Soulard's Online Notebook 2008
July 6, 2008
Moving into the second half of the year, second volume of 2008 Notebook, lots of exciting updates on this site to discuss. First easy note is that the radio page is updated, trying to keep up with that, and work on adding more archived radio shows as time goes on...
Second is the addition of The Cenacle | 65 | June 2008. This is an especially good one, with a treasure of photographs taken as part of the Jellicle Guild's Manifest Project, an experiment in collaboration. There is poetry by Joe Ciccone, Michael Van Kleeck, Ric Amante, Judih Haggai, and myself. Fiction by GC Dillon and myself. And an essay on language from an old friend of mine not read in the The Cenacle's pages for more than half a decade, Ralph H. Emerson.
Third is the addition of the first RaiBook, which came out in 1999, my own Orpheus & Eurydice: Making the Lyre. It's been ten years from when these poems were written, mostly on a weekday Boston subway commute, to book form a year later, to their availability in cyberspace and on disk. Just damned excited to have had it happen finally and it did because of KD's skill and persistence.
Finally, a less obvious but still important update. All nine volumes of Scriptor Press Samplers and all of the currently available Cenacles now contain tabbed contents. This means that when you download a volume in PDF form, it opens with with a side pane lists the contains in clickable form. This makes navigating the file a lot easier.
It occurs to me that some more personal news has occurred since the last update here. I found out June 27, on the phone, that my position at Symantec had been eliminated. Laid off. Just like that. I've been job-hunting the past week, trying to keep my cool and work at it like a persistence bitch. Wrenching news, life bent oddly since, trying to keep the daily functions going yet there is this fact that has to be addressed, the fear of this happening in the current terrible economy, and the unknown embedded in the days to come that was not there not long ago. I'm not letting it overwhelm me even as it pushes and pushes. I've been through it before, and KD has with me a few times now, and with luck it will work out sooner than later. I've asked the Universe for help, promised to help in return in imaginative ways. Hope is something I'm consciously gripping at right now, but I do have it. More soon....
July 11, 2008
Updated radio page tonight, nothing else, but trying to keep my habits in tact, they are what can help get a body through a hard time...spent all week hours at it job hunting...at it and at it...I didn't stop until about 7 tonight...there is no doing it partially or occasionally for me...I need a job, and there is one out there for me, if I bitch dog at it, til I arrive there, and begin...I've certainly written of job troubles and victories in this journal before, coming toward 10 years of this site...I wonder if there is a steady job I can get and keep a long stretch, that is what I am looking for...a comparable job to what I last had, and more loyalty...that's what I am asking the Universe for frequently these days...more soon...
July 25, 2008
Tonight updated radio show page for last weekend's broadcast, no show this coming weekend so it stays caught up for a little while...it's been two weeks since last entry and I'm still jobhunting, which has in fact owned my July 2008 every last hour...this week had two interviews, one looks possibly promising, will know early next week...it's tiring, stressful, depressing, seeming unending til suddenly it ends...till then I feel a lack that cannot stand, that I cannot live with... The following my recent letter to Senator Barack Obama, readying for the presidency by seeing the world this week:
[June 22, 2008
Dear Senator Obama,
I am writing to you tonight in the full & hopeful expectation that come about seven months from now, you will be sworn in as the next President of the United States. You'll take the vow to defend the Constitution, be nodded toward by a group of important faces, & a cheer will ring the globe. You will be a kind of new bride not just to this nation, but also to the six billion souls around the world your words & actions will affect from that winter's day on.
The nightmare of George W. Bush in elected office will be over. He & his criminal brothers will be pushed off the world stage. Perhaps to continue their treacherous pursuits further in the shadows. But you, sir, will be the man chosen by a nation to bring its highest office back into common light.
Let me say several things as preamble here. First, I would have rathered that Al Gore take his rightful office at last next January. It was his to take, in my view, not yours or Senator Clinton's or Senator Edwards. Certainly not John McCain's. He chose to defer; millions sighed, & respected this choice.
