Thursday, 17 January 2013

The moon is
a shut

Abraham Harvey, 16 January 2012 (ex­tem­po­ra­ne­ous, as dic­tat­ed to his fa­ther)

If by Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, 27 February 2011

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are los­ing theirs and blam­ing it on you;
If you can trust your­self when all men doubt you,
But make al­lowance for their doubt­ing too;
If you can wait and not be tired by wait­ing,
Or, be­ing lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, be­ing hat­ed, don’t give way to hat­ing,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream — and not make dreams your mas­ter;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with tri­umph and dis­as­ter
And treat those two im­posters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spo­ken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to bro­ken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your win­nings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your be­gin­nings
And nev­er breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long af­ter they are gone,
And so hold on when there is noth­ing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings — nor lose the com­mon touch;
If nei­ther foes nor lov­ing friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the un­for­giv­ing min­ute
With six­ty sec­onds’ worth of dis­tance run -
Yours is the Earth and every­thing that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man my son! 

Rudyard Kipling

My mom gave me a framed ver­sion of this po­em on my 16th birth­day. I wasn’t a man then, so I didn’t re­al­ly un­der­stand it. Later, when I thought I un­der­stood it, I dis­agreed with it on all points. It sat in the clos­et in my old room un­til I turned 30, at which time my mom gave it to me again. I flipped it over and on the back was the note she’d writ­ten my for my 16th birth­day, the note she’d writ­ten for my 30th, and the hand­writ­ten po­em my Grandma wrote for me on my 16th. Reading “If” at 30 is yet again a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence. Now I feel like I un­der­stand it; now I strive for the­se list­ed virtues. 

Now it hangs in my son’s room, and I hope as he grows that he will feel the same ways I’ve felt about it over the years.

Meet The Bloggers Silent Auction and Poetry Reading

Friday, 8 September 2006

Silent Auction CrowdSince I know a bunch of peo­ple who do Meet The Bloggers they asked me to come to their silent auc­tion and read some po­et­ry along with 10 oth­er folks. The space was in the amaz­ing Tower Press build­ing, which al­so hous­es Artefino. The first floor artist spaces are re­duced rent [$625/​mo], but for the most part they are lux­u­ry loft spaces up to $2200/​mo. So its nice to look at, but I couldn’t af­ford to live there. Besides, it isn’t in Tremont.

There was a pret­ty good crowd, plen­ty of food and drink, and lots of ex­cel­lent art items up for bid in the silent auc­tion. I bid on two pieces do­nat­ed by Tina Vance and I think I prob­a­bly won them. I’m kind of wor­ried and dis­ap­point­ed be­cause there were so many peo­ple there tak­ing MTB up their hos­pi­tal­i­ty, eat­ing the de­li­cious food, drink­ing the wine, but not bid­ding on any­thing. I mean, why come to a fund rais­er if you’re not go­ing to do­nate any bills? Tres gauche. Hopefully they raised enough from the silent auc­tion to cov­er what they spent on re­fresh­ment.

The po­ets were a mixed bag, from high school age to re­tired and in­clud­ed the Tech Czar Michael DeAloia, and Jeffrey Bowen, who is the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. I was par­tic­u­lar­ly im­pressed with Mr. Bowen’s po­et­ry.

Photos from the event are here.

Rockland, PA Poetry

Monday, 10 July 2006

DSC00924I went to a cab­in in back-coun­try Pennsylvania this week­end to read po­et­ry. 4 Tremont folks [Kate Sopko, Nick Traenkner, Steve Goldberg and me] made the trek out to a cab­in in Rockland to stay up all night and share our stuff with oth­er writ­ers. The guilt-by-as­so­ci­a­tions were all through Kent State con­nec­tions and smat­ter­ings of ac­com­plices from else­where [like me].

Though I’m bi­ased, I think that the Tremont con­tin­gent had the strongest show­ing in the po­et­ry field. Some of the oth­er folks were more aca­d­e­mic types and read oth­er people’s po­et­ry and ex­cerpts from Nabokov and their own nov­els-in-pro­gress in be­tween dis­cus­sions of General Semantics and E Prime.

Meanwhile, I stuffed my face with trail mix, dou­ble-stuf ore­os and slept in a ham­mock. It was a fun time and I’m glad I was in­vit­ed.

Other pics here.


Wednesday, 7 June 2006

I have al­ways been bet­ter at tac­tics than strat­e­gy and I’m not try­ing a new tac­tic at po­em writ­ing. Instead of putting it down fast­like, I’m work­ing on it mi­cro-sized for the mini-times a mil­li-muse comes stalk­ing. Writing by at­tri­tion.

Steven B. Smith Poetry Recap

Friday, 13 January 2006

The Rarely Photographed Lou MuenzLast night was a great night for po­et­ry. Everyone picked out ex­cel­lent po­ems by Steve Smith, and he re­al­ly seemed to en­joy be­ing there and hear­ing his stuff read. The weird­est point in the evening came when this gen­tle­man gave a mini-lec­ture on Heisenberg and Pauli and a sort of mys­tic hy­poth­e­sis of dis­cov­er­ing sub­atomic par­ti­cles to el­e­vate sapi­en­cy. [or some­thing like that, the guy is ei­ther a lit­tle bat­ty or way to smart for his own good. It was al­so af­ter 1 in the morn­ing, so I was start­ing to think at cati­corners.] All the pho­tos in the set may be found here. For in­ter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions be­tween eru­dite minds like Heisenberg and Pauli, check out this MetaFilter thread.

Agent of Chaos

Thursday, 12 January 2006


Tonight I’ll be read­ing some of Steve Smith’s po­et­ry at the Literary Café. Steve has tons of street cred with the Cleveland po­et­ry folks and was re­cent­ly di­ag­nosed with throat can­cer from smok­ing lots of pot for much longer than I’ve been alive. So this edi­tion of the Lit’s po­et­ry night is fo­cus­ing on Steve’s body of work, a bunch of dif­fer­ent po­ets are read­ing his stuff and then af­ter­ward we’re hav­ing an open mic. I might try out some of my own crap if the crowd is right.

Thursday is al­so typ­i­cal­ly con­sid­ered “geek night” at the Lit, so you can bring your WiFi en­abled what­ev­ers and do what­ev­er you want with ‘em. Even un­to down­load­ing pr0n. If you do down­load pr0n, you have to share, so make sure you bring enough cock­tail sauce for every­one.