Posts Tagged ‘prose’

Embrace A Strange Place: Revolutionary ImproVerse Prose

January 11, 2017

A friend was going to a Polynesian island with a man she barely knew and his family. She said “I’m a bit afraid. I’m going to be surrounded by strangers, in a foreign country, with a man I don’t know.”
Since she is from Oklahoma, I reminded her what that state’s native son, Will Rogers, said: “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet.”
Then I said:
When you get to the country, that new place, go, go out onto the beach, or in the woods, or a garden, or even on your balcony. Stand and face the rising or the setting sun, or the stars, or the moon, or the cloudy sky. Face the heavens.
Put your bare feet apart slightly wider than your shoulders. If you’re on the beach, put your feet in the sand, right where the waves spend their last bit of energy, where the seafoam and the wet sand moves beneath your toes and embraces your feet.
Tilt your head back to find the sun or the light or the sky. Feel the air. Close your eyes.
Raise both your arms out sideways, hands toward the light and sky, palms out, fingers spread wide, hands slightly higher than your shoulders, as though you were giving an old friend a huge hug. Breathe deep, in through your mouth and nose, deeply, and feel the vibe, the flow, of the place you are in. Connect, deeply. Open your mouth and OMMMM or YAWP or vocalize in the harmonic you feel.
As you feel the air, the wind, sense the scents, maybe wrap your arms gently but firmly around the Spirit you feel, cradle it, embrace it.
There is a certain spirit, harmonic, note in each place. Each place on earth has a unique feel, a special, sacred note. Just as a musical note sounds different played by trombone, piano, organ, clarinet or harmonica, so is the earth’s song the same, yet different in each place.
You can be jarred by it, because it doesn’t feel like where YOU are from, but if you reach out and embrace it, hear it feel it touch it, introduce yourself to it, and be introduced to it, you will connect with it. When you do, that foreign country, that new place, will become part of you, and you will become part of it. You will not be a stranger in a strange land, but an honored and welcome friend the land hadn’t met yet.
And you’ll understand why the natives are smiling.”

As Promised: Revolutionary ImproVerse Prose Lament

January 8, 2017

I’ve promised many things
to many people
over the course of my life:
My children,
my parents,
my Heavenly Father,
my wife,
my friends.

I promise because
I genuinely want to do
things that are pleasing.
I truly believe
I can accomplish those things.
But the more I promise,
the more I fail.
The more I try,
the more I realize
that I can’t do it all
for everyone.

So if I have to refuse
to do something with you,
if I turn you down
when you ask me to do something,
just know this:
I would much rather turn you down now
than to promise something
and fail.

Because it seems I’ve done that
my whole life:
I’ve hurt people
and let them down.
And now I can only ask
the Father
to guide me in the direction
of what He wants me to do.

What I Expect Me To Do– My Manifesto: Revolutionary IMprov Prose

January 4, 2017

A Facebook friend posted about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing at Trump’s Inauguration. He was critical, because he is critical of Trump. I told him I get that Trump is not a nice person, but I have hope he can change. His response:
“Why do you hope he can change? … I will work with him when he does something that is good for america. That is a lot more than the GOP ever did for obama and america.”

My response is, I think, my Manifesto about politics, and maybe about disagreeing and living life in general:

“I guess that’s the Audacity of Hope, part 2. Since I’m party agnostic, I can’t speak for what the Democrats or the Republicans can do.
All I know is that when we sit there and say well I’m not going to because you didn’t and I’m not going to because you won’t, then we become just like those we criticize. That’s not what I’m trying to do.
I’m trying to do something different.
Eight years ago , I watched a man get inaugurated, the man whose politics I don’t agree with, a man whose views of America are sharply in opposition to mine, and a man who I hoped would never take office. And that January morning I heard words from a poet that inspired me, inspired me to start writing, inspired me to change my life, inspired me to try to be a better person.
6800 poems and prose pieces later, I am a different man than I was that January morning.
I hate less,
I love more,
I see opportunities where I saw none before,
and I am daily seizing the day.
How sad my future might have been had I boycotted his inauguration just because I disagreed with him.
As I said before, I may not be able to change the world, but I can change myself, and maybe by changing myself, I can help change the world.

Grapeful For Grandma: Revolutionary ImproVerse Prose

November 19, 2016

I think of Grandma having to clean large garbage cans full of wild grapes that we’d brought from up Mud mud Creek in the canoe.

