Tag Archives: poetry

My Experiment with Lyrical Poetry or Poetic Lyrics Continues with my latest poetry book BODY PARTS available on Amazon and Smashwords

BODY PARTS-digitalcover-FINAL

My latest poetry collection, BODY PARTS, is available in digital versions on Amazon and Smashwords  and as an Amazon paperback, continues an experiment explored in my previous poetry book, THE HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS.

In addition to my novels, short stories and poetry, I have also written song lyrics since my mid-teens. A couple of years ago, I came up with the idea to turn my lyrics into poetry and to put them out as a series of poetry collections. This is the second volume of poems based on my lyrics and is my fourth poetry collection overall.

As with THE HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS, I mostly maintained the original content in converting my lyrics into poetic form. The rhymes and verses were nearly kept the same way as I had written them, but the lyrics are laid out in stanzas and choruses and verses are not spelled out. I also didn’t try to turn these poems into free-form poems or follow the rules of rhyming poetry. My main objective is to share the content as honestly and straightforward as I could.

However, unlike THE HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS, this is not a compilation of my top lyrics. The lyrics and poems that are featured in BODY PARTS were written in the late 1990s and early 2000s after I began writing again in early 1998 following a long hiatus. In fact, the poem FREEWAY HEART, written in 1998, was the first set of lyrics I had created since the early 1980s. Like all of the lyrics and poems in this collection, I believe they hold up well all these years later and remain timely commentary on our current political situation. I have discovered this when sharing a lot of these lyrics as tweets on Twitter.

Here’s some background on the inspiration of my lyric-based poetry collections. I loved music and songwriting for as long as I could remember. However, hearing Bob Dylan’s album HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED at the age 18 changed my life. That level of storytelling, and the wild, powerful descriptions as I found in novels, films and poetry, but in song form, fascinated me. Also having a similar impact and influence on me at this time and later were Bruce Springsteen’s BORN TO RUN, DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, and the RIVER; the late Tom Petty’s DAMN THE TORPEDOS, HARD PROMISES, LONG AFTER DARK; The Band’s first two records; John Lennon’s solo works and work with the Beatles; Paul Simon’s early solo records; Curtis Mayfield’s SUPERFLY; Elvis Costello’s MY AIM IS TRUE, THIS YEAR’S MODEL, ARMED FORCES, GET HAPPY, TRUST, IMPERIAL BEDROOM; Sly Stone’s THERE’S A RIOT GOING ON; Marvin Gaye’s WHAT’S GOING ON, SEXUAL HEALING; Joni Mitchell’s early records; Patti Smith’s HORSES and EASTER; Neil Young’s RUST NEVER SLEEPS and TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT; the Clash’s debut record, GIVE ‘EM ENOUGH ROPE, LONDON CALLING and SANDINISTA; the Pretenders early albums; X’s LOS ANGELES and WILD GIFT; Public Enemy’s IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK and FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET, among many others. There are really are too many to mention. Music continues to be a huge influence on me. It is more than an obsession.

