Welcome to 
                     The Poems of Job 
            
         Job Conger, Springfield, Illinois
                            
This page was most recently updated Sunday, March 21, 2010


jobcongerweb.jpg (168551 bytes)
Thanks to Iles Elementary School and Kellie Robinson
for their hospitality  when I spoke to each of their classes about poetry.  I spoke to the students about what poetry is and things to consider when writing poetry, told them about Vachel Lindsay, probably the most famous "native son" of Springfield, Illinois, and recited some of my poems and Vachel's poems. AND I enjoyed some of the best pizza to ever do the tango on my tongue during the lunch period with the teachers. Thanks to Kari Abate for the most excellent photographic production.

Hooayeyam
          
by Job Conger
                written late Nov 2004

I am
a convivial poet
who wants you
to smile
                 and squirm

This page is dedicated to the hope that you will purchase my books of poetry, AND that you will invite me to read my poetry and the poetry of others, OR to sing my songs and the songs of others at your next event.

Here is what good people who have witnessed my sharing of my poetry, Vachel Lindsay's poetry and emceeing poetry events have to say.
"Thank you again for sharing your many gifts yesterday. Also for giving me such a vibrant introduction. Keep me posted on any shows that you have, and I will be sure to attend. You are a gifted man. -- Carol Thomas, Springfield, Illinois (The event Carol mentioned was the 7th Poetry Reading sponsored by the National Funeral Customs Museum, which I was privileged to emcee and share my poetry.Afterwards I was able to share a few of my fave Vachel poems also. Carol is a talented poet in her own "write.")

mirafc.jpg (10664 bytes) My three books of poetry are yours for $10 each when purchased at Prairie Archives in beautiful downtown Springfield,, Illinois $13 postpaid and autographed when purchased from yours truly.

Make check payable to me and send to
Job Conger
428 W. Vine St.
Springfield, IL 62704

Minstrel's Ramble is my first book. The second edition is available now.
mirabc.jpg (14541 bytes)
wienfc.jpg (14298 bytes) On March 19, 2008, there is only ONE copy of my second book of poetry, Wit's End available new, and it was at Prairie Archives. wienbc.jpg (17112 bytes)
bscov1.jpg (11529 bytes) Bear' sKin -- no it's not a typo -- is my third book of poetry.

None of these books is appropriate for children but may be enjoyed by some adults who think like children.

Questions?
             e me
   jobconger@eosinc.com
bscov2.jpg (16334 bytes)
poetlic.jpg (16260 bytes) Pictured left is yours truly as I sold a copy of my
Poetic License to Springfield writer Thomas R. Jones.
   Poetic License is available for $5 wherever I recite poetry or $7.00 via First Class mail.

Pictured right as I address most audiences in my red shirt and "amazing technicolor sportcoat. At the time of this picture by Siobhan Pitchford, I was speaking to Sangamon County Historical Society.
jobpoem3.jpg (14926 bytes)


Even with the launch of the new Springfield Poets and Writers -- and I AM a dues-paid member for 2010 --  I feel there is still a reason for a group that focuses on poetry. If you agree, e me.
writer@eosinc.com

jobkst1.jpg (12581 bytes)  Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein (left) and Springfield poet Job Conger

I have added a new page: What Readers Have Written that shares kind words from wonderful people who have purchased my books of poems. Visit the new page by clicking here

Wine After the Poetry Reading
by Job Conger
written 7:00 pm on the front porch, Saturday, August 22, 2009

To let it sink in deeper,
   pausing to hear the echoes
the redeeming laughter
from the woes of the daughter,
the page turned to us
to show
words
sculpted
on paper before
spoken in the linear by the voice.

Wisdom in prose and two poems
by Lindsay – Vachel; not Lohan.

Of Alzheimers crescendo to
inevitable, whispered
DISCONNECT
and more of it
and more of it
and more of it
ears and heart ringing with it
stopping with the poem cut short
by incipient tears . . . .

Recovery.
Sequinned reveries.
Crafted recollections of assorted delights
. . . two to go
the last poem and then . . .

Polite applause
for words that
playedtoofast
too subdued
for words that must be seen
to impact, almost as fully,
as the passionate inspirations
which created them, and then

Outside to the day tent
for cake, coffee, convivial conversation
with smiles and sparkling eyes
just desserts after a hearty main course inside,
exiting politely with warm goodbyes
the girl talk
between featured guest and students

Home to sit in late afternoon sun on the front porch
with wine in silent contemplation of the poetry reading,
fading echoes amplified, sustained with wine,
embraced in the silent interlude
to let it sink in deeper.

 
From the Front Porch
by Job Conger
written 6:19 pm, Sunday, July 12, 2009.

I forgive you, June,
for the sweltering month
that drove me almost crazy.
You gave me a taste of
monsoon on Guadalcanal in 1942
but with fewer bullets from angry Japanese --
though the mosquitoes were
probably about the same.

My skin doesn’t embrace the surly sun
as it did when I was 30.
There were days when I felt
palatable pain under your gaze,
the way women can feel dangerous eyes
on their bare shoulders,
and they turn around and see
Dick Cheney or Imo Phillips.

When I wanted to sit on
my front porch and commune
with the stars with pen, and paper,
I walked into a wall of 88 degrees,
I retreated to my living room like a mouse who sees
a food scrap on the moonlit kitchen floor
at 4 am, and the shadow of the cat.

All your wanton insults
to my softening sensitivities
are forgiven, June, and you
are behind me now.
No more monsoon;
a taste of Wisconsin --
though the mosquitoes are about the same.

On my front porch
with wine and daylight
the breeze caresses without
driving me to distraction. I’ll take it.
Now is the time to catch up
with the overgrown hedges and weeds in the garden
and vines overgrowing the central air fans.

There’s time after dinner to
serenade the lawn grubs
with guitar practice alfresco
accompanied by wine: a glass or two
or three.
It’s time to open every screened
window in the house.

I forgive you, June.
After all the heat I took from you,
you gave me July.


Sans Labels
by Job Conger
written 7:52 pm, Thursday, July 9, 2009


I am a glass jar
without a label.
Anyone who cares
to know me
need not consider
ingredients listed
on sticky paper
I’ve affixed to my backside,
nor the title placarded on
my push down and turn
(child-proof) screw top.

It may not be the destiny
of my ingredients
which you see
through my label-less transparency
to be palatable to your taste,
and that’s okay.

Your satisfaction in the aftermath
of studied consideration
of what you see
will come not from my desire
to re-formulate
what I will not will not label . . .
but from happy coincidence.

If you see something
appetizing through the glass,
understand that it is not
what I say you will see,
promised in hand-crafted
green calligraphy on
ivory-colored plastic;
it is what you see.

Come to me through the top
Put your nose on my rim
and inhale the aroma
that is the marinated essence
of the whole, a broad-spectrum
totality of the whole
"read" by the nose.

Dip a spoon into the amalgam.
Pull out something appealing
and take a bite. Take two.
Then spoon the rest of the potato,
the pork chop, the pear
back into where you found it.

