A Taste of a Thousand Years

Sleeping Bear Press (Dont wake the bear)

A Taste of a Thousand Years

I sit and eat
The asparagus my wife made
Roasted in the oven
With salt and pepper
And some butter
And realize it is one of the best things
I have ever eaten

Which makes me think of the others
My grandmothers fried okra
Blackened and brown
And my mothers fried corn
Floating in butter and blackened with pepper

And of course the meals I have eaten out
The soft shellcrab sandwich
at little ray’s in pass Christian
perfectly crispy breading in the ourside
and rich whole crab flavors
invading my mouth with each bite
mixing with a balance of freshly shredded lettuce,
a home baked roll encrusted with seseme seeds
and little rays own recipe tartar sauce
Little Rays was swept away by Katrina

And then there is Papa Dinos
Where I fell in love with a veal parmesan
Again, the sauces and…

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#98 The Ivy League

Stuff White People Like

The Ivy League is expensive, exclusive, located in the North East, and features beautiful old buildings. All of these things are beloved by white people so logically it would seem that they all love the Ivy League. But this is not true!

White people have a tortured relationship with the Ivy Leagues, and if you broach the subject in the wrong way you can offend and even anger a white person.

But before getting into the more nuanced aspects of the subject, it’s important to know that all white people believe they have the intelligence and work ethic required to attend an Ivy League school. The only reason they did not actually go to one is that they chose not to participate in the “dog and pony show” required to gain acceptance. White people also like to believe that they were not born into a privileged (enough) family to get…

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Reorganizing Blogs to Reflect Poetry and Other

From this point forward, until I change my mind, I will be posting only poetry on the Anthony Uplandpoet Watkins blog and all my other rants and bits and pieces at Sleeping Bear Press. I have not decided where to put the fiction attempts, will probably keep them at Sleeping Bear Press.

In the next few days and weeks, I will be moving the non poetry over to the one and the poetry over to the other, so if you are following me on one or the other blog, you will probably get notified of stuff you have already seen. my apologies, in advance.

My reason is not to annoy you, but to get all my poetry in one spot, as I consider myself a poet first, and all other things second, I feel I should have a site dedicated strictly to my poetry.


In the One Unbroken Chair

We sit like beggars at a Sunday morning Salvation Army service
holding on to every crumb and ignoring all the words,
bet Jesus would like a pizza and a cold beer,
and Jesus, I would love you more if I had one of each right now.

Singing to Jesus, not as hung over as I wish I was.
the poet, he’s my preacher, and when he stands to read,
I know I will be filled to overflowing.
basements and alleys and mermaids and angels
in the east river, pretty girls in short skirts first week on the street.

Needles and dealers and dying on dirty bathroom floors.
sitting at the old oak table in the kitchen
in the one unbroken chair
where an innocent morning light travels through
the grimy glass of an un-curtained window,
he sits and writes about all the people Jesus didn’t save tonight.

He reads them to us in his clean white shirt.

We sit and listen as the words pour out like crystal
clear champagne on our glass tabletops.

What is Vanity?

I have given a little thought to status, perspective, vanity and needful things. I am a bit of an oddball. That is not a surprising statement for anyone who has known me longer than a day, in person or in the virtual reality known as social media.
Since before they were even for sale in the United States, I have known my next car will be a Fiat 500. If I win the lottery, it would be a 30K jazzed up model, as it is, I will probably spend under 20, but my point is, I am nuts about the car. At nearly 6 feet tall and over 250 lbs, one might wonder why I like such a tiny car. One might also wonder why I expect to buy a new car, especially if anyone ever saw the inside, or even the outside of my car. But believe it or not, even though I almost never wash my car, and I think I have vacuumed my 2011 Kia twice, and in 100,000 miles I think I have changed the oil 5 times, I have added 3 quarts of oil to in the last 4 months. I guess its burning a little, or leaking, or I don’t know what. I don’t think I have ever changed the air filter.
My point is that I have an almost abusive relationship with my car, but picking the “right” car is extremely important to me. And buying new is important, and even though an under 20K car is within my budget, if I could afford it, I don’t think I could send 40K, much less 50-100K, and the Bentleys and Ferraris at two and three times that boggle my mind, if I had Bill Gates or Warren Buffet’s money, as much as I enjoy the idea of those beautiful automobiles, I cannot understand why anyone would pay 15 times the cost of my next new car.
My brother feels like paying $3000 for a car is squandering money. Even when he was making twice as much as me, he rarely bought a new car, and when he did, he really had to grit his teeth. He has no problem spending an afternoon fixing this or that from bumpers to starters to shocks or a clutch. Don’t get me wrong, I have torn down more than one engine, and all but one of them I got back together and running, I have replaced brakes, batteries, alternators, drive shafts and much more, but I am not a mechanic. I only work on a car when it breaks down, and when I am too broke to pay a real mechanic to fix it.
To me, my perspective of buying a new fairly inexpensive car that I think is cut is a reasonable. To the billionaire a 350,000 car makes perfect sense, or maybe it doesn’t, I think Buffet drives a Buick.
And it isn’t just cars, its clothes, purses, shoes, watches, its your house, where your kid goes to school, where you vacation and a dozen other things I haven’t even though about. If you buy thrift store clothes for 2 bucks, or go to Walmart and pay 12 bucks for a shirt or shop at Macys and pay 60, or go to some high end rack for 200 or have custom tailored 2000 dollar shirts, you might envy those who send more, but most likely, you look at them with a smug dismay at those above and below you, knowing you’re making the right choice.
My point? I’m not even sure. What is reasonable? Does status really matter that much? What is needful? Is status needful? Is buying “quality”, really quality?
Just me thinking. Would love to see some comments on this one.

If It Doesn’t Rain

Listening to the washing machine

and the sound of no rain outside

and remembering a poem by Billy Collins

about bones in the basement

but I cannot remember the title or how it goes.


There are songs like that, too,

stuck in my brain for years

neither tune nor lyrics, just a scrap of a phrase

the worst is a line about each one having a flag and a hill

except little ty woo.


The clean laundry will be fresh and dry soon,

and if it doesn’t rain we will catch an evening game

of the local minor league club

where my son will run through the seats

with the other bleacher bums


and maybe even go down on the field

for some silly kids contest or spin the wheel

and either way win free tickets to more games

to come back and do it all again

to be nine in summer


or even to be fifty four

with a nine year old son