Second, much of what I think & feel toward you involves your own word: hope. As a Senator, you did not stick out so very much. None of the Democrats have this decade. There is something of the coward in you each & all, that you saw the nightmare of George Bush & Dick Cheney & did not act beyond smoothly worded protests to bring them down. The wounds of this country & the world lay at your feet, & afresh each time soldiers die in Iraq, each time the American economy is raped new by the corporate elite. Each time the corporate media whores reduce the complexities of human lives to an embarrassing photo or an intense argument about principles of law & morality few if any of them understand, much less care for when the day's headline moves on.
Hope. You came into our lives using that word. Hope. It is a word for wishes, for suffering, spoken by the vulnerable, the desperate. You said it over & over until many of us became willing to keep listening. To allow hope again.
We didn't lose it when the World Trade Towers fell on 9/11/2001. However it came that they fell. No, we began to lose hope more when we saw Bush obliterate Iraq for no reason, & nobody stopped him. Not the United Nations. Not the Constitutional separation of powers that says that Congress shall declare wars.
We lost more hope when Bush stole another election in 2004 & nobody blinked. We lost more as the death toll in Iraq climbed into the many thousands & was forbidden to be seen even on our televisions.
We lost hope when we were told we could be locked up forever, when we were told we were being spied on, when our costs for bread & gasoline skyrocketed while the few made billions.
So, Senator, you said hope & we salivated, our souls sweated for it. Hope, like faith its close kin, raises even when there is no logic to it.
This draws me near to my point. I don't expect you to cure every ill or solve every woe. Men will still hate for reasons of skin, ethnicity, sex, countless other even more ridiculous reasons.
Children will still cry, adults will still get lonely & drink til the pain numbs. The elite of this world will still find ways to suck the planet's varied & plentiful tit like it was theirs more than others' by divine right.
No, you are one man, with finite powers of office & intellect. And a big, big shitheap to go at. Eight years of George W. Bush's smiling okie-dokey pard'ners as he squats upon every creature in this world & lets his private shit-storm of demons fly in every direction. Walk off hitching up his drawers & saying "y'all remember what all I done for you."
Senator, Mr. Obama, Barack: it's simple. Don't fuck it up. We will get you into office, by the millions will we get you there. Right now there's no real fight left in Bush's remains. Oh, like Jack Nicholson says in "Easy Rider": "they'll talk to you & talk to you & talk to you" but they are re-trenching. Even a gang of rapists will take a break for a piss & a cold brew.
We'll get you to next January when you will take that oath on that bright winter's day. Then we'll do more than watch: We'll keep doing what's getting you to that day, what's pushing opposition from your path.
See, being our hero right now is hard work but I think it's kind of easy too. Lots of pretty speeches, lots of perty promises. No, sir, wait until you are our President, the one we blog & shout & phonebank & argue & canvass & donate for. Just wait.
You will end the War in Iraq. You will stop the spying on American citizens. You will get us out of the prison cage of petrocrats. You will help the poor & the sick & the vulnerable of this nation, & you will rejoin this nation to the world of nations. You will become the world's number one advocate for peace among all men & women, & healing with our mother planet.
If you do not. If you deal from the bottom with the corporate jackal whores consuming all blindly these many years, if you go soft on defending the defenseless, if you turn to bullets & platitudes as though salvation, we will drive you, sir, from office to a place in Hell that will look far up toward George W. Bush's.
That's what it's like to have raised our hopes, to hold them, to ask we work our days toward that January day & your vow to defend the Constitution. That's what is going on, the spirits raised up & roiling right now.
I will vote for you. I will work for your campaign after my own ways. I will cheer when you take office. But I will be with millions watching thereafter, & still ready for whatever comes next.
Raymond Soulard, Jr.
Funny, I wrote that letter about a month ago in this place, in this chair, shortly before I got laid off and my concerns shifted inward somewhat. I'd like to say there are lessons to be learned from this, a few, I think I've learned them. But in the end there is the terror in my skin of not making an income while expenses eat and eat away at what is at hand. I'm still talking to the Universe, still asking, still offering, there is still hope because what choice and there are indeed worse situations to be in. I keep my perspective but my patience is crumbling. It's time this situation concluded, and I hope next entry I'll be telling how.
