Category Archives: fishing

HOW TO MAKE A CANOE/KAYAK TRAILER

Physical.

Artist.

Hemingway strolls into wars and rides water buffalo. Not to mention marriage (s), a very taxing activity. Very. Agatha Christie takes long, long constitutionals, for weeks. Where is she? Books sell. Murder. Rolf Jacobsen sculpts pillowcases, and sometimes, well, he was wrong. I once preferred two pillows, now one is OK. I hate the short pour and also when politicians breathe out their eyeballs. Twain shoots small pistols at large, water rats (Coypu?), rats scurrying in canals like the shadows of a seesaw. But why? Elvis knows three types of karate, as does Elizabeth Bishop,

elvis 1who often forgot it was Sunday, liquor stores closed, so more than once drank cologne.

bishop 2William Stafford practices slight-of-hand magic, daily (we saw him working K’s wedding), as does Jimmy Chen and we all know Murakami likes to run and run and run, slowly. Sort of a shuffle. OK, a jog. He jogs, his mind swirling with tunnels and shopping cats.

In fact, this is a town of cats. When the sun starts to go down, many cats come trooping across the bridge—cats of all different kinds and colors. They are much larger than ordinary cats, but they are still cats. The young man is shocked by this sight. He rushes into the bell tower in the center of town and climbs to the top to hide. The cats go about their business, raising the shop shutters or seating themselves at their desks to start their day’s work. Soon, more cats come, crossing the bridge into town like the others. They enter the shops to buy things or go to the town hall to handle administrative matters or eat a meal at the hotel restaurant or drink beer at the tavern and sing lively cat songs. Because cats can see in the dark, they need almost no lights, but that particular night the glow of the full moon floods the town, enabling the young man to see every detail from his perch in the bell tower. When dawn approaches, the cats finish their work, close up the shops, and swarm back across the bridge.

I don’t like when people call runners joggers. Though running does jog the brain.

Curtis Smith with a running flash here.

Tennis star Andy Murray, on literature: “I don’t read, I haven’t read a book since the second Harry Potter.”

Thanks, Andy.

twain

Robert Frost likes to shake sadness from the fingers of ferns on the forest floor. Galway Kinnell sings, badly. Blake Butler walks on treadmills as he reads his yearly 120 + books. Jan Follain stuffs dead animal eye sockets with marbles. Tomas Transtromer has a cooler name than you and argues in one poem that writing stimulates a bunch of cells at the base of the brain (the reticular activating system [RAS]) and so on/so on and there are a lot of tiny frogs climbing up the outside of my house, a lot of tiny, green frogs, not really sure why, but if I was Gary Snyder I’d insert the frogs into one of those Robin poems. The frog is a device of nostalgia, etc. Also the shack. I keep seeing Gary Snyder building a deck or walking on top my roof, not sure why, all back-lit by the moon. Tu Fu competitively eats cheeseburgers and TN Williams likes to swim. A few weeks ago, I perchanced a boat trailer:

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A TAXIDERMIST
—Jean Follain

A taxidermist is sitting
before the russet breasts
green and purple wings
of his song-birds
dreaming about his lover
with a body so different
yet so close sometimes
to the body of the birds
that it seemed to him
very strange
in its curves and its volumes
in its colors and its finery
and its shades…

16 foot, purchased off Craig’s List. Dude’s name was Larry. He was out front, installing a homemade outhouse on a pontoon boat. Welding. Clever.

Me: How fixed are you on your price? You take 400?

Larry: Well, I can’t give it away. I could do 425.

Larry shows me how to hook it up to car. Explains pins, chains, lights. Later:

Larry: You don’t have a plate. Take the back roads home. (Inferring to avoid police)

Larry: You can pinch your fingers off (this about hitch).

Larry: You know to take wide turns, right?

Larry: I can give you a way home you’ll see no one.

Larry: You ever driven a trailer?

Me: No.

Larry: Well, some people drive a trailer and they forget the trailer is back there. Don’t do that.

So I hit a curb or something but get home and start making the boat trailer into a canoe/kayak trailer.

