Weekly Wrap-up — Third Place

Saturday, 17 September 2016

I’m try­ing to write more and be more pos­i­tive. These week­ly wrap-ups will prob­a­bly con­tin­ue. It’s go­ing to be hard to be “plus-side” this week. It has been a very emo­tion­al­ly try­ing one.

I took a walk tonight to get a slaw dog at Steve’s Diner and got to see the amaz­ing har­vest moon. I have en­joyed liv­ing in Old Brooklyn so much more than liv­ing in Tremont.

I am part of a team at work that does drag­on boat­ing as part of the Cleveland Dragon Boating Association. The fes­ti­val was to­day, and we end­ed up com­ing home with third place medal — which we earned. It’s nice to be part of a fo­cused team en­vi­ron­ment that has a clear and eas­i­ly mea­sured goal. So much of mod­ern work (and this is not a com­plaint) re­quires com­plex teams with dif­fer­ing time­li­nes and goals, that when a project is com­plete, it might nev­er re­al­ly feel like it. And it’s even rar­er that you have time to cel­e­brate af­ter.

I’ve been hav­ing more luck with get­ting Abraham to do things that he has, in the past, not been in­clined to do. I think I’ve ei­ther been too sim­ple or too com­plex in my ex­pla­na­tions as to why he should eat broc­coli, for ex­am­ple. I find out what he pre­con­cep­tions are (broc­coli is sog­gy) and then ex­plain that he had ob­vi­ous­ly had over­cooked broc­coli, and that is can be very tasty in oth­er ways. Then I ex­plained the nu­tri­tion­al val­ue and how those vi­t­a­mins & min­er­als af­fect his body. Next thing I know, he’s chomp­ing away. This method has al­so worked a bit with the neat­ness of his school­work.

My friend Amy is a trea­sure. She’s my longest and stead­i­est friend here in Cleveland and if we get to choose friends as a sec­ond fam­i­ly, she’s my first choice for sis­ter.

I went to Sabor Miami for lunch ear­lier this week, and was greet­ed by name, and treat­ed to an amaz­ing­ly de­li­cious lunch. The whole ex­pe­ri­ence bright­ened my day.

My car doesn’t smell much like salt­ed caramel/​vanilla lat­te any­more af­ter an ac­ci­dent I had in it a few weeks ago. Either that or I’ve got ol­fac­to­ry fa­tigue.

Manual

Monday, 12 September 2016

I held 
hurt
birds

I held 
handfuls 
of orphan mice

I held
a lame
rabbit kit
shrilling

I was a small
child
beholding
small things

I was a small
god
holding 
fearful congregations

I keep learning 
that
love cannot
be held

only empty
hands
can do the 
work

Week in Review

Saturday, 10 September 2016

  • I try to add a bit of va­ri­ety to my in­ges­tion of news & po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary by read­ing pub­li­ca­tions that I con­sid­er to be a bit ex­treme, but still rel­a­tive­ly rea­son­able. So I sub­scribe to Reason for lib­er­tar­i­an po­si­tions & Jacobin (“Reason in Revolt”, lol) for so­cial­ist ones. Something they have in com­mon is that they on­ly play one tune: “here are the rea­sons [what­ev­er is in the news] isn’t [libertarian/​socialist] enough for us”. It gets old quick­ly, and I’ve found my­self skip­ping most of what they post.
  • A guy at a GetGo com­pli­ment­ed me on my sun­glass­es, which I picked be­cause they were as close to Isaac Hayes sun­glass­es as I could find that would al­so take a pre­scrip­tion. I re­al­ly wish I could af­ford, and had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to rock Cazal’s but I guess I might as well get crazy and wish to get some­thing made by Maison Bourgeat while I’m at it..
  • It is very dif­fi­cult for me to read mod­ern po­et­ry in bites larg­er than one po­em a day. I can’t fig­ure out why read­ing stuff old­er than the past 10 years is so much more con­sum­able to me.
  • I’ve re­al­ized that for awhile I was kin­da “dressed by the in­ter­net”. I think I’ve toned that down a bit, but it’s still pret­ty damned hard to find #menswear in­for­ma­tion that isn’t more cos­tume than style. Permanent Style is great for be­spoke, best in class, sub­tle lux­u­ry & fit-re­lat­ed items — but I’ll nev­er af­ford be­spoke & the flannel-​trousers/​suede loafers “sprez­zat­u­ra” doesn’t fit my per­son­al­i­ty. Put This On is en­joy­able, but they al­so fo­cus on main­tain­ing a clas­sic fash­ion sense. Well Spent oc­ca­sion­al­ly has good finds but their house look is es­sen­tial­ly the Pumpkin Spice Latte of menswear. I’d like HYPEBEAST if there weren’t 500 posts about shoes & Kanye every day. I kind of read them all and try to take ap­pro­pri­ate bits and pieces, but it is all way too rules-based and none of it re­al­ly show­cas­es unique looks and dif­fer­ent styles.
  • I guess I like va­ri­ety, and with the in­creas­ing spe­cial­iza­tion of “con­tent cre­ators”, I have to work hard­er than I think I should to find it.
  • “Content Creator” as a self-de­scribed job-ti­tle might be the worst in­vent­ed job ti­tle of all time.
  • I’ve been catch­ing up on my mag­a­zine back­log. My goal is to be caught up ful­ly by the new year.
  • I’m re­al­ly start­ing no­tice class priv­i­lege as part of my son’s school­ing. The stu­dents are pret­ty  much ex­pect­ed to have their own com­put­er and mo­bile de­vice at home to in­ter­face with all the var­i­ous apps, sites, and sundry oth­er dig­i­tal as­sets they use for school­ing nowa­days.
  • I’m al­so try­ing to be less grouchy, but judg­ing by this post, I have work to do.

