Archive for March, 2011

The title seems appropriate for the day and for the post, my most recent poem. When some of my friends introduce a poem saying, “This is my last poem,” I hope they’re wrong because some of my friends approaching the microphone at Robbie’s downtown on a third Wednesday of the month fill me with consistent great expectation, not only for the poems them are about to read, but for the poems they will read next month at “the gathering.” I would be more than a little concerned if a respected poet were about to read his/her last poem, perhaps preceding the news of a pending relocation to to St. Louis or that the poet will soon take a walk into Lake Springfield beyond the point at which his/her hat floats. For other poets who say, “I’m going to read my last poem,” there is a sense of comfort and faith in the future of third Wednesdays as I, for a brief moment, believe they are telling the truth.

Here is my most recent poem. I hope you like it.

Poems for Nobody Else
by Job Conger

Not every rhyme or line of blank
verse reaches ears attentive and
not all the haiku and sweet sonnets
touch the page with scribing hands.

Still, those revealed so stark and plainly
stand a chance to live through years
as ripples from the splash: creative
crucible of joys and tears.

Though never seen or heard, some
poems live as others never will,
comforting  their authors seeking
solace in the dark until

the new dawn comes and banishes
the woes that plague the anxious soul,
writ’ only by the heart and savored
only by the heart made whole.

written 4:55 pm, Wednesday, March 16,2011

I’m committing more time to poetry in the month ahead, determined to write more of it and share new poetry on third Wednesdays at Robbie’s. For every new poem I write, I will share two previously written poems. And unless I’ve been engaged to share poetry or aviation out of Springfield, I shall attend the readings on third Wednesdays with at least one new poem in my pocket. I hope you will too.


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Thanks to all who has expressed concern over my pause-city of posting here lately. I’m having a very busy March that became that way soon after my most recent and — up to then — only post this month.  Having my furnace go south on me last week tempered the glow of a totally wonderful trip to Urbana, Ohio to read a Vachel Lindsay poem at the re-dedication of the Johnny Appleseed Museum and Education Center at Urbana University, but there has been an upside to even that.

I’m more enthusiastically working late at AeroKnow Museum at the airport where it’s always warm and there are always things to do. I go home sometimes about 8:30, just in time to eat  a late dinner, watch the local news on Channel 55, putter around for half an hour, watch Charlie  Rose on local PBS station WSEC, take a toke or ten from  a gallon of Carlo Rossi Burgundy to mellow me out for bed, then sleeping until  six to rise, bring some more things upstairs to move out, eat some Quaker Instant and make it back to the Museum by 8-ish or 8:30. Except for taking time out  to write  for  Springfield Business Journal, Illinois Times and putting in four hours a day at The Granite Guy on the edge of the world  — which is not QUITE  the pain in my brain it used to be  — I’m keeping on mission.

I just spent the first two hours of the morning finishing  judging a poetry contest for “rockhounds,” an association of good people who love to search for trilobites (not to be confused with megabites — which is what Rush Limbaugh does — and magabytes, which modern computers digest.   When I was about 10 years old, I was given a starter, children’s rock and mineral sampler collection, which I found more fascinating than the chemistry set I was given at 12-year’s Christmas. About 10 years ago, I  was asked by someone who appreciates my poetry to judge a national  association’s contest. I’ve been doing it, and enjoying it ever since, and my Marchs have been the better for it.

The rest of what I’m catching up with involves processing pictures, which I indulge mostly when my back needs a rest after carrying things around AeroKnow Museum, setting up things right. . . . which involves setting nany things upright. Details of that will be shared at my AeroKnow Museum blog, which I’ve also neglected.

I did write a new poem recently and reconnected with Poets and Writers of Springfield, a group of poets and essay’sts and ch’t st’ry writers that meets third Wednesdays at Robbie’s restaurant on Adams Street in lyrical downtown Springfield. That was fun. Didn’t even assault them with my geetar. I’ve simply vowed to spend more time writing poetry and less time taking pictures.

