At Lincoln Park Pool

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

despite the heat
advisory, I brought my
son to swim. ninety-four degrees
on July 4th and Cleveland has been
grilling ribs since 9AM
and bottle rocket blasting since
June 15th.

My son runs off - but Antonio,
thumbprinted mark of Cain
redmopped stutterer with 
metal-backed teeth - comes to spit self-conscious
impudence. He may sway to 
full-bore bully in annum
but now the question growling in his seven-year skull remains
unanswered. I father at him, a learned herding, outflank,
astray, askance, a thwart to de-rile his style.
Girls with fresh breasts, too shy
to show their bikinis under shirt, come 
tell me how cute my son is. Girls not much younger
take turns sitting on spout of fountainspray, hands trickling
ever all-pursued by some omnipresent brown brawl of boys, 
stumble-tongued and

And I feel my age as
the only parent here -
adrift of vigor -
cross-legged on a
threadbare blanket
palms flat into 
ground grit -
A tart
magnanimity, and all these young running to be old. 
As children suspect we
withhold - I clutch this.
It is right to keep from them.
The patrimony, my first
taste of entropy as cool lemonade. 
I died when my life became my child's.
Already my blood 
only heats between hot
concrete and sky blaze. As something done grown,
I watch this pack of growing things.

A soggy neon ellipsis with spirals of water
flung as it flies. A poor throw brings 
the ball to
the feet of 
the children all shout
his name. All shout his
name. A bend and I see 
fingers squeeze 
water; drops 
stutter poolside, the metal
creak of the lifeguard stand.
ALL shout his name.
A choice made but inept arm
betrays - launched in the 
general vicinity of
no one. 

An eruption
of water and from the scrum suddenly
the whole pool is playing catch. 
Old men and lifeguards, my son
astride my shoulders arms aloft
and we all shout his name. All
brought to life for
what I'll remember as -
amid sun and the shadows of lost dogs -
the moment
Antonio was king.

Free Haircut

Thursday, 26 April 2007

I got an un­ex­pect­ed free hair­cut to­day from the ladies who run the Gentlemen’s Barber Shop in Tremont. Apparently they’ve got­ten some busi­ness from my Tremonter post­ing about the place. I tried to talk them out of it, but there was no dice. They wouldn’t even take a tip. I’m just glad to know that I helped out a lo­cal busi­ness. I fi­nal­ly got back a few pieces that I took to have framed at Kelly-Randall Gallery awhile back. I got an un­ex­pect­ed 20% off there since I’m a res­i­dent and have got­ten sev­er­al things framed there now. Living in Tremont has its un­ex­pect­ed perks.

One of those perks is not near­ly gag­ging from steel mill sul­phur first thing in the morn­ing af­ter leav­ing my apart­ment though.


Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Almost a year ago I made my first Google Map for the re­design of the TWiFi site. I didn’t touch the API again un­til I fi­nal­ly start­ed re­design­ing Tremonter a few months back. The idea for cre­at­ing a neigh­bor­hood map for Tremont had been rat­tling around in my head since I first start­ed the site, but I knew how te­dious the work would be and so kept putting it off.

Now that the Tremont map is fi­nal­ly tak­ing shape, I must ad­mit that the te­di­um is still present, but is cur­rent­ly out­weighed by the fact that the map looks so cool. I’d bet­ter be care­ful though, or I’ll start putting Google Maps on every­thing.

I still need to fig­ure out the right javascript tweaks to make no mark­ers ap­pear un­til their re­spec­tive box­es are checked in the leg­end, but oth­er­wise the on­ly thing left to do is cob­ble to­geth­er the ad­dress­es, phone num­bers, web­sites and co­or­di­nates for sev­er­al hun­dred busi­ness­es in the few square miles that is Tremont, and plug the data in­to the xml file. Looking at it in that di­rec­tion seems a bit daunt­ing, so I’ll just take it one mark­er at a time.

