Sunday, November 30, 2008

Primroses (an older one slightly revised)


...and so it is......Damien Rice

I still keep that photo you snapped.
Eyes just past childlike; china masked by steel.
The edge of one breast peeks from my half-
zippered jumpsuit. Primroses cluster
beneath the far rail.

Men hustled me then, hard as gamblers 
when the dice were red hot,
trailed the sway of my hips
in hopes of leaving their seed.

I chose you--you with the wrist-thin legs,
white cotton socks peeking furtively
from beneath your creased jeans.
Gold ring, third finger down.

The day was heady with sunshine
and bright-colored birds swooping deep
into the grass in search of plump juicy worms.
You fell hard that day
from your usual straight arrow ways.

I later settled for a man from Peoria.
Legs thick as an ox.

A lifetime later, your name
lept out. Some obscure article
about spiders. Hands damp, I wrote you.

Your hair has gone gray, you reply.
Work still goes well.
Your jeans don't fit, anymore.
You stick in a photo of your daughter.
Your eyes stare at me from her face.
I never forgot you, you add, but
isn't that's how life goes?

The birds fly slower today.
Too many worms get away.
The sun swells like a heartbeat.
Sweat pours down my back.

I plant extra primroses along my porch rail,
imagine a westerly wind rising later
to carry their scent back to you.

Pris Campbell
(revised 2008)

A slightly different version of this was published in The Dead Mule, Spring Issue 2007. Thank you, Dead Mule!

Photograph from archives

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Santana and Clapton! Start your week off right!

So, what do you think? Do these guys still have it??? (I admit to bias. Clapton could play Happy Birthday and I'd love it)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hot off the press from Didi Menendez!

The new issue is now online.

Please stop by

The hard copy will be available soon from Amazon.

Thank you,
Didi Menendez

Okay, this part from me...

This is the sexy issue and it's good, folks. The format didi is using for the online version is unusual/intriguing. Yes, I'm in here at about page 103 or 104, not because I'm sexy but because I qualified by being published in the journal before. She intersperses a series of brief interviews with those of us so qualified throughout. I look at the gorgeous men and women in the issue and think to myself, 'oh babe, how far gravity has pulled thee down'. I just have to be sexy in spirit now. :-)

Take a look. Comment here with any reactions. I'm sure Didi would appreciate any thoughts on content or layout.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Daytona has changed big time...

...but so has any coastal town, at least here in Florida. No, I didn't expect the mom and pop motels to still be there (though I did see one that was closed and in the process of being demolished). Now high rises are the name of the game and tee shirts are sold everywhere! It was a relief to find that the inlet pier was within a small state park area so still a haven from the trinket mongers. Just surfers, fishermen and dolphins.

You can still drive on the beach, but no more parking close to the main pier, half the fun in earlier years. The pier itself has been covered with some concrete looking material and first you pass two stands selling shell necklaces, then a long bar, then a huge I WAS IN FLORIDA shop. It costs six bucks to walk on out on the pier (or be wheeled, in my case). No thanks. It cost six bucks just to drive onto the beach, something that used to be free.

I kept seeing the old, sleepy beach town that was so beautiful, buried under this rubble of wealthy people and curators, making money off of a view of the surf.

The trip was good, though. I saw one thing each day and then slept for two hours after. It was wonderful seeing my friend and watching dawn over the ocean from our balcony each morning. Even my throat, a long standing problem, was better for breathing the sea air day and night. As a bonus, as you many have seen in the post earlier, we saw the Endeavor go up from our balcony, so close we could see the boosters fall off into the ocean. THAT was exciting.

A taste of the trip in photos follows (Click to see more clearly).

We were on the south end of Crabby Joe's in the 'white' condo just north of the Crabby Joe's pier (the building was actually pink)

This is Crabby Joe's!

me and my chair in front of the main building on the pier

Sunrise from our condo

My friend, Margie, and me on the Inlet dock

Taken from the inlet dock with the Ponce de Leon lighthouse in the background, the tallest lighthouse in Florida.

I've also been compiling what I hope will be a chapbook of my 77 sailing trip from Boston to Florida and this is my poem about Daytona from this series.


Me, on this same beach earlier, sandwiched
in time between Blackboard Jungle and the Beatles,
kissing my college boyfriend. Before that,
the jackal lifeguard, baiting his two-roomed trap
with The Four Freshmen, sand crunching beneath our feet,
hoping to snatch my most sacred possession.
You never forget your first, he whispers.

The beach is unchanged…yellow, pink, blue
two-story motels squat along the shoreline,
garlands for us and the breaking sea.
Cars cuddle near the pier, radios blaring.

The tide pulls back, leaving its mark on shore.
Dave, Margaret, the man-lover I travel with,
and I walk down to toe the water.
Four crabs testing the surf.

Dave makes a joke
and laughter cracks open my shell.
I know suddenly I have what I need.
My little boat.
Good friends.
My chest tossing sonic booms over the ocean I love.
This day, so beautiful it could break your heart.

(Since this poem is part of a series, the names in the poem and the man who is a dissipating love are made clear in lognotes and earlier poems)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Male Bloggers...Female Bloggers

I apologize to the blogger since I can't remember now where I read this question posed, but her question pertained to the differences between the types of blogs men and women post. Her guess was that women tended to blog more about personal things, man about cerebral general. This certainly isn't true across the board but does it hold any truth? Which type of blogging do you prefer reading/posting?

Weigh in with your opinions, based on your own blogging style and that of blogs you've read.

I think I'm somewhere inbetween. A little of both.

(If you posted this question, say so and I'll link it to your post)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...and, while I'm linking to great blog posts...

