Tag Archives: kenn amdahl

The Leader

The recent events in Libya reminded me of a poem I wrote years ago, so I dug it out. I think I wrote it when the ayatollahs came to power in Iran and they captured some Americans and paraded them through the streets blindfolded. But I’m not sure. It could have been about other leaders in other places and times. It may have been published first in a literary journal, in which case I should give credit to them, but I had a lot of poems published during this period (I submitted three a day, every day, for a long time) and I didn’t keep careful track. That’s one reason I haven’t released a book of my poems– it would require some work to give proper credit, and I’m not a big fan of work. Continue reading →

Reid, Romney, and Reasonable Doubt

In the court of voter opinion, both parties use reasonable doubt as their ultimate closing argument. The voters don’t need to “believe” something is true, they just need to wonder. To question Obama’s qualifications his opponents asked: is he a Muslim? Is he from Kenya? Does he hang out with terrorists? They didn’t need to prove their allegations, just make people wonder. (“Well, maybe he’s not from Kenya but I heard he won’t show his birth certificate. Reasonable doubt– I”m voting for the other guy”). Continue reading →

A Rewriting Tip

When I finished writing The Land of Debris and the Home of Alfredo, the world reacted with stunned indifference. No surge of cash flowed into my checking account, my phone did not ring with offers from TV show producers, no agents fought their way into my living room waving movie rights contracts in my face. The only evidence of the manuscript’s existence was a small but annoying pile of rejection letters in my desk drawer.

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Nearing Pond Scum Time

I’ve been working on a book about the various theories people use to explain the causes of ALS, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It’s called “Revenge of the Pond Scum,” for reasons that may not be obvious at first. A dozen scientists and doctors have read sections relating to their specialties or theories and suggested a few minor changes, which I happily made. One of those scientists, who coordinates the efforts of several university teams studying ALS said my book “helped me to think about ALS.” Another said “It’s a very, very fascinating book indeed!” Continue reading →


After watching several Sunday morning political discussions on TV, I had a weird little insight. Both right wing and left wing commentators accused their opponents of being elitists. At first that felt odd, because being elite seems admirable in most arenas. It means ranking near the top of a field. No one mocks someone for being an elite athlete. Being “elite” is a good thing. Being “elitist” is bad. Continue reading →

The Old Street

This street has forgotten me
Invisible, I haunt it
January wind displaces leaves
And memories
But my thin hair does not move
My skin feels no chill
A strange window protects
Us from each other
This street and I
A windshield of words
The church of sadness and magic
Looms like a thunder cloud
Haunted– but not by me.

Kenn Amdahl