what do i love – day five

February 15, 2014
  • Two lane highways
  • That my birthday is in the summer
  • Making hand crank ice cream
  • My panniers
  • Thunderstorms
  • That I wore purple velvet knickers when I was 10
  • Female jocks
  • Lifting weights
  • Sweet tea
  • How a good drummer changes everything
  • Playing raquetball
  • The internet
  • My insulated Klean Kanteen
  • My loud ass 4 fingered whistle
  • Creative collaborations
  • Knowing friends for over 20 years
  • A pork tenderloin sandwich from the Monroe County fair
  • Passing as a dude sometimes
  • Sharing a meal with friends
  • A good hair cut
  • Cool sunglasses


No Comments »

what do i love – day 4

February 14, 2014
  • The sound of crickets
  • MTB’s garden
  • Doodling
  • Learning something new
  • Blueberries
  • Prince
  • Building something
  • Falling in love with a new song and then evangalizing the crap out of it to other people
  • A good diner, like the Otis cafe or Dianes
  • Manhattan
  • The Painted Hills
  • The Song of Solomon
  • Listening to Kurt Vonnegut’s voice
  • A British accent
  • Playing my guitar
  • Every time Becky’s come to visit me in Portland
  • Campfire food

what do i love – day three

February 13, 2014
  • Sticking with itness
  • Fava beans
  • Pet Sounds
  • Building a camp fire
  • Playing Boggle
  • A tostada
  • Writing music
  • Splitting wood with an axe
  • Imperfect heroes
  • A close basketball game
  • My space pen
  • Being born in the 60s
  • The county fair
  • Lonesome Dove
  • Trading
  • Fireflies
1 Comment »

what do i love – day two

February 12, 2014
  1. Kindness
  2. Reading a book out loud together
  3. Night-time bike rides in the summer
  4. Cooking
  5. My cat
  6. Taking a walk
  7. Tomatoes from the garden
  8. Laughing
  9. Being a Hoosier
  10. My dad’s best friend
  11. That I moved across the country
  12. Pussy willows
  13. Hugs
  14. Cooking
  15. Macgyvering something
  16. The song, Under Pressure
  17. Watching dykes play softball
  18. My summer camp
  19. A good chef’s knife
  20. Taking photos



what do i love – day one

February 11, 2014

My friend, Bart, has inspired me to come up with my own list. As well as my own experiment of posting a new list each day for next five days. So here goes day one.

  • A hot shower
  • Fizzy water
  • Sun light
  • My girlfriend
  • The way I feel after a work out
  • Good wool socks
  • The Melissa Harris-Perry show
  • Getting things done
  • The idea of liminality
  • My family
  • Playing cards
  • Camping
  • My friends
  • Solving problems
  • Wood fired pizza
  • Looking at Jackson Pollack paintings
  • Making peach pie
  • Being a butch
  • Petting dogs
  • 70’s R & B, especially Al Green

i can’t imagine

February 13, 2013

I say that phrase. When something shitty or fucked up or tragic happens to someone, I say “I can’t imagine  what it’s like to . . .” and then paraphrase the super shitty thing that’s happening or happened to them. Most times, when I say “I can’t imagine” I mean I haven’t experienced the super shitty thing myself, but I can guess what it feels like and it must be feel fucked up and they must be suffering, and I wish all of that wasn’t happening to them and I wish I knew some better thing to say to make it better for them. In short, most of the time I pretty much mean the opposite of “I can’t imagine” because I’m actually trying to imagine the fucked up experience but also I am afraid of failing in my imagination and in doing so, letting the other person down. I think this is true or I hope this is true for most of the people, most of the time, when they say that they “can’t imagine what it’s like to . . .” That they don’t mean it literally.  Because that would be really lonely and sad. If by saying “I can’t imagine” people were saying “I’m not doing that right now. I’m not going to picture you and what that might mean to you to have this fucked up thing happening.” Because when super shitty stuff is happening and you’re suffering and scared, you really need other people to imagine the super shitty thing with you, so that you are not so alone.

All this to say, I’m trying to exorcise this phrase, “I can’t imagine,” from my vocabulary. I have friends who are having super shitty experiences, epically shitty experience, and who have reminded me how it feels to hear that phrase and how sometimes it feels like being abandoned, like “oh shit, things must be really bad if you can’t imagine it.” I felt that way myself after my dad died in a house fire and people said “I can’t imagine that.” I wanted to say to them, “could you just try, because it sucked and I’m angry and sad and I need to be less alone.” I know there’s got to be better way to say to someone who is suffering, that I am thinking of them and holding space for their experience. A better way like lets take a walk or here’s some food or let me get that cup of coffee or tell me about your dad or your daughter or your husband or simply I am thinking of you.

No Comments »

diving into negative space

January 4, 2013

Two things I’ve read this week have been sticking with me.

