Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I know I don't seem to be catching up or staying even with all of you, my true friends, both face world and cyber. Seems like for the last year I have been questioning my desire to write more. I keep thinking what is there left to say?

Every decision man has ever made either fair or foul has the end result of it floating on the Earth, in an ocean, within the core heart of humanity or is still sailing away to the utter ends of the cosmos, where it will bounce back, hopefully wiser than it left.

For myself I have turned inward this past year, not to reflect or look for new sides to see old questions from, but as a form of escape from a reality I no longer want to face in a physical space I no longer want to be in. I am not questioning my mortality, I know the definition of the word. I am cool with it, not in fear of losing my grip on the bar that holds me here. It is inevitable but I am not rushing it.

In 2006 I started this blog, wrote many many things on it, met both in real space and hyperspace more people that I know I can truly count on as friends. More friends than I have ever had or cared for before. Some no longer blog themselves but I still keep them listed because they got naked for me in their writing, as I always tried to do in mine.

Once a friend who now is more virtual than faceworld tod me I had written enough, more than most, I had proved my proficiency and prolific use of words in poetry, I could stop anytime and not be counted among them who wasted a talent. I wonder though? Did it ever change anything for anyone or was it just me liking to be bare? Prose is entertainment for the most part when done well for that purpose.

Poetry though is something else, something that at times defies definition and is only understood in the feelings it evokes. I know I have accomplished at least in part that--desire within me to show others what i have seen, but the question going forward is do I still have the fire in the belly grandma lit so many decades ago? Or has it become rote, rutted, passionless? I don't want to stop writing, but I also don't want to become overly repetitive or condescending to you or my own being?

I have no degrees, I have, some say because of that lack, no claim to the sobriquet of Poet, I say I do, I have earned it a harder way. But again what is left to say? These past months I have become to feel more like coal that occasionally flares but is closer to going out than burning on. In a few weeks I hit the end of my 60th year and close in on 5 decades of writing because it was the only form of analysis that ever worked for me. All of the best of me it seems was left on a dusty highway just as i was about to settle down and as it turns out rarely leave Detroit again.

I had eight years of freedom and fifty two of life, interrupted by work, alcoholism, insanity, and fighting, most of all fighting. Trying to smash down the walls of power, and I see ne'er a dent has been made, and what bricks i did knock loose have been replaced, mortared and all signs of my having stood to fight for justice and love and truth and compassion are gone. Not even a plaque in my own soul to remember those heady days of trampling authority.

There is so much about me no one knows, no one but me cares about and I believe that everyone is the same, except I do care; for the hidden parts of you as well as the parts you have exposed to me, just for myself though I have no thought left or desire to say anymore, mankind is a cruel, ugly, beast and all of the positive platitudes are nothing but a bandage for the continual stings. Maybe it is my upbringing in a not so good childhood coming back to me, rarely do the conquered stay down.

I can honestly say though, without qualm or qualification I have felt love through this monitor and have tried with all I have to return it in kind. Every day I feel someone different is thinking about me, hoping I am well. I am well enough and I have come to the conclusion that that has to be enough for me right now.  I need to find something  haven't had in a long time. New, different, a place within/or without that I have never been before. yet as the line in the Pink Floyd song goes "I have become comfortably numb."

And that, in moments of stark clarity, annoys me and makes me sad because I can not see any way where I will have the ability to feel real, solid again. I bore myself sometimes but i thought those who come here, came here and gave me the courtesy of reading my work, whether commenting or not deserved an explanation of what has been going on inside my head and more importantly my once rust free iron willed heart.

believe it or not i have only rarely, and that usually for an English class, have never written to a prompt. Everything I have put here and the ones no one has ever seen has always been from my heart, my own state of mind. I now though am ready to try that--prompts. Make a suggestion, a list, or say the road is at end, but I know I want to be challenged again. So, my friends who are like family--prompt me to go places you know but I do not. Please. There is no prize, except for the one we already share, helping in small ways to help each other.


PS I had to go across town today, I had to pass by "Hardcore Pawn"and stopped in. I wanted to see with my own eyes the place that presents Detroit's people as some of them are, usually at their worst. The first thing I noticed was the only one seen on the show who was working was the short bald dude they make do all the stupid stuff, like dressing in costumes to pass out flyers. the second thing I saw was there were almost as many tourists there as there were customers. There was no drama, just a line of people trying to pawn something for a few bucks, a few items I had seen on the show that Les got extremely cheap by using the "...But I have to restore it" line, stuff that was in no way restored but priced 15x's what he paid for it. lots and lots and lots of jewlery, one BIG HUGE security guard leaning on a speaker eating a bag of chips and a showroom that of course is 10x's smaller than it looks on television. I wanted to stop in and see the place that has made millions from being in Detroit while at the same time making it look like shit. Now that I have actually felt the energy in the place, I can say honestly it is an apt representation of Detroit's people at their stoned and drunken worst but also a place, a family business, built by a family that left Detroit for the suburbs decades ago, but still milks Detroit for every ounce or gram of gold and silver it can. In short typical, so very typical a situation for this city. Plus they do not take Timex watches on pawn...so I still after 15 years do not own a watch.


  1. Thanks for sharing your essence, and for welcoming each of us

  2. well...i hope you have a few more words in you man...
    feel free to drop by the pub if you want a prompt...we have them tuesday or thursday and they run 33 hours...or dont...its up to you...smiles...just glad i have you in my life when i got you...