HOW TO MAKE A CANOE/KAYAK TRAILER

1. Align the bumpers. Use a hammer or a minimum wage banana. Measure once, cut twice.

2. Give the bow tops solitude. Herd the sheep. Don’t feel bad: sheep enjoy being herded. Cup holders?

3. Feed the winch coffee. (No more than 12)

4. Buy some swim noodles from the lower 48 and smoke them. Punch them full of cloves and feel like you’re back in college.

5. Axles, springs, and U-bolts optional. A U bolt is a bolt in the shape of U. Wish life was more often that way.

6. Get two buckets and make it look like Alabama. Make it a Hank song.

7. Lick the extended tongue.

8. Add a beer cooler. Two? OK.

You are dung. I mean dun. I mean done.

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Well, afterwards go fishing:

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A glow interview with Kathy Fish about flash fiction.

She discusses why she writes flash.

3 Flash I admire today!

The Washingtaco became a lunch staple: a crisp one-dollar bill folded longwise and stuffed with quarters.

A.R. LaRoche discusses money here. I like the rising action, the turn, the conceptual nature, the logic, the cleverness, the way money is our bodies and our bodies money.

There is the voice of God in the bass reverb and the lyrics’ rising incantation.

Claire Rudy Foster and PUNK. I like the voice, the address–persona to auditor–the energy is glow, the energy, control of time, lots of waving and jumping and hands up like you just don’t care. It captures something.

Interview.

Below the hills a white egret will spin across the green marsh flats, bursting in my vision like a firework in the night; and I will be sure that the blue has never been so bright and low, the whole weight of the sky hanging just over our heads as if we are children beneath a parachute. My son tells me, “There is no present, Daddy.

Steven Church with what lyricism can do…such control, and an exquisite mix of image and reflection. The controlling fog metaphor feels very authentic. Life, the gray area between of what we know and do not know at all, what we have and wish for, what we understand and all the rest. Fog.

Church interview.

Pro tennis player, Stan Wawrinka: “I don’t like to read books.”

Thanks, Stan.

No glow to you.

And so on.

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braying glass banana machine curves of deliverance glow

Deliverance, the book, is 40 years old. That’s older than Jesus C, in theory. Glow changing water to wine. Glow not-owning-a-damn-thing. [OK, sandals] Glow whitewater and the sound of a boat being sucked away/throat-down like meat from a bone. [Yes, I did almost drown canoeing, but I did return]. Glow spray. Glow eddies. Glow the human-face shape of a rock formed after years of river over its nose.

Glow Deliverance/James Dickey article here.

What do I think?

1. Glow movie. Best movie Burt Reynolds ever made. He could have been a contender, but he fucked it all up. He could have been an actor.

(And don’t give me some Longest Yard bullshit)

2. The James Dickey cameo is OK, but no backwoods sheriff would have that mouthful of crystal white choppers.

[Now they pay the writers to go away. Far away.]

3. The infamous “scene” should be infamous. It is the linchpin to the plot. It is integral and essential. Do you want to look away? Fine, but you must take the next step: why do you want to look away? It is the flame to the fuse to the whole damn explosion.

I actually knew a prof who would not show the rape scene to his class. Why show the damn film? He would pause the film, skip the scene, and then show the film. I did not respect this decision. I found it ludicrous, misguided, wrong. I found it the very thing a teacher should be against.

Yes, the scene is visceral. So what?

The blank face, the cut, the still, the silence, the “let’s skip this.” These are valid responses to life?

4. In the book and movie, the bow hunting deer scene is a contrast/setup later for the bow hunting human scene. It is a marker for change, protagonist change, and a smart structural device.

5. The book is a testament to why EVERY fiction writer needs to write/read poetry before ever starting on prose. The word, the line, the sentence is what writing is all about. Poets know. Fiction writers should. Plot/suspense and beautiful prose are not mutually exclusive.

The Sheep Child disturbing, as in amazing.

People, honest, smart people, keep talking about Deliverance and then saying, as an add-on: “Dickey was also a poet.”

Shows you something. But I digress. I was talking about words.

[To all those who have not read The Sentence is a Lonely Place.

Linking this makes me feel like a prof teaching “The Things They Carried”

Let it go.