What remains of that piece of me,
including teeth marks
and the marinate from mouths
who sampled it before
are as much of me as the
freshest grape or beef brisket
of revelation and memory
harvested from the
crucible of life
before noon this morning.

If you see nothing nice
as you consider the contents
consider my glass jar
is yours in depth,
in three dimensions; not two
as on printed page and screen.

Shake me up with your attention
and let them resettle,
the hidden cantaloupe revealed,
the quart of butter pecan Hagen Daz
previously obscured by the tuna casserole,
the ruby on a ring.
Gaze upon the elements
and facets of jewels
revealed anew to you.

Remove your label
so I can see you and not your resume
and curriculum vitae.
Estimate how our ingredients
might combine
in a clear glass jar with room for two:
in nibbles shared briefly in passing
nourishment for the moment, perhaps,
or perhaps relentless, ardent, feasting
and sustenance into tomorrows,
whatever the number might be, and
all of it ours, not because we
embraced each others’ labels,
but because we embraced each other!

Sometimes
by Job Conger
written 10:30 pm, Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Sometimes
you dip your hook into the water
and the fishes don’t bite
but that’s all right.
Sometimes
you blame the bait or the weather
or the time of the night
and that’s all right.
So you make yourself a peanut butter sandwich
and you drink yourself a can of warm beer . . .

. . . And you wonder
What am I doing here?
you wonder
What am I doing here?
you wonder
What am I freaking doing here?

Sometimes
you tell a woman that you love her
and the woman won’t buy it
but that’s all right.
Some times you want to la dee da dee da da
and she won’t even try it
and that’s all right.
So you grab your fishin’ pole and fresh earthworms
when you know she will never want you near . . .
. . . and you wonder
What am I doing here
you wonder
What am I doing here?
you wonder
What am I freaking doing here?

Sometimes
when the answers wait beyond you
it’s a classical plight
but that’s all right.
Sometimes
all your rhymes and pretty poems
won’t redeem you in the night
and you can’t see the light.
So you make yourself a peanut butter sandwich
and you drink yourself a can of warm beer . . .
. . . and you wonder
What am I doing here
you wonder
What am I doing here?
you wonder
What am I freaking doing here?

I Breathe You
by Job Conger
written 12:10 pm, Sunday, May 17, 2009


I breathe you:
the sweetness of your fabric softener
perfuming the rooms we share;
your scent echoing from our last hug,
the fading eddies in the kitchen where
you busied the air preparing your coffee,
the wake left behind as you rise
from the living room chair
to go work with your computer
in a nearby elsewhere,
I breathe you.
How I love to breathe you!

A Good Day for Fog
by Job Conger
written at 7:10 pm, Thursday, February 26, 2009

As I stand on my front porch at 6 am
the world looks like the opening scene
in a B-movie horror flick:
fog bound!
inviting a near-by anonymous scream
to get some real crazy action going
but muffling even the promises
of the rising sun.

Gently closing the door,
savoring the gray embrace beyond my walls,
stepping softly to the kitchen
fog bound!
brewing the coffee communion
dedicating my life anew
to the quest for sense to it all
as though it matters I should try.

Spare me the morbid details,
of others’ deficiencies, radio news reader. I am
full ofthem! I would rather be
fog bound!
typing notes to Facebook phantoms,
embraced by  translucence’s passing reprieve
from clarity and persistent obligations
safe from sun and certainty.




Tabula Rasa
by Job Conger
written 6:45 pm, February 26, 2009

I promise poetry:
a ballyhooed obligation
to myself and friends:
twice a week for the joy of it.
I believe the new poem
written in the forest
that nobody reads and nobody hears,
is not a poem.

It’s silly to imagine it is
when it is not quite that.
It is your appendix,
a minor accessory to
life in the flaccid lane and
as Webster’s 10th Collegiate might say
it is “deficient in turgor.”

I approach the opportunity
as I approach the dawn,
the tabula rasa of my day,
committed, embracing time to deposit
what wisdom I can procreate,
fertilizing the ovum of immortality
with the passion of my words.


2-19-09
by Job Conger

Driving home
from an hour of watching
SALSA With Me!   dancing
downtown and trying to capture
the shared joy of it, the glamour of it,
the visceral appeal of it
with my camera,
and sensing failure from shooting almost blind
into the darkened room,
and not wanting to block the view of spectators,
stunned, a little bit, from the necessarily numbered
“one two three (beat) five six seven (beat)”
formulaic imperative, commanding
instinct to be channeled into shared civility,
I drove home drained by my futility,
inspired by what I had witnessed, yet uninspired
by my effort, a favor to a friend.

Wheeling home down
hushed, desolate streets,
I wanted wine, a liquid substitute
for a hand on my shoulder, two sympathetic ears,
arms around my back,
and I remembered . . . .when I was 23
I would have driven to the grocery store
14 blocks away for a gallon of Carlo Rossi Burgundy –
not that I was that thirsty.

In that quiet drive (no radio) I realized
my youthful cavalier of halcyon days
had almost matured away like muscle tone untuned
over decades of songs sung to no one in particular.

Besides, doing life right matters more today. There are
fewer chances to prove myself more than a bag
of quivering protoplasm, bummed out over innocent coincidence,
and if not to others, then to myself.

And so it came to pass that I delivered not
myself unto temptation and drove directly home,
and won the gift from years survived somehow:
the capacity to simmer sanely, to endure;
The exquisite affirmation
that I don’t have to surrender to stupidity
every time it flrts with me, twirling, teasing
across the dim horizon of my town.

Yet, even so,
last night
a part of me
wished that I were 23.

 

I’m a Creative
by Job Conger
written 11:45, February 18, 2009

Happy the soul who brandishes a pen,
Jousting with the world like horseback–knightly men,
Mightier than sword, with lyric acumen.
I’m a creative writata.

Some engage the craft by the dawn’s early light;
Others under candle glow round midnight.
Boozy musers ramble while higher than a kite.
I’m a creative writata.

Hurts can be assuaged in metric sublimation.
Laughter spread to others in rhymed jubilation --
What I did last summer with my parents on vacation.
I’m a creative writata.

What a great pursuit for people so inclined,
Groping through the fog to harvest fruit for the mind,
Processing the crude and making it refined.
I’m a creative writata.

Don’t think I’m literary. You’d be wrong.
Most of what comes out from me comes in song.
Poetry pentameters make me strong.
I’m a creative writata.


Hoe Down at Media Corral
by Job Conger
written 8:35 am, Saturday, February 14, 2009

Say hello to Annie and JoHanna
your cordial greeters at the media check in
folding table down the short hall from Door A

The badge must be visible from the front.
Leave your camera gear on the ground by the flatbed
for inspection and come back in an hour.

Read aviation magazines at Landmark Aviation
 across the parking lot and nod to three men
in uniform in the lobby lounge. Ask no questions.

Visit the passenger terminal and have a
free cup of coffee and one of two remaining slices of cake
(chocolate) the last of a Lincoln’s birthday gift to travelers.

Return to Door A for the credential parade
stand in line with 80 national guardsmen
recently returned from service in Iraq.

Empty pockets, raise arms and pirouette
for the focused, fit, gate keeper with the scanning wand,
pick up watch, change and ball point pens.

