Friday, December 28, 2012

LoPoYo (The Eight)

Usually around this time of the year I post the top 20 or so poetry books that I've read during the year.   This year, I'm afraid, my poetry appetite has been a little diminished.  There are more choices than ever and less and less that I desire to read.   It's been, by all accounts, a personal Low Poetry Year.  So be it.  I read a few and I'll clue you in to what I found worthwhile, in chronological order, of course.

1.  Chromatic - H.L. Hix
2.  Diving Into the Wreck: Poems, 1971-1972 - Adrienne Rich
3.  Song of Myself - Walt Whitman
4.  The End of Beauty - Jorie Graham
5.  All of the Above - Jim Daniels
6.  The Coldest Winter on Earth - David Dodd Lee
7.  Show and Tell: New and Selected Poems - Jim Daniels
8.  Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems - Chase Twichell

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Sandhill Cranes

The sandhill crane migration is in full swing.
My friend Kathy snapped this great pic with her telephoto lens.
I'm a little jealous.

But I was still able to get a few shots of the birds coming in.
The weather was absolutely the best we've ever encountered.
That is to say, we stayed until sundown and still had feeling in our limbs.
If you have time and are local, this is a great time to go.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

At Lakenenland

A great sculpture park.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sandstone Quarry

We dove into the woods and found the old quarry Gene's dad used to swim in as a kid. The guys would take a heavy rock to weight themselves down, a knife to carve their names and they would dive as deep as they could go.
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mighty Mac

Our feet have reached the U.P.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I am busy.  My friends are busy.  The whole world, it seems, is busy, which I'll take as a good sign, for the moment.  America is recreating itself, rewriting its story, transitioning into something new.  Again.  Always.  Musically speaking, transitions have a preferred rhythm.  They are fast and light.  I like that.   For the moment.  Soon I'll be happy to slow down and study the new movement, the latest words.

Artistically, I've put down my poetry pen for awhile and have turned my hand toward fiction.  My little office is covered with maps and dry-erase boards filled with characters and locations and notes about physics and the cosmos and entropy.  Someone will be killed in this fiction, because I dig that sort of thing.   I could be writing a mystery, but I don't want to say that too loudly or the anti-genre police will come and take my markers away.  Bastards.  Maybe if I call it something else...

Mystery, I mean Gothic, I mean -- hell, I don't know what I mean.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dry Waterfalls

Gene and I slipped away to Starved Rock for Anniversary 27. The drought is lingering here and the waterfalls are dry. But we saw a bald eagle watching us and some pelicans fishing above the dam on the Illinois River. Below the dam the asian carp were flying out of the water in a wild frenzy next to the locks. They were something to see.
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Saturday, September 01, 2012


Epiphany was kind enough to publish "Boy It'll Be Gone Soon" in their Spring/Summer 2012 issue.  Many thanks to them!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wild (Yeast) Man

One thing leads to another.  
I read an article in the NY Times about yeast wintering over in the bellies of bees.
Tom falls in love with a beer from Bell's called The Wild One.
The Wild One becomes hard to find.
They seldom brew it.  Why?
Because it's open fermented with wild yeast.
Wait.  What?  You can do that?
Where do you get this wild yeast?
Everywhere, it seems, in the summer.
(Thanks, bees!)
And so...
Tom is harvesting wild yeast from whatever sweet smelling places he can find.
Next: Wild Beer.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Of Egrets and Cattle

 Sometimes I become so enamored with the trees that I forget about the birds of Humboldt County.
The great egrets (above) are ubiquitous, as are the Stellar's jays, who refuse to pose for a picture, but don't have a problem stealing any food left hanging around.  A flock of maybe a dozen brown pelicans flew not more than ten feet over our heads one day.   We saw cormorants and sandpipers and greater yellow legs and a wood duck we weren't close enough to identify.  This really isn't birding season, but hey.

And look at this:  Cattle with their very own beach to graze on.
When life is, perhaps, challenging, it's good to contemplate these things.

I started reading a book on the fabric of the cosmos this week and fired one of my clients.
I'm not going to say all this is definitely related, but I will say maybe.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mendocino County

Hwy. 1 from a cemetery.
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

On Mattole Road

It's the no berry picking that hurts.
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The Petrolia Cemetery

Is a bit off the beaten path.
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Cemetery Hunting

Through a cow pasture.
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Arcata Farmers Market

Can't be beat.
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Breakfast Guest

Encountered our first scorpion this morning while I was barefoot and making coffee. We put a cup over him and eventually Gene invited him to go outside.
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Above Deck

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Resting Days

Last night Jo and I left Gene sipping beer on the front porch and ran through the redwood grove pictured below. She was merciful and didn't kick my butt too badly. Even if she had, I wouldn't have minded. The experience ranks up there with watching the sun set on top of Mount LeConte. I asked one of Jo's house mates, a woman from San Mateo, how she liked living in the redwoods. She's not too fond of it. The nearest grocery store is 30 minutes away. Everyone dreams differently. Everyone wants something a bit far away. Jo is ready to start school again, but wouldn't mind running through these redwoods every summer for the rest of her days.
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Beaver Monk

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Little House in the Redwoods

Gene and I traveled up out of the fog and into Jo's little house in the redwoods, where we're camping out on her living room floor, next to a mousetrap covered in peanut butter. It was incredibly quiet when I woke up, still on Indiana time, save the chi chi chi of a disgruntled squirrel. But now the birds are beginning to chatter and I think the coffee has stopped brewing. We're all ready for the next. So.
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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Summering Down

Summer is winding right on down.   I'm knee deep in tomatoes.  Yesterday I made soup.  Today it's salsa.  Tomorrow?  I'm waiting for inspiration. In January we'll remember fondly how tired we were of BLTs.