August 2, 2008
It's on in minutes but here is my radio show's page updated, keep up on that, fuck if a job I thought I had fall through, how they do sometimes, but I finished the week with resumes luring a few new hooks, nothing else to it, muse must be guarded, Art must be guarded, bills must be paid...and politics: let me just say, the Olympics are a welcome break from lunatic McLunatic waving his arms and yelling "DANGER DANGER THE BLACK MAN WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT!!"...hey McLunatic: HE WILL BE BECAUSE YES WE CAN, MOTHERFUCKER...more soon, heh...
August 14, 2008
Updated last weekend's radio show information, won't be another broadcast until early September, full attention now turns to readying for and traveling to Burning Man 2008...job hunting has not be a success since last post...I keep going and going...wearing down, getting up, going and going...but in the middle of this job hunt day, updating this website, an act of faith when faith is hard to come by, being protected...these are hard days...could be worse, I am grateful to be alive and healthy, to have KD, to have a home...just keep going...
September 7, 2008
Back from the desert, Burning Man 2008 was its crazy self, two white-out dust storms coming & going, our bookstore was a success again this year, there were moments when the art we saw, like the Sacred Trash Temple, overwhelmed my worries, reminded me what the fuck I am and love...
Updated radio page for this weekend's broadcast, and also added Many Musics, Third Series, #1-12, bringing the poems on site close to updated but for a handful...also cleaned up the first two series of poems for various coding and proofreading errors...
Job hunting resumed this week and the hopeful news carrying me right now is that I had a really good interview on Thursday, and this jobless nightmare may be over...all I can do is trudge along until I find out in a day or two...
September 14, 2008
Updated radio page for this week's broadcast...and the exciting news, a week after the last entry, is that 2 1/2 months after getting laid off by Symantec Corp., victim of a number cruncher's nod, I've scored a new job as a technical writer and staff analyst, downtown Portland...starting tomorrow...I'm hopeful and KD has pointed out that getting through a crisis in a pretty new home is a wonderful thing for feeling like it's the right place to be...more soon on how these next few days go...
September 21, 2008
First week of work at new job, downtown as technical writer/staff analyst, it went well, from the 50,000 employee Symantec monster to a company with fewer than ten employees...it is promising...as for this site, starting to gear up for the fall's projects, for now just updated the radio page...as soon as my Mac G4 computer (beloved Lucy) is repaired, the No Borders Books page will have new titles added...
The American economy, already weak, veered toward collapse this week, and the Bush* crime family, under the guise of helping, is trying to push through $700 billion in aid to the crooks that brought the nation's financial institutions to this disastrous point...Senator Obama, you have begun speaking out on this, now go to Washington, D.C. and lead the fight to protect the people, not the millionaires...if you are brave about this, oppose Bush* and make sure the people are protected, it could pave the final leg of your path to the White House in January...
September 28, 2008
It was a year ago this weekend that KD and I moved down here to Portland, my second go-round living here, and this time it's working out for a longer run, thankfully...new job is going well, and I am not forgetting the hard lessons of the summer, how one's economic situation is one always needing some shoring up, not something to forget about...and then get burned hard...
Updated the site's radio page, and nothing else, but I'm expecting to get my beloved G4 Mac Lucy back this week, delayed unexpectedly, and then get into some major site additions...one other note is that there may be a shift in servers supported the downloadable files on this site, but nothing that will be much apparent...save they will be more reliably available...stayed tuned on that one...
October 5, 2008
Tonight updated radio page, my G4 is still not back, due to repair shop incompetence, won't be dealing with them again...new issue of Cenacle is looking pretty good...there WILL be more new content here soon...
The presidential race is looking very hopeful right now...the Republicans sent the Cocktail Waitress governor out to debate Senator Biden, and she vowed to rule the world if elected...more's to the hoping that she is doing soft porn this time next year for secret Republican gatherings in motels on obscure highways...let this election be over soon...
