Category Archives: Poetry

The plight of a newbie lyricist marketing a song demo

Even if they aren’t into country music, my friends have been impressed. I’ve already unveiled it but here it is, all over again! A nineteen-year old poem converted into a would-be pop/country song! Slowly, Her Name Fades Away:

Okay, so now what?

Seriously, now what? Continue reading

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Silence and song; the musical demo of “Slowly, Her Name Fades Away”

How does a deaf composer get the attention of the music industry? Think about that for a minute, would you? It happens to be a serious question asked by a man who is currently sitting in an unsound situation.

I’m not Ludwig van Beethovenfar from it – but I can say that my toe is in the proverbial water of the music industry at the moment. Okay, actually it’s actually my entire foot up to my ankle or lower shin (that comes by way of me having spent time trying to promote the Pretty Voices over the past year). It goes by way of words and actions, not so much plucking piano keys and writing orchestral symphonies.

See, I wrote a poem back in the fall of 1998 (a long long time ago in a galaxy not-so-far away) that I’ve clung to over the years. It’s a poem I had intended for inclusion in a self-published poetry book… It’s also something I thought could be done in a musical arrangement to make it into a song.

So, when I got frustrated and vastly slowed this past spring, and while I still had thoughts tying said-poem into a musical arrangement, I made an inquiry with the Nashville Song Service if the lyrical-verse really could be done as a song. Indeed, it got the green light. Continue reading

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At Loss to More

(Written with remorse and in memoriam. Rest in peace, Sir Roger Moore)

At Loss to More

More today is sad to see
Somber sorrows and infamy
Less renown is our grief
A nostalgic remorse from years gone by

More today is gone tomorrow
To the halls of memory and accolades
Spied upon from days gone by
Reveled in with amounts of majesty

Less be more, the status quo
What comes after is without
Blessings from the might that was the more
Shall broaden the reach of what will be

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by | May 19, 2017 · 12:26 PM

Lyrical hopes and poetic dreams for the immediate future

I’ve been going through older poems that don’t appear on the site, I’ve been going through a collection of my works over the decades . Things I wrote as poetry sure sound like songs (or at least look like them, and I can imagine melody to go along with them). I’m no musician though, no composer, or I’d try to put together a full song and get things on the market (not me as a performer, me as a composer).

I will admit right now that I do have a poetry/lyrical verse manuscript and am hoping to have a self-published book out in 2017. That’s still in the process of being honed out though. There are aspects I haven’t even explored yet with that, and those I have asked to review my work (as editor types) have yet to get back to me with any input.

All of that said, here’s an example of that lyrical-verse/poetry that I had a habit of doing in the past. It’s something that is not going to be included in the book as it stands, but that could change. I’d appreciate feedback on this too. It has been on the web before, when my personal home page was on Tripod ages and ages ago. Different title then.:

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Musical Demo: Picture Perfect (aka Picture Perfect Love Affair)

In the late 1990’s I was a poet and lyricist first and foremost. You can find some of the poetry I wrote and have written over the years on the site (click the writing tab above and move down to the poetry selection). That’s not the point though. One poem I wrote, just a lyrical mash-up inspired a bit by Green Day, was “Picture Perfect Love Affair”, a crazy guy in love with a girl in a photo. In fact, that story sort of mocks me at the time, as girls from High School still mattered, and I only had their photos to look at.

Years later, I forget when exactly, I had a little edit of the poem.  “Edit” being the addition of a chorus to use between stanzas:

It’s a picture
Picture perfect

Picture perfect love affair

It’s a real simple build up and filler but it does the job that is expetec of it – it moves you forward and transitions you.

The summer of 2016 had me meet (online and off) Nick from the Pretty Voices. At one point or another I ran lyrical verse past him in a conversation and lo and behold, Nick delivered a demo of my work.

As it stands right now, I don’t think the Pretty Voices are going to record this thing, but it IS nice to have something I wrote put to music.

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Inspired by a picture

I’m only posting this on Stonegauge the site because I’ve discovered I placed a bit of my writing here that I don’t have hard copies of on my own computer. This poem was inspired by a photo taken from bed. I’d post the picture but I never know if the site is going public again or not, and the picture is private — not that kind of private! Get your mind out of the gutter!

