Life Update And Music For Monday

Hello. Welcome to life update. It’s because I now have to manually update my life. It’s been like this ever since I  got a smart phone.

It’s been some time (which is technically always true of anything) since Dad J Bauman and Son Of Dad J Bauman have finished our chapbook. And we are kind of showing it off to different publishers. So far, no takers. But I do believe that the poetry foundation wanted to publish it awhile back (this belief is unfounded and not based in reality). Okay, that’s not true. They do publish a wild assortment of stuff though, so you never know.

Kidding aside, I haven’t let this go to my head. In fact we are already working on a sequel that is kind of a sequel and kind of a companion project. It’s a very similar idea but I think it will deal with more the emotional side of things whereas the one that is already finished is more narrative in style. I don’t usually like to talk about my writing before it’s finished but I just want anyone reading this to know that even though I haven’t blogged in awhile, I have been doing tons of writing. And I just wanted to reflect on it for a moment.

On a completely different note, Dad and I and my brothers are going to a concert on Saturday. The plan is to see Frank Turner in Wilkes-Barre at the Kirby Center on the 12th. He really seems like a good dude. So I think it will be fun. Dad has been a fan for some time. And while Jon thinks it’s funny that Dad is taking us to a punk rock concert, I’m sure we’ll all be happy. So, anyway, allow me to post a Frank Turner song from his latest album that I love and actually it fits in with the poetry part of this post. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

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News: Chapbook Completed (but not published) And A Special Friday Song

Dad and I have been working on a joint chapbook for a couple of years. It’s finally done. It hasn’t been published yet. But it will be published soon. I don’t want to give too many details right now. Even about the title. Hint: It has something to do with hospitals and something to do with poems. Actually that’s a little bit misleading. 2016 was the first time I had a poem published. Then again in word fountain again in 2017. I have gotten accepted to other books since then, but I’ve learned to be cautious. Anyway, our book is about my experiences in a mental hospital and others kinds of hospitals and my dad and I trying to cope with them. God. That was a big run on sentence.

I don’t blog regularly enough anymore. But expect more of that soon. It is going to keep me busy.

Anyway, I have a special song for you today. This song is really nice. And it’s a nice thing to hear. Because in the country I’m in, some things have happened. And it’s freaky because there’s a tension. There’s a tense feeling in everyone. And it won’t go away. And the reason I say that it won’t is because it started out with plain old cynicism. Unless we work at making the word a better place for us, we’re left with just cynicism. And I hope this song makes you feel less cynical for a few minutes. Thank you for checking it out.   

New Published Poem, Stoplight

First of all, the poem below was recently published in the new online lit mag The Electric Rail. To read the whole issue click here.

Stoplight

I thought I’d never get to leave.
They said “in a few days.”
Then, “a few more days.”

This time it was my fault.
I had been on a yellow light.
Then I got in a fight
and I went red.

I was on the stoplight system,
used in the children’s ward
to influence kids’ behavior.

The day before, I was green.
I was going home
on the same day
as the kid I would attack.

I had told him this
a few days prior,
during a soccer game.
We kicked competitively.

I was eager to live
beyond the Valley again.
Once I exited that place,
I wouldn’t have to see him
or hear his grating voice,
speaking in high pitch tones,
mocking other patients.

He was dribbling
a deflated basketball
on the blacktop.
This, in retrospect,
does not sound like fun,
but he would not share.

Instead of turning
the other cheek, I dug
my fingernails into his.

Then the doctor told me
I could not go home.
You can’t go on red,
so I sat, unable to move.

When it was time for math,
I asked to go
to the bathroom twice.
I was told then
I was not allowed to color.
What a shame.

I stood in front of
the bathroom mirror and cried.
My fists hit the mirror
over and over again.

Later, I got a phone call
My mother sounded oddly happy.
I was ashamed of myself.

“I am sorry,” I said.
She didn’t ask.
Perhaps she didn’t know
She said “You’re coming home.”

I gave no explanation to
the kids, back at school,
who wondered where I was.

Was I suspended?
Was I thrown in jail?
Was I on vacation?

So I have learned two things.
Some hospitals use safety glass.
and sometimes we need to go
before the light turns green.

 

Okay, now you’ve read the poem. Now, I can give you some background. I haven’t mentioned it before, but I am working on a project with my dad and part of it has to do with a few stays of mine at psychiatric hospitals. The one in this particular poem takes place in the children’s ward. Compared to what I’ve had published so far, it will be a very personal collection of poems. I don’t want to reveal any more than that at this point. But I just wanted to get that out there. Please enjoy the poem and thank you.

Library, Chapel, Pub: Three Readings

Please if you can make it, go to the poetry at the pub event. I will be reading along with my dad and others in Luzerne, Pennsylvania. For details click the link and read at the bottom.

David J. Bauman

Just to update you about some recent additions and edits to my Events page, here’s the rundown of what I’m up to the next thirty days:

Thursday, May 31:

Word Fountain’s Spring/Summer release party and reading at the Osterhout Free Library, 71 South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Though I won’t be reading my stuff, I will be reading a few pieces from the issue. Contributors reading from their work include Harold Jenkins, Jenica Lodde, Eric Chiles, and Laurel Radzieski.

This is a bitter-sweet event for me, as I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue as lead editor for Word Fountain now that I’ve moved on to a new library. I kept up the job on the side as a volunteer because I didn’t want to see it go into hiatus. When I managed the Plains branch of the Osterhout library, I could do some of the…

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National Poetry Month 2018, Micah and David’s Project Review

National Poetry Month was started the same year I was born. But, arguably I am more popular out of the two.

Enough joking. Dad and I decided this year to do some poetry reading recordings. This is much like what we did last year.

We picked poets from different eras and recorded us reading poems by the poets. This time we stuck to poets we had not ever done this for before.

We also did a few YouTube videos. mostly I did, actually. We did plenty of extras in both playlists below.

This year’s sound playlist is a bit longer than last year. Maybe we just really felt we needed to read poetry this April. I can’t explain it.

I am really happy with this playlist and the YouTube videos. I hope you are too. If you are not, (and even if you are) explain to me what exactly you did for poetry month that was so exciting. I don’t know what else to say.

Bonus Poetry Month Footage

This was filmed a couple days ago. It was so lovely. I would like to do it again. Anyway, here is me doing readings of poems by Christina Rossetti, Eleanor Farjeon, Jacob Nibenegasabe, and Ogden Nash.

And below the first video is a hilarious blooper from one of the Ogden Nash poems.

Poetry Month: Week Four With Kaveh Akbar

This is the final week of poetry month. For the last week I recorded a poem by Kaveh Akbar. My father introduced me to his poetry this past year. His first book is titled Calling A Wolf A Wolf. Check it out!

A Boy Steps Into the Water by Kaveh Akbar

and of course he’s beautiful
goosebumps over his ribs
like tiny fists under a thin sheet the sheet
all mudwet and taste of walnut

and of course I’m afraid of him
of the way keeping him a secret will make him
inevitable I will do anything to avoid
getting carried away sleep nightly with coins

over my eyes set fire to an entire
zodiac mecca is a moth
chewing holes in a shirt I left
at a lover’s house a body loudly

consumes days and awaits the slow
fibrillation of its heart a lightning rod
sits in silence until finally the storm
now the boy is scooping up minnows

and swallowing them like a heron
I’m done trying to make sense
of any of this no one will believe anything
that comes out a mouth like mine

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