But still Lutz...]

6. Deliverance, the movie, kick-started the canoeing boom in this country.

Huh?

That’s:  Jaws making you want to go for a swim. Or

Hey, I just saw The Ring, call me.

*

Robb Todd at PANK.

Seductive. Building to crescendo. Step by step, drink by drink. And next thing you know we are dreaming of Gordon Lish…

Glow.

I think the person-visiting-foreign-country is one of the most cliche lit mag stories in the whole damn galactic volcano world. So I respect this. Todd pulled it off. So dank beers to you, sir.

Here is an interview of Robb Todd.

*

The Boy in a philosophical moment. Moments later he would rod/reel in a clam the size of a thimble. He would say, “I didn’t get skunked, did I?”This clam was the size of a sigh.

[later some dude brought us a pizza we did not order. it was chicken. i would never eat a chicken–that’s cruel. these are life-moments i enjoy.]

The waters were angry that day, my friend. The waters were profoundly urban. Chalky. Plucked on strings of gray and hot lunches of dry erase marker soup. I want to say bar-of-soap sky but I think I ripped that from Annie Dillard. I know DFW would call this sky the color of a faded cotton shirt. Half a million writers would say pearl, but we all would suck.

We mostly all suck.

*

The new semester has started. I am teaching fiction and fiction and graduate fiction. This is a glow life. The students are glow, honestly.

I’ll tell you what: students get quicker, smarter, better. Every year. Any teacher in the world knows quicker/smarter/better is what you want in a class.

And…

We have a new coffee machine at BSU and that makes me believe I am in the future. Feels like Sleeper but less satire, less dangerous. You can’t take the machine that seriously. Although it is taller than Us and impressive enough to see/feel that it could beat your ass in chess. Machine is tall and sturdy and earth-colored and feels like a robot, yes, but a kind, serious robot about to set you up with some quality Joe. So wary. I am wary. It claims to grind/brew the coffee a few seconds after you put in your 50 cents (regular) or 75 cents (premium). And it often does.

Good thing for Us, it often does not. I get what I “order”/punch in  about 17 percent of the time.

The coffee is oily coffee and makes me shiver some. It isn’t dregs, just keen, like turpentine or when you leap out a moving truck. I drink it and my mind is a hamster that has escaped and made its bed in the crinkly green grass of an Easter basket. You reach down and it bites you.

Blood.

If your coffee doesn’t have a narrative inside it’s core/bean, a story wanting to hatch with every sip, why in the hell are you drinking it? Coffee should make you shudder, should kill you as it glows–like any drug.

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I made an evening of drinking mojitos and googling photos of the world’s tallest man and thought surely this giant will die soon, and he did the following morning.

This is from Steve Stringer’s excellent elimae.

The opening. Sets us up with realism and turns to magical, twists us up, quick. There’s a Murakami story where the man wakes and makes toast and he’s about to head to work and then the author writes something like, “He was on his way to the elephant factory.”

The man worked in the “trunk” division, but I think was later transferred to Ears. Later comes a dancing dwarf.

Stringer catches something here, the fumes/fuel mix of alcohol, and this “giant,” most likely a wound of some sort, most likely one of those ghosts that haunt every hotel and give them layers of glow.

Thank you, Steve.

Hotels can be horny. Or sometimes sad. It’s hard to get my head around hotels. People come and go. For some reason I feel hotels are like graveyards, but that makes little sense. Hotels have lots of clunks and down-the-hall sounds. You can lie in bed and listen all night. Sometimes a headlight will paint the walls. The bed always makes me pause. What a history! If you look behind the headboard, on the floor, you will usually find straw wrappers, bottle caps, child toys, other things…You can open a bottle of beer on the jamb of a hotel door. Any hotel door. There’s a tip for you. Do you tip the sad people who clean the rooms? They talk loudly so you know they are sad. Nothing is more sad than being loud. Sometimes I sit in a hotel and feel like a boulder, but a hollow boulder and that’s called a geode, I think.

May all our giants return, I say.

*

The Third Annual Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose ends very soon. So if this is what you do, do it now.

