Maureen Immer

APW Poet Blog

July, 2002

Maureen Immer

Ms. Immer lives in St. Louis, Missouri and her paying job is a Business Systems Analyst.

Her poetry started in high school (teenage angst), but evolved in college with writing classes, and mostly when she joined a weekly writers group Writers Under the Arch.

This forum helped expose her to other styles, and feedback on her own work. With her group she has published anthologies, which she has been a contributor.

Her work has also appeared in Psychopoetica, Midwest Poetry Review, The Musing Place, Tribal Soul Kitchen, Salamander, and Racer X.

She has also attended a Writers’ Workshop in January run by Poet/Novelist Terry Wolverton.

She tries to read some poetry several days a week. She enjoys Lucille Clifton, e.e. cummings, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes. It was the songwriters that inspired her to express herself in poetry: Paul McCartney, Carole King, Dan Fogelberg, Cat Stevens and others. She would love to have a poem of hers turned into a song some day.

Besides poetry, the rest of her energy is spent playing volleyball, reading, going to antique auctions, estate sales, volunteering and time with family and friends.

Her poems and home page may be found at:

Maureeen Immer

Please contact Ms. Immer with your thoughts.

A new month! I always loved the start of a new semester in school. The clean notebooks, the possibilities it allowed. You weren’t behind in any subject. Now I never get that fresh start at work and a blank page facing me the poet can sometimes feel daunting.

We often think of New Year’s as our chance for new beginnings, but we have limitless possibilities. Is there a writing rut you’re in? I’ve been feeling uncreative and frustrated lately. I’ve sat at my laptop trying to compose but found no ideas and myself easily distracted by the TV, the Internet, and the solitaire games. To break my routine, last night I threw the big pillows on the floor took my pen and notebook and wrote. I wish I could say I wrote one of my best ever poems. I didn’t, but I had ideas and phrases, which I recorded carefully in my book. There is the making of future poems.

Think of a new behavior related to your writing. Do you normally write in the evenings, try to fill a post-it note size piece of paper in the morning. Break a routine! Let me know your results.

Keep writing,

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, Mo USA – Tue Jul 2 15:30:58 2002

Tuesday, July 2, 2002
Tuesdays are my Writers Group days. Our group consists of 20-30 people from all walks of life. A core group of 10-20 folks can be expected every week. They love to tell of two people that showed up during a snowstorm. Every person gets a chance to read some of their work, then the group comments. We are not all poets, so novelists and short story writers are limited to 5 pages double-spaced.

It is a friendly group as many of us have been together for years.

I often find inspiration as I listen to the others read. Sometimes a challenge will go out. One night a poet stated he was “shooting blanks”. It became a challenge to write a poem with that phrase in it.

Well I don’t perform well under pressure, many ideas circulated in my mind. It took me a few weeks to put it down. Mine was non-conforming; I only alluded to the phrase.

Here it is:

Feeling Lucky?
Making wishes on
Stars diving
Across the dark sky.

Saying prayers for
Crap’s dice rolling
Down the felt.

Offering promises
Latent swimmers passing
Through the pipe.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, Mo USA – Tue Jul 2 15:39:32 2002

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

The idea of doing this Poetlog intrigued me. Some friends have started their own weblogs “blogs” from their own sites, and I keep a personal journal, but this would be something entirely different.

The site wanted samples to be submitted. I immediately thought of my Father’s Day’s recap I sent to friends. It was not an ordinary day. Which led me into how to prevent all the every days in between from being Ordinary.

I get up Monday through Friday and go to my office job: Business Systems Analyst. Each day is different, but not in a significantly interesting way. I wake, dress and drive in. Each evening is mostly unscheduled the only reoccurring breakup to distinguish the days is my writer’s group on every Tuesday.

So how to make a journal – a Poetlog – interesting when each day may not be?
It would be up to me and my attitude as I approached each day. Sounds too RAH RAH – positive motivation. But to be a writer – mostly a poet – I need to notice the irony, the beauty, or ugliness, the joy, of the everyday – the human experience. It still feels a bit too – “your attitude – change it”, but I invited you to join me on this endeavor. Look to each day for the humanness that makes it non-ordinary.
Below is my Father’s Day recap:
Today I biked 25 miles! What a rude awakening, my 70 year old father is in better shape than all three of his children. My brother was asked when he would be getting back on his bike. His answer “Father’s Day 2003”.
On my drive out to the bike trail I spotted a white bird, about the size of a gull. Well, we just don’t have sea gulls in St. Louis. I was right at the hospital conglomerate, so I thought of a dove and imaged a miracle occurring for someone there.
Now, it’s a long drive to the trail and while traveling the highway I see a stuffed Barney with a rope around it’s neck tied to a truck’s trailer hook. It gave me a good laugh. Not everybody loves Barney.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, Mo USA – Tue Jul 2 20:04:57 2002

Thursday, July 4th
Happy Independence Day!
With news stories about heighten security measures, terrorist warnings and speculations I can’t help thinking back on to September 11th.

