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I return to this blog after a long absence precipitated by my mid-life crisis with good news … the Willow Manor Ball is underway.

Join Tess Kincaid and her guests as they party like crazed weasels.

I am wrapping myself in a trenchcoat as I hear it can get wet and wild in Central Ohio this time of year …

Christina Hendricks is coming with me … together with several cases of Johnnie Walker which she gets free … the only reason I am bringing her to be honest as frankly she has an annoying giggle and a tendency to say “La di da” a bit too often for my liking … but what the hell she has a great rack …

So hurry along to Willow Manor and sign in … I will be there after breakfast … the full English of course …

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I’m too lazy to write a post so here is the new poem by Tess Kincaid … she’s not quite right in the head you know … she lives in Ohio … somebody has to …

I’m too vain to cry much;
my sniffs hide mute

behind strands of my hair,
and layers of waterproof mascara.

With a random hanky-snort,
mine foghorns out a cute G,

not all loud and garble-monster,
like a prehistoric disposer.

I wonder what Matt Damon’s
sounds like, leghorn-straight,

squared off at the end
like Bob Hope’s.

Another poem by Tess Kincaid who lives by the Scioto River in Ohio and writes a blog called Life at Willow Manor.

I sunburn
under your
late-summer eyes,

our tongues hinge,
then come apart
like two rakes,
side by side.

We cull essence,
swallow brine
with the tang

of Russian vodka
in your mouth,
the silvery cold taste
of well water in mine.

Tess Kincaid writes a blog called Life at Willow Manor.

Gone the way
of the phone booth

and station wagon,
the morning tradition

is dunked or otherwise
reduced to an essence

added to the grind,
a kind of tribute.

Time-travel across
the politically correct,

wrap one in wax paper,
dribble jelly for old times’ sake,

the icing so sweet
it makes your teeth hurt.

You can read more of Ohio on the banks of the Scioto River Tess Kincaid’s marvellous poetry on her blog Life at Willow Manor.

I recently spent a drunken evening and night with a linguistics professor who informed me that “pure zero-grade English” is spoken not in England, but over in Ohio and specifically in the posh suburbs of Cleveland (e.g. Shaker Heights), Columbus (e.g. Upper Arlington), Dayton (e.g. Oakwood and Kettering), Toledo (e.g. Sylvania and Ottawa Hills) and northern Cincinnati (e.g. West Chester).

I do not recommend spending an evening or night with a linguistics professor.

The actor John Thaw had quite an interesting accent. In the Inspector Morse TV detective series based on Colin Dexter’s novels he adopted a sort of posh accent with something of a drawl and long vowels. I assume this was so the character could seemingly deal with Oxford dons and luminaries as supposed equals. However, an underlying Northern accent kept creeping in. I always thought this was inadvertent and that he simply was unable to sustain the accent he was adopting.

John Thaw is (or was) from the north of England.

Tess Kincaid apparently had a dream that Yul Brynner might possibly have been her father. So she wrote a poem about it.

I dreamed
he was my father;

that I came
from hard water
tucked in his timeline
between New York
and Hollywood,

a summer
of root crops
and soy beans,
wild oats sown
in a Hoosier farm girl.

I craved a king,
some kind of Ramses
from heaven,
to strut clean,
make good the role.

Maybe I understood
the Mongol,
the far-off Tartar,
as not so magnificent
a number as seven.

Tess Kincaid

Another one by the Ohio poet who writes a blog Life at Willow Manor.

I stand
just as I have
for many years

in a noisy kitchen
full of familiar faces
repeated stories

caught in hot air
bubbles, heavy
in the scent of sage

and wonder
of future turkeys
endless potatoes
to be mashed

stirring at the stove
the more beige
I become
the more invisible

My recording of Tess Kincaid’s latest poem. Read more of her stuff on her blog Life at Willow Manor. I stumbled upon it two or three years ago, now I am hooked … you will be too.

She’s obviously been
with someone new

since she drifts
now and giggles easy
like she’s spent
a few weeks
at a dude ranch
or with some weight lifters
or nudists

a funny sounding accent
has made itself at home
rolls off her tongue
like a cigarette
she tucks
behind her ear
to smoke later

most likely
she’ll hit the road
drive the Lincoln Highway
by truck, stop
at mom & pop diners
from here to Omaha

maybe it’s because
she’s drinking coffee again
but I don’t think so

A book of Tess Kincaid’s poetry, entitled Patina, published by Finishing Line Press, is available to buy on (click the link) Amazon.


A review of Patina by Jenne’ Andrews on her blog Loquaciously Yours

A review of Patina by Randall Radic on BlogCritics

For myself, I simply say that I am delighted to be associated in some small way with this gifted, reclusive, and enigmatic poet, who I believe leads a blameless life, staring at cups of tea and walls in Central Ohio, of all places …

(Taken from The Book of Knowledge, edited by Harold F.B. Wheeler)

Of the two great tributaries that flow into the Mississippi, the Ohio, though shorter in length, is vastly more important than the Missouri, for its navigable waters traverse more than 1,000 miles of the greatest industrial and farming district in the United States, furnishing means of transportation for many of the raw and manufactured products of the region.

This useful and picturesque river is formed by the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. It flows thence in a south-westerly direction, until it finally reaches Cairo, where it joins the Mississippi. It forms the north-western boundary of West Virginia, the northern boundary of Kentucky, and the southern boundaries of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Its waters are fathered from the tributaries which drain the neighbouring country – the Muskingum, Scioto, Miami, and Wabash from the north, and the Kanawha, Big Sandy, Licking, Kentucky, Green, Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers from the south.

Numerous islands, some under cultivation, divide the waters of the river. Of these the most famous is Blennerhassett, connected with Aaron Burr’s conspiracy to establish a separate republic in 1807, near Parkersburg, West Virginia. Formerly the course of the river was impeded by falls, sand-bars, and snags, and from June to November the waters were too low to accommodate craft of any size. These conditions have been gradually overcome. Canals and locks are built around the falls, the largest of which are at Louisville, Kentucky. Sand-bars and snags have been dredged out, and dams, wing dikes, and channels provide against the drought. In especially dry years, however, low water still impedes steamboat traffic. The average flow is three miles an hour.

It was La Salle who discovered the Ohio, in about 1670, when he descended the river at least as far as the present site of Louisville. In the middle of the 18th century, it became important in the struggle for the interior between the French and the English, the English eventually gaining control (1763). After 1768 settlers from Virginia followed this course into the new country. In 1783 the whole Ohio country became a part of the United States, and in 1787 the organization of the North-West Territory opened the whole region to settlers. The first great tide of western immigration swept along this course.

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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