Today, I walked out into my backyard and harvested domestic grapes from a small arbor vineyard. I only have to wash and clean two small shopping sacks full of grapes that are three times the size of the wild ones Grandma had to clean, washing off the dirt, the cobwebs, the dust, the stems.

Already my feet are sore, my back is tight, my hands and fingers are wrinkled.

I still remember the taste of that wild grape jam, jars and jars and jars she’d made for us.
But, until now, I had no idea how much effort it took.

How Grandma Loved Us!
washinggrapes_like_grandma_nov2016

Dear President-Elect Trump: What I Hope For Since You Got My Vote

November 13, 2016

Dear President-Elect Trump:
I voted for you. Not because we talked decades ago (Equitable Building elevator NYC, mid-1990s, after your real estate for pension fund conference speech and dinner). Nice to connect with you again … and congratulations!
I voted for you because I believe you want what’s best for this great country of ours, and that you’ll take strong steps to make it happen. I believe you’ll come up with non-traditional, revolutionary, innovative, out-of-the-box solutions, and that you’ll surround yourself with the best people America has to offer to make those solutions happen.

BUT, I do have some concerns. I have friends who didn’t vote for you and, frankly, I’m taking A LOT of heat for my vote. I CAN handle it, as long as I know you’re at least thinking about these things that we are concerned about:
1) You HAVE to come out and not only apologize for your misogynistic, rape-culture behavior in the past, with NO excuses, but make certain you are COMPLETELY clean and above reproach with your attitude toward women, especially sexually. As a father of a rape victim who literally vomited when your “locker-room talk” tape came out, I cannot emphasize how much hearing your talk hurt me and hurt people I love. BUT, I also KNOW that people can change (because I’m totally different than I was when I ruined my family ten years ago). So, PLEASE, come out with both word and actions to STOP that previous attitude, and tell others — especially men — that such language and actions are NOT acceptable.
2) There are A LOT of groups (Muslims, ALL racial minorities, women, LGBTQ, etc.) who are AFRAID of you and your potential policies. I encourage you to come out and clarify what you mean about how you’ll protect our boarders AND our citizens while still welcoming all those “yearning to breathe free”… and then make certain you implement FAIR yet PROTECTIVE policies. Because I believe you are NOT racist or prejudiced or misogynistic or homophobic. After all, you’re a New Yorker!
3) My father is an environmentalist, and so am I. We fear what you’ll do to the land we love, to nature that you, as a New Yorker, are not used to seeing much of. My suggestion: Use your innovation to encourage alternative energy, alternative transportation modes, alternative manufacturing methods which not only protect the environment BUT actually improve business. (You could start by Standing with Standing Rock and stopping the Obama-approved Pipeline and working with Native Americans to come up with an alternative.)
4) Although we are a nation of free speech and freedom of expression, come out strongly and forcefully against the hate that some of your followers are spewing. When you see Trump with a swastika, or you hear about kids in school telling fellow students to “go back to the sand dunes” or “go back to Mexico” or “We’re building a wall FOR YOU”, come out and tell them to STOP IT. Your leadership and example matter. PS! UPDATE! IN YOUR FIRST TV INTERVIEW YOU TOLD THEM TO STOP IT! AWESOME!
5) I believe you are a loving man, in a New Yorker kind of way. Show it.
6) Distance yourself from radical groups that support you (specifically, the KKK and any other white supremacist groups), and condemn them because of their racist activities and attitudes.
7) Protect our military AND our veterans (AND apologize to those you have offended, including Senator McCain.)
8) Make your parents and family proud, every day.

I’m certain there are other items my liberal friends can think of, but it’s late, I’m tired, and you’re an intelligent man … I’m certain you can think of other ways you can help unite and heal this divided country. Because I really have hope that these next 4 + 4 years are going to be among the greatest in our country’s history.