14788111

Brows

Thursday, 11 August 2016

I caught a glimpse of my life from the cor­ner of my eye the oth­er day & re­al­ized I ap­pear to have be­come a care­ful­ly dressed, quar­ter­ly mag­a­zine-read­ing, European wag­on-dri­ving, scotch-lov­ing, in­suf­fer­able, tweedy, beard­ed cliché.

I hate that. Problem is: I like all of those things. Even be­ing in­suf­fer­able. So yeah, I’ve got some cham­pag­ne tastes on a beer bud­get.

I’m try­ing to give my­self sparse so­lace be­cause while I ap­pear to be the cliché, my tem­pera­ment is dif­fer­ent. (I hope). I don’t like cool jazz, NPR, The New Yorker, or pret­ty much any oth­er safe, soft, ac­cept­ed, lib­er­al com­fort-blan­kets. After I stopped be­ing Actively Catholic®, I went to an Episcopal church for a bit, the mes­sage was good but the peo­ple were ag­gra­vat­ing­ly mil­que­toast about every­thing. To para­phrase some­thing some­one said some­time: The meek will in­her­it the earth be­cause no one else will take it. That’s those peo­ple. God bless ‘em. No one else will.

Anyway, but. If you catch me out of the oth­er eye-cor­ner, you’ll see a greasy-spoon eat­ing, di­ve bar plant­ed, un­leashed dog walk­ing, win­dows open hol­ler­in’ at my kid, shirt­less on the porch, filthy-jeaned, south­ern-drawl­ing met­al­head.

I love that. Problem is: ain’t al­most no one else does.

I some­times won­der what con­clu­sions peo­ple reach about me at work, but I’m too busy work­ing to care about it.

I like high brow. I like low brow. I pre­tend mid­dle­brow doesn’t ex­ist.

I have no oth­er point.

If you need one then the point is that the world is messy & even when I re­ject stereo­types, I of­ten use them in the same breath. I’m un­re­pen­tant. I just try to im­prove.

Two Nights Only

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Check out the­se great pho­tos that Cleveland Public Library took while I was down­town this sum­mer writ­ing po­ems for their First Folio ex­hibit!

Free Poetry for Shakespeare

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Cleveland Public Library asked me to come do Poetry 4 Free in the Eastman Reading Garden on a cou­ple of dates this sum­mer as part of their cel­e­bra­tion of the Folger Shakespeare Library First Folio ex­hibit.

I had fun — it’s been a cou­ple of years since I was down­town writ­ing po­et­ry on the fly for folks, but I pret­ty much took right back to it. I wrote 11 Shakespeare-in­spired po­ems in 2 hours. Folks could ei­ther give me a fa­vorite pas­sage, or pick from a few that I had se­lect­ed.

Por ejem­plo:

Some folks had no idea who Shakespeare was, and oth­ers re­lat­ed hor­ri­fied anec­dotes from col­lege. A few peo­ple just grabbed a quote and took off with­out let­ting me write a po­em for them. Everybody seemed like they were hav­ing a good time.

When the Cavs Won It All

Sunday, 19 June 2016

What will I remember about today,
in this city
that takes every punch,
unflinching, on our chins;
that rises up from every blow,
standing tall, cut-mouthed
against the world?

I'll remember
that this day is like
every other day
this city working doubles
while you slept on it
this city skipping vacation
to get the job done
this city, laconic, intractable
where we bow to no king
no, not even our own
this city of redemption
where we always welcome our sons home

Today, today
is for 
                YOU 
to remember:

this city can always say it left it all on the floor
this city where every stand is a last stand
this city where we pull for each other, exchange 
blood-stained grins
and sing loudest for the unsung.

You had forgotten
what we've always known
Cleveland is the city
filled with champions
and tomorrow, 
we get back to work.