I have organized my four sets of poems into a book. It's 44 pages long and an unnamed reader declared, "I sat down just to read it for a bit, but ended up reading the whole thing. It's actually inspiring, and funny." They are for sale for $5.00. The cover is heavy card stock so you can put it on your toilet next to your Reader's Digest magazines. All the poems are available for free on this website, so you can preview before you buy. Click here to buy.
All of this years poems are up. They are going to be called "Preventative Maintenance". This is the first year that I've titled a poem set with something other than the name of one of the poems (or in the case of Funny Stories About Thirst & Drowning, two). The title is hinted at in the poem "Fountains". The Idea behind the title is two fold.
As a mechanic in the National Guard we spent the lion-share of our time performing PMCS (wikipedia link) Preventative Maintenance, Checks, and Services. It's the act of inspecting and re-inspecting equipment at various intervals. It's a good habit. Heck, it's a great habit. It's like cleaning the bathroom every Sunday, and inspecting the drains every month, stuff like that. And one of the stages of entering adulthood is the transfer of these tasks from your parents, to you gradually. It's how you define what kind of household you are going to have as an adult.
The second idea is the negative side, how constant maintenance prevents you from your mission. The world throws so much rifraff at you, too much stuff to process, and it all wants your constant attention and upkeep. You must decide what things to worry about and what not to worry about. You get hooked into a dependency hell (wikipedia link), eventually chasing things you have no interest in, but need, "The constant maintenance of his life, prevented him from living it."
So I guess you could say the poetry set is about striking a balance, or you could say I'm a beach ball since I kind of just made all that up. Enjoy! -Joel Lueders
I like my coffee hot
with a good pour of ice cold heavy
I find the resulting conflict and ensuing compromise
as I walk with cup in hand
to your house for fun
just for fun
and I like that we don't have as many conflicts as we used to
but neither of us has given up
or given in
It's like when I look into my cup I see the swirling cream
and then it's gone.