Tuesday, September 01, 2015

last week of summer

but when something ends another thing begins.  so it is the end of summer but it is also the beginning of autumn.  i love hot weather, suntans, and swimming as much as the next california boy but i am a creature of fall, short days, long night, cool weather.  i had my first slice of pumpkin pie tonight and, to quote a poem by james wright, i am in love.

nick goes back to school this week.  he's had a great summer filled with adventures.  we'll round out the sweating season this labor day weekend at the pool.

after this weekend the season will be, for me, early fall.  a time of pumpkin patches, falling leaves, shorter days, and halloween thrills.

would it be weird for a man in his late 40s so in love with halloween?  would it were!  i think it would be more odd not to love and be in love with the world and for me halloween is part of the world i love so dearly.

finally i raise a glass to the memories of filmmaker wes craven and neurologist and writer oliver sacks.  two large souls with distinct bodies of work who left this world a bit more livable and lovable for their being in it.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

a few pics from our trip

this is our third trip to cayucos, the beach town time forgot, rounding out seven days at the end of summer in the surf, on the sand, and doing our level best doing nothing at all.

we just returned a couple hrs ago and i am windswept, sunburnt and sea legged.  nick is a fearless swimmer of the waves and some of those waves were huge.  by our standards, at least.  but nick, anna and i logged many hours in the waves and i still feel like a t-shirt on the rinse cycle.

last night was a gorgeous one.  line of fog right on the horizon.  the sea blue&green [i saw the sea as green hued while everyone else more sensibly and most likely accurately saw the color of the ocean as a brilliant sparkling blue].  whales sounding in the middle distance [we could see the whales breach, blow holes, and tail fins sticking out of the water].  we sat on the deck watching the sun dip below the horizon.  then we sat until it was too dark to see much of anything.  the wind blew cool and strong.  the surf crashed insistent the ocean's presence.

below is the view thru the front window of our beach house to the back sliding glass door to the beach.



and here is a pic from last night's sunset.






below nick and i watch the waves sitting on our beach house deck after being in the drink.


every beach town has at least one of these retail establishments.  this store is located in nearby morro bay.








finally we had to come home.  below is the moon shining over the sea just before dawn this morning.



there was even a shark attack in morro bay yesterday.  a surfer had her board bitten by a shark.  it was a lovely day.  lots of people in the surf including scores of para-surfers who use a kind of kite to surf the sea.  anna found a flyer tacked to the nearby beach access warning swimmers of a confirmed shark sighting.  we didn't see the flyer until after we got out of the waves.  but today anna said local news reported the beaches closed for 72 hours. 

below is the local news report and interview of the surfer.  i love the surfer's attitude.  she says the worst part of her experience that she didn't even get a wave to surf.





Saturday, August 22, 2015

it's a beautiful world [for you, for you, not me]


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

i keep a notebook.  i have kept a notebook for 20 + years.  months or years can go by without my writing in my notebook.  i carry my notebook everywhere.  my notebook is always in my backpack.  my backpack is always, or almost always, with me.

i have awful handwriting.  reading past entries in my notebook is a chore.  even for me.  some words i can only squint at and shrug their meanings. 

my awful handwriting does not prevent me from keeping my notebook.  my awful handwriting even goads me into writing in my notebook.

sometimes poems come out of my notebook.  sometimes quotes taken from my reading is lifted out of my notebook.  sometimes ideas go to die in my notebook.  sometimes i am surprised by the breadth of years in my notebook.  an entry may seem like it was entered yesterday but was recorded five years ago.

i don't remember when i started keeping a notebook.  i always, it would seem, have a notebook going.

i sometimes pledge to write everyday in my notebook.  often that pledge is broken.

yet the notebook is always with me.  like life.  and death.  both things, life and death, i carry within my body.

it would seem i wouldn't exist without my notebook.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

say hello to mr b.

hi tom!

to be determined

notes at 10:18 pm 

i am in the habit of pulling a book off the shelf and reading a page or a poem or two

this weekend i read poems by john engman olav h. hauge robert creeley errol miller etc. etc.

i attended a memorial for a beautiful woman who died suddenly without warning at the early age of 67

i spoke at her memorial as best i could with words as honest as i could make them

nick is in his room skyping a friend and i am astonished at the speed of which our technology has eclipsed even the fervid imaginations of ray bradbury and gene roddenberry

i did chores today thus i helped keep chaos at bay

it got hot today well into the triple temperatures so anna nick and i went to the pool and met our friends and spent a few hours in lovely cool company

i can't sit lotus my knees don't bend well and i don't have a lot of fat on my butt to help cushion stress

i spoke on the phone with john b-r tonight for nearly 2 hrs he in southern california me in northern california thus we helped bridge the divide the subjects were serious but the tone was of much laughter

i agree with my friend alex g who sez life is a movie but let me add life is a poem too

i am comforted by walls and toppling stacks of books and movies and music

i love and am loved surrounded by anna and nick and family and friends in this our only world

i love the approach of fall and halloween and their imagery

i hope to get thru my life without being an asshole



Friday, August 14, 2015

ladies & gentlemen, the very great otis redding


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

a couple of e-things

tom andrews, a poet i've quoted here before, died in 2001.  he published just two books of poetry in his 40 years.  he was the first gen-x poet i had encountered.  he was a writer of great power who included mysticism and 7/11 convenience stores in his poems.  his obsessions with pop culture, comic books, punk rock, skateboarding, mirrored my own.  i feel electric reading tom andrews.

now you can too.  andrews' second book, the hemophiliac's motorcycle [university of iowa press; 1994] is now available as a pdf.

* * *

mark young's brilliant magazine of 'many e-things', otoliths just went live.  this journal keeps getting better and more brilliant with each issue.  issue 38 is a great read with terrific textual and visual poets mix.  get a gander of these concrete poems by susan connolly.  good, no?  nine bows to mark for his great work with his beautiful magazine. 

i am an addicted reader/listener of news.  i have a degree in old fashioned print journalism.  i was a terrible journalist.  one of the worst, really.  but i had the 19th century notion that journalism, literary journalism, could pay the bills.

i quickly disabused myself of that notion before i left school.  the poet/journalist!

well, ain't nothing wrong with that idea.  some might even manage to do it.

but then i think whatever you can do to pay the bills that allow you enough freedom to read and write is a good.

so i considered a career was what you do for moolah.  what you do for life is an obsession.  if you are lucky that obsession becomes a way of living.

so we are entering a new economic reality.  don't know how it will all turn out.  automation will play larger roles in production of stuff.  if we adopt autonomous vehicles then taxi services, bus and delivery drivers will probably be displaced.

this is a scary time.  it can be a wonderful time too.

education is changing and so are the jobs in academe becoming scarcer.

no longer can the writer count on becoming a teacher much less the poet count on being a journalist.

what can the poet do?  anything.  everything.  in between.

you want a career in teaching poetry?  i wish you the best of luck.  i really do.  we need excellent poet/teachers.

you want to be a poet?  pick up a pen, computer, tablet, and write.  you want to publish?  it is easier today in our digital culture to publish then it has ever been.

you want to rule the world thru poetry?  okay.  try it.

fear and fame, thrown far away.  because writing and reading is larger then popularity or fame.  besides there are easier ways to achieve both.

when i despair, which i do pretty often of late, i read a few favorite poets.  i have a lot of favorite poets.  their work, their life examples, brace me to face another day, another hour.  for i am one of those individuals who think life is short and is designed for pleasure.

for me poetry gives me the greatest emotional, intellectual, sexual, physical pleasure.

there is no career in that.  only a life.  a good life?  please.  but for me it is the only life i want to live.