Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Book : Your Words Will Sharpen

To start out with the dream of becoming a writer or poet in 1989 was to start out in a land of obscurity and rejection. You stood very little chance of being read by anyone, much less read by many. Now, twenty-six years later, Jason E. Hodges has been published by sixteen different publications, and had over one hundred and ten thousand page views on his blog, The Dirt Worker’s Journal. His fourth book, Your Words Will Sharpen, is an in-depth look into Hodges’ world through the eyes of poetry and prose. You see the people he encounters on the streets of his hometown, Gainesville, Florida, and on walks along Matanzas Bay in the old sandy city of St. Augustine. He takes you through life in the factories, the carwashes, and the jobs that bring on old age with speed. All of his daily encounters, along with icons of pop culture, blend together beautifully in this book to reflect the thoughts and memories of this modern poet. Your Words Will Sharpen is a fearless gaze into one’s self teetering on the line between sanity and truth.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Truth In Quotes by Jason E. Hodges

Despair is a night without lights. Dreams are the sunrise that leads you out of the darkness.


They say, poetry is dead. I say, was there ever a time they had a clue of what the state of poetry is?


I was a poet. I had no expectations other than creating a world of art with words that would live on long after I was gone. 


There is no value in your promises. They are as hollow as fangs and poisonous as the venom within them once I allowed them into my heart.   


For the writer, madness should seep slowly out of them from the world they endure each day.


As a writer, a poet, you’re not alone in wanting to be alone. Your work is a friendship that never leaves you.


I asked my father if we were rich or poor when I was a small child. He said, “We were rich with God’s love.” I knew from that moment forward, we were broke.


Destroying the planet is like stepping from a moving train and thinking it will all work out.


Your dreams don’t stop being dreams because of circumstances.


Poets, with no sponsors, no agenda, are the truest form of freedom today, bleeding out every drop of themselves for the world to either hate or devour.


Each morning the winds of the city moan and weep with lost souls clinging to hope of reliving the memories of yesterday.


History is the roadmap to a better tomorrow. Destroying it is getting rid of any chance of what not to do for future generations.  


A poet’s words are like mortar to the bricks of society.


Becoming a writer does not mean words will suddenly flow with perfection from your pen. It takes hard work, rejection, and the willingness to lay everything inside you out for the world to see. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Speaking To The Man Upstairs

It was a halfway house on East University Avenue


At the end of the long wooden hallway

Each plank seemed to creak out

Some old ill sound

As my small feet walked across them

I was only ten years old at the time

I had been sent to grab some stew meat

From the only working refrigerator

Where all the residents kept what little they had

The community sink and bathroom

Were on the same end of the hall

There were only five or six rooms upstairs

He was standing outside his doorway

His hand bandaged

“What ya doin’ kid?”

“Grabbing some stew meat for dinner.”

“What’d you do to your hand?”

He pulled hard on his cigarette

As he exhaled waves of smoke

He said, he burned it

Fell asleep while smoking in bed

My mother later said, he was a drunk

He had probably passed out

Woke up on fire

She said, he was an ex-con

That he hadn’t been out long

I opened the fridge and grabbed what I was sent to get

Turning around

I asked, “Where’s Mr. Ericson been?”

The man’s brow pulled together tight, “He’s gone, Kid.”

He pulled hard on his smoke once more

His cherry now glowing

“They carried him out the other morning.”


“He died. Been dead a week before anyone noticed.”

I didn’t or couldn’t understand this at the time

How could anyone pass away and no one miss them?

My thoughts

My questions

Must have been written

Across my face

The man thumped his ash into the sink

Then spoke up once more

“Mr. Ericson was an old drunk.”

“A wino.”

“Not many miss you when you’ve gone that far.”

“He was old and used up.”

