Get Streetwise!

 

Streetwise Promo

Streetwise is a collection of photography set to poetry (poetography). Many of the images have previously appeared on my Facebook posts, and several people have asked that I put them into a collection. Streetwise makes a great coffee table book, or gift item.

Get streetwise! Available here through Amazon for $15.60 or directly from the author.

Doug D’Elia Reads at Kerouac Event

Doug Reading Poetry
     “Happy, just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired in the red fired dark, singing, swinging, spitting, jumping, running, that’s the way to live.” That was the writer’s prompt. A line from Kerouac’s book “Dharma Bums.” Jack wrote that line, just a couple blocks from where I live and I’m writing this entry.
     We are from the same province in Canada. French-Canadiens whose parents moved to mill towns in Massachusetts, and we played that silly baseball game with made-up teams and players. We were both drawn to poetry, eastern religion, haiku, and the addictive quality of good booze and exotic scenery. We both lived in the College Park area of Orlando, but our writing styles couldn’t be different. I always felt Jack wrote in a trance like stupor punching at typewriter keys like an underdog prize fighter sensing a decisive knockout while I tend to dance around the edges of the ring.
     The house Jack lived in here in College Park is now home to the Kerouac Project Writer’s in Residence Program. I’ve had the opportunity to write in the Jack’s space, in front of the window that looks out to a backyard filled with lush Florida trees and tropical fauna. This week the Kerouac Project sponsored an event at the Avalon Gallery and I was one of a dozen poets to read at the event.
     I read my poem, “Hey, Jack Kerouac,” which incorporated the prompt from Dharma Bums, and my own additions.
 “…drinking shots of tequila on the roof top
of some decrepit hotel
under a starry Mayan sky,
tracing 242 choruses
of Mexico City Blues
in a trance like stupor
punching at typewriter keys
like an underdog prize fighter
sensing a decisive knockout…”

Haiku Pottery is Born

Haiku Poetry
Liz and I have started yet another business, Haiku Pottery. Haiku pottery combines my haiku and Liz’s pottery. Special orders welcome. You can choose from one of my haiku or we’ll use your own.
Example:    A cup of tea
                   warms the hands
                   inspires the heart
                              or
                         long walks
                       with old friends
                   no shortage of stories

Happy New Year!

Van at Tango

Happy New Year!

     I hope you continue to “Feed Your Head” in 2015! I’m in Florida, heading over to Kerouac’s house to search his lawn for words left behind.
     Last year was a productive year, two books of poetry and one of short stories.
I would love feedback from anyone who has read them. And if you haven’t read them I’m hoping you make it a New Year’s resolution!
     For 2015, I may be working on a project with Jimmy Santiago Baca in Santa Fe.
  I’m meeting with Gracie and Lucy in consideration of a juice book, a new book of poems, and an autobiography of sorts, “Mother Was Born at Woodstock.”
     If I make it back to Syracuse by spring I’ll be reading at Intertext the Syracuse University writer’s journal.
     My latest published poem is “Kaleidoscope” which appearing in Stone Canoe  this month, and “Homecoming, Sitting Shiva” which will appear in the Veterans Writer’s Project sponsored by Cal University Humanities Dept.
Peace,
Doug

Happy Holidays!

Holiday Blog
I want to wish everyone a great holiday season. It has been a productive year with the completion of three new books:

 

Forever to an Underwood Typewriter - A collection of favorites written over the past year. Several having been published in magazine and journals, including “Gratitude Kites,” “Crossing Midnight“, and “If I should Pass you on the Way Down.”

 

75 Klicks Above the Do Lung Bridge – My second volume of military poems. Published favorites are “Tombstone Blues,” “Counting M-16’s Apart in my Sheep,”
and Kaleidoscope.”

 

Ocho Coho – is eight unusual short stories written at the Chiba Latte Cafe.
Three of the stories, “My Name’s not Frankenstein,” “2 Steps Ahead of the Vapor Line” and “Eels” have been published this year.

 

Please consider one or all of these books for holiday gifts!



To order please Email: dougvandelia@gmail.com

Happy Holidays,

 

Peace Through Art

Through pen and paper, veterans find a way to cope | WRVO Public Media

veteran doug delia reading

Andrew Miller had finished his second tour in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army, but he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it before being thrown back into the world, now labeled a veteran.

“Nobody gave us the time or the room to figure out what it meant to us,” he said. “We caught planes, hipped and hopped and skipped and jumped. And the next thing we do, we were having a parade shoved down our throat.”

Miller had a bad experience being asked to headline a Veterans Day parade he didn’t feel he earned for the right reasons.

Struggling to figure himself out after the military, Miller got a nose ring, stopped shaving and grew his hair out. Coping with stress is something he’s always had trouble with. He said he was easily upset and needed a different outlet. He had begun to drink more.

“I did not hit rock bottom, but I knew that it was coming up soon, that I was probably going to go get a DUI, or do something really stupid if I didn’t get some kind of help, if I didn’t come at my inability to adjust in a different way than I had been trying so far,” he said.

“Giving in”

There’s a certain tough-guy persona that encircles being in the military and so talking about experiences in war can be difficult for some veterans.

It took a lot, Miller said, to muster up the courage to see a therapist with the VA hospital.

“It felt like giving in,” he said. “It felt like, this sucks, I lost.”

But now he’s glad he did. There have been more social settings Miller has found to be able to express himself and feel comfortable.

“It felt like I lost.”

He worked for a year at Clear Path for Veterans, a converted country club in Chittenango that’s now a sanctuary for veterans. It hosts a free weekly lunch for vets, gives out massages and runs a pet therapy program.