  3. Mark, I have often wondered that. Do I really want to write about this again???? And then I stopped. My blog attests to it. Until I felt the need to write again. I received that spark that left me with no option but to write. Dare I say you'll also feel it if you take a break?

    I do know that reading your words, your book, has always been a pleasure. You tweak reactions out of people, leave me thinking, make me look forward to your next one... Whatever you do, or not do, you will always be my friend!

  4. You're feeling down in the dumps of Detroit Mark. You seem to be thinking "pointless" about many things perhaps?
    I may be wrong, (usually I am) ... but most of us get a "what the heck..." feeling every now and then. I know I do.
    But then some are able to snap out of the slough of despond, or despair, that thick muddy pond that tries to suck us further downwards. Sometimes difficult to get out of, never easy, but not impossible.
    I seem to remember you writing something about quitting your blog a couple of years ago. Am I right?

    You didn't quit then.

    Pretty hopeful that you'll press on regardless, as the cliché goes. Ah, the joy of clichés eh? Where would I be without them. Don't answer that!

  5. Mark, I do feel like I know you, and you have opened my mind and heart to that city and American reality in a way that no one else has. I read fiction all the time - love it for entertainment and for learning - but your writing has made Detroit real in a way fiction could never do. You opened your veins and bled the city.

    I am stuck, too, in this writing place. What do I have to say, and who cares? So, I go outside. So I run my fingers down the rough back of an ancient oak. Who cares? I have almost stopped producing poetry. For a while, I wrote daily. Now, I write only occasionally, and only when something pops into my head and won't leave. This happens less and less frequently. I am in a sort of poetic malaise. (Love that word, don't you? Smiles.)

    So, let's just let it be. We are who and what we are. At heart, soul, and breath, we are writers with nothing to say. Maybe we're just catching our breath for the big one. Ya think?

    So, this shouldn't be about me. It's about you...but our virtual friendship is based on sharing ourselves in the most intimate of ways. You bleed. I hurt.

    Be well, my friend.

    I will read you here again.

  6. When I first started blogging, I would use a graphic of some sort as a prompt -- a photo, a painting, a visual expression. Still do for the most part. Somehow another's prompt seems too high school and I an way past that, and taking tests.
    I like a surprise and will search till one happens, then react in poem or descript ,or research to learn more.
    I mean no harm. Please get off of my foot!

  7. I don't know there is any objective point to anything. Every point is really subjective I think.

  8. Haven't worn a watch in 30 years ... ever since I left it at the Wild West Pawn in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada ... they have my holy cross protect me neck chain too ... nothing on my wrist, nothing around my neck ... nothing on my ring finger anymore either ... smiles ... Love, cat.

  9. Mark, I haven't commented here in awhile, but it's only because I loathe my own repetition. My responses to your writing have always been deeply felt. Maybe I should have said so more often.

    You've always fought battles I never dreamed of waging. You've turned your passion and vision outward, while I tend to reflect mine inward, where it often becomes inert. Maybe because of that, I've felt small by comparison. (Though your comments on my own work always made me feel seen and cherished. Thank you for that.)

    I don't know what I'm trying to say here; only that you've been a constant companion to my online life these past many years, and it pains me that you're floundering for a meaningful space to occupy anymore. Lostness is familiar terrain for me. Emptiness is a darkness that can't be filled by others, but it can be surveyed with writing. I do think filling the hole with words might be an illusion of forward progress, but a necessary one to maintain one's sanity.

    I see you searching--if not for meaning, then direction--and all I can think to say is that tell us something of those hidden parts, the things you think will bore us. Make your focus smaller. Map the mundane, if you have to. Perhaps it will spark something. Perhaps not. Lay the fight aside, for once. There's a universe inside you.

  10. WM/Mark
    who you are pours through your words.... and it has touched my heart for as long as I have been reading. Writing and poetry have their own rhythm; as you know more than most, there are times when one has a riches of excess and there are times when one needs to wait in the fallow land. Whenever you do write, I will want to read. I think that it is not so much a " degree" that makes a poet.... a poet is made by the feelings that cannot bear not to be expressed. This you do in spades.
    On the watch thing.... my dad, a crusty old Newfoundlander, used to say, " you can always tell a mainlander.... always lookin' at their watch!!".
    I don't own one either.
    Be well. Stay honest. Agitate, agitate.

  11. Perhaps a different art form?
    Draw/Paint/Scribble. Or take photos from your porch.
    Upload, post, then write about what you created visually.
    You might inspire yourself.

    love ya!

  12. Mark,
    I have to echo Sarah and say that you have always made me feel heard and encouraged. I ran out of things to say long ago and it is frustrating because the i miss writing but when i dont write i also lose some of the friendship and community of blogging.
    In my 600 odd posts i only remember one prompt: "Write, it frees the soul" i had no idea what to do with it but the prompter liked the result and that was all that mattered to me.

  13. Well, I am glad that you are still here. And I too think that I am repetitive and boring anymore. I have less to write about and definitely quit doing the every day posts which became a burden and an item to check off in my mind. I write about once a week. Sometimes, I wonder about even doing that. And then I will get an email from someone who tells me that they needed to read what I wrote. So I keep going. If just a few posts help those struggling with alcoholism and life in general, then so be it. And actually maybe it helps me the most to put down my thoughts.


So Walking Man I was thinking...