How many of us were drawn to write about the tragic event? Whole books have been published from poems and essays written about that day and its aftermath. There were many themes to choose from:
· Human tragedy
· Heroes
· Hate
· Religion
· Politics
· Survival
· Suicide
· Security
· Stereotypes and prejudices

Take time today to celebrate your country and its people.

Be safe.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, Mo USA – Wed Jul 3 16:45:18 2002

Friday, July 5th
Last year, over my fortieth birthday I took a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I set out not knowing anyone, but had a great time and made some neat friends. I like to tell that on my 40th I jumped off a bridge. I bungeed.
This year I took a trip over my birthday, to a writer’s conference in a small artist community in Mexico. Again, leaving the country on my birthday and spending it with complete strangers, which became friends. I’ve decided to make it annual trek to spend my birthday out of the country. I’m not sure if it needs to be with complete strangers each time. After all, I’d like to spend more time with my new friends from far away places.
During my brief, but enjoyable time in Todos Santos many a phrase said it had a poem in it. One phrase came from the instructions to the Bed & Breakfast. Received in numerous e-mails in all caps was “DON’T GO UP THE HILL”, it later became the title of a poem.
Another phrase I recently came across in my notebook was “calamari breath”. That line found it’s way into another poem.

I could use a few more phrases to stick in my head.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, Mo USA – Thu Jul 4 18:57:45 2002

Saturday, July 6th
Last night I had such a shock. I turned on a light switch on my way back to the bedroom. A heard a pop, and out from the light came a huge bug, down the wall and crawling across the carpet toward the bedroom. I grabbed a shoe and chased after it. I expected it to be a moth. As I got a closer look it was a roach! It had to be over two inches long. This is so gross. Super Bug ran under some clothes on the floor, I had to guess where it was as I slammed the shoe down on the clothes. I wasn’t successful and SB ran out and under the bed. I took everything out from under the bed. No bug. Now this is a large bug that you would notice where it goes. The cats were interested in what I was doing; I guess they thought it must be a mouse.
I couldn’t figure how a bug that size got in. I live on the third and top floor of a converted Model T factory with neighbors on one side and below. It’s not a dump, it’s a well maintained condo complex.
Tonight I went and got a gallon of bug killer. I came home and sprayed and sprayed. Done spraying and no sign of SB. Just as I was about to sit down to check my e-mail, Lucy, one of my two cats, was playing cat and mouse with SB. It ran under the footstool, Lucy stood guard while I ran back to the closet for the spray. Armed and ready I gave the footstool a quick roll to the side and chased the sucker across the carpet with the spray. It took several direct hits before succumbing. It rolled on its back still kicking; I stood at the ready. Finally it ceased breathing. Peace at last.

P.S. Lucy got a treat. Good girl!

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, Mo USA – Fri Jul 5 21:23:35 2002

Sunday, July 7, 2002
I spent last Sunday day going to estate sales, entering into the private places of complete strangers. I’ve always felt that our homes reveal a great deal about us. Often these estate sales are the result of a death, or the final move to a nursing home. I often see walkers, wheelchairs and other assisted living tools. It’s sad to see old family pictures for sale, no one left living know the people in the pictures. Is this when we are truly forgotten? I guess getting my poetry published is a small step toward immortality if someone 200 or more years from now would read it.

I imagine strangers coming into my home, emptying every closet and drawer and putting a price on each item, each memory and laying everything out on display. What conclusions would someone draw about me? What wouldn’t I want them to see? What doesn’t my place say about me that I would want known?
I think the picture one would gather about me would be only about half right. The movies I own may suggest my sense of humor, but you need to experience my wit; my home doesn’t show the time I spent volunteering or the money I’ve donated to various charities. It certainly doesn’t tell what kind of friend I am. (I think I’m honest and loyal). What about how I behave “on the job” or the books I’ve read, but are no longer on my shelves. I guess I have to revise my thinking about what someone’s home reveals about them or mine about me.

