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Don't kill the messenger

I spend a great deal of time reading works on NEO with an occasional comment—usually short. I write very little poetry. The Muse is gone. I am too preoccupied by recent health issues that are threatening and find it difficult to be an “ active” participant. This is a rare moment for me given the rarity of my contributions to NEOPOET.

I no longer know what a “”proper”” or “valid” comment is having read so many that go in all different directions. Some of us seem to forget that behind the poem there is a person. And behind the comment there is a personality. It is unfortunate when the two clash and the critique becomes ad hominem. We need to accept well--intentioned correction but not personal attacks, I've been there—both sides. But I've learned not to have a knee-jerk reaction and to respect the artist who challenges our sensibilities and puts himself/herself '” out there “” to be heard, And to respect the critic who challenges us to do better,


Joe Longo-Ruffolo-Geremia


This comment should be aired at least once a month to remind those that comment about the world they are commenting on, and the person that sits there tapping the keys.
Joe, it is an honour to know you and know of you, we have still a way to walk as yet, just remember that we can lean on each other when needed.
Go well and know we are always there,
Yours ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

Where did Beau's comment go? How disappointing...


author comment

I hope you will be able to recover your muse. I agree that everybody needs to remember that the only "real" person is Not just the one sitting behind his/her keyboard. But people being people I reckon we need not be suprised when thing which aren't seemly occur. Best wishes to you and yours during this Christmas season.............stan

My very best to you and yours as well, Stan.

Merry Christmas,


author comment

runs the gauntlet to survive
change over its existance
it is both fortunate and unfortunate
that egos and poets and personalities are all a part of
creative fire

from reading in the past of poets..about poets whom
were great and published in a time before neopoet
and the internet existed who they went through much
more work...critical disparity and sometimes even
only getting their work published when they were gone
by the discovery of their work saved in trunks and letters
putting their lives of first

this great site has had its moments of rise and fall
like any other....and as the world feels the pressures
and stresses the open door allows for its release
at times for writing and for reactions...this is not the
fifties world that had its own faults and great moments
the sixties were the great change to end racism and
\the seventies for women to have a more voice and
political stance and beyond in corporate freedom etc
but the stress increase and demand for cheaper
products as the costs of living escalate with fuel
taxes food and enertainment and communication
rise so does the day to day race to keep in touch..

for all connected to the web unless its wireless
free from roaming off other systems or library
or rent from a provided connection the internet
up here is not cheap....

poetry from what i saw in the fifties from reading
was about expression...and all the other eras..
\i read a lot from the eighties bookshops the
published works languishing then in print
that was exciting freeform....with shop costs rising
to cater to the flow of supply of popular culture
heat hydro taxes floor space rented its not easy
at all to carry stock that is not moving.....treasures
and now with the internet and wireless and books
online those places are phasing out...

i see that the gossip and love of this will not fade
coffee houses up here are always in flux and busy
with these meetings....i do not see nor hear anyone
discussing poetry at any places in my city but overheard
on the bus students talking about a vibrant writing
class they were interested in....locally we have free
lectures at night at the univercity and college and there
was a poetry night at a local bar but they encouraged
drinking also which is fine for those with perhaps
not much of a problem with this aspect of writing...

drinks now start at five dollars a beer up here
the bus on a two way run costs six trip
and the city is flat on the old lake glacial bed..
four bags of groceries to sustain one life withgout
the food banks runs one sixty dollars for decent
interesting fare..minimum wage up here is ten
dollars an hour and most unskilled work is
part time only....most of these class of people
work three jobs or more with families without
being on disability or a pension plan....we have
affordable housing that requires a waiting list
for years..the housing is very nice but strict
as it must ...our city is codes
an almost socialistic eye on keeping everyone
under the careful watch top avoid the free fall
fraud of the living easy that was characteristic
at one time in history.....the skilled work is hard
to come by now...politics and the old edict of
marrying into the city still bedrooms
run from five hundred dollars to a basic apt
utilities extra to eight hundred and up for refrences
first and last

without social plights to look back there was less
money and assistance in the older eras but the
costs were level also....
coffee is a buck fifty a cup and a muffin is one fifty
or there abouts..a sandwich is five to six dollars
to live on.....jeans shirt jacket from the clothing
help stores is thirty at the cheapest now

carton of cheap smokes is taxed
is thirty five..