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The weight of their worlds

Lay their hardships unto me
Their doubts, their fears
Their degradations

Lay their weights upon my shoulders,
Threats and harms
Leave them be

Steer them straight, right, and true
Deliver from evil
And to the promise of the now

Yes, lay their hardships unto me
And through my suffering
Spare them all

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Disappearing poetry act explained

I decided to take a shot with some of my written works, stuff that has never been published beore (sans on this web site) and actually submit them to a literary review. It’s been about a month since I made those submissions. It oculd be another two before I hear back from said literary review.

I’m skeptical on my chances.

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Waiting for Her Word

It’s been months since I posted anything on my personal blog here.  Where am I? Is this sitei site dead?

I’m busy more often than not, and no – the Stonegauge is not dead.  Just dormant.  When I have been writing lately, it’s been personal and it’s been in the mail (didn’t I once say that it’s great getting letters in the mail?)…  That or I am doing hockey stuff.

This off-season has afforded me more time for myself (which has been a good and bad thing).  I’ve found escape in writing, an ability to immerse myself in a thought or idea, or a feeling and a story.  It’s like a release, as it used to be when I would write a real good poem that conveyed something creatively.

Oh, I’m still doing poetry too.  Just not much of it, thanks.  That’s what this post is – a poem.  Something I wrote a few months ago for an absent face.

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Filed under dating, Poetry, The Life, Writing

The Unpublished Works

Everyone likes seeing their name in print.

Well, unless of course it’s trash tabloid-ism or an arrest warrant… But I’m not talking just-printed-on-paper but I mean a by-line of one sort or another. I can say that from experience as I’ve gotten that kick — seeing “John Fontana” linked to letters-to-the-editor, or being sourced/interviewed by USA Today, being quoted in The Hockey News, The New York Times Slap Shot blog and la-de-da.

But I can also say that wasn’t where I intended to go with writing when I started out as a kid.  My intention wasn’t to be a face-in-the-crowd (though no matter what you write or publish, you are another face in the crowd of literature) in the newspaper.  Not another source for magazines and what not.  Not a weblogger.  I planned on doing things creatively and having my own book.  Or books — plural.  Take your pick.

But that never happened.  See, when i was a teen I got away from story writing so much and was writing poetry most of the time…  a habit that’s followed me into adulthood.  Lyrical verse more-so than deep observations and perspectives…  Well, yeah they are perspectives but they are my perspectives.   Sometimes just pop, sometimes inspired by events or people or feelings  in my life.

Over the years, I’ve had some of them available to the masses through the web…  Certainly you can find a couple of them on this site and probably elsewhere on the web…  But they’ve never really been published in the sense of print.  Never published in the sense of being out there for any traditional form of mass consumption.  I haven’t bothered to take the time with sending out poems to magazines who have niches all of their own (and aren’t available unless you pay for a subscription or pay for a copy — while you’re not getting paid for your contribution).

I ought to put together a manuscript and do something with it.  But I’m hesistant.

Catherine Durkin Robinson, local blogger and Creative Loafing contributor, has written two book manuscripts.  Her first one is being published, chapter-by-chapter, on a blogspot site.  The other, a more recent work based on her life as a teacher in Hillsborough County, is being sent around to literary agents in hopes someone will pick up the work and mass-market it.  Sadly, that has not been the case and the rejections have been comical at best.

Their loss.  I’ve read the book and it’s not only a good read, it’s provocative and controversial enough to be read widely by those fearing school-district scandals.

I also have another friend, in the Pacific Northwest this time, who went out and self-published her first novel.  The book, Steel Goddesses, is currently available on Amazon.com for purchase.  It takes a lot of courage to go out on a limb like that and self-publish any work…  But it sort of cuts out the middle-man of having to appease literary agents who tell you what a proper market for your writing is-or-isn’t and tells you to change your work to fit that niche.  At least that’s what I’ve seen with rejections served up to Catherine.

So the idea I am kicking around is actually putting together a manuscript of poetry I’ve written over the past decade and self-publishing it.   I realize that poetry is not exactly a hot seller and not going to lead me to riches…  It’d cost me more to publish than the commissions I’d get in the long run from doing it…  But it does what I have long sought to do — take the writings jammed in Mead notebooks that I’ve carried around since High School and take some of those verses and show them to the masses.  Will people connect?  I have doubts.  Will strangers read what I’ve  written?  Even more doubts…  But it’s mine, and it’d be out there.  My claim.  My piece of literature.