Every book, CD, trinket and gadget
My travel souvenirs, collected antiques
combine to make a swiss cheese image.
You see so much, but it tells so little.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Sat Jul 6 21:34:52 2002

Monday, July 8, 2002
I’ve always been a writer of short poems. At the writer’s conference a fellow poet suggested I try Haiku. 5-7-5 I have taken old poems – that I never was quite happy with and found I could capture them better in Haiku. I’ve developed what I call Urban Haiku, they don’t use an aspect of nature in them like traditional Haiku. The writers group says I’ve found my niche. I combine 5 or 6 Haiku together to form “Super Haiku”. Now I find myself having trouble writing anything else! ARG!

Maybe I’ll try to step up to Senryu’s 31 syllables from Haiku’s 17.

At the writer’s conference the teacher (after seeing 5 of my poems) told me to write a three-page poem. Not a comment on the quality of those poems. Well, I don’t think.
I actually have a three-page poem. It’s very raw, about a very emotional event. It’s been five years now and I’ve only just read it at my writers group. The event was my near death when my house was on fire and I passed out inside. When the fire persons carried me outside and laid me on the grass I wasn’t breathing. Prior to passing out I did fear that I wasn’t going to get in time.

Back to poetry, we get into patterns. I may never write a poem over 1 page again, unless I use huge margins! But it can be good to try new things. One challenge sent to me by a friend was a univolic, using only one vowel. That was a short poem!

So in poetry and life, try new things. Some you may like, others you’ll never do again.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Sun Jul 7 19:52:41 2002

Tuesday, July 9th, 2002

The airlines are already wondering if people are going to fly on September 11th. It may be the safest day to fly since before 9/11. When an airplane crashes the airline retires the flight number. In the news article an airline official commented that he wished they could remove September 11 from the calendar.

Why not, add a day to February or call September 11th 10B or 10 ½? If tall buildings can skip the 13th floor, we should be able to skip a day in September. If we move the day to February it would still be in the school year. Why not accommodate to our fears? But I get to keep my black cat, you don’t get to infringe your fears on me.

Changing the calendar would spur the economy like Y2K did. All computer date calculations would have to be modified. All the IT professionals that have been laid off would be hired back as consultants making big bucks. They’d go out and spend, so other companies would need to hire more people to make the items and sell the services. It can get the economy off its rear-end.

I say we do it!! Are you with me?

I wonder if we have a new phobia word for fear of September 11? So do I face my fears or try to ignore them? I’d have to say I’m a ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ kind of person for non-financial risks. I faced Super Bug head on, but I can’t quit my job, pick up, move to Mexico and hope to make enough to live on. Fear of failure.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Mon Jul 8 20:26:54 2002

Wednesday, July 10th

Tonight the Writers Under the Arch (WUTA) met at my place instead of the bookstore. Occasionally the store has an author in on Tuesday nights and offers us the café area. We prefer not to compete with the cappuccino machine’s loud whooshing, so I offer my loft.

We celebrated tonight our unofficial leader Cindy’s seven years of keeping this group on track. Tom and myself presented a plaque, signed by all. Champagne and sparkling grape juice were poured after everyone read. A poem about the group written by Fletcher happened to coincide with tonight’s celebration. And Scott offered his humorous ‘Office of the Curator of Obscure Documents CODpiece’ on ’The WUTA poetic form’. Often there is serendipity in the pieces that are read in a given week. Theresa read a poem about Tom. Michael celebrated a poem being accepted for publication, and based on a tradition I believe was started by Chris, brought candy to share. (Last week I brought candy to celebrate being accepted to write this poetlog.) Tonight I shared Tuesday’s entry which was poignant for John, in IT and laid off from the company I work for because of the poor economy.

I’ve been in this group for about 6 of the seven years. I found this group at a time that I needed the lifeline they offered. It is okay to be unipolar, bipolar or medicated. One week I commented that I almost didn’t come because I didn’t feel well. The question I was asked, “Physically or emotionally?” Jane channels Edgar A. Poe and writes stories to kill people off that have offended her in real life. This is a group of friends, talented, diverse and committed to improving, and helping fellow writers. Many of us socialize together; tonight John invited us to a pool party on Saturday. The group is important to me personally, beyond what they provide in feedback on my work.
The late hour and alcohol have stunted my flow of words. Honorable mentions to Amy, Dan, Jeffrey, and Robin.

Cindy – your impact on this group is immeasurable, and on me as well. Thank you so much for being you!
Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Tue Jul 9 22:08:26 2002

Thursday, July 11th
“It’s time to write the Poetlog”
“I already wrote the Poetlog.”
“No you didn’t that was yesterday”.

