Sunday, February 2, 2014

Poet Guss Stepp

I've been thinking about Poet Guss Stepp who died in 2007. I always have wondered how his name came to be spelled that way, but I guess I am never going to know that now. I didn't know him well but admired his work. He always had a great smile and something engaging to read at his featured readings and at open mics. He sent poems to me when I was editor of Bent Pin Quarterly and subsequently died before he could see his work online in Bent Pin. Today I thought I would collect and offer some links.

Guss Stepp on Wednesday Night Poetry's archive:

Guss Stepp passing noted on Stamford Writes:

Guss Stepp's work in Bent Pin Quarterly:
        1)  Existance
        2) The Blues is
        3) Looking For Vincient
        4) The Ghosts Of Halloween

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More numerous indeed...

Just stopping by with a brief post, and tipping my metaphorical hat to this blog that I have been ignoring for a while now....    In the last year I have found many near at a hand who are closet unbelievers... May we all raise our hands and be counted....

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Pigeon holes and Platitudes" - a rant circa 2002

I've been sorting and shredding my files. I found this little rant which I originally wrote April 9, 2002. I've updated it a bit.... still seems true - though these days I have to apologize in advance because I am quite fond of platitudes myself. They take the edge off glaring realities.......


People love platitudes. I'm fond of a few myself. Just check the memes floating around Facebook and other social networks. Platitudes and pigeonholes make us relax. Reality, not so much.

In general people prefer that disturbing realities fold their wings neatly, then duck politely into a sturdy square box with a lid, out of sight - a box that keeps its contents in check - so things can't pop out and flop around in plain sight. Otherwise people might start questioning their faith in a happy world where a good-guy god reigns and where everyone who needs soon has.

We reach for platitudes for comfort.. Nonsense like: "Everything happens for a reason. Everything works out for the best."  Tell that to an antelope being torn apart by hyenas. The messy truth is this: the living world runs on death. Hamburgers, salmon steak and chicken wings have all been ripped untimely from beasts who weren't through with them yet. Don't let the grocery store's neat Styrofoam trays and pristine shrink wrap fool you. Life eats other life in order to continue. Purportedly this is the invention of a gentle loving god.

People too end in unseemly ways. They get blown up, burnt to cinders, have limbs severed, are mangled inside car wrecks,  beaten to death, starve in slow bony collapse, ache with suicidal despair, have their bleeding guts poured out on indifferent ground before laughing witnesses.

It's just easier for the more comfortable branches of the human race not to think about it much. We stuff this information into a little square pigeonhole and we paste a few decorator platitudes on top of it.

This enables us to buy expensive designer sneakers and iPhones for our kids without guilt. It enables us to live as extravagantly as possible believing we deserve it all, or to happily enjoy whatever small pleasures we can find while rationalizing away the world's ubiquitous cruelty and inequity.

This philosophical slight of hand makes it possible to have lunch once in a while. And after all, if you have lunch - you might as well savory every bite....

Bon appetite.

-- Mad Mar (Mistryel) Walker

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Location location location

 A cactus has been lurking silently in the backroom of this residence for as long as we have lived here. It was a gift from a former friend just before moving here. The damn thing lived on and on - longer than the friendship which gave way and finally collapsed under the weight of unfulfilled expectation. I rarely do the expected thing, or the polite thing. Some people want me to conform

 It didn't bother the cactus though at least not for many years. But even a cactus requires attention in the form of light and water once in a while. The blinds were opened, The pot was behind a pile of books. It didn't get water and the sun shone on and on. I forgot it to death. It happens. I just watered it though it is pale and brown. Just in case there is a tiny spark left. You never know.