Thursday, July 28, 2011

Short Poem

I'm too tired to care

about the light bulb I keep

forgetting to replace. The world

is dark naturally, especially at night.

I dream in color anyway.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Some Of Us

(Pre-Script: This poem should be read as the song, "Gravity," #28 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Some of us can't relax
unless we have a bottle in one hand
a bottle in the other-
what is in the bottle doesn't matter
different things for different ones of us
at different times and I
am all of those "ones of us"
at some time or other.
the way I do is
I will drain this bottle down then
refill it with all of the tears it was blocking,
then I can finally release my fierce grip on it's
neck, so
I let go wildly, reckless in the letting go like
whoosh and like who cares-
then comes the impact
as crash and glass shattering
cuts my toes and makes me bleed
at least a little.
The rest of the shards get washed out to sea
with the force of the tears they contained-
to be tossed to be tossed to be tossed, jostled
by all the salt of every ocean and once smooth,
deposited on some shore
upon which I have yet to awaken.


Saturday, July 23, 2011


(Pre-Script: This post is at it's best when read as the song, "Blackbird,"#30 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Outside my window is an Italian Cypress tree; when I say "outside," I mean that the tree is not two feet away from the window. For some reason, this year, the mother bird decided to build her nest neatly inside the tree at a level where if you stand on a chair, you can look straight into the nest and watch her baby birds for her. There is window glass separating you, but as I said before, you are not even two feet from them. That is close enough to see the distinction between their tiny baby bird eyeballs and the brown outlining them. If you realize how tiny that is, you have a sense of just how close you are to these baby birds, and how often are you ever that close to baby birds in the nest, to watching life science happen right in front of you, and not on a screen? Except that the window separating you is like a TV screen, if you want to think of it that way.
The first thing I did this morning was check on the progress of that fluff mass; that's what they look like when they are all asleep and huddled together. Even so close, you wouldn't think it was anything but left over dirty cotton balls that somehow landed in the tree, except for the collective sighs of rhythmic breathing that moves the mass up and down. But then, keep watching and a beak pops out, and then the magic of four separate beaks and four separate bird bodies silently individual but all calling out. When nothing happens, they fall right back into one sleeping indistinguishable mass. Where is their mother, and why does she leave them there for long stretches of time, alone? I know that babies need to sleep sleep sleep, but I also know that sleep is often a sign of depression, and if your mother were gone most of the day, and you were just a baby not old enough to make anything of yourself in this world, not even old enough to leave the proverbial or actual nest, don't you think you might be a little bit depressed? Think about it.

I see the mother about once a day. She feeds them, and then she flies away again. When they open their tiny bird beaks and raise their tiny bird heads to be fed, they look like that whack-a-do arcade game where you are supposed to whack the thing with a mallet when it pops up. I've always been sort of good at that game. It's the kind I play over and over so that I can get a gillion tickets with which to claim some prize I don't care about, which will likely break the moment I open it's wrapper. It's more about earning the thing than the thing itself.

Once mother bird is out of food for the babies, (or maybe when she is just fed up, she has had enough, somewhere among all of the childrearing and housekeeping she has lost her identity and needs to go and find herself in a wilderness or game of tennis or badmitton or backgammon) she flies away, the so-tiny-as-to-almost-be-imaginary bird beaks settle themselves into their sleeping dirty cotton ball mass again and resume their sleep. I see her point. Why stick around when her babies are so boring so often. I think she was deliberate in placing her nest where it would face the window just so, knowing that while she worked, the human kind would watch her babies for her. It's so hard to find good help these days, but I got my official babysitting certification badge at the age of 14. Someday, when their fluff becomes winglike and they insist on flying off to live their own lives, she will look back and regret every moment she is not here for them now. I'm just saying. Until then, I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, fascinated by every day miracles hidden in plain sight.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What it washed over

(Pre-Script: This post is best paired with the song, "Between the lines," #27 on the playlist. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Do you remember that place on the river
the children waded while we watched and rested
I think there was river glass,
I think there were cheese itz
(I didn't know what I was doing, but neither did you)

I know the sun was just warm enough,
and it glinted off the water in splotches
that looked like glory,
and I thought to myself that we
were touching heaven-
did I ever tell you that, or did I just think it?
And then there were the storms,
so unexpected in late spring-
I don't remember them well;
just, they blended, just, they were cold-
I remember a lot of cold-
and beneath the cold, some parts
that I wish to forget, I WISH
to only remember the reflection of the water, not
what it covered over, not
what it washed away, before the washing away-
Remember going back to the place, the exact same place
but the storm had blown it over,
we had to dig a difficult path through
fallen down trees that had stood for ages
it wasn't the same
(but what ever is)
the tide was high,
the beach was mostly gone,
but I remember I

did find a rock that day-
perfectly hand sized, smooth from years of being brushed under water,
and I did find a thick piece of river glass, with 2 letters
pressed into it,
which is a rare find, maybe
once in a lifetime.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Things We Lose

(Pre-Script: This post meant to be read as the song, "Uncharted," #39 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

Today, I ran outside, not on the treadmill, and I remembered some things. Mainly that when you run outside, you feel the rotation of the planet, so it's like the earth is one huge treadmill. Hop on wherever, whenever. I remembered that I run because I love to run. I run for the simple joy of feeling like I am alive and flying. Everything else is just fringe benefits. Children know this, and run hard and fast and don't care if they get grass stained or dirt smeared. At least when I was a kid, I didn't care about those things- 'cause I knew my mother has stain remover spray.

