Friday, August 26, 2011

Read A Good Book: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko

This may seem an odd choice for a poetry blog but we all read more than just poetry, right? I have grown up reading finance books since I was 12 thanks to my father who was always learning how to invest and save on his own. He also sought advice from people smarter than himself. This book was given to me in the 1990’s when I was a young teenager, my father wanted to show me who truly wealthy people are.

Truly wealthy people are not the ones you see on television driving fancy cars, wearing the latest designer clothes, in fact, the people you see spending money like crazy are not wealthy. They just spend.

This book shows you the real side of wealth: the people who buy sensible cars, homes, clothes, who often own their own business and/or work in a place that does not require fancy attire such as plumbing businesses or factories. They compare families who have similar professions (doctors, for example) yet they have different spending habits and the results are enlightening. The moral of the story is to live below your means and steadily build your savings and wealth for retirement. Flashy things only indicate spending, not true wealth. True millionaires clip coupons; that is why they have a million or more in the bank instead of in their house or vehicles. The dollar holds real value and is the key to a bright future.

As a teenager this had a huge impact on the way I looked at other people. I stopped begging my parents for the latest clothes and saved up my own money towards things I really wanted in the future or for a rainy day. I learned to value money the way it should be valued: As a means to achieving your dreams and providing security in the lean times or old age. I also had fewer fits of jealousy over friends and families that I knew who had nicer things than us in our neighborhood. When it came time to go to college quite a few of the students who had flashy clothes and cars could not go to college without student loans and eventual debt. My parents were able to provide for my college and trust me, my parents did not wear designer clothes, and our fanciest car was a Firehawk that was six years old by the time I left for college. Otherwise we had Chevys and Jeeps, not Jaguars and Lexus. Saving their money for my college education was a much better investment to them than buying the latest cars, clothes, or techno-gadgets.

I highly recommend this book in these troubled times to gain perspective on money itself. There will always be the Joneses but what you don’t realize is how the Joneses handicap their abilities for a secure future. How many 65-80 year olds do you know that are working because they can’t afford to retire? If you start paying attention, you will realize that people are often not what they seem. Most spend everything they have as a way to impress others or because they do not understand the concept that one day they need money saved up for when they are frail and/or sick.

I could go on for pages about this book. I re-read it whenever I am in despair over my own spending/saving habits. It is always refreshing and eye-opening. If you would like a copy for yourself The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko may be in your local library, book-store, or you can buy it on-line here:

Thanks always for reading, please stop by again next week…

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dancing Girl Press Open Chapbook Submissions

This may be a bit short notice unless you have a chapbook ready to go: The contest ends August 31st to submit a chapbook to Dancing Girl Press’ Chapbook contest!

You may submit manuscripts between 12 and 32 pages, numbered accordingly, with one poem per page as a Microsoft Word attachment via e-mail to editor Kristy Bowen at:


No simultaneous submissions, I also recommend titling your e-mail in the subject line as “Chapbook Submission/Your Last Name.”

Good luck to all who submit, please stop in tomorrow for another Read A Good Book feature…

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“New Mexico” by Jay Passer
“Texas” by Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Madre Bones by Amy Fetzer Larakers

The Madres Bones by Amy Fetzer Larakers is published by Dancing Girl Press and is a lively collection of poems that encompass the every day life of the suburbs to the whimsical lives of children finding adventure. The poems embrace the ordinary every day and the magical unknown. Amy Fetzer Larakers poems have appeared in blossombones and Near South, she has an MA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and lives in Wheaton, Illinois. Below I am happy to share a few poems:

It begins in Anise
and ends in Asheville

these things we call homes skins & plywood, insignificant fabric
minor tones that sing inside our heads. Paper bags filled
with artichoke, papaya a loud humming. The beginning was
small of failed namings forget-me-knots splashing
petals down our throats. The weeds grow in thicker
next to the highway a warning or a slow growing. Mornings
seem like ours, quiet quiet white nothings. We push strollers
loaded down with cans of black-eyed peas. The road keeps being
black. A strip of licorice. A long lonely taste.

This poem reminds me of suburbia. The poet gazes up and down her neighborhood for inspiration and writes what she sees and feels. I love the line “these things we call homes skins & plywood.” Skins could imply the outer layer of the building or the human element. The paper bags filled with fruits I picture on kitchen counter tops all through the neighborhood. The world outside is quiet save for the mothers pushing strollers “loaded down with cans of black-eyed peas” which makes me wonder if there is a nearby grocery or corner store? It’s a painting of words to me about the suburbs and I very much enjoyed it.

Heading South

Renegade the highway. We sprout iridescent fins, shedding
bones. Breathe.

Inching through back yards on pinched streets. Sheets on
gossamer grass, wings in our eyes.

Are we (you and I, them) real? Amid cumuli and trailer parks,
bee’s wax and post offices,

voices, blue as rain, fall on juniper branches. Can you feel the
cracks in the window leaking moon.

Skin of sycamore, white smell of weddings. I wrap my legs around
your bowed trunk.

The dogwoods have us dancing shapes. Rosepoint vines climb
up your inky ankle.

When the birds chirp “morning” it means lemons mounded round.
We walk paths bending into pine cones, forget our secrets.

Songs in B flat hopscotch the pavement. Cerulean crayons stain
glass. Whose fingers on my alabaster thigh.

The ending goes like this: we consume each other, reckless and
Lovely as springtime kudzu.

This poem is a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and smells in the midst of love-making in Spring time. I love the idea of back yards on pinched streets, as though the idea of hiding yourself in the folds of love was difficult in a small world, a small neighborhood. The trees and vines are earthy and are compared to the warm bodies intertwined showcasing the natural allure of love. The line that struck me hardest was “Are we (you and I, them) real?” because when love is intense it feels like a dream, and this is exactly the phrase for it. Ms. Larakers poem strikes all the right chords in this poem.


The river girls have legs as brown
as mud. They wear short shorts and eat
baked beans for breakfast. On the Ogle County
freeway, they gaze at the No Passing Zone,
imagine the beautiful yellow sign in their arms.
They smile as men in pick-ups drive by
and make trails in the cornstalks that lead
to each other. On their way home they stop
by the Rock River Christian Camp
and steal bibles from the chapel.

This is one of a series of poems about “the river girls.” This one makes me smile wide as I imagine a group of young friends traipsing far beyond the safety of their yards to the freeway, their mothers hardly knowing what antics their girls are up to. I especially love the fact that the girls return to steal bibles, it is portrayed in such a casual and innocent way, just like the girls themselves. It reminds me of my own young girlhood days of summers spent wandering far beyond where parents would know to look and of days of going to church groups (often against my will) and I think I would have liked to steal bibles as a way to rebel against the adults in my life. The entire series of river girls poems are wonderful, this one struck a particular memory of mine and so I chose to reveal this one in the series.

I hope you enjoy these poems as much as I do. To purchase a copy for yourself, The Madre Bones by Amy Fetzer Larakers is a mere $7.00, available by this link with the convenience of PayPal through Dancing Girl Press at:

To visit and learn more about Dancing Girl Press go to:

Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, August 22, 2011

Forgotten Bookmarks Site

If this doesn’t inspire you to write poetry I don’t know what will! All I know is a man named Michael runs this blog and works in a used book-store sorting through books and plucking out all the interesting finds inside and posts them on his web-site. From post cards to book marks to scrawled recipes, it is all here. Check it out at:

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for another featured poet…