Leonard Cohen says that poetry is the evidence of life and if life is burning well, poetry is the ash.


Dear Readers,


Why Line Break you ask.


Not long ago nor far away, my muse appeared for the first time while in conversation with AP Walther, editor of this fine Salem Weekly rag.   Miz Muse and I hadn’t worked together long so she leaned into me hard while I made my eloquent pitch for adding a column of poetry and flash fiction to Salem Weekly.  Wish I could remember the eloquent part.


‘’Doesn’t matter,’’ Miz Muse insisted, ‘’I’ll listen for the hounds, you listen for your voice.’’ And finally I could because she was the one minding the door where the hounds of disbelief were lusting for my defeat, my down-turned head, my trampled heart.  Miz Muse is one powerful mujer.  Those hounds, tired of baying about the terrible and awfuls, were lapping milk from her cupped hand by the time she was through with her magic.  Yes, it’s magic. It’s magic to see what’s inside my head as letter and word, sentence and paragraph while the pups of so-be-it snooze.  The result of magic and memory, not long ago nor far away, follows.


The news is the news and much of it’s bad

‘bout bridges and money,

an occasional cad


Isn’t there life, another life

that does matter

to folks whose hearts are all in a tatter?


It’s meter I want, not the parking kind either

so please oh please

from the news, please

a breather


Yes, some breathers can be heavy


breath – is – at – stake!

so please oh please

Gimme a Break!

Welcome to Line Break,

a break from the news,

a break from the blues


Line Break,  a kitchen table for local poetic hearts where all can listen, learn, be heard.


How’s your life burning?



 Ruth Hudgens has lived in Salem since the late 70’s and is best known for starting the Off Center Cafe and the Oasis at the State Capitol.  She slowly fell in love with poetry after learning she didn’t have to get anything. Then it was local poets Clem Stark, Charles Goodrich, Ada Molinoff, Henry Hughes, Donna Henderson who turned her head forever toward poetry, especially of Very Local Poetry.

Line Break is a partnership between Salem Weekly and Mid Valley Poetry Society (MVPS), a group working to spread awareness and appreciation of poets and poetry in the greater Salem area through articles, events, and monthly meetings. News of its activities can be found at http://oregonpoets.org/category/unit-news/. 

Line Break reserves the right to make poetry and flash fiction (450 words or less)accessible to everyone.  Both emerging and well seasoned local writers are welcome. For information about local poetry events or to submit a column for Line Breakconsideration, write Ruth at hudgie45@gmail.com