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Selected Poems of Steven Curtis Lance

Displaying Poems 2451 thru 2475 of 2853 Poems

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Jun 25, 2005, 9:35 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1404:
Saturday Sad Smile

My young friends speak of battle
Of warfare of the spirit
I see they are not cattle
And so I smile to hear it

Armed only with my wounds though
The passion of poetry
They know well I do not know
And that is enough for me

I have embraced this and that
Through the years and through the tears
Now I just embrace my cat
With a sad smile face my fears

Only poetry and pain
As the world turns round again

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 25, 2005, 4:10 am

Friends and fellow poets:

Some of you have questions about publishing your work, and I would like to share a little of my own experience with on-demand publishing with you in the hope that it might help you as you explore your options. This is something which has worked for me and for others of us here in our BrainMeta poetry community.

Over many years I have published a lot of music with traditional publishers, both in choral octavo form and gathered into books; I got to be an expert at the traditional music publishing business over the years.

I was working with a small music publisher with which I enjoyed a very close relationship, and we had the idea to do a book just of my poetry as a thing-in-itself, just the words as it were with no music. I had done original texts for my choral motets over the years, and I have always written poetry, so this seemed like a good idea.

Well, the music publisher was an elderly lady who was very, very conservative, and she began to take offense at certain of my poems! She became uneasy about the project, which had been for a book of one hundred poems called Existential Hot Dogs. My sense of humor got a bit past her, and some of it she thought might be at her expense. To make a long story short, she decided to bail out, leaving the book project high and dry.

By now the poems were really piling up, too; in addition to well over the originally agreed-upon hundred, I was well into my series of Transcendental Sonnets. I have 1403 of those so far, but it was the twenty-first one which really made her mad somehow. In any case, she didn't get my jokes.

I was really depressed. I had taken care of first my mother and then my grandmother as they sickened and died, and then when Grandma died I had a two-year legal nightmare with this crazy uncle who tried to steal my inheritance. He got away with everything but the house, and for that I had to fight four lawsuits and win them, which I did. But I was really drained and disappointed to lose the support of my publisher.

I was with Silke at the time, and she undertook to try to find me a publisher in Europe. She was sick, but did her best, and our friend Sander Maltelid shopped the book all over Sweden. He was getting very close, but then, tragically, died under terrible circumstances. He was one of our original forum members here.

So now it looked hopeless. I looked into options in new technology, in "on-demand publishing," or POD. I did a web search and found Lulu.com, one of many such companies which manufacture books on demand, which is to say that the book is printed after the order is received, made to order. This service is free, and the author becomes, actually, the publisher, keeping most of the profits, just as publishers have always done!

But you really have to be techno-savvy, which I am not, and my first attempt to gather all my poems together and upload them to Lulu to create a book had some problems. I found the computer-formatting which the process requires to be really hard, at least for me. Many people find this to be the case, so Lulu connected me with an editing company and an editor who solved my problem and made that first book turn out really nicely in the end.

While the publishing process is free and open, as a happy and tangible result and benefit of the digital revolution, one has to pay for an ISBN number and distribution. But the fees are relatively not that large; about two hundred dollars gets your book out there all over the world on the Internet, on the Amazons, Barnes and Noble, Blackwell's, and so on. Editorial services are more expensive. My fifth book, which should be ready by Tuesday, cost me about five hundred for the formatting and uploading, including the creation of the covers, table of contents and other "front matter," all the things which make a book a book. Lulu--and there are a number of other companies as well--can recommend great providers of editorial services, who will handle all the details of the publishing process.

I am doing my fifth book right now, and others here on BrainMeta have done books through Lulu as well, including Hey Hey, Kevin (Windowmaker), and Megan (Rosediamond), among several of us. I guess I was the Guinea pig! But it turned out well, and others have had good results as well.

I would recommend you do a web search of on-demand publishers. I know Lulu works for me; I am not personally familiar with the others, but there are several.



