The book release trip for Under a Toenail Moon was good. Bacolod, Philipines, during a presidential election, was annoying but tolerable. The Lakemon Resort island was perfect, though. The book is officially out.
A songwriter at an open mic in Memphis
claimed he had written tunes with Neil Diamond.
And to prove it he brought out Elvis’ old guitar
to a bar, week after week and year after year.
The Guitar–alleged to be the instrument of the King–
had its own special place and its own special
stand like a musical wooden barfly on a tiny
stage, like a shrine in the lounge.
Eric and I– two pickers from Oklahoma–
stopped in at the open-mic and discovered
this piece of America. And in Southern style,
we enjoyed the story of THE GUITAR—
It seems THE GUITAR’s new owner had been a special friend to the Elvis Presley. We were looking at THE GUITAR then we were listening
to the gentleman’s story. As he told the story of the GUITAR, we learned that he was THE GUITAR’s new owner. We listened to him and we looked at THE GUITAR again.
To me, this was Elvis’ guitar. How could anything else be
since there was hardly space for something lacking authenticity on such a tiny stage? I believed it was. I was just that way. Eric may have or may not have believed it. I forgot to ask.
Around the bar, we introduced ourselves as guys from Oklahoma and that’s the last thing I remember.
I imagined because of the word OKLAHOMA that we were instantly legendary.
(Or it might have been, as Eric told me later, that Todd Snider was in the house that night)
due to the tunes of Hoyt Axton,
Charlie Parker, Gene Autry, Elvin Bishop,
Roy Clark, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Roger Miller,
Tom Paxton, Leon Russell, Boz Scaggs, Garth Brooks,
Woody Guthrie, John Denver, Toby Keith,
Reba Mac Entire, Roy Clark, and the Flaming lips,
the word OKLAHOMA in Memphis
spelled trouble with a capital BEER,
shots and mixed drinks, and it wasn’t even Christmas.
That’s what it turned into.
I still blame Oklahoma.
Then, come what may, a microphone had been wedged onto that tiny stage with Elvis’ guitar.
At 9 o’clock, one after the other, performers
took to that microphone
where they proceeded to astound an audience.
Then it was our turn.
Eric did a couple of numbers. I backed him up on some vocals and extra guitar.
We finished with sufficient applause.
Then I stepped backward
about what the word sacred might mean
as the Elvis memorial guitar
slammed into the floor
as if Elvis had never been born.
Appalling tactics from Oklahoma’s Legislature, confirmed by Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, that higher education got a severe budget cut because of a ballot initiative by OU President David Boren to raise a sales tax to fund education.
Another example of maladaptive governance concerned a proposal to close a long list of higher education institutions made two days before the end of the session. Although it turns out the suggestion was a half-joke, the Legislature would hardly seem the proper place for anything less than utmost seriousness when discussing the budget, and especially considering the dire nature of what they were dealing with.
The Oklahoma budget is a dysfunctional mess (as per Glen Puit’s news story). But I can’t help thinking that a budget crisis like the one this year actually serves the ideology of the governing body. Its failure to deliver and any future budget failures will create the perfect…
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Perflurocarbons: Power Point
When Roy Plunkett first discovered the compound that would be later in use in so many processes, it is only left to one’s imagination if he had any idea of the future magnitude of his discovery. From the clothes we wear, the buildings in which we reside, and the food and water we ingest, PFCs are in virtually everything including our bodies and nearly all biota. Considering the many years that these compounds have been being used, it is difficult to fathom the extent of the territory they cover. Whether the means of transporting PFCs is deliberate or unintentional, solid evidence proves they have invaded nearly every crevice of the globe.
Since PFCs are anthropogenic compounds, it can be easily understood they do not belong in environments such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we ingest, or the bodies of humans and animals. Without fully understanding the extent of the adverse effects caused by perfluorinated compounds, it may be prudent to do everything possible to minimize or eliminate the use of these compounds. However, because PFCs have been used so extensively in so many processes in the manufacturing industry of both commercial and household products, it will be difficult to eliminate them completely.
The detrimental impact perfluorinated compounds may have on the environment, is not easily defined. Even with repeated studies, there are inconclusive findings. Many of the methods and materials used in experiments are in fact made from products containing perfluorinated compounds which could possible render results inconclusive. Containers, tubing, equipment may all contain PFCs. Lacking of standardization among the community of scientists may also pose problems and inconsistencies when studying PFCs. Many of the studies conducted, focus only on the PFOSs and PFOAs, when in fact there are numerous variations of pefluorinated chemicals/compounds. These numerous variations raise yet other questions. Should the individual PFCs be studied separately as they have been shown to manifest in different organs and serums having different effects and half-lives, or should they be studied in a manner that seeks out the combined effects?
The fact that PFCs tend to attach to proteins should be a major concern when considered health related issues. Proteins being the building blocks of our bodies, any misstep in the processes could present undesirable, and even detrimental effects. There is close attention being paid to potential immunotoxicity in children, as well as behavioral issues, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and neurodegenerative diseases that might point to PFCs playing a role.
The good news is that trends show a decrease in PFCs with regulations being set forth in stewardship programs such as the EPA Stewardship Program 2010/15, which began in 2006. The EPA invited eight major companies in to commit to a voluntary program with global goals to reduce manufacturing of PFCs (3M had begun phasing out the manufacturing of PFCs prior in 2000). A simplified version of this program is:
• By 2010 a 95% reduction in emissions and product with PFC content
• Commit to goals of elimination of PFOA, PFOA precursors and related chemicals/products
• Participating companies: Akema, Asahi, Ciba, Clariant, Daikin, DuPont, 3M/Dyneon, Solvay Solexis
• Reports from all companies (US and abroad) will be submitted on Oct. 31 of each year
More information on the stewardship program can be found at:http://epa.gov/oppt/pfoa/pubs/stewardship/index.htm.
