Fancy Shoes

These shoes don’t go with anything

but themselves.

They’re lovely and I want them to work,

but none of my dresses

will have it.

And they’re not comfortable,

which makes sense

because I paid a ton for heels

that are useless.

It’s like some people.

Or parts of them anyway.

They look great

and you want them to fit

in your life.

You try different ways

to work it out

so it doesn’t hurt too much,

but the rest of your life just won’t have it.

The Solo Path of Redemption

I’ve had this sort of rant for a while regarding Star Wars and Han Solo. I rarely get to expound on it because I rarely meet people who (1) dig Star Wars as much I do and are willing to listen (2) care about the actual story and characters like I do. But then I remembered this here blog – hooray for making your own platform. So, here it goes.


Han shot first. Those of us who remember the original movies before George Lucas jazzed them up for the DVD version already know this. There isn’t a debate at all – he shot before Greedo before Greedo could shoot him.

So what’s the big deal about it? Well apparently something for Lucas to change the scene so it looked like Han fired his weapon in self-defense. Perhaps he didn’t want Solo to look like such a bad guy in the beginning. Maybe outside pressure forced the director to soften Han’s rougher edges and make him less like a villain and more like an okay guy who just happens to be a smuggler for a mobster. Not so bad, right?

But softening the edges actually does the character more harm than good. Han Solo is a scoundrel – he says so himself in “Empire Strikes Back.” He’s not a good guy at all, and in the beginning, is only out for himself. He agrees to take Obi-Wan and Luke to Alderaan for two reasons: (1) money and (2) to skip out on the boss who just tried to kill him.

The boss, of course, is Jabba the Hutt. Think of Jabba as the Godfather – how many guys worked for Corleone and never killed anyone? It’s probable that Greedo wasn’t the first guy/being killed by Han. Highly likely.

Han Solo is a scoundrel who thinks of himself first and foremost. He is, without a doubt, flawed. And unlike Luke and Leia, who were already focused on helping others before themselves, Han’s character was in need of redemption. His journey actually began in the final scenes of “A New Hope” when he decided not to abandon his new friend Luke and run off with his reward money.

One of the best stories told throughout Star Wars is that of a man who went from caring about no one but himself to caring about everyone else first before considering himself. And not only does Han end up fighting with the rebels, but he is willing to step aside when he thinks the love of his life is in love with his best friend – that is not the Han Solo that we meet at the beginning of the story. And the depth of his story is shortened (and we are robbed) when you/society tries to make his edges less rough, less unpleasant and “bad.”

Even at his worse, Han is still a relatable, very human character. How? Because he is flawed and in need of redemption. We all are. For those who don’t like the religious undertones of that word, let’s say amends/atonement/rescue – from behaviors or decisions or points in our life that weigh us down and make us scoundrels. We have all been a scoundrel at some point in our life, and few of us probably wanted to remain as such. Han found a way to a new life and a better version of himself – another something that most of us can relate to and desire.

So why make him less scandalous in the beginning? Changing the timing of his trigger pull not only lessens his character’s transformation, but it lessens us a little too. It’s okay that Han shot first. We want him to. We might even need him to – for the story, and for us too.



Soul Mates

He says I should know him by now,

cause it’s been over a year

and we’re something like soul mates.

But how can I do that with

all this sameness –

same looks,

same lack of words.

Or few words.

Not the right words either.

And his looks always

have the same expression.

I know him as best as I can.

And he knows me more

than anyone who decided to break my heart

really should.

Catherine and Heathcliff –

more myself than I am, and vice versa.

Two peas in a nutshell, he says.

His other self, he says.

So maybe the words aren’t so bad.


(So it’s a “two poem post” kind of day…)

Stressed/Not Stressed

I wish we could turn back time

to the good old days.

Maybe the young kids

think that,

but they just don’t know better.

Or maybe their “good ol days”

were a lot better

than most.

More technology anyway –

more things to keep

them entertained and distracted.

Depends on the day

for me,

which ones were good

and which ones I want to keep on forgetting.

But either way,

I wouldn’t go back, not a single second –

however I got to this place,

all the good and the scars too,

I’m here and all I can do

is go forward.

Onward ho and all.

Leave the “good ol days”

for the kids would don’t know better.

I’m good.


Mammoth structures of the modern age,

metal and wood, bolts and ties –

made to carry the world

along faster as steam and coal engines

churned out a new era.

End of the peaceful prairie,

but beginning of a new life.

Looking at that mighty metal beast –

so strong and sure,

carrying the weight of society without faltering.

Maybe it can carry me too,

take me some place where those memories

that become ghosts can’t follow –

where the sun fights back the darkness.


This book! To quote my dear friend Andrea – “oh my goodness!”

It’s been a while since I have read something (outside of the Bible) that affected me so deeply. But this book…the beauty and elegance of the author’s statements almost makes me cry. As a writer, I am affected. I am changed.

Archipelago by David Jacobsen (Excerpts of foreword by Bret Lott)

“Literature’s purpose: the reader will, if the author has been honest enough and written with enough Artistic integrity, find within the work at hand his own life.

I have written elsewhere about creative nonfiction that the form is something akin to Russian nesting dolls, one person in side another in side another. But instead of finding smaller selves inside the self, the opposite occurs: we find nested inside that smallest of selves a larger self, and a larger and side that, until we come to the whole of humanity within our own hearts.

But I believe that all of literature, not just the essay, must accomplish this. That whole of man’s estate ought to come springing forward from the page, the words, these least bit of Ink on paper, yielding for the reader a burst of self-awareness that gives that reader, through the work of the author, himself back to himself.”


Remember those stories? There has to be at least one story/book that has uncovered something about yourself to you. And even though the author highlights nonfiction, I have had more instances of finding some part of myself when reading fiction. “If you want facts, read nonfiction. If you want truth, read fiction.”

I have another book from my MFA classes – about poetry – that states that a poet/writer’s job is to make the reader care. If we (writers) have done that, then we have done our job. Even if it’s just one person, we have succeeded.

To you, whoever you are out there in the world, I am writing for you. Well, I’m writing for us. You and me. I’m not worried about affecting to world – just you. And I truly hope that I have succeeded. If you are changed, then so am I.