Monday, February 21, 2011

Chewing Sticks - Reprise

Red Fox Kit Chews On A Stick, Spring 2007©Con Daily Photography

(I know, I know, this is a red fox, not a dog. I am partial to this picture.)

"We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing." - Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters. Alcott was the daughter of noted transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott. Alcott's early education included lessons from the naturalist Henry David Thoreau. She received the majority of her schooling from her father. She received some instruction also from writers and educators such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller, who were all family friends.


I have known many dogs who delight in chew toys and I have played tug of war with many of them. That game is completely satisfying on its own or as part of a toss the stick game. The only drawback is slobber. Sometimes you get an acrobatic dog and everything reaches a higher level. Then playing with a dog is almost as much fun as a cat with a red laser light or a feather toy. You can get cats to walk on walls and ceilings. :D

Chewing Sticks

If I had pastimes
Like your dog does chewing sticks
Maybe I would not
Collect useless junk,
Would not have drank half to death,
Would not write so much

January 19, 2009 11:38 PM

first posted June 25, 2009


  1. chew all you want.... as long as you keep writing poetry!

  2. chris,
    this reminds me of charles bukowski....i always loved his unmethodical way of writing....and this is wonderful...i once read a comment under bukowski poem that i never a lady..."i liked bukowski until i realized he meant everything he said"....

    bukowski would have had the widest smile reading that comment...wider than mine..

    you opened your vault and found an old gem....that is always a satisfying feeling i guess

  3. Thank you, manik, though I don't think very much of my poetry is like the poetry of Charles Bukowski.

    I don't know why but my form is more about getting form out of the I don't want to bother with it but want to keep something that shows I do attend to form. So I accept the simple discipline of syllabic counts per line and then violate my own rule from time to time just to keep it alive.

    In my earliest posts, I still capitalized the first letters of lines, but gave that up too. Somebody I respect suggested it.

    The need to express complex visions in few syllables and lines forces me to think in terms of small words for the most part and to put these words into short phrases. My guess is that many of my poems have the punch that can only be found in the smaller words. That makes me occasionally sound like other poets who choose to write in compact space.

    I like my own work ever so much better this way. I used to write other ways and have not really cared for my own work all my life until I found this form. I especially like those poems which have a hairpin twist at the end, even though in some ways that effect turns my poetry dangerously close to something lightweight, like O Henry short stories.

    Well, to hell with them if they can't take a joke.

  4. chris,
    i really admire the way you juxtapose words together....and what is pleasantly a diversion from all other forms of poetry is that you do it using simple words and and even more simple style....i mean i don't think you go hunting for invariable twists in every line or force them into places where the poem should only be allowed to flow...i think you naturally arrive at them....and that is the way to go about business i feel..(business if it can be called)...

    the reason i mentioned bukowski was that this is something charles himself would have admired...not that it is in any way similar to what he wrote but just that these are the embers his thoughts he left with us...

  5. That's a hugely satisfying poem, and the fox kit (I didn't know they called them that) is truly gorgeous. I often think foxes are sort of half-way between dogs and cats.

  6. manik, Lucy, the fun of the reprise, I get to share the poetry I personally feel has "made the grade". More, I get to revisit the presentation and offer a new ground for the poem's figure. Perhaps sometimes it goes the other way around, and the poem forms the background and purpose which permits me to play anew.

    I have come to love introducing other people in my posts along the way. I fear I give a false impression. It looks like I know who all these people are. Actually I am expressing how much fun it is to meet them so easily through internet resources. I already know a little of some of them, of course.

    Yes, I delight in foxes and knew the young were kits at least enough to recognize the word and say, "I knew that!" I wonder though, if you had asked the question of me, would I have been able to answer that kits were fox young? The answer to that question is murkier. I just continue my love affair with the way the internet is often one (only one!) click away from the answer.

  7. Good question. I started reading a blog called the Alcoholic Poet. Been writing for soooo many years. That's what struck me. Would a pastime have eased up on the liver, yet vanquished the poet? Poems have a voice. They MUST be heard. Ever wonder if we, as conduits, have less choice than we'd perhaps like? Sometimes, with the sheer power of a poem, it makes me wonder.

    I had a dog who loved to fetch. Talk about slobber! That tennis ball was slathered in it.

  8. Annie, your comment about the Alcoholic Poet and manik's about Bukowski lead me into the alcoholism area. That is one definite similarity between Bukowski and me, we are alcoholic and we are poets. I am not sure the two pieces actually fit together well enough to say "alcoholic poet".

    I would not want to imply that I have to be alcoholic, that some of us have to be alcoholic to be poets (or rock stars or actors or novelists or whatever). By the same token though, it is obvious that alcoholism seems larger somehow in artistic people. We often flame out in a flamboyant way.

    I am like Bukowski in taking a long time off (decades for me) in the middle of things while alcoholism progressed. Neither he nor I actually blew up or flamed out completely, or at least we both lit up again.

    So yes, I guess in alcoholism there is a similarity between us.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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