billfriday.com

fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet.

Stuff and Things (001)

stuff and things xI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,

“I am NOT a blogger.”

I know that’s confusing, for bloggers and non-bloggers alike, because… BLOG.  THIS BLOG.  THIS BLOG you are reading.  Right NOW.

So, for those who don’t know me well…and that would be most of you… here’s how I have navigated the phrase, “I am not a blogger”.

I am a writer.  First and foremost, beyond all other labels, I am and will always be, a writer.  Not a blogger.  Not a poet.  Not an author.  A writer.  Even though I maintain a blog, and I have a whole book of published poetry.  So what, for me, started out as a blog, then became a place to post what I’ll call, for lack of a better term “content”… like a podcast which ran its course in just 13 weeks, uncategorized things I had written in the past for two websites I was no longer current with, and finally, poetry… it all seemed out of place for the form known as blogging, or at least what I had come to know as “blogging” from a few of my fellow bloggers, most of whom I barely read.

Until this year.

This year, everything I knew changed.  All the stuff and all the things.  About life.  About writing.  About blogging.

I went from writer to author, seemingly overnight.  With the unforeseen help and tireless teaching, editing, and emotional hand-holding of a friend and genuine blogger, I finished and published my first book.  Then, over the remainder of the summer, without warning, I saw what blogging really could be.  Not for expanding my contacts list.  Not for sales and marketing.  Not even for the joy of having others read my words.

But for experiencing life through others, beyond my writer’s walls.

And, with this actual BLOG post, I’m ready to call myself a BLOGGER.  Finally.  Once and for all.  Without fanfare.  Just acceptance that what I’ve been told is true, and there’s an entire world of writers and authors, bloggers and humans, out there.  Beyond my walls.  Beyond their own walls.  Ready to say hello.

So, without knowing what I’m doing, today I am Bill Friday, blogger.  With no agenda, no axe to grind, and no idea what I’m doing.  All I’ve got is a title.  These posts, mixed in with the poems and podcasts, will be known as “Stuff and Things”.  Because, as my friend and genuine blogger has told me on more than one occasion, that’s all a blog, and life, is really about…

The stuff, and things.

A Flaw in My Wiring

A Flaw in My Wiring… 

INSTAGRAM a flaw in my wiring PNG

c 2016 William S. Friday

POETRY: On the Edge

Okay, maybe this isn’t really a press release, but…

Come to MADE in Long BeachMADE

on Saturday, July 24th between 3:30 and 7:30 pm, for an early evening of books, poetry, stories about books and poetry, and special guests…

Ra Avis is the author of the book “Sack Nasty: Prison Poetry”.

Ra is a long-time WordPress blogger, SACK NASTY racurrently spending her nights (and most days) at rarasaur.com.  Sack Nasty is her first work to be published after 438 days of incarceration.  The poems and short stories she shares in the book are just the beginning of her story.

William S. Friday is the author of the book “A Death on Skunk Street”

Bill has been published both online and in print, billfridayYOUTUBEhosted an internet talk show, and is the keeper of his very own WordPress blog.  After 10 years of writing online for two citizen journals, as well as two long-running blogs, all those years and all those words became the basis for his first book.

Meet Ra, and Bill, at MADE in Long Beach, along with other incredibly talented guest artists, J.W. Gardner and Matthew Blashill.  All four of them will be reading excerpts from their most recently published works, and Ra and Bill will be signing copies of Sack Nasty and A Death on Skunk Street.

For additional info, click the MADE in Long Beach link at the top of the page.  See everybody there.

A Death on Skunk Street

deathonskunkstreet-page-001(1) FIFTEEN PCT

IT’S HERE!

A Death on Skunk Street, the only FIRST BOOK I will ever write, has arrived!  After ten years, and more starts and stops than a writer should have to count, A Death on Skunk Street can now be ordered direct from billfriday.com through my publisher, Hostile 17 Print.  On June 6, the book is also expected to be available through Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, and in ebook form.

Subtitled, “…a life in poems”, the book is both a remembrance, and a look forward, at what Bernard Malamud (“The Natural”) called, “The life we learn with… and the life we live after that”.

Skunk Street is a work of visions, written by a blue-collar college drop-out with the eloquence of an angry Psalmist.  Parts neon and noir, full moon and sunsets, and the words that come from feelings too often unexpressed.  From loneliness in a sea of humanity to, comfort in the company of self.  There’s blood, and brains, printed on every page.

-from Amazon.com

How to purchase a SIGNED COPY of A Death on Skunk Street…

US residents can purchase a signed/dedicated copy direct from the publisher for $15.00 USD by clicking THIS LINK…

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=MTU8ZEX3S7RAG

International residents can also purchase a signed/dedicated copy direct from the publisher for $20.00 USD by clicking THIS LINK…

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ASGQ8U2BN6PUU

Or buy via Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Skunk-Street-life-poems/dp/0692701591/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467623329&sr=8-1&keywords=a+death+on+skunk+street

All prices include shipping and handling.

Updates about appearances, in-person events, and other offers from Hostile 17 Print can be gotten right here at billfriday.com, as well as my Facebook page, William S. Friday.

Golden

golden woman retriever (2)

A place to live,

quiet and warm.

A dog,

big and loyal.