Ignore most of the 100 men mostly in black suits
with white shirts, shined shoes and God knows
how many concealed hand guns and armored vests.

Follow the official to the media pen of modular
steel fence components marking inviolate borders
 Stay within the corral. Smile. Do not “moo.” Do not “bray.”

Bide time an hour in the fading light looking for
scenes to photograph, here and only here
until President Obama and motorcade depart the premises.                                   

Eyes to the mega-star shine approaching, descending
slowly in the distant northeast through the consuming darkness.
The winged castle arrives, taxis to the floodlit concrete.

The eerie, protracted hiss of incipient action
as the stair on a truckbed parks by the opening door
waiting for the President, waiting, waiting . . . ..

waiting . . . .On the ground hundreds of black suits
(Don’t screw up!) scurry, mission-driven,
 rehearsed business, practiced protection perfection.

In the immense tube with wings and jets,
dozens of windows, some lit, many dark, warm, cozy, safe.  
Who and how many lives pulse with divine mandate therein?

Finally . . . . . the President, solo, pauses at the top.
Cheers from gathered troops nearby sweep the air.
He descends, buttoning his suit coat, not touching hand rails.

A brief uncertainty, striding with five or six --
suddenly turns to the media corral, shakes some hands
and then gladly to the assembled military and thanks them for their service.

The presidential car backs up so he moves from troops
to his ride to a speaking engagement on the other side
of town, and in the sudden quiet, the media may now leave their pen.

Linger as the reporters file stories to cell phones
and television camera operators and the aluminum castle
provides a regal background, floodlit and pristine.

Capture the privileged, posing with three and four-year olds
for pictures against that glistening jewel, fences dismantled
Satisfied in the crisp cool afterglow, drive home; breathe deeply . . . . . .

Return to earth.


Happy Valendents Presitines Day
by Job Conger
written 9:15 am, Saturday, February 14, 2009

The newsprint on Lincoln’s 200th
radiates civic pride as though the city
has done the deeds of its most famous citizen.
How we bask in the reflected light of reprised memories.
 
“It was done and is and ever more shall shine.”
We bathe in the cleansing waters of happy coincidence
in our shared immersion baptism of the day to
wash away the sins of our iniquities.

How lucky the red of the Great Emancipator’s fate
of the sacrifice and unyielding allegiance to justice
harmonizes with a giddy contrivance of merry mercantiles
in glossy advertising inserts for Cupid coming only two days hence

In fading echoes of patriot deeds and dreams
we hear the clarion call to cards and dinner specials
and Pajama-grams in hat boxes for sweethearts,
Soft flannel prelude to the holiday for long-dead presidents.


Good Days Come
By Job Conger
written 6:15 February 6, 2009

Lurching through the winter chill
My mind awash in reverie
Memories haunt, as memories will,
the bitter heart that burdens me
Wide the time between contentments
When life’s turbid tides remake
Hours of bliss from woe and wanting:
Days so sweet as Christmas cake

Youth so passionate and certain
Deeds heroic for the cause
On life’s stage and now the curtain
Dims the reasons and applause
Still the art of finely crafted
Word impressions, joys can make
From the wisdom of surviving
Moments sweet as Christmas cake.

Grand the songs and lyric voices
Breathing deep in homage to
Lasting loves and lucky choices
Sparkling, laughing, ever-new
For such gifts may all who share them
Give as much as we may take
To the cherished here among us.
Friends so sweet as Christmas cake.

 
My Front Door
by Job Conger
written 1:50 p, Friday, January 30, 2009

Gateway to life
via art’s exultate,
gateway to love
drenching all ears
in thundering affirmate,

echoes of joys
that walked through my door.
echoes of dreams
which came again
until they came no more.


Of Arrow Sock and Soul
By Job Conger
written Friday, January 23, 6:18 pm


Traversing boldly
through time and space
to the purgatory of the lost:
arrows shot into the air
and still in lofty flight
beyond Longfellow’s oak,
the pristine forms of
feather, wood and steel
zoom on
through stoic infinity.


It is the place where solitary socks
purloined by churlish fate
from dryer and clothesline
consort estranged
from partners’ company;
a sorry world
of  screaming
AM-ness
to the vast, unhearing void.


And so it is my destiny as well
as my honed words
that seek to penetrate
the callous armor of my world’s
indifference
continue to burst outbound
 unaffected by the cognac of appreciation
or the hemlock of arrestment.

These sharpened points
and finely woven cotton comforters
are words that will not die
because I am not yet dust.
But they will not rest where they belong
whether deep into the bull’s eye
or in the dresser drawer
or in the hearts of my close
and distant                                                 humanity
foiled again by uncherished though unguilty
eyeless, earless reality.

My words and so
many poets’ words
of arrows, socks and souls
will never find their heaven
or their hell.
They will forever dwell
in the purgatory of the lost
and will never come home.

From the Bowl With the Submerged Tiny Castle Resting on Sand
By Job Conger
written 4:52 pm, Friday, January 23, 2009

“How sad, my
three-second
memory,”

“How sad, my
three-second
memory,”

“How sad, my
three-second
memory,”

“How sad, my
three-second
memory,”

“How sad, my
three-second
memory,”

wrote the gold
fish poet.



The Pork and Chicken Song
by Job Conger
written 3:20 pm , Friday, January 30, 2009

If we can’t stop popping out passion fruit,
it’s a simple fact the world is doomed to die.
There’s a frequent consequence that comes from bleeping
like wild minks in heat, not bothering to ask why.
It should be obvious -- the cost of scourge oblivious --
while we ravage rain forest deep in dark Brazil.
We are slaughtering the bounty of our beautiful earth
and chortling gaily till there’s nothing left to kill.

Just think for a minute: our world is not infinite.
The time for rampant fratricide is through.
And the Chinese crave more pork and chicken.
What else can we do?

Affection for lovers who we cherish dearly
isn’t ill advised and sure to bring us sorrows,
but our morning-after apathy for generations coming
can tarnish outcomes of golden tomorrows.
We are stewards anointed to nurture our world;
not to suffocate it shouting “Hey, that’s BULL shite!”
We need more than breezy songs; we need hands in motion --
hearts committed now to do what we must do right.

Just think for a minute: our world is not infinite.
The time for rampant fratricide is through.
And the Chinese crave more pork and chicken.
What else can we do?

Some defiantly proclaim capitalist ways mean zilch.
The world is one big zoo and we are all just monkeys.
Sexuality is the opiate of the healthy.
Girls who can’t say no are merely willing junkies.
While it’s all so wrong to tell them they can’t strut and rut;
it’s wrong  to pass to future kith and kin the bills.
It’s a favor to the future: limit perfect body antics
or we’ll harvest costly population ills.

Just think for a minute: our world is not infinite.
The time for rampant fratricide is through.
And the Chinese crave more pork and chicken.
What else can we do?

The souls that were here on God’s day one
lived through countless eons of unmeasured time
And morality we call law that’s based on temporary flesh
is morality that’s based on selfish crime.
We commit it day and nightly against all living creatures:
Birds of the air and all the fishes in the sea
and the reckless, blind,  self indulging mob
that some sages like to call humanity.