My lyric writing is different from my poetry. My lyrics explore more storytelling techniques, focusing on tales of the down and out, disenfranchised, people on the edge and left out of society’s prosperity. For them, the American dream and the promise of prosperity is a sad illusion and a crushing lie. In these lyrics, you’ll discover stories about society’s obsession with looks and fame in the pursuit of elusive happiness (BODY PARTS, CELEBRITY DISEASE, MYSTERY FOOL); government oppression and the true violence of silence (A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE, UNMARKED GRAVES, WHEN BULLETS FALL LIKE RAIN, NO SUNSHINE HERE, LET’S DO THE CRAWL, LET IT SLIDE, FREEDOM LIE); an innocent man on death row seeking a last-minute reprieve (DEATH ROW DREAMS); a gambler stranded in Sin City (LAS VEGAS BLUES);  government power hidden in the shadows (MISERY, INC, SHADOW GOVERNMENT); souls forgotten on our city streets (WALKING WOUNDED, DEAD EYES, OBLITERATED); those left behind by the economy (WISHFUL THINKING, NO SECOND CHANCES, NO TRACE, MOONLIGHT OVER MISERY, LIVING IN A WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN, BOTTOM-LINE DISEASE, SOUL OUT ON LOAN, I AM A GHOST HAUNTING MY LIFE); love gone wrong (CRIMES OF NO PASSION, OUR POINT OF NO RETURN, LOVE TROUBLE, SENDING YOUR BITTER REGARDS, FREEWAY HEART, STRANGERS STILL, A DIVIDE-AND-CONQUER LOVE AFFAIR, YOUR KIND OF PASSION, BREAKUP DAY); infidelity, heartbreak, and the confusion of modern love (FORBIDDEN LOVE, OH, ANNA, WE’RE NOT FRIENDS, WE’RE NOT LOVERS, SHREDDED SOULS AND JADED HEARTS, BORED AGAIN); those grappling with aftermath of violence and societal indifference (I DON’T KNOW, SLEEPING RAGE, WE’RE NOT BLAMELESS, VICTIMS OF RAGE); spin doctors (A LIAR’S LIAR, SPIN THIS, KING OF SLICK); those turning to alcohol to hide their loneliness (BARROOM EYES, YOUR DRUNKEN RAGES); seedy politicians and powerbrokers (LOWLIFE, YOU GIVE ME THE CREEPS; THE REAL FREAKS, POSEUR), a mob boss (GANGSTER STAR); faded dreams of youth (GROWING COLD, THINGS WE THREW AWAY, LETTING GO, DON’T BLAME YOU ANYMORE, A STRANGER IN MY SKIN); police brutality and murder (WHO CAN YOU TRUST? SHOT IN THE BACK); and Hollywood illusions and lost dreams (HOLLYWOOD LIES, DREAM-BUSTED, BITTER SMILE, SUNBURNED, DREAMLESS, DREAM-SHY, AN EMPTINESS I CAN’T FILL, THE BIG KISS-OFF, FADE-AWAY TIME, HOW MANY MORE HEARTBEATS?, DRIFTING).

These 101 poems resume my poetic journey into the dark side of love, loneliness, Hollywood dreams, life in Southern California, economic inequity, death, and life’s mysteries and hard-fought victories. I never try to sugarcoat life in Los Angeles, which is both beautiful but heartbreaking at the same time. You can read these as poems, but don’t forget these are lyrics as well. My book’s subtitle, “Lyrical poetry or poetic lyrics for a band to be named later, Vol. 2”, is partly tongue-in-cheek, but also truthful. If any singers or musicians out there are truly serious about collaborating to transform these lyrics into songs, I would, of course, welcome the opportunity.

The team at Word to Kindle created another impressive cover as well for my digital and paperback version that reflects my title and also my poems’ content. They also created the cover for my previous science fiction novel ROBOT TROUBLES.

Below is a peek at the print cover for BODY PARTS that will be coming out soon.

BODY PARTS-printcover-page-001

This is the second of many of my lyrics/poetry collections to come, as I have written more than 1,000 songs through the years. I can’t wait to share them all.

Enjoy.

You can check out all my novels and poetry collections on my Amazon authors page.

Look for another poetry collection based on my lyrics next year, and possibly another poetry collection about Donald Trump’s presidency, after the upcoming launch of my short story collection in early 2019.

Stay tuned as always. I do love the possibilities of indie publishing.

GP

 

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SEX, LIES, AND POEMS: MY THIRD POETRY COLLECTION, MIMI’S DILEMMA AND OTHER POEMS ABOUT WOMEN, SEX AND MODERN ROMANCE, IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON AND SMASHWORDS

Mimi'sDilemma-cover Final

“Mimi’s dilemma boils down to this: to fuck or not to fuck…”

So, begins the title poem of my third poetry collection, MIMI’S DILEMMA AND OTHER POEMS ABOUT WOMEN, SEX, AND MODERN ROMANCE, that is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

This follows the launch of my first two poetry collections BACKYARD POETRY and THE HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS late last year.