Poet in Residence

Jun 24, 2005, 10:22 pm

Lonesome Train

Lost and faraway lonesome train
I love to listen to your song
When I hear you I dream again
Of one I knew but do not know
The one I lost the one I long
To see who is but cannot be
Of whom the memory burns strong
I feel like you sing just for me
A distant echo of my pain
We may be lost but we are free
To weep together lonesome train

I never knew but I know now
That she is just like me tonight
I hear you through the clear moonlight
And I can hear her sing somehow
You may be lost but I have found
Her voice again within the sound
Of your song as you sing I see
Her face again within the moon
I know we are together still
And always will come very soon
I love her and I always will

When I hear you I dream again
Lost and faraway lonesome train

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 24, 2005, 2:20 pm

How You Haunt

I wonder if you ever
Think of me
Do you think it was never
Meant to be?

We called it fate
But that was before
Love felt like hate
When we were no more

Then love blew away
On the wind
Of a bitter day
At the end

Now I want
To kiss you and say
I will never forget
How you haunt

I miss you today
Do you ever regret?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 24, 2005, 10:15 am


Who was she
Who was I
Who were we?

Why Why Why?

What does it mean
What was what was
What might have been?

I wonder because
I cannot forget
If ever not yet

I am sure she has forgotten
All about me now

No doubt

Lesser me the misbegotten
I must live somehow


+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 23, 2005, 12:11 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1403:

It would now appear that I cannot stay
Suicidal for much more than a day

The waters of my life get really rough
But when I wind up sinking far enough
To hit the bottom I bounce up again
Absurdity through buoyancy takes pain
Away a day or so into the gloom
And I laugh alone in a lonely room

But better lonely room than lonely tomb
From lonely womb through fifty lonely years
Absurdity has wept away my tears
Has kept me afloat somehow until now
And I never could have stood it unless
It all had not been so ridiculous

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 23, 2005, 7:44 am


I went through a phase
In my younger days
Of saying outrageous things to see
What those more mature would think of me

They never thought much
But then it was such
An unoriginal device
They never needed to think twice

Just some kid trying to be shocking
They sighed as I thought I was rocking
Their world with my originality

But I was just another bore to be
Dismissed with a sigh
I never knew why

Until kids started doing this to me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 22, 2005, 11:20 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1402:

Once I was believed to be anointed
To do important things before I die
Then I was fifty and disappointed

A failure who could only speculate
Somehow I knew I would never know why
This is that special cruelty of fate
Causing us to wonder as we blunder
Searching for some answer as the cancer
Eats away today and then tomorrow
Is our last and still there is no answer
Which is because there simply never was

So what is left of me? This poetry
Thousands of poems which I leave to you
Debris of a dream which never came true

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 10:05 pm


Tasting sweet apples in my mouth
Inhaling roses from the south
While summer wind plays in my hair
No far no near but only here
No fair no unfair and no there
No up above no down below
No past no future and no fear

This is it this is all I know
More than enough for me in which
To be complete and to be rich
Call me a bastard or a b*tch
Call me whatever you want to
But your hollow heart will haunt you

Jasmine tea is enough for me
My jasmine blossoms bloom at night
In my backyard by full moon light
Open your eyes and you might see
Open your heart and you might feel
This is it this is what is real

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 6:00 pm

The Moon and Me

I have followed the moon from night to night
Have tracked her sky to sky from near to far

Like me she is a fugitive in flight
Choosing to stay where the mysteries are
By cover of darkness soft and sable
The moon and I have always been able
To do what we please and bring to their knees
The arrogant who think they know better

And we two utterly confound them by
Moonbeam and letter breaking the fetter
Of ignorance and narrowmindedness
Which they would use against the moon and I
Could never understand their ways unless
These fools imagine they can bind the sky

Well they cannot and they forgot that we
Are pretty slippery the moon and me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 7:42 am

Summer Solstice Song

The longest of seasons
The season of the sun
For so many reasons

The best

And now it has begun
Not a moment too soon
Both bright sun and full moon


Longest day shortest night
The season of the light
By which now everyone

Is blessed

Summer! Come shine on me
Whether bright moon I see
Or blazing sun that we
All of us now may be


+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 21, 2005, 2:43 am

One of Those Little Surprises

A stalagmite in my freezer rises
Formed drip by drop up from the frozen floor
This is one of those little surprises
Which lacking a cogent why and wherefore
Can only make us ask and speculate
As to what it might mean as it is seen
Growing daily as relentless as fate
Inscrutable and cold and crystalline

