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We’ve built a happy home
created the life we wanted
the bubble that won’t pop
the reality blissfully skewed to our liking

With adopted children from the midsection
cousins in far away places
uncles and aunts
and mothers and fathers from all those places we’ve never been

Our family
medicatedpoeticladygrin
writers, conspirators, sympathizers, antagonists all
welcome home
linger yet
don’t stay away too long

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Over the course of the last two weeks or so, I have had the pleasure of being involved in a fantastic discussion about writing and living well. As interviews go, this one offers insight and sincerity, and I hope you, dear reader, appreciate the self-depricating wisdom of our very own Uncle Tree.

#1. What made you an Uncle and not a Father or a Cousin or a Step-son Tree?

An anonymous young fellow, or dame, named Diablo, penned Tree on me. At a site called Intentblog (now closed), I talked about camping by the Missouri River, and mentioned a few of the things, including spiritual awakenings, that I’d experienced at my favorite spot. He must have thought I sounded like I was stationed there, or had put down roots there, in order to call me a tree. Since he claimed to be in his 20’s, I thought of him as a nephew, which made me his uncle.

Father Tree would have made me look like a priest, and Brother Tree sounds to me
like a deacon, and I really didn’t want to be cornered into anything too specific, such as Elder Tree, Sir Willow or Mr. Elmwood.

#2. If you had to choose between wilting in the sun or crumbling from the cold, which would you prefer?

Uncle Tree would prefer a climate ideally situated on this earth. That place would be a habitat that allows all of nature to express itself fully throughout the four seasons in equal measure. He feels that the coldest part of the year is the toughest to endure. Summer’s sun is warm and penetrating. In good years, when spring brings plentiful and copious amounts of refreshing rain, he reserves some of the moisture in defense against the blazing heat, and only wilts on top.

#3. Your cheekiness and wit in your writing (blog, poems, AND comments) are rays through clouds. How do you maintain a sense of humor?

I don’t believe anyone can timelessly maintain a sense of humor, no matter what is going on in their personal lives. Ups and downs, and highs and lows are to be expected, and they definitely contribute to my so-called moodiness. That I cannot deny. I never intentionally wish to bring someone down, just because I feel a certain way at the time, but I do suppose it happens sometimes.

Before I had my own blog, all I used to be able to do was comment, so I learned to make the best of them. For the most part, I try to say something appropriate, and attempt to keep my views on-topic. Humor has its place, and laughter is the best medicine, but we can’t always rely on them to get our point across. I can sympathize with Al Franken in that regard.

Me2 was my first moniker. This symbol contains a few meanings for me. It’s not funny or sad, in and of itself. It is rather more neutral than Uncle Tree, which I see as putting me in the category of goofy and kooky, but in a familiar, unassuming sort of way. It’s been fun to play with, and I’m still growing into it. I don’t always write from his perspective, as if I were actually a talking tree. That’s impossible! I do have a couple of poems which he wrote though, and I hope to create more at some period in the future.

My outlook on life is not always positive or optimistic. I accept the full range of emotions as a matter of course. It’s only natural. To deny is to lie to one’s self, and when we do, we’re not fooling anybody but ourselves. The reasons I have for writing poetry the way I do are too numerous to go into here. I want to read your thoughts for you and speak about it, when you can’t seem to find the right words to use yourself.
And of course, if I can bring someone to tears, whether they be joyful ones, or sorrowful ones, I would rightfully call that my crowning achievement.

#4. If you were me and Bryan cyber stalked your new boyfriend, how would you make him pay?*

Dear lady,

Your wish for revenge is in jest, of that I am sure. Nevertheless, it was your boyfriend, as you said. Paybacks are a bitch, but we can be fair about it. You don’t have to raise the ante. The punishment should be a fitting one; one that matches the dastardly deed that Bryan has committed. Unless, of course, you wish to start a war, for wars are not required to be just.

I can’t imagine that ‘Facebooking’ someone is a serious crime. Having said that, I came up with this as I was toying with the idea:

If I were you, I’d tell Bryan that I need to speak to him and his beloved at their place of residence. I would persuade, or talk him into setting aside a time, say 9 or 10:00 o’clock in the evening. Make it a Friday or Saturday night. I would tell him that I had an important announcement to make, and that I wanted the two of them to be the first to hear of it. I would leave it at that, and not hint around or make any wise-cracks.

As soon as I can get him to make a promise about the date, then, in advance, I would hire a professional to perform a session for these young men at said time. And by professional, I mean a dancer. And by dancer, I mean a blonde, gorgeous, well-proportioned, sexy and provocative female stripper.

*Note: I must mention that Uncle Tree answered this one with characteristic grace and a kind sensibility that is incredibly endearing and almost makes me question my urge for seeking revenge. 😉

#5. What makes a poet “good”? (And you are good, Uncle!)

Thank you! It’s nice to know you think of me as such.

