after Bukowski’s “Bluebird” by Holly Dunlap

June 30, 2008

We all tell stories of bluebirds
stuck in our hearts

as though nests are forever
as though we own our hearts

but the rest of us live in the water
and the bluebird can only fly for so long

before there is no more land
for landing.


My name is Holly E Dunlap. I am a writing teacher and poet living in the Athens, GA area. I also dabble in the sundry–singing, riding mountain bikes, swimming, yoga, hiking, drawing, painting, and probably sitting on my computer way too much since I got broadband. I have an M.A. in CW from U of Colorado, Boulder. I am reading a mentor’s (Marcia Douglas) poetry book right now. She is Jamaican, and I can hear her calming voice as I read her also quite placid poems. Holly can be found blogging and writing poetry by clicking here.

Bukowski’s Bluebird Challenge…The Shop by Bob Church

June 29, 2008

(An Excerpt from The Shop)–

As I looked around the room, the shelves seemed to blur slightly in the low light, as if someone even now turned down a rheostat. Presently, a woman of indeterminate age stepped from behind a shelf and timidly asked me, “Do you see something you like?”…

“I’m just looking, thank you. What do you sell here?” Given the surroundings, the question immediately sounded stupid and I wished I hadn’t asked it.

“That depends…” she shot back, her eyes fascinating as they not quite engaged me head on, “what are you looking for?”

“I see books… are they for sale?”

Bob Church©6/26/08

The author is not much to write home about. In fact, his existence is an anomaly of nature, proof that God has a sense of humor. It is recommended that you ignore him at every turn.

To read the rest of this story, and to find Bob’s blog click here.

my bluebirds by Kim Tairi

June 29, 2008

there’s two bluebirds tattooed on my hip
they don’t see the light of day except for
fumblings beneath the covers or
when i want to remember
why i spend two hours in the chair
getting a reminder of something lost…
a longing for love etched into my skin

two more bluebirds will be joining them soon
this time on my back
they will sing of better times…
a new love
they wont see the light of day much either
but we will both know why they are there


Kim calls herself a seventeen syllable poet preferring to write haiku over other genres. A recent convert to the power of poetry, her haiku can be found on her blog Angels have the phone box

The blog is a mix of poetry posts, Doctor Who trivia and her thoughts on libraries and librarians. Kim most often finds inspiration for her haiku whilst commuting to work by train. She’s the girl with headphones on, listening to music, dancing in her seat, while scribbling away as the muse strikes.

Scot’s Poetry Challenge features–Bluebirds in the Cold by Jo Janoski

June 29, 2008

Bluebirds in the Cold

Uncle Chuck was an obstinate SOB. Gruff with salespeople, harsh to children. I remember one time he growled at a bus driver, a bus driver, mind you–you know how obnoxious they can be–he growled at that driver because the fellow skipped our stop. The man’s face turned scarlet; his hands transformed to white ice clutching the wheel. Honestly, the guy was so angry, I feared he’d plow the bus into a store front.

A visceral reaction was pretty much the norm when Uncle Chuck blasted his torrent of cuss words into people’s faces. With rocky blue eyes that could pulverize as sharply as his powerful diction, his gaze terrorized people. Except for when he looked at his wife, my Aunt Kathryn. Aunt Kay was a sparkling spirit, gifted with humor and love. When his blue eyes reached hers, they softened. I saw an elusive gentleness between them. Their eyes fluttered at one other like bluebirds, bluebirds at play.

On a frigid day in January, Aunt Kay passed on. Who knew lung cancer could snatch away loved ones with such speed and indifference. Gathering for the wake, the assembled mourners looked at each other with helpless expressions, a sea of tragic, Irish blue eyes. I was reminded of an article I read once of bluebirds who in subzero weather all gathered together in a hollow tree stump, snuggled, keeping each other warm, twenty or thirty of them all stuffed in tight, side by side. My mourning relatives reminded me of them and how we all needed to gather together like those birds with Uncle Chuck in the middle. But people don’t have as much sense as God’s creatures, do they? They freeze alone, like lost bluebirds in the cold.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski

JO Janoski writes poems and short stories. Also, she has published
three books, all with a Pittsburgh (her home town) theme. Her
lifeblood is her regular posting on JO’s Blog

Scot’s Poetry Challenge is featuring the work——– This Bird Has Flown from Raven’s Wing Poetry

June 29, 2008


used to
have a bluebird

me – this
bird has flown

a raven
took her place

bluebird cannot
live in monsoons

raven dodges
the heavy rains

not to
drown in sorrow


Nicole Nicholson is a 31 year-old poet who has been writing poetry
since age 12, drawing inspiration from the world, people, and events
around her. Her poetry has recently appeared in Word Slaw
( as well as Word Catalyst Magazine
( Her first chapbook, “Raven
Feathers”, will be published in July of 2008. A collection of her
recent work can be found online at: She
lives in Columbus, OH with her fiance.

American Sentence #28

June 28, 2008

Would Papa always press the double muzzles against his forehead while cleaning?

Centenial Press Says Thanks for William Taylor Jr. Review

June 28, 2008

Thanks for your fine review of the book we published for William, Words For Songs Never Written. It’s great to know that his words continue to reach people. The first incarnation of an idea for a book came in 2003, while my wife and I were visiting SF and met with William for the first time (in person) and I said simply, “I’m gonna do a book for you.”

The idea for a book morphed from chapbook to something more substantial pretty quickly … a New & Selected? Why the hell not? So we went for it. And God bless Bill for his patience, cuz it took me four years to save enough money to be able to do this right … to give his words the proper home they deserved.

Your kind words add to my inherent confidence that we’ve, in fact, done just that … made something beautiful together (William and Centennial Press) that will live in this world for a very long time.

So thank you. I appreciate it greatly.

And I want to make a plea to your readers (past, present, and future). PLEASE support the small press. Support Centennial Press by purchasing this book from us. It was one hell of an investment (worth every penny, Bill being the fine poet that he is). But the money came all out of pocket. So if you’re going to buy this book … and I really hope you do … please buy it from Centennial Press direct. It’s my plea to you. And to sweeten the deal, if you DO buy from us … mention Scot’s interview and I’ll throw in a FREE numbered and signed broadside of a poem written by small press legend A.D. Winans!

Support Centennial Press and buy Words For Songs Never Written. I guarantee it’s one of the best books of poetry you’ll ever read. William Taylor Jr. is a poet who doesn’t work with words, he works with magic.

You’ll see.

Charles Nevsimal
Editor & Otherwise
Centennial Press

Poetry, Prose Poem, Flash Challenge #1

June 27, 2008

Hey all,
I received work from Bob, Rodger, David, Jo (from PA) and Kim. There are a few more out there writing I know. This is an open challenge If you stumble on this–send me something that relates to the theme/message of the Bluebird by Bukowski. (scroll down to listen).

I will begin posting on Sunday, so even after that day will be fine since I will not post all the same day. Be sure to stop in.
Good stuff so far, but I knew there would be.

American Sentence #27

June 26, 2008

Sometimes living in a 5/7/5 world is just easier.

Hey All You Poets–Poetry Challenge #1

June 25, 2008

Listen to bukowski’s bluebird again (scroll down), then write a poem, prose poem or flash fiction piece. Then send it to me at and I will post it. Questions? Then, start writing. 🙂
(Please include a third person bio (30-50 words)