Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next

A Favor
Old 09-05-2019, 05:07 PM
gitano's Avatar
gitano gitano is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 68
Posts: 19,357
gitano is on a distinguished road
Default A Favor

My youngest has embarked on a path that has been throughout recorded history, a 'tough row to hoe'. She has chosen the 'artist's' path. While history gives us many examples of artists that have 'rock star' status, many were not famous in their own times. Caitlin has chosen to be a writer, and while my opinion as her father can hardly be viewed as objective, I still say that she is very good. When she graduated from high school, I told her that she was a more skilled writer than I was when I graduated from college.

In addition to being an author, she is starting a business as a publisher. (Red Sweater Press) In large part, the publishing business is a function of publishing her own works, but as she has be working as an author, (and as a journalist), she has come to realize the value, (and need for), people that can edit the written word. She is very good at editing, and therein lies the foundation for her business of publishing. She has a novel in the last stages of being edited, (not by her, but by another professional editor), and another in first draft form. She currently has 5 books of poetry published and one other book, (I'm not sure "what" it is exactly, not poetry, and not novel. It's a "theme" book. Maybe.)

A great deal of being a successful artist, (in this cas, author), is getting your 'name' established. Getting known. People can't know if they like your 'stuff' if they don't know you exist. Which brings me to the point of this post: I would like to ask my friends here at THL to help her get her name "out there". Caitlin's books are for sale on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Caitlin+b...ref=nb_sb_noss) and Blurb (https://www.blurb.com/b/9547639-wabi-sabi-world). I have no particular interest in the money that Caitlin would get should you decide to buy her books. In fact, I suspect that for the most part, "you guys" aren't exactly "poetry people". (I DO actually read a lot of poetry, and have since I was in HS. "You" aught to try it. You might find that you actually like it!) I think some of you might actually like some of Caitlin's poetry, but that's a little beside my point. My request is that you buy her books and give them to people that you think might like them. I'm thinking your friends, your children, your grandchildren, etc. Also, you could simply buy them and donate them to your local library. Or better yet, talk your local library into buying their own copies. The more her art is seen (read), the greater the opportunity for people to "find" her.

I don't want anyone to think I am twisting anyone's arm here. I don't want to know if you "did" or "did not" buy any of her books. Truly, it's not about "the money". I don't have enough friends at THL to make a monetary dent in the cost of running a business. BUT... My THL friends are found around the world, and planting a few seeds around the world just might help launch her career. I can't see how it could hurt. Frankly, I thought about buying the books myself and giving them to "you all", but that didn't seem quite 'right'. I would prefer that you buy the books AND READ THEM because you want to.

To give you a taste of her poetry, here's a copy of one of her poems - as yet unpublished.

My Father's Journal

Caitlin Buxbaum (Copyright 2019)

I. Before I have even opened the book in my hands,
I sense I possess something sacred, a known name
scrawled across the top, doodles inked below
in a familiar style (the kind I used to watch him
create in church services and business meetings
when I was a child): dashed lines along the spine
and geometric shapes carefully contained
within four, fluid, amoeba-like homes —
those cells and squares aren't going anywhere.

This faded, verdant, cloth-bound record may be
all that's left, someday, of a certain part of history
that won't seem significant to some,
but means so much to me.

Inside, I don't understand the drawings, but I know
they're not the absent-minded wanderings of the cover;
something more predictable, mechanical, functional —
circuits, perhaps ("mobiles," he tells me later).

And then there are the pages — two, it appears
have been ripped out, and I can't tell if it's
disappointment or excitement welling up in me,
wondering when the removal took place. But
before I can ponder any longer, I'm distracted
by the date — no year — on the present paper,
and the metaphor of a flat horse that makes me
snort like one. (Was he trying to be cool, or
was this the standard slang of the day?)

As I read on, I'm astonished to find myself
poring over poetry, something I never
expected to see in a submarine. And ere
I've had time to marvel, delight, truly
process the stylized words before me,
I am sunk into the emotional depths of despair
caused by the realization, "Nobody listens,"
followed by self-doubt and a slip into the script
rarely used today, and never so neatly
by a 20-something male, anymore.

It's the punctuated "****." at the end — in print —
that hooks me. Cursive is all his hand knows now,
aside from that. And then there's the love, even
sensuality, not for my mother. These are revelations
from an era outside of me, beyond and before
in a way that means I can never truly know it.

The fear, viscerally rendered by the two torpedoes,
is as real as the aftermath, in which war is made
a memory, so quickly and comically it makes him
angry, and me too. Don't they know? Don't they care?
We both know the answer, or think we do.

Offshore, but headed back to sea, I feel the
brokenness of his hands, and the bitterness
of leaving his loved one behind — not
that he would ever want her with him
in that god-forsaken prison, but that
the stress of his pending "duty" and
separation from his bride-to-be
is already showing on his skin.

"Variables," he says, in an attempt at "brighter thoughts"
that seems almost forced, are what constitute life —
the "contrast" between discipline of the mind &
volatility of emotion, pragmaticism & dreams.
This young man has not met God, but he is not wrong
when he says, "Even death is life."

"I am my originality." I don't understand it
until he compares his self-proclaimed gift
to the art of a painter, or sculptor, or writer;
he doesn't know it yet, but he is a beautiful creation
blessed (and cursed?) with thoughts that trouble
other people as much as entertain. He asks
his followers to "let go" of their fears and
"come with me," not hearing Jesus in his words
or considering why he changed his name to Paul.

Anger. Rage. The urge to fight, unprovoked.
He doesn't say it, but I see the red in his eyes,
feel the rattle in his bones, the venom on his
breath, the growl in his chest, the boiling of
his blood — I've seen it before, in him and
in me. Maybe this is where it started —

I feel the necessity of forgiveness
and pity for fools.

Keep your cards close to your chest, my husband
always says, and I comprehend how different
his heritage is from mine, which talks of being
outspoken and punished by stupidity incarnate
for seeking truth in the opening of one's mouth.

Suppression — there it is again.

The decision to be silent
is no less combustible
than the one to speak.

Duty be damned — he needs to see her.
Is paranoid, but knowledgeable (about
what, I don’t know). Falls in love, again
and again, but maybe not with the same
woman, maybe not in the present.

He thinks there will be no plateau
with Mary Beth, but I know better.

Still, I can't tell him.

Over, finished as it's barely begun,
with notes of months, maybe years,
gone by in the form of slides inventoried
for storage — prints and negatives of pets,
a wedding, plants, and a place I can't
pronounce, then more of the same, though
"Vanilla Fudge & Jimi Hendrix" stands out,
along with the play I already know
from the stories that aren't secret;
"Very good," he notes.

At least three quarters of the journal is empty,
and I can't help but wonder why (though I've
been guilty of the same), and want to inquire
after a sequel. This slim volume
opens such a wide window,
but it is not enough.
I hunger for "the rest" without
considering what it might cost.
I have no opinions (yet), only curiosity,
and a longing for a life lost, but only just.

Perhaps this sliver of the past
has many more to be added to it,
to sketch a clearer picture of a reality
that seems unreal, as my own writings
may do one day, for another who writes
a poem about a parent's journal.


p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; direction: ltr; line-height: 115%; text-align: left; }
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful." ~ C.S. Lewis.

Do not confuse technical skill for wisdom and do not confuse strength for skill. Paul Skvorc
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hey "Guests", Favor Please...... Vermonster THE CAMPFIRE 1 11-20-2007 04:32 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:59 PM.

vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.