long ago nathanael west wrote “miss lonelyhearts”
the title character was a disillusioned young man
in the employ of a local newspaper
whose job it was to manufacture advice

and the human misery revealed in the letters he got
and the futility of whatever advice he dispensed
drained his soul
and then felled him

some time later twin sisters became advice columnists
one called herself “ann landers” and the other “abigail van buren”
and friends called them “eppie” and “popo”
their first names were really pauline and esther

they are gone now
“dear abby” lives on in the person of pauline’s daughter
and her column is still in newspapers
though pulp-paper print media are on their way out

we cannot avoid getting advice nowadays
lose that belly fat or up your orgasms using this one stupid trick
(careful–it may be the same trick)
and we are behavior-tracked so much our desires sublime and base are low-hanging fruit

so dear abby is become a virtual god
and her deificity is on the wax
so much so that live long enough
and she’ll tell you not to read nonsense like this

cgkill 042215

Whether dancing in diaphanous veils, or infusing a slam performance with her lovely singing voice, Crystal GKill is entertaining and astounding. I had the good fortune to run into her at a writing conference in Phoenix last weekend, and she graciously allowed me to take her picture for the purpose of doing this page.

Here are the words to the acrostic:

Crazed challenges make for a slam with zinG
Creation & performance make her sinG

Yet she’s outside the box, not by the booK
You’ll give her 10 to get another looK

Stirred audiences stand & cheer until

All accolades attest to her fine skill

[photo by the late, beloved Karen Wilkinson]
smallmouth grunts 101412 - Copy


born 22,147 days ago
not dead yet

no fire in the belly right now but some rumblings

there was a writers conference at phoenix college yesterday
jana bommersbach read from her book about a woman unjustly lynched
beth kendrick described an exchange with her editor that led to rewriting; “the jell-o had set”
(personal: crystal gkill may be the subject of an acrostically poetic page)

five miles of walking in the warm afternoon led to a pre-sick feverishness
muscle spasming after bedtime led to a bad night’s sleep

hope has been a slowly rising variable for the last three weeks
(some wonderful spikes; some awful troughs)

judging from pre-campaign-trail shenanigans the country will continue to be run by baboons


life is good and wretched and huggable and golden and sewagey and puzzling and careworn and unblessedly existential

Tomorrow is a special day. The Emma Thompson Project, Segment 6 of 6, will be published. I will then move on to other matters, and the magnificent Ms. Thompson may breathe a sigh of relief. (I’m NOT a stalker, but I seem to be playing one on WordPress. :) )

Meanwhile, all but one of the images that follow may be considered in the same vein that a rocker’s bootlegs may. They are unofficial, not part of the Project, just “I didn’t go yet” loosening-up. The page with the sonnet, though, will play a part in Segment 6. If I can wrestle the sonnet into a less forced-seeming array, I will. But if not it will be on the final image word for word. It is a more ambitious job of wordsmithing than the one I did for Theodore Sturgeon: fourteen lines, iambic pentameter, double acrostic saying EMMA THOMPSON IS EXTRAORDINARY, mutant Petrarchan rhyme scheme, with exactly one of her past, present or future movies or series resident on every line. The extraordinary Emma Thompson, intuition says, must have an extraordinary sonnet.

emma fonts 041415emma costars 041415emma roles 041415

emma thompson is extraordinary 041415


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