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.