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I’m so excited and honoured to be featured alongside so many great writers in 2019s

Z Publishing Houses

Alabama’s Best Emerging Poets

You can grab a copy at the link

And see my poem Red Hands

https://www.zpublishinghouse.com/

Description:

Once famous for its cotton fields that stretched beyond the horizon, Alabama has since moved into the 21st century. Home to a thriving aerospace industry, Alabama makes it possible to fly above its beautiful landscape. But its friendly and welcoming residents are the reason to keep coming back. This pristine land and kind people are the inspiration for poetry.

And in Alabama’s Best Emerging Poets 2019, 41 up-and-coming poets have the chance to share their own words. Covering a wide array of topics ranging from love and heartbreak, family and friendship, the inherent beauty of nature, and so much more, these young talents will amaze you. Containing one poem per poet, this anthology is a compelling introduction to the great wordsmiths of tomorrow.

30 for 30 (slide away)

I woke up

Trying to write again

The streets are silent

The talk is on the inside

It’s all the same lines

And
everyone smiles at the table

Drink in their hand

We’re all real good liars

Does the future look good?

And we saw the signs on the interstate

We saw the signs but we didn’t mark the time

We keep waiting for music to save itself

But we’d have to touch something that makes emotion

And we’re still numb from the great promotion

Someone said

It would take a sound

only your gut could understand

What happened to soul ?

I took a walk

My shoes wear down from the unpaved road,

The humidity is so thick, sometimes I feel like I could cut it with a butter knife

I try to write,

But my word document keeps freezing,

So I break out a note pad, you know the ones, paper, pens,

I transfer it to a typewriter

Now I can mail it to the Paris Review

Turn on the radio –

I don’t recognize anything I hear

I don’t relate

What happened to soul?

They say Blues won’t pay your bills

But Blues is the only thing that knows the way I feel

This is a mill town

But the mills are all gone

Does that make this a ghost town?

I like old things

I don’t know how to change

When was the last time you heard a sound

That took you by surprise ?

When was the last time you read something that opened your eyes?

I dress everyday

I Pour wine and coffee

When I write

I have to take myself seriously

get up

Get up off the floor

No one else is going to make you-

Sometimes it takes the change

But one of these days

You’re going to have to start again

Zelda

To all the summers

Waiting for the sunrise to touch the earth

The fields of open wheat

The blankets of lights beside the moon overhead

The late nights

Dreaming

Writing

Speaking

To all the women

Told they are too shrill

Too emotional

Or just how to misbehave

Remember

The lamps do not have to cease

Or go out

Alabama

Also gave you

Zelda Fitzgerald

She is one of our own

And you are enough

On your own

Remember Z

Read her

Carry her with you

Think of her

And

Stop apologizing

For taking up space

And existing

Start living.

Meanwhile in Alabama

No matter what we do
Or say
How hard we may try.
Between football season
This is really all we have
For front page news

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People
Getting drunk
And realising they need more beer
So they steal a horse
Ride over to the local store
To steal some more

This is the kind of things
We pretend only happen in television

Vintage 1889 casual dining

Fort Payne
At the big mill
Downtown

Vintage just opened last week
And I have to say
It’s fan-tastic
Sandwiches and soup
Cakes and cheesecake
Live music
Beer and wine

A courtyard out back with strung lights across the alley
A water fountain
It makes it very calm and very relaxing
A good place for lunch
Or a date
Or just drinks with friends
If you’re ever in fort Payne Alabama
Do look into this place
You just have to see it
And taste it

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Bottega

I had lunch with my sister today
And had to share this place
I’m sure it’s no secret
But it is hands down phenomenal
Bottega
Located on highland ave in Birmingham

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Breadsticks with olive oil
Margherita pizza
Hands down the best pizza I have ever tasted .Ever .
I cannot believe I have been looking at this place through my sisters window for three years or so maybe more .
And never went down to try it .
My friend sent me a txt and said GO eat there . So I did . And voila ….

Saturday

Saturday . I like Saturdays, mostly because it means I get to be off on Sunday and Monday . But – now that it’s football weather , it means I get to miss every game this season . Again. My boss knows I’m a Saban fan , Roll Tide, so I do get off for the Iron Bowl and National Championship . The two which alter the very existence of life and how we function in The business world . Entire business deals hang in the balance of these games … Friendships are lost and made … There isn’t a city official or vehicle or anything to be seen during these games … Our city becomes a ghost town … And I don’t even live in Tuscaloosa . It’s quite entertaining .

