Chekhov’s Secret: Not a Gun on the Wall

As is true with poetry, short stories are typically frowned upon by book publishers. To get a collection of short fiction accepted, you either have to be a well-known name or your stories have to be very, very (did I say "very"?) good. This truth, as self-evident as Thomas Jefferson's were supposed to be, struck …

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“Forgive Me, Mother, for You Have Sinned”

Confessional mode. Like the first-person point of view in general, it is often welcomed by readers because they like to feel like confidantes. They also like to know that they are not the only ones. The only ones what, you ask? It doesn't much matter, I answer. The only ones with family trouble, marriage trouble, …

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When the News Kills the Muse

Sometimes it feels like you're faced with an everyday dilemma of rock or hard place, devil or deep blue sea, Scylla or Charybdis. You know what I'm talking about: poetry or citizenship. A steady diet of the news, it seems, is good for becoming an informed citizen (something all countries of the world need today, …

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Inspired by Water: One If By Lake, Two If By Sea

Vacation. For students, its special meaning lies in summer, the granddaddy of all vacations. For adults, however, it's more narrow. Most full-time workers enjoy but 2 to 4 weeks of paid vacation each year. Compared to the nine-week wonder of childhood, slim provisions indeed. Conjuring vacations of your childhood is sure to bring back a …

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The Endless Reservoir of Self-Doubt

When it comes to inspiration, we think of the usual suspects: love, nature, emotions both positive and negative. What we seldom think of, but have ample reserves of, is self-doubt. Unless we are megalomaniacs who think we're the greatest, we tend to question ourselves frequently. We are our own greatest critics. Why? Because we know …

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Famous Quote, Humble Catalyst

Galway Kinnell once said, "The secret title of every good poem might be 'Tenderness.'" David Kirby must have been listening. Check out where his poem "Taking It Home to Jerome" starts and ends:   Taking It Home to Jerome by David Kirby In Baton Rouge, there was a DJ on the soul station who was …

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