Alex Sparks Hashtag America

Hashtag America

Hashtag America

Alex Sparks’ submission for the 2013 Write Bloody Publishing Contest

Alex has put the words here:


Has youth really changed or, is each generation just more aware of the struggles of the youth of earlier generations. It’s like Alex carries my Vietnam generation inside himself. I realize too that I carry the very true feeling of separation and gallant struggle of WW II.

We are conceived from the young. It is the young sperm and egg that carry those passions to the next generation and, somehow latent memories themselves. I was born in 1948 and I somehow remember the big one. Alex relives Vietnam in the same way .Those latent inherited memories help butterflies get to Peru.

Our wars and protests are imprinted in each generation of children as latent memories and we have to stop.

No, youth has not changed so much. It just went from Clark Kent to James Dean to John Lennon to Alex. Youth seems to be getting it right and is getting smarter more quickly. The trouble is that we taught them our peace and love but we kinda traded it in on a piece of land. We should be prouder of who we were then.

We young hippy turned yuppie baby boomers changed the world, and we find the new youth still just as fervent and confused, just as young and wonderful as we, and smarter.


david michael jackson


Silver, “Periodic Table of Poetry” poem by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers


Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#47, Ag)

Got a huge batch of silver bars,
but didn’t want to sell them
because at the time the value of Silver
temporarily dropped.
But the thing is, with all that Silver,
I would have had to pay
people to store it,
costing me even more money.
So I buried it,
and waited for the value of Silver
to rise again
before I cashed my Silver in.


I never got the Silverware
from my grandparents,
I was too young
and they lived too long,
but I got the silverware case
from my brothers house
when he moved out
of his last hone.


My engagement ring
was originally the wedding ring
of my husband’s great-grandmother.
But that engagement ring
(with a diamond in a white gold setting)
later became a pendant,
and after the fragile
white gold chain broke
(because even though it’s heavy,
it’s expensive, so it was thin),
we replaced it with a Silver chain,
thicker, and therefore stronger,
and worked perfectly
to showcase that diamond
around my neck for years.


Silver, mixed with other metals,
can make amalgams, for people
like me with too many
cavities to count. Silver may be
a worthwhile metal element,
but I was relieved
when the dentist
fixed those fillings
with an amalgam matching
the color of my teeth…


I worked for years for a minor
in photography in college,
aced every course
from photojournalism to
portrait to art photography.
I’d wind my own film,
coated with an emulsion
containing light-sensitive
Silver halide salts. I loved
working in that darkroom,
seeing images appear
that I captured with my
Silver-emulsion film.


I’ve collected Silver coins for years,
and traveling around the globe
has increased my desire
for coins from other countries.
And my mother, years ago
played the dollar slots in Vegas
(back in the day when the slot machines
paid cash directly to you,
and didn’t give you a card
you needed to cash in),
and she won tons of old Silver dollars.
For decades she kept a jar
in the cabinet in the kitchen
(labeled “Maw”)
filled with these Silver dollars.
The Silver dollars were given to me
after she passed away,
and now I have stacks of these
century-old Silver dollars
displayed with all of
my other Silver and metal coins
from around the world.
I know the 1888 Silver dollar
in that collection is so worn
that it can’t be worth much,
but trust me, for sentimental value,
it’s priceless.