31 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (No. 8)

Earlier today, I was reading an essay in Harper's magazine. But the firmament quaked and sky sez, "Why you wanna read that mess? It's a damn hot, humid late summer's day. Better you should drink seventy ounces of water and aimlessly wander." Hard to argue with a sky that knows yr native idiom.

30 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (#7)

A regal sky with a clip-on tie.

29 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (No.6)

Dag! I keep scheduling appointments with this sky, but then at the last minute something comes up for me and I'm forced to cancel. So far, he's been generous and understanding, but was it just me or did I sense perturbation in that last exchange? Tough to say. Projections are prickly pears, turning all the clouds into vengeful ex-lovers and scornful devices. I know how this ends, though: Sky & I both lose respect for me while I speed down the interstate, half in the bag, and jamming to Iggy and the Stooges.

28 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (No.5)

Today's sky rejected the Gaia hypothesis back in the 1970's, but is coming back around. Once, walking past a cemetery on her way to a Subud latihan, she felt a painful, mysterious uterine contraction, then rained for almost a week straight. She sometimes senses the alien presence of UFO's in her ionosphere, gets a little freaked, and takes a Valium. Gets all starry at twilight.

27 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (No.4)

Today's sky asked me if I would loan it some cash. I said, "How much you need?" Sky said, "Just enough to get my ass to Mexico." (I heard sirens in the distance.) Right now, somewhere in Tijuana, there's a very blue, very emborrachado sky fleeced with clouds, trying to figure out the next move. Two stools down, a tough-looking woman with a scar down her right cheek is in the same damn boat.

26 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (No.3)

Today's sky is lazy and tumultuous, brimming with good ideas that involve water, grasshoppers, jackhammers, and baseball. Today's sky is a prose poem, a complete place setting of FiestaWare. When I look up at it, in a sudden flash I recall with perfect clarity a hypnapompic episode from last night, wherein I woke up and couldn't stop wondering what "Grover" from Sesame Street would look like if he were elderly.

25 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (No.2)

Her clouds are riding high and she just got the new issue of the Rolling Stone, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the cover. "Still hanging in there, eh, gentlemen? I wonder what it's like to be an aging rock icon and still working the miscreant angle. I don't mean to sound cold. I, in azure, just imagine it to be a horrible experience." A few months back, she read Anthony Kiedis's autobiography (which she ranks somewhere between Jack Dempsey's autobiography and Wynona Ryder's unauthorized biography) and stormed hailstones on Los Angeles.

23 August 2011

Some Facts

(1) A good storyteller can cure hiccups.
(2) That big heritage tree in our front yard - its days are numbered.
(3) Eleanor chases rabbits.

22 August 2011

Sky Of The Day (No.1)

Today is a day of coffee and hickory smoke and radiant drowsy sunlight. Today is also the first day of fall semester at the university, and there has been a massive influx of new blood into this town to prove it. Tons and tons of hormonal young adults, arriving in SUV's or dropped off by Mom & Dad, all looking to rut, get wasted, not be hassled, and end up with the insouciant American Dream. Bless their hearts - this town's entire economy is supported by their collective pseudodrama. If you were to just look straight up, though, past the texting hordes, you'd never know about any of it. Nothing up there but the breath.

21 August 2011

Family Circus Style

Me: Eleanor, what should I blog about today?
Eleanor: Say that you have an Eleanor and that she's really beautiful and built a really beautiful tower with her blocks. And then say "Goodbye."

20 August 2011


It seems to me this morning that to yield is the opposite of passivity. I mean, I have devoted a significant portion of the past year to learning about music and poorly chording my way through songs on an acoustic guitar. Nothing special about that, but I feel like prostrating to the gods because I can see that I'm a better person as a result. Less cold space between myself and others. More openness and humility. I now dig with clarity that joyful surrender to acts of creation is what gives my life whatever meaning it has. Truly, I prefer to cook the food I eat. And I prefer the hike to the instantaneous arrival, just as I prefer dreaming to deep, dreamless sleep. And while I love listening to music, I would rather participate in music-making any day of the week. Acts of creation - with family, alone, or with friends - have been my greatest joys on this earth. Is that the ticking of the great diurnal sky clock I hear? Naw, it's the polyrhythm at the heart of all things.