I’m praying for you every day.
Sincerely,
Dave Kuhns

PS: My mid-80-year-old mother is a ‘UGE fan of yours. When I called her EARLY Wednesday morning, after you won, she called me back after waking up and listening to your message … in tears. She was incredibly happy, and has been ever since! She is SOOO excited for her birthday this year: January 20th, Inauguration Day! Do you think she might be able to get an invitation to join you on The Mall as you take the Oath of Office?
#MyPresident #YesMyPresident #NoRapeTalk #StopHate

Will I Change Because Of Trump’s Election? Revolutionary IMprov Prose

November 9, 2016

Election Night 2016: The last thing I heard on the radio before I went to bed was Hillary’s campaign manager telling all her supporters to go home and get some sleep. Now I wake up in the middle of the night and discover Trump has been elected president. My Facebook is blowing up with all my more liberal friends and other people saying how they despair, and how tragic life is, and how they don’t know what they will do.
And I’m confused. Since when did our happiness become so dependent on other people? Since when did we stop taking personal responsibility for making the world a better place? I understand that some people are frightened. Some people were frightened eight years ago when Obama took office. I was. You can read about it in this blog!
But guess what? The sky didn’t fall. Those who disagreed with his politics worked hard to change them. Others accepted his politics and moved on with an Audacity Of Hope. Maybe that’s the same type of thing we need to do now. If you don’t like Trump’s politics, I suggest that you work on doing something about it on an extremely personal level.
Love other people. Be kind to everybody. Be accepting and open. Fight for justice and against Injustice when you see it. Be the Change that you want to see in the world.
Most of all, I’m going to take this time to reflect on who I am as a person.
Do I speak things that are hateful?
Do I come across as a misogynist?
Can people look at me and say I’m prejudiced?
If I have not charity I have become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

This will be my prayer: Dear God, please grant me the Charity that I need to do what I need to do to make the world a better place, to let those around me feel loved and safe and protected.
And, dear God, bless America.

A Friend responded “Why State the Obvious?” I responded:
If it’s so obvious, then why is my Facebook filled, as I said, with tales of Woe and Oh! the darkness is upon us and I can’t believe America is so stupid and all these Doom and Gloom sayings? I get that people have to have time to mourn, but I’m not certain that saying we’re a ll going to hell and our lives as we know them are ruined is the way to do it. 8 years ago, I’m mourned deeply. And then I saw the joy of my liberal friends, wrote a poem about the event and change, and I used the Audacity of Hope to change my life.

My friend then said that this type of response is normal. My point:
Here’s what bothers me. Although every change begins with expression, some of those of us who supported Trump,have been hearing the same expressions of hate and vitriol for the last several months. There is nothing in the current expressions of hate, and disgust that indicates things will be any different at all. I am simply inviting those label me because of my vote as misogynistic racist ignoramus to come and have a dialogue with me. But if they’ve turned their backs on me and insult me and insist on calling me and those who voted like me names, then there is little hope. I can stand here with open arms and smiling face, but eventually, if they throw enough crap at me, I will stop trying to have a dialogue with them. And they will be ignored , just as they fear.

And then, this morning:
Hillary just gave a wonderful concession speech. I believe that she wants to work together to better America. My Hope Is that people won’t run away. That people won’t be hating. That people will listen to each other and respect differences and work together. That is the Audacity of my Hope.

Why And How I Write: CyranoWriter’s 7+ Years Of Poetry, Prose, Photography And Creativity

May 8, 2016

More than 7 years ago, in January, 2009, I heard a poet read at President Obama’s first inauguration. I thought: “I can do that!” And so I started.
Making a goal of writing and posting a poem or creative piece every day, I put my creative thoughts into this blog. Most are short poems, which I try to make into Haiku (they are in the sense that they are 5/7/5). Some are longer. Some are free verse. Some are prose pieces. Some are silly. Most are serious and observational.

All of them feed my soul.
(Here is a great piece from Dead Poets Society / Robin Williams)

During the more than 7 years since then, I’ve written more than 6500 poetic and prose pieces. Along the way, I’ve discovered / invented three different types of electronic media poetry: ConTEXTing, IMprov, and ImproVerse. Each of these three has to do with an electron delivery method (phone texting, Instant messaging or IMing, and improv voice recognition.)

Some of the pieces are “romantic” in nature (I’m currently single, have been for nearly a decade, so these writings talk about the pathos of that state). Others are observations of either nature or human nature. Many deal with the issues we all face daily. And still others are just thoughts and musings, prompted by my observations of what is happening around me. Some are augmented by my photography. Most are left for you, the reader, to visualise in your mind. All of these reflect how I see the world, and what living and observing and just being means to me.

My hope, my dream, is that people will read my work and “see new”. They’ll think about how they see or what they feel about the things I see and feel. And, most importantly, I hope my writing, day after day after day after day, will inspire others to simply see, to observe the amazingness happening around them, and to capture it in whatever form or style they choose.