Another Tremont Weekend

Monday, 16 October 2006

DSC01291On Friday I spent about 5 hours on the ArtWalk, in­clud­ing judg­ing a Muttsquerade, and on Saturday and Sunday I spent much of my time on the re­design of Tremonter. The de­sign it­self is pret­ty much fin­ished, and now I’m just tweak­ing the con­fig­u­ra­tion, adding more con­tent and a bit more func­tion­al­i­ty. If I can just fig­ure out how to get the lat­est ver­sion of Drupal to im­port MovableType con­tent, I’ll prob­a­bly just go ahead and launch it. I might have to con­vert from MovableType to WordPress to Drupal first. 

The down­side to this is that the ex­tra step will mean that the old MT links won’t redi­rect to Drupal like they do in pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the con­ver­sion. Currently it looks as though there is no way to port ph­pBB fo­rums in­to a Drupal in­stal­la­tion, so I’ll just have to lock down that DB on­ce the in­te­grat­ed func­tion­al­i­ty of Drupal goes live.

I al­so had din­ner on Sunday at La Tortilla Feliz, which was de­li­cious, al­though just a lit­tle bit more ex­pen­sive than the quality/​amount of the food would sug­gest. Patrick told me this well over a year ago. I’ll prob­a­bly stop in of­ten when I get the crav­ing for fried plan­tains though. Man those things are de­li­cious. Please share any plain­tain recipes that you have.

Artwalk Photoset, Muttsquerade Photoset, La Tortilla Feliz Photoset.

Tremont is Dead. Long Live Tremont.

Friday, 6 October 2006

DSC01111When I first moved to Tremont al­most two years ago I on­ly knew two peo­ple in the neigh­bor­hood. They’ve since moved to New York City, green­er pas­tures, and bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties. As I’m not very good at mak­ing friends, I de­cid­ed that a good way of meet­ing peo­ple in the neigh­bor­hood would be to start a weblog and fo­rum that would provide res­i­dents and vis­i­tors with a space in which to in­ter­act. Thus, amid spring rain and mud, was born Tremonter. Little did I know the im­pact it would have, or that I would be­come a na­tion­wide con­tact for neigh­bor­hood web­sites and a na­tion­wide am­bas­sador for my neigh­bor­hood.

But that sort of lau­da­tion is a dis­tant sec­ond to the true ben­e­fit that I have de­rived from the site. Through it, I’ve made con­nec­tions with Lou Muenz, Matt Wascovich and R.A. Washington: in­de­pen­dent sol­diers of the Cleveland art and mu­sic. These guys are the ones who bring me out of my grim moods af­ter a day in my cu­bi­cle and make me want to stay up late on week­nights, even if they don’t know it. These guys are my friends.

When some­one mess­es with my friends, I get pissed. The night be­fore last, The Cleveland Church, The Church of Ayler, The Best Unsung Music Club in Cleveland was shut-down by the Second District Vice Squad for an oc­cu­pan­cy vi­o­la­tion. Nevermind the ram­pant re­ports of theft, nev­er­mind the crack-deal­ers and knif­in­gs, The Cleveland Police Department has big­ger fish to fry.

Including, ap­par­ent­ly, a strug­gling mu­sic venue like The Church. 


This is not the first time that a vendet­ta has re­sult­ed in the clos­ing of a Tremont in­sti­tu­tion. The Starkweather had been a bar at the cor­ner of Starkweather and Scranton for years. In the first year that I moved to Tremont it was com­plete­ly re­stored to the beau­ti­ful brick build­ing it is now. They had the best dart boards in the neigh­bor­hood and poured a good pint of Guinness. But one man with a vendet­ta man­aged to has­sle and keep them closed just long enough for them to run out of mon­ey.

This must not hap­pen to The Church. First off, they have no mon­ey. The Church is not around to make a prof­it. They are around to provide young Cleveland res­i­dents with mu­sic they like at a price they can af­ford. Tickets are nev­er more than $5, and it is a lucky mon­th where they make enough to pay rent or fix the PA sys­tem. The Church makes no more noise than the Guatemalan Pentecostal Church that had oc­cu­pied the space pre­vi­ous­ly. At least The Church of Ayler keeps its doors closed dur­ing its ser­vices.