Just think for a minute: our world is not infinite.
The time for rampant fratricide is through.
And the Chinese crave more pork and chicken.
What else can we do?

And our souls will never die, so says one God
whose words to humankind should make us certain.
He said we don’t own the cosmos. We are only passing through.
Life’s a stage we share before the final curtain.
While the bleepers bleep away in brainless disrespect
to future generations past their comprehension
Don’t you know now is the time for earnest resolution
toward a saner future sans our condescension.

Just think for a minute: our world is not infinite.
The time for rampant fratricide is through.
And the Chinese crave more pork and chicken.
What else can we do?






Considerable Mystery Still Surrounds
by Job Conger
written 9:10 pm, March 13, 2008

Scotch granite, topped with ghostly marble white.
Her echo in our town is tall, but slim;
this visage of a brilliant love that bloomed,
the soul mate, spurned by the old-world starched and prim.
She, in common law, wed a great preacher of the age,
and he, for that, deposed but not expelled by his angry flock,
built a graveyard torch-song to blaze to all below:
imperious statuary boasting "free love," modern stock.

Mattie S. Rayburn, the bishop’s second wife
whom holy folk of Rushville would disdain
would rise above the wingless cackling crows,
and there, in silent triumph, would remain
since 1891, forty feet in lofty rank,
second in height only to Lincoln’s noble clan,
this stony testament of husband’s love
joined by their God sans sacrament of man.

The grand, polished, pedestal proclaims his passion fire,
yet, how the quaint marker almost in its shade
just to the east, whispers her burial place,
smaller than the nearby names and dates arrayed.
The bishop sailed from turbid Springfield tides
to destinations not remembered well
He’s buried in Ireland or pauper’s grave
in Paris; none alive today can tell.

Can we imagine what lustful laughter and
joy our Mattie gave to her man true?
that covenant between harmonious souls
the love most prairie sod busters never knew?
Do we dare dream our own life mates can match
the story of the bishop and his wife
who only to each other pledged their hopes
and arm in arm, gladly, embraced this life?

It’s fitting if we can, and without shame,
embrace that legacy to Oak Ridge eyes
--sparkling still today for visitors to see --
that shows the ages love that never dies;
reminds the world how God can join as one
what biddies cannot denigrate with spite,
and sings to us from firmament of stone:
Scotch granite topped with ghostly marble white.


--  written for the seventh annual Museum of Funeral Customs Poetry Reading, March 15, 2008.


The Moral Way to Kill
by Job Conger
drafted 11:29 am,Wednesday, August 17, 2005


There was a lesson worth remembering
when Cain killed Abel.

If you believe that humanity
proved its imperfection
with a shared apple,
but still you chasten our species
as though you are God
and not of the tarnished tribes,
you should understand
the fallibility of the fallen
is not only my woeful shortcoming;
it is yours.

Every society has murdered
raped, plundered
hurled unwholesome epithets
and made fun of people.
It has been intrinsic to our humanity
since we walked out of Eden.
It isn't right,
but
it's inevitable.

The self-sanctified pedants
who claim the higher moral ground
and consider their pee perfume,
wage a lie crusade against God’s own teachingL
From one side of their mouths, they say
perfection in life
leads to perfection in heaven.

From the other side of their mouths,
they promise earnest seekers of truth
who don’t eat meat on Friday,
and don’t use birth control,
and believe that planet Earth
is the center of the universe
(Galileo took that one on the chin),
who consider immutable
the teachings of the church
will find salvation for their sacrifice..

The knowing few,
understand how
no matter the pain and injustice
we suffer on this earth,
our souls will live forever
with or without 100 temporary virgins
or 100 clones of Omar Shariff.
My salvation will happen not by deeds,
but by grace,
that ultimate gift, which I cannot buy.

God doesn’t say life will be easy;
God says life will be
and not be.

The right kind of the right kind --
mostly their kind
and few of the other kinds
because the other kinds
are not as perfect as their kind --
say "Whistle at my wife and I will kill you."
They also say
"Kill the convicted
because it is better to reap
vengeance from the occasional innocent,
who is caught in the vice of injuistice
every now and then,
than to let one guilty person get away with anything,
even if he or she does get away
when the system guesses wrong.
And besides,
even if we snuff the innocent by accident,
God will sort it all out anyway,
so there is no blood on our hands."

Christ said turn the other cheek.
Is this how the right kind
of the right kind
behaves?
No.
They fight as though they love to fight,
as though the blood of their all-consuming deviltry
excites them,
as it excites the unbeliever.
It’s the incomparable turn-on
of getting even.
Don’t muddle their minds with Christ's holy example.

We have lost the moral imperative
to demonstrate our understanding
of the lessons
proven true
through the ages.

Even the gazelle puts up a fight
when confronted by the hungry lion.

Self preservation matters
when reacting to a demonstrated
unprovoked threat of death
that is real and not a lie.
I do not understand why
you want to kill me, but I want to live,
and if you insist on trying to kill me,
I will try to kill you first.
As there is self-preservation for humans,
there is self preservation for nations of humans as well.

Truth is the key.
Without truth, the fabricators of lies
who draw nations to war
earn themselves
a special place in hell.

When the demise of my brother or sister
or my neighbor
threatens me,
I am bound,
in the interest of self preservation,
to defend my brother and my neighbor.

How do we know the truth when we hear it?
We know it because it stands alone
and doesn’t take sides,
though sometimes a side takes it
and stands for truth.

"Initiating war with Iraq so soon is wrong."
is as true from the mouth of a Republican
as from the mouth of a Democrat,
as from the mouth of a Samoan,
as from the mouth of a Belgian.

The Nazi soldier
was not guiltier
for killing an innocent
than the American or Brit
who did the same.

The Moslem who lies to his nation
is no more deserving of a hangman’s noose
than the right kind of the right kind
of Christian who considers him
unworthy to witness
tomorrow’s sunrise.

Truth is not always the best consideration
when politics signs the pay checks.
Pledge your allegiance to truth
understanding how
you may starve for your devotion.

If we, in our humanity,
fallen from Eden,
have any attribute worthy of God’s salvation,
surely, it is the consistence and sincerity
of our efforts
to know the truth
unsullied by politics,
to know it uncut,
un-mutated by passing circumstance
and to stand for it
whether or not
there is a virgin or a
sweet talking, bridge-playing pirate of luv,
no matter what the uncaring multitudes say.
This is the way
we may or may not
find our Nirvana in this life
and beyond.

==============
Wars of Summer
by Job Conger
written 6:10 p.m., Wednesday, Auguts 3, 2005


We paint our personnas
with hues of hope and love and peace,
marching to the dirge of dreams
soaking desert sands with crimson.

While protesting wars we cannot reach
we lock up our hearts and minds
to imprison the wars of silent rage
we wage from deep within our chastened souls.

Like pennants in the summer breeze
we fly the colors of our disquietude,
calling patriots to arms
to quench the conflagration far away.

Still, how we cling to our private wars
fought with the same indignant spites
that spark the flames beyond our skins,
that prove us not to be disciples of peace,
but merely pimps for our own chosen passions.