Success in any endeavor is highly personal, and the meaning of it depends on where one currently fits into the mix, and one’s general expectations, hopes and dreams. Like happiness, once you’ve had a taste of success, you inevitably wish to savor it again. If at first you only receive a morsel, the next time you’ll want a bigger bite, and so on and so forth until you believe your plate is as full as the possibilities allow.

I take the title of poet very seriously. Within the elite literary circles of today, I honestly do not know the requirements necessary to earn such a lofty label. Personally, I do not consider myself to be worthy of the name, nor can I say that I will ever rise to those heights of grandeur. Therefore my thoughts on the subject will pertain to the ladder as I see it, and the steps that might be involved in the process from beginning to end. Again I will stress that this is my guess, my opinion, my estimation.

Anyone with a firm grasp of their own language is capable of writing. That doesn’t make them a writer. We can say the same thing about poetry. By the age of 10 or so,
most anyone can create and produce a finished product, but that doesn’t necessarily
make them a poet, however easy and natural it seems to seep forth, as if it were on it’s own, and only needed a little direction.

When first starting out on this road, success would simply mean a piece of work that pleases its author, and brings to them a sense of pride and satisfaction; a poem with which the originator may be well pleased.

The next step might be to show off, or to display your new wares to family and friends in order to receive some friendly feedback. It’s up to the author alone to decide whether or not the praise is worthy, or if the unwanted criticisms are well intended. It is highly likely that you will procure positive, reinforcing encouragement from this group of readers. The worst bit of advice you may hear is familiar to all: “Don’t quit your day job just yet.”

If the author is attending a school of higher learning, they could gather up enough courage to show their beloved poetry to a teacher, or professor of literature. Here one would hope to obtain an objective viewpoint, constructive criticism, and maybe even noteworthy praise from an ‘experienced’ reader of letters.

Another venture might entail a step that would allow complete strangers to freely read what you have done, as in the case of internet exchanges such as we have at wordpress and blogspot. Just how difficult it is to get a comment from someone you don’t know at all is another short story that I’ll not get into at this time. Again, if you do get one or several replies, it’s up to you to determine their trustworthiness. Your perception of these can then be the deciding factor in the measure of your success.

My personal knowledge of the ladder ends at this juncture. That doesn’t mean I’m done here, nor does it mean that I’m through climbing myself. Moving on up —

If you are now more certain of your abilities, entering a poetry contest may be in
order. From what I’ve heard, there are usually a lot of competitors, and taking the first prize would be akin to winning the lottery.

One more option would be the act of submitting your unpublished work to a magazine or journal that specializes in art and literature. Let us say you are successful. Let us say that you are now one of the critically acclaimed authors of your generation. You may choose to write a book that contains a selection of your finest poetry. The meaning of success from this point forward will depend on the quantity of books sold.

Let us assume your book of poetry becomes a best-seller. I would have to say, “You’ve made it to the big time!” Certainly, at this point you should be deemed worthy of the label, and have a right to think of yourself as a poet. Others will now call you by that name. They may even take a vote, and choose you to be worthy of holding the honorable office, and dignified position of Poet Laureate. This is what it means to be highly successful. And yet there is still more to be had.

You may become world famous. Your work may be translated into several, if not hundreds of languages. You may be nominated, and you may win the Nobel Prize
in Literature. What a success you’ve now become! But have you finally reached the highest heights? Have you reached the pinnacle of success?

Nay, not if you ask Homer and the Bard! If your name, your poetry, and your achievements are remembered, talked about, and taught in educational systems all around this homey globe of ours for hundreds, or even thousands of years, that my friend…that must be the zenith. That deserves the praise of The Masters. That is when we all can say, “You, dear poet, you have shown us the true meaning of success, and the ideal way to live and love that leads to a successful life. Thank you!”

Please visit Uncle Tree’s House at http://me2watson.wordpress.com/.

Bunny and I met recently through Bryan and we’ve fallen in love. He’s also our Asian love child, which has a little bit of an Oedipus-esque twist minus the shame and eyegauging, and I am happy to share the fruits of our love with all of my dear readers.

I. From dearest Bunny Belletryst.

Careful, my medicated lady, for if
you prescribe, know this, a narcotic, is what
you’ll imbibe.
A bunny leaps,
reads the label, but what it should say,
is a bunny takes you, takes you,
may lead you astray.

Should my jolly roger affect you lightly, pop a few like jolly ranchers…
Should my taste suit you, a Pavlov-drooling, babbling, witty banter…
take more. take more. take more.

What’s your dosage, my lady?
Can you take the bunny-pill pledge, Lady?
If you think the shoddy design on the old bottle is faded,
just read the poem,
the inscription, get jaded.

A bunny leaps and leaps and leaps.
And so will you, come, creep
to my bottle, hold out your hand.
Look before you leap,
or you may never understand.

II.
From MedicatedLady to Bunny.

An indelible duo
of heart and head
Your Honey to my Bunny.

Twenty-four hours is too long to decide to love.
Let’s make it snappy
and I’ll give you double snaps
and a freckled smile
not much to give
but what I have.

