New Rock and Roll Poetry Book: Third Rail

The book, Third Rail, features poems inspired by rock and roll.  Guns N’ Roses is the title of a poem by Campbell McGrath which starts out:

“Not a mea culpa, not an apology, but an admission:
there are three minutes in the middle of “Sweet Child o’ Mine”
that still, for all the chopped cotton of the passing years,
for all the muddled victories and defeats of a lifetime,
for all the grief and madness and idiocy of our days,
slay me, just slay me…”

The book has a forward by Bono.  You can purchase it at or read a partial version at google books (which includes the entire version of Guns N’ Roses).  If you like Campbell McGrath, he has written several poetry books you can collect (click here to see a list of Campbell McGrath books available at amazon).


This is the fourth in a 5-part series of posts regarding poetry and rock and roll.  See related posts:

(1) Rock and Roll, Poetry, and Eddie Vedder
(2) Van Halen (A Poem)
(3) Rock Out to Yeats

Rock Out to Yeats

Question:  What do The Cranberries, Van Morrison, and W.B. Yeats all have in common?

Answer:  Now & In Time To Be, a CD featuring rock songs using the poetry of  Yeats as lyrics.

Probably one of the most interesting contributors to the album is Shane McGowan, formerly of the punk group, The Pogues, who performs An Irish American Foresees His Death on the CD.  You can read more about the hard-living, hard-drinking McGowan at where he is quoted as saying:

“The British press have been giving me six months to live for the past twenty years – they must be getting pissed off interviewing me by now.”

If you’re interested in reading some of Yeats’ poems on their own, Poets’ Corner has a nice selection.  If you want to buy this CD, try the vendors at amazon or see this list of vendors at google products.


This is the third in a 5-part series of posts regarding poetry and rock and roll.  See related posts:

(1) Rock and Roll, Poetry, and Eddie Vedder
(2) Van Halen (A Poem)
(4) New Rock and Roll Poetry Book: Third Rail

Van Halen (A Poem)

Some dude named Joe Cislo published this poem over at  I like it…

“Leslie Erickson
said she liked my Van
Halen button. It
was V-shaped just like
Eddie’s guitar. I’d
bought it at a flea
market along with
some tube socks that had
holes in the heels and

To read the rest of this poem, titled Van Halen, go here.


This is the second in a 5-part series of posts regarding poetry and rock and roll.  See related posts:

(1) Rock and Roll, Poetry, and Eddie Vedder
(3) Rock Out to Yeats
(4) New Rock and Roll Poetry Book: Third Rail

Rock and Roll, Poetry, and Eddie Vedder

(I’m going to be doing a series of 5 posts about rock and roll and poetry.  Here’s the first…)

Rock and roll is poetry.  Some of it’s crap poetry, but some of it will blow your socks off.  Sometimes you can get a whole new appreciation for a song or artist by reading the lyrics on their own.  Take for example the following snippets of Pearl Jam lyrics, which are amazing.  If you like them, you can read the entire set of lyrics for each song at the links provided.


I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on
The christmas tree…


Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me as her body once did
All five horizons revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun

Man of the Hour:

Tidal waves don’t beg forgiveness
Crashed and on their way
Father he enjoyed collisions; others walked away

Which rock group’s or artist’s lyrics do you enjoy?  Whose lyrics do you think sound the most poetic?


This is the first in a 5-part series of posts regarding poetry and rock and roll.  See related posts:

(2) Van Halen (A Poem)
(3) Rock Out to Yeats
(4) New Rock and Roll Poetry Book: Third Rail

Free Online Novel — Ember

I find the coolest things on Dionne Galace’s blog.  The latest cool thing I found is Ember, an online novel in progress at Bettie Sharpe’s site.  (Remember that name — you’ll probably be hearing a lot of it in the future, especially if you like romance novels with a bit of action and a bit of humor and a bit of supernatural stuff all mixed together.)  The novel contains strong language, sometimes heaps and heaps of it, as well as what Bettie refers to as “the sexin,” so click with caution.  Here is a description of the story:

Everyone loves Prince Charming. They have to—he’s cursed. Every man must respect him. Every woman must desire him. One look, and all is lost.

