Moments of Introspection

Been silent for awhile, still writing furiously and embroiled with emotion. Here are a few quotes that have drawn me into different places.

 

Bleeding Words

writing is when you get stabbed

and you choose to bleed words out onto the page 

.....

instead of spilling your blood on the ground

bleed through your words

.....

stain the pages with your passion and pain

© 2018 michael d emmerich

The Versatile Blogger Award – Nominations

I had the honour of being nominated by MrAnonymous, for the above award. More about him and his unique blog in his own words:

Stop by, and we hope you’ll become apart of the Project: Heard family. You are the voice, we are the platform. 

TheMrAnonymous

Rules of the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their link.

2. Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs. Also, inform them about the nomination.

 3. Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.

Seven Facts About Me

  • I love my cats
  • Travel way to much and spend to much time away from home
  • Enjoy the outdoors – Running and MTB
  • Live on the most exciting continent – Africa
  • Addicted to EMS ♥♥
  • Chocoholic 🙂 … say no more
  • Enjoy Bourbon and Cigars

There we go … some useful (or useless) trivia about me 🙂

My 10 Nominations  – In no particular order – far be it for me to be accused of favouritism 🙂

They are a strange mix of poetry, books, music and writing sites .. a unique eclectic mix, I encourage you to pop in and visit them. They give me many happy hours of distraction.

See you in the blogsphere, next time,
Regards mikesnexus (aka – ME)

Into the Woods

hay little sister

do you understand

no red cape in the woods

will save you



hearts of darkness

bleed on the dark side

all the way

to the golden gate



be warned

scary things lurk in the woods

they said in hushed whispers

as I entered



looking back over my shoulder

with a faint smile

I said

I know....

© 2017 michael d emmerich

 

The Bard of New Jersey

This is not a definitive article on The Boss, but an introspective look at 3 albums which have resonated with me over time (I do need to revisit these 3 albums with a more weighty article). Springsteen is an artist I greatly admire and respect, for so many reasons; for his strong social consciousness and the way he juxtaposes darkness and light, despair and hope, life and death; all the while documenting life as he sees the world.

Most of his songs focus on the marginalized, the working-class, people making their way in the world, getting through the daily grind. He has spent most of his musical career documenting the daily struggle of people who live in a country (America) where the status quo is:

enforced by a corpocratic government that allows only the rich to get richer

His songs offer glimpses of loss, confusion, hope, faith, resolve, death and destruction; caused by life, politics and government mismanagement. He continually offers hope, at times only glimpses, but it is there for those who are looking; as they are tested by the fire. Emerging from the furnace of life scarred but whole.
I sink beneath the river cool and clear
Drifting down I disappear
I see you on the other side
I search for the peace in your eyes
I break above the waves
I feel the sun upon my face
Paradise – from the Rising 2002
Springsteen is not scared to ask the hard questions that confront the working man. In the above quoted album The Rising; there are tales of great suffering, but there is joy, hope, and a possibility of new tomorrow, without an empty sky. Springsteen says, he was “concerned with those [relationship] ideas: that if you don’t connect yourself with your family and to the world, you feel like you’re disappearing, fading away”.
He has the ability to bring beauty to tragedy, and shine light where it should not exist. Some of his greatest work, in my opinion, are his three acoustic albums; they are stark, dark and raw. They claw at the very fabric of society, lifting the covers and showing the dark underbelly, that exists right in front of us, that we are at times, to blind to see, or refuse to see.
It’s songwriting, you know, but in the sense that there’s a geography to it, there’s a landscape, both a physical landscape and an emotional landscape, where I’m trying to capture the essence of an individual’s life in some sense. What’s he striving for? What’s he struggling with? Where is he?
Bruce Springsteen in conversation with Adam Sweeting 2010
The three acoustic albums are Nebraska (1982), The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995) and Devils and Dust (2005). I would say this triptych is essential listening – in one sitting – for all those hardcore Springsteen fans, during which you would be hard pressed to survive with dry eyes.
The stark, dark acoustic masterpiece, The Ghost Of Tom Joad, (Steinbeck fans will remember this character from The Grapes of Wrath, which Springsteen reread before doing this album)which celebrates its 21st  anniversary this November, is considered by many to be a sequel to Nebraska (1982) due to its tone, mood and context. It skirts the darkness at the edges of towns and those lost in our peripheral vision. Its as real and relevant today as it was then, whether you live in the USA, Europe or South Africa. The austere guitar plays out against a dark post apocalypse economic wasteland visited upon us by powers (governments) beyond our control. The opening and title track – The Ghost of Tom Joad – reminds us that there are still plenty of people living in the margins who need somebody to fight on their behalf. Be it refugees at sea in the Mediterranean, Mexicans been sent back across the border, Syrians walking across Europe, Somalians been killed by warlords or a Zimbabwean fleeing a tyrant.
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I’ll be there
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin’ hand
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me.”
Bruce Springsteen – The Ghost of Tom Joad – 1995

