Michael’s Blog

February 16 2023

A Feeble Attempt

I want to write a poem.
I need to write a poem.
I should write a poem.
I should be writing a poem.

Nothing is calling and
The Muse appears to be mocking me
Crying, coulda woulda shoulda
Why dontcha do it instead
of wanting to needing to?!

Sotto voce:
I thought that’s what I was doing or trying to
Even if I wasn’t doing it very well.
Muttering, really
(But please don’t tell the Muse.)

© Michael McGrinder 2023

October 5 2021


apropos James Joyce

a word that is not a word
and is the most famous first word in all literature
continuing a last sentence
into a first sentence; having its way being a word not a word: the word, no more, no less, more though if a word or even if not a word, that word

December 24 2019

The Old Girl

That fragile bag of bones
humping a walker across the boulevard
trying not to become roadkill
was once the hottest piece of ass
in the old neighborhood.

The way she walked
caused young guys to hide their boners
and other girls to be protective of their guys
while wishing they had those looks. God, those looks.

Before you’re old, you’re middle aged;
before that you’re young.
The young are where we get the very old.
Hang around. You’ll get a turn.

She has at different times ached for different things:
Attention, marriage, children, grandchildren,
someone’s health to improve, her own as well,
a kiss, respite from sorrow, from loneliness, a touch.

Today, she wants to get to the other side of the street.
Some will begrudge her that: she’s taking too damn long.

That’s how it is now.
But there was a time…
Yes, sweet Jesus, there was a time.
There was.

© Michael McGrinder 2019

Nov 20, 2019

I finally got around to posting some newer pieces in POEMS.

I hope you enjoy them./ Michael

Mama’s Review

He’s become a writer? I don’t see how. His handwriting was always terrible. I was called into the principal’s office because of it. I was never so embarrassed in my whole life. Now he wants to shame me in front of the whole world with that awful handwriting of his.
I still have the report card with his grade for penmanship that month. He should put that on the cover of his book.
I won’t shame myself and tell you the grade but his homework looked like a chicken with its head cut off ran across the page. Writer, my ass. Nobody can read anything he writes, and I don’t know why they would want to. It’s worse than the signs in the kosher butcher’s window or the Chinese menus, and maybe those squiggles the Arabs use that nobody in their right mind can read. He just wants to shame me is all he wants to do. It’s not writing what he does. I don’t know what it is, but nobody should have to read it. Tell him I still have that report card. Tell him.

© 2019 Michael McGrinder

Front Page of program for


Phoebe Wray’s Environmental Piece

at La MaMa

featuring my one-act play

Nantucket Sleighride

Originally presented at Boston Conservatory Theatre

A Mystical Trio

A short collection of three stories, each with a mystical focus.

Print $3.59

Kindle $0.99

We Hate To See You Go

whtsyg book cover snip 1600 px wide for smwds

One-Act/Dark Comedy 3m 2f

We hate to see you go
We hate to see you go
We hope to hell you never come back
We hate to see you go.
An Irish wake.
A reluctant corpse. A few drinks. A few laughs. A few tears.
Some bickering. Some fighting.
An Irish wake.
Seasoned playwright Michael McGrinder is at it again, this time calling on (some would say calling out) his Irish heritage and its peculiar relationship with death and all the contrariness that attends it.
McGrinder’s exquisite craftsmanship is at play here as he balances the outrageous with the subtle, the laughter with the tears, the hypocrisy with… well, with itself. As always, he offers us delightful entertainment. It’s no wonder We Hate To See You Go continues to be one of his most popular plays.

print $5.99

kindle $2.99

Life on the Internet

I needed to install SoundCloud to listen to something today. I’ve been a bit under the weather and thought I’d find how I sound. I recorded, “This is how I sound when I’m not feeling too well.”

Within a couple of hours I had two followers.


Now available as a Kindle edition

(print edition available soon)

A Wounded God


We got us a major booboo, bubaloo—
We’ve got us a wounded God.
And we gotta stop the bleeding…

What happened to the world?

We happened.

Humans, supposedly created in the image of a God who can only do for us what He can do through us. We were the beneficiaries of everything. Everything. We needed only to care for things, ourselves and for each other. It was a simple exchange.

And have we made a mess of that! As the conscious representatives of all creation, we must take responsibility, even the authority for the actions of God. We have no other choice.

Here is a resolution in the form of a beautiful longer poem—a work of remarkable spiritual power with a practical call to action.

Just when we need it most.

My latest bit of mind candy to entertain you.

My Book

I am inspired and encouraged to write and post this
by a number of recent pleas for help in Facebook writers groups.
I want to write a book and I need a little help.
I can’t think of anything to write. read more

My Interview


Had a wonderful time at Bob Patrick’s La MaMa Coffeehouse Chronicles.

I then spent a wonderful evening of conversation at Phebe’s (once considered the Sardi’s of Off-Off-Broadway) with Bob, Magie Dominic and Jason Jenn.