October 12, 2008
Updated radio page for this weekend's show, six of seven straight weekend broadcasts in the books...and, as promised, new content at last, in the form of a link on the main page to the Jellicle Literary Guild 6/28/2008 audio highlights..these highlights include:
1. Raymond: Jobless!
2. Jim Burke III: Transcontinental Concert (excerpt)
3. Gwyllm: Memories of Amsterdam
4. MVK: Ballad of a Thin Man (Italian)
5. MVK: Movement! Movement!
6. Raymond: Letter to Barack Obama
7. Raymond: Six New Poems
8. Victor: Letters By Gary Snyder
9. Andy: Poul Anderson's "Time & Stars" (excerpt)
10. MVK: Philip Lamentia's "The Owl"
11. MVK: Proxy Reading for R.H. Emerson
12. Victor: Lingering Smell of Hot Dogs
The election is in several weeks now, after all the months and dragging the damned thing out endlessly...things look hopeful for Obama, right now, but we need to close the deal, bet him into office, get things back pointed toward better days...need to, will...
October 26, 2008
Been two weeks since last update of this site...been busy during that time and here are the results...first item is the radio page is updated for last weekend (there was no show this week)...there will be more radio news soon as I've for now taken over SpiritPlants Radio, and November is when I plan to relaunch it on its 5th anniversary...
The bigger news is that Cenacle | 66 | October 2008 is done and on this site. I am very proud of this issue. KD and I worked very hard on it, lots of good artists and writers featured. Contents include:
* Fiction by G.C. Dillon and Raymond Soulard, Jr.
* Poetry by Daniel Schroyer, Ric Amante, Judih Haggai, and Raymond Soulard, Jr.
* Prose by Ralph H. Emerson and Raymond Soulard, Jr.
* Reprints of classic works by Rachel Carson and Peter Bebergal
* Works of art and photography by Gwyllm Llwydd, Victor Vaneck, Raymond & Kassandra Soulard
A final thought: the US election is going to happen in just over a week. I was thinking last night that the excitement in the air right now will not last, but it is something special and rare. We should enjoy it and hope it ends in victory on November 4 too!
October 31, 2008
Lots of new stuff to tell of tonight...updated the radio page, on time for once, for this weekend's upcoming show...SpiritPlants Radio will soon be getting a major overhaul...for better or worse I am in charge of it now...just realized that tomorrow's broadcast of my show is the first one since I took on this responsibility in the last week or so...
Next item to tell of is the addition of Many Musics, Third Series, #13-18 to this site...now bringing my poems here up to current...some of these new poems are simple and angry, but a few I think I will like still as time passes...
Finally, it's time for the annual addition of six new Burning Man books...the 2008 volumes include the following: #55-Mother Sea: The Gray Beginnings by Rachel Carson
#56-Fugitive Survivors of a Celestial Conspiracy: Selected Short Fictions of Gabriel García Márquez
#57-Walking at Night Between the Two Deserts, Singing: Selected Poems of W.S. Merwin
#58-The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoevsky
#59-Out Here We Is Stoned . . . Immaculate: A Tenth Anthology of Writings about Psychedelics
#60-TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone by Hakim Bey
It's a good collection of new books, and on that same No Borders Free Bookstore page is a zip file of all 60 Burning Man Books...the US election is this Tuesday, not sure if I will post anymore before then but tonight I am recalling the years-ago times of this site and my many rants about *Bush* and maybe it's time for better days, a lot of people are hanging tightly onto this faith, and working their asses off to make it happen...may enough of us vote for change, for better days, for OBAMA, to make the difference on the only day it truly matters that we do...
