The First Poem I Remember Writing

There once was a shepherd from Titan,

who fished, cuz the fish were a-bitin’.

But once it was dawn,

the fish were all gone,

and over his flock wolves were fightin’.

I wrote that sometime between second and third grade for a limerick assignment. Looking back, I find it very interesting that I borrowed the word “Titan” from the game Final Fantasy 2 which I had been recently playing at a friend’s house on SNES. I guess some things never change.

-Bearshaman

Accidentally Book Collecting- Cambridge Book of Poetry and Song

I am kind of an accidental collector of old books.

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Even the beat-up ones.

I’ve always loved books, but within the last year I’ve also become a near-daily buyer and seller of them out of necessity. It’s certainly not the worst job I’ve had.

As I paw through bins and shelves I snap up pictures of random books that I think are worth laughing at later because I am easily entertained. (Cheesy and old sci-fi/fantasy covers are a never-ending source of joy for me.)

And I’ve also started a collection of various items people used as bookmarks in the books I get. Maybe I will put together a collage of them one day.

But I also find books with unique properties I can get behind, and I am just as likely to snatch those up and take them home physically as well–not to sell or trade–just for me. I don’t plan on it, but it happens anyway.

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Recently, I picked up an 1882 copy of the Cambridge Book of Poetry and Song.

I like it and plus it smells nice. It also has a very curious message written from the gifter to the giftee on the first blank page:

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I love finding these messages, and this might be my favorite so far.

A little Google-fu shows that Carrie Stevens Walter was a poet as well as a teacher, although I have never read any of her books.

But that message just is just too damn charming. Also, I love that “Strong, young manhood” meant something completely different back in 1896.

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The editor also dedicates the book to the memory of their recently deceased friend, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. RIP man. RIP.

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The portrait is nice, too.
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I’m also digging the bleed on the page opposite.

Now, I have no issue with internets or Kindles or whatever when it comes to simply reading.
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But there is something immense and irreplaceable about holding a nice, old book.

Truespeed Press

Truespeed Press Logo

Just finished up an anthology for my Wednesday night class. Ended up doing all the heavy lifting/editing/formatting/everything, so I decided to make a logo to stick on the back of the book.

And I think it’s pretty neat. Makes me want to finally start my own lit mag.

So, yeah. Might do that this summer, time depending and such.

In other news, I will definitely be adding a sub-site dedicated strictly to gaming, so keep an eye out for Bearshaman Gaming to arrive any day now. It will largely be reviews and reflections on classic video games and classic gaming with lots of lame humor and will also very likely contain unhealthy amounts of nostalgia.

I need a damn nap. Not just a nap–a damn one.

Anyhow, have a continually and increasingly groovy day!

-Bearshaman

Alternate Bio 8

Brook is a student in college by day and an unwitting angel of the homeless by night. Although she remembers her action as dreams, it is in fact she who is the legendary Whispered One, providing what small comforts she can to the homeless across America beneath her preferred cloak of darkness. The vagrants that rise in the morning with fluffed-up pillows under their heads where only cold concrete was when they drifted off murmur small prayers of thanks to her upon waking.

And woe be unto the bored sociopath teen who seeks to harm her charges–for not all angels are always cherubic.

-Bearshaman

Suisun Valley Review 2015 Release Reading Emcee Opening Monologue

A Sermon on the Importance of Creating Things

Hello.

Art. Visual art. The written word.

Creativity.

Someone might hear these words all their life and not once find that they conjure up: images of Cordelia, with its thing for pleasant breezes; or West Texas street in Fairfield, begging to be eaten up and down and across its mom-and-pop food joints; or the hills and adjacent lagoon in Vacaville, all locked up under that unforgiving heat; or the way the sea itself finds an almost-domestication against the waterfronts of Suisun and Vallejo.

Most people hear the word creativity and they probably think of Berkeley, Davis, San Francisco, Saramento, Portland, or some other major city and art hub. And who could blame them? Those places are well-known for a reason.

But, judging by this room today, I’d say we’re giving people reason to think a little closer.

If you’re here, that means one of a few things: you create things, you want to create things, or your English teacher made attendance mandatory.

Whatever the reason, we hope you enjoy the events of the next hour or so, as we celebrate the written word and visual art today, with the release of this (book).

Thirty-two issues. SVR is old—officially older than three-quarters of its editors.

And that is a beautiful problem to have, isn’t it?

See, SVR is not a required class. It’s optional. Sure, it counts towards an English degree, should you want it to, but it’s not English 1 or anything.

The continuing existence of SVR today—as well as Solano’s English program, its creative writing program, its visual arts programs, theater, music, and Club Floetry—is fervent testimony that creativity is far from dead at Solano.

And that’s a good thing.

Because the world has always been a terrifying place. Wars, famine, natural disasters, slavery, and especially hatred have always had their unwelcome places at humanity’s table:

and for some reason, they still do.

The mixed blessing that is the incorporation of the internet into every aspect of our reality has only lengthened the distance that has always existed between humans.

But the way this world is might be the single most important reason that everyone must continue to create.

For it is through creation that we as humans continually discover not only who we are, but who others are, and maybe even glean a little insight as to what the hell is up with this crazy world we live in.

There is comfort in creation. Sure, it’s a masochistic kind of comfort, but it still counts. Putting the right words in the right order, or the feeling of friction you get when you slide a burnt piece of wood across a blank eighteen by twenty-four page—things like that are magic.

And that makes you a wizard.

But seriously, the urge to create is a beautiful burden. Don’t resist it.

And it doesn’t matter what your job title is. You are not defined by your job.

You are defined by who you really are and what you make.

You could align yourself with an ancient legacy of warmongers, pain-for-profit capitalists, and politicians.

Or, you could choose to create, and align yourself with the legacy of Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Picasso, The Brontes, Wolf, Chekhov, Chandler, Cheever, Carver. Duvall. Schmitz.

It is your responsibility now to put a smile on the face of the cynical archaeologist who will one day unearth your remains. You can restore their faith in humanity.

Thank you.

-Bearshaman