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  1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    post sparks a MAJOR LITERARY DISCOVERY!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mammamaia, Sep 13, 2013.

    thanks to a recent post on a writing site asking for help in publishing some writings, i have made what will undoubtedly be hailed as the greatest american literary discovery since lavinia dickinson decided the writings her late big sis had squirreled away needed to be read by everybody--and set about making that happen...

    so, expect to see a plug for writing sites in the acknowledgements, when i put together the several books it will take to share the works of a humble stonemason who left this world too early to see himself and his writings receive the recognition they deserve...

    no exaggeration [which i never indulge in, as all who know me know!], fellow site-members, this man's poetry would make the most macho among you weep, the most skeptical of you [of which i am the most of the most] clutch your heart and feel faint... and that's not all...

    he was also a masterful photographer who captured with his camera poetry for the eye... and i haven't yet gotten any of his many short stories, but if they're even 1/2 as good as his poems, they'll be up there with the timeless delights of twain and london, beirce, o'henry, and company...

    i'm just getting started on the monumental task [labor of love] of digitizing, sorting, cataloguing and preserving this treasure trove for posterity, before doing all in my power to see it published, which i'm guessing will take a year or more of full time work... a well-respected longtime library director is almost as passionate about this 'find' as i am, so if you had any doubts about my opinion, lay them to rest... it's for real!

    i'm sorry to say i'll have to put mentoring on hold, won't have time to take on any new clients for the duration and will not be as active here as i've been since this site was 'born'... this seems to be my reason for being, what all i've done up till now has been preparing me for... i'll be 3/4 of a century old tomorrow and if i'm known for anything after my passing, it will be for having brought a great american voice out of obscurity and made it heard and enjoyed the world 'round... that will be more than i could have ever imagined or hoped for and i'll be able to leave this life with a great big smile on my face...

    if any of you would like to help me in this exciting endeavor and you know anyone of note in the literary/media/whatever world who might want to lend their name [verbal-promo support only, i'm not looking for financial help] to the project, please email me...

    love and hugs to all, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
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  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's just a taste [not for critiquing, please, just for enjoying]:

    Poets

    Dylan Thomas, sometimes I hate you
    roaring headlong into the tunnel
    with no light at the end
    yet leaving the way so well marked.
    I hate your secrets,
    you phallus-handed maniac.
    Did you know how close you came
    to the edge of language,
    dropping your tweedy drawers
    in Soho till the rooster crowed
    “Too late, cock, too late!”
    ----------------------------------------

    What was California?
    Why, it was a place at the edge of the map
    bellying into the biggest ocean in the world.
    It was catch your breath whenever you thought about it,
    gold under your feet
    and the sun never set.
    It was big rock candy
    with ice cream snow and sunglass summers
    and hot thick midnights.
    It was roadsters
    ripping down Cherry Avenue.
    It was learning to speak California
    and fitting in.
    It was sweet orange
    and the smell of a foggy beach.
    It was too big to ever be too small.
    It was churches you never heard of
    and something for everybody and guns
    and diesels and Harley-Davidsons and damnation,
    army-navy stores and the Salvation Army
    and girls like peppermint
    and making a new life.
    Damn, it was great
    to be seventeen in California!
    ------------------------------------------

    Stone Cutters Lament

    Little fishes in the stone,
    rusty red lies where their bones
    laid them down within a sea
    to rest beside the manatee.
    A leaf, a fern, a whisker, hair.
    All wait a resurrection there.

    The sea, she left,
    the land came in
    where once would shark and turtle swim.
    Become a mountain out of reach,
    beyond the shelly, shingle beach.

    I break the bones and crunch the crypt
    to bring me stones to cut and fit
    and build the houses near the shore
    of fishes’ ears to hear the roar,
    the hiss and sigh where sea and sand
    with gritty kiss, fret at the land.

    Should I be buried in the sea
    along with the shark and manatee
    and then a million years go by
    as nothing to my stoney eye,
    shall I be pulled out of my tomb
    to serve as walls for other rooms
    and there be none who knew I lived
    and loved the mountain that I moved?
     
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  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, they certainly are...

    which is why i had to seek a second opinion, to make sure i wasn't having a 'senior moment'...

    but countering all my self-doubt, i think i can trust a professional library director whose specialty is poetry and is a graduate of the university of iowa, that great breeding ground/supporter of the poetic art ...
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know about "greatest American literary discovery," but I do like those poems!
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Those are some good poems. I would definitely read more of his poetry based on what you've posted so far.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    believe me, folks, it's no false claim... i am not one to exaggerate, as most of you well know... i'll be posting the library director's assessment as soon as she gets time to write it down... for now, all i can tell you is that she read the dozen or more samples with her hand on her heart and when finished, said the new library she's in the middle of planning for the county seat will have a reading room named in this gentleman's honor... and her poetry slam fundraiser to be held in the spring will have noted poets giving readings of his work, as a featured event...
     