And a woman,

golden,

right and true,

who will love me

as much

as she loves the dog.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Muth Labben

ben muth labben

Today is for counting my wasted yesterdays
Each one neatly lined up
row on dusty row

Every year the same

Today is for remembering your unborn tomorrows
And the time I sit
because walking is too slow

There is no blame

Today is for pretending to make sense of the past
From a life ended
with nothing to show

When I speak your name

Today is for thinking that memories last
But all they do is fade
until they go

Like every unfinished song to be sung
About the death of a son

Copyright © 2012 Bill Friday

The Urgent Necessity of Words

type blood

I have grown to hate the urgent necessity of words…
poetic in their expression, as though they cannot be, any longer, spoken in something longer than short bursts of weak prose…

I have grown to hate the uselessness of words…
volumes of thought, stripped bare of all muscle and sinew, till all that’s left to show for it is the bleached bones of time…

I have grown to hate the feeble sounds of words…
their drone as repetitive as an infant’s vocabulary of need, never more expressive than I will, I want, I always I…

I have grown to hate the self-awareness of words…
knowledge without understanding, always one step behind, late for every good thing, yet right on time for eulogy…

I have grown to hate the hopefulness of words…
bright future in the shroud of history, always rising from within, like morning sun in the eyes of an all-night drunk…

I have grown to hate the efficacy of words…
healing souls that otherwise would die, mine being the first, as in physician heal thyself before you malpractice upon others…

I have grown to hate the eternality of words…
from the time before there was time, to the time when time is again no more, and how they have found me at my most lost…

I have grown to hate the urgent necessity of words…
complete in their ability, to hurt and to make whole, to damage and to comfort, and to seal their work with forever scars…

And my understanding of their purpose.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Remembrance Day

remembrance day

The day my life began, I was already seventeen-thousand, one-hundred and seventy days old.  And about one hour.  But what an hour.  I wasn’t ready for her, but she was ready for me.  She was brown, if brown could be its own shade of pastel.  Built like bull wire and tenderness in equal measure, beneath a newborn exterior.  Mine, and more than my redemption.

Today is her day.  The eighth celebration of her life that we, the ones who are graced by her, remember her with.  She is a normal eight-year-old girl.  She loves dolls and hockey, mac and cheese and Brussel sprouts, Shel Silverstein, and Bob’s Burgers.  She is loved, thank God, by her peers and her elders.  And she, thank God, loves her peers and her elders just the same.

And today, because there is love in this world that would not have existed had she not entered it, I write this.  For me.  For her family.  For her.  Because one day, she will read this, as she has already read my poetry.  And she will know that this is who she is to us.

She is the daughter of my daughter.  She is the heart of my heart.  And this day will forever be her birthday.  The eighth so far.  The remembrance day of when my life began.

And hers.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

Before the Scream

wall 3 scream

“Fuck”, I screamed into the night.  There are only so many times you can strike a pillow in the dark, without moving on to the headboard. Or the walls beside your bed. Kicking, outward, at the monsters that manifest, when they should have stayed deeply buried, with the voices, in your head.

Childhood is that place where outbursts are born, and hopefully they find their graves there, forever.  But sometimes, if the outbursts are not buried deep enough, they return.  Mine do.  Though not without just cause, and not because their cultivation was unforeseen.  These things can be felt, if you know what you’re feeling for, and I do.  It’s when the irrational overwhelms the rational.  When the past catches up to the present.  And when the angry little boy takes over the body of the man, trying to sleep through frustration he was never made fit to control.

I always wanted to please him, but he never showed me how.  There were no rules, only accidental connections with whatever it was he wanted out of me.  Smiles, as random as they were unexpected.  And severe rebuke when, in retrospect, a calm word would have caused all the tumblers in all the locks to all at once, miraculously, click into place.  He was harsh, not hurtful.  And when an apology was necessary, it came.  If not in a hurry, then just in time.  So it was, in those apologies, that I learned to give them when they were not asked for, and more so when they were.  And to anyone who required it, for the deeds that I had done.

Yet the last remaining anyone to whom I have to give those words of unconditional acquittal, is me.  Right before the scream.

© 2016 William S. Friday

The Next Time

van gough CUT one

My childhood is the nightlight
of my waning years.
My dad died,
on the front porch of my childhood home,
at the age of 68.
His dog at his side.
Only God could tell you what he,
and the dog,
went through in that moment,
together,
like they spent most days of his retirement.
My mom still worked,
so she was not there when it all went down.
His final heart attack,
with Harry,
their next door neighbor,
finding him long after it was too late.
And Jo-Jo,
his little girl,
the Sheltie who kept him company.

Things we learn so late.
The hug.
The smile and nod.
The dismissal of anger
when anger’s escalation feels so much more natural.
And the acceptance of the flaws of history,
in the things that can never change.
Because the past dies before we do,
yet we hold onto it tighter that we do our own departed loves.

Three days before his passing on the porch,
I had my last dismissal,
in a dinner and a game
with the man whose whole existence would shape my own.
Weakened by years and a failing heart,
he was now not the man of my youth,
but merely the container.
A shell of clear glass,
incapable of concealing anything,
especially the truth.
He was almost dead that night,
but in him I saw only life.
We said goodnight,
not in any sort of dramatic understanding of what was to come,
but in the knowing way two people
of the same DNA hug,
then smile and nod,
expecting nothing more than to do it all again,
the next time.

Except the next time never came.

© 2016 William S. Friday

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