Song of My Soul
   by Job Conger
   
completed 5:50 pm, June 15, 2005

My conscience  e x t e n d s
further than I can reach with my hands
but not
further than I can reach with my heart.

Life is not logical,
lived by brittle,
un c o m p r o m i s i n g
rules.

Love is more than silent truth.
It is a demonstration.
Love is the tree that falls in the forest
and people hear it.
Anything less is hearsay
and I do not believe it.

As I am not my brother's keeper,
you are not  m y  keeper.
I know this for certain
when I try to sell my books
and try to get a ride to Bloomington.

As long as I believe
that the creating entity
to whom I owe my life and my soul
is the only arbiter of my salvation,
I will not lie to others,
pretending I can save them.

Because I am human,
unlike the rabbit who may
run from the fox without despising
harsh fate who sometimes takes the fox's side,
I protest the words and actions
of those who pretend they possess
as the unknowable will of Yaweh.

When the pretenders
to the power of salvation
seek to prevail against my words,
the way my blustering brother
protested mightily
when I sneaked sips
of Dad's deeply-closeted Crown Royal
when I was all of 14 and he was all of 12,
I will remind the pretenders
that  salvation
is not theirs to give to me
or to take away from me.

And when the assassins
reap perverse satisfaction
from killing doctors
while celebrating
the sentencing
of innocent, but convicted, defendants
to death by wanton vengeance,
strapped to a chair,
I will remind them
that the soul is not
made or destroyed
by sleazy pontification
and cowardice.

The soul will not be sanctified
by the likes of them
or by the likes of me.

My best dream is
that I will be true
to my understanding of the creator,
true to what lies within
the reach of my hands
but not beyond the reach of my heart.


My best dream
is that I will live according to

the will of Yaweh,
and that He
will be well pleased.

My best dream
is that by living this way
I will bring honor to my name
today
and beyond today.

= = = = = = = = =
Eight Seconds in South Carolina
      
by Job Conger
                    completed 4:03 p.m., May 26, 2005

Vacation trips are best from the back seat
rolling over two-lane state route concrete
with pimento cheese sandwiches passed back
from Mom who turns cheddar, red thingees
and Miracle Whip into ambrosia, the family’s
purveyor of paper cups of Thermos jugged iced tea.
She does 60 mile-an-hour crossword puzzles
between junction advisories to Dad,
the driving force behind the steering wheel
of our new 1959 Buick Electra,
the first one purchased in Springfield, Illinois.

Five hours ago, we pulled out
of my sister Dorothy’s driveway
in Wheeling, West Virginia,
aiming for Aunt Stelle’s country home
in Elberton, Georgia.
Younger brother naps in the left corner of the car,
18 inches away and two years behind me,
oblivious to the passing panorama.
My eyes survey the South Carolina countryside:
a land of pig pens, shallow red rivers, and ragged grass
of weather worn houses that haven’t seen paint
in 30 years, almost hidden at the ends of dusty lanes
that bend into sentinel groves of trees
up the hill and a world away from pimento cheese
on white bread


The only clues to human habitation hereabouts
in this rain-spitting, barren, Monday afternoon jumble
are tin mailboxes topping posts installed roadside
for rural mail carriers driving federal vehicles,
the interface of messengers bearing catalogs from Sears
and news from California cousins who moved away in ‘48 and
up ahead -- LOOK!   Someone’s walking up to a mailbox!

Mom’s eyes focus on 35 across,
Dad’s eyes ride the dashing yellow line,
brother Bill dreams (probably) of frogs,
but I see her. She’s not much older than me,
hair to the shoulder, dark, like coal,
ordinary clothes, but the eyes!

She looks up from the mailbox, and her eyes find mine
and she holds my eyes as I hold hers,
not smiling; just contact. I KNOW her!
We have found each other!


I want to shout to Dad to stop the car
and back up to that mailbox!
But Dad would never stop . . . because we are on vacation.
He is director of the travel itinerary, which
does not include scaring teen-age girls
who came down to get the mail.
But she and I will not let go
of each others’ unblinking eyes!

So I shout through my irises and pupils and eyebrows:
I KNOW YOU! I might have loved you!
(God only knows where or when or how.)
Don’t forget me!
I won’t forget you!
And we will – the concrete rises
between her and me
as the car heads down the hill with no apology
for this brutal intercession.

And eight seconds to remember
on a forgotten byway
come to an end,

which is to say almost.

She lives with me.
Madder moments
with now-forgotten passing fancies
in high school and after
have faded from my memory.
But she is my soul’s companion now,
though I do not know her name.
I know that she remembers me
after, perhaps, her first two husbands
and moving to the city
after grand kids and diets and
lots of good times too.

So when I think of summer vacations
and the places I’ve been
and the people I’ve seen
I think mostly of a girl in
the chilly high hills of South Carolina
whose searching eyes found mine, decades ago,
and warm my heart today.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

To My Unrequited Love
       by Job Conger
             written 9:25 p.m., Wednesday, March 2, 2005

If I could,
some day I would
     drink
        my
          way
            past

you.

First, I would open a bottle of whiskey
       the way a woman is undressed
       on a first night with a new lover.

Then, I would pour five shots into glasses
             and speak, calmly,
             asking questions,
             imagining secrets
             hidden beyond incomplete answers.

I would then pour three fingers’ deep at a time
                    reveling in my confidence and joy
                    trading lore with you:
                    history, insights to tomorrows
                   that will never arrive except in dreams;
                   truths too magnificent for long minutes.

My eyes would not see you as I
                               careen through the last few inches
                               of amber permission
                              to
                              the
                              bottom
                              of
                              the
                              fragrant,
                              empty bottle . . .

. . . and hours after swallowing the last drop,
                                          I would awaken,
                                          and you would be gone,
                                          and I would never know
                                          you had been
there.
       - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rest In Peace "Thankyou"
by Job Conger
written 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Your time has come and gone
and now you're dead,
thankyou.
You're often seen in print
but seldom said,
thankyou.

A courtesy of days gone by.
drifting off -- just God knows why,
a star in heaven,
now banished from the sky,
thankyou.

A word or compound word
so right for special times:
thankyou.
And 'cept for "dank poo"
'n' "rank stew," it's hard to find good rhymes.
thank you.

Still, you held on through the ages,
uttered from the tongues of sages,
simple on time
saga's pages,
thank you.

Now, this verbal up-and-comer
leaves me cold:
thankyousomuch!
Chitty chatty cliche mouth fart;
mere fool's gold:
thankyousomuch!

Ramble-blather, modern
emptiness of heart
thankyousomuch!
Syllables a plenty,
poetaster's art:
thankyousomuch!

Would I wordcrafters true
might convince friends, family too
thankyousomuch to eschew.
Thankyou.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

What the Middle-Aged Guy Said
by Job Conger
written 1:37 p.m., February 1, 2005

When I am old, I shall wear people.

People who fit me like a glove,
I shall wear on my hand.
People I take to the dance,
I shall wear on my arm.
People I love
I shall wear in my heart.

People whose lives do not
harmonize with mine,
but who like me,
I shall wear . . . . . . . . . . . . . at arms' length.

