By Russ Miller (734 words)


Have you noticed the foul language of this present generation?

Even movie scripts are rife with verbal and visual degradation.

It is a moral risk taking family to the theatre these days,

Dirty dialogues abounding, what has happened to decent mores?


They say: ‘that is the way people talk today.”

F words and B words and others I won’t say.

Environment could be a reason for some,

But I’ve even heard scholars, swear with aplomb.


What is the need for profanity and what is the gain?,

For anyone to use words that are unquestionably profane.

Violating sensitivities, with intent to defame,

Some cultured listeners may tolerate the use, albeit with disdain.


Dirty words in text, used to be blocked out leaving blank spots

Later the technique was to print the first letter, followed by dots

There is no guessing what the words were, that were blocked out,

And now filthy words are complete, leaving nary a doubt.


Have you notices “T” shirts the collegians are wearing?

Four letter words emboldened, encouraging solicitations for paring.

Coed dormitories are convenient for debauchery and such,

Parental influence is no longer a factor and not seen very much.


One’s shallow lexicon, is an indication of one’s choices,

Obviously demonstrating their short comings, when hearing their voices,

But a small vocabulary does not have to be defiled,

By using words that you would not teach a child.


A shameless vocabulary, imparts shame indeed,

And demonstrates that the relater is sorely in need,

Of more cultured articulation, without the crust,

For an otherwise acceptable message, void of disgust.


I recall orators, in the classic annals of literature who excel,

Outstanding by their brilliance and lauded prose to tell.

I cannot recall in quality works that I have read, vile or dirty words,

Common scurrility as used today would only be among the absurd’s.


Yes I know that times have changed, as our mores relax,

But the rules of decency still prevail, the facts are still the facts.

There are some acceptable exceptions within limits, that may do no harm,

Imagine Rhett Butler saying, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a darn”


GONE WITH THE WIND, will live for centuries,

One word contributed to a ban by the Church and their juries,

The word was “damn”, it relegated a great film to the list of the profane,

I’ve heard worse from Priest’s mouths, with scorn and disdain.



I will have no influence with the dirty mouth generations,

Nor will I try, I am satisfied with my own untainted creations.

My writings span a period over 70 odd years to date.

I search for right words, with no deference to the common vulgate.


I am embarrassed to read or hear irreverent uncultured trash,

Shakespeare said “ Speak the Speech, proudly with panache.”

We are judged by what we say and how we say every bit,

I want my words to be remembered with class, as I say it.


Would you be pleased or uncomfortable, listening to you,

Uttering foul, obscene vulgarities, like maybe some friends may do?

It is not just the middle or lower class now, using foul orations,

Even socialites use evil tongues with defiling connotations?


Some say “that’s just the way it is at this point is time,” really”?

I have not heard it taught in churches or schools, where languages flow freely.

Most offenders clean up their mouth, speaking with a child or a parent.

There are times when even the worst offenders know, that they daren’t.


Does anyone give respect to a dirty mouth friend or a mate,

Admiring their curse words, which connote a distasteful spate?

Spare me the need to listen with disgust and dismay,

“Speak the Speech with panache” as Shakespeare would say.


Have I Spoke the Speech, have I encouraged some restrain.

As the word master teaches, there is no need to be profane.

Words are our jewels, with millions of facets, sparkling like stars,

For all to use, in dignity, with pride, they are for us, they are ours.


It is our choice and ours alone, to choose from the myriads of verbal jewels,

Profanity has no meaningful use in any language, and is not taught in schools.

Those who embrace sounds of scurrility, are justifiably regarded as low class.

Even Webster and, Funk and Wagnall’s gave “THE DIRTY WORDS” a wide, wide pass.



For over 100 more nostalgic or poetic

short stories, by Russ, go to:

What makes a good writer?

What makes a good writer?

Geneva Kelly

Are you a writer, or insane enough to love one?

Suppose you had the chance to sit down with one of your favorite authors. Who would it be, and what would you ask?

If you’re the writer chances are you’ll ask: What was your inspiration? How did you get your big break? How long did it take before your work got accepted? My question would be, “What do I need to do, to become a successfully-known writer?”

If you are a writer’s lover on the other hand, your question may be, “When will they stop questioning everything?” I’ll make that one easy for you by saying NEVER.The word Write on a cork notice board

Just the other day he called me dramatic—my lover that is. It’s not my fault my story was about him! I could blame it on his eyes. I could say he threw me into a frenzy of anger because loving him is painful. Or I could do what I did: tell him that I remember everything he’s ever said! Blame it on the writer— not the girl.

Over the years I’ve wondered when and where, why and how for just about everything imaginable. But the one thing I have never wondered is what makes a good writer. It seems to be the only thing that makes total sense to me.

Being a good writer means creating stories in the middle of doing something else, without even expecting it to happen. It means being in tune with the world; being able to laugh at it, when you want to throw your hands up and slap the shit out of somebody. It means being Clark Kent at your day job, just so you can pay your bills on time, while locking up bad guys at night with the strength of your pen.

It also means relating to pain with compassion, or total disregard; whatever works best for the story. It’s knowing that at the end of the paper you spilled your guts, no matter what the outcome. You had no choice but to get it out!

I’m aware that my writing comes from a place that sometimes has nothing to do with me. It comes from a place I’m unfamiliar with and don’t even care to question. I can’t say that about much of anything else in life.