Advice from Dear Sugar: One of the basic principles of every single art form has to do not with what’s there—the music, the words, the movement, the dialogue, the paint—but with what isn’t. In the visual arts it’s called the negative space—the blank parts around and between objects, which is, of course, every bit as crucial as the objects themselves. The negative space allows us to see the non-negative space in all its glory and gloom, its color and mystery and light. What isn’t there gives what’s there meaning. Imagine that.

From my horoscope this week: In order to win full possession of the many blessings that will be offering themselves to you, you will have to give up your solid footing and dive into the depths over and over again.

I think that diving into the depths has something to do with holding space for negative space, which may be hard to explain. Except to say that I am having huge feelings and something amazing and gigantic seems to be happening and it’s challenging to hold onto myself and to hold onto the amazing and enormous thing loose enough to see all its mystery and light, and at the same time hold onto it with the kind of care and intention (and a bunch of other things that are just too personal to post here to) to nurture it along. But I think that’s the trick so to speak, the holding it. And probably the fumbling too, which is inevitable because I am imperfect, as in super human (but not super power human). The thing is solid footing has been a slippery slope for a while now. And I’ve been managing to be ok with stepping off and feeling vulnerable by thinking of riding the tram or thinking of flying and by reminding myself that life is short.

Alright. I think I’ll end this with a George Saunders quote: Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.



day two – same as it ever was (and now the sound of talking heads is looping through your brain)

August 22, 2012

Day two of my 10 day blog challenge and I already wish I wouldn’t have challenged myself.  Its kind of an old story and very much like day two of not eating chocolate or day two of doing sits ups every night or day two of going to bed early or day of writing every day. There have been many days twos that have been immediately followed by starting over at day one again. Except for smoking and thank you RU for helping me with that. If I add it up, I bet I’ve put together at least 3000 non-smoking days, and they would have been consecutive except for a few isolated incidents, like going to this bar in Indy with friends the week I went home when my Dad died.

I think the the difference between me and many ambitious people is not only that they get more things done, obviously, but that they have more day threes, fours and five hundreds than I do. Also maybe ambitious people pay other people to do some of the shit they don’t want want to do, like dusting or mopping the floor, so they can do the shit they feel ambitious about, like writing a book. I feel like I have this worth ethic-long suffering thing about house cleaning, like we should all have to do it and no one should be above washing dishes or running the vacuum. But man, housework really can eat up one’s time. I guess the trick is to live in smaller place with less stuff to take care of and then there will be less time you have to spend on upkeep. Or there’s always the Phyllis Diller philosophy – “Housework can’tkill you. But why tae the chance.”

So I’ve successfully tricked myself into completing day two of my self imposed 10 day challenge. Maybe next time I’ll trick myself by writing about how not writing is one of the hall marks of being a writer


what to say

January 6, 2012

I want to post more regularly this year. Writing is good practice for all sorts of things, including writing. But it’s easy for me to run out of meaningful things to post about or to run out of time to compose  meaningful posts. So I had this idea of coming up with some “at hand” or “go to” subjects and here’s what I came up with.

One possibility is to  transcribe letters that my dad wrote home to his family throughout his service as a Marine during WW2. I’ve got a whole shoe box of letters. There must be close to 100. It could be interesting to type out my Dad’s words that came from that particular time and place and reflect on his experience.

The other idea I had was to share some of my practices to get at how I try to be awake to the experience of being alive, which in turn gets at some of what Joseph Campbell was talking about in the quote I posted the other day — “an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” Rapture is such a strong word and evokes such dramatic imagery. I’m not sure I can speak to rapture. Or something about the associations I have with word rapture makes it so it can’t speak to me. Anyway, I’m getting side tracked.

I just want to get down in writing some of my intentions and ideas for the blog as way to help myself to post more often and to hold myself accountable to myself.

No Comments »

nothing much

April 18, 2011

April is half over. I don’t know why, but that seems strange. The way time has passed this whole year has felt weird. Everything seems to march on and then something happens and a little window opens up and time feels kind of suspended. It’s like how on a Monday or Tuesday I feel like I’m just getting through it with, but on a Friday or Saturday I feel like there’s something to savor.

I heard some good music tonight and it was exciting. It always is the first time I hear something I really like that I’ve never heard before. Plus, it seems like it’s been a year since I really listened to anything new. Or really listened to much music at all.  I think I’ve been listening more to NPR shows than I have to music, which makes me feel kind of old in a cliched way and cut off from myself.

I’ve been getting things done lately, which feels good. Nothing big, just lots of small things I’ve put off, like cleaning the furnace filter and weeding and clearing off the top of my dresser. I cleaned out the raised beds in the backyard today, which was very satisfying, and planted kale, collards, leeks and turnips. I’m hoping all this doing stuff will lead to me doing bigger things,like submitting for publication some poetry and the story from my chapbook and trying to sell some songs. I think that’s the first I’ve said that in public.

I stopped reading Anna Karenina, at least for the time being. Maybe I’ll try again this summer. I’m struggling to stay on top of my New Yorkers, but I’m hoping to get around to something more meaty soon. I feel kind of self conscious about not being a more prolific reader.

The days are noticeably longer. It’s nice. It feels better than short days.

No Comments »