MIMI’S DILEMMA, which is my ninth indie book, is a compilation of poems I have written since the late 1990s about women, sex, relationships, and the limitations of modern romance and love.

Much credit again goes to graphic artist Dancinee Jennings for creating another brilliant cover for my collection. Her cover truly captures the controversial and intriguing aspects of my poetry book.

And yes, the Mimi mentioned in the title was initially inspired by a real person, an accountant, who I worked with at a public relations agency in the early 2000s. However, Mimi is also a composite of many women I have known through the years that still struggle for erotic liberation in a society (and world) that disdains and rejects female sexuality. These poems are sexually explicit at times, but also honest about the romantic illusions we still attach to sex, and how we still confuse lust and love, which can lead at times to frustrating personal lives.

The book is ultimately dedicated to the ongoing struggle of women to express their sexuality and erotic freedom.

Enjoy.

Look for another poetry collection based on my lyrics later this year after the upcoming launch of my science fiction novella.

Stay tuned as always.

GP

 

 


Lyrical Poetry or Poetic Lyrics? A new form of poetry? New Poetry Collection THE HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS out today on Amazon and Smashwords explores these intriguing notions

Hollywood-Homeless-FINAL

Lyrical Poetry? or Poetic Lyrics?

I explore this notion in my provocative second collection of poetry titled, THE HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS, released today on Amazon and Smashwords.

This poetry collection, my second,  is an experiment of sorts. In addition to my novels, short stories and poetry, I have also written song lyrics since my mid-teens. However, not being much a singer and having no musical skills, my lyrics stayed hidden away in file cabinets or inside my computer. I was fearful to show them to anyone and had no way to share them not being part of a band or knowing any musicians who I could collaborate with.

Not too long ago, I came up with the idea to turn my lyrics into poetry and to put them out as a series of poetry collections. The idea seemed so obvious and I have no idea why I didn’t think of it years ago. However, I mostly maintained the original content in converting my lyrics into poetic form. The rhymes and verses were nearly kept the same way as I had written them, but the lyrics are laid out in stanzas and choruses and verses are not spelled out. I also didn’t try to turn these poems into free-form poems or follow the rules of rhyming poetry. My main objective to share the content as honestly and straightforward as I could. This is a compilation of my top lyrics I have written since I began writing again in early 1998 after a 10-year hiatus.

I loved music and songwriting for as long as I could remember. However, hearing Bob Dylan’s HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED at the age 18 changed my life. That level of storytelling, the wild, powerful descriptions as I found in novels, films and poetry, but in song form, fascinated me. Also having a similar impact and influence on me at this time were Bruce Springsteen’s BORN TO RUN, DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, and the RIVER, Tom Petty’s DAMN THE TORPEDOS and HARD PROMISES, The Band’s first two records, John Lennon’s solo works and work with the Beatles, Paul Simon’s early solo records, Curtis Mayfield’s SUPERFLY, Elvis Costello’s MY AIM IS TRUE, THIS YEAR’S MODEL, ARMED FORCES, GET HAPPY, TRUST, Sly Stone’s THERE’S A RIOT GOING ON, Marvin Gaye’s WHAT’S GOING ON , Joni Mitchell’s early records, Patti Smith’s HORSES and EASTER, Neil Young’s RUST NEVER SLEEPS, the Clash’s LONDON CALLING, the Pretenders early albums, X’s LOS ANGELES and WILD GIFT, among many others. There are really are too many to mention. Actually, music was and continues to be a huge influence on me. It is more than an obsession.

