Thursday, October 10, 2019

Comeuppance—Nicely Delivered blog post #357
Courtesy of
Dennis Kastendiek and I co-teach a free writing course called Wordwrights at the North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center in Albuquerque every Monday afternoon. It’s a nice group of people. We’re an open class, so anyone is free to attend at any time… or skip sessions if life interferes.

The last hour-and-a-half of the two-hour course is given over to comments on material submitted by class members for review… be they poems or fiction or memoir or essay. After a reading to the class by the author, our members are invited to give their comments. We get caught up in writing rules and how to break writing rules and does the material grip the reader… the usual things one would expect in a writing class.

But every once in a while someone comes along and puts us in our place by reminding us that everyone does not march to the beat of the same drum. Our class member, Joe Lovato—a quiet, unassuming, talented writer—delivered the class its comeuppance with the following poem he’s graciously permitted me to reproduce in my blog.


By Joe Lovato

As he sat and scribbled crazy thoughts
He wondered what the sane would think.
Will he love it, will she hate it, does it stink?

Two kind shepherds tried to
guide one lost lamb
out of the forest of doubt.
The lamb asks the trees for help.

And they said:

“I liked it, but that part
was a little vague, and redundant
I didn’t understand,
It stopped me,
I had to think.”

And the lamb bleated:

“Why must we
try to reach everyone,
have conflict at all costs,
always advance the story,
bleach thought with clarity?
You don’t have to be literal to be literate.
Why must the blood on the rose be edible?
Cookie-cutters don’t make the cookies taste better.

We’re not going to make it to the bigs.
If we did we’d be like that old ball player,
the luckiest man on the face of the earth guy
who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Anyway, success might be more glorious… posthumously.”

And they said:

 “We criticize the work not the writer,
 but we can’t let one little pig build a straw house.”

And the lamb bleated:

“I’m a lamb!  This isn’t calculus it’s ego therapy. 
Don’t cry to be understood
understand what you’re feeling.”

The furrowed boughs on the frowning ferns
revealed their stoic thoughts.

The lamb thought, I’ve used the word thought too much.  
They won’t like it, but it’s a good word,
deserves recognition.
This probably took them out of it,
at least I’ve killed their apathy.

The lamb turned away shaking his shaggy head.
He pitied the pedantic poets
lost in the throes of perfection.

But then he thought,
crazy lambs never understand
why they’re not understood.


Like I say… a comeuppance—nicely delivered. Good job, Joe

The advance buy link for The Voxlightner Scandal follows:

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ONE.)
Twitter: @dontravis3

Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:

See you next week.


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