Posted by Poetic Outlaws

“I feel my failure intensely
as if it were a vital organ
the gods grew from the side of my head.
You can’t cover it with a hat and I no longer
can sleep on that side it’s so tender.
I wasn’t quite faithful enough
to carry this sort of weight up the mountain.
When I took my vows at nineteen
I had no idea that gods were so merciless.
Fear makes for good servants
and bravery is fraudulent. When I awoke
I wasn’t awake enough.”
~ Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison

Although Jimmy boy was quite a rotter in his lifetime, wasn’t he. Not only that, even to his fans he became a bit of a dirty-old man. Too sad that, that so many men—with or without true artistic credentials—become such lechers when in the presence of the beautiful younger ones. Why do they consider that their value? Their right? Perhaps he is indeed right when he says he wasn’t awake enough.

And he wrote beautiful prose, published some fine books.

What Is Right

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.

And here we are, once again. On the edge of change—change—death—pain—endings. The world, the earth on the edge of destruction.

Once, some time ago when I was dealing with the conflict between WANT and what was RIGHT, I sought to rationalize. What I desired won even though I could not make peace with myself, my own need to make things acceptable. I kept hearing “The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.” Thoreau- Civil Disobedience.

And so it was that I assumed the role of traitor to self and beliefs. Not to indoctrination, not to religion, but to my own sense of morals, that which is Right. Soul Right. Ah, how much simpler life would be without sex.

And how much easier it is to assume the role of Social Protester for that which is Right. Indeed Right. Not at all that of smudged revolutions or in the mud of confusion. But Soul Right. That which cannot be disputed or rationalized. Knowing that I must stand up, I must protest, I must no longer hide behind the silence of belief. True belief, True right, those things belong to action. Nothing else is acceptable.

Sometimes compromise doesn’t bring ease of being, but with shame it brings strength. The strength to do what is right.

Soul Writing

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.” — Meg Rosoff

(Art by Julia Inglis.)


The times are too difficult right now to offer any comments other than those of revolutionaries.

When you know I’m dead
Don’t pronounce my name
Because he would stop
Death and rest.
When you know I’m dead
Say strange syllables
Pronunciation Flower, bee,
Lagrima, bread, storm.
Don’t let your lips
Find my ten letters.
I’m sleepy I loved,
I have reached silence.
(Che Guevara)

And so it is with me, the same with the ten letters.

Writing The Next Note


“For me Beethoven must be the Greatest composer ever Lived. Probably he was the only Composer who never failed to realize what the next note should be.”

Leonard Bernstein

That seems mainly true of all great or fine—or even just purposeful pursuits—yes? Sometimes I know the next note, sometimes not. When not there’s a flatness to it, a lack of energy. But we mere mortals must plod along.