Why Write?

For the money and the trophies? Good luck.

To communicate? Absolutely.

To discover how you feel? That you have something to say? To enable you to see your thoughts and feelings on the page? As a vehicle to share your experience with others?

Could Creative Writing be good for your health?

In an article in her online blog (Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Write), Rachael Grate references three different studies that support the idea that expressive writing has physical as well as emotional health benefits. These benefits are not merely available to masters of prose and verse—the studies showed that the act of writing was enough to induce positive results.

Expressive writing is there for everyone. Whereas we may not all be destined to become bestselling authors, a simple mark on the page, an act of deliberate engagement with the muse, eradicates the void and proceeds to roll out a runway from which all of our hopes, dreams, and remembrances can take flight. And whereas, in the doing of it we may be undone—to not proceed makes the blank page the victor—a simple dumb object wielding power over us. Sure, everyone is not meant to be a writer no more than everyone is meant to be a plumber. But, if you have the desire, please don’t let a little piece of paper have dominion over you. Play, mess-up, erase, wad-up, start over—you just might discover some treasure along the way. You might just find that you feel better.




Excerpt from “Ordinary Magic: Everyday Life as a Spiritual Path”

Real poetry practitioners are practitioners of mind awareness, or practitioners of reality, expressing their fascination with a phenomenal universe and trying to penetrate to the heart of if. Poetics isn’t mere picturesque dilettantism or egotistical expressionism for craven motives grasping for sensation and flattery. Classical poetry is a ‘process,’ or experiment–a probe into the nature of reality and the nature of the mind.–Allen Ginsberg, p. 100, Ordinary Magic 

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Weekend Sale: $7.99. Now that’s two or three beers at the bar. But, you get to keep this forever instead of for 30 minutes, and you don’t have to tip. : ). Click here: http://www.amazon.com/Act-Like-Indigo-Bobby-Taylor-ebook/dp/B00K8H7QTI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400348825&sr=1-1&keywords=act+like+an+indigo+man

An excerpt from “Love is a Dog from Hell” by Charles Bukowski

I finished Charles Bukowski’s “Love is a Dog from Hell” last night. He published over 45 books of poetry and prose during his lifetime. Amazing! This excerpt is from the poem “one for the shoeshine man,” that begins on page 305:

“there is that which helps you believe

in something else besides death :

somebody in a car approaching on a street too narrow,

and he or she pulls aside to let you

by, or the old fighter Beau Jack

shining shoes

after blowing the entire bankroll

on parties

on women,

on parasites,

humming, breathing on the leather,

working the rag

looking up and saying ;

‘what the hell, I had it for a

while, that beats the

other.’ “

A few words from Rick Bragg’s book “The Most They Ever Had.”

Some days I just need to write something, to feel better. That’s why I started writing as a kid — reactivity — internal survival instinct: write it down to get it out — get the poison out.

I read a fair amount. I got started kind of late. There’s a lot of stuff out there I’ll just never get to — there’s a lot of great literature that I’ll never have the time to digest.

But, when I pick up a Rick Bragg book, and read a few lines, I feel the words down inside me. They land like horseshoes around a steel stake. I know, when I hear Rick tell it, that I have come from a rich culture of storytelling, and grit.

I don’t expect Rick will ever see this, but if he does, perhaps he will forgive me for publishing this without asking first. I expect he’s a hard man to get hold of, and I dang sure don’t have time to go head to head with some New York lawyers. So, maybe I’ll sneak this one in. Maybe they’ll consider it an advertisement if they notice at all.

The following excerpt is taken from the prologue of Rick’s book “The Most They Ever Had”:


As a boy, I was a little afraid of the people of the mills, of the plain, Pentecostal women in long dresses and waist-length hair, and bony, red-skinned men who still remembered the cut of a cotton sack. They had the look of a people who had not lived so much as endured it, as if they had walked out of a fire. I would learn not to flinch when some old man offered me a three-fingered hand, or stare at people who seemed to cough all the time, even in fine weather. I knew about work then, in the 1960’s and ’70’s. I swung a pick, ran a chainsaw, toted concrete blocks. But this grit, this sacrifice, was something else. I understood it, finally, one March night in 2001, when I saw a man I believed to be unbreakable just take apart, not by the mill he served, but something worse.

Yes, I want to write like this some day when I grow up.


Excerpt form “Near a Plate Glass Window”

dogs and angels are not

very far apart.

I often go to this little place

to eat

about 2:30 in the afternoon

because all the people who eat

there are completely sane,

glad to be simply alive and

eating their food

near a plate glass window

which welcomes the sun

but doesn’t let the cars and

the sidewalks come inside.

Excerpt for “Near a Plate Glass Window” by Charles Bukowski


The People Look Like Flowers at Last (page 8)

From “Letters to a Young Poet”, translated by M.D. Herter Notron

Hobo Jim (an Alaskan legend) gave me Letters to a Young Poet back around the year 2000. Though I have picked it up many times, looking for inspiration, I’m finally getting around to reading it straight through. I want to share some of it here, in hopes that the copyright owners will perceive this as an attempt to promote the book, and not as an attempt to compromise the integrity of copyright protection.

Here is the link to the book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Letters-Young-Poet-ebook/dp/B005SFQH04/ref=sr_1_4_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1372950361&sr=8-4&keywords=letters+to+a+young+poet

From pages 18 and 19:

You ask whether your verses are good. You ask me. You have asked others before. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are disturbed when certain editors reject your efforts. Now (since you have allowed me to advise you) I beg you to give up all that. You are looking outward, and that above all you should not do now. Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all — ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it. Then draw near to Nature. Then try, like some first human being, to say what you see and experience and love and lose.

The Courage to Create

From page 12 of “The Courage to Create” by Rollo May:

We are called upon to do something new, to confront a no man’s land, to push into a forest where there are no well-worn paths and from which no one has returned to guide us. This is what the existentialists call the anxiety of nothingness. To live into the future means to leap into the unknown, and this requires a degree of courage for which there is no immediate precedent and which few people realize.