You know you are a good writer if what you write moves others to places that make them laugh, and cry. But you also have to be willing to laugh at yourself. I believe honesty has a vulnerability that can break through steel. Writers are taught that good writing means more than telling someone you had the best day of your life; a good writer shows them what if feels like to jump out of that plane (even if you bump your head on the way down).

A good writer is an architect. She enjoys straightening out the lovely mess in her head and structuring the roles of the ten or more people living there.

On the other hand- if you are the one in love with a writer, there are a few things you should know. You should be:

  1. Crazy.
  2. Patient. There are times when you will have to be more supportive than you want. (Like when your lover stops you mid-sentence because something you said just gave them a new idea for a story.)
  3. INTERESTING. Writers just don’t do BORING very well.  Sorry for the bluntness, but at times we have to make something out of nothing and in order to do that, we need some inspiration.
  4. Good in bed. Ok- this could just be a personal opinion, but writers are liberated by passion. We breathe it, sleep it, see it when it barely exists; if you want to see our creative juices flowing- it’s simple: get them flowing.

After reading Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, I thought it was awesome that he emphasized how his wife’s unwavering belief in him pushed him forward. He said, had she doubted him, he may have given up on himself. For me, this confirmed the importance of supportive people in our lives.

I am intensely against horror films, so reading anything from Stephen King would seem almost unheard of to someone who knows me well. Something about a man chasing me down the hall with a large knife and a crazy grin, just doesn’t do it for me. Though now, I am able to understand the writing behind it, and I’m intrigued by how this man has mastered the craft.

I never expected him to have such a sense of humor; never expected to relate to his writing either. But after reading about his life, he no longer seemed so creepy. After I finished the book, I even listened to the CDs. Hearing Stephen’s explanation of his story inspirations, amazed me.

I got a kick out of it when my son’s father questioned why I, (of all people) was listening to Steven King? While he (of all people) was listening to Pastor Joyce Myer (after my suggestion). I’m laughing because Joyce doesn’t care for horror films either. Though I’m pretty sure she would say, “Love the man, not his actions.”

There are plenty of things I say and do that I’m sure will warrant forgiveness. But I think as far as writing goes, I wouldn’t  forgive myself if I didn’t make it my business to share my stories with the world. Even with all my misspelled words, and failed attempts at punctuation; if I didn’t write, I would not know my purpose.

So I think that’s what makes a writer good. When you can’t think of anything else that you crave doing; when you have to make a story of something, nothing, anything, or—you know- your lover.

If plain yes and no just don’t work for you because all the details matter; or if you can describe the way something tastes, smells or feels, so that someone else can enjoy it just the way you did- then you know you are on the right track. And if by not writing, it feels like someone took out one of your lungs, and the only way to breathe is to write that breath back into your life- then you know you are a good writer.

     Oh man- I am dramatic!

My Archive – by Gary McLouth

My Archive
by Gary McLouth

The den, euphemistically called “the office,” is walling in on the 7 X 3.5 ft. mahogany writing table. Book shelves long overstocked sprout files and layers of borrowed and purchased reading, but there’s still some floor space, and I know the contents of each pile, sort of. My wife remarks how I’m turning the cozy den into a “rat’s nest.” Since I was born in the Chinese year of the Monkey, I respond with scratching and giggling.

The scene reminds me of graduate assistant day at SUNY Albany. The Associate Director of the just launched NYS Writers Institute, where I had a position, asked his Assistant Director and me to get his “damned office” organized so he could keep his academic course material separate from the anticipated onslaught of Writers Institute business. The afternoon should be time enough for the job, he assumed.

The room layout was awkward, crammed by two bulky desks butted end-to-end, squeezed into the space where one might have been able to get to the windows that overlooked the courtyard three stories below. Tiers of books and files leaned precariously from floor-to-ceiling shelves along all available wall space. Boxes and an assortment of shopping bags littered the floor. There was just enough walk-around area for a tightly choreographed dance trio. And, the room was cold.

We started where most reasonable do when facing someone else’s office stuff. Laughter, hilarious laughter. Then, careful not to break anything, we sifted through reams of notes, papers, and copies of copies. A random collection of novels, short story collections, medical and law tomes, Bibles and dictionaries got sorted. Texts marked by paper clips and match books were stacked. When we got down to the surface of the desks, gritty scraps of paper and ripped magazine pages waited: phone numbers and names, phrases, indecipherable messages. We liked, “call me.” Clearly out of date, the scraps got scrapped. We wiped the desks clean and started on the bags and boxes. Mistake.

What to do when confronted by the self-collected hagiography of a man’s live? Beginning with love poems from the 1700’s, we did our best to arrange the mess into a kind of chronology. Books first, manuscripts second, personal letters last. The method helped clear a path to the open windows which let in the cold. It also exposed an Oakwood pole rack in the corner; it was draped with several heavy wool overcoats and two hand-knit mufflers. In a crook of moth-eaten collars, a little bird sat silent on her eggs.

I remember a look of discombobulation on our mentor’s face. Some nervous laughing and a timid retreat from the “new office.” As we passed down the long hallway, we heard a plaintive moan. “Where’s my novel?”

Years later, his mother and a trusted friend scoured every possible redoubt for the novel manuscript. Nothing. Sometimes I wonder whether the novel my mentor was looking for was in that archive of a rat’s nest, or whether he was uttering a Jobian epithet of despair. I don’t really know, but as things pile up around here, I take comfort in believing there’re some stories in my archive.


Feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts. What did it make you remember of your own life?