My book.

It’s a thought, at least.

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Filed under Books, interweb, Poetry, Raw Charge, Tampa Bay, The Life, The Stonegauge, Writing

This Bitter Month

Boring weekend with too much downtime and the end result is me posting a poem I meant to keep private. Yeah, Kate, you can get on my ass for being a morose m’fer (as you did last time 😉 ) but I thought this was good even if it was muy triste.

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Uninspiring: Let Me In

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything rhyme-based. In fact, despite all the hurt and emptiness — I haven’t been inspired to write shit. Usually the hurt, the pain, the anguish, the longing… It all drives me to write. It (or usually the source of everything inside) becomes a muse. I’ve had some great muses in my time (I’m talking people here, not instances of anguish) where the longing was what drove me to scrawl out lines of internal conflict and what not. Three above the others. And one trumps all.

It’s odd, though, that Current Source has inspired almost nothing for me. Here and there? Yeah. But nothing profound… The only poem that I had written was months old.

While I like the rhyme and the declaration — which goes beyond the obvious call for someone to drop their emotional wall and let someone “in” — it was foreshadowing of sorts. A warning sign I kept ignoring.

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The Write Stuff

For a couple of years I had my writing online on various extensions of this domain name. Basically it was one short story and about a hundred poems that I had decided to put online.

Being the busy bee that I am and having other things to do online, I decided instead of keeping the site up and running, I took it down. All while saving the files.

Well, in a limited case I’m putting a definitive writing section back online. You can access it directly and you can also access it from the above menu by clicking WRITING.

Oh, and for the moment you can jump to the poems directly on the sidebar here on der Stonegauge’s main site. Some were never part of my collection on the old writings site and some were.

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Everyone loves getting mail

Not one of my better poems, was written in a bit of a rush the other night when I had this thought on my mind… Inspired in part by The Lake House

Letter

I want to write you this letter
And
I want to spend time in thought and
Trying to figure out what I’d say to you
It’s great when you get a letter in the mail

And I’m thinking about writing a letter
And
It’s been a few weeks since we talked and
Right now you’re on my mind
Whether you like that idea or not

So it’s been a few weeks since we talked
And
The last time we did, we fought and
I let you walk all over me,
While you had good reason to be pissed

Yet I was all apologies
And
All in all is all we are
You never offered me the same
For you getting all angry and acting lame
I’d better not write you this letter after all

Why I better not write this letter
Is
Because you just don’t respect me and
You got me tied around your little finger
And just twist and twist me tighter than a knot

Knots can be so cruel
And
They can be like feeling locked inside
Yeah, feelings can be knots too
Cinching tighter and restraining things

So I’m writing you this letter
And
I’m just a piece of twine twisted around
Your pinkie is red from this yarn
That we’ve both been spinning for ages

And it’s great getting letters in the mail
And
Last one I sent you was years ago
And I tap-tapity-tapped it up on my keyboard
My handwriting is a horror unto itself

The horror of my day
Is
Realizing I still have feelings for you
And you’ve pretty clearly moved stage left
The lights are bright on Broadway
“The Producers” is better watched with an audience

And I don’t know if you care
About
Getting a letter in the mail from me
Letters in the mail are great but even better
When you don’t expect them
I’m the king of “don’t-expect’em”

And my wrist is getting
Cramped
Writing out this yarned ramble
Ramble – what we know so well
What we loved, what we lived, what we did for hours

And I watched this movie
Tonight
And it got me thinking that i ought to
Write you a letter
You could care less about the addressee
Your residence wasn’t hard to find

So I’m closing this letter off
And
Hoping to put things to rest even though it’s
Special to get a letter in the mail
And I want to share special with you again

All in all is all we are
And
Kurt Cobain is formally dead and
You can’t respect someone who kisses your ass
It just doesn’t work

So I watched this movie tonight
And
I wanted to write you a letter
I wanted to write you this letter
It’s great getting something in the mail
————

© John Fontana

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