davidbrucehaiku: just suggestions





To true creatives

The rules for artistic forms

Are just suggestions


Free davidbrucehaiku #13 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #12 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku #11 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)

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Free eBook: YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIND: Volume 2

David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore: Retellings of Classic Literature, Anecdote Collections, Discussion Guides for Teachers of Literature, Collections of Good Deed Accounts, etc. Some eBooks are free.

Gossamer Threads

the gossamer threads unwound
like a bodice unlaced
or a shell cracked
or a brittle paper torn
skin so delicate
that the lightest touch
along the curvature of the neck
more whispered than felt
like a warm spring breeze
created such a tremor within
the old garment was undone
it couldn’t resist the fluttering
what chrysalis can?
the bondage fell away
in tatters, like late snow falling
melting into verdant ground
and new existence
in scales incandescent
a life with wings


Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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David Bruce: Wits Anecdotes

• Ken Nordine is most famous for a series of Word Jazzalbums. As a creative person, he leads a life of wit and originality. When he was a boy, he was bothered because his minister would not get wet during baptisms because he wore thigh-high boots. Therefore, young Ken secretly made a hole in one of the boots. He remembers that at the next baptism he “could seethe Christian anger arise in [the minister’s] reddening face. He walked out with a big boot full of water, and when he got to his study, he released a small flood!” Sometimes, the people around Ken are the original ones. For example, a man once stripped to his shorts and then painted himself white in Ken’s garden. Ken called 911 and told the police about the man. The police arrived, thinking that Ken might be kidding them, but they found the man’s pants and a bucket and paintbrush that the man had used to paint himself white. They then took off after the man, first radioing the police station to say, “The guy who painted himself white is heading north, and we’ve got his pants.” Ken says, “If I were to thinkof something like that, people would say, ‘Man, you are really sick.’” By the way, Ken’s wife is also original. She once held a party, and it took Ken two hours to realize what was unusual about the party: Every man whom she had invited was named John. (She also thought about having a “Mary” party.)

• Famous British graffiti (and fine) artist Banksy is witty. He once smuggled a piece of rock art (showing a Stone Age hunter — and a shopping cart) into the British Museum — his credit on the art was “Banksyus Maximus.” He also once put a parody of Any Warhol’s Pop Art Campbell’s soup cans into New York’s Museum of Modern Art — Banksy’s parody showed a can of Tesco Value cream of tomato soup. In addition, Banksy once created an open-sir sculpture that consisted of putting shark fins in a pond in east London’s Victoria Park.

• The late-night talk-show hosts are frequently witty. When Johnny Carson failed to properly make a pretzel out of a length of dough, the lady leading the demonstration handed him another length of pizza dough, saying, “Try this piece. I don’t think yours is long enough.” Johnny replied, “Yes, I think I’ve heard that before.” Michael Jordan once appeared with David Letterman after the NBA had banned his black-and-red Air Jordan basketball shoes because they didn’t have any white. David quipped, “Neither does the NBA.”

• Joseph Barbera of Hanna-Barbera fame and his friend Sy Fisher were standing on a sidewalk and talking when a woman went up to Mr. Fisher and asked, “Don’t you know me?” He did not. She pinched his lower lip between her thumb and index finger and asked, “Recognize me now?” He mumbled, “No.” She let go of his lower lip and said, “I’m your dental hygienist.” After she had left, Mr. Fisher said, “Thank God she wasn’t my proctologist.”

• For a very long time, the Kenilworth Hotel in Miami, Florida, did not allow Jews to stay there. Finally, in 1960, some Jewish sportswriters covering the New York Yankees’ spring training trip were allowed to integrate the hotel’s guest list. Leonard Shecter, the man with the acid tongue from the New York Post, hired a bellman to walk throughout the hotel and yell, “Paging Stanley Isaacs.”

• Cult filmmaker John Waters is a wit. He used to sign his autograph with the note “See You in Hell,” and he believes, “Nothing is more impotent than an unread library.” He also inspires wit in other people. Because of his films, Mr. Waters is known as the Prince of Puke, and whenever he entered a favorite Baltimore bar, the DJ played Eminem’s “Puke” in his honor.

• Actor Cary Grant was capable of wit. He once gave a reporter permission to misquote him. Why would he do such a thing? He explained, “I improve in misquotation.” And a magazine once sent him a telegram that asked, “HOW OLD CARY GRANT?” He replied with this telegram: “OLD CARY GRANT FINE. HOW YOU?”

• One of Jonathan Swift’s servants once told him a lie. Instantly, Dean Swift was outraged: “You pretend to tell me lies. I, you rascal, who have been acquainted with all the great liars of the age!” Dean Swift proceeded to name several statesmen, and then concluded with, “Get along, you rascal! How dare you tell lies?”

• When Jonathan Swift died, he left 10,000 pounds to be used for the founding of an Irish Hospital for Idiots and Lunatics. That was his final joke. As he had written earlier: “He gave the little wealth he had / To build A house for fools and mad, / And shew’d by one satiric touch, / No nation wanted it so much.”

• Fred Allen was an incredibly witty comedian. His new writers used to spend time at meetings jogging down the continual flow of witticisms from Mr. Allen’s lips, but they quickly realized that there was no stopping the flow. One of his writers paid Mr. Allen the compliment, “That’s guy’s got blitzwits!”

• For many years, England exploited Ireland. Lord Carteret’s wife once stated to Jonathan Swift that she liked the air of Ireland. Dean Swift immediately fell to his knees and begged her, “For God’s sake, madam, don’t say so in England, for if you do they will certainly tax it.”

• Jazz banjo player Eddie Condon was witty. He once remarked about the 1940s bebop musicians, “They flat their fifths; we drink ours.” And he once said about French writers who criticized American jazz, “We don’t tell them how to stomp on grapes….”

• Mulla Nasrudin decided to open an agency to supply lecturers to groups that needed entertainment. Unfortunately, he found it difficult to find good lecturers, so whenever a group asked for a wit, he was forced to ask if two half-wits would do.

• In his autobiography, Here’s Morgan!, comedian Henry Morgan is careful to mention that he knew James Thurber, Robert Benchley, and S.J. Perelman “because, after all, I have to keep my wits about me.”

• “Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted.” — Hesketh Pearson

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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John Ford’s The Broken Heart: A Retelling, by David Bruce



Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist:A Retelling in Prose



William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure:A Retelling in Prose, by David Bruce