My lyric writing is different from my poetry. My lyrics explore more storytelling techniques, and attempt to explore tales of the down and out, disenfranchised, people on the edge and left out of society’s prosperity. For them, the American dream is a sad illusion. In these lyrics, you’ll discover stories about runaways in Hollywood (THE HOLLYWOOD HOMELESS, STEAL YOUR CHILDHOOD AWAY, TRADING DAYS FOR NIGHT), homeless people living under freeways, barely surviving (IS THERE LIFE AFTER YOUR DREAMS DIE?, A CASTAWAY IN AN OCEAN OF CONCRETE), a Latino couple trying build a future for their family out of society’s trash (THE RECYCLING LIFE), forgotten African Americans who came to California to work the fields in search of a better life (LOST IN CALIFORNIA), an Iraqi War veteran struggling to cope (JIMMY ROWE), a frustrated retail worker (WALMART BLUES), drug mules (FULL OF DOPE, FULL OF HOPE), immigrants risking death for better opportunities (DYING OF THIRST), a patient worried about losing healthcare (EIGHT YEARS TO MEDICARE), Katrina survivors (THE LEVEES BROKE, BEING POOR IS OUR ONLY CRIME), war’s aftermath (IN WALTER REED), a failing prison system and drug war (PRISON TIME, INCARCERATION NATION, DRUG WAR BLUES), Native Americans poisoned by radiation (MY RADIATION PRAYER), political grandstanding in the wake of 9/11 (THE 9/11 BLUES), indifferent politicians (DRIVE-BY POLITICIANS) and even singer Hank Williams traveling the dark lost highway (HANK DRANK).

These 100 poems also explore the dark side of love, loneliness, Hollywood dreams, life in Southern California, economic inequity, death, and life’s mysteries and hard-fought victories. I never try to sugarcoat life in Los Angeles, which is both beautiful but heartbreaking at the same time. You can read these as poems, but don’t forget these are lyrics as well. So, my book’s subtitle: “Lyrical poetry or poetic lyrics for a band to be named later, Vol. 1” is partially tongue in cheek, but also truthful. If any singers or musicians out there are truly serious about collaborating to transform these lyrics into songs, I would, of course, welcome the opportunity.

Much credit goes to graphic artist Dancinee Jennings creating another brilliant cover for me. Her cover went beyond the vision I had for the cover and truly captures the controversial and intriguing aspect of my poetry collection.

Please remember dear reader, these lyrical explorations can now finally be read as poetry as well. It feels great to finally reveal another side of my writing pursuits. This will also be the first of many of my lyrics collections as I have written more than 1,000 songs through the years. I can’t wait to share them all.

GP


Today my first poetry collection BACKYARD POETRY is available on Amazon and Smashwords

Backyard-Poetry-Final

Today I launched my first poetry collection BACKYARD POETRY on Amazon and Smashwords.

This book is a long time coming as it brings together many of my long form poems dating back to the late 1990s that I have shared on this poetry blog BACKYARD POETRY and in smaller pieces on Twitter as @gpwriter.

I initially fell in love with writing poetry in college while attending California State University Long Beach in the mid-1980s. Sure, I had read a lot of poetry in high school, but I never dared to write it. During two poetry classes at CSULB, I was not only asked to try my hand at poetic verse, but I also learned the basics and poetry rules. The responses to my poetry in these classes was promising, but after leaving college I abandoned writing poetry (or anything except journalism stories) for 13 years. In spring 1998, I finally broke through my fear of writing and tried my hand at poetry once again. What followed was a torrent of poetic words that are the basis for this poetry collection.

Twitter has also been a revelation for my poetic muse allowing me to share my work and gauge immediate reaction. Overall, the reaction to my Twitter poetry has been inspiring, but this collection returns me to my original goal of publishing my expanded poems. I initially sent an earlier version of this collection to various literary publications and publishers who responded with indifference or even snobby hostility. The inspiration for my poem BACKYARD POETRY came after a snotty note from some poetry editor, criticizing the honest and political nature of my poems.

So, in the following collection, you will not find poems that adhere to poetic convention either in subject matter or execution. I believe literary rules are meant to be broken.

In my poems, I explore controversial subjects of modern life in intriguing ways such as wondering if the Crucifixion would have been televised, or reimaging ethnic cleansing and Guantanamo Bay as the subject of sardonic ads. My challenging poetic works feature the same honest, unflinching style and prose as my novels MONOGAMY SUCKS,  RELATIONSHIPS SUCK and DEAR HEF.