Those whose minds move
to the beat of the drummer
whose rhythms also inspire me,
I shall wear them well.

Wonderful conversationalists
I shall wear on my ears.

Lovers and friends lost to time
I shall wear in my memory,
ready, at the drop of a hat,
to pull them out and share the colors of their lives
with lovers and friends today.

People whose physicality
is a beautiful symphony
I shall wear on my eyes.

People who live in perpetual solmemnity
I will not bother to remove
from the hooked, triangular
wire apparati from which they hang.

People who grate on my nerves,
I will wear thin.

Folks for whom I feel rapturous affection
I will wear on my lips as often as possible.

People who have turned my hope to anguish
one time too many
I will wear
on the bottoms of the soles
of my unpolished shoes.

When I am old, I shall wear people
as I wear them today, and am worn in return.
And if the reader thinks that "wearing people"
is an idle, simple whimsy, a milkweed, a whiffle ball
struck with a plastic bat toward the outfield of philosophy,
that's okay with me.

After all,
I was only putting you on.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

just the moment's rum
without the "ble" or thunder --
haiku USA

-- Job Conger
   October 21, 2000
(filing some earlier creative writing and discoverd this, not shared until now)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Cameron Do Well
by Job Conger
written 10:15, Sunday, December 5, 2004

In Central Illinois in rockin' Springfield town,
He plays his tasteful music ‘fore the sun go down.
The kid is total kewl and surely will go far,
And he can ring him a bell just like a playin’ guitar.
At Washington Park’s carillon we hear him play,
Singing go Cameron go today – hey hey hey!

Go, go Cameron go, GO, go Cameron GO
Go, go Cameron go; GO, go Cameron GO
GO -- Cameron Dowe, II

He grew up walking distance from the White Oaks mall.
The boy was barely 10 when he first heard the call
Of tintinnabulation and the many fans
Of Thomas Rees Memorial’s Karel Keldermans.
The bronze and granite edifice will bring him fame.
If you don't dig the music, that’s a cryin’ shame.

GO, go Cameron go, GO, go Cameron GO
Go, go Cameron go; GO, go Cameron GO
GO -- Cameron Dowe, II

With lofty aspirations and a heart that’s pure,
The kid is destined to be a great carillonneur.
He pounds the Pozdro, Barnes, DeTurk and anthems sweet,
His crazy boppin' "Byrnes" with a funky beat.
Folks outside they can hear him 30 blocks away
Singing go Cameron go today.

Go, go Cameron GO, Go, Cameron GO
Go, go Cameron go; GO, go Cameron GO
GO -- Cameron Do-Well

Thanks to Karel Keldermans for providing   names of internationally known composers of carillon music snd for the news that he and Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon will present a concert of holiday music starting at 4 p.m. Sunday, December 12. Karel also notes (no pun intended)  that tours of this fascinating landmark are not available over the winter months. Tours will resume in the spring.
============

A Distoibing Tot
by Job Conger
    December 1, 2004

John F. Kennedy asked
"What can I do
for my country?"
and they assassinated him
before his vision came to be.
George W. Bush asked
"What can my country
do for me?"
and they elected him twice
to the presidency.
DUuh

NEW -- POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2004

Veteran’s Day 2004
by Job Conger

Before corporal Eugene Lazarinski’s lungs
were completely crushed by the German Tiger tank
on open ground just east of
Pais de Sulac, France in November, 1944,
his last whispered word was "Margaret!"

Before picking up her grandkids
from Jefferson Middle School on November 10, 2004
Qathi’s last words to the clerk at
Factory Seconds' Sale-A-Rama were
"You have a nice day, too."

While dodging triple A so thick
you could get out and walk on it
over a factory near Pyong-Yang North Korea
on July 23, 1952
Colonel David Plessy winced as a piece of shrapnel
crashed through the cockpit window just off his left ear
and bisected his head as he leaned forward
in the left seat of his B-29.
He hardly felt a thing,
and, thanks to an alert co-pilot,
the rest of the crew made it back to Yokota in one piece.

While looking for a way to boost sales
before the real recession takes hold in mid December,
a marketing VP at Flash ‘n’ Trash corporate
planned a Veteran’s Day
15 PERCENT OFF ENTIRE STOCK
(special exceptions may apply) SALE,
and as for the quick and the dead,
the military men and women
whose sacrifices won him that privilege,

he hardly felt a thing.

On this hallowed, solemn Veterans Day,
so many true Americans,
with their superior moral ways
reach out to those who must live on
after the intended and unintended
sacrifices for freedom’s ways,
made by their loved ones,
and what do these moral Americans say?
They say "History! Ain’t it a kick?
Hey, let’s go buy something!"


Posted October 8, 2004

Page 2
    by Job Conger
    written June 26, 2003

(introduction)
For months, President Bush fed us lies
Served by pious, righteous cronies, sleek and wise.
Some of us  didn't care to dine on their siren soup du fear.
Now digestion time is over, and the truth is odiferously clear

He'll dodge and dance like few Yale frat brats can
When Dubya's feces of lies hit the fan.
Though he sold us a war, second guessing is a drag.
It's amazing what some folks take home when you wrap it in a flag!

He has stained our proud Stars and Stripes true
With new colors of brown, black and blue.
Those who saw through his blow; we ain't real 'Mer'cuns no mo
As Dubya's feces of lies hit the fan.

Front yard Patriot signs are the rage
Like arm band fashions in an earlier age.
The feared weapons are as real as the emporer's new clothes.
Those facts should be so clear to all who breathe through their nose.

The Congress feasted on pork barrel pie.
"The sounds of silence" was their battle cry.
They stayed cool and well-fed while soldiers brave died and bled
And Dubya's feces of lies hit the fan.

Now he tells us "Hussein had to go!"
"Nobody ever really liked the guy, y' know."
Though the U.N. tried hard, they could not find a trace
So the "compassionate conservative" sent war in their place.

Now  as we hold noses tightly and pray,
It's time to send Chief Inspector  O. J.
For gasless, germless blue skies, can't match a pro's alibis
As Dubya's feces of lies hit the fan.

 

Soldier Song
    by Job Conger   
        written July 14, 2003

There is no greater sacrifice
Than to serve the U.S.A.
In a military uniform, not knowing
What might become of you some day.
While civilians adjust their central air,
Brave soldiers fight and die.
What a shame the war they fight to win
Was launched upon a lie.

(chorus between verses)    We're entitled to our opinions,
                                            But I want to tell you, true:
                                            When you spit on our fighting man,
                                            I'm going to spit on you.

The couboy landing on an aircraft carrier
To make a campaign video
Insults the sailors who sweat for freedom
Umpteen decks below
The president who slashes V.A. hospital funding
And cuts back support for folks like customs inspectors
While strutting like the cat who ate the canary
Aid and abets his check-writing electors.

(chorus)

The troops fighting clear and present dangers
Or to settle an old, un-forgiven score
Deserve our prayers and sincere respect
In peacetime and in war.
To those who give unselfishly
Responding to duty's call,
I sing the thanks of a grateful nation.
May God bless you all!