People tell me “I used to write. I wish I could write more. I need to write more.” To them — to YOU — I say: “Do.” Because, 7 years ago, I heard another poet. And then, I did.

PS: My work is in chronological order, with the most recent writings immediately following this post. If you are looking for a particular subject or topic, type in some key works in the “Search” bar (above right), and it should bring up all my writing related to that topic. “Prince Charming” seems to be a popular search!

Seattle Tourist Tips: Revolutionary Email Prose

February 22, 2016

Having lived in Seattle for nearly 30 years, I know a little bit about the tourist side of the Emerald City. After several friends asked me for tips on “What to see and do and experience in Seattle”, I finally decided to copy this email and post it! Go ahead and make additions or comments… and I’ll update it on occasion!
Seattle Tour Suggestions:
The main question to ask is: Do you have a car?
You don’t need one, but if you do, you can see more. (I am going to assume you are NOT going to have a car … and will either walk or take mass transit.)
Do you like Music? Do you like Art? What do you like?
I’ll bring you north from the Airport on the Mass Transit – light rail, and drop you off in the center of Seattle. You can fan out from there. (There are other options as well … depending on what you like).
Take the light rail from the airport . Buy a day pass.
Enjoy the trip… you’ll go past some funky neighborhoods. Somewhere around the International District, the light rail will go underground. Stay on it until you reach WESTLAKE CENTER. Get off there and go upstairs. That area is the main shopping area for Seattle … high end stores, if you like that type of stuff. Pacific Place is just east of Westlake Center, and also has some great stores. Macy’s is just west. From inside the Westlake Center, you can either take the Monorail up to the Seattle Center: IF you like music and science fiction, one of the best things to do will be to go to the Seattle Center, which is where the space Needle is. That’s cool to look at. But don’t go up on the observation deck, it’s not worth it. The experience music Project (EMP) is also there which basically started out as the Jimi Hendrix museum and then it expanded to include Jazz, Grunge, and other Seattle Music “stuff”. There’s also a science-fiction museum That is part of it.
After wandering around Seattle Center, take the Monorail back down to Westlake Center (where it ends).
OR you can take the South Lake Union Transit streetcar to the south end of Lake Union, but ONLY if you like old wooden boats. There is a “Center for Wooden Boats” there, and sometimes they’ll take you out sailing if the wind is right.
Either way, when you’re doing with either Seattle Center or South Lake Union, go back to Westlake Center on either the transit or the Monorail. Get off at Westlake Center. Then go west down the hill to Pike Place market. That is one of the main “cool things” about Seattle, BUT it shuts down around 5 o’clock or so. Wander around there. Gasp at the flowers. See the original Starbucks. There’s a French bakery on the corner that makes great bakery items. Also some other ethnic “street food” type stuff there.
Slightly north of Pike Place market around 1st and Lenora are some good restaurants, some jazz clubs (but they don’t get going until later at night)…
After you’re done there, take the steps down from there to the restaurants and aquarium along Elliott Bay. Great fish restaurants anywhere there… I like Elliott’s or the sit-down part of Ivar’s (the walk-up take out is fried fish, which is probably not what you want). Elliott’s has some salmon wrapped in rice paper, which is amazing… or the cedar-planked salmon. If you like Aquariums, Seattle’s is world-class.
After you’ve go to Elliot Bay, if you head north, and go slightly up the hill, you will see the Olympic Sculpture Park . It’s a nice free park of sculptures that’s interesting (if you like that).
If you want to go SOUTH on Elliott bay, you’ll eventually reach the Ferry Dock. The #1 tourist attraction in Washington State are the Ferries… you can take one to Bainbridge from there, stay on it, and return home… but that will take you a couple of hours. If it’s sunny out and you can see the mountains, it’s VERY worth it. If it’s cloudy/rainy, not so much.
OR you can just watch the Ferries!
Once you reach that, it’s pretty much the end of the cool stuff to see THERE. So, head east and you’ll go into Pioneer Square. Wander around there… If you like Native American art there is a great gallery there, Stone_____ (haven?) gallery. Near there is the smallest National Park in the country, the Klondike Gold Rush National Park. If you like history, that is cool.
If you can get into the Underground Tour of Seattle, that is a lot of fun (and it happens right around there). Wander around Pioneer Square and Occidental Avenue for some cool shops, art galleries, restaurants, etc. There are GREAT Italian restaurants on the corner of Cherry and 1st (I think). Cafe Bengoti or something like that.
From there, you can head north again along First toward Pike Place market again. Before you get there, you will pass the “Hammering Man” at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). If you like art, go there and spend the rest of the day!
Once you get at SAM, you can keep going up the hill, to Westlake Center again. OR you can head east (up the hill) and catch a southbound bus on either 3rd or 5th (I don’t remember which) … to the end of the “free ride” zone. That should put you in the International District.
Wander around there. It is one of the largest Asian districts in the country (New York and San Francisco are bigger). If you like Asian food, any of the places there are great!
By that time, you should probably be pretty “done” with Seattle…
Will you have a car? drive from the Seattle Center north over the Fremont Bridge and Park in Fremont, and wander around Fremont. There’s a good Greek restaurant there on the corner, and great Thai food on the other corner. As you’re crossing the street north of the Thai food restaurant which is called Jai Thai, in the middle of an island of the on the street you’ll see the center of the universe. Most people don’t know where that is, but now you will. Head east from there, up a hill, and see the Fremont Troll, a cool piece of urban art.
If you can, drive to the Hyrum Chittenden Locks/Fish Ladder in Ballard. If the salmon are running you can see them not only in the fish ladder, but also inside. Also, boats go through the locks, which is an interesting event to watch. South of the locks (south and west across the Ballard Bridge) is Chinooks, a GREAT seafood restaurant that overlooks the Seattle Pacific fleet of fishing boats. The “Deadliest Catch” boats harbor there.
Enjoy!