November 4, 2008
Thoughts on President-elect Barack Obama:
I'm so happy I made it to this night. For so long I've walked among the resistance--at times hardly hardly more angry than hopeless--& it didn't even seem that things needed to be so bad--nor had they always been--yet the days & months & years did not cease them--soon even the rotten leaders were mauling each other, shitting blame all around--I don't suppose any of this was unique--humans greed for power & yet rarely keep their ideals & decency when it's been won--
Will this new leader be different? Perhaps. If his desire to do good remains more powerful than his weaknesses--if he keeps to the high road he tries to walk--if he is terribly lucky. If he keeps his heart lined with hope & his thoughts close to the single fate the greatest to the least of us takes a hand in authoring. If his mistakes are few, acknowledged, kept as lessons & reminders. If he remains humble before the world's many mysteries, even as he inspires many to suckle their juice for knowledge & pleasure. If, finally, those who made them their leader feel, most of their hours, that his gestures onward are toward what each of them can reach, & better likely reach as a strange & various whole. I wish him the good fortune we each of us deserves.
November 7, 2008
Wow, laid off again, this past Wednesday morning, twice in the course of six months. But Tuesday night I was happy. Happy because millions of people chose hope over cynicism and fear. So I came into my work that day feeling good, and even now, freshly laid off, two days ago, from a small company, the owner practically in tears that he had to tell me and another person the news, I still feel good.
I've seen how the world changes based upon belief, hope, despair. I've seen kind acts that would break any heart, and cruelty to make one think humans are really a pox on the planet. I see how I and each of us every day chooses to act by ideal or by self-preservation. I see again and again how a generous act, a generous heart, a gesture of hope or kindness, can affect and ripple in ways unknowable. I've also seen how fear drives a soul into a dark place, no matter the daylight, no matter the loving people that might be around.
I know that Obama has had his dark nights, his struggling hours. Even recently when he lost his grandmother. I know he comes from a father-less home, from a home where buying groceries involved food stamps, not a point of pride for anyone (my family was there too years ago). Further, I've heard his story of rising up from these circumstances to attend Harvard, become a community organizer, then seek elected office. I've read his words, mulled his thoughts. He does not come from privilege and family fortune as others elected to high office in the US often do.
He does not take office as savior that's not what is needed. What is needed, simply, is hope and hard work. The persistence of a heart and mind allowing for success to happen, and having at it every single day.
There will be some who say that hundreds of millions of people were fooled, were bamboozled into thinking this election means something, their vote counts, the result will affect their lives every single day hereon. I won't stop them. If that is what their lives has led them to believe, then so be it. They live with a burden I do not. They live with a paranoia about the nature of humanity that I do not feel. For I believe humans make choices, every single day, little ones that add up to habits, habits that sum to a set of perspectives about how life works. I know the evil, the selfishness possible, I've heard it over and over, but I also know that the hope, the generosity, the curiosity, the desire to make a good world and not leave anyone out, is there, is part of the human equation. I know this. I knew this before Obama began running, before he won, before I lost another job to a shitty economy that another man destroyed in his willful ignorance.
I know I will be OK because I have hope and I am going to work fucking hard to get back on my feet, again. I still believe today that we as a race, as part of a world, will be OK, because millions and millions of us chose hope, and that choice is powerful. The world is a little bit better today.
So, the cynics can let go a bit of how they feel, allow for some of this hope too, or they can keep their thoughts close, and every time something doesn't work out, they will cry out that they were right. It's up to them. Nothing anyone has said convinces me that having hope, working hard from the best one has to offer, and getting a little good luck along the way, is wrong. My finite life, my set of choices, the good ones and the stupid ones, my conclusion about things at this point.
I intend never to be someone who fully believes that his fellow human beings are without the possibility of redemption, that we as a race are lost to making the world better.
November 13, 2008
Tonight two updates to the radio page...first is update for this weekend's upcoming radio show...second is changes to the links to each of the archived shows...simplified, Heart-Drive works for now for both streaming and downloading the shows...
It's been a long hard week of job-hunting, today I got kicked in the rump by a know-nothing recruiter who smiled her ignorance brightly...tomorrow is another day, that's all I can think...an unwritten page...
November 21, 2008
Updated the radio page, this week, including emending the information at the top to indicate that my show is now on additionally on Sundays...this weekend, in fact 15 minutes from now, SpiritPlants Radio begins its 5th anniversary re-launch weekend...