The not so good news is countries such as China have no commitments at this time to stop production and have filled a niche in the market. Since so many of our products are produced in China, one might suspect that perfluorinated compounds are migrating to the US in way of imported food, clothing, and other products.
The PFCs that are in the environment now will not be easily remediated. Research is being conducted to find ways to help speed up the biodegrading processes. In humans however, compared to animals this half-life tends to be much longer and with ongoing exposure to the already present PFCs, it offers the possibility of continued bioaccumulation
There are efforts in exploring the remediation of perfluorinated compounds from the environment. Methods such as ultraviolent light and hydrogen peroxide have been used to enhance the biodegradability of PFCs (Quinete et. al. 2008), but these efforts have been met with minimal success. This strong carbon-fluorine bond which has made these compounds so attractive for so many uses, lending it thermal and chemical stability, are the very attributes that make them so menacing as well.
In addition to remediation efforts, substitute products are being introduced but are met by some, with skepticism as to whether they are just as pervasive or harmful as the previous products. The PFCs that are in the environment now, will not be easily remediated. Due to inconsistencies in analytical methods, variations in samples according to geographic location, possible negligible handling and/or the use of laboratory apparatus and containers which also may contain PFCs, their impact may never fully be known. One thing is certain however, additional and ongoing research is needed, along with standardization of analytical procedures to be able to fully understand and combat the problem of PFC pollution. It is probably more likely than not, that living in a PFC filled environment is our past, present, and future.
Check out poems by Teri Cummings in the Summer issue of The Dragon Review. Oh, yeah, Terry Gresham has a couple in there too.
From “Trains in Marlow, Oklahoma” (Donald Levering) and “Chocolate Pie” (Terri Cummings), to “Croquet” (Ben Myers) and “Girls in Baseball Caps” (Ron Wallace), this issue of Dragon Poet Review shines with summer. So grab a glass of icy sun-tea, charge up your e-reader, find a shade-tree, and hit the hammock to beat the heat with this cool issue of some of the best poetry, art, and prose around! Happy Summer!
We recommend opening the journal on your tablet or e-reader app (Kindle) for the best viewing / reading experience. Please click here (on the title) to open:
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Welcome to Dragon Poet Review! We are currently accepting submissions for our Winter 2016 Issue. We are looking for previously unpublished poetry, flash fiction, short fiction, and short memoir, in addition to original photography, artwork, and book / film / art reviews. However, we may consider some previously…
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“Are you peeing?”
“I’m not peeing.”
“Are you peeing yet?”
“I’m still not peeing.”
“You know, this is crazy.
Let’s get back in the car.”
It is out.
“Dark Sandwiches is whimsical, radical and wonderfully weird. If David Lynch, John Lennon and Edward Corey had a literary threesome, their love child might look something like this. Make no mistake, Gresham is a wholly original American voice.”- Edward E Romero, writer and director
Get it. HERE.
There is a guy in Austin TX, Stephan Schwake, who makes a sandwich far better than I do. I willingly admit that. He is earth’s first at getting close to one of the contraptions dealt with in this book. Often while writing I ask myself, “What would Schwake paint?” I’ve trash-canned scores of poems that have not met this test. It’s not only in his art where he inspires me, his grocery shelves and refrigerator are great sources of inspiration, too. From his kitchen, he calls for a sandwich made from blackberry preserves and Nutella on Pumpernickel. Sounds scrumptious. I haven’t tried one of those, yet, but I do now have a title for a book, Dark Sandwiches.
Over the years, others have come forward suggesting various types of dark bread with ingredients such as black olives and black beans. Others have gone as far as to suggest dark sandwiches made with black forest ham or even Schwarzwälder Schinken, which is a variety of dry-cured smoked ham produced in the Black Forest region of Germany. But are these helpful folks talking about poetry or lunch? And would I know the difference? – Terry M Gresham
A song I did write and Matt Gaskins recorded it.
My love, I don’t know where you been and where you goin’ now
be sure and don’t look back, my darling.
She left her suitcase by the door. Now she’s on a jet plane
looking down at people so below her and small, my darling.
I remember when we ran for cover in the autumn rain.
Shakespeare in the park we had it good as you like it, baby.
She’s a sickness and she’s a cure a bleeding heart and an antichrist.
For sure, the fatal woman I hate to lose, my darling.
I should be older or should I be getting over the photograph of nothing
or something blurry and dim that she left me with.
I remember when we ran for cover in the autumn rain.
Shakespeare in the park we had it good as you like it, baby.
And there she is with the taxi man. For her suitcase, she’s back again.
My love, I never thought I’d see you again, my darling.
She said she was in Budapest came back for her favorite vest
I asked her, “Will you be staying for dinner?”
- According to the deep blue sea,
there should be land somewhere.
If not, there should be a sky above.
I should try looking for them one day.
- According to a specialist on the subject,
“Sometimes a kind word can be a disguise
for the sort of fellow I might become
in the event of an ellipse.”
I never told anyone I was the moon.
- According to the stage manager,
“The best way to dispose of a corpse
is in subdued light.
Give us just enough light
so the crew can get on and off safely.”
- According to today’s paper,
“Tomorrow should be another day
with maybe rain.” I should read it when it hits the stands
–the paper, not the rain. Silly.
- According to the girl at the checkout,
I can get a larger cup of coffee for just 10 cents more, so I do.
I don’t know why.