Ember would rather carve out a piece of her soul than be enslaved by passions not her own. She turns to the dark arts to save her heart and becomes the one woman in the kingdom able to resist the Prince’s Charm.

Poor girl. If Ember had spent less time studying magic and more time studying human nature, she might have guessed that a man who gets everything and everyone he wants will come to want the one woman he cannot have.

Charm is a curse. Love is a fire. This story is no fairytale.

Bettie’s site contains a blog, called Sharp Words, and she also has a book coming out in January ’08 called Like a Thief in the Night.  You can usually get updates to Ember on Dionne Galace’s site a few days before they appear on Bettie’s site if you’re jonesing for the next chapter.

World’s Tallest Man Saves Dolphins with Long Arms

I was searching around for weird marriage stories (to go along with my previous features of man marries dog, man marries goat, and 102-year-old man gets married) when I found one about the world’s tallest man (7’9″) marrying a woman who is more than 2 feet shorter than him.  But that’s not the most interesting part of the story;  this is:

“He was in the news in December after he used his long arms to save two dolphins by pulling out plastic from their stomachs.  The dolphins got sick after nibbling on plastic from the edge of their pool at an aquarium in Liaoning province. Attempts to use surgical instruments to remove the plastic failed because the dolphins’ stomachs contracted in response to the instruments, Chinese media reported.”

The story can be found at

How to Destroy or Control Online Information about You

I came across an interesting article called Do You Need a Web Publicist? which talks about the ways to both organize and control online information about yourself.

“The Internet has matured to a point where so much of one’s life is online that some people need methods of self-promotion and self-protection, concepts usually associated with the imagemakers of politicians and Hollywood stars. As more employers, workers, and singles use the Internet to check someone out, the idea of managing one’s online presence doesn’t sound so strange.”

The article goes on to talk about some sites you can use to manage you online identity.

  • ClaimID:  Consolidate information about yourself and obtain a universal password for a large selection of social sites, such as LiveJournal and Technorati.  (This is great for those of us internet addicts with various pages scattered across  the web.)
  • Naymz:  Another service for organizing your online information.  This site will push your page to the top of any searches for your name.
  • Reputation Defender:  Founded by a Harvard Law grad, this company will search out information about you (or your child) and provide you with a report.  For an extra fee, they’ll also go after people who have content you want removed.

Very interesting stuff.  Anybody who spends any amount of time putting information on the web will find this article useful.

Pretty Good on Paper

Found a great blog called Pretty Good on Paper.  There’s a plethora of random yet interesting information here including how to keep your password safe and keep a list of passwords that nobody else will be able to decipher, how to fold a piece of paper into the shape of a terrier, and a post on re-reading Stephen King in which he writes:

“I have one of those unique minds that can forget all but a few basic plot elements from a novel I read only a couple of years back. This special skill allows me to enjoy a book just as much upon second, third, or fourth readings. It can save money during those times when you are mainly reading for entertainment or escape.”

You can also see an extensive list of book reviews he has done or, if you’re looking for free stuff to read on the net, you can read some fiction written by this blogger.

Woman Born with Feet Facing Backwards Can Run Faster than Most of Her Friends

A 27-year-old Chinese waitress was born with both feet facing the wrong way.  The woman is quoted as saying:

“I can run faster than most of my friends and have a regular job as a waitress in the family restaurant. There is no reason to class me as disabled.”

Read the full article and see photos at Daily Mail.

Someone Else’s Things

I read a lot of poetry I don’t like.  Some days I get lucky and find something good right away; other days, I have to plow through a mountain of bad poetry in my search for that one poem that will bring a smile to my lips.  Today was one of those “mountain of bad poetry” days, but I finally found what I was looking for.  It’s a short poem called Someone Else’s Things by Ann Alexander, and it appears at Magma Poetry Online.  Take a moment to click through and read it.