Sunday, July 31, 2011
The second poem, Possessive Cortege, is something I wrote in March of 2006, just a day or two after my friend (and friend or acquaintance of others who might be reading this) Linda tried to kill herself and her two children. Unfortunately, her three year old Olive died; the boy, Connor, survived, and has no lingering physical effects (I hesitate to contemplate the emotional/mental); Linda is serving her 21 years (give or take) in Chowchilla. Anyway, the first three stanzas I got right away, but I couldn't nail that last one for the life of me, and I set it aside for a couple of years before going back to it. When I returned to it that second time I STILL couldn't nail it, so set it aside again. Finally, I picked it up a few months ago and the last stanza came to me almost immediately. Perhaps enough time had passed.
(I dedicate it to Linda, and to Lynn Riser, who is Bid Daddy.)
Friday, July 29, 2011
Anyway, as I said, I haven't been paying close attention to them this year, but I noticed the other day that Joel Hanrahan had 30 saves and I thought to myself, well, that likely has quite a bit to do with their success. And then I went in and looked at his numbers, and if you haven't seen them they are very impressive - his 30 saves have come in 31 chances; he's striking out less than a batter an inning (about .8), but his K to W ratio is nearly 5:1; he's allowed 42 baserunners in 47 innings (.89); he's allowed one HR; his ERA is 1.15.
Not saying it's happening just because of him, of course, but he's a huge part of the reason, and I wanted to draw attention to that. Robert, if you have time, care to weigh in on any other key contributors? You are likely more familiar with what else is going right on that team...
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Coors, Coors Light, Bud, Bud Light,
Heineken, Corona, Rainier.
And then they ask,
Do you have Michelob?
And I want to say,
Did I mention Michelob?
And it's always Michelob,
Michelob and Rolling Rock.
Now, when I give the list,
at the end I make a point -
And no, we don't have Michelob;
and no, we don't have Rolling Rock.
(thanks to Danielle McArthur for her assistance)
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
And so though I haven't finished IJ yet, I can barely describe how consistently amazed I am by this novel. It is simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking; it is likely the most consistently inventive novel I have ever read (editor's note - it's certainly not impossible I have a limited scope); the prose is brilliant and unpredictable and adapts to the characters and the narrative at hand; and, if after One Large Sapphire you would allow me to separate "language" from "prose" (in my head "language" the words; "prose" the delivery system), it reminds me of my favorite novel, Joyce's Ulysses (mentioned in back to back posts, so you know my leanings - I have read Ulysses twice, the second time aloud with Danielle).
And so what I'm trying to say in my own subtle way is I think this is a really good fucking book; anybody who might be coming along for the ride at the same time please check in here.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
I had several interactions with a variety of people at the nonprofit that, upon completion, I felt certain could have been handled differently by them. I witnessed interactions between others that had nothing to do with me that, upon completion, I felt certain could have been handled differently by one or both parties. Then, one day, something happened (the incident is unimportant) and I walked back to my office and wrote the word Civility in large letters on my white board, underscoring it three or four times (this was pre-Obama Civility, by the way). An hour or so later, my boss walked by and saw my white board and said to me, "Can you erase that? It makes me uncomfortable." (Yes, emphasis mine, and it should also be noted that the incident in question had nothing to do with my boss.) I indicated that, No, I could not erase it. And there it stayed for approximately two years. Things were added and subtracted around it, of course, but I left Civility in place. And the truth is it was as much a reminder to me as it was a reminder to anybody else.
At any rate, time passed and I gave notice, and I packed up my office and one of the last things I did was to erase my white board, but I left Civility behind. And I said to my very good friend K-Sul, "I wonder how long this will last, why don't you let me know." Nobody was moving into my space for at least a month and, in truth, I was mostly kidding when I said this. But, as it turned out, THE VERY NEXT MORNING Civility was erased. After nearly two years, my chair barely cool, somebody who was made uncomfortable by that one word couldn't act fast enough to get rid of it. I mean with everything else going on in the organization, how could that even surface on somebody's radar and shoot to the top of a To Do list? But why should I be surprised. I choose not to fear words (or art, for that matter, but that's another discussion for another day, though I'm sure the same basics apply), but others are scared shitless - whether they see words as some kind of a threat, or an accusation, or just as, you know, something unpleasant (euw!). Didn't think Civility warranted that, but what do I know? I just try to be nice to people.