I’m not bored with it I am actually enjoying this. Some of the friends in the writers group did tell me they had stop by, NOT that they sent me any comments. I told the others that didn’t hear about the Poetlog last week. The only problem is it seems to keep me from writing poetry. I hope I work out my routine so that I have both. I do want to update my web site with some of my Haiku. I also want to change the name of one of the pages. I have ‘Mo Knows Po’try’, ‘As Seen By Reen’ and ‘Made by Maureen’ and then ‘Mo’s Home’. These are the names I’m known by. Now some friends have started calling me Maimmer, from the e-mail address. What sounds good with Maimmer? Sounds like one who maims. ‘Maimmer’s Claim to Fame’ Sounds too self-promoting. I like ‘Maimmer’s Game’.

So was today Non-Ordinary? Got up earlier than normal, went to work (usual), mostly normal, then home. Had a movie from Netflix waiting, so I watched The Brlycreem Boys. Based on actual events, during WWII Ireland wanted to remain neutral and they interned any German or Allied solider captured on Irish soil. In one camp they have both British and German soldiers. All I’m going to say is I enjoyed it, but then I like historical dramas about WWII, and it was set in Ireland, actually filmed on the Isle of Man. It had humorous moments as well. Not doing movie reviews here.

Guess the day was pretty Ordinary, but in a good way 🙂

FYI – Do to server problems the Writers Under the Arch website (linked from my web page) may not be available for a few days. Please try again.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Wed Jul 10 19:59:05 2002

Friday, July 12

Many years ago a Chicago Hope episode had a character die that left an ethical will for his daughter. I always liked the idea, and once started out doing one. I also started writing letters for friends and family members. It gets very emotional writing letters to these people. Then I get thinking I should be telling these people NOW how much they mean to me. Well, I never sent the letters. I’m not sure why, I think I was writing while depressed.
I was reminded of ethical wills recently when I saw something on the web, probably one of the super annoying pop-up windows. I went about searching for sites about ethical wills.

Why do I want to do one? When my nieces were young I wanted to give them words of wisdom besides any money I had then. Like preparing a regular will, it is facing the fact we are going to die. Most don’t seem to recognize this till at least 30. I had a friend who found a lump in his testicles right about the time he turned thirty. It was cancerous. I am only 6 months younger than him, I had never considered the Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance offered through our jobs. It turns out at that age we are more apt to have a serious accident, or disability than to die. I then enrolled in the LTD plan and remain so.

At 41, I’ve seen my friend survive his cancer, had a grade school friend murdered, known of people through work that have “dropped dead” and had my own near-death experience.
Understanding that any day could be the last should get me going on this task. My wisdom may not make the legendendary status of “wear sunscreen”, or the other one I heard about “I hope you dance” and give me immortality, but I still want to do it.

Some country singer made of song from some of the lines in that letter/speech about dancing. I would love to get a copy of the text. I guess I’ll go search the net.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Thu Jul 11 20:07:18 2002

Saturday July 13, 2002

You’re dying to know did I find the Hope You Dance speech. Well I found the lyrics to the Lee Ann Womak song. I thought it was a speech first, like maybe at a commencement.

The pool party got moved to my place so I have several of errands. I really miss being able to do flex time at work. I used to work 9 hours days and get a day off every other week. I used it to do most of my running around so that the weekends were mine. Since starting this project it hasn’t been possible. The Speech & Hearing Center is wondering about their mailing list and Access database. I used to go there on those days off.

So time to get off the internet and get going. Good excuse since I’m without any inspiration today.
Did spend some time thinking more about the ethical wills. One of the sites mentions including passing down stories to family members. We have our family tales, that come out at gatherings.

My biting my tongue in half, and subsequent stitches
My brother falling down the cold air return of the furnace as a baby.
Dad almost shooting my brother one night – thought he was a burglar.

I have my own stories too.
I was going on a vacation with a guy from my volleyball team. When I called to make the airline reservations they wanted his last name. I didn’t know it! Some first date. If it had worked out, it would have been a great story to tell the grandkids.

I wonder how many I have forgotten. Tomorrow I may elaborate on one of these.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Fri Jul 12 21:34:28 2002

Sunday, July 14, 2002

The surest way to get a response is to make a mistake. Thanks John for straightening me out on my Japanese poetry terms.

