Archive for February, 2009

new poem — Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa
by Job Conger
written 6:45 pm, Thursday, February 26, 2009

I promised poetry,
a ballyhooed obligation
to myself and friends:
twice a week for the joy of it.
I believe the new poem
written in the forest
that nobody else reads and nobody else hears
is not a poem.

Silly to imagine it is, isn’t it?
When it is not quite a poem,
it is your appendix,
a minor accessory to
life in the flaccid lane and
as Webster’s 10th Collegiate might say,
it is “deficient in turgor.”

I approach the opportunity
as I approach the dawn,
the tabula rasa of my day::
committed, embracing time to deposit
the wisdom I massage from my soul
to fertilize the ovum of immortality
with the passion of my words.

— When Conger put away the Wild Turkey and “Gallo” to write two poems Thursday, the first words caught in the sieve of his focus were “tabula rasa.” What follows “tabula rasa?” — cerebrum rasa? The process of creative writing fascinates him. What makes one see a facing portraits of Bullwinkle and another recognize opposing cliffs overlooking  valleys in a Rohrschach Test? People carry astoundingly different glasses into the gallery of the mind, and what people recognize in that gallery guides what words they select for a new poem.  Conger has come, in the past two months, to prefer writing two poems at a time when the clock allows. Poem one warms the creative acuity and number two seems to be the better poem. When he bowled — 30 years ago; great fun — his second game of three was usually his best. After number 2, the fatigue worked against him. So it is with poetry. It’s too tempting to copy or emulate a point or the vocabulary evident in numbers one and two. That’s what his Poetry Ideas file is for. He always has time to write down his ideas, at the computer and beyond. From such nuclei/acorns, sometimes,  mighty oak trees grow . . . . (He can tell you’re leaping ahead, and if you are, you’re probably right.) . . . . .  and sometimes, mighty poems as well!

Live long . . . . . and proper.


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Those who are really committed to the presence at the corner of Sixth at Monroe are seldom compromised by weather. The effort, registered with the City of Springfield, has been going on for years. Though Job Conger did attend the big first Vigil For Peace rally several years ago (when the war was young) in front of the Lincoln Statue and Illinois State Capitol Building and stood occasionally more than a year ago with those gathered at 6th & Cap, he has gladly stood with his friends almost every week since the start of 2009. Last Saturday he did not attend. The wind was too cold and fierce — almost angry — last Saturday, and he wimped out. He felt just a mite guilty until he returned February 28 to stand with them again. They assured him he shouldn’t feel bad. The regulars had stood for just a half an hour in that vicious blow before surrendering to the call of the warmth. This Saturday, it was cold but now so quite as the week before.

Conger was the only one of six who stood sans gloves and hat or cap. His lamented lack of foresight worked for him, steeled his resolve, his believe in the cause.

(Do you know the difference between a hat and a cap? Not a big deal, and if you don’t believe it, ask the next person you encounter wearing a cap. Conger would wager fewer cap wearers know the difference than wearers of hats, but it’s okay to the blogman either way.)

People driving by were friendly: smiling kids in back seats waved as cars turned corners, and waves were returned with smiles. Several drivers honked horns, more than usual.  More passing by on foot actually spoke with encouraging words, and a passenger in a shiny pickup truck shouted a complimentary epithet at 35 miles an hour east bound.  At least it could have been a complimentary epithet. No one can say for sure. He gets the benefit of the doubt. One person — I’ll call her Joyce because that was her first name — had not stood with us since December. She had limited time and was off and running after standing about 20 minutes, but they were good minutes. She even bought a copy of  Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing, for a friend. Readers of this blog might suggest Conger stands for peace only as long as he can sell his book. He responds by inviting those who feel this way to come stand with them for an hour next Saturday at the corner of Sixth at Monroe. Selling books is not why he stands regularly with the Vigil For Peace.

He stands with them because it feels so good when he stops.

Live long . . . . . and proper

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Job Conger was delighted to pick up the phone Thursday morning and encounter Andrea from Springfield Airport Authority on the other end of the line. She called to invite him to a news conference slated for 2:30 that afternoon. Though he could not attend, he promised to share the good news by posting their news release which follows, slightly edited, at his blog.



SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport announced new nonstop, flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina beginning on May 21, 2009 on low-fare carrier, Direct Air. Executive Director Mark Hanna and Direct Air President Ed Warneck, made the announcement of the twice-weekly schedule to America’s “premiere beach and golf destination.”

“We are extremely pleased that Direct Air will begin service here,” said Frank Vala, Airport Authority Board Chair. “They obviously saw that the central Illinois market was underserved for their type of program and felt Springfield was the ideal airport to begin service.”