“I’m suffering jet lag from 1961 to 2017.” Robert Patrick



Looking forward to Saturday afternoon at La MaMa for the 140th Coffeehouse Chronicles celebrating the work and career of playwright Robert Patrick

Coffeehouse Chronicles #140: Robert Patrick

Now available

In honor of Robert Patrick’s Coffeehouse Chronicle at La MaMa, the Kindle edition of this collection of four of his early one-act plays are available from amazon.com at the special rate of $0.99 through February 14 Valentine’s Day. It then zooms back up to the regular $2.99.
Print edition is also available at $5.49.

Up By Wednesday



Now Available

Isobel cover

Amazon – print edition $7.99

Amazon Kindle Edition $2.99

Smashwords Editions $2.99


Epub lrf Online reader pdb

Barnes & Noble Kobo

September 18 2016

I seem to be improving nicely. My cardiologist says I can now do anything I want to do. (In a fantasy life, perhaps!) My walking stamina is subject to arthritic constrictions only, but my breathing is a great deal better than before the surgery. I have returned to the computer and am again editing and publishing, both my own work and that of others.

July 29 2016

On Tuesday July 12, I had an aortic valve replacement. I am told it was not caused by anything I did or by anything I ate or drank; neither was it caused by anything I didn’t do or by anything I didn’t eat or drink. Apparently valves in the body just wear out, the same as they do in cars or in anything else, and mine had become severely worn. I also had a couple of arteries that had become clogged—one heavily, the other less so. My lifestyle was no doubt complicit here. The operation, performed at New York Presbyterian Hospital, took from four to five hours, and I am grateful that I had wonderful doctors and attentive, pleasant nurses.

I am at home and recovering. Each day I’m a bit better, but it’s a process.

Meanwile, my girlfriend Renee had her own surgery: removal of a cancerous tongue lesion and a small portion of her tongue along with neck lymph nodes. The surgery went well and she is resting in the hospital, though we are awaiting the results of a biopsy. Your prayers and good thoughts for her speedy recovery are appreciated.

I will post when I can.

July 7 2016


I will be having valve replacement surgery this coming week. I expect to be away from serious online activity for up to a month. I look forward to being back. Enjoy your summer!

June 29 2016

The Four-Cent Royalty

It seems I am due a four-cent royalty. That’s in US dollars, although technically it’s 96 cents shy of a single dollar. The royalty is for The Share, a one-act monologue which is in the guise of an AA share performed as an audition piece. Cover price is $5.49, as low as I’m allowed to set it though really it’s too high. (Kindle edition is 99 cents.) The royalty is for a sale through something called Expanded Distribution which means purchased by a library or an institution. Privacy concerns dictate that I’ll never know who the purchaser is unless they choose to tell me. It leads to some idle speculation. AA has worldwide total of 117,748 groups http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-53_en.pdf. If each were to purchase a copy of The Share, my total royalties would be $4,709.92. Of course, some of those groups (many of them!) are non-English speaking. That brings it down considerably. Generally speaking, playwrights derive their income from royalties. But I did make the play available for performance royalty-free. So, I may be lucky to be making four cents on the deal. I only hope my bank doesn’t view it as suspicious activity.

June 28 2016

I have clearly been remiss in my updates. A couple of things are happening on the personal front. I’ll be more forthcoming when I have clarity about the issues.

Meanwhile, I’ve brought out two more books, a novella, Mary, about the mother of Jesus as a human being with Mary central to her own narrative; also a two-act play written on the grand scale (12 women, 13 men and assorted minor characters, The Confessions of Isobel Gowdie based on a confessing 17th-century Scottish witch.


Print Edition $6.99 Kiindle $2.99


The Confessions of Isobel Gowdie

Kindle 2.99

Print edition available soon

April 12 2016

Now available

from Amazon.com
Kindle Edition


Snow Business




Epub lrf Online reader pdb

Barnes & Noble Kobo

Snow Business cover snip

One-act play
2m 1w 1child/m or f

May be performed free of royalty.

Here’s a little play that’s as light as a snowflake. A cranky boss experiences the miracle of his first snowfall. A charmer that can be performed without a set, and the only prop needed is a flash camera. (The author won’t mind if that’s mimed.)

April 9 2016

Attention Indie SF Writers!

Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off

needs 250 entries tor this year’s event to occur.

As of this writing they have 222. Entry must be an already-published SF novel (must be Self-published).

Info here

March 17 2016

from: johndopp.com


March 8 2016

A mere $425 for a book review!

from the Kirkus Book Marketing Guide/

Kirkus revie procedure $$$

This is a little easier on the eyes/


Go to http://www.kirkusreviews.com/indie, and request a review by simply clicking the “Get Started” link. You’ll provide as much information as possible about your book, choose whether you want to send us a printed (mailed) or digital (uploaded) submission, select either standard service (7-9 weeks) or express service (4-6 weeks) and pay for your review (standard service $425, express service $575). When you submit your order, you’ll get a response from the Kirkus Indie team confirming receipt of your request.

from February 17/Spent a delightful afternoon being interviewed for The Primary Stages Oral History Project. I’m told by Executive Producer Casey Childs we can expect all interviews to be accessible online in about four or five months.