(chorus)

VOTE FOR GEORGE BUSH!
     by Job Conger
            written 8:15 October 17, 2004

I will eat no more cheesecake
except during December.
I will run all the way to Rochester and back
along the Lost Bridge Trail
and never stop for a sip of water.
I will do 200 situps every morning
before breakfast.
I will always love
the one I'm with.
I  will always be courteous
to telephone solicitors,
but
I will never
VOTE FOR GEORGE BUSH!

 

Chickens
          by Job Conger
          written 9:12 a.m., September 17, 2004 at Washington Park


What will you say, America
When the chickens come home to roost?
For your president’s crimes
When the tolling bell chimes
What will be your alibi
To the Head in the Sky?

What will you say, America
When the chickens come home to roost?
Will the innocent dead
And the thousands who bled
For vendetta’s crusade
Touch the dreams you have made?

Will a price of a
fraudulent premise
Reveal
Just a hint of gross shame?
Will it change how
You feel?


What will you say, America
When the chickens come home to roost?
Since no nation’s an island
We need more than a smile and
A president’s blow
To set right what we know.

What will you say, America
When the chickens come home to roost?
What resolve will you make?
Will you eat crow or cake
When the chickens come home to roost?


Important Sins
     
by Job Conger
       written at 6:25 p.m., September 19, 2004, home office


If you think sacrificing
more than a thousand lives
for a contrived war in Iraq
and tolerating sadistic extremes
in POW pens,
sanctioned by those
who have been taught
to lead better
insults the national conscience,
just wait until the next
Democrat official gets caught
in the company of a whore
with his zipper down.

That’s when we’ll learn about "morality" --
when we chastise one who spurns a higher code.
Sin’s what happens under desks;
not in sending soldiers off to eternity,
waiting for them on a dusty desert road.

Some tell us it's not important
to understand the difference
between a 527 advertisement
which states the truth
and the 527 advertisement
which states untruths when they urge
the banishment of all 527 advertisements.
But, those who understand that difference,
also understand what our president will lose
by acknowledging the difference,
and confusing his supporters
who hate to be frustrated by facts.

As soldiers die for smirks, lies,  and contempt for differing opinions
TRUE Americans should never take offense.
We should shout indignant rants
against straying sinners with loose pants --
especially libidinous, presidents.

IMO’s August 18, 2004
      
by Job Conger
       written at IMO's Pizza open mic 7:15 p.m., August 18, 2004

Aspiring eyes
twinkle in anticipation
of streams of hopes and points of view
coming together in
one flowing
confluence,
the way a fireworks display is
a confluence
of flowing
light.

If His Name Were Hideki
    
by Job Conger
   written 6:09 p.m., Thursday, August 26, 2004

 He’s a barker at the county fair
For a penny pitch game.
He’s a pre-emptive striker

with no feel for propriety and shame.
Yet we know from the annals of history
What Justice brings to the brazen misanthrope.
If his name were Hideki
He’d be hiking to a dangling rope.

Joe McCarthy sang a siren song
Of Commies lurking under rocks.
In the name of liberation, Hitler troops
Took North Africa with a Desert Fox.
And to side step petty truth, a frat brat
Put us sliding down a slippery slope.
If his name were Hideki
He’d be hiking to a dangling rope.


Just remember the lessons
Taught by tyrants who invoked God’s name.
Whether Shinto, anti-Semite or Christian,
Hate chokes freedom just the same.
Only citizens of founders’ ways
Can fix a nation searching for new hope.
If his name were Hideki
He’d be hiking to a dangling rope.


-- posted September 21, 2double-naught4

Tomar YO
by Job Conger
completed in the home office 11:30 a
Sunday September18, 2004 after starting it at Washington Park

I’m resigning from humanity
I do not want to burn in hell
with sullied souls who ne’r do well,
careening through the flames to sell
their mother’s spleen for the asking price
with tongues of fire and hearts of ice.
This is not my dream of paradise.

I’ll be the animal I must be
but not with laggards limp and crass
whose justice comes from mobs en masse
who live in homes of shattered glass.
My fate is sought on higher plains
where harmony of hopes sustains
the poet’s muse and seldom wanes.

On God’s green earth and living free
Within each soul, solutions sleep.
Sometimes it takes a running leap
to span the chasms wide and deep
which hide ‘neath snows of arrogance
and under artifice, perchance,
to miss the mire of petulance.

My love will touch eternity
where kindred souls with kindred ways
will share my words from early days
and toasts with fine red wine will raise
for truths transcendent of the clock,
the shards of clay that once were crock,
and of the sand which once was rock.


Scan Human
by Job Conger
written 9:37 a.m., September 17, 2004,at Washington Park

Rag men and dissidents,
guilty and innocents,
uncultured sycophants
with dirty underpants,
legions of sullen swine,
heedless of words divine,
grizzled, devoid of hopes,
morn’-after misanthropes,
caustic rebutters, droll
,
-- Fate’s reaped a heavy toll. –
lost to the end to die.
There but for Grace go I.


NEW -- September 2, 2004
     September 11, 2001 Trilogy

Words to Distant Departed
    By Job Conger

Those who have no use for God,
may sometimes want, in wonder,
to find meaning from souls lost to new dimension.
Earnest hearts broken
by rash, random consequences
that pervade our lives in growing apprehension,
may seek to glimpse understanding --
revealed by way of those departed --
reaching out to those who quest to know.

May the blood and bones of strangers
motivate the caring living
to dream of a better world and work to make it so.

Come to me
spirits wiser than the living
that I may share
what you have come to know
from your unsolicited sacrifice,
that I may be wiser
and make many lives the better
because of your departure from our lives.

Platitudes unfurling like banners
in the uncaring wind
can’t fortify the fabric
of humanity made deaf from talk; not doing.
Vengeance never spawned
new life from bitter sorrow.
Life is all that should be worth pursuing.
In our quest for sane tomorrows,
there will be no swift redemption.
Such won’t come from shouting
pharisees, and prophets.

With strong hands
and dedicated hearts
we must build what we desire
or surrender
to the ashes
of our regrets.

(second poem)

Five Seconds
By Job Conger

Her
journey
to
eternity
from
the
90th
floor
of
the
South
Tower
lasted
this . . .


(third poem)

Truths and Consequences
By Job Conger

Some truths transcend religion
and don’t require a voice vote
with angel-arms raised
by Bahaulla,
Buddha,
Christ,
Emporer of Nippon,
Jehovah,
Krishna,
Mohammed.
Whitman
said "learn’d and unlearn’d
Feel that it is so."
and I believe him.
Those transcendental truths
which shredded skies and dreams
on September 11, 2001
are my concern.

Life is not truths but politics.
For many opinions to trump anarchy,
there must be sides
which require allegiances
and compromises of truth.

This is how my sin against your brother
becomes more right-eous than your sin against mine.
This is why, not only must you be Christian,
you must be the right kind of Christian,
and you must be the right kind
of the right kind.

To sublimate politics to reality
is to surrender your place in
the dugout of humanity where
players wait for their turn at bat,
and the truth believers,
stay away from the ball park because
they have learned,
from lynchers of slaves
and Socrates,
that they have no business there.