In announcing the initiation of service in Springfield, Mr. Warneck announced anintroductory low-fare to encourage advance bookings. “To celebrate the opening of our Springfield service Direct Air is offering a special $79 for 79 hours fare sale each way,” said Warneck. Seats are now available to book on line at http://www.visitdirectair.com or by calling 1-877-432-DIRECT (877-432-3473) “Springfield was an obvious choice for us due to its convenient location to many other population centers in central Illinois,” continued Warneck. “We anticipate serving golfers and families from all over the area who are looking for an inexpensive flight to a great beach vacation spot and to the hundreds of premier golf courses offered by the Myrtle Beach area.”

Warneck went on to say, “Direct Air is giving Springfield and surrounding areas more vacation options. We have positioned ourselves as the carrier of choice for non-stop flights and low fares to Myrtle Beach and Florida. If our non-stop flights and low fares to Myrtle Beach remain popular, we would like to continue service throughout the fall and turn direction for a winter schedule to Southwest Florida beginning around Thanksgiving. We believe that Springfield will be very receptive to our service and the popular beach and golf sea-side destinations we choose.”

Direct Air’s service features a Douglas DC-9 105-seat aircraft, which will depart Springfield (SPI) each Thursday and Sunday night at 7:00 p.m., arriving in Myrtle Beach at 9:45 p.m. local time. Flights will leave Myrtle Beach on Thursday and Sunday at 5:30 p.m., arriving in Springfield at 6:16 p.m. The non-stop flights are estimated to be less than 120 minutes, gate-to-gate. Direct Air flights are operated by Virgin America and USA Jet. Direct Air is a privately owned carrier providing public charter air flights, and offering all-inclusive vacation, golf, and entertainment packages. The company began operations in March 2007 and is headquartered in Myrtle Beach, SC. In addition to the added service to Springfield, Illinois, Direct Air also provides non-stop service from Myrtle Beach to Niagara Falls, New York City (Newark), Pittsburgh, Montreal (Plattsburgh), Allentown, Kalamazoo, Worcester, Toledo, Chicago (Rockford), and Ft. Myers (Punta Gorda). Also non-stop flights to Punta Gorda (Ft. Myers area) from Worcester, Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Toledo, Plattsburgh, Myrtle Beach, Rockford and Niagara Falls, or to Orlando-Sanford from Kalamazoo and Worcester.

The Center is capable of handling as many as 20,000 incoming calls per day and supports as many as 100 Reservation/Sales agents on-line simultaneously. Direct Air can be contacted directly by calling 877-432-DIRECT (3473) or on-line at http://www.visitdirectair.com. In addition the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport’s Passenger Service Center can book tickets for passengers on Direct Air, and no service fee is involved. The Passenger Service Center can be contacted directly at 217-788-9200 or at http://www.flyspi.com.

Though not a golfer, Conger is an aviation advocate. He considers Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport to be the best-kept, best looking airport he has seen since Mayor Richard Dailey bludgeoned Meigs Field to death, and encourages everyone reading this posting to visit the outstanding facilities there. It’s a great place to learn how to fly, to fly from to distant destinations and to recommend to distant friends and kin considering visiting Illinois’ capital city.

Live long . . . . . . and proper.

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A Good Day for Fog
by Job Conger
written 7:10 pm Thursday, February 26, 2009

As I stand on my front porch at 6 am
the world looks like the opening scene
in a B-movie horror flick:
fog bound!
inviting a near-by anonymous scream
to get some real crazy action going
but muffling even the promises
of the rising sun.

Gently closing the door,
savoring the gray embrace beyond my walls,
stepping softly to the kitchen
fog bound!
brewing the coffee communion
dedicating my life anew
to the quest for sense to it all
as though it matters I should try.

Spare me the morbid details,
of others’ deficiencies, radio news reader. I am
full ofthem! I would rather be
fog bound!
typing notes to Facebook phantoms,
embraced by translucence’s passing reprieve
from clarity and persistent obligations
safe from sun and certainty.

— Conger turned off the radio at 5:30 last night knowing only he was going to write two poems but without a note, without even a vague idea what they would be about. This is the second produced. The first, entitled Tabula Rasa will be posted at his poetry web site by noon Friday.

Write well . . . . and properly

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From Anita Stienstra came the news last night that the organization known for years in Springfield as Poets & Writers Literary Forum (almost no one bothered including “of Springfield, Illinois” which would have distinguished it from the national Poets & Writers publication) is no more. Members of that group met recently at the campus of University of Illinois at Springfield to determine whether or not to revive it under that name or to establish a new organization with a new name, maintaining the focus of the group launched about 1992 by Robert Bartel and a founding board of directors. Through Anita’s excellent coordination and motivation of former P&WLF members still interested, participants in the process voted to launch a new organization: Springfield Poets and Writers.

Members of the new incarnation will host a reading at Lincoln Library, Seventh at Capital in March. Details will be shared here. Other details, including production of promotional materials and the sale of P&WLF’s surplus copies of its periodical anthology Prism (initially entitled Prism Galliard) are in process.

