Monday, July 31, 2006


"We actually received a call last week from the 809 area code. The woman said "Hey, this is Karen. Sorry I missed you--get back to us quickly. I Have something important to tell you." Then she repeated a phone number beginning with 809 "We didn't respond".Then this week, we received the following e-mail:Subject: DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809 , 284 AND 876 THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION PROVIDED TO US BY AT&T. DON'T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809 This one is being distributed all over the US . This is pretty scary, especially given the way they try to get you to call. Be sure you read this and pass it on. They get you to call by telling you that it is information about a family member who has been ill or to tell you someone has-been arrested, died, or to let you know you have won a wonderful prize, etc. In each case, you are told to call the 809 number right away. Since there are so many new area codes these days, people unknowingly return these calls. If you call from the US , you will apparently be charged $2425 per-minute. Or, you'll get a long recorded message. The point is, they will try to keep you on the phone as long as possible to increase the charges. Unfortunately, when you get your phone bill, you'll often be charged more than $24,100.00.WHY IT WORKS: The 809 area code is located in the British Virgin Islands (The Bahamas).The charges afterwards can become a real nightmare. That's because you did actually make the call. If you complain, both your local phone company and your long distance carrier will not want to get involved and will most likely tell you that they are simply providing the billing for the foreign company. You'll end up dealing with a foreign company that argues they have done nothing wrong. Please forward this entire message to your friends, family and colleagues to help them become aware of this scam"Sandi Van HandelAT&T Field Service Manager(920)687-904

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Drive With the Doves

A conversation with Larry Eigner

Larry: Any amount, degree, of perfection is a surprise.
Me: Any amount, degree, of attempts at perfection leave me panting on the fainting couch
Larry: too much of or too frequent a good is distraction
Me: which is why I play freecell rather than writing poetry
Larry: and words can't bring people in India or West Virginia above the poverty line
Me: which I find enormously upsetting. I had an idea as a child that words were exactly what we could use to exactly alleviate poverty, war, racism, idiocy.
Larry: As they come, what can things mean?
Me: When they are overwhelming: Iraq war, Israel making war on Lebanon, Seattle man murdering Jews. More important here to me than meaning is how do we curb violence? greed?
Larry: I feel my way in fiddling a little, or then sometimes more, on the roof of the burning or rusting world.
Me: You are braver than I am some days when I just want to lie in the fetal position in the pantry on the cool cool floor in the dark.
Larry: "to care and not to sit still" Careful of earth air and water mainly perhaps, and other lives, but some (how many?) other things too.
Me: To be alive is to care and then not to care and then care again, to create, then scrub the lawn furniture, then sit at the table with a rose in a vase and write, making a statement that what one person does with the materials of her life and brain and and heart and intuition matters.
Larry: What first (off)? What next?
Me: What to do, what to do? as the babushki say in Russia, but then to let that go, that fatalism, that defeatism, that belief that the horrific news we hear daily, hourly is all the news of the world. Which it emphatically is not.

Larry Eigner's portion of this conversation taken from "Approaching things Some Calculus How figure it Of Everyday Life Experience" from The L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Book.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Attempt writing in a state of mind that seems least congenial. Bernadette Mayer

Water bugs on the Charles River.

Never listen to poets or other writers. Never explain your work.
-Bernadette Mayer

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The author may plant in his text his enigmas. - Alan Davies

Using a trowel and an eyedropper, I set forth to plant my enigmas.
The enigma may be no more enigmatic to a reader than is the rest of the text,
Alan D.
but, really, what is an enigma, and why is it spelled with a silent g?
The enigma is chosen as a special burden,
Alan D.
Swell. I'll have to pass.
The enigma, cued only to itself, faces nothing.
Alan D.
Which, once again, has me in mind of my mother.
The enigma is impoverished in context.
Alan D.
Ah! Now we're getting somewhere. The little matchgirl, snow, etc.
The enigma does not exist in the tangled limits of nature.
Alan D.
Oh, sorry. No snow then.
An enigma cannot be plural;
Alan D.
This just makes me sad.
The enigma must not be made to speak itself in any direction.
Alan D.
No fun at parties, then.
The enigma is consigned, ordered.
Alan D.
No hot pants, no scotch and sodas at noon.
It (the enigma) does not need to be there.
Alan D.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

On the Road

Traveling through the dark under an overpass on my way to Tacoma a few years ago, I heard a gun go off or an enormous backfire, or 270 firecrackers going off simultaneously.

My sig oth keeps asking when I am going to get my windshield repaired.

Even East of Eden comes to an end, eventually, at which time you have to find something to do to amuse yourself if you aren't the driver.

Ste. Chapelle Winery, Caldwell, Idaho

This Just In: Rod Stewart now working as limo driver in Boise, Idaho area. We saw him at the downtown farmer's market on Saturday, then at the winery on Sunday. One of the women on the picnic blanket next to us ran after him to have him sign her breast. My daughter's sig oth overheard him in conversation on a cellphone: "I'm going to work this job forever." See, he is Rod Stewart.

As a baby boomer, I find it difficult to grok that I have a daughter old enough to have a sig oth and old enough to own a house. Both of these are true independent of my ability to process their existence.

Very hot in the Boise area. My daughter's back deck is equipped with misters, devices that spray mist into the sitting area. Just about necessary if you expect to spend any time at all out of doors. Note the trees and shade in above photo.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Villanelle in Celebration of Some Living and Dead Seattle Coffeehouses

Virginia’s wayward appassionato
Grand illusion, motore vita –
Splendido last exit, Van Gogh.

Essential hungry mind, argento
Still life in Fremont, bella
Virginia’s wayward appassionato.

