Monday, December 31, 2012

Before Auld Lang Syne there was James Watson's Old Long Syne

"An excellent and proper new ballad, entitled, Old Long Syne."

Printed 48 years before the birth of Robert Burns, Old Long Syne has the identical first words of Auld Lang Syne. Even the version printed by James Watson as a broadside in 1711 notes that this version of Old Long Syne is, "Newly corrected and amended, with a large and new Edition of several excellent Love Lines."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year y Gracias to the Writers of Bar None Group for 2012!

What an incredible year!

The first moments of 2012 were spent in Times Square ringing in the New Year before packing for a move to Chicago. The last moments of 2012 are spent under the stars of Mexico with the Dharma Bums of Barra de Navidad. The Bar None Group published a second anthology entitled, Take Two: Another Anthology of English Writing from the Costalegre that was launched at Chynna's Backstage Bar in beautiful Barra de Navidad. But our deepest gratitude extends to all of you who have read, contributed, inspired and shared the words within the pages of the Bar None Group.

Happy New Year to:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Eight Most Popular Poems and More from 2012

Has a letter to the editor ever changed history as Émile Zola's?

These are the poems, essays and more that resonated the most with you, our readers, in the past year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

John Greenleaf Whittier and The Christmas of 1888

Low in the east, against a white, cold dawn,
The black-lined silhouette of the woods was drawn,
And on a wintry waste
Of frosted streams and hillsides bare and brown,
Through thin cloud-films a pallid ghost looked down,
The waning moon half-faced.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Oxen

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
    "Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
    By the embers in hearthside ease.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Mayan Poem: The Song of the Minstrel

Let's party like it's!

A curious highlight to this holiday season is the impending end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. Alas, the Mayan calendar does not symbolize the end of times. It symbolizes the end of the calendar. Nothing more. One 144 000 day cycle ends and another 144 000 day cycle begins.

The following Mayan poem is from the concluding 13th bak'tun of the Mayan Long Count calendar. Let's hope that Mayan poetry flourishes in the new calendar beginning December 22, 2012.

Friday, December 14, 2012

First Lines Second Thoughts — Little Women

Santa's Towing in Harlem.

First Lines Second Thoughts is a look at the first lines of well known literary works.
On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry? This Christmas season we revisit Little Women. Written by Louisa May Alcott. Published in 1868.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Red Box

Sequined designs on a red box.
The plastic jewels loosening.
In the tropical heat and humidity of summer
I remember this...

Black mold is growing again
On the edges of fading photographs
    This one:
We gaze adoringly into each other's eyes.
On a bench overlooking the sea.
    Or these:
The children beaming in mirth
On Christmas, holding long forgotten toys.
Moments of joy and wonder
Moments of love worth dying for.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Did She Know...?

Guess she just wanted to test the waters, said words but they were never followed up by supporting actions, now it's just me in this desolate mind state I seem to find myself in, wondering whether anything she told me ever held any meaning.

Was it all a ploy? As most love to play this game & why should it be what she wants merely because she was the first to take a shot, granted she might defend that it was done in order to save her from any future hurt through a perceived & construed diabolical plot. But had she ever taken the time to think about the possibility that her actions would lead me to, in that same future, commit this emotional crime she thought I was capable of to another, as now she has forced me on a path to a place of which I previously wanted no part of whether awake or in slumber.

Friday, December 7, 2012

To: Allen Ginsberg

To: Allen Ginsberg,
Fourth Door on the Side
(the one that reeks
of burning typewriters and glowing words)
June 3, (1998...2012)

Allen, why is it you?
that undoubtedly replies to resurrected questions
- unfaltering
wielding calibrated rifles in sandy mountains-
with spooning poetic papers turned
horizontally on to their bottom
like the lover you lacked for far too long
--traced outlines from stapling pencils
can be molded to hold each other! transcending together

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Book Launch: Take Two

Join the Dharma Bums of Barra de Navidad as we celebrate the publication of Take Two: Another Anthology of English Writing from the Costalegre.

We will be meeting at the unofficial Bar None Group HQ — Chynna's Backstage Bar — on Sunday December 9th at 2pm.

Take Two continues on with more tales, poetry and art from the little Mexican drinking village with a fishing problem. Critics agree that Take Two is heavier than Volume One.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sonnet to Bohemian Masala

4 wooden posts, an 8 legged friend
Cow dung floor to keep us on Earth
Sweet insect music, an antique hearth
2 lovers crash, no dispute to amend

2 heavy bags, 1 hand to lend
4 sandy shoes, a nervous laugh
Aching muscles, sandy skin from the surf
Sun-kissed bodies, burns to attend

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Prayer for a Misfit Toy

No man is an island...not even a misfit toy.

Please do not misconstrue my absence
for anything more than what it is
my absence