Above all, it is collection seeking to strip away poetic pretensions.

Or as I write in the first stanza of the title poem BACKYARD POETRY, “I despise the poetry of exclusion.”

Kudos also to graphic artist Dancinee Jennings for putting together the book’s cover. She has also created covers for my previous novels, MONOGAMY SUCKS, RELATIONSHIPS SUCK and DEAF HEF.

BACKYARD POETRY will be the first of many poetry collections I will be launching in the coming years.

Enjoy.

GP


DVD NIGHTMARE

sadsmile

DVD NIGHTMARE

The other day
a woman was
trampled
by a crowd of
Christmas shoppers
at a Wal-Mart.

They were making
a mad
dash to buy
$29 DVD players.

Consumed
by
consumer lust
no one stopped to
help her.

So much for the
Christmas spirit.

black-fridaywalmart

This was real life
entertainment.

When the crowd
cleared,
the woman was found
laying unconscious
on top of a DVD player.

A Wal-Mart spokesman
said he hoped
the trampled woman
would continue
to be a customer
after she recovered
from her injuries.

Maybe next time
she’ll lose her life
over a TV.

All in the name
of rabid consumerism.

File this under the horror section
in your local reality store.

Later it was discovered
the woman may have intended to
fake the whole thing as she done previously,
but this time things went horribly awry.

Sometimes justice does come to those who wait.

George Pappas
Copyright 2016


What’s Lost

grimreaperworld

WHAT’S LOST

When I ponder
my petty thoughts
about
my
joys,
conceits,
earthly pleasures,
wild feelings
of being inside my skin
breathing in the ocean air
or the scent of a beautiful woman,
I begin to grasp what will be lost when I lose my life.

Just the simple freedom to breathe in life
in all its unpredictable forms.

The chance to muse about
my humanity,
my frailties,
my faults,
my frustrations,
and all my faulty notions about living.

Or to able to revel
in the fascination
of listening to my heart beat,
my body creak and breathe,
and my futile attempts
to capture my cascading thoughts in words.

That’s what makes
the Holocaust
and all the holocausts before and since
so difficult to fathom.

All those spirits and souls,
whose mortal coils
were so cruelly tossed aside,
robbed of the beauty,
of experiencing more life.

The real cost is too much to truly comprehend.
Numbers fail us.
A magnitude of destroyed dreams.

My spirit is numbed
by the barrage of atrocities daily.

What is ultimately lost is my sense of loss.

George Pappas

Copyright 2016

 


Twitter: An Intriguing Haven for Poets

Twitter_logo_blue

Twitter is an intriguing haven for poets.  The platform’s brevity of communication — being limited essentially to 140 characters — has helped foster the rise and popularity of micro-poetry.

Now, I have written poetry since I was in college and I have developed longer poems that you can read on this site and will eventually publish in collections.

I have recast some of my longer poems into Twitter poems, but I have also written poetry specifically for Twitter. I believe we are inventing a new form of poetry on Twitter that is bolstered by the social platform’s immediacy and shorter communication bursts that we call tweets. Some have tried to turn their Twitter poems into digital and print books — something that I may consider in the future — however, I think Twitter poetry is best experienced online rather than trying to repurpose it into past formats and styles. Additionally, the response that you receive to your work is timely and it is encouraging for a poet to have admirers (or even those that are not fans) share and comment on your work.

Poetry-2.0-Logo-4

You can find the work of Twitter poets of all backgrounds and styles from around the world by accessing numerous hashtags such as #poetry #poets #poet #micopoetry, etc.

The life of a poet and writer can be lonely and isolating where you many times doubt the value of your work. The overall enthusiastic support I have received to my poetry on Twitter over the years has been beyond inspiring.

You can find me on Twitter at @gpwriter where I share my tweet poems, thoughts about life and my novels as well.

Poetry, which is ignored by many as one of the least understood of our art forms, is finding a new and vibrant life on Twitter. You should check it out.

GP