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Lisa Vihos
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I will begin by letting you in on a little trade secret of the blogging business. At least, it is my secret. Maybe not all bloggers operate this way, but I do. Here’s the thing. A blog post should be fresh, immediate, and timely. It should address some occurrence of the day and it should sound like the writer just woke up that morning and conjured up all sorts of wisdoms about the Universe and consciousness as we know it. It should ramble aimlessly for a while. Then, with a few jolts of humor or sarcasm, it should crescendo to... Continue reading
Posted 14 hours ago at The Best American Poetry
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Greetings, poetic earthlings. I’m pleased and honored to be on deck once again in the BAP blogosphere. It has been a while since I’ve written here and a lot has happened since my previous gig. The last time I blogged for BAP was in the fall of 2011. I remember this time frame because it coincided with my brief stint as a grad student in the Masters of Counseling program at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. At that time, I was employed as the college’s alumni director (even though I am not an alumna of Lakeland). Now I’m the grant... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Best American Poetry
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To the memory of my dear friend and mentor, Joe Ann Cain. Blogging for you this past week was very stimulating for me, and raised many questions related to psychopathology. What is normal, what is abnormal? How much is nature, how much is nuture? Who is in, who is out? These questions still haunt me. In another thread, I found myself wondering: where does the time go? And why do I fill mine up so much? Like the girl who is texting while riding her bike, it always seems to me that it is not enough to do only one... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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It is late when I am writing this. But you are reading it tomorrow. Or today, this morning, as the case may be. You may be drinking coffee. Right now, last night, I am having a slice of pepperoni pizza and a beer. The beer is called “The Poet.” It is an oatmeal stout, and it has a picture of a raven on the label. I want to show it to you but I can not find a good image on the Internet and I am too tired to take one. So I am showing you an image that comes... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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When you begin the study of psychopathology, you don’t get very far before you encounter a severe looking tome that is large enough to prop open a very heavy fire door and brick-like enough to knock unconscious a medium-sized lab rat. The book is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition Text Revision), or in the vernacular of therapists, the DSM-IV-TR. It is the Bible of diagnosable mental disorders. Every psychopathology student must bow before it or, at the very least, become familiar with it. It is organized in groups called “axes.” These are not things... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Glad you enjoyed post and poem...
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While cooking dinner last night, I heard a fascinating story on public radio about Dr. Alfredo Quinones, an internationally-known neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Quinones, or Dr. Q, as he is called affectionately by colleagues and patients alike, has just written a book, Becoming Dr. Q, My Journey from Migrant Worker to Brain Surgeon (University of California Press, 2011). Dr. Quinones was born in a small, dirt-poor village outside of Mexicali in Baja, California in 1968. At age 18, he “jumped the fence,” and managed to run from the border and into a new life in the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Time, so they say, flies when you are having fun. Does that mean it goes excruciatingly slow when you are sad or suffering? I would have to say that the answer to this is a resounding yes. A good friend of mine recently told me that when she feels sad, she feels really stuck. Every aspect of her life feels absolutely lousy: failed relationships, dwindling finances, unsatisfying employment. At those times, the whole ball of wax that is her life is one big, sticky, yucky mess. And the worst part of it is that—when she feels this way—it seems as... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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In Psychopathology: Foundations for a Contemporary Understanding, edited by James E. Maddux and Barbara A. Winstead, I have come across some interesting tidbits during these first few weeks of fall semester that I have been eager to share with someone. How about you, Best American Poetry blog reader, out there? First, let us consider that pathological behavior is both outside the statistical norm and also maladaptive. By maladaptive, we mean behavior that does not help a person do better. By outside the statistical norm, we mean infrequent in the general population. However, we usually only think of something negative. “To... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Greetings, all. I am happy to be here as your guest blogger starting today and for the coming week. Yesterday was a big day; one I had been planning since April. September 24th was designated by poets the world-over as the day to celebrate 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Were you there? Poems can change the world, as they point to what is true. Poems can be hammers, splitting rock, or rich ground where we locate compassion. When poets join forces, the energy that is generated leads to amazing things. Store window in Guerneville, CA, the heart of 100TPC In... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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"If you let me not know everything, I will show you..." My whole life I have had a thing for olives. I love them. I want them. I would eat them morning, noon, and night if I could. Olives are my alpha and my omega. They are my Mecca, my Nirvana, my home. I love their slick, salty, slippery-ness. I prefer Kalamata, but I can do green, black, big, small, spicy, and garlic-stuffed. I’m flexible. I love that you put them in your mouth, carefully remove the succulent fruit, and then slide the pit back out through your lips. Eating... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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...the answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin' in the wind. – B. Dylan I don’t know about you, but I am of the opinion that we are getting close to the end of our proverbial rope with things like religion, politics, and the economy. I don’t know how to fight the good fight any more. In fact, I don’t want to fight. I want to love things, love people, love the earth. That is so darn naïve of me, isn’t it? It is so flippin’ sixties. Make love not war and all that crap.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Today’s post is for my niece, Ella, who turned seven yesterday, and her mother and father who made her. All photos are courtesy of Stephan Mazurek. Dear Ella, You are a girl of immense imagination and potential. You are the exact image and temperment of your mother when she was your age. I remember when your mom was about six or seven, she would walk up to strangers in the park and say things like, “when I was thirty-one and married, I lived in a mansion with all my horses.” I was very shy and I did not understand where... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thank you Emma. I am so glad you enjoyed it. It was very fun to write about this particular topic for some reason.
Thanks Leslie, I have this very fiesty friend who is 90, and to her, I really am a baby. I love that there is so much life yet to live! Thank you for your kind words.
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I’m serious. I have not felt so loopy since I was thirteen and the hormones were raging. I remember Motor City summer nights standing out in front of the Dairy Deluxe with my girlfriends on Woodward Avenue, waiting for boys in muscle cars to drive by and whistle at us. It was 1973, we were thirteen, and we knew a thing or two. About not much, but we knew it. Thirty-seven years later, I haven't changed really, at least not on the inside. My hair has silvered, and I have this weird stomach bulge that will not flatten no matter... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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This post is dedicated to my mom, Rosanne, who is celebrating her 74th birthday today. Her kindness is so immense, she had to be born on the longest day of the year to contain it all. Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you. Today at exactly 1:16 p.m. Eastern time, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac online, we will officially begin summer with the coming of the solstice. The word means "sun stops," because the sun appears to stand still at the top of the sky. Did you know that the Pagans called the midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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My Erik Erikson-fest continues over here. I spent most of my Sunday working on a short research paper on Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development theory for my Life Span Development class. While researching online (since the library is closed on summer Sundays and I needed three sources besides my textbook) I ran across a reference to an animated film, Everybody Rides the Carousel, made in 1976 by John Hubley and Faith Hubley. I then found a YouTube video snippet of Stage 6. The woman’s voice in the animation is Meryl Streep! You have got to watch this. It is a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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To all the fathers in the audience, and all the sons and daughters of fathers: I’m thrilled to begin my week of blogging on your special day. What is it about fathers? What makes them so large and unfathomable? They can be wonderful advocates and protectors. They can also wreak havoc. A good father is a refuge, a door, a prime mover. Fathers are here to compel us forward. From my own father, Georg, I learned many things: how to roast chicken (sear at 425 degrees for the first fifteen minutes to hold in the juices, then lower to 350)... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Jun 19, 2011