Prize is $1000. Or eighty-three (83) Zombie Undead Jesus Necklaces.

*

A fucking galactic supervolcano erupted a few days ago. This explains a lot of things. Like war, people who don’t tip bartenders, Nicholas Sparks, people who don’t let you play through in disc golf, some lady named Mrs. Rose who opened a CHRISTIAN THRIFT STORE near my house.

What in the hell is a Christian thrift store?

Do I need to worship a Christian god to get in the door? Does an alarm sound? Do I take an oath? Are you going to card me?

What do they sell? Like only Christian things? Like Mary on a piece of burnt toast or old pamphlets or ceramic apples or golf clubs or high heel shoes or tree limbs or dusty church pews?

1. Jesus key chain that makes people think you drive a Lexus (?), $1.95.

2. Jesus air freshener, $1.50.

3. Grow your own Jesus, $2.50.

Maybe they sell peacocks and Flannery O’Connor books. Here is the story where the devil is a hero for being honest and shooting a grandmother, Mrs. Rose.

[Yesterday I found a shotgun shell in a graveyard. Who shoots off a shotgun in a graveyard?]

grenadine?

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I am in a book with Michael Martone, Jim Daniels, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Daniel Orozco, Kennebrew Surant, Rick Attig, Lolita Hernandez, Michael Martone, Matthew Salesses, Matt Bell, M. Kaat Toy, Billie Louise Jones, Lita Kurth, Anne Shewring, Dustin Hoffman, Tania Hershman, Nick Kocz, Michael Zadoorian, Steve Himmer, Pete Anderson, Pete Fromm.

This book.

I tell my students repeatedly one of the best subjects in the world is work, work, work, so I glow to be in this anthology. To walk the walk. Etc.

BTW, the anthology includes Matt Bell’s infamous Fried Chicken story.

You haven’t read it? Are you an icking fidiot? Here, dumbass.

Lord

Luase

Lollygag, you fucker.

fuck

*

*

I just had a great run. Almost spiritual. And I don’t say that lightly. Runner’s High is a bit of a pop term, and not so accurate, usually. But I did feel high today, floaty, yes, spiritual. So.

So I have no interest in the organized  religions of man. I believe in the religion of Motion. Of river. Of arrow/disc in flight. Of apple tumbling from tree. Of fish. Of the body, running.

Today was some weird flow. Runners know it. Tough to capture. Tough to figure. You feel like the runner and the run. Form=Function. Like you were born running. It doesn’t happen that often. You have to be thankful. You have to hope it happens again…

It felt like this:

corn, corn, golden kernels of hot sauce–my lunch

and

oh my, a mix pack. they do mix packs now, i drank the 6 quickly and my knees soared around the hotel room i was blue but sort of a deep-end blue with a tiny dime shimmering on the bottom

And

J is my mother

And…

possibly i need a haircut a need i possibly

And

dinner on Lake Michigan

And the run went exactly like this:

6:00 mile pace  X 800      6:00 mile pace X 800      5:56 mile (full mile)

5:52 mile (full mile)      5:49 mile pace X 800      5:49 mile pace X 800

5:24 mile pace X 800

Whew. But I felt like I could have just kept on running into South America, or maybe to that former planet, Pluto, poor thing, or maybe right into the heart of all of this confusion we call Our Life.

*

Pay attention to Caren Beilin.

I said pay attention.

I used to make out with the household iron.

I said!

I’d like to trample you in an old fashioned manner. A writer comes along, a writer comes along. You know, sometimes you read something exponential bad-ass:

At the zoo you can buy animal balloons, dead birds on strings given shots of helium into the rectum and they jounce overhead attached by the string for an hour.

Here it is. Go fucking read.

Oh my

S

Canoe and Write and Run and Dan Chaon

I took The Boy fishing on the White River. The water was high and rumbled like lips on a wine jug, or maybe a flight museum if all the planes came to life, propeller thrum, etc. After watching quite a few other fisherman just casting randomly, I made sure to teach The Boy how to read a river. While books and minds are important, a person MUST know how to read a river. It’s a masterpiece, this river, I said to my son.

