I now have one regular patron who sends a monthly contribution to keep this poet alive. Yes, per usual, I'm a poor poet...and for some reason I'm a poor poet in its many meanings...but someone like my patron loves my work. If you become a sustaining patron I can guarantee you'll see writing from me on a regular basis. I do edit my mad. But I don't always hit it out of the park. At least my patrons have a chance to select from all my work...and they become the editors rather than the small-minded who often edit magazines and journals. Poet James Wright,one of his last books, held by two editors for the longest time that his wife Anne took to another publisher who snapped it up and it became a huge success. Now I don't have people like Robert Bly, Don Hall, or their equals I can send my poems to for a review before I put them on the internet or send to any publisher. I believe in opening up my "horde" for the world to critique or love. And it's expensive to send out my work, getting only rejection, so it's money I don't have for food, or the electric bill. Please send what you can via my email: via Paypal. I thank those who support me one way or another.


Thank you to those who have contributed via Paypal to support my writing. My account at Paypal is the same as my email: rikwrybac(at)

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Ghost in the Screen

The Ghost in the Screen

(for Randall Jarrell, Richard Hugo, Sharat Chandra, Rainer Maria

Rilke, David Wagoner, and Mike Forette)

Every time I see that ghost movie with Dan Akroyd
he talks of Camp Waconda where he went as a kid,
and I know the real Waconda Orchards where
Chicago kids came Northwest to pick apples in the fall,
where there were a few campfires and no overnights,
as far as I knew, but what did I know,
I just went there south and west of Waukegan
to pick up checks and copy for radio stations
to feed my kids 9 hours away in another life.

And the campfire burns tonight in my memory
of Ghost Canyon Ranch and the Engbergs
of Hermosa, ghosts again and real as you and me
sitting on logs singing songs in the dark,
waiting for the flashlight wars and stalking
through the breaks in rock called The Catruns.
I'm buying candy in the afternoon
after a long ride on a horse named Betsy.
When, by accident, her salty sweat touches my lips.

And tonight the new campfire burns smokeless
where I read poems to my mother as we sat warm
and covered with blankets searching the universe
for memories on a glowing screen
typing the names of remembered friends
searching for some word from the past
that would remind us of this moment we have had,
again watching the stars fall to earth like one November,
speaking in the poets voice a few words for our sponsors.

Clearly we see these words as I speak them loudly
across the years between my mother and me
and she asks if I wrote them and I would repeat
what old Hugo said to me in a youth-filled workshop:
“Every great poem is one you wrote anyway,”,
but if I told her yes I wouldn't be telling the truth,
and if I said no I didn't, I'd be lying.
And so goes Rilke's Buddha skipping across
the campfire now at the tips of my fingers.

Copyright © 2010 by Barry G. Wick