When I attended the Local Authors Book Fair last Saturday, I DELIBERATELY eschewed my Canon. I was there to sell my books, and thanks to PandW’s Anita Stienstra and Library Director Nancy Huntley, I did.

At the book fair Carol Jones said “Maintaining a blog today allows you to write your next book tomorrow.” She’s correct to a degree, but I don’t consider Honey & Quinine audition material for a future book. If I wrote a column — say for SBJ or IT or some other classy medi-yum that offered a pay check in return, I would consider that material for a column just as corn-belt  Calvin Trillin, William Safire, Irma Bombeck and probably Donna Brazile.  So if there are publishers with checkbooks  reading, keep me in mind; aye. Orrrrrrrrrrrrrr. . . . . mayhaps, methinks . . . . . , though it may be true my blog is not a column, it may be true that my column is a blog.

Live long . . . . . . and proper.

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I’ve fallen out of step with all Honey & Quinine, the AeroKnow Museum blog and the Conger Family blog over the last month. An anonymous H&Q reader reminded me of this yesterday, and I appreciate someone mentioning it, reminding me. By choice I am “Mr. Optimist; Hale Fellow Well Met. Sometimes choice is trumped by circumstance.

Early into February I was setting a pace that would top the paucity of posts since God knows when in 2010. Things came to a screeching halt in that pace when the BIG winter blizzard hit and in the weeks following as my little world was crushed in a condemnation of unremitting cold, overcast skies and frustration over the lack of progress setting up the aviation museum at the airport. As the weather has crept toward moderation, I’ve been blessed by more writing for Illinois Times and Springfield Business Journal than I’ve had in years. And with that has come more need for my presence at my part-time employer. Things could be worse: I could have a beautiful girlfriend who wants to go out two or three times a week. To give myself some small reason to hope — between cloud bursts and a cranky retinue of creditors and demands to be everywhere but where I really want to be, I’ve begun taking back my house, making it mine and not the house I share with the aviation collection that has been part of every residence rented or owned since I permanently moved out of my boyhood home in 1974. The process has not been as fun as it ought to be.

When I moved from the duplex Dad and I had purchased and lived in (Job C. Conger, III in his half;  Job C. Conger, IV in my half to my current residence, I moved mostly an aviation collection, and I came along for the ride. For the first time in my adult life I am living without aviation history in my bedroom, living room, kitchen, office and two hall closets. That’s because for the last week, I’ve been clearing it out of places where it was stacked almost to the ceiling. My bedroom today was my model workshop last April, and my bed was in the front room less than three feet from the front door.  I’ve moved all clothes hanging in the anwar brought home in a “assemble it yourself: box from K’s Merchandise in 1990 into the hall closet that held shelves for the 20,000 35mm slides and enlargements arranged in large binders two weeks ago. My guitars are in the bedroom closet that contained boxes of model kits, personal photos and dozens of books about airplane modeling until Monday morning when I moved everything OUT between 5 and 9 am. The closet at the end of the hall is no longer stacked ceiling high with airplane kits. It now has my summer clothes. At least 90 percent of the material moved out in the last week is in my front room, waiting to be transported to the Museum.  That’s okay, I spend more time in my bedroom than I do in the front room.

With the process comes the feeling I”m simply making it easy on the unknown strangers who will carry the contents remaining in my house out to a large dumpster in the driveway after I’ve moved out of this orb and into the next. So much of me is invested in aviation that I wonder how much of me will be left in the house when the airplane “stuff” is all gone from the main floor and almost all gone from the basement in say — at the rate I’m going now — next NOVEMBER.

There are dishes in the kitchen cabinets. From the month I moved in 1997, the dishes were in special cabinets Dad owned. This is the first time since coming here that dinner plates have been on kitchen cabinet shelves. I’m glad, proud even of the accomplishment, but I feel like some idiot who misses a broken arm because it made him engage life in a special way.

I’m not throwing any poetry away, no non-aviation literature away. Parts of floors that haven’t seen a vacuum since 1997 have seen a vacuum this week. I should be elated by this, but I’m not.

Progress is a mute companion.

Live long . . . . . . and proper.

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