Sometimes, the kid with all the balls
deserves to be told she is a jerk
by those who have no business at the ball park
and by those who do.
Tyrants wear cloaks of many colors, but there
is no fabric stronger than that of truth un-politicked.

The 19 hijackers who terminated
thousands of lives on their day to die
were not creating a war;
they were continuing a war,
taking it to the innocents,
as holy sagas have told since
Lott’s wife and before
and after.
They did not invent terror;
they followed their religion
as Crusaders in Jerusalem
followed theirs,
as Spanish priests in Peru
followed theirs,
as politicians in Tel Aviv
follow theirs
as Christpublicans in New Scarlet Letter-land
follow theirs.

Whitman said "Out of the dimness,
opposite equals advance."
Too often we bluster that we are
more equal
than those who are pro-choice,
those who eat chitterlings
or wear our blue genes like AKC pedigrees,
and we learn the truth
in the dust
of our imperiled lives
as we rail against compromise
with those who are on the wrong track.

Some truths transcend religion,
and for our world to live
in harmony,
we should consider this, everyone,
on September 11, 2004
before it is
too late.

Short Poem's Reward
                                by Job Conger

If we
are lucky,
the short poem gives us
the ice cream sundae cherry
after we have tasted
sweet, the bracing flavors,
and surprised the palate
with the near-forgotten
red reward a waiting
at bottom of the
bowl.


-- written sometime in summer 04

  Stranfront.jpg (10152 bytes)  Stranback.jpg (18100 bytes)  It's NEW (gesundheit!) 
Vachel Lindsay: Strange Gold - a biography and apppreciation
                        of Springfield Illinois' most famous native son -- by Job Conger

       I started putting this book together in 1999 though I had been thinking about it since '94. While I was dueling with more demanding dragons, an early bio draft, read and reviewed by three friends hibernated in a file 18 inches from my right hand in my ommmm office.    
      With a solid chunk of diminishing capital in 2003, I resolved to A: publish my third book of poetry (Bear' sKin) ; B: revise and publish a second edition of my first book of poetry (Minstrel's Ramble: To Live and Die in Springfield, Illinois) and 3: complete a book I originally entitled The Lindsay Compact. An acquaintance recommended that I contact the state or local arts councils for assistance in paying for publishing the Lindsay book, but I considered that since such organizations operate with time lines of    y e a r s   from conception. . . . . . to final product, my time was better spent PRODUCING it by my self-made deadline of November 10, 2003, Vachel Lindsay's birthday.
     I changed the title in September '03 because it was not appealing; it did not draw interest from some good people I mentioned it to. It took about 4 seconds to select Strange Gold as the new title, and subsequent favorable responses validated this choice.
     SG presents five major elements:
       1. a biography combined with short mentions of events in Springfield which occurred
             during the poet's life.
       2. an assessment of how the poet is remembered in Springfield today.
       3.  poems which I enjoy sharing with others, to whom I share my knowledge of the life
              of the poet and recite his poems, usually from memory. These poems are accompanied
              by my short comments about them: why they are good, what readers should know
              about their backgrounds. This is not scholastic dissertation; it's conversation in print.
        4.  an annotated bibliography. Since I've purchased and read every book by and about
              Vachel   that I have seen mentioned in most more lengthy tomes, I considered it
               would benefit readers who are new to Lindsay, who might want to learn volumes
               more about him.
        5   finally a poem I wrote about the poet.
        Included in the book are notes about web sites and organizations who share the Vachel Lindsay story in their own unique ways.  It is softbound, with color cover, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, 148 pages long, illustrated with pictures of Vachel and his family and of sites that bear his name in Springfield, Illinois, including his burial site at Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. 
        Vachel Lindsay: Strange Gold may be purchased for $10 wherever I am invited to read my poetry and/or recite Vachel Lindsay's poems. To order Vachel Lindsay: Strange Gold, sent by first class postage, please make your check for $13 payable to Job Conger and send it to 428 W. Vine St., Springfield, IL 62704-2933
            

  FLASH -- my first new poem since July 14, 2003 below....

Wisdom
                       
by Job Conger
                             written 11:20 A.M. Monday, February 23, 2004

Wisdom is desire resigned
to understand chance favors no one.
Circumstance will coincide with
random whimsy; not with names
and not with dreams and not with odds
and ends of deeds.

Wisdom is the truth refined
from countless crashings and redemptions
waves of nurture and starvation,
terrors in the night and solace,
the blade honed from side-swiping
the ruins of once-eminent boulders

Wisdom abject, unaligned,
haunts the hearts who dream of better,
living fantasies of child-rhymes
while imprisoned other voices
of the hopeless, subjugated,
sing dirges to the souls of knights errant.

 

GOOD  NEWS!
     My first book of poetry -- Minstrel's Ramble: to Live and Die in Springfield, Illinois has been reprinted with the old typographical errors corrected and some new ones added in appreciation for the readers who pay attention. I have added a web page which explains the origin of each poem and additional information. You can enjoy this page by clicking here. From that page, you will be invited to read seven poems which appear in Minstrel's Ramble. The seven poems are not yet posted. When they are, we will add a link from the page already mentioned.

VERY GOOD NEWS
   Wit's End,  has  a page of inside information about the origins and background for the poems shared therein here  and a separate web page of seven representative poems.  This book is a COLLECTOR'S ITEM if anyone ever pays serious attention to my poetry. This is because I will not print a second edition to this book. I've made this decision because I'm not happy with a lot of the poems, and I am less happy with the way it comes across to the reader. I was in much too foul a frame of mind when I produced this book. So the best poems from Wit's End will be included in my sixth book of poems,  a book which will include what readers and I determine are the best poems from the first five books.  I have fewer than 50 Wit's End on hand, so now is the time to buy it  ($10 postpaid) if you can't say no to a truly skanky book that runs from bad to verse.

EXCITING NEWS       
    My third book of poetry, entitled Bear' sKin has been published. It has a page of facts and background info like the page created for Minstrel's Ramble. and Wit's End. You may visit the Bear' sKin page by clicking here. Seven poems selected from this book have been posted to a new page. Find a link to those poems at the explanations page.

HOW TO PURCHASE MY BOOKS
    Send your cash, check or money order (made payable to Job Conger)  for $10 for each of my books of poetry you wish to call your own or give to a friend  to 
Job Conger
428 W. Vine St.
Springfield, IL 62704-2933

Be sure to specify which book(s) you want. Better yet, specify all three books.

From my August 20, 2003 performance
at Imo's Pizza, Springfield, Illinois.

 
Thanks to Davids Bishop and Pitchford for taking these terrific pictures!
     If you are looking for a talented songwriter/poet for your restaurant, bar, festival or special event, please do both of us a favor and email writer@eosinc.com  with your phone number and mailing address.

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Lynn Paine seemed to enjoy the performance.

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Kathleen O'Hara reads the program I distributed to all who attended and applauded while Mike Smith in the background also gave me the clap.

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My  friends David Bishop, Amy and Graham visited from Atlanta,
Illinois for the event.

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Visit The Acoustic Jam, Conger and friends pickin' and grimacing,  by clicking here
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