Friday, October 31, 2008

The White Cliffs of Oregon

My rock. Mine.
Look at Benny over there on that rock.
He thinks his shit is whiter than ours.

But we have the best resources in the world.

Pelican shit matches the color of waves.
Part of God's plan, I'm sure.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Forest Floor

Alice must be around here somewhere.

About as big as a breakfast sausage.

Hitchhikers are everywhere!
I saved its life, though, and put it back in the grass.
A little bit slimy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

9:00 A.M.

Osceola Fire at 3:00 A.M.

Our long time friends/neighbors' house burned pretty much to the ground last night.

We stood in the cold and the water.
Nothing to do but watch it burn.
Everyone made it out safely.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Redwoods Hostel

Do this. Really.
Jojo & I shared a room for three days.
Total Cost: $149

There are a few stairs.

Just like home.

Check out the dijs beside the couch.


The manager.

And her husband.
They're both English majors!
This is what you do with that pesky English degree.
Full kitchen at your disposal.

Book swap shelves are in the laundry room.

Recycle, of course.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hello Trees

She loves this place

Not Indiana trees.

Woman talking to tree gods.

Don't go anywhere. I'm coming right back.

And about 43 degrees when we began the hike.

It won't be long.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tide Pool

We're on our way home. More pics later.
Jojo was accepted at Humboldt.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not Exactly Columbus

The Finlander was drafted to go to the Dominican Republic for the week. It seems he was the only one in his office with a passport and some things had to get done. Americans!

He left yesterday, Columbus Day, at 3:00 a.m., none to happy about it, even though it was on this very island that Columbus landed. What an opportunity! Or not. Today he sent me an e-mail:

"Picture a world with no rules and hotter than F&#k"

Sounds like he's having a fabulous time. He should definitely try to get a job with the tourism bureau.

I think the ancient Finnish explorers, such as they were, headed for more northern climes.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vote Early

Sweet mother of liberation, all the Keranens have voted! Easy as pie.

For early voting in St. Joseph County Indiana:

Bring your picture ID to either --
The St. Joe County City Building in downtown South Bend
The Mishawaka County Services Building

Cast away

The hours are:
Monday thru Friday, 8:00-4:30
Saturday, 8:00-4:00
The last two Sunday before the election 12:00-4:00

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Kopland

I'm on a small Kopland jag here with many, many thoughts, but not much time. So in the meantime, a short poem of his. We'll talk horses and different translations later.

Young Lettuce

I can take it all,
the withering of beans,
flowers dying, with dry
eyes I can see the potatoes being
dug up, when it comes
to those, I'm really tough.

But young lettuce in September,
just planted, still limp,
in little moist beds, no.

(Rutger Kopland, An Empty Place to Stay, Twin Peaks Press, 1977, translated by Ria Lei-Loohuizen.)


Thursday, October 16th, 7:00 p.m ., The Hammes Bookstore, Notre Dame.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


So many woo-hoos lately! And there are rumors flying of more to come, but I must sit quietly and wait for others to tell. It not my favorite job to sit quietly. No.

But for today, Rachel has poems at Up the Staircase!

And Sarah has her chapbook In the Voice of a Minor Saint coming out from Tilt Press.

Way to go!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Amnesia & Things Worth Remembering

"Once a poem is resolved, I lose the sense of having written it. I remember the circumstances, but not the sensations, not what it felt like to be writing. This amnesia is most immediate and most complete when poems are written quickly, but in all cases it occurs. Between poems I am not a poet, only someone with a yearning to achieve--what? That concentration again."


"When you read anything worth remembering, you liberate a human voice; you release into the world again a companion spirit.

"I read poems to hear that voice. And I write to speak to those I have heard."

(Louise Gluck, "Death and Absence" from Proofs and Theories, The Ecco Press, 1994)


I'm just finishing reading Proofs and Theories and have connected with it in many ways. I would recommend it, whether you enjoy literary criticism or not. Gluck has so many important things to say.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Dear Charmi --

Thank you for your recent poetry submission to (Liars) Magazine, and for keeping us updated about your simultaneous submissions. We read each and every one of our submissions with great care, and we appreciate the opportunity to read your work.

While we regret that we are unable to place your poems at this time, we thank you for your efforts and for sending us your work.

As always, keep creating!

Our best,
The Editors

This rejection would have had a little more weight if I hadn't received the same response from the same place for the same poems (which I did only send once) a little less than a month ago. It appears they didn't read them once or twice. Scratch them from the list.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Oh Yes He Did

Q. All right. Sir, when were you born?
A. 1924.

Q. Thank you, sir. Do you have a scar where they did the surgery?
A. Scar?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. Yes.
Q. How big is the scar?
A. (Witness lowers pants.)


Q. (BY THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY) We're going to get to see it along with the court reporter.

THE WITNESS: You want to see it first, hon.

Q. (BY THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY) Okay. Hang on a second.
A. Five places that mother was broken.
Q. Okay. All right. Thank you.
A. I'm glad I put my shorts on.
Q. Well, that's -- that's a good plan today. Thank you.
A. You bet.


Zygote in my Coffee has taken Neil's poem "Trash Man."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fighting/with Wooden Spoons

It's good to be home. We had a fine anniversary week trip, as Gene said, "A whole week together and we didn't get in one fight!" Maybe because we both had to work while we were away. And no, we're not the fighting type, it's the "whole week together" that usually brings it on. Each of us has a fine appreciation of our own space. So we're home again and back into our own spaces.

On the home front, Jojo took her SAT yesterday and we're getting ready to go see Humboldt University in California in a couple of weeks. Nostalgia is the devil and it's beating me up daily with a heavy wooden spoon. So I'm posting some recipes.

Grandma Angel's Mulled Apple Cider

(for the Moyas)

1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
2 sticks cinnamon
12 whole cloves

Place above ingredients in 2-quart pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Add the following ingredients to above mixture:

1 quart apple cider
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/2 lemon, sliced

Heat through and serve.

Great Aunt Mary's Fresh Apple-Nut Cake

(For Talia)

1 1/2 cups oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbl. vanilla
4 large apples, peeled, cored & chopped fine
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix like any other cake. Bake in tube pan 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees (spray pan with Pam); or may be made in rectangular pan allowing for difference in baking. (I usually do the rectangular thing. It takes a little less baking time. Just keep an eye on it after an hour or so.)


1 stick butter
2 tbls. milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Bring all glaze ingredients to a boil; turn down heat and simmer, stirring often for about ten minutes, or until mixture starts to thicken. Pour over cake slowly while cake is just warm. Let sit for at least an hour so that the glaze can completely saturate the cake.

This last recipe helps me break the nostalgia into a million pieces. Aunt Mary was an awesome cook, but she didn't particularly like kids. Unfortunately, during the time I knew her I was a kid! Too, she was my favorite grandma's sister-in-law, and grandma really must not have liked her at all, because she gossiped about her something fierce. It must have been a nightmare for poor Aunt Mary to come down from Chicago to visit us. I haven't seen her in over thirty years. In fact, I don't even know if she's still alive. But if she is, my apologies, Aunt Mary. Your cooking was always divine.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Portsmouth, Ohio

The murals along the flood wall.

Across the street from the murals.




Cellar door.

Window shopping again.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Greenbo Lake State Park

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who wanted the turkey
to be the national bird, but the raptor lovers won out.

"Be prepared to meet and accept nature on its own terms."
A weighty burden. Gene stepped in a hole yesterday
and twisted his ankle. No more hiking.

So, today we're going to try a boat ride on Greenbo Lake.

Dangerous man hiding in bamboo.