I said, “Son, don’t spook the water you’re about to fish. Those fish will think this canoe is a killer whale.”

I said, “Son, feel this sand (I scooped a bit from a bank); isn’t is cool and marvelous in the hand?”

I said, “Son, fish eddies and riffles and pools. If you’re just going to throw the lure anywhere we might as well be in a Wal-mart parking lot or hell, but I repeat myself.”

I said, “Son, fishing is like the act of love. When you are older, you’ll regret days you didn’t fish, not the ones you did.”

I said, “Son, let’s go light line today. Everything is ten-fold with light line.”

I said, “Son, if you’re not getting hung up on the bottom, you’re not fishing in the right place.”

I said, “Son, pass me that massive, massive beer from the Igloo cooler.”

I said, “Look, son, fools!” Ah, Memorial Day weekend…

[He said, “Dad, why is that woman naked?”]

Drunk, wet, dumb, loud, naked, often underwater. No worries, though. I enjoy the people-watching and most likely these folks (and many others we passed) did not know what they just caterwhomped themselves into. As I said, the river was high. Anyway, no matter the chaos, we caught fish the way a hole in the ground catches the glint of stars. Good times, good times.

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Wow, via HTML, look what Mud Luscious Press is up to.

Love it. Love it!

Everything here is way glow.

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Dark Sky Magazine has a spotlight feature on this Sean Lovelace fellow.

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I’m still in disbelief I signed up for:

The Toughest Road Marathon in the World
The Only Uphill Marathon in the US
6000 ft Elevation Gain

MOUNT LEMMON MARATHON

Man, fuck me. Pain…

This is Ander Monson‘s fault, basically.

OK, so I am IN TRAINING:

I am most worried about the altitude and the mountain lions. I can’t train for those factors. Anyway, I started my training today. I am going to try for primarily slow hills (I have a treadmill with grades) and LONG runs and also dark beer. I will also try to like tackle random dogs I see along the highways. Just pull over, run at the dog, and tackle the thing. I’d also like to eat at a mercantile exchange, like maybe takeout. I’d always had that urge. I’m not even sure what a mercantile exchange is, but fuck it. And I’ll be rattling more doorknobs than usual. If I see a doorknob, I will rattle that doorknob. So I warn you in advance. Are doorknobs slowly becoming extinct? I mean you see a lot of handles and metal bars and like little flippy things and electronic locks and so on, but what about a good old slobber-knocking doorknob? I wonder.

Also I will flutter my eyelids when appropriate.

Also I will AK47 my lungs in the late evenings, particularly Tuesdays.

Also I will tick.

Also I will magic rhythm my shins.

Today:

8.2 mph:

12 minutes at 2%

12 minutes at 3%

12 minutes at 4%

2 minutes at 2%

Not a bad start, good sweat. Legs should feel glow later.

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Dan Chaon glows grief well here, a wigleaf Top 50. Grief as Things Fall Apart, things end (our own lives), and I can’t stop them, I can’t stop them anymore than I could stop rust or an ebbing tide or a crumbling log or a drunk and tumbling Lady Gaga or a sagging bedroom or a crumpled shirt or the moon carving itself into nothing. Look around: Things fall apart. Grief as resentment. Look at them. Look at them, in love, hobbling, hobbling, hobbling–but alive.

It’s a tone piece: shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

So many writers would fuck this up. But Chaon keeps it on keel, quiet, leaves rustling…falling, mulching, into the emerging buds of…

Spring, the season, as most rude reply to death. Most rude.

Late April.

Early May.

Tulips and daffodils and lilacs and budding trees.

I wonder if that would make her happy, to know that the Hobblers were still around. Down the block and back, down the block and back, getting a little exercise. Maybe—probably—she would like it. “Sweet,” she would say.

As for me, I don’t know what I would prefer. I sit at the window, peering out, and I don’t know whether I want to see them, or if I hope that they will never come.

The hurt isn’t that I am going to die, dear blog reader. The hurt is that the day I die you will have a need for low-fat latte, and you will make or buy low-fat latte, and you will drink low-fat latte, and it will be a good low-fat latte.

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What are you looking at?