From John: “Senryu has the same number onji (sound symbols) as Haiku (5-7-5) except don’t deal with nature, instead poking fun at human behavior through satire….and in Japan, are anonymous. (most of my ‘haiku’ are actually closer to senryu).”

“Tanka have 31-syllbales, usually 5-7-5-7-7. Your “Super Haiku” may be closest to the “Choka” or Japanese Long Poem: 5-7-5-7-5-7-5-7-5……..7-7 (or there may be another Japanese form not mentioned in the glossary which is closer)”

John is a member of my writers group so he’s seen my Haiku. Example below.

Still Waters

Emotions run deep
Hidden under a thick skin
Cold to human touch.

Rumblings just below
Unseen, yet gaining strength
Held in tight restraints.

Damned up river
Holding back two years of pain
Ready to flood out.

Rain pelting, streaking
Windows mirror the teardrops
Racing down my face.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Sun Jul 14 10:09:36 2002

Monday, July 15, 2002
At my party we played 2 games. One really wasn’t a game but a get to know you type exercise I had done on a retreat. It was done as an icebreaker. Everyone writes down on a piece of paper, 2 truths and one lie about themselves. All the pieces of paper are thrown into a pile and one at a time one is read. The group tries to guess who it is. Once the person is identified, the group then tries to figure out which is the lie.
Obviously one can choose to reveal as little or as much as they are comfortable with.

Some examples:
I was on the debate team in High School
I was in Girl Scouts for 3 years
My first job was selling plants at parties like Tupperware
I have an irrational fear of sparks
I was diagnosed as retarded at age 2.
If was fun to see how well everyone knew each other, or didn’t. Then when we knew who it was some times we were wrong then on which was the lie. It’s a interesting way to learn things about people. If this was a group that had done to high school together and been friends for 10-12 years it would be a lot harder to play.
The other game is from a drinking game some played in college. It’s called ‘I Never’. You take turns saying I never statements. For instance, “I’ve never been to Canada”. If anyone has been to Canada they have to drink. So you learn about other people. You can make an I never statement and then drink yourself. The level of openness is not totally up to you, if you play it truthfully. Hopefully you’re among friends, and not your co-workers.
I’m forging deeper friendships with people I known for years. Hopefully, some of them enjoy my company enough that they’ll call to go out to lunch, or see a play or movie some time. And yes, I can call them too. I’m sure some of us have something other writing in common.

In regard to my being stuck in Haiku dilemma, at the party I was telling Tom about being stuck. I said the Haiku came so easily. He told me when you find something that works stick with it. So I will still write Haiku, and not fixate on trying to force myself back to another style. It will come when I am ready

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Mon Jul 15 19:23:12 2002

Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Today at work I had to enter information on a PC as it was appearing up on a screen. Group discussion on wording, continual changes along with the a/c frigid conditions of the room, and my normal fat fingering caused me to get a good deal of ribbing. Everyone was seeing my mistakes in real time. A bit unnerving for me as voices were sounding around the room as I desperately tried to filter out the pertinent details. I’m certainly not used to be on display that way. I survived, in good humor. The trick, not taking it personally. Some call it being thick skinned, that’s not how I see it. It was simply a way to break the monotony of a day long meeting covering a great deal of territory. I define thick skinned when it is personal, but not taking it personally, or not realizing it is personal.

Looking to learn from all human interactions.

Tonight was writers group. A new person was there so we all went around and introduced ourselves and told what we write. I’m Mo and I write poetry. Then Cindy added Super Haiku. I did have 2 poems, non-Haiku to read unfortunately my laptop decided to go into hibernation about 3 minutes before my turn. Save for next week. One is from my notebook at the writers workshop that I final put together. The other is a new one written at night in bed when I want to sleep, but my muse was to be heard.

I use to have that happen all the time. They usually come out 95-100% complete, little or no revisions are needed. The good and bad is that medication that helps me sleep knocks the muse out too. I get my sleep, just not as much inspiration.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Tue Jul 16 21:10:10 2002

Wednesday, July 17, 2002
I’ve got a poem without a title. Often someone, or myself will come to writers group with a poem lacking a title, or state that we aren’t happy with the title we have. Some times another person can give what seems like the perfect title. I feel a little like co-author when I can help someone out. I’ve been helped out a few times also. Okay never gave anyone a byline.

What should the title reflect? Should it hint at what the poem is about, or give it away straight out. Should it confuse? I’ve seen that. Sometimes I’ve used a line in the poem as the title. I don’t recall ever reading anything about titles other than longer titles seem to catch editor’s eyes. Maybe I should avoid one-word titles. I have many of them.

