31 August 2010

Summer's Ripe As Hell

I never get tired of sunflower pictures. As you can see from this one, though, they're on their way out. The bees are pollen-mad, too - gathering up whatever golden dust they can before autumn drives them back down into the hive. Do you hear that? It's the ticking of the great diurnal sky clock...

30 August 2010

Where It's At

These are Better Boy tomatoes, not to be confused with my prized, unmodified Heirlooms. I give these away to my nosy next door neighbor and she thinks she's getting the good ish...Anyway, my grandfather grew Better Boys - they were was his signature breed. (He also fertilized with 10-10-10 and dusted his tomato plants with pesticides - practices I didn't even notice or care about, much less oppose, until I was in my mid-twenties.) And I took after him mostly, rocking the Better Boys up until last year when I swung out and tried my hand at growing Heirloom Brandywines. People, I will never. Again. Return to Better Boys - unless somebody gives them to me for free (like these plants were given to me). Heirlooms B-wines are where it's at. The ample, sultry matriarchs of the tomato kingdom! The End.

29 August 2010

Porch As Rapper

Last week I gave our porch the fisheye lens treatment, Hype-Williams-mid-nineties style. This lens makes our front porch look like a glamorous, wealthy rapper, does it not?

27 August 2010


With the help of avocado extracts, I am certain that we can - and will - build a better mermaid. One with a sleeker, smoother midline transition from fish to woman. A more ethereal and striking mermaid - far less folksy. A mermaid for today's modern era. The kind your parents would scarcely abide. The New Mermaid will have panache, a political agenda, and a more pleasant aroma. The politics of the New Mermaid will be millennial and related, if only distantly, to the almond tree, when in bloom.

26 August 2010

666th Post

Lucifer In The Sky With Ruby-Red Volitions, Grokking Afro-Cuban Boom Box Echo, Suddenly Realizes That It's His Own Damn Self That's Been Driving Him Roan Mad With Worry And Sabotaging All These Would-Be Corrective Events With What M. Scott Peck Refers To As "Cathected Others." But What Does My Man Do About It? He Calls Up FTD & Sends Himself A Bouquet Of Flowers Before Scoring A Dime Bag In The Alley And Making More Fluid His Whole Scene.

23 August 2010

Old No-Hips

I found this snake skin in Mt. Vernon, IA yesterday, about five minutes after a garter snake slithered right out in front of me and disappeared into a drainage ditch. Janelle, Eleanor, & I had just had brunch at the Lincoln Cafe with my buddy Scott Butterfield, young electrifier of prose shapes and sommelier-in-training. Butterfield's off to Honduras now. And mighty adventures.

Meanwhile, our friends Ryan & Wendy should be in their new home state of Pennsylvania by now, after nearly a week of travel. They stopped through Iowa City on their way over from California. Ryan, a lucid dreamer & dream expert, led a workshop at a local yoga studio here...Janelle & I attended this workshop & it blew our minds. Big psychic yield there. And now these snake skins start erupting from the world's mad brush...

16 August 2010

Start With An Empty Foundation

Our friend Sterling (one day you'll see his books fer sale at Barnes & Noble or what-have-you) dropped out of the sky called Montana today. He landed on our front porch full of American stories...so we made a big meal. Sterling brought: Wine, sage from his latest sundance, and sweet-pine. While every cicada banged her spike or swung her pick...we ate like festive hogs! Huge plates of fresh corn, chicken, kale, and one grandfatherly tomato! The moon appeared & Eleanor gave him a hug just before he sauntered out into the Nothing. Janelle & I danced a sundance calinda with baby between us, in dreams...

14 August 2010

Ioway Summer, Bent-

Ioway Summer, Bent Sideways To Accommodate Individuation...

13 August 2010

Fish Variation (Part Deux)

Another fish variation.

Start With A Solid Foundation

I just came across this...During my last semester at Iowa, I workshopped a story that drew intense criticism. One of my fellow workshoppers, in his feedback to me (see foto), drew a kind, orderly little ziggurat of narrative formulation (which he borrowed from writer Frank Conroy) and suggested I cut the poetic elements ("experimental stylations") from the story. On one hand, this kind of (lazy) feedback - rare, thank goodness - was the Workshop at its worst. Then again, all feedback is generous. It lets you know how your work is being perceived. This particular reader was so put off by the poetic turns that he couldn't access it (the story) at all.

12 August 2010

Morning Chant

Egg Raid! Multiply! Seven Sisters! Do or Die! Alphabet! Chicken Soup! Egg Raid! Do the do! Rat King! Queen Bee! Soldier Boy! Seventh Sea! Egg Raid! Supper time! Breakfast friend! Walk the line! Egg Raid! Egg Attack! Sidewind! Slip n' stack! Get down! Slide low! Egg Raid! Dos-i-do! Egg Raiiiiiidddddd!!!

09 August 2010

Now - Merle Haggard

Part A: Check out this wall of sunflowers I planted using seeds I bought from the Madison Farmer's Market last year.

Part B: Now, Merle Haggard - I first started to seriously think about becoming a fan only after seeing him open for Dylan in Atlanta a few years back. He was awesome. And, you know, a lot of socially conservative people down South love Merle for his outlaw image and songs like "Okie From Muscogee" and "If You Don't Love It." Most of these people do not realize that (a) Merle is from California and (b) that he also authored songs like "Irma Jackson." (see lyrics below)

Irma Jackson

I'd love to shout my feelings from a mountain high
Tell the world I love her and I will till I die
There's no way the world will understand that love is color blind
That's why Irma Jackson can't be mine

I remember when no one cared about us bein' friends
We were only children and it really didn't matter then
But we grew up too quickly in a world that draws a line
Where they say Irma Jackson can't be mine

If my lovin' Irma Jackson is a sin
Then I don't understand this crazy world we're livin' in
There's a muddy wall between us standin' high
But I'll love Irma Jackson till I die

She tells me she's decided that she'll go away
And I guess it's right but she alone should have the final say
But in spite of her decision forcin' us to say goodbye
I'll still love Irma Jackson till I die

If my lovin' Irma Jackson is a sin
Then I don't understand this crazy world we're livin' in
It's a muddy wall between us standin' high
But I'll love Irma Jackson till I die

08 August 2010

Kitchen Poem (for the Lincoln Cafe)

fill my cup, spread my cloth

fry my cakes, stir my broth

churn my butter, shuck my corn

make my skillet nice and warm.

06 August 2010

05 August 2010

A Word About Lake Superior

"This is Lake Superior and it doesn't belong to anybody and it's always been here and it will always be here and nobody can change that."

04 August 2010

Call / Response

//////The Winsome Stems Of Bettie Page / & This Puzzle Of A World / Are Cocked And Counterbalanced Exactly / In My Gadfly, Can't-Take-The-Void Mind / Of Pure Heroics And Evil Schemes Both Hatched / Into Thin Air's Skillet, Burnt Most Ways / -All Redemption's Makeshift, Porgie / Sure, You Bet - Why We Glow, Wilt, Talk Diamonds / And Spend The Night Locking Up Verbs / With A Violence We All Agree On / Not Long Before The Maimed Mother-Animal Comes Slithering Along / And Starts Naming Things For True

02 August 2010

Giant Stone Blocks

Sometimes I climb up here to meditate.

01 August 2010

BLT's In My Future

Today MTV is twenty-nine years old. In other news, this year's tumescent tomatoes have arrived, though still green. In another few weeks - watch out - the BLT-fest is on like music television.