gas is about one thirty a litre which is one of those
little plastic bags of milk...for an average auto
its over a hundred and at least sixty for a smal
eco job

monthly bus pass is a hundred twenty for an
adult now

it is a police city for the most part with provincial
on the out skirts touring through an looking after
the smaller outer communties
most industry is specialized in aircraft or mining
and most of the higher work is in govberment
administrations for outlying commuinities
..there are call centres and big chains that employee
many part time workers....there are very wealthy
people here....

an older fifties to forties typewriter in working
condition with case starts at a hundred dollars
when poetry was being paid to be published
in publications it had to be perfect..
spacing punctuation re writes etc

the critique then was of utmost importance
private snail mail with mentors was a heavily
travelled path...

now up herte the post office is losing millions
of dollars a year....with electronic is just the
passing of one system to another

its like arriving at school here at times
you get welcomed and you get shoved down
picked up muscled cajoled and competitive
as it was then for all writers

thats part of human nature
which will never change

if one were to look at countries where there
are numerous languages spoken and faiths
belief systems under a socialistic
approach and with much social scrutiny
in a denser more poverty ridden living
spaces the pressures here in my city
would seem somewhat different
stressors of rasicm and class and
personal beliefs more under attack
then the north american desire and work
to attain a freedom for all ideology

im writing on a laptop which we paid for
through a loan system because we dont
have cost us two thousand
dollars....but at least we have one..
our internet and phone through a carrier
system allowed by the goverment for
only a select few companies runs us
over two hundred a month..televsion more wireless television
its all packaging now.....bundles...

my own partner is ill in hospital now
still not sure when she is coming out
we have ohip which is state paid for
health but your stay there is good
but if you are not wealthy you get treated
like dirt..they let you incentive
to get well....on other wards the nurses
understand the plight....that extra humanity
still exists.....

the pinch

everyone feels it now

i love neopoet because i live here
i chose too
in my city and i chose to stay at neopoet
because of its place to come and create
after a day of living out there and with our
harshs systems of intense cold like today
and then incredible heat in summer
it gives one much moments of creativfity
that i dont take for granted...

i lived for a few years with no internet acess
libraries would not give me a card because
i lived in rooms and they were vocally
letting me know \i was a native or part
i just bore it through knowing one day i would
find a way to get back to the net
"you can have a card if you are a tax payer
and have an adress" i didnt really have in limbo like a lot of the free travellers
that made up writing culture and poetry beat at one

beautiful dreamer

i dont take neo for granted at all
my writing i try to see it as a gift of god
coming here and writing is like an oasis
or a moutiantop with those prayer slips
of paper in the wind

the dream of a coffee shop with creative
others sitting discussing poetry and reading
aloud is a dream.....only the one bar has
creative bands allowed to play.....the subculture
is not really wel;comed here above ground
tolerated to an extent
the coffee houses in \toronto the greater city to
the south had small little bands playing

i like neopoet because its for poets and for poetry
plain and simple
a basic set of rules
and the rest is allowing creative outlet in this time
of social happiness expressionism and unease
and to be honest its been a great grounding place
for me in my route of upheaval growth change
and discovery...

peoples lives get busy
but i make time for this place
my contribution to the word will by
this and my artwork ultimately

but we are people behind our work here
and sometimes this has become the
focus rather then the work
but then thats family
and i know family
having lived with many
families and working for the family

just writing this as a lot is going on
in my life...
more and more im starting to live my
life like the poet people i read about
some of them anyway

and just thinking about this
sometimes it is both the work..the poetry
and the poet that both stand out

i should delete the whole above portion
and just send this last portion
the last paragraph makes the most

thank you Geremia for writing this
thought provoking comment
and neo for giving poets the theater
for expression

and of course you poets!

my Family here!

sincerly yours
Mr Esker!

it has become mine, too, Steven.

thanks, joe

author comment

are pillars of modern poetry....
I have observed over the passed over three years
that I have been here ,
some self styled stalwarts
love to drive women out

I have held many hands
but women are more sensitive then men
so take care

I am sure even Shakespeare would have been bitten
had he been here
now than then

HAPPY READING and Merry Xmas .. to all poets ..Neos and families and friends
particularly those who have ever read me
not withstanding my volumes over


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