absurd and sick, Mr. Mourdock? What is absurd and sick are your antique and ridiculous comments. Don't try to spin and pin the shame on Democrats or anyone else for your actions. What you said was loud and clear. Own it. Or, next time, just keep your mouth shut.

And since you'd like to invoke your God's plan, I'd suggest a reread of 1 Corinthians 2:11.