Poetry: Quicksand or Time

kneel into

self

as thick as

quicksand

or time

as short as

life

this mind: fritz!

still soft

words

then,

dreams of me

on the young

streets

at dusk,

reaching

for night.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2014-2019

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Poetry: The Prayer

I have loved me

some men, Lord:

me always in

command

as God

intended —

The redheads and

the blonds,

where are they now,

I wonder —

wretched without me,

I assume.

So, who is this twit

with a mind of

his own?

Does he know I

can’t live

without him?

Will you tell him,

Lord

in a dream,

as a dazzling insight?

Will you whisper

he mustn’t hurt

me.

That he, please, please

mustn’t hurt me.


(c) Rob Goldstein August 1991-October 2019

Portrait of Rob Goldstein, based on a photograph by Nina Glaser
(c) Rob Goldstein 2019

 

 

 

Introducing My First Chapbook: A Skeleton in the Attic

I took a break in September, returned in early October to post Teagan Geneviene’s feature, then decided I wasn’t ready to resume posting.

Why?

Trump’s impeachment.

There is so much news; keeping up with it feels like a full time job.

I may limit myself to two posts a week during the impeachment.

Now to the point of this post:

A Skeleton in the Attic

Illustration for a Skeleton in the Attic
Illustration for a Skeleton in the Attic

I realized my goal of publishing a book of poems was unreasonable for a man with no experience in online publishing, so I took a break.

I started the break by evaluating different programs for self-publishing and discovered Ourboox.

Ourboox is a free platform and seems ideal for writers who are new to online publishing.

I researched the company and the founder, Mel Rosenberg, is exactly who he
says he is:

Mel Rosenberg is a microbiologist best known for his research into treatment of bad breath; he went to a children’s book fair in Bologna and came home with the idea of a free web based platform for publishing children’s books.

The template is limited but flexible.

If you’ve used WordPress Classic, Ourboox is easy.

The e-books I saw on the Ourboox site reminded me of chapbooks.

What is a Chapbook?

A chapbook is “a small book or pamphlet containing poems, ballads, stories, or religious tracts” (dictionary) The term is still used today to refer to short, inexpensive booklets. MIT

The Cover of Jack the Giant Killer
Jack the Giant Killer chapbook title page

Chapbooks were the zines of early modern Europe and played an important role in the history of publishing and literacy. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, chapbooks were the most popular way to disseminate poetry and children’s books: they were easy to make and cheap. Wikipedia

Chapbooks are still a popular way for poets to publish, especially street poets, who distribute their chapbooks for donations.

The last page of the Ourboox template invites the reader to donate to your PayPal account.

I loved with the idea of using Ourboox to publish an online chapbook; it felt like a perfect way to begin publishing.

A Skeleton in the Attic is a short story about a little boy who finds a skeleton in his attic and makes friends with it.

I wrote the story in the 1980’s and revised it many times over the years.

I used VR to make the illustrations.

I suppose if I want to, I can release a Skeleton in the Attic on Amazon, but for
now, this ‘chapbook’ format on Ourboox is ideal.

If you read the book and like it,  please leave a thumbs up on the upper right of the screen.

Leave a Like
As I understand it, ‘likes’ will move the book into the featured books section.

Click the image to read the book

Bookcover for a Skeleton in the Attic
or click the link below:

A Skeleton in the Attic

 

Images and text (c) Rob Goldstein 2019

Politics: When Hate is Normal

First posted Jun 17, 2016

 

Political ideologues know what’s going on inside of angry men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

 

A homophobic Meme showing Donald Trump saying, Get in Faggot, We're Making America Great Again
Homophobic Meme found on Twitter

Dan White grew up a world of normalized homophobia.

Queers were criminals in the eyes of the law, abominations to the Judeo-Christian God, and described as clinically deviant by psychiatry.

White’s political leaders and ministers told him his honor as a man was under attack; they said perverts like Harvey Milk were a threat to everything decent God-fearing patriots like Dan White revered.

Dan White was a straight man.

Dan White was a Viet Nam Vet.

Dan White was a devout Catholic.

Religious and political leaders on the right raged that fags like Harvey Milk and liberals like George Moscone deserved death.

If Dan White was a patriot, he was misguided.

Political leaders who use hate speech to ‘fire up’ their base know that some of those people will act on what they hear.

I assume they want it.

meme of Ted Cruz saying there is no room for athiests and gays in America in a speech at Liberty University.
The cynical use of hate speech to win votes.

Dan White had every reason to think he’d be seen as a hero when he gunned
down Harvey Milk and George Moscone in 1978.

Herb Cain, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote after the trial about the police Department’s support for White, and their “dislike of homosexuals.”

As a former police officer, White must have known he could use some form of the ‘Gay Panic’ defense and get a reduced sentence.

 Historically, in US courts, use of the gay panic defense has not typically resulted in the acquittal of the defendant; instead, the defendant was usually found guilty, but on lesser charges, or judges and juries may have cited homosexual solicitation as a mitigating factor, resulting in reduced culpability and sentences. Wikipedia

That’s what happened.

Whites defense attorney’s argued diminished mental capacity.

On May 21, 1979, a jury found Dan White guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced him to five years in prison; he was paroled in 1984.

“A middle-class jury, not a bunch of kooks by any stretch, had decided one can kill, twice, complete with coup de grace, and get away with it.” Herb Caen, People Magazine, 1985

Dan White killed himself in 1985.

“Nobody knows what’s going on inside of me,” Dan White once said, but he
was wrong.

Political ideologues know what’s going on inside of angry men like Dan White, and they know how to use it.

A meme that depicts a permit to hunt democrata and liberals
Liberal Hunting Permit found on a right wing website in 2016

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2016

First posted Jun 17, 2016 as Turn or Burn, When Hate Becomes Normal

 

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