{An Umbrella Invitational}

Steve Meador

has appeared in Loch Raven Review, Word Riot, Boston Literary Magazine, Autumn Sky Poetry, Orange Room Review, any many other journals. 

He has two chapbooks by Pudding House Publications. His book Throwing Percy From The Cherry Tree won the D-N Publishing 2007 National Book Competition and will be released in 2008.

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Blended Blame

He blamed it on Agent Orange,
partly, after a rough marriage
with too many kids and not
enough years between him
and them. He blamed it
on the military for sending
him to so many diseased,
unsanitary countries, to do
even dirtier work. He blamed
it on not sleeping well
and working too hard
when he wasn’t sleeping,
and sleeping around too hard
when he wasn’t working
during those waken spells.
Actually, it was the Arabian
Nights of the blame game,
and the only name that didn’t
have a finger in its face
was Jack Daniels. I put my eye
on the spout and looked down
to the bottom of his last bottle,
like stargazing, and sure enough
the blame list was printed there.

Originally published in Pack Your Bags (Pudding House).



Artist’s Statement

I started writing in high school, in the early 1970’s, generally rhymed, metered, senseless observations from rebellious eyes—how to save the country and the world. There was little written in the 1980’s. About a month after my father died in 1991, Blended Blame just popped into my head one evening. It has not had one change from the original. Like most poets, the parent-adult conflict either elicits happy memories or provokes sad ones. This piece launched me on a writing spree, making use of my gift of detailed recall, resulting in hundreds of pieces, predominantly work of childhood recollections.

To the average reader it is another father/son prosy write. To me it is the generator that powers me up, switches me into writing mode. I keep it in my desk and read it when I need to be in that persona. I suppose because it is my perfect definition of my father, and by some bizarre rite of passage it partly defines who I am.

About two years ago I located a childhood friend, forty years lost. My poetry came up in discussion and she asked to see some. This was the first piece I sent. Her response stunned me. She wanted to know why I had spent my life in real estate and not behind the typewriter. It turned out that she is a tremendously successful author, who encouraged me to write again. The work that Blended Blame has inspired is finding success.