Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Random Stanza

I sever the city from my back
and say my matins, Damn
this zipper is stuck again
Or, Thank you, I’m alive,
but still don’t know
who I’m talking to.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


What am I doing on the first day of the first true vacation I've taken in four years?

I'm plucking fuzzy tent worms from my plants and feeding them to spiders and the praying mantids.

This is precisely what my mother was afraid of.

Friday, July 27, 2007


In writing workshops with high school kids this week.

Says one, during a critique, "Maybe it's because of my OCD, but this bothers me...."

"It could be because of my ADHD, but I think this should be....," says another.

They're from Laurel, Collinwood High, St. Ed's, Cleveland School of the Arts. They're startlingly fresh, as are their images: "Purple trees made of bread pudding," for instance. "His kiss was like gravity," writes another. Two young men are writing in the voices of girls. Much of their poetry rhymes--mostly from hip-hop saturation and not any old-school teachers. Their fiction is fascinating. Today we'll see what they can do with dialogue and playwriting.

I sometimes wish we all spoke in either American Sign Language or a shorthand version. Talking is exhausting, or maybe that's because of my CMSA (Chronic Moderate to Severe Asthma).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ingenuity Redux

Favorite things at Ingenuity:
Lisa Lock's incredible dancer strength, walking a thin pole on pointe shoes, hanging seemingly effortlessly in space

Beat the Donkey's wild, but highly orchestrated fun drumming and surprising turns--they should be at every Ingenuity Festival, and the opening parade of 1000 drums should end with their performance

Grandmaster Flash--a sweaty trip down memory lane for us "old-schoolers"

Bill Viola's video from 1991, tucked away in a corner of ideastream

Samantha Schartman's "Mission Control," Michael Lehto's "Hidden Costs," and Xan Palay's "Run Back Home"

The Architecture exhibit about the Breuer Bldg., especially the plan to surround the building with Hulett Ore Unloaders, a machine so perfect, said a former operator, it must have been made by god.


Favorite unscheduled things:
the tornado-like storm that ripped down Euclid on Thursday night (even though it hit some vendors hard...)

the loud woman in the Lisa Lock space saying, "This is the first REAL thing we've seen here"

the crowd watching Mindball

Steve Manka's Asphalt Repair project, behind the theaters near the parking garage

the Playhouse Square employee who helped us get a glass of wine in the State lobby when the Palace lobby bar shut down (now THAT'S customer service)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The "I" has it

Both Ingenuity and Imagination are happening at the same time. Too much!

Neal Chandler managed again to be ahead of the curve in getting two hot poets to come to Imagination, the CSU writing conference: Srikanth Reddy, whose book, "Facts for Visitors," is awe-inspiring, and the witty-smart poet Denise Duhamel, who ribbons pop culture through her work, and injects humor into our dour world. (And Ohio's own Nin Andrews.)

Unfortunately, Imagination is urging all attendees to leave the CSU campus tonight to attend a BBQ in the Heights, instead of just walking right outside the door at 5:30 into the parading mass of drummers, dancers, skaters and paraders asssembling at CSU and moving down Euclid to Playhouse Square to kick off the four-day Ingenuity Festival.

It begs the question for some of us: do writers always want to be sequestered away from the rest of the arts, culture and technology worlds? It's probably a scheduling error, but a big one.

After a day of words, I'm ready for some thrumming.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Secrets Number #1, #2, and #3

One of my favorite things to do in the whole world is fix small pieces of text.

Agree with Steve Litt and others that no drop of Great Lakes water should go anywhere outside of the Great Lakes Basin.

#3 concerns Iraq. To come.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Am overrun with spiders. Here are spiders on caffeine, alcohol, pot, and cocaine.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Borage, lupine, and bachelor buttons

B. called it a W-E-E-D (spelled out, so the plant doesn't hear, as if we're talking in front of a two-year-old), but the large, hirsute plant that bloomed yesterday is borage, an ancient herb used for courage. In the micro-climate of my front yard (very different from the back yard), borage is thriving. It's nestled, if borage can do such a thing, between the lupines and the bachelor buttons that are about to bloom.

I could never successfully grow borage, lupines, or bachelor buttons in my gardens in Tremont, so this gang of three is a gift. And I don't think they even like each other.

After a trip to the mystical, rocky place called Newfoundland during the drought of '88--where Newfoundlanders were fanning themselves on porches, sweltering in the 75-degree heat)--the only plants flowering and thriving were lupines. They soared five to six feet in the air. In the background were herds of elk and far off, a train.

Frank Green once grew borage five feet high in Tremont in his famous garden on Tremont Street. But Frank is a magical person for whom plants would grow on demand.

He's also that way with animals: Mike DeCapite tells a story of dropping in on Frank one day, and finding him surrounded by four or five cats, a couple dogs, various screeching birds in cages, and a rabbit in his lap.

Back to borage: it's only a W-E-E-D if you don't like it.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Science Quiz

I got this from Mona's blog.

I can't believe I got any answers right. Maybe I paid attention sometimes in school, instead of gazing out the window.

Mingle2 Free Online Dating - Science Quiz

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Running or clumping?

The bamboo arrived from Portland this week. Cramped and crushed in a too-small container--like the immigrants they are--the plants have a new home.

These plants are runners. Their roots will shoot far and wide underground (unless you dig a trench and surroud them with metal). The plants had burst through their plastic containers like little superheroes stretching in the morning.

Among the runners was one clumper. Bamboo either runs or clumps, much like people. The clumper is a gorgeous baby with reddish stems and feathery leaves. She now lives in acidic soil near the rhododendren and my neighbor's enormous evergreen.

I used to be a runner, but now I clump. Which are you?