Four angels speakeasy, b & o,
Fuel the local victrola –
Splendido last exit, Van Gogh.

The blue dog Bauhaus allegro,
Perkatory insomniax Panama,
Virginia’s wayward appassionato,

Scooters racer on the ave, Zingaro
Vivace zeitgeist arosa,
Splendido last exit, Van Gogh.

Dharwin fiore neo el Diablo,
Starlife revolutions bacco Messiah,
Virginia’s wayward appassionato,
Splendido last exit, Van Gogh.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Don't Wanna Do What's Good For Me

Line them up, them good words, them healthy words, them big ol high protein high vitamin words and swallow em. They got some poets can down em dozens at a time, can feed them back to you too, tap tap tap on the keyboard, swoosh on paper, they don't mind. They know what's good and they don't fight it. They don't lie down on they little fat backs and scream they heads off. They don't kick they little feet and screw up they little faces. They pull them little skinny books down out of they bookshelves and they lay them out one after the other and they read and they read and they read and then they write. They take they little black ink pens in they hands and they scribble. My how they do. They don't whine that they don't got no good ink or they pens got lost. They don't fret about they too thin paper or they no idea brains. They shame me, they do.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Erging for Coxes

Row in four beats, three for recovery then one for the drive
Sit ready, row
arms, body, legs, LEGS body arms
arms, body, legs, LEGS body arms
smooth it out

Power ten in two
don't rush the slide
up two in two
don't shake your head
fix it on the next stroke
if you shake it, take a power ten
power ten in two
count four beats, three for recovery, one for the drive
keep it smooth
don't shake your head
power ten in two

Thursday, July 06, 2006

If you look at me sideways you'll see Sasquatch

Dithering rather than heading out to get estimates to repair my Morris Minor which was attacked by a falling rock between Alpenhorn and Lake Chelan Yacht Club after my sig oth and I had seen a "Watch For Falling Rock" sign somewhere else two days before and declared that neither of us had ever seen a falling rock. Rock gods must have heard this as a request for experience. Thanks, guys.

The year before, my sig oth's bossy older Porsche was hit by a meteor through the carport roof. Oh yes, a meteor. ite. Someone in his office building had an extra Porsche hood and gave it to him. This is actually an object lesson in "putting it out there in the universe" as the newage (rhymes with sewage) folks say. Ask for a Porsche hood or a falling rock and either shall be granted to you. Amen.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Maroon Saloon Climbs Stevens Pass After Passing Out in Leavenworth

Fell in love, 19, with Morris Minors. Denied a green one by my childish waiting for my father's okay, languished in longing until 1994 when, departing the town of Bath, England, in a Ford Eurosmall vehicle, we came upon dozens of Morris Minors in front of The Morris Minor Centre. Days later, my ability to converse about anything not Morris Minors nil, my sig oth mentioned that if I would undergo much needed total hip replacement surgeries he would throw in the extra bonus prize of one Morris Minor, accompanied by no shit talk about minor issues like why the hell would any sane person desire such a death car, etc. March 13, 2005: left hip replaced, osteotomy. Two weeks later my Maroon Saloon was released from quarantine at the Port of Tacoma, one week shy of my release date from house arrest. We drove to Tacoma and took delivery. January 2, 1996: left total hip with osteotomy. Drove Maroon Saloon over Stevens Pass for the first time that April. Today was the last up and over that 4100 feet of elevation gain. See photographic proof here on this blog. To drive over pass, you need: one pair ear plugs, one gallon water, one quart oil, one full tank unleaded gas, one lead foot on accelerator, one battery and then another battery out of the boat brought to you by sig oth after phone call from Leavenworth where marvelous vehicle equipped with Prince of Darkness (Lucas) electrical system had drunk all battery juice and vigor. The gift of the undependable car is unexpected down time out of ordinary life. I spent my hour plus walking trails in the river park of Leavenworth with my camera.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I'd Give You All My Matchboxes, Joseph Cornell

My country 'tis of, anyway, let's look at this today. What's in those sky blue boxes, Joseph? Clouds? Dreams? Lightning? If the bird nest is below the fish, then twenty boxes should be enough to hold at least one hundred finch wishbones. Robins' eggs in the top four boxes, worms and grubs to feed them in the two sets of six boxes either side of the nest. If these were birds of substance, birds of certain sorts of older families, marital records and property deeds, family photographs and daguerrotypes, feathers of the saints, a sacred claw.

Monday, July 03, 2006

To Win, Little Relied on 5000 Sheep

Medium-sized had been in the lead to that point, Large and Gigantic lagging as was expected.

Morning, Lake Chelan: what we've got in our neighborhood is a large cougar. Last time we had a coug in the hood I walked my dog carrying a portable boat horn with high blast capability and the hope that if I ran into the cat it would not be deaf.

Walking up the hill, I was thinking about assenting to the ascent and how if it were to get hotter there might be dissent, dog, man, woman, and we'd wind up on the decent. Decent.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mythologizing the Garden

For all we have taken into our keeping
and polished with our hands belongs to a truth
greater than ours...
-William Stafford

So, the world happens twice--
once what we see it as;
second it legends itself
deep, the way it is.
-William Stafford,
from "Bifocal"

Seeing and Perceiving

You learn to like the scene that everything
in passing loans to you--a crooked tree
syncopated upward branch by pre-
established branch, its pattern suddening
as you study it; or a piece of string
forwarding itself, that straight knot so free
you puzzle slowly at its form (you see
intricate but fail at simple); or a wing,
the lost birds trailing home.
These random pieces begin to dance at night
or when you look away. You cling to them
for form, the only way that it will come
to the fallible: little bits of light
reflected by the sympathy of sight.

-William Stafford

See, it's so lightly and rightly a sonnet.