The Church pro­vid­ed a venue for bands whose ex­per­i­men­tal na­ture and emerg­ing sound would not be ac­cept­ed at places like The Grog Shop or the House of “Blues”. Unsigned bands, tour­ing on their own dime, knew they could play at The Church and crash on the floor af­ter the show. Steve Goldberg had his first read­ing as a fea­tured po­et there. Transgendered and fem­i­nist bands were wel­come, bands with home­made in­stru­ments, bands with no in­stru­ments, bands from around the coun­try and in­ter­na­tion­al knew of The Church as a place where they would be wel­come. Tremont was re­vi­tal­ized ex­act­ly be­cause of places like this.

This is the ex­act type of space that Cleveland needs. This is dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion at its heart and soul. This is eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment. And it has been shut down be­cause of a vendet­ta and lack of vi­sion. It sets a bad ex­am­ple and a bad prece­dent as well. Hundreds [and I’m not kid­ding] of young Cleveland res­i­dents now hate their city a lit­tle bit more, will be a lit­tle more like­ly to leave Cleveland, have a lit­tle less faith [as if there was any to be­gin with] in jus­tice among city gov­ern­ment. Other peo­ple will be less in­clined to provide a venue for fringe bands both na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al to play. These bands will have no place to play in Cleveland and will dri­ve on through to play in Chicago or Detroit or Columbus or Pittsburgh or Buffalo. Cleveland be­comes poor­er.

R.A. Washington is DJing tonight at Lava Lounge in the hopes of rais­ing enough mon­ey to re­open The Church. Please stop in if you can. If you can of­fer as­sis­tance deal­ing with the mad wall of bu­reau­cra­cy that is City Hall, please do. If you love The Church, help keep it open. If you love Cleveland, take a stand.

Apologies for the pur­ple prose. You can see all my pic­tures from The Church here.


Thursday, 21 September 2006

The night be­fore last I met a rel­a­tive­ly new Tremont res­i­dent for beer and tacos at the Lincoln Park Pub. We spent near­ly two hours chat­ting about the var­i­ous places we’d lived in Indiana, job prospects and how to fix Cleveland. Yesterday I was go­ing to write more about this, but due to a pow­er out­age, I had no in­ter­net ac­cess. They end­ed up send­ing us home from work at 11, af­ter near­ly three hours of sit­ting in the dark. So, I did what any red-blood­ed American man would do with an ex­tra 4 hours of time in a day; I went shop­ping. I fi­nal­ly found a re­place­ment hood­ie, even though it is brown, not black, slight­ly dis­tressed and from a com­pa­ny called American Rag. At least it doesn’t have a lo­go on it and I am now warm. It does have an in­side breast pock­et which will be per­fect for my cam­era when I’m out and about.

When I got back to Tremont, Rafiq need­ed a ride out to E.91st and St. Clair so I took him and a friend out there and spent a solid forty min­utes talk­ing po­et­ry and the artis­tic process with the friend. I’ve for­got­ten his name be­cause I’m a jerk. Friend is go­ing to LA for a few months for some in­ten­sive writ­ing with a cre­ative part­ner in crime and from the few glimpses I had of the work he has done and has planned, he’s go­ing to cre­ate some fierce stuff.

The weath­er yes­ter­day was the sort that on­ly ap­pears in the fall. Brisk and most­ly cloudy, most­ly nim­bus but ragged in shape and er­rant in move­ment that light from the sun kept leak­ing around them all and mak­ing the whole day in­to a fleet­ing gold­en hour.

Some Deal

Friday, 15 September 2006

I’ve got so much web-based work to do that I’m con­sid­er­ing drop­ping the $50/​mo it would cost to have in­ter­net ac­cess at home again. The re­design of Tremonter is mov­ing fit­ful­ly, I’m hav­ing to teach my­self much mySQL, and Drupal’s doc­u­men­ta­tion as­sumes a cer­tain lev­el of de­vel­op­er ex­per­tise that I’m just now get­ting. The in­ter­ac­tive Google API–dri­ven neigh­bor­hood map I have plans for hasn’t even been glanced at. I run in­to too many peo­ple that I know at Civilization to ac­com­plish much, and the Jefferson Library dis­al­lows FTP ac­cess. I’ll prob­a­bly just ride on over to Talkies.

Actually, it looks like Adelphia has a $24/​mo for 3/​mos deal go­ing on if you sign up on­line. Of course, there is a $35 ac­ti­va­tion fee along with that and their on­line sign-up form is bust­ed. So much for that deal.