Random Thoughts: The Gratitude Edition


Some random thoughts before people wake up in this house and the madness of Thanksgiving begins:

  • First of all, I won’t bore you with the usual thankfulness for family and friends and health and roofs over one’s head.
  • Whoops.
  • Has anyone else noticed the rise in comfort food consumption (CFC) since the electoral college’s election of Trump?
  • Free verse. Whoever captured it in the first place? And how did its rescue become such a cause célèbre?
  • Sunrises. Always be grateful for sunrises. By comparison, sunsets are rather commonplace.
  • Poetic touchstones: Frost, Yeats, Kooser, Wright, Gilbert, Dickinson, Szymborska, Kenyon, Roethke, WCW, Stevens, the Chinese and the Japanese of old.
  • I’m grateful for two books under the belt, with #3 off to the races.
  • I’m grateful for readers who support new poets whose books are unavailable at local libraries (to the tune of ABBA’s “Take a Chance on Me”).
  • And economists who speak up when thrifty sorts balk at the price of poetry books: “That’s only 30 cents a poem! And besides, why aren’t you so thrifty when it comes to your daily ice coffee (size: Honkin’), your monthly phone plan (size: Macy’s Parade balloon), your cable bill (size: outrageous), and your cases of bottled water (size: totally unnecessary)?” (Good question!)
  • I’m grateful for perspective.
  • Can we give thanks for the resurgence of print books? As was true with Mark Twain, news of its death was greatly exaggerated.
  • And what about local bookstores run by mom and pop? If they’re close enough, talk to your economist again and forego that amazon discount. Less to a conglomerate capitalist behemoth and more to writers. As a reader and patron of the arts, isn’t that what you’re about? Put your money where your principles and precepts are.
  • Has anyone else noticed the rise in people watching comfort movies on Hallmark  (CMOH) since the electoral college’s election of Trump?
  • Shakespeare. Always give thanks for Shakespeare. And reread two plays (minimum) a year, one comedy, one tragedy–each metaphors for your life.
  • Speaking of classics, have you ever noticed how many poets read the King James Version of the Bible, especially its most poetic books (e.g. the Psalms) for inspiration and rhythmic tutelage? Amen to that!
  • Personally, I take comfort in Ecclesiastes, easily my favorite Old Testament book.
  • If any of your grandparents are still alive, give thanks. If one or both of your parents are still alive, give thanks. And overlook their shortcomings by reminding yourself of your own.
  • I am thankful for people who are kind on-line, a place where trolls in basements virtually proliferate and pillage virtual villages of good will. It’s easy to be an anonymous bad-ass, but to be an anonymous decent person? Less so.
  • I’m thankful for the first ritual of the day, my daily coffee (bread was otherwise occupied).
  • Let’s hear it for poetry markets, for poetry editors and readers who take huge swaths of their time to read would-be, wanna-be, and is-be poets’ best efforts!
  • Has anyone else noticed the rise in people drinking alcoholic beverages (PDAB) since the electoral college’s election of Trump?
  • Which reminds me, we give thanks for newspapers, journalism, objectivity, facts, and truth… the victims of demagoguery the world over.
  • Speaking of, give thanks for every country in the world where peace rules the land. May we do our best to spread it to countries where that is not the case.
  • For ars poetica and ars blogica.
  • For any reader who made it this far. Thank you! May you stay cool, calm, collected and well-read as we enter the holiday season!

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