It’s not that I think I’m good
it’s that I know you are
and I’m happy
to follow you
wherever your bunny trails may lead.

See Bunny’s blog at http://brbelletryst.wordpress.com/.

 Once again, I’ve asked a fantabulous writer and blogger some questions for those of us who are not “in the know” but would like to be.

1. Do you ever take a handful of raisins and eat them quickly because you suspect if you took time to really think about them, you might actually hate raisins?

I savour my raisins. I do, however, swallow my deep fried hedgehogs whole as a result of an unfortunate accident as a child.

2. How the heck does one pronounce “gingatao”? I am at a loss and no medication seems to help me figure it out.

‘ginga’ is Portugese. The first ‘g’ is soft and long and sexy, almost like ‘shh’, and the ‘inga’ is like a German lady. Tao should be pronounced as though it was Dow. Strangely, I have only ever heard one other person say it out loud.

3. How is it you became a writer, dearest?

When I was seventeen I felt far too ugly and ungainly to become an actor so I chose the other career in which one never has to be oneself.

4. How do you get out of a writer’s rut?

Alcohol. (or reading the great writers of the past.)

5-ish. Do Australians really say “crikey”? Also, do you all wrestle alligators? Is it true Australians are zany? Do you think I would fit in in Australia? Do you were funny hats? What is Australia’s stance on clogs? Do you call flip-flops “flip-flops” or “thongs”?

No Australians say Crikey anymore. Many of the old Austalianisms have died out. Noone refers to ladies as ‘sheilas’ anymore. Interestingly the Prime Minister is copping some stick at the moment for using blokey language like ‘fair suck of the sausage, mate.’ Australia also has the highest rate of indigenous language loss of any country. There were thousands of indigenous languages and now there are only handful still in active use, which is a tragedy.

I hope we are not zany, a word I use interchangeably with stupid.

Everyone fits in in Australia, it is one of the most tolerant and multicultural countries anywhere. Like the rest of the world though, we have developed a deep suspicion of Americans which you would have to overcome.

I wear funny hats. At the moment I am wearing a green felt hat.

Our stance on clogs is neutral, our stance in clogs is a little crooked.

We call thongs thongs and the other thongs g-strings.

Thank you for your questions, M’Lady.

I’m sorry my answers weren’t as clever or as funny as Bryan’s but I just woke up on a Monday morning. Have a fantabulous day full of tiny miracles like unexpected flowers blooming,

Paul.

Paul–these answers are not to be compared with Bryan’s. These were YOUR questions to answer and I think you did a mighty fine job, kind sir.

The first draft is the only one that matters

Raw is reality

Refined is bullshit

Or so I say

At times when I am being difficult.

 

At times when I am being difficult

I say

Refined is bullshit

Raw is reality

The first draft is the only one that matters.

My poems Patio Gas Can and Since the Day I Was Born will be published in the 10th issue of Breadcrumb Scabs Magazine, one issue after Bryan Borland makes his debut in the same. Why can’t I ever be first? This is just like the time he won the creative writing award in Mrs. Matheny’s class.


I’m activating Bryan’s password-protection strategy on published poems, which is to say Bryan is password-protecting parts of this blog, which is to say even I won’t have access to it.

I wonder if you suffer, too

writer’s guilt and all of that.

To see gray-blue as a feeling

never a hue.

Bless her heart, Helen Keller
thought she wrote that story
of her own merit and creation
something that sounded right
right

Bless your heart
of course, it has a ring to it
I wrote it
Ring
ring

  • Sex.
  • Also, mentioning “sex” in a blog brings you more traffic, or so Bryan says. Put as many sexual tags as you can think of on your blog post. Think hard.
  • Try to find another writing utensil.
  • Tell yourself that this other writing utensil is perfectly sufficient.
  • Upon immediate dismissal of the above point, keep calm.
  • For Christ’s sake, shake out your luminous hair.
  • Distract yourself by considering your freckles.
  • Consider the cost of Claritin, which you had to buy because you needed it, but you would have preferred that the Family Dollar had generic in stock.
  • Email Jade. Email Bryan. Email Melissa.
  • Write random bullet points and hope no one notices the randomness.
  • Think morbid thoughts. Such as all the ways horrible things can befall people: aortic tears in plane crashes, torture, being shot repeatedly in Afghanistan, having your rehab dog shot to death upon returning to Texas, forest fires that incinerate entire crews of smokejumpers in Montana (?) gulches, plane crashes that result in the consumption of rugby players, cutting your own hand off, freezing to death on Mt. Everest, starving in the Alaskan wilderness, dating, ending up in a freezer, being in Iraq, being in Somalia, being infected by the swine flu, having multiple myeloma with a 10% chance of living through the treatment much less the illness, and not having your favorite writing utensil or an interesting blog topic.

a sharpened pencil

the way I like

with nothing to say

so I write my name

over and over

to soothe my compulsion

and wayward

way word

mind

 

a predator poised

to strike

with no prey

no pray

in sight

insight

incite

SOB with me

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