I’d like to have a discussion with other poets to get their thoughts. Even non-poets can join in.

My heart is a broken bottle washed up on shore
Left as litter
Rejected from the sea after being beaten down
What once was there is gone
Or never was.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Wed Jul 17 20:28:00 2002

Thursday, July 18, 2002
I’m sitting in the dark at work. The power went out in two of the five buildings in our complex. At first there were groans and oh-nos when all the PCs went down then heads bobbing up and voices rising.
Auxiliary lights are only in the halls by the elevators. Some folks are afraid to take the elevators on back up power. Not me. One person heads to the soda machine and then realizes they can’t get one. What do you take for granted?
In the corporate world we take our PCs, and e-mail. I did use the down time to make some phone calls. Management has told us we are expected to stay even though it is getting warm in here and it is too dark to even read. It’s been about 2 hours and the city says at least another hour before we have power. I’m not sure what they expect us to be doing. Writing poetry perhaps?

Things I take for granted:
My family’s love and support
My writer’s group is there every Tuesday
My paycheck, at least for now – personnel & culture changes make me not take long term employment for granted
The Internet and the USPS mail
In St. Louis, crazy weather, hot, humid, hazy – humizerable in the summer
My car starting every morning and getting me to work
A nice comfortable bed to sleep in at the night, air conditioning,
Hot water for the shower
Gas at the station when I go
Food on the grocery stores shelves

Certainly not that there are readers out there. Prove me wrong.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Thu Jul 18 19:10:35 2002

Friday, July 19, 2002
Some people are up to the challenge. I received a response from a reader channeling Edgar A. Poe.

Dearest lady,

I most heartily accept your challenge! Dare I utter beneath my breath (for the disclosure of details might well paint shock upon the face of an unwary passer-by) that I indeed WELCOME the opportunity to assure you of your audience and exchange repartee?

I dub the Poetlog a diversion of delightfully spontaneous meanderings of a decidedly thought provoking nature. Far more than merely palatable they be. I find that I am particularly fascinated by the notion of experimentation and deviation from one’s usual poetic style, although I must admit to an innate fear of Haiku! Persons may justifiably accuse me of the application of overly verbose use of language in the construction of my creative processes…*sigh*…. but what am I to do?

I am none other than myself, and to that end I stay the true course as I see it. I am and shall evermore remain…

Edgar A. Poe

Thank you Edgar. Maybe the rest are too shy to voice their views. I now know the universe isn’t as large as I once thought. I like that. That may work itself into a poem.

Last night I was reading some of Paul McCartney’s poetry from his book Blackbird Singing. Some are the song lyrics from the Beatles’ songs he wrote the rest is his poetry. Are song lyrics poetry? What is the different between poetry and song? I would love to have some of my words set to music. I guess because I love music so much and it seems such a powerful way to communicate/connect with people.

If Paul wasn’t famous would someone had publish this book of poetry? It’s a large book as far as poetry goes, over 170 pages, glossy, with 2 color ink on each page. Make your own opinion. Feel free to share it.

The universe isn’t as large as I once thought
Got to go write poetry!

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Fri Jul 19 19:35:23 2002

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Running a little late with my entry. Unexpected plans popped up, then home too tired and with a headache. All together a good day. Accomplished personal items and had a social evening. Short time in between engagements to do a Haiku. Here’s the start of a second one. Please finish it. If desired, it cold appear in a future entry with full credits.

Social creature loves
Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Sun Jul 21 11:29:09 2002

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Today I watched Terms of Endearment. Don’t know how many times I’ve seen the movie. I always cry. I used to fight back tears when watching a movie, even if I was alone. Why, if I was alone? Practice? Unable to admit to myself how emotionally vulnerable I was. Isn’t that what crying reveals? I don’t try to hold back when alone anymore. It’s harder than just letting the tears flow. Writers should be in touch with emotions, must be to write and impact the readers. Are writers more emotional than others? Is it part of what makes them writers?

Any progress on the Haiku?
One alternative 2nd line. Complete the haiku with this line or do the 2nd and 3rd yourself.

Social creature loves
People, humanity and

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Sun Jul 21 19:52:09 2002

Monday, July 22, 2002
Nobody offered an ending to the Haiku. Guess I have to reveal my version. I know what it was; you all wanted my version so much that everybody decided to not submit anything. I just may not give my complete Haiku. Gotcha!