Progress will be reported here at Honey & Quinine and no doubt at a new web site or Facebook page as wheels begin to roll. In the meantime, Springfield Poets and Writers seeks a venue where readings can be held. Preferred is a venue with alcohol for sale, a private room where food could also be purchased. Events will be open to the public. No dues needed to participate. If you would like to suggest a place, respond by stating an establishment’s name and address in the comments which follow this post.

Live long . . . . and proper.

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Mon Bon Mardi Gras

each in hs own words, each in his own way

each in his own words, each in his own way

I didn’t know I was going to be celebrating the big day until I was halfway down the paper towel aisle at Sh op’N’Save.

What do you think, editors? Good lede?

In the past, the Springfield Chapter, Illinois Pilots Association Newsletter has arrived at Job Conger’s door the day before the monthly meeting. Now that he’s the editor and he’s doubled the size and content, it will arrive at members’ doors five days earlier. It’s not a big deal beyond the personal pride factor that the organization has entrusted the work to him. In return, he will fly more through their courteous accommodation. This means a lot to him. Since the final Springfield Air Rendezvous, he’s flown only once, and he misses it. Since Conger opted out of Vinegar Attitude — make that Vinegar Hill Neighborhood management this year, he’s glad to keep a hand in the newsletter  action, producing a newsletter for a good cause and having some good times with some fine hummin’ beans.

Capitol Blueprint — which has printed every newsletter and almost every book he has produced in 15 years — is doing this one as well. Good habits are hard to break. After delivering the Capital Crosswinds to them, he headed for the lyrical downtown post office to mail a few things. That’s were Job encountered Pamela.

She caught his attention, when she approached and said, “Are you the Simon Legree reciter from the museum’s Collectors’ Day?” Long story short, he was. She remembered him from a serendipitous encounter not long ago when he was displaying old model airplane kits. Pam and he had struck up a conversation, started talking about Springfield native son, Conger’s other favorite poet, Vachel Lindsay. There at a table full of historical curiosities, Conger extolled Vachel’s life and poetry and urged her to find a way to host a presentation of Vachel Lindsay: The Poet Speaks. After he recited one of his favorite Vachel poems, Simon Legree and the two were joined by seven or eight other curious people who seemed to enjoy the poetry impromptu, Pam had admitted she knew no one who could recite a Vachel poem off the top of his or her head. Trouble is, we should ALL know people who can recite at least one Vachel Lindsay poem, not this the model kit collector guy, and it’s a shame we do not. Conger gave Pam his Vachel Lindsay: The Poet Speaks card again, and she vowed she would call him. The promise was repeated near the end of today’s happy chat. Conger told Pam he was delighted to have met her again, and she had just guaranteed herself a place in today’s Honey & Quinine.

Conger was out of Peter Pan crunchy peanut butter and Bunny whole wheat bread. Solution: Shop’N’Save. When he discovered Bunny honey wheat on spacial (as wearers of baseball caps like to say), for $1.89 against $2.59 for their superb whole wh’, the capricious Cong-meister compermised (as farmer presidents like to say), but his higher angels prevailed during the rest of the leisurely sashay down the canyons of shevs (as former Channel 20 News Anchor Don Hickman might have said.). (Great guy, DH BTW. Only news anchor to have visited AeroKnow.).

Did you know there is a whole side of an entire aisle of the North Grand S’N’S devoted ENTIRELY TO TOILET PAPER? He suspects that’s fewer linear feet than during the last presidential administration, given the happy new circumstance that generates less of the primary target substance hitting the fan lately.

Conger needed paper towels, and when he saw the package pictured above, he stopped looking. He was so impressed, he bought the entire package and took a picture of it soon after returning home.

May the joys of this day bless you and yours as it has blessed the contented blogmon and his.

Live long and con mucho gusto!

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My friend TC shared the news about Springfield Mardi Gras, a not-for-profit corporation, civic and social “entity” whose purpose is to organize an annual Mardi Gras celebration in and for Springfield, Illinois www.springfieldmardigras.org .

TONIGHT (Monday) they host a Lundi Gras Costume Party with New Orleans-style buffet, a costume contest, music by the Jambalaya Jam Band, and a coronation of this year’s King of Mardi Gras. It’s all happening at The Brewhaus, 617 E. Washington in happening downtown Springfield from 7 to 10 pm.  Call 525-6399 if you don’t believe me. Tickets will be $20, available at the door by the time you read this. It promises to be beau coup woo woo at the Brew Brew. Tell them Honey and Q sent you.

TOMORROW (which I love) CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS starting at Trout Lily Cafe, 218 S. Sixth by gathering there for masks and beads, 5:30 to 6 and depart for the Downtown Sidewalk Parade at 6. The Downtown Pub Crawl commences at 7 from Robble’s Restaurant, 4 South Old State Capitol Plaza. Have an oily — make that EARLY — dinner at Robbie’s. Then join the PC for MG fun!

Don’t let the Irish have all the fun next week. Attend these two nights if you can. It’s for a terrific cause — keeping happening downtown Springfield aLIVE alive-O,  and you’ll always be glad you came.

Live long . . . . . and proper.

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