With most of the staff and volunteers at Clear Path being fellow vets, Miller said it was great to be surrounded by people who understand what he’s going through.

“It’s one thing that maybe starts people off feeling a little safer, is knowing that the person I’m working with is like me, somehow,” said Dr. Ellen Dougherty, a care manager with the VA’s behavioral health center.

“There are a lot of people who benefit very much from that kind of activity. From going and having some social time with people who they feel they have some sort of shared experience,” she said.

Veterans can now hike, care for horses or fish together through a growing number of nonprofits. The VA runs a community center with an art room, cooking courses and group therapy sessions.

Writing

The way Miller’s found to best get him through “the tough crap,” as he puts it, is writing. He’s a member of a veterans writing group that meets once a month at Syracuse University’s writing center.

About 10 people sit in a circle of plush chairs. A notebook and pen finds room on small writing slabs between coffee and muffins. Their writing focuses on their experiences in the military.

“I never feel the way I do anywhere else like I do when I’m in that room.”

“The writing group is a group of peers who are more like you than not like you. And I don’t really feel like that in my day to day life,” said Miller. “I never feel the way I do anywhere else like I do when I’m in that room.”

Putting thoughts down on paper makes them matter a lot more to him, he said.

Also in the writing group is Pete McShane. An Army medic who served in Vietnam, it was years after seeing combat that he was formally diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

McShane’s retired now, after a life he said he tried to make as busy as possible in order to suppress the bad memories of his military service. Along with therapy, he decided to start writing a few years ago.

“Because it’s a way to sort out often conflicting memories that often times don’t make sense until you actually get them on paper and you can look at them and try to objectify the memory somehow,” he said.

Writing has been a profound experience for him, he said. He’s now able to look at mementos from his time in Vietnam and talk about those experiences with loved ones.

“What I’ve found is in reading material that I’ve written, in our meetings with other vets, particularly younger vets who have just gotten back from a war zone and are trying to figure out what to do with the next chapter in their lives, and it’s making a difference,” he said.

Miller, the Afghanistan veteran, says he’ll probably always write about his time in the military. Getting those thoughts down on paper, he said, frees up mental real estate for the good stuff.

You can also view the article at:

http://wrvo.org/post/through-pen-and-paper-veterans-find-way-cope

Come to my Veterans Day reading!

IMG_4783

I’ll be part of the team from Syracuse Veteran’s Writers group that will read a piece at Art Rage Gallery on Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11, from 7-9PM. The event is co-sponsored by Syracuse University. The topic is “Moral Injury,” and the event is open to the public. There is no admission charge.

NEW BOOK RELEASE

Image of Forever to an Underwood Typewriter

I’m pleased to announce the release of my new book, “Forever to an Underwood Typewriter.” The collection contains 36 poems of diverse subject and nature. Reader’s favorites have been “Crossing Midnight,” a poem that asks the question: if you had but one hour of sight per day, which hour would you choose?   “Dead Witches in Cold Well Water” images of the Salem Witch Trials. “Gratitude Kites,” a poem that explores death, mourning, and gratitude. “Little Warning,” what will you be thinking in those last seconds? “If I Should Pass You On the Way Down,” a story of hope and support. “A West Texas Moment,” explores Native American courage and tradition in a modern setting. My personal favorites are “Lynching Cats,” “Being Ali,” and “I Want to Be Anthologized.”

The collection is available for download at Amazon (Click HERE!) or directly from the author. The price is $7.99 for a download or $9.99 for hardcopy. If you would like to own a copy but money is an issue, please let me know.

Public readings in support of the book will be announced on this blog.

Thanks for your support.

Peace,

Doug D’Elia

MONSTERS

werewolf“Monsters are real, so are ghosts. They live inside of us and sometimes they win.”

~ Stephen King

My poem “My Names Not Frankenstein” will appear in the next issue of the Non-Binary Review.

This follows acceptances of “Eels” and “2 Steps Ahead of the Vapor Line,” also Sci- Fi/Horror stories. I write very little Sci-Fi/horror so I’m a bit surprised at my success in the genre.

Has the issue come up for you? Have you expereinced success in an area that you have put little effort into and has it caused you to reconsider how you allocate your time?

 

Opening Lines from My Name’s Not Frankenstein

 

How sad

am I, the son of Doctor Frankenstein?

 

No sooner had the doctor sown the last silver nylon stitch into my leathery skin

when he threw down his scalpel in disgust at what he had created

and rushed off to mourn, overwhelmed with remorse, belching so violently

his eyes overflowing with tears.

Woodstock

Doug at Woodstock

In July of “69” I came back from the Vietnam Theatre and 30 days later I was on my way to Woodstock, forty-five years later I arrived! The wonderful museum brought back memories and CSN still sound great! To say it was a moving experience is an understatement and the following poem was born there:

Peace of Stone

 

Polished stone cut

into the earth to tell of it.

 

On the plains of Montana

where arrows darken the sky

like a murder of spooked crows,

the dead Lakota, Arapaho

Cheyenne, and General Custer

his yellow hair a Coup

on a well-visited teepee.

 

At Auswitch

a stone erected

between two crematoria,

“Forever let this place

be a cry of despair.”

The stench of death

so violent it will never

be smudged away.

 

At Hiroshima

vapor shadows

roam in Peace Park

and children leave flowers

and paper cranes on cold stone.

 

Stone at the Book Depository,

Stone at the World Trade Center,

Stone at the Vietnam Memorial,

and at Woodstock to commemorate

three days of Peace, Love,

and Hope at Bethel, NY.

 

Where I stand imagining

lines of school buses filled

with children come to

polish stone?