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Straight Talk About Geezeritus

I'll be 40 next year. Did I say 40? I meant 60. Same difference. They both fall under the benign-sounding umbrella of "middle age," though it seems to me calling 60 "middle" might be a tad...

 

American Life In Poetry

Wallace Stevens, the great modernist poet, wrote about setting a jar down in a wild place, and how by doing so he organized that space around the jar. Here's Marilyn Dorf, a Nebraska poet, using a...

 

American Life In Poetry

I'd guess that at least every other person reading this column did at one time, as a child, carry home some animal that he or she wouldn't be able to keep. Here's Connie Wanek, who lives in New...

 

Dancing a Metaphor for Life

As I spun around the room at a recent wedding dance, I had a profound thought: Dancing is a perfect metaphor for life, and not just the part about going around and around and getting nowhere. I've...

 

4 Tips for Higher-Quality Sleep

(StatePoint) Sleep is essential to good health. Unfortunately, over a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over time, sleep...

 

American Life In Poetry

All of us know people who wouldn't wear an article of clothing that had ever before been touched, let alone worn, by somebody else, and others who could care less. As I write this column I'm wearing...

 

Rules for Working from Home (and Maybe Anywhere)

When I sat down at my desk this morning, I noticed a pencil needed sharpening. I don't actually use pencils to write; I use a computer. Nevertheless it did need sharpening, and I've never been one to...

 

American Life In Poetry

If at times your world seems flat and uninteresting, I recommend making a cardboard viewfinder with a postage-stamp sized window. Then look at what's around you through that. I think you'll be...

 

American Life in Poetry

We reprint poems by living Americans, about American life, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the many beautiful and moving poems written by American poets no longer with us. Robert Francis has been gone for thirty years but I turn to his p...

 

Saved by the Bell

I've got it: An easy way to avoid talking to people we don't want to talk to. Coincidentally, it's the same way we avoid talking to people we do want to talk to, and you know how we do that. We talk...

 

Siri, Cortana and Alexa Walk into a Bar

(Dear reader, what follows is a true story that I made up. In other words, it didn't happen, but it really could have.) Ann told a group of us having lunch that her husband is having an affair. "We...

 

American Life In Poetry

There are so many delightful poems by Faith Shearin that it can be difficult to select just one to show you. This one is from her sixth book, Darwin's Daughter, published in 2017 by Stephen F. Austin...

 

Big Foot Is A Gasbag

After a great deal of time and effort and some very careful calculations, I've managed to measure my carbon footprint. It turns out that, much like my actual footprint, it's somewhere between a large... Full story

 

American Life In Poetry

Lately I've been worried about the welfare of a young groundhog who lives under our front deck. His back legs won't support him and he drags them behind. This poem has been a good lesson for me. That...

 

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Bubblegum

It was fifty years ago on July 20 that astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins traveled to the moon, changing America forever and inspiring one of the most famous and often-quoted...

 

May I Speak to a Real Person Please

I once ordered virus software from a particular company. Turns out, it would have been easier to have a virus. I was unable to download the software, so I emailed the support desk for help as...

 

American Life In Poetry

The following poem by James Davis May, published in 32 Poems Magazine, has a sentence I'd like to underline, because it states just what I look for in the poems I choose for this column: "We praise th...

 

American Life In Poetry

I am often asked if I know of a good poem to be read at a wedding, and here's one by James Bertolino, from his new and selected poems, Ravenous Bliss. Bertolino lives in Washington state and I have... Full story

 

Business is Picking Up

An article's headline is like a carnival barker without the midway. Metaphorically speaking, it calls out to readers as they hurry by. "Read this! You won't win a giant teddy bear, but you won't have... Full story

 

American Life In Poetry

I'm afraid that if I'd asked my grandparents what the past was like they'd say it was "hard," and that would be it. But Megan Arlett is privileged to have a grandmother who knows how to enchant us...

 

American Life In Poetry

Here's a fine poem about a loving, attentive father, by Elise Hempel, who lives in Illinois. Notice how deftly she's placed her rhymes so that we scarcely notice them as the words flow on. Ms....

 

American Life In Poetry

When I was a nasty little kid I once made fun of a girl in my school because her father worked cutting up dead animals at a rendering plant.My mother sat me down and said, "Ted, all work is... Full story

 

Business is Picking Up

The reason people who litter are called litterbugs is because they bug me. Okay, maybe that's not the reason. But they do bug me. Litter ends up in waterways. It makes road ditches and parks look...

 

American Life In Poetry

Austin Smith lives in rural Illinois and is an acute observer of the world at hand.This poem is from his book Flyover Country, published by Princeton University Press. Cat Moving Kittens We must have...

 

Rules of Engagement on Facebook

I've only unfriended one person on Facebook, and he had it coming. It was before the last election, and Misguided Fool (not his real name) posted a steady stream of mean-spirited phooey. I realize tha... Full story

 

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