Tag Archives: Germany

Volume 2 of Buk 100 Features “Ode to a New Black Ball-Point Pen”

Airmail from Germany!

I am honored to see a poem and a photograph of mine published in Buk 100: Notes for a Dirty Old Birthday!  Like the first volume of Buk 100, Newington Blue Press created this second limited edition chapbook to honor what would have been legendary poet Charles Bukowski’s 100th birthday.  (You can order your copy right here.)

The short poem is entitled “Ode to a New Black Ball-Point Pen” and the photo appears just below it.  (I think my fellow Roanokers will recognize Shaffer’s Crossing Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge.)

Thanks again to Matthias Krueger for selecting my work for this superb recognition of Bukowski’s legacy!



Happy Thanksgiving, All!

We all know that 2020 has been a difficult year, to say the least — and that this Thanksgiving, for many of us, will be unlike those in the past.  Let’s each be thankful for what we do have — whether it is our health, our homes, our hopes, or one another.

Pictured — lead-glazed glass painting depicting the potato harvest and Thanksgiving in the Hippolit Church in Amelinghausen, Germany.


Photo credit: Oxfordian Kissuth, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Throwback Thursday: Nena’s “99 Red Balloons” (1984)

The 80’s were a weird time in a lot of ways.  Pop culture’s answer to the threat of global nuclear annihilation was a really cool, really catchy song with an upbeat tempo that topped the charts.  (Full disclosure — I don’t know much about music, and I’m not sure I’m using the term “upbeat tempo” correctly.  If I’m not, you can totally call me on it.)

Nena released “99 Luftballoons” in 1983 in Germany, it was released a year later in America as “99 Red Balloons.”  Wikipedia taught me some interesting trivia this afternoon — the group was actually pretty unhappy with the loose translation of the Americanized lyrics, and all but disowned them.  Nena performed the song only in its original German, even when the band was on tour in England.

Maybe we need a catchy pop song to teach the perils of nuclear brinksmanship to the current president.  Or, better yet, set something to the tune of one of those Looney Tunes cartoons.