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The Journal of Bruce W Niedt

Poetry and Healing
10/27/2001 09:28 p.m.
There's been a lot said about the healing powers of poetry lately. I think it has merit, whether you're talking about personal tragedy or a national/international one, like Sept. 11 (and for some, our response). I attended a poetry and performance event last month that offered an opportunity to share post-9/11 poetry with others, and the other day I attended an event at Rutgers University. Professor, students and members of the cummunity (I'm a member of the last group) were invited to read original or "famous" poetry about war, peace, and healing, again with a general theme of the current state of affairs. I read my poem "Vigil", and others read their works, or those of Auden ("September 1, 1939"), Yeats ("Easter, 1916"), Whitman and Dickinson. I happened to sit next to a local newspaper reporter who asked me for a copy of my poem, so I thought that I, or my poem, would make it into the article, but it didn't. But oh well - it was a good experience and I'm glad I went.
The other news is that I got two Honorable Mentions in the Writer's Journal quarterly poetry contest, for "Apocalypse: Rush Hour" and "Demused". A friend from one of my poetry groups also received Honorable Mention. The list is in the Nov./Dec. issue of Writer's Journal. Alas, though, I struck out on the Writer's Digest annual writing contest., but I guess I shouldn't feel bad about that, since there were about 19,000 entries in each of the two poetry categories.

I am currently Peaceful
I am listening to Miles Davis - "So What"

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Wasted Day
10/10/2001 04:26 a.m.
Started a week off - supposed to be a "working" vacation - getting ready for a yard sale, puttering around with fix-it chores, and as it happens, waiting for delivery of a new freezer and a chair tomorrow. But today was largely wasted. Still in a funk over our "just war" (reports say the bombers ran out of things to bomb - no surprise there). I did write that sestina, "Sunset on Jockey's Ridge", one of the few non-9/11 poems I wrote in the past month. Guess I wanted something escapist and relaxing. Jockey's Ridge is allegedly the largest natural sand dune on the East Coast. It's really more like a big sandy hill, but the view and the sunsets are spectacular. It's near Kitty Hawk, N.C., and legend has it the Wright Brothers did some flight testing there. It's a big spot for beginning hang gliders. Also fiddling around with some ideas for a chapbook. How's this for a title (after one of my poems): "Waltzing Home."
I am currently Bleh
I am listening to Rufus Wainwright's first album

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"To War, To War, We're Gonna Go to War..." (Marx Brothers, in
10/08/2001 03:54 p.m.
Yeah, we're at war now. Pardon me for not jumping up and cheering that we're bombing another country, one that already probably resembles the surface of the moon. I suppose we had to do something, but let's not start something we can't finish, let's not delude ourselves into thinking that bombing one country will wipe terrorism off the face of the earth. It's a vicious cycle - the more we do, the more the fanatical fringe will want to go after us. Another poet described in her journal how they're selling postcards and t-shirts near Ground Zero at the WTC site. I wonder if anyone is selling t-shirts over there: "I survived the bombing of Kabul and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!" Don't get me wrong - bin Laden is probably the most dangerous man on the planet right now. But we need to seriously rethink our concept of "war." I wish I had the answer. I'd probably get the Nobel Peace Prize if I did.
I am currently Blue

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Inaugural Entry
10/07/2001 03:45 p.m.
Well, let's try this baby out. I read Kurt's entries and figured, what the heck. Struggling with a muse on vacation again - would like to try a nature-themed sestina next, about the huge sand dune on the Outer Banks called Jockey's Ridge. Anyone else ever been there? (BTW, anyone who wants to review my "old" stuff, I'm posting it all on the archives.) Went to a big arts and music fest in a nearby town yesterday, where a fellow poet from one of my groups was supposed to have set up a reading for us. But I was the ONLY ONE to show up! Not wanting to be a one-man show, I wandered around aimlessly with my little notebook of poetry and went home. Oh well. Going to a Greek festival today - baklava, gyros, spinach pie - mmmmm! d:-)
I am currently Calm
I am listening to A mix of "oldies": Mamas and Papas, Billy Joel, John Lennon....

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