Tomorrow is writers group. I don’t need to write anything new since I have what I didn’t get to read last week. I haven’t made time to write this week. I had many other things keeping me busy.
I spent some time with three writers. One brought up that she needed her “me time” and having a roommate was at times difficult. Another chimed in she also needed that time alone. I am one that needs a good deal of “me time”. I was surprise to hear others voice that need. I felt rather alone in that desire, and didn’t think others would understand. I know I can’t explain it to those that don’t have the need. I live alone so I have all the time I need. My time is needed for introspection. Those of us who need this “me time” most likely use it differently. I’d love to hear how others spend this time and how they view it.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Mon Jul 22 19:07:29 2002

Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Greetings! Last night I discovered a swelling/lump on my neck up by my ear. I don’t remember banging my head. The rational thinker in me says, give it a few days it will go away. The pessimist says, it’s some form of cancer going into my brain. Ah, the headache Saturday night, sleeping 12 hours Sunday, proof!
If this is the being of a terminal illness (of course, life is a terminal illness) do I want to know? Would I immediately only spend time on efforts that offered short-term returns. Can I quit work? Devote my time to indulging myself on all the vices. The diet would be the first to go. Saving money – forget it. Insurance will cover the medical expenses. Who will I want to spend time with? Will I write great poetry with my insights into death?
All these supposing are good grist for the poetry mill.

Jane at writers group celebrated a poem being published, and passed around chocolate. Every one talked of their lack of restraint. One said at work there is this “squirrel full of chocolate”.
I thought I heard wrong, when she explained a squirrel basket. I saved that line, stating it would become part of a poem. Stretching the poet’s muscle. Even it may never be worth anymore than sharing for a laugh at group.

Squirrel full of chocolate

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Tue Jul 23 20:36:54 2002

Wednesday, July 24, 2002
My time is winding down with just a week to go. I’ve been educated over this month I hope you have. I’ve stopped begging for e-mails. Maybe the July 2000 at the top makes you turn and run thinking this is OLD stuff here. No sweat.

I’ve been exploring this month my new form, haiku. I’ve wrote many in the last several weeks, sticking to the 5-7-5 model taught so many years ago. I’ve learned so much more since then. Haiku has become so popular that our local paper’s Arts and Entertainment section did a full page story on haiku and what else is labeled as haiku. They are currently seeking Haiku submissions about summer in St. Louis, keeping with the Japanese tradition of a reference to a season.

There’s no easy definition for haiku and I encourage anyone whom wants to take a stab at it do a little research about the elements that make it haiku and not what the Japanese called zappai. The proliferation of western “haiku” like spam haiku, sci-fi haiku and their ilk really are zappai and are not haiku, although they have brevity in common. Writing Zappai can be a good training. Haiku has formal or technical characteristics – the cutting word, season word, rules for the use of postpositional particles and specific verb endings.

Members of the writers group have told me I’ve inspired them to take a stab at haiku. That is rewarding, whether they just write a few zappai or continue on and begin writing haiku. The important issue is they tried something new. I applaud them.

I leave you today with a translation of Basho. If you don’t know who he is, go to the library or the Internet. I’m not going to do all your homework for you!

old pond…
a frog leaps in
water’s sound


Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Wed Jul 24 17:24:07 2002

Thursday, July 25, 2002
Ever have a premonition? I had an appointment today for right after work. As the day worn on I got the feeling I should call to verify nothing had come up. Something had. Saved myself a drive in rush hour traffic, only to be turned around and drive back.

Some friends are getting together to watch Big Brother tonight. I don’t go for those reality shows. I watched the survivor show only when it was in Australia, cause I had just been. Way I look at it, there’s enough human interaction all around us, and we just may not chose to relate with them. You get on the elevator, the clerk at the store, or the customer service representative on the phone.

If you don’t want to know their story, or how their day is going you can just write about it and make it up. Try on their life from a few minutes and look at life through their eyes. Did they have a fight with their spouse this morning? Were they up late the night before with a sick child? Maybe you’d see that a stranger making eye contact, smiling and saying “have a great day!” or “I like your blouse, tie, etc.” would brighten their day. It doesn’t hurt and you feel better too.

Boy, I never thought I’d write a rah-rah type entry. It just seems to come out when you start exploring. What am I discovering about myself??

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Thu Jul 25 16:53:51 2002

Friday, July 26, 2002
Are you frustrated and burned out? What are you going to do about it? Is there something you really want to achieve? What are you going to do about it? Have you just become aware of an incredible opportunity? What are you going to do about it?

What are you going to do — today, right this moment? What actions will you take to end your frustration, to achieve your dream, to take advantage of opportunity?