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  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Can you tell us his name? It would be nice to know, so we can talk about him without having to keep saying, "You know, that stonemason guy who wrote poems? The one mammamaia is so excited about? Him? You know who I mean? Hang on, let me find the thread ..."
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I like what has been posted so far. Sounds very exciting, all the best in this!
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you folks are the BEST!!!

    thanks for the laugh, minstrel...

    i've already gotten one email offering help... and your responses here are such a boost you've got me in tears...

    the name of this amazing poet/author/artist is gene riley [of irish descent, which is no surprise!]

    he was born in kansas, lived and worked in missouri and passed away in california, where he'd lived for many years... he was the son of a stonemason...
     
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  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Great stuff, Maia. Keep us posted as to progress.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    will do, ed...
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a well-respected, library director with a lifelong interest in poetry who has a masters degree from the univ. of iowa and, if anything, is even more convinced that i am of the worth of this work...

    what i posted here are just a few taken at random from a body of work that includes hundreds of poems and short stories plus an equal amount of high quality, award-winning photography...

    while you may consider the work 'wholly unremarkable,' ms conner and several others whose opinions i hold in the greatest regard, with whom i have shared many more pieces, find this man's work to be exceptional...

    as i have no need to enlist your support, i do not feel the need to convince you and you are of course entitled to your opinion... i will continue to trust the opinions of those i know well and respect for their knowledge and expertise in the field...

    http://qctimes.com/news/local/systems-director-oregon-bound/article_d83ef1e7-7212-5a58-99c6-bcba7a4d80af.html
     
  13. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    I don't know, I think I'm with WaC on this one.

    What you're saying is someone who is completely unknown, died and left a trove of writing and the writing is of such high quality that it will make ripples in the circles of literature? That's a very, very tall order.

    Also, Ms. Conner isn't exactly the who's who of fine literature or literary history.

    I'm not saying its not true, but so far there's absolutely nothin to go on and poetry is wholly interpretive anyways.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i didn't post this to spark a debate about it... and it's a waste of time to be pooh-poohing the idea, since time will tell if i'm right or not, won't it?

    i never claimed ms conner was a major force in the literary world... but she is someone who was certainly qualified to give me a second opinion...

    i appreciate your right to express your opinion, but no amount of naysaying will deter me...

    hugs, m
     
  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    While I am also skeptical about him being a great literary discovery, we should remember that it's hard to get a good feel for a poet based on a couple of poems. So maybe we should just wait for his other stuff to become available.
     
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  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks for that sensible suggestion, tw!

    sorry, wac, but i do not have the time or the inclination to go into the details of what 'ELSE' i'm 'going on'... nor do i see any reason why i should have to...
     
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  17. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Don't forget that it was you who made, in my opinion, a fantastical claim. It was you who created this thread to shout it from the rooftops.

    I don't see how you can distance yourself or take offense when people question your claims. Especially qualified individuals on a writing site who may be quite experienced with literature.

    Now, if you had made a thread and said, 'Hey everybody, I found an old box of writing by an unknown author and I think it's really good and I may be able to get it published.' that would be one thing, but the sheer gravitas of your praises would cause most people to balk.

    Don't take offense, it's just the monumental pedestal you placed this unknown author on is almost impossible to accept.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i believe there is still something called 'freedom of speech... and so far, i haven't seen anything posted here from any who surpass my own status as:

    no offense intended, but i don't have to justify what i wrote, so i don't get why you two seem to think i do...
     
  19. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    No, you absolutely don't. You do have the freedom to ignore anyone you wish, but don't think that people aren't going to lessen their opinion of you for making a fantastical claim and then getting bent out of shape when you're held to account.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    mac...
    i'm not being defensive... i'm merely 'hors de combat'...

    please try to understand that i do not have the time to do what you wish... i'm glad to know you're interested, but i would hope you could honor my request to stop grilling me and let me focus on the grueling task of dealing with this huge body of work, which will be a full time job for a year or more...

    i will add info to the thread as time passes, but please let me get the work done, before demanding my justification for taking on the task...

    jjm... i'm sorry you see my reluctance to be pressured into doing what i prefer not to do as being 'bent out of shape' as it is definitely not the case...
     
  21. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Just out of curiosity, who holds the rights to his work?
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    his son...

    and if your, or anyone else's opinion of me is 'lessened' just from this, after all the years i've been pretty well thought of by many of the folks on this site, than i guess it would say more about you/them than about me...
     
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  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm off for the night, as it's late and i've had a very busy day... so please don't think i'm ignoring anyone...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  24. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is kinda silly how it's descended into a row. I said before that @mammamaia is just that, to me anyway, the mamma for all things lit. She has given me sometimes harsh but always sage words of advice and much encouragement even in threads that have nothing to do with me. If she wants to come on here and get all excited by something she, and her friends in the upper circle seats, found in an old attic, and are all convinced that the socks will be knocked off the world of lit then let her. Just wait and see and I'm sure Mammamaia is honest enough in 2 years to come back and tell us no one thought it was good enough to publish but she still loves it anyway. If it hits the shelves I'm sure we'll see her on CNN with an image of her covered in dust with a shovel in that old attic with armfuls of parchment.
     
  25. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^I second all this.

    Maia, please keep us informed on this. I would love to see where this goes.
     
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