March 1 2016

I just received the DVD. I seem not to have embarrassed myself, even provided a few fun moments. What I find most interesting is hearing my own development through the Off-Off years: a credit to Casey’s interviewing techniques. I look forward to the edited version being available online and to seeing the other interviews. I’m Number 59 in the series.

February 26 2016


If you’re an Independent Author, you are no doubt familiar with the names David Gaughram, Joanna Penn and Derek Murphy*, but do you know Allen Wyatt? Allen publishes wordribbon.tips.net which I consider the best work available on using Word. (You don’t have to like Word, but if you’re an Indie you’re probably using it and here’s a way to make using it easier.) It has helped me to format books. Oh, it’s free! Subscribing brings a useful newsletter, one I actually read.

*If you don’t know them, click on their names to start your education.

February 25 2016

I am contractually obliged to remove the text of

The Share

from these pages.

It is available as a Kindle version from amazon.com for $0.99

(free to Kindle Unlimited readers)

The print version is priced beyond my control here

at $5.49

February 17

Spent a delightful afternoon being interviewed for The Primary Stages Oral History Project. I’m told by Executive Producer Casey Childs we can expect all interviews to be accessible online in about four or five months. Other interviewees have been George Bartenieff, Tanya Berezin, Paul Foster, Arthur French, John Guare, Judith Malina, Marshall W. Mason, Lynne Meadow, Charles L. Mee,, Robert Patrick, Albert Poland, and Jean-Claude van Itallie. Something to look forward to. It was also nice to see Sally Plass again.

February 16 2016

New poem posted today:

Now I Remember

I have traced my family genealogy. It appears we go back to the first amoeba.

Newest addition

The Share

a monologue

December 29

New story posted today

My Gun Is Stuck

Links for Indie Authors

If you’re a writer and you publish independently, i.e. with Amazon, Kindle. Smashwords etc., here are a few links worth your time. I’ll add other links as they present themselves to me. I welcome suggestions. Use the box below to contact me.

The Ultimate Book Launch Guide: 33 Ideas Any Author Can Use by Jared Dees no

From Jared: I’ve worked in a publishing company for almost four years now and helped many other authors launch their books. It was very exciting to apply what I’ve learned from helping other authors and studying author book launches to my own book launch this year.

Eric Van Der Hope’s Facebook Page

From Eric: I help people who feel they have a message to share build their platform & become published authors.

David Gaughran’s WordPress Blog

David is our numero uno champion of indie publishing.
From David: Welcome to Let’s Get Digital! Here you’ll find tons of info on how to publish your work, build an audience, reach readers, and make money.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki

From Guy: In 2011 the publisher of one of my books, Enchantment, could not fill an order for 500 ebook copies of the book. Because of this experience, I self-published my next book, What the Plus!, and learned first-hand that self-publishing is a complex, confusing, and idiosyncratic process. As Steve Jobs said, “There must be a better way.”


Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a fast, easy and free way for authors and publishers to keep control and publish their books worldwide on the Kindle.


The paper-bound books champ is now incorporated into kdpAmazon. I miss them.


Distributes your Ebook(s) to multiple retailers

Draft2Digital (aka D2D)

Similar to Smashwords. Each has its champions.
Personal Note: I tried publishing a poetry collection with D2D. They were extraordinarily helpful but finally acknowledged they were set up for straightforward prose.


I’ve used them for book covers and for formatting. Results have varied but, on the whole, I think they’re a great deal. Gigs start at five dollars (whence the name) and go higher depending on “extras.” Be clear on what you’re ordering. I find it a good idea to leave a tip.

NB: I generally like working with and being helpful to people who are just starting out (e.g. I love working with actors just out of school.) but with fiverr I have learned the hard way to choose those with some experience on the site. You can tell a great deal from their reviews and ratings.


Send me your suggestions for additional resources. State whether you wish posting credit.

November 18 2015

That Said

That Said in the menu on the right is a short story. I plan to add others on a regular basis as I prepare a collection for publication. Once the book is out, all stories will be deleted from the site. I hope you enjoy them, as I hope you enjoy everything on the site. Feedback is appreciated. Don’t be shy. Leave a comment.

November 13 2015
My WP theme does not support a menu. I had to install the PAGES sidebar as a widget.

November 4 2015
The site crashed this past weekend and I’ve been working on its restoration, trying different themes with varying degrees of success (and failure), none I’m happy with. I’ll keep at it. Thanks for your patience.


Aug 16 2015
Saw the joyous and quite wonderful An American in Paris last night and am inspired to share this Gershwin beauty from Youtube.
Rhapsody in Blue

Published on November 4, 2015 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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