I’m looking into rock climbing to have fun and meet people while staying fit. I’ve started dieting, and exercising to lose weight. I’ve been submitting poems every month. That’s what I’m going to do about it.

What are you going to do about it?
You going to write that novel or talk about it? Are you going to submit those poems or just xitch about how hard it is to get published?

good luck!

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Fri Jul 26 16:53:26 2002

Saturday, July 27, 2002
I love weekends. Two-days to do what ever needs to be done, or just a whole lot of nothing. Some times I sleep late. A little later than normal today. Got up and did my exercising. Getting to be a habit. That is so good.

Did my grocery shopping for the first time as a healthy eater. Apples, peaches, bananas, strawberries and watermelons. So far I’ve lost 5 pounds. It’s a start. I know the rest of the pounds won’t come off as easily.

I met a friend last night and we talked for hours sitting outside. In St. Louis, late July it usually is too humid even in the evenings to sit comfortably outside. We had a good time sharing background stories. We shared poems.

I did write something with the line “Squirrel full of chocolate”.

A squirrel full of chocolate
Is bound to be ill

A life swallowing anger
Will yield the same.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Sat Jul 27 18:20:45 2002

Sunday, July 28, 2002
Facing another week. It’s a busy week scheduled both at work and personally. Would like to write some poetry to share at writer’s group Tuesday. All I have right now is the squirrel.

I did my 20 minutes on the Eclipse this morning while reading poetry. Mystery Bruise by Terry Wolverton. She’s the lady that lead the writers workshop I attended in January. She’s planning another a workshop this coming January for poetry. I’m anxious to attend.

One of the poems is a sestina. The sestina is a French form, and it is divided into 6 sestets (six line stanzas) and 1 triplet called an envoi which is just a concluding stanza that is half the size of the rest. It is usually unrhymed and works by repeating the end words of each line. The envoi contains, in any order, all of the six end-words. The catch is that one has to be buried in each line and another must be at the end of the line. The pattern for repeating the words is like this: (stanza A) 123456, (stanza B) 615243. This 615243 pattern is how each of the “next” stanzas are made.

Pretty strict conventions. I’ve never tried it before. 6 stanzas would be a stretch for me. I’ll consider the challenge. You sure have to pick those 6 words carefully! Good luck to anyone giving it a try.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Sun Jul 28 10:58:39 2002

Monday, July 29, 2002
Feedback! Now that I am posted on the website I’ve had two e-mails from non members of my writers group. I learned something new too.

Robert Gambogi informed me that the souls of frustrated poets often come back in the form of large cockroaches (this dates back to even before Kafka). Rather than drowning them in poisons he suggested I trap them in a wide mouth a jar and take them to the window and release them with the promise that they will write no more bad haiku.

Besides that Robert and I discovered we have Todos Santos in common. Even in cyberspace it’s a small world.

Have a great week.

Maureen Immer <>
st .louis , mo USA – Mon Jul 29 17:14:02 2002

Tuesday, July 30, 2002
What I don’t appreciate is submitting poems to a publication and then being put on the publicity e-mail list. Needed to vent.

Tomorrow I go hunting my roots in a small town in Illinois. My mother, her 2 sisters and me. An unusual trait of my maternal grandfather’s family is that they all seemed to use their middle name as their first. This can be confusing when trying to trace the family history back.

My maternal great-grandmother died when my grandfather was just 6, she was only about 29. She left 6 children, the youngest 6 months. There had been a terrible flu epidemic at the time. The death dates on her row at the cemetery are just days apart.
I’m Irish on that side of my family. The rest is mostly German with just a smidgen of French, Scottish, who knows what else. A true American mutt.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Tue Jul 30 20:05:40 2002

Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Endings. Today is my last poetlog. I encourage anyone thinking about tacking it to give it a try. Commit to a month, and explore. I’ve enjoyed the process and results. I feel good about myself for following through and attempting something new.

I had a wild day – wild isn’t the right word. Wacky, silly day with my aunts and mom. I don’t suppose I’ll ever tell them, but I enjoyed my day with them, trying to trace our family tree. We went to the tiny towns in Illinois, and to the graveyard where my Great-Great Grandfather is buried. He came over from Ireland.

Researching online this evening, I found a relative that lost is father, 2 days later his mother and three days later his wife. All died of pneumonia. Life was harder then, maybe simpler, but harder.

Take care. Good luck. Thanks for listening.

Maureen Immer <>
St. Louis, mo USA – Wed Jul 31 18:45:26 2002

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