Saturday, May 30, 2009

catch as catch can..

Whew! Just made the end of the month for a bloggie note.

Hanging out with buddies before traipsing around this summer. Running a bit and saw a few good things. I even have pix I (mostly) took myself. That's not necessarily a good thing as I'm not a photographer, but oh well. (The photos w/o attribution are ones I took.)

Put my hard hat on and hung out at another poetry house -- not in Philly this time -- the soon-to-be-new-home of New York's Poets' House. It's really impressive and I even have a few pix of Executive Director Lee Bricetti with her construction chapeau:

As you can see, she's very involved in the project!

After we saw that amazing space, one of my good friends and I stopped by another one: the beautiful, intense and word-centric art piece, the Irish Hunger Memorial. it's really something. I urge you to see it, and read through it. The memorial not only references famine that killed thousands in Ireland but the nature of people, places, governments to allow people to starve all over the world. it's in a great conversation with the new Poets' House home as it conveys how powerfully words reverberate. A real masterpiece -- and free to visit, roam around and touch. The pix below really don't do it justice but are more of a teaser:

It was a Manhattany day. We ended up in the West Village and walked right past this living monument:

With all this DOMA (that's Defense of Marriage Act for you non-wonky folks) dueling banjos ads going around, walking past or at least actually noticing the Stonewall Inn for the first time reminds me of how recent all this discourse is. Personally, I think New York attitude will win out over NY conservatism (esp. upstate) and we'll have same-sex marriage here. Yes, there are conservatives in the state but I suspect that no one here sees them being trumped by Iowa on anything that's not agrarian (and even on that level, we've got lots of farms outside of the 5 boroughs). When I saw the movie Milk (yes, Penn shoulda won that Oscar) it just reminded me of the historic era we're in. I mean, I remember those clothes! (Yes, I was young but I do remember them, I even wore the tike versions.)

Speaking of great, touching, morally-relevant films, I *just* saw the super excellent "Up" movie by Pixar. (Those of you who know I'm a goofy Harry Potter fan will not be surprised that I went to see an animated picture.) It was so good! Super touching, lots of great lessons/reminders for kids and adults and expertly done. Pixar is not joking! I've enjoyed every single one of their films that I've seen. Very moving and lovely economy of language. I even shed a tear or two. I'm no Roger Ebert (even though he is a Gemini and carries the sign well) so I won't presume a fancy review but go see. And it was great to hear Ed Asner! Talk about the 70s...I remember him from the Lou Grant days and he's an excellent actor and unapologetic lefty. Dude is mad old school. It's funny: he does look like the character in UP (without glasses) at this point in his life:

(h/t and

I realize I'm not only talking about the 1970s but, folks in *their* 70s. Asner graduating the 7th decade and will actually be hitting 80 this year. May I live so long as they say (and as vigorously)...


Lines on Retirement, after Reading Lear
by David Wright

for Richard Pacholski

Avoid storms. And retirement parties.
You can’t trust the sweetnesses your friends will
offer, when they really want your office,
which they’ll redecorate. Beware the still
untested pension plan. Keep your keys. Ask
for more troops than you think you’ll need. Listen
more to fools and less to colleagues. Love your
youngest child the most, regardless. Back to
storms: dress warm, take a friend, don’t eat the grass,
don’t stand near tall trees, and keep the yelling
down—the winds won’t listen, and no one will
see you in the dark. It’s too hard to hear
you over all the thunder. But you’re not
Lear, except that we can’t stop you from what
you’ve planned to do. In the end, no one leaves
the stage in character—we never see
the feather, the mirror held to our lips.
So don’t wait for skies to crack with sun. Feel
the storm’s sweet sting invade you to the skin,
the strange, sore comforts of the wind. Embrace
your children’s ragged praise and that of friends.
Go ahead, take it off, take it all off.
Run naked into tempests. Weave flowers
into your hair. Bellow at cataracts.
If you dare, scream at the gods. Babble as
if you thought words could save. Drink rain like cold
beer. So much better than making theories.
We’d all come with you, laughing, if we could.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Dag, the month is flying!


Well looks like it took almost up to Memorial Day for Spring to spring up before summer. Nice weather in NYC. I'm sad that more than a few students had terrible convocation weather. Ah well. The main thing is that it's done. I got to hang out at a few fun student events at Pratt Institute and UPenn.


Apparently, no Memorial Day weekend is complete without a Barbecue (with a capital B) and I had the occasion to get to one this weekend. Fun, groovy with folks I haven't seen for years. Slowly emerging from my underground thing after years of school and writing. Trying to get the band out there, too. Time to get movin'...

Heading out to the cooler and less delectable climes as I do every summer -- and spring is finally hitting the city! There was a little article in the NYT about people taking 'staycations' and even though I won't be one of the stayers, the comments other people made invoked some nostalgia: I remember when my brother turned some young teen year, he came up with the good idea of taking a tour of the city. Because we were little, we got into quite a few things for free(the Toussaut's Wax Museum was in the Empire State Building) because folks thought we were somebody's kids!


With people bbq'ing, the Statue of Liberty's head getting open and the waterfront abuzz, I'm going to miss my hometown even more than usual. I'll try to sneak in another quick note before the month's out. Just one for May has got to get a little dap for coming through in the home stretch.



by Theodore Worozbyt

Turns out the radiologist didn't know thing one about radios. I stood there in my stocking feet and waited for the music to begin again. Being generally good with small motors I would mow and mow the lawn stoically with a white hand towel draped around my neck. I was stimulated by the reports of the optical scienteers. Because of the particular reflective and refractive qualities inherent in the molecular structure of the chlorophyll molecule, the wavelength perceived by the human eye as green is in fact repulsed by grass. Thus grass is all other colors. Impossible, impossible! was the catarrh violently discharging itself in the chambers of my thoughts. Grass and vert are green. Reading is black surrounded by white. If not, what? A barely perceptible hum underfoot that turns out to be electricity or some other invisible fluid? A basket heaped with unadjusted watches? The forests filled with white tigers. Fire came from god's beard. The sun rolled, a chariot wheel flaring its treads across the clouds. Starlight: angelic punctuation on the carbon paper of midnight. New York City sewers crawled with titanic alligators before debunkers in rubber boots stepped in. President Somebody was smoking an Egyptian cigarette and several papers didn't get signed before the prognosis began to resemble a trumpet: something gold around a hole.