Today it is beginning to prevent
My access to the coffee can behind
It seems so serious and so intent
Upon its growth as if possessed of mind
I touch it with respect in greeting when
I visit as intruder to its lair
Have tea instead and leave the coffee then
I know not what it means: but it is there

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 20, 2005, 8:35 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1401:
Faraway Friend

Faraway friend there is nothing we lack
Nothing divides us not distance nor place
Time-travelers you forward and I back
Both east and west and up and down with grace

Two souls who understand themselves are free
To navigate transcending time and space
To understand each other and to be
Together whether noon white new moon black
Or any of the shades of blue between

No matter how we soar we cannot fall
And only we who know know what we mean
We rise and set together with the sun
And with the moon we wax and wane as one

My friend you are not faraway at all!

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 19, 2005, 7:58 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1400:
Speaking Silence

So there we stood face to face
Not future nor past at last
At the same time and same place
And speaking silence followed
Louder than a startled shout
A pregnant pause which swallowed
Whatever remained of doubt

So there we go at least we know
A thing or two of me and you
We both did our best on the test
At least we went on with the show
And until then we never knew
So there we stood and there we go
Late-season blossoms red and blue

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 18, 2005, 10:53 pm

Mortality and I Agree

Time wakes me as gravity shakes me
I get older with each passing day
And I might as well just accept it
It is either that or pass away

And should I presume to reject it
Then I would see it rejecting me
To be so bold as to not get old
But never to get ahead as dead
Time will never stop until I drop
Will not wait no matter what I say

So I say go ahead bring on these days
As well as everything this lengthening
Of days brings I accept it let it be
But do not choose to lose my childish ways
An old-souled child whose curiosity
Makes me go with the flow where it takes me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 18, 2005, 11:19 am

Some of My Hair Will Still Be There

Some of my hair is no longer there
Not completely missing from one place
Just a little bit from everywhere
Plenty left with which to frame my face
And I will never lose any more
Thanks to my doctor and the drugstore
Finasteride not suicide for me

I mean to live well and all I can
I must age but would do it gracefully
A kind and thoughtful old gentleman
Meaning well avoiding hell and sin
Living according to long-term plan
Having given up cigars and gin
The horse races and gambling places
Never allowing the house to win

Last night some stranger or another
Mistook my young friend for my brother
I see better living through chemistry
And a vegetarian diet
My life is successful if quiet
I might live to see a hundred maybe
And some of my hair will still be there

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 18, 2005, 8:20 am

Bumblebees and Butterflies

Bumblebees and butterflies
Bumble and flutter by me
Each morning to greet the sunrise
And they never deny me
Their bumble-fly company here
In the late spring of the year

Still after summer's dawn when spring has gone
It is not very hard in my backyard
To see life bumbling and fluttering on
No matter what goes on with humankind
Through greed and folly cruelty and war
Bumblebees and butterflies pay no mind

The lower we sink the higher they soar
Their actions speak more than our words can say
In my eyes bumblebees and butterflies
Could teach humankind to live better someday
Reminding us not to leave balance behind
In the fall as we all bumble-fly away

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 16, 2005, 11:32 pm

Transcendental Sonnet #1399:
An Honest Gift of Love

My new book is black with a picture of me
On the front and the back in the middle
The letters of the title shine in gold
With my name in foil as the fruit of my toil

The design is suggestive of riddle
And of the secrets those black covers hold
For adventurers whose curiosity
Would lead them astray from the commonday bland
To enigmas of my heart drawn by my hand

I would give everyone my book if I could
Hoping that somehow I might be understood
Something new for the few for those with a true
Heart open hand open mind to understand
An honest gift of love from me to you

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 15, 2005, 9:20 pm

Dancing Monkey

Once I was told the world was waiting for me
I think it has given up and gone away
Now none adore me and many abhor me
They accept my calls but expect me to pay
And you might agree it would all seem to be
A ridiculous joke in rather poor taste

Whoever is in charge must find me funny
A wanderer walking through a world of waste
Rooting through the rubble looking for money
And able to find less than nothing at all
Neither funny nor money but meaningless
Humpty Dumpty should confess and take the fall

Some cosmic idea of a prank I guess

Evolution or creation
These cruel clever strings I cannot see
Which control this situation
Have made a dancing monkey out of me

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 14, 2005, 9:31 pm

For Donna and For Scott

to speak the unspeakable
to bear witness for the dead

If I kill myself am I a murderer?
Is it as bad as killing another?
What of interrupted ones who never were?
I have lost a half-sister and half-brother
She to suicide and he to criminal neglect
Is it any wonder then that I do not respect
The father we three share?