My friend Jesus Moya has started a new blog: The Readers List.  For the next 12 months he'll be reading (and writing about) only books his friends have recommended to him.  So check it out.  I still need to add something.   Hmm.

In a week I'll be heading to Northern California to visit the Redwoods and run through the forest with Ms. Jo.  I'll probably just see the back of her head far ahead of me, bobbing along.  So expect the usual turn-the-blog-into-a-travel-log routine.  I'll be posting from the BlackBerry.  Gads.  I had to say that.   Or put BlackBerry next to Gads, rather.  They're both kind of quaint.  Anyway, there will be pics and posts and whatnot. 

For now, though, it's back to the tomatoes.   What to do?  What to do?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Who Are You?

This lovely lady came disguised as an heirloom tomato. I have my doubts.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Are Waiting For Rain

As I drive through town
A man steps into the road

Between OC Liquor and
The Osceola Wearly Monument

Company, aiming for a
Row of mailboxes on

The south side of Lincolnway.

I might know him.

The gait seems familiar,
But the hair has gone blondish-

White, and, frankly, I can’t
Quite gather a name.

The pavement is dry.

His head is tilted
Towards the firmament.

No, no anvils.

We are waiting for rain.

He does not see me.

I lift my foot from the pedal
And let it hover while

He ambles curbside and
Turns his attention

To the U.S. Mail.

My foot finds
The accelerator and I travel

Across Baugo Creek,
Past the train trestle

To the stoplight that marks
The Saint Joseph/Elkhart

County line, where I skirt
The edge and go no further.

Jack White is singing on the radio.

I want love

I park the car at the end of my
Drive and turn the volume

Up one click.

The sky appears unmoved.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

You Might Only Live Once

When the temperature hits 103,
Cookie, in late middle age, calls
To say she is sitting in front of her fan

Completely nude. Round,
Bearded Cookie with an IQ
(I’m guessing) of considerably

Less than the actual temperature.

Cookie, living on her own
In a certain body, in a derelict
Frame of mind.

I adjust the air conditioning.

This is an island of memory.

Disconnected, tropical.

Cookie, long passed,
(Five, ten years?)

Clean out of view

Until the weather
resurrects her.

She was saying,

Hey, Charmi,
You might only live once.
You have to make do.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

At The Spa

Having a skin treatment. Very reasonable.
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At Two Duck Kiddie Pool

They're eating duck weed.
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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Cool Review

While the rest of the spinning world is broiling on a spit over an open fire, Ryan Sanford Smith has posted a beautifully written review of The Afterlife over on WordPress.    Check it out.  It's cool.  And you don't want to go outside.

Friday, July 06, 2012

In Dragon Years

It's hot.  100 degrees with a heat index of 112. This katydid (formerly known as a praying mantis,still missing its hind leg) has been hanging out on top of the lily pads in my rain barrel.  It's doing okay.  Unfortunately, the koi haven't.  We have lost five today.   This Dragon Summer (my year!) has been brutal on the wildlife, the flowers, the trees.  In a few weeks I'll be four in Dragon Years.  I started running, maybe trying to turn back the decades to Dragon Year 2, or even 1.  Who runs in this weather?!  Crazy dragons, I guess.  They say that Dragon Years are lucky.   I'm beginning to wonder.  The last horrible heat spell, 1988, Tom's birth year, was a Dragon Year, too.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Taking Turns

When R says
               I did nothing
-------------to Pat

It doesn’t mean
nothing was done

I say
------------Come hold
------------the family language


I can’t find you

It’s your turn

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Smith Petroleum Co.

Sa Lun Gul

(Grand Rapids, 2012)

I want to write
Poems you can dance to.

Or to fall asleep while
Making love to a man
With slow hands and dream
Of rip-tides and water.

Then again, forget
The dancing.

A driving beat will do.
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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Of Late

I have been elsewhere, of late, working, shape shifting, and doing various other nefarious things, such as living. It all takes time. And 5 hour energy drinks. And a good fitting bra. I hope to be lazier and shapelier and writier soon, but we'll see what happens. Life is distracting. The poppies are in full bloom.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The Creator

(aka The F'ing Genius)

A. Well, obviously, being a talented person, as I am, of course I take note of what other people are doing, but nevertheless my ideas are, you know -- take -- definitely are paramount to the final product that comes to fruitions, always.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Q. When he told you that he grabbed her butt, did you ask him why he chose to respond in that way?
A. If I may?
Q. Yeah.
A. Thank you. I asked the defendant if he thought it was appropriate to grab someone on the buttock. He said he is no good with words. He just jumps directly to the point.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The blog is a little time capsule, able to reveal the most interesting things. The weather, for instance, albeit circuitously. April 27, 2011, the waterlilies in my rain barrels broke the surface. Fast forward to 2012, waterlilies showing up on March 18. They're six weeks early. Everything, in fact, is early. Toads and spiders. Bumblebees. Muscrats with their nookie. The premature swelling of a pair of tender pear trees. All anomalies. Nothing to hang your hat on. I'm watching the quality of light bathing all this preternatural green. I'm wondering what flowers will be left to blossom when it's really spring.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monday, March 05, 2012

Homestead Day

We established our first annual Homestead Day.

Spencer & Tom (tying up hops in cheesecloth.)
Gene boiling maple sap.

Brittany, Dylan & Felice


Mary sewing up our homegrown hops.

Spencer grinding grain.

Dylan wondering what the hell is going on.

Adding the grain to the maple sap.

So innocent looking.

Now the malt.

Mad scientist.

What have we done?!

Yeast and coffee for the wart.

Daisy Dog says now we wait for six to eight weeks.

Then we'll bottle the Lumberjack Beer.

Stay tuned.