I shoot a sonnet with a rifle and chili and I don’t know

Made some venison chili. As usual, I just grab whatever and throw it in the pot. I saw this massive pepper at the store.  I’m not sure what type of pepper. Anyway, I brought it home and threw it into my chili. I punctured it seven times with a knife first, to let the heat and flavor seep into my chili. The chili was level 6, so I’m not sure if this process worked. This might be my last chili for a while. Spring is not for chili. Spring is for fish tacos and shrimp nachos and golden beer. Spring is for taking my kid canoeing and fishing. Spring is for running 26.2 miles. Spring is disc golf. Spring I might try to strangle a flower to life,  if I can, I’m thinking below my mailbox. No, I will go fishing. I don’t go around saying, “I’d rather be fishing.” I am not a green ball cap in a store in TN with wonderful potato wedges. You know why? Because I am out fishing and yes I curse too often around my son and sometimes instead of a rightful dinner I give him Cool Ranch Doritos and maybe a cup of blue yogurt but damn if that boy won’t have wonderful memories of fishing and the ability to catch fish and to read the dips, curves, eddies of a river and navigate a canoe and just realize for a second that we are actually the river and the river is us, our very blood and pooling synapses and that’s why it feels good, son, feels good to leave all the nonsense behind and get a cooler, two rods/reels, a bag of roasted peanuts, a big-ass Pepsi for you, a red canoe and kiss/wave/cough the crazy world goodbye to go fishing.

*

I did a YASOO 800 X 14 last evening.

4 X 6:00 mile pace.     4 X 5:56     4 X 5:52     Then one at 5:49, one at 5:27 mile pace.

The last one I was so exhausted and coughing a bit and I just didn’t know if I could finish the full 800 but then I remembered years ago Lance Armstrong said, “You can surprise yourself how the mind can overcome the body’s limits.”

(I used to dislike Lance because he was dating Sheryl Crow and I have a major crush on Sheryl Crow and didn’t want to have to imagine Lance pedaling all over her.)

That seems obvious or corny or whatever, but it is actually very true. So I just told my body, “Legs that feel like dead fish, lungs that whimper glass, you are going to stop soon, OK, you get to stop soon, but NOT RIGHT NOW.”

And I finished my last 800 and stumbled into the shower. I felt very tired but very alive and anyone reading this who has really pushed their body out there, out there into what I call The Crucible, knows what I am saying. Runners run because it makes you feel alive and real and actually spending a moment in your body NOT questioning, NOT questioning, wearing yourself like your skin is indeed yours and maybe things will be OK or glow for a little while.

Pretty solid, but I have been ill lately and the training has been lame-o like a duck. I need another long run before the marathon. I am am semi-fit but certainly need more mileage. The illness (a nagging cold) cut down on my mileage. We’ll see.

[Note: running at night is never smart. My metabolism was all sped up and my body hot for hours and I sit there in bed with tired legs and a very awake mind.]

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Corium Magazine be crazy like talking soda. Lauren Becker did not fuck around! Thanks for asking me aboard, Lauren.

I have a prayer in the new Divine Dirt Quarterly. It is centered and I didn’t write it centered. I have never written a centered poem in my life, but maybe it’s just an editorial decision on their part or maybe they will change it or maybe it doesn’t really matter at all. I mean I got a mortgage and this little gutter on my house that sags weird like a broken rib and my dog is so stupid and never sits or comes back and here I am blabbing about some centered poem.

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Over at HTML Blake got drunk and read a selection from Drunk Sonnets.

Drunk Sonnet blog here.

My interview of Daniel Bailey (Sonnet author) here.

Damn! I can’t get Blake’s sonnet video to embed. Have no idea why. I am an idiot.

Here, go to The Faster Times and watch it. It is worth a watch. Blake is trashed. Don’t drink like that, children.

Well, you know, I am a big fan of Blake and I am basically  a lemming so waited two days and knocked back a beer or seven and read another Drunk Sonnet, # 18. I then went outside and shot the sonnet with a tricked-out squirrel rifle, as is my way.

Enjoy. And remember, I am trained in both firearms and poetry, so don’t try this at home, kids.

S