I am the last and least

In the belly of the beast
There I have spent my life where
Although unbearable
However terrible it is for me
For Donna and for Scott
It is no more for they are not
To be for them was not to be

I honor you my siblings though unknown
The last and least and lost is left alone

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 14, 2005, 9:30 am

The Restless Moon

The moon was up early in my backyard
Before the sun went down I saw it shine
Out of its element bone-white and scarred
Standing stark against the startled skyline
Having intruded into afternoon
As if off-course and having come too soon

Yet now that it is night I cannot see
It anywhere and it has gone away
Elusive reclusive as if to play
A game of cat and mouse the moon and me

The two of us appear and disappear
A characteristic both of us share
As when the moon looks down I am not here
And when I look back up it is not there

But it was there this afternoon and I
Might catch it on the other side and soon
When next I look up it might happen by
My fellow wanderer the restless moon
Whose absence I can feel the loss the lack
Moon if you see these words of mine: come back

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 13, 2005, 7:31 pm

Remember Me Today

I take delight in a change of season
Especially from colder to warmer
A protracted dawn which gives me reason
To greet the latter forget the former
To hope for the best and forgive the rest
Now generally expecting to see
My future prospects match the mercury
Rising under clear blue skies together
Life imitating the artful weather
Which clears away the spring's uncertain haze

The bright sun somehow makes me feel secure
Brings a certain certainty to my gaze
The answers to my questions seem more sure
I think things might turn out right after all
Until the end of summer when the fall
Returns and turns to winter and will pass
Beneath first leaves then snow this barefoot grass
Before the winter bears us all away
I grasp the golden promise of the sun
And when fall chills this summer now begun

When winter kills remember me today

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 13, 2005, 3:10 am

Transcendental Sonnet #1398:
Sunday Sundown

My doctor sent me a poem today
The first of his he has ever shown me
And my lawyer carried me far away
Back to the Vietnam of memory

My neighbors would gladly give me a ride
To an honest mechanic I know of
Should Grandpa's '65 Chrysler decide
Not to start and need to be shown some love

When I come home my cat is waiting here
For me where I can see that I belong
My sense of place is well-defined and clear
And my identity has been forged strong

Here in this place where I was meant to be
My origin my home my destiny

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 12, 2005, 6:14 pm

Going Public: Too Sensitive?

My friends all say I am too sensitive
Unkind ones get to me too easily
If there is anyone under the sun
More fragile than me I have yet to see
One and in give and take I am all give
How is it then that in the cosmic plan
Someone like me ends up a public man?

As others scrutinize and criticize
I agonize but then I realize
This is my lot in life it is my fate
To be an open book for all to read
And if you do then I appreciate
It and I hope we meet each other's need


Despite my sensitivity I still write quite a lot
I maximize what little I am given or have got

And now

In predicting my obituary I can be specific
I am sure someday someone someway will use the word "prolific"

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV

Jun 12, 2005, 5:08 am


The street is full of potholes
I suddenly realize
An emotional shakedown
The fence is full of knotholes
All suddenly filled with eyes
Another nervous breakdown
In the making

I can feel the memories
In the shaking
Of my hands at times like these
In the breaking
Of these icicles tinkling
At my bleeding feet
As frozen tears are sprinkling
Down the snaking street

I fall into a pothole
And I disappear
You watch me through a knothole
Far away from here
The stars are falling
I am too
And I am calling
Calling you

Does it matter
If I shatter?

+Steven Curtis Lance

Copyright MMV


Displaying Poems 2451 thru 2475 of 2853 Poems

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