I ran into the man upstairs at least once a week

He would tell me stories of losing his friends

In Vietnam

He said, the war was nothing like the movies

And sometimes he didn’t speak at all

I didn’t understand a lot of what

The man upstairs said back then

But his words have become

Transparent over time

Some were lies

Some were truths

Some were just the way it was back then

When I would talk to the man upstairs

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Still You Write

Dishes in the sink

Still you write

Clothes not washed

Not folded

Still you write

Trash needs to be taken to the curb

Still you write

Grass needs to be mowed

Still you write

Bills not paid

Still you write


Still you write


But, lessened as a human by your belittling boss 

Still you write





Still you write





Still you write


With nowhere to go

Still you write

Living in a low rent motel

Still you write



Abandonment by family and friends

Still you write

When the lies and promises are presented to you

Day after day with a smile

Still you write





Still you write

For, your dreams

Don’t stop being dreams

Because of circumstances

And writers don’t stop

Until the end is upon them

So, still you write

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Christmas Abbott

More than muscle

More than skill

It’s the spirit

The spirit and the mind

Working as one

That has to be tapped into

From Archimedes to Stephen Hawking

Exceptional people

I believe

Have done just this!!!  

Abbott is an artisan of the body

Sculpting muscle and tissue

With weights of steel 

As well as Da Vinci

Sculpting in his medium of marble

And again

I say

I believe

It all has to start by tapping into

The spirit and mind

You see

Sometimes you have to sail away

From who you think you are

To become something better

Like Gauguin

Moving away

To create his perfect art 

We must move away from who we are

To what we can be

Move in our thinking  

Tapping into one’s self

For the first time

Is like tapping into the words of Emerson

Something moves within you so fast

Like Jesse Owens going for the gold

You will realize

What power lies within our dreams

Abbott wasn’t born a Crossfit fine-tuned machine 


A NASCAR superstar

No more than Franco Columbu

Woke up one day a weightlifting champion

Hard work gets you where you want to go!!!

But you have to want to get there

And again

I say

I believe

It all starts in the spirit and mind

Believing in yourself

In anything you choose to do!!!

Christmas Abbott pushing steel

Pushing her way to the top

An inspiration for us all

To do more than just getting by 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tandem Movement

Tandem movement toward the machine

We walk


We are the machine

Our eyes move back and forth

On the world we see each day

If think Thoreau was frustrated with man’s greed

Back in his time

With wars waged without ever thinking of peace

With the natural world being

Eroded away for its resources 

He’s probably now doing backflips in his coffin

It seems people are either  

Racing through each step of the day

Or moving at a turtle’s pace

Yet, most all are glued to their phones

Waiting for the next bell to chime

Like rats in a maze we’ve become  

It’s up to you to set the pace

With which way when, where, and why??? 

Some are driven

To do more than just getting by

Following their passion

Not tuning it out like an old transistor radio

And tuning into someone else’s achievements

Clicking their approval

Then swiping to the next story 

There’s a few writing their own

Blazing their next path

Honing their skills, their skills they do hone

Like the great  

Neo Nadi notably knowing who to poke next

With his silvery sword outstretched

It’s never luck, you know?

When you’re willing to push yourself to exhaustion

Horseshoes won’t get you to the top of a mountain

They’re just more added weight to carry

A Rabbit’s foot wasn’t so lucky for the rabbit

It was chopped from

Black Cats 

Broken mirrors

Shattered reflections of 13

For, luck changes each time you look upon it

So does the world as

Our eyes move back and forth


The tandem movement toward the machine

STOP, like Thoreau and look right in front of you!!!

See truths for yourself

Not what someone tells you to be true

Viruses know no skin color

No political affiliation or origin of birth

They’re only looking for a host

The bear, the big cats of the savannah

Are just as colorblind

They know nothing of someone’s pigment or ideology

Humans are the only species

That practice prejudice to perfection

The snake strikes the foot that steps on its back

Not the feet that walk around him

The wolf hunts the weak

Not the opposite refection of him  

Our eyes move back and forth

On the world we see each day

Live your life in truth and change things for the better

For, others have you in their vision

As their eyes move back and forth 

On the world they see each day