I also like the people who come in the store on Saturdays …
There’s Marlboro man . A farmer from Michigan , always buys two packs of Marlboro lights . He has a different kind of rough about him. Kind of walks like his joints are made of rusty chain links . He always updates me on his trips back to Michigan. Or he’ll tell how he met his wife while living in Texas , how when he was young he had a huge ” big ass job with a firm that made him the shit ”
And how he had to have a yard with trees and his own space … So he could function while he had this job just to relax. It’s always small talk …
We just stand by his F4million and something Diesel ( it’s the biggest truck I’ve ever seen )
And we talk about life .
Saving money , making money , what makes you happy . Really happy .
For him , it’s family , going back to Michigan for a farm wedding , everyone sits on hay bales and they cater with food raised off their farm , no tux , just nice comfortable suits , friends and family . In Michigan you’re raised around beer and drinking … ” but there’s still what we call city slickers , they come in and think they’re big shit and get drunk , ruin everything , trying to prove how much of a man or how grown they are …”
It’s always great to talk with this guy . It’s just great .

And then there is another older guy …
He always has a story to tell … These are short … But brought to memory by whatever his total is .
Maybe it’s the cal of an old British gun he used back in “’79 while hunting on the FL GA line …”
You just never know …
He’s a little more spontaneous …
We talk … Well … I listen …
While he talks about women , cooking , and living . He always asks me about my love life , if I’ve started school and
I should really go into marketing , I would be the only man in class …” prospects any man would envy… ”
And on and on …

There are lots of people
And stories …
Yes
I overlook a lot
Screaming children , angry people ,
But I notice a lot
A Mother who gives her son the toy from the machine BEFORE she begins her shopping … Reverse psychology …
Kid doesn’t ask for a thing the whole time he’s in the store .
Children are my favorite
I’ve had kids dressed as iron man jump out of isles and punch me in the gut
Other kids spit on me
but all of them remember my name …
And most stop crying when I walk up
Special needs children calm down when I stand beside them .
5 year old girls sing me their favorite 5 songs they learned this week ,Just before they Educate me on why I should watch The Ninja Turtles .

I don’t know why these things happen
I don’t know why for my bday
Mrs Kathy is bringing me cake
Mrs ,Williams; home made spaghetti sauce
Ms Abby is Mailing a box of home made cookies from MN .
Some other guy is bringing me home made Blue berry Wine .
I just know
People are nice .
Even with all the Syria
And all the pain
The broken hearts
The confusion
The games that Au fans are going to lose – again .
It really is a nice life …
You just have to see people .
One person at a time .
and get to know them .
That’s what it’s about .

That’s what it’s about .
You can’t change a person
You don’t have to open up to them
Tell them what you’re about
But you can listen
Most people never listen
People are always showing you what they’re about , who they are …
You just have to look differently .
And pay attention .

I’m not saying any of this to brag
I have the worst memory
Like I don’t know why anyone finds me interesting or anything …
For example …
An old friend of mine tells me about a drink I should mix ….
Vodka ,
white grape juice ,
cream soda
( I hate cream soda . She knows I hate cream soda . Why cream soda? )

I get home
Decide to try it
I have no idea what she said
Can’t remember
Something about root beer ?
I have root beer
Vodka and root beer
Close enough
( let that sink in )

Worst.
Worst..it was sooo bad .
Furthest from ” close enough ”
I thought I was gonna die
I almost threw up
It was terrible
Good thing I left an open bottle of root beer on the counter .

I wish you could have seen her face when I told her just how bad HER recommendation was .
After she stopped laughing …
” I never said anything about root beer and besides you left out the white grape juice , well done .”

Like I said , I don’t know , I don’t have a clue ..
But everything is temporary …
That’s something I can’t shake …
As Christians we are constantly ready for death ..
But how many of us are ready to live ?
I’ve seen so many people leave …
Nothing lasts forever
we are constantly making ourselves
Trying to figure ourselves out
Trying to fix things
Each other

I don’t know
My thoughts are pretty simple
Be good
Be honest
Be sincere
Do better
Work hard .
But most of all…
Be real .
The world is flawed
But we don’t have the world
We have each other
The people in front of us
The people passing us
The people leaving us
The people meeting us
You don’t have to be anything
Just the best you that you can be.
That’s what I tell the kids anyway .
Be the best you that you can be .
If you find yourself thinking about someone , let them know .
” .. I thought about you today … ”

It’s a small act , like a smile .
Or a hug .
But don’t we like those things ?

So it’s Saturday
I like Saturdays .
Especially now that the leaves are turning crimson …
Roll Tide .

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