Read about poet/artist Ed Baker, found on the Visualizing Poetics blog. I've published in a couple of journals with Ed Baker and I love this man's work.

I'm going to be away, so you'll have time to catch up with two posts in one day:-)


Collin Kelly blogs on the failure of Propostion Eight

Go to Collin Kelly's fantastic youtube link on love and the failure of Proposition 8. What a moving commentary! Don't miss this. Olberman talks a lot more about just the proposition. He talks about the 'failure of love'. He'll bring you to tears...unless, of course, you voted for Proposition Eight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well, I won't be doing any surfing, but...

..doesn't this bring back a different time?? How many of you were born when this was popular? Any memories connected to the song?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Still Crashing

This remains my worst CFIDS crash in ten years. Months ago, a long time friend who had a recurrence of her lymphoma a year and a half ago, and I planned what will be my second trip in these 18 years. I want to see her. She used to live here but now lives in two places, both a distance from me. My husband will drive so I can sleep in the backseat and we'll pick her up in her mid-Florida home, since chemo gave her the side effect of neurasthenia in hands and feet.

The trip is to a condo on Daytona Beach, where I used to cavort occasionally weekend afternoons when I attended Stetson University, an hour inland. I'm limp and dizzy but am going, anyway. Can barely lift my arms to type this. If nothing else, I can enjoy being by the ocean on our patio and November prices make this possible for a bit under 250 dollars for a two bedroom, two bath condo for three nights. Almost unbelievable.

I still wish I could play some on this trip but as weeks have dragged by into months, my hopes of doing much lessen. Now I just hope to go and enjoy being there.

Wish me luck. I won't be posting again until after I get back Sunday night of this week.

(oh, if a burglar is reading this, our dog will be here, visited three times daily by our neighbor. Our cat growls and leaps at people she doesn't like. Yes, really! And Brinks recently installed a monitored burglar system after my chiropractor's house was stripped of everything valuable while he was at work)

Oh..that's me on the left at Daytona senior year with a friend. I'm 20 there(skipped a year in high school). We're sitting on my boyfriend's car:-) Look closely and you can see the waves in the background! Click to enlarge.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Thanks Jim Knowles for your blog on my book!

Jim Knowles was good enough to write a few words about my latest chap out, Hesitant Commitments, published by Lummox Press (My book on the homepage serves as a link to a list of books where you'll find purchase information....six bucks includes postage mailed in the U.S. Click on the cover and you'll find it). Read what Jim had to say HERE.

Thanks, Jim. I hope your comments will inspire more folk to purchase a copy. I'd love to see the book get out there more. I'm pleased that sales are doing as well as they are since I can't do readings to give it more exposure. If you want a signed copy and dedication, in the comments section of paypal ask Lummox to send it to me with your name and address. I'll sign and send it on directly to you.

Maybe a tiny Christmas present for someone special?


Friday, November 07, 2008

The Face of CFIDS

The Face of CFIDS is an exhibit traveling slowly across the country right now. The faces of a number of people with this illness are in large printed photos and their stories told in text and by video. The below quotes were taken from this article at this link. One of the videos shows a man who's been able to return to work, but that's it. He sleeps the rest of the time. Most of the people with this illness whom I know are unable to work, yet want to. That includes me. It's difficult, frustrating, and frightening to have your ability to function taken away from you.

Even harder is the fact that very few doctors are expert in helping with recognition and symptom management. Those few are aging and none take medicare. I'd been seeing an immunologist who did, for 8 year, then switched like the others to fee on service. $250 for a half hour with him. I had to stop and find a general internist who does at least know about the illness, but medicare dicates such limited time that I see him for barely 15 minutes and never long enough to address very much more than the basics. I've been in the worst crash in years for the past 4 months now. I can barely walk through the house, lifting my arms is like lifting stones, my mind is swimmy and thinking is difficult. Writing this takes all of my energy. I'm afraid I won't pull out of this but surely I will. The fear lingers, though.

The quotes below:

CFS is characterized by at least six months of profound, incapacitating fatigue that gets worse with exertion, be it physical or mental activity. Other defining symptoms include impaired memory or concentration, sleep problems, muscle and joint pain, headache, sore throat and tender lymph nodes. Some people recover with time, some go into remission at times. Some get progressively worse. The disease is four times more frequent in women than in men.

Calling it mere “fatigue” is a gross understatement, says McCleary.

“You hear people who have it saying, ‘This isn't a death sentence but it's a life sentence,'” she says. Moreover, labeling this disease as “fatigue” has been unfortunate.

“That makes it sound like it's a lifestyle issue when it's really much more serious and complicated than that,” she says. “People don't understand what you're going through, because you look perfectly fine. They happen to see you in the grocery store and they don't realize the trip is going to put you back in bed for two or three days. This isn't a visible illness

“This is total exhaustion,” says Westerman, whose condition is so severe, her husband of 37 years, a successful real estate developer, has had to take over all the household duties, from laundry to grocery shopping. “You go to sleep at night, and if you've even slept, you don't feel one bit different in the morning than when you went to bed. ... There's no part of your life this doesn't impact. This illness will either make your marriage stronger or it will end it.”

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Obama has won!!!

For one of the many good articles on his victory, read Michael Moore: Pinch Me

I'm overwelmed. I attended King's I Have a Dream speech in Washington, went through integration with my father as superintendant, remember the assasinations, the death of the Civil Rights workers. I still remember the Whites Only signs from my rural southern childhood, the separate seating in movies, separate waiting rooms at the doctor's office. This is an amazing day for us as a country, aside from any other political issues.

I think the Elvis song two posts down speaks well, too, to the above victory.