I spent my week job-hunting and readying this station with 48 hours of programming...pretty damned exciting...hoping it works and I can keep going...Obama's election has inspired me to hang in there, work hard and keep faith...I think many, many others are thinking like this too...it's how we'll get to better days...
December 6, 2008
Been some days since this site received updates but happy to report on new ones now...updated radio page in anticipation of my show, upcoming in just a bit...also added link on main page to the audio highlights for the 10/25/2008 Jellicle Literary Guild...that was a short meeting, with just KD, me, and our friend V for a couple of hours, but V's reading from the Winnie-the-Pooh books is worth the time to click and listen...
It was about a month ago I wrote here that I'd been laid off rom my job, second job loss in less than six months, and one of the half a million jobs lost in the US in November '08...I was frustrated but chose hope...Obama had just been elected President of the US. Despite everything, & I still feel this, it's a time latent with better days...the kind resulting from struggle & suffering but possible nonetheless...Why not? is what I ask the cynics...It's a good question to ask & ask again...There's no answer against coming better days not shallowly rooted in recent circumstances...
Now I write to report that I've scored a three-month contract as a senior technical writer...a way to weather the winter...work on better options, toward better days...I got this job because I busted my ass to get it, & also because I got very lucky...the comfort of solid ground for awhile to come warms me this morning...but the effort does not cease for even surer ground, & I no longer believe that there is anything in this world but shift & shift again...But, again, and foremost this morning, I am grateful, hopeful, & glad to share these sentiments with each person reading this grapples with his or her circumstances, the current chapter of his or her ongoing stories...
December 20, 2008
Back on this after two weeks...mostly new job, building SpiritPlants Radio, and The Cenacle | 67 | December 2008...not even a lot of time to write here, as the latter is not done and due tonight at the 20th anniversary Jellicle Guild meeting, being held in a Portland snowstorm!...updated radio page...may do more more work before year's end...but this may be it too..either way, better days are coming, and I believe this more than ever...keep trudging, all...peace...
December 22, 2008
Well, yes, here it is: The Cenacle | 67 | December 2008...finished and the online version posted online here...lot of exciting content includes:
* "Hartley's Righteous Rants" by my dear old friend & compadre David Hartley.
* Fictions by G.C. Dillon and Raymond Soulard, Jr.
* Poetry by Judih Haggai and Raymond Soulard, Jr.
* Prose by Ralph H. Emerson
* Letter by Jim Burke III
* Reprints of classic works by W.S. Merwin and James Fadiman
* Works of art and photography by Victor Vaneck, and Raymond & Kassandra Soulard
It's a good issue ending a good year of work, this site, my radio show and the revival of SpiritPlants Radio, new Burning Man Books, the Cenacle coming out quarterly as planned, and the Jellicle Literary Guild's return after 7 years in dormancy...I wrote a fuck lot, and am working even after getting laid off twice this year...KD is doing well, her slinky lovely mysterious self as always...and we got OBAMA ELECTED PRESIDENT!!!! 2008 was a hard, dirty, sloppy fuck but most everyone got off and here we are sitting around smoking a pipe in the exhaust of its final days...grateful of it, tired of it, ready to move on and give it a smile fare-thee-well and thank-ye thank-ye thank-ye...onto 2009...peace and love to each and all...
December 30, 2008
One more session before this year's website work ends...added Many Musics, Third Series #31-60, thus bringing the poems here up-to-date with what written thus far...the next series begins in 2009...Also did my annual link clean-up of the psychedelic, literary, & political links...a few psychedelic links needed URL updating, changed Nemo's Utopia to R6XX, and added ShamanicFreedomRadio...literary links deleted Bohemian Ink (R.I.P.) and North American Review (no content)...political (alterna-) links corrected spelling of Huffington Post and added Nova M radio...
Of strange note is that the literary links page had not been updated in a few years, and was no longer linked off the main page...restored its link and deleted the one to the Scriptor Press Authors' Library as there is plenty of content on the site now to better represent the Press's stable of authors...that does it for 2008, finally, be back in 2009 to carry on!
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