19 August 2011

1% Free

Back before I had kids, when I was a complete narcissist, I used to be all, "Man, if I ever have kids, they're gonna be revolutionaries down for the cause." Now I'm all, "I just wanna teach 'em how to stay happily afloat in this cruel-assed universe," which is 50% dumb, because that's what they are always teaching me.

18 August 2011

We Travel The Spaceways

"Where human eyes have never seen, where human beings have never been, I build a world of abstract dreams, and I wait for you."
- Sun Ra

17 August 2011


Summer's starting to shed its skin. The sun's a sultry housewife hooked on honey mead. That bunch of leaves outside my window - burnt and brittle. Mushroom spores watusi in the air, over clover & weightless. But it's when a dust mote packs its bags and heads west on the Northern Zephyr that you know autumn's drawing you nigh.

16 August 2011

All*Star Aldous

"It's a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder'."

-Aldous Huxley to Huston Smith, 1960

15 August 2011


Today, in Iowa, the dragonflies were out & about with a late summer fury. So were the butterflies, cicadas and houseflies...everything buzzing at one point, the sun at its zenith, and a seething insectoid AUM.

14 August 2011


About a week ago, I was biking to work around 8 a.m. - and since the students are still away the streets are pretty sleepy at that hour - when this Randall Bramblett-lookin' dude who had just parked his old pickup truck on the street hopped out of the driver's seat, reached into the back of the truck, and held out an ear of corn as I biked past. He said "Want this ear of corn?" It caught me off guard, and when caught off guard I always reflexively go with the situation (a practice that has gotten me into trouble from time to time). I said "Sure thing," without even braking, and held out my hand. He slipped the corn into my palm like a zen bartering from the edge of civilization.

13 August 2011

6-String Samurai

Holiday imposing her idea of order onto a receptive field.

12 August 2011


I had this idea a few months back - a pretty good one, I thought. Not great, but a solid B+ idea - to make a mix tape comprised solely of songs about tigers: "Tiger Rag," "Eye Of The Tiger," "The Tigers Have Spoken," "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail," "Paper Tiger," etc., etc., etc. Then it occurred to me that this idea was just the redux of another idea I had a few years back, which was to make a mix tape comprised solely of songs about trains - "Mystery Train," "Midnight Special," "City of New Orleans," etc. And that that idea was just a slight variation on another, older idea of mine, which was to make a mix tape comprised solely of songs whose titles are first names "Jolene, "Domino," "Big John," etc.

11 August 2011


I recently read an article called "Current Status and Future Agenda for the Theory, Research, and Practice of Childhood Career Development." Right now it's staring at me from my desk, begging me to do something, but I'm not sure what. I think I'll go take a nap.

10 August 2011


Children love Cheerios. I guess we all do.

09 August 2011

A Late Summer Thing That Happened

Eleanor, you're a magical beast all the time.
(And a blackbird crapped on a nearby tree.)

08 August 2011


- Blinky Palermo

07 August 2011


- Blinky Palermo

06 August 2011


- Blinky Palermo

05 August 2011


Sometimes I burn the Pad Thai to a crisp. To be clear- I don't mean to burn the Pad Thai to a crisp, I just do.

04 August 2011


Today I went to the library and placed a book on hold. Once it comes in, this book is going to teach me all about plastic and how it came to dominate the world of matter, now aiding our own extinction. An uplifting read! While I read this book, summer will slowly come to her flowerfaded, natural conclusion.

03 August 2011


"At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily."
- Flannery O'Connor

02 August 2011


Tiny tomatoes, why are you so wee? Just what kind of tomatoes are you, anyway? When I bought you, as seedlings, the little chippie told me you were heirloom Brandywines. Well that was a bunch of falderal, wasn't it?

01 August 2011

Gold Fingers

- Blinky Palermo