Preface

July 7, 2016

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Not being a programmer or coder, or believing that hiring such a person would be a wise allocation of my scarce resources, I have made use of a freely available blog format, for this site.

But it’s not a blog—it’s more like a book of so-called poems, all current, having been written during the most recent 50 years or so, continually scrutinized for maximum value to you, as I imagine & estimate it, as accurately as I am able—& continually revised—improved, I hope.

Many of the so-called poems have been posted or published, in the USA or elsewhere, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 years ago, or more & more recently. I hope more & more readers find them—my work isn’t done til they find & absorb them.

I don’t believe that any of them have been made obsolete at all, by any of the sudden or gradual changes in American life or human life in general—political or technical or this or that war or fashion.

I’ve changed, tho! My understanding of myself & of the world has broadened & deepened. I’ve pruned a lot of bad programming & at least some of the lies I’ve told myself, rather than face difficult facts. I can only wish I’ve dropped all of them! I’m working on it, simultaneous with filling in gaps in my knowledge, & acquiring the most useful skills I can, & applying them in mundane & extraordinary ways.

I wouldn’t post these so-called poems if I didn’t believe that they were worthy of your attention—an extraordinarily good investment (when you don’t have more pressing business), I claim. I’ve labored to make them so.

On a computer screen, the “menu” (table of contents) of the 100 so-called poems is to the right of this text. I have never yet used an iPhone or competing smart phone, so I don’t know—but I suppose that you may have to scroll down, below this text, for that “menu.”

Click on the so-called poem whose title in the menu attracts your attention.

It doesn’t seem to me that it matters in what order you read the so-called poems.

I won’t be able to deploy them online forever, so you may wish to copy & archive so-called poems that you think you may want to return to. If you wish to email or otherwise forward them to friends or colleagues, or people you wish were or hope will become friends or colleagues, I hereby grant permission for you to do so, & encourage it: it would amplify & accelerate the effects of my efforts.

I am well aware that poetry is considered by most of my contemporaries, especially Americans, to be among the least effective means of causing useful & intended changes.

Since that is so, most who write poems are among those least interested in causing useful & intended changes. Often, but not always, they are mainly entertaining themselves & seeking approval for their cleverness. Of course, there are wonderful exceptions—which have inspired my efforts.

For many of the recent & current poets whose work circulates widely, as poetry goes, publishing poetry seems to have been & to be a way to secure academic employment, &, if the beliefs expressed or implied are fashionable, they win occasional cash prizes that top off their salaries, &, among a tiny subset of the population, prestige.

I am interested in causing useful & intended changes.

It so happens that I have a talent for words & imagery. Had I been less scrupulous, I probably could have thrived by creating advertisements for the commercial corporations, churches, agencies, or candidates offering the most money.

Tho there is a great deal of competition among those who write poetry, for attention, writing & deploying poetry seemed to me to have fewer obstacles in its path than most competitive endeavors—& it still seems to me so, if only barely.

I saw no easy path to cause useful & intended changes, only, for me, most possible, most likely—with investment of time, attention, & cunning—again & again.

I call my poems “so-called poems,” in an attempt to signal to my readers, current & yet to arrive, that I am up to something that most poets aren’t up to—that I am the one who claims he is offering what they might not only enjoy, but be able to use, in their own & in the general current situation—& in the process of improving their own & the general situation—resisting the pipe-dreams of wishful & often cruel ideologues, yet, realistically, transforming the situation for the better, & not ephemerally, either—one individual deed—likely little noticed—at a time.

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