Today Eleanor & I biked to the park and fed the ducks a loaf and a half of bread we picked up along the way. The river was high from all the rain, so the ducks were crowded up on the riverbank, wing to wing and more than a little ornery. When we arrived, they went into a reptile-avian feeding frenzy, sometimes attacking one another viciously for pieces of bread.
31 July 2010
We still have another 8 weeks or so of summer, despite commercial trends and market forces attempting to convince U otherwise. All the Back To School sales and Fall Bargains and Autumn Fashions aside, the tilted axis of the earth, in combination with the particularities of its yearlong journey around the sun, will continue to result in the thing we call summer - enjoy.
30 July 2010
I'm charmed I'm sure by pine cones and fresh kill
on the trail to wherever the blood ghost gives birth
to a series of paragraphs. "Stay the night," and,
"this is your anima talking. Stay the night," and a
3 a.m. tobacco-stained deejay weeps on dead air, who keeps a flask in
her vest, who 1nce molested the Inquisition with her big idea.
And quarter notes drop around the becoming. And
I'm charmed I'm sure, anima mia. We chat a while
on the dos-a-dos, rising with the lava,
and knock a while
along your phonograph.
27 July 2010
26 July 2010
The Sawtooth Mountains on Lake Superior's North Shore were formed about 1.2 billion years ago, when there was a lot of volcanic activity here. Great rivers of molten lava flowed down through huge cracks forming in the earth's crust. As the lava accumulated, jagged, gargantuan mountains were formed. Erosion then began occurring, which, over millions of years, has resulted in the lovely, striking Sawtooth Mountains of today. (Nearby Lake Superior, by the way, resulted from a sinking rift zone which dropped down & formed a massive basin as the ancient predecessors of the Sawtooths were being formed.)
25 July 2010
Bob Dylan, you look happy in that photograph in the new Rolling Stone. A little crazed, but happy. I checked your upcoming tour dates, my heart full of hope. I saw that you'll be playing the "Buffalo Chip Campground" in Sturgis, South Dakota on August 10. I also saw that you'll be playing at the Idaho Botanical Gardens five days later. Westward, ho, Bob Dylan!
23 July 2010
22 July 2010
"It's really hot." Janelle just said this.
"I mean it's really hot." She's right, too.
I cannot describe to you the humidity of Iowa...it's worse than lower Mississippi. And that's a fact. Anyway, the cicadas are going insane right now and - lookit! - an inspirational kairn I made of lake rocks while on vacation! (about the weird grey strip at the bottom: many of the jpegs from our vacation were mysteriously corrupted, often to artful effect)
21 July 2010
FONZI ALONE / IN HIS QUARTERS / ABOVE THE CUNNINGHAM'S GARAGE / FORKS A BREAKFAST NUMINOUS / HIS BARE CHEST / SHINING WITH LINIMENT OIL / HE LIFTS AN EGG POACHED / TO HIS MOUTH / AND REGARDS THE LIGHT / OF DAY / EASING THROUGH / THE TRANSOM / COCKED OPEN / SET TO CATCH THE BREEZE / AND BO DIDDLEY WONDERS / WHO DO YOU LOVE? / WHO DO YOU LOVE? / CLOSING THE SPORTS PAGE / AS THE LAST OF IT / GOES DOWN / HIS THOUGHTS TURN / TO HIS CONSORTS / AND HOW / AFTER THE DAY'S / LABORS AND REWARDS / HE'LL MOVE THROUGH / THEIR RANKS / HIS RAIMENT BLACK AS THE VOID / LOVE THROBBING LIKE AN ENGINE / IN THE WHOLE PERISHABLE WORLD / AND AS THE BREATH FLUTTERS / BEHIND HIS RIB CAGE / HE RESTS HIS / HANDS ON HIS KNEES / PALMS DOWN TO THE DENIM / AND RECITES A PRAYER / FOR THE VIEWERS AT HOME
20 July 2010
Welcome to DUCK GRAB. Your shift starts fifteen minutes before the park opens. Don't be late again. I’ll go through set-up tomorrow, so, again, I repeat: Don't be late. Your shift ends after the park closes and we drain the trough and get everything put away for the night – around 11:00, usually. You get a bathroom break at noon. Porta potties are over there. You can eat lunch whenever you want, but you have to eat it while you work. I recommend you avoid eating the food here. Did you bring a sandwich or anything? Yeah? Good. Okay, here’s how it works. The "customer" – usually a little kid and an accompanying adult - walks up and asks how much (It says it on the sign, but they don’t ever read the sign). You tell ‘em $2 gets ‘em a duck. $5 gets ‘em three. After they’ve paid, you let ‘em reach in and grab a duck. Each duck has a letter – A, B, or C - inked on its underside. See? Next, depending on what letter they’ve drawn, you select the corresponding prize from the prize bin. (The prize bins are located right behind you. Now, out of fifty ducks, there’s forty C’s, 7 B’s, and 3 A’s. So mostly you’ll be dealing with the C-bin, which are these whimsically-shaped gum erasers. With somewhat less frequency, you’ll be handing out the coveted glow sticks from bin number B. And from to time the lucky winner will get the Holy Grail - a stuffed yellow duck from bin number A.) You give them the prize. Then you put the duck back in the trough. And that's that. Most of the time it’s moms and dads with their little kids and, you know, it's like Isn’t it sooo sweet that junior can reach in and grab his very own rubber duck? and Look ! Now he’s getting a reward for his efforts – an eraser shaped liked Odie! “But daddy I wanted a glow stick!” so they have another try or so and basically keep trying until they get the damned glow stick. But then it's "Daddy! Now I want a stuffed duckie!” And that's the game. The secret of how I have made a small fortune is this: There’s no way to lose at DUCK GRAB. Everybody wins. Always. But you know what? Always winning's not enough. People see these little bobbing ducks and they want to fucking master them already.
19 July 2010
I made a collage, taped it to a telephone pole outside our house for a month or so, and then, finding it in our driveway after a storm one day, placed it in the milk crate basket of our scooter. Then came another strong rain. The next morning, I went out to find the finished artistic product (a kind of high water mark for me in terms of process.) Check it out.
p.s. Oh yeah. And then, shortly after this photo was taken, Eleanor destroyed it! Process complete!
18 July 2010
16 July 2010
Back in the day, there was a rap group called 3rd Bass. One of the members of 3rd Bass, a White dude whose stage name was "Prime Minister Pete Nice," was, to me, the epitome of cool. He had a short cut, wore a sports coat and walked with a cane. (Pete Nice. Damn.) He seemed to always bear a countenance of existential dissatisfaction. And why shouldn't he have? Dude's style was like if Frank Sinatra was genetically spliced with Rudy Ray Moore! I mean, sometimes in videos and promo shots he sat on an actual king's throne. (When I was a teenager, I thought that sitting on a throne would be fucking dope. I'm not really sure why.)
I listened to 3rd Bass for the first time in a long time yesterday afternoon, while running errands. And, yo, on the real - their music is as awesome now as it was then. And Pete Nice sounds like a golden Adonis on the mic, spittin' fire from an analog throne.
02 July 2010
A few days back, unbeknown to her mama & me, Eleanor decided to give herself a haircut. (Afterward, she appeared in the threshold of the living room looking like a for real punk rocker!) Her mama & I batted cleanup for her & finished the job. No big shake. What's weird, though, is that she now looks like I did thirty-three years ago...which is a strange sensation for me. (You know, seeing a past-version replica of myself.) The effect is a kind of existential horrific wonder that peters out at the edges and gives way to a mammalian, quasi-maternal & endlessly-unfolding luminous nothingness. I draw her close and press my nose to her head: "This is my central organizing principle." This is a kind of unexplainable love, people. And amen.
01 July 2010
"Slow poetry" is a thing that has happened. Also, what's up with this pattern: (1) I discover awesome album (think It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Nashville Skyline, Ten New Songs, etc.); (2) I put album on regular rotation for a few obsessive months; & (3) at some point within said temporal parameters I cease to appreciate the beauty and nuance of said awesome album because of all the wellworn neural pathways in my brain created by some kind of biochemical god that gets off on novelty but seems to punish indulgence. But know what? There are mysterious exceptions to this pattern. I give you Astral Weeks and Rain Dogs. (And right now I'm listening to Rain Dogs and the summer cicadas are in perfect harmony and our family vacation is in a few more days...so, you know, all is well.)