25th ANNIVERSARY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME CONCERT
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band with Tom Morello – Ghost of Tom Joad – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10/29&3

What draws me to Springsteen? It’s a combination of his gripping raw lyrics, social consciousness and he is not afraid to have an opinion even if it means losing fans, and then there is his rollicking rock sound when he rips loose with the E-Street Band. I love it when he tackles the powers that be head on, with a hungry heart for the the downtrodden. Springsteen is not scared to tilt at windmills he even called out Trump as a “con man” on “That’s What Makes Us Great,” his new protest song with longtime collaborator Joe Grushecky.

Don’t tell me a lie
And sell it as a fact
I’ve been down that road before
And I ain’t going back
As long as Springsteen keeps churning them out I will keep listening and loving his music, long may the magic last . Here are a few of my favourite Springsteen Albums and Songs … was tough as always to keep the selection concise, especially the songs. Would love to hear your favourite songs and albums.
Peace and love to you all, know matter where you are born or roam
My Favourite Bruce Albums (in date order)
Darkness on the Edge of Town – 1978
The River – 1980
Nebraska – 1982
Ghost of Tom Joad – 1995
The Rising – 2002
Devils and Dust – 2005
Magic – 2007

My Favourite Bruce Songs (in no particular order) – some still bring a tear to my eye

Keeping it to 12 as I did with my Dylan listing 🙂
American Skins
Seeds – Live 75 – 85 version
Ghost of Tom Joad
Paradise
Missing – included on the soundtrack to the 1995 Sean Penn film The Crossing Guard
Blood Brothers
My Fathers House
Secret Garden
Trapped
Lift Me Up – A must listen, you will not believe how beautiful his voice is on this acoustic number
Countin’ on a Miracle – Acoustic version – Originally on The Rising
Devils and Dust
The last word from Bruce: “I open the door, I climb the stairs…,”  completes this post Thanks 🙂

For more on Bruce – head over to, my article on his recently released autobiography Rreview-Born to Run – Autobiography

Writers/Creative Block (Partial)

The ideas are there, still flowing, my ideas journal is being topped up, writing is taking place; but I am just battling to fully translate the ideas into a completed poem – that is ripe and ready to enjoy – in my opinion. The branches are thick with fruit, they look tempting, ready to pick, but no; they are still to green, so there they must hang and just be viewed by me and not enjoyed by others. Each day I return to see if they can be picked and posted, but no, so I just have to sit and stare at them, hoping they ripen, so frustrating. At present, I am writing, but all the poems are either incomplete or unsatisfactory – just missing that something.

My usual tricks of the trade are not working:

  • Longs walk (done)
  • Inspirational playlist via headphones (done)
  • Required reading (done)
  • Teapot full and ready (done)
  • Dream Inspiration (incomplete)
  • Vent/Rant writing (Incomplete)
  • Faking it till I make it (battling there)

They say that writer’s block, is often caused by conflicted emotions, outside pressures and distractions outside the norm. Most of us who write are marginally OCD, (or maybe I should only speak for myself) when it comes to our writing and the finished product. We can see the finished product, but just battle to map the route or are confused by the multiple routes available, or as in my case; I am at point A and can see that I need to be at B or whatever! but have no clue as to where the path lies. I have a few finished poems, but am afraid to post them, afraid that they will not measure up to the readers expectations, which is really bullshit, as how can I presume to know what the reader will read or interpret. As they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

My writing is at times cathartic and I write even in the deepest and darkest moments, but not today, (or yesterday or the day before that). Is it possible that to much angst, can be a bad thing?

“A great deal of poetic work has arisen from various despairs.”

Lou Andreas-Salomé, the First Woman Psychoanalyst, on Depression and Creativity in Letters to Rilke

What do you, dear gentle reader, do if you are a writer and/or artist?