Should She Ask? It’s Simple Math: Revolutionary IMprov Prose

September 24, 2015

In person and in social media forums, many single women ask the question: “Is it okay for a woman to ask out a man, or ask a man for his phone number, or ask a man to dance?”
Assuming that social norms have changed enough to give women “equal rights” in dating, it boils down to a simple math issue of “if/then” equations.
The first equation is very complicated:
IF there are (say), 1000 [Or insert any number you wish] single dateable women (meaning my age range within 200 miles of my home), AND IF they are on Facebook (or some other place where I can “find” them, such as going to singles activities, dances, classes, parties, etc.),
THEN ASSUME I have enough time in a week to ask out 3 new women (which is EXTREMELY high) a week,
THEN I have the chance to ask out about 150 NEW WOMEN a year. AT THE MOST.
Result? These women have a 15% chance of me asking them out (or a 1.5 out of 10 chance).
Not very high.
If the numbers change (lets say, for example, there are 5000 eligible women, and I can only take out 2 new ones a week, which are probably closer to true numbers), then the results change dramatically (in this case, 100 women a year out of 5000 = 2% chance I will ask a particular woman out, or a .2 out of 10 chance.)

HOWEVER, the second equation is much simpler for both scenarios (for me, and for most men, with some exceptions):
IF a woman asks me out,
THEN there is a 100% chance I will go out with her.
100%!

The same is true for asking for phone numbers or email. Ask, and ye shall receive!

The same is roughly true at a singles dance.
Women ask: “Should I ask a man to dance?”
For the answer, here’s my logic:
At a normal dance for people my age, there are 100 single women.
Each dance song is (roughly) 4 minutes long.
That means there are about 15 songs an hour.
Each dance lasts (roughly) 3 hours.
That means there are about 45 potential songs we could dance to. Already, a woman has less than a 50/50 chance I will dance with her.

NOW ASSUME that I will skip dancing to some songs because I don’t like the song (Boot-scootin’ Boogie, The Lion Sleeps Tonight), or I want some water (I dance hard!). Also assume that, during line dances (Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, etc.), I will dance solo. The total number of songs I can dance to drops to about 35 dances.
THEN ASSUME that I will dance twice with the same woman for at least 25% of those songs (one fast, one slow), and you’re down to about 25 potential songs I can dance to with a unique partner.
That equals a 1 in 4 (25%) chance that I will dance with a particular woman at that event.

HOWEVER, if a woman asks me to dance, she will, 100% of the time, get a “yes” answer.
Do the math.

Then ask!

Something Wonderful –> Adding To A Meme: Revolutionary IMprov Prose

June 16, 2015

Something wonderful is about to happen ... and
A friend posted this meme on her Facebook. I told her “I don’t think that goes far enough.”
Here’s what I think:

“Always believe something wonderful is about to happen … again.
Always see that something wonderful is happening.
Always be grateful for the wonderful that has happened.”