About Me

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Paso Robles, California, United States
Novelist, poet, songwriter, and journalist, I bring over four decades of experience to the written page. I just finished Mental Hygiene, a coming of age novel set in Fort Jackson, SC circa 1967-68.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two Cutting Edge Views

My friend Nelson e-mailed me last night and included a poem that his daughter had written recently.  It was not only a wonderful poem, it reminded me of a poem that I wrote a few years ago with a similar subject.  I've included them both:

"IN "
by Kathleen Sartoris

The edged knife
permanently lodged

Perfect posture
and forward motion,
slows feelings
minimizes pain

Blinders off
daily armor off
vulnerable openness
fetal position,
it cuts through channels
vital for worldly survival

confronting and truth exposing
writhing compulsive movement
internal agitative terror,
it then pierces the soul - indiscriminate

pain with no palliation

serrated knife
    by Tim Martin

a serrated knife cuts best
for things well done/ you chew up
the results; the flavor goes
away/ you don’t care so much,
the next bite is the tastiest/

a serrated knife cuts best
when you need
to separate meat from bone/
you excise the bad part,
making sure
of a sliced clean plate/

a serrated knife cuts best
and after all,
tools are what separates
us from the other animals;
not to say
that there is no beast left over/

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"There must be some way outta here, said the joker to the thief."

"There must be some way outta here,
Said the joker to the thief."

      All Along the Watchtower
     Bob Dylan

With the above quotation running through my head, I began writing the novel, Mental Hygiene two and a half years ago. It became the theme of the book.  Welcome to Write Running, my blog away from story lines  Future posts will include excerpts from Mental Hygiene as well as poems and ruminations.

Mental Hygiene is the first novel in a trilogy, the coming of age tale of Michael Murphy. Murphy, an intelligent, manipulative, and self-centered twenty year old caught in the draft at the height of the Vietnam War and stationed at the Mental Hygiene Clinic, Fort Jackson, SC as a Psychological Social Work Tech, becomes caught in the web of mental health, military-style. Against a backdrop of eccentric co-workers and unforgettable patients, Murphy navigates his way through a world he'd never considered.

The historical events of 1967-68; assassinations, race riots, and the emergence of the anti-war movement in the military, all play a supporting role in Murphy's story, all defining the sad truth that nobody gets away unscathed.