© 2017 michael d emmerich

Self Publishing My Anthology

To all of my followers and gentle readers, I am busy preparing my anthology of poetry for publication later this year. To this end I have started a crowd funding campaign, donors are also eligible for a personal signed copy, shipped to them once published.

help-me-to-publish-my-first-poetry-anthology

The introduction has been drafted, cover has been designed, back stories for some of the poems penned and possibly a few interesting photos of my working notes have been taken to (hopefully) insert into the anthology. This is where you dear gentle reader come into the picture,  by helping me to select 30 to 35 poems, some of which are listed on my site:

Michael’s Poems

The working title of the anthology is yet to be decided, but I am dabbling with; Shadow Chasers or Chasing Shadows .. as many of my poems delve and dive into the gray, darker parts of my mind

Thanks again for all the likes and follows, and hopefully some of you, by year end, be a proud owner of a signed and inscribed copy of Chasing Shadows.

see you in the web world 🙂

On the Celebration of Creativity

I am sure many of you out there seek for ways to tap into your creativity and seek inspiration from various sources. Music and reading are two of my main sources, I have previously written extensively on the music and poetry, that I use to tap into my well of creativity. Thus far, I have not delved into the books that I read on writing styles, creative input and how to manage the day to day challenge of sitting at ones desk, and hopefully write. Here are a few of the books that I keep going back to, again and again; they are well thumbed and travelled (with my journal and colour coded notebooks) and remain close to my desk, most are littered with tabs and post it notes.

A most intriguing read is Paul Zollo’s book of interviews with songwriters (62 to be exact) on how they create their magic, how they have succeed in creating timeless memoires for the listener: Songwriters On Songwriting  – Many of my favourite musicians that I listen to (or whose lyrics I read – have most of Dylan and Springsteen’s lyrics in book form), are thumb indexed so I easily can dive back to reread their creative processes. I wrote a more in-depth article, on the section in the book, about Bob Dylan Learning from Creative People – Bob Dylan  –  who Van Morrison has called the worlds greatest Poet – cue Nobel literature signature tune here 🙂

A small gem of a book is written by Steven Pressfield –  The War of Art – it runs us through the psychology of the creative process. See my post The War of Art for a more detailed review of the book.

Two of the earliest books I read on writing and creativity are written by, in my opinion, the legends/gods of writing; Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. King’s Danse Macabre  is a well thumbed gem, written in the early 1980’s, I received my copy from my brother in 1988 as a Christmas present. It is a ranging wild trip through the history of horror, how it works and how he brings this process to bear in his own inimitable way through hi many novels. Bradury’s Zen in the Art of Writing – is a fascinating trip, 11 essays on the pleasures of writing, by one of the most entertaining writers (sci-fi, horror, screen plays, essays, poems and much more). His central premise throughout the book (and his life) is that writing must be a celebration, not a chore. I highly recommend this book for a unique perspective by a most amazing man, on his greatest passion – writing.

Lastly two books, I keep close at hand, which some would find unusual or different 🙂 one to aid me in pushing my creative boundaries, and the other for a unique perspective on words and their meaning (true or intended) when I am grasping for a different view of the creative road.

The one to push my creative boundaries, is an amazing thick, huge hard cover book by Guillermo Del ToroCabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions – in which he reveals the inspirations behind his signature artistic motifs, horror creations, writings and much more. It contains amazing photos of his creations, items from his collection and pages from his notebooks. It is a unique opportunity to see into his creative mind and process. I find that aspect of an artists creative process interesting; how do they get from A to B or Z?

The other well thumbed book is – The Devils Dictionary – by Ambrose Bierce, a satirical dictionary written by American journalist and author Ambrose Bierce. Originally published in 1906 as The Cynic’s Word Book. If you are looking for a unique spin on words, with a rich sense of irony then its a keeper. Here are a few timeless examples:

  • Egotist: (n.) A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
  • Faith: (n.) Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
  • Lawyer: (n.) One skilled in circumvention of the law.
  • Marriage: (n.) A household consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
  • Religion: (n.) A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

I trust dear gentle reader (and writer), that you have enjoyed this creative jaunt with me, finding it both entertaining and helpful. I would love your comments; with respect to what inspires you, what you read, listen to, or delve into? When you need to troll the depths of your creative well, to discover the hidden gems that lie below.

May we always lust and thirst to celebrate our creativity.

Michael D Emmerich

#micropoetry No. 2

Continuing the challenge to keep writing poems of 144 words or less. Here are two more #micropoems.

1.

sun breaks through

red mist parts

your breath across my cheek

river runs through life

rubicon, styx

which ferry to take

 

2.

the comfort of new skin

we gaze at discarded masques

the face in the mirror is more loved

by the ego & the beloved

 

© 2016 Michael D Emmerich

#micropoetry No. 1

Taking up the challenge to write poems of 144 words or less, more to follow, having fun, hope you enjoy reading these 3  🙂 Poetry for twitter 🙂

intimate, hushed
solace in the silence
conversing by delicious touch
seduced by a smile
& flirtatious wink
the beauty of the silent bond
that ties two stars into orbit
requiring no response
other than a soft touch
or knowing look
the day fades to grey
shifting from grey to dark
before we long for the promise of a new day
we cling to the dark

© 2015 Michael D Emmerich