And then there was the time when I was playing tackle football after dinner with my brothers. I was crouched and determined, and when I heard "hut hut hike!" I blasted out of there like a rocket...directly full speed ahead into my oldest brother's forehead. Apparently he had also been crouched, ready, and determined. Our parents and other brothers watched as the bumps Mike's and my forehead rose and grew right before their eyes. Mike was upset at his injury; he couldn't believe I would just run straight into his head like that. But those things did not really bother me at all. What really bothered me was that my forehead bump was not as big as Mike's...

...'cause if you're gonna get an injury...

The things we tend to lose as we grow up are some of the most important things: Keys, wallets, bone density, and the tendency to take off running at top speed for no apparent reason. I'm determined never to lose that; only I know what I'm running from, and I'd like to keep it that way.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

I require my people to smell good-A Manifesto, of sorts

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song, "Blackbird," #30 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

One of the things I appreciate about being a personal stylist is that where I work, the men dress up. They wear suits and ties and nicely polished shoes.

Think about that for a minute.

I'll wait.

Here's a tip, and I'm not even going to charge you for it: There's no such thing as "too dressed up." If anything, you can probably stand to dress up more. Look down at your outfit.

See what I mean?

I don't ever waste energy feeling anxious or embarrassed about being the most "fancy" person in a room. If anything, I'm not really thinking about it. Because when you are put together first thing in the morning, you are done, and you can just go about your day confidently, not worried about how you look. Because you already know that you took the time to be "done" before you left the house. Right??? Not in this society. I am by no means anti Ugg boot and other such knock offs. But I feel that Ugg boots symbolize a lot of what our society has lost, which is that we no longer strive. We laid down our weapons a long time ago, on the battlefield of comfort. We surrendered the white flag, then pulled that white flag down and wrapped it around ourselves and fell asleep. And then we woke up and drove to Safeway or Starbucks without ever changing out of the same ratty sweatpants we had fallen asleep in the night before.

I would like to interrupt myself here and plead with you, gentle reader: whatever you fell asleep wearing the night before should never, ever be worn out in a public setting. Never. Ever. Because I don't care how clean you were when you fell asleep, what you wore to bed the night before smells like dead skin cells the next morning. It's one of those mysterious scientifically unproven facts of life.

I have this saying...I say that I require my people to smell good. By "My people," I mean anyone who is in my near vicinity. In other words, wear antipersperant deodorant, wear body cream or body spray or fancy cologne or perfume. Brush your teeth regularly and vigorously. In other words, make the effort and be diligent about it. It's good for the gingivitus protection, it's good for the gums, it's good for the bloodstream, and it's a common courtesy to your fellow human.

Years ago, and still in many places around the world, people used to have to work for what they had, so they worked hard, and then they had babies who were born to the people who had worked hard for what they had, but since the babies never had to work for what they had, they developed a sense of "we deserve to have everything we never worked for handed to us on a platter. Wah wah wah. Change my diaper."

But the point isn't to look around and say "Ok, I have enough, I can stop striving now; my parents already did that. I'm already smart, and I know that because I was put in self confidence class when I was 2 years old." (gag me)

I don't care if you started out life in a grass hut with no shoes, or if you were born to a fortune, if you have a photographic memory or have to read the same line over and over and still can't remember what you just read. Your job is to build up from what you have been given. To whom much has been given, much is expected. In other words, the MORE you have, the MORE you should be working hard to build upon it. NOT just take your wealth for granted. I am not talking only about financial wealth, I am also talking about natural talents, abilities, and intelligence. Don't just sit smugly on the fact that you can do such and such a thing with little or no effort. Do the thing to the effort that it hurts you, and keep doing it at that level in order to build endurance, balance, and muscle tone. And I do not only mean physical muscles, although believe that those are one of the things a person needs to develop, as well.

*Important note: When working hard, you will know you are working hard because you will be sweating hard. This will cause you to temporarily not smell good. But it's necessary, and the point is to not lounge around all day long in your sweaty work out clothes. I'm assuming you are intelligent enough to catch my drift here...and today, my drift smells like cocoa butter and Philosophy's "Amazing Grace" perfume.

You see, what happens when someone works hard for something is that it builds in the person a sense of self, a confidence and renewed vigor; it causes the person to keep awake and living, as opposed to just sleep walking through life. Sleep walking is easier, and that is why so many people wear Ugg boots to go about their entire day. I am not Ugg boot opposed, but I think they should be worn as slippers around the house and before going to bed. Not to the grocery store. Not to the *(fill in the blank anyplace you can think of that is most definitely a public place)* And when you don't develop that sense of industry in yourself, you lack the confidence to put forth the effort to take care of yourself and make yourself look presentable, because you don't realize that you are worth the effort. But if your children are worth the $40.00 hair bow and light up sparkly shoes, then why the heck is their mother slumping around town in sweat pants? If that is the image you present to your children, then that is what you are grooming them to ultimately become. Think about it, people. Now go change your pants.


P.S. Just today, I told my 6 year old son, "Ethan, You have a great capacity for learning, so never stop learning; you can never learn too much." He said "Okay," and skipped off. A few minutes later, my 9 year old son walked into the room and I said "Jeremy, I love you with all my heart. You have a great capacity for learning, so never stop learning; you can never learn too much." He said "How are those thoughts related to each other?"

Monday, July 4, 2011


(Pre-Script: This poem has no song to accompany it. Go down to the playlist and turn it off. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

I killed the song you were about to sing;

you were just about to start singing, weren't you-

but I did not stop to hear the tune,

the key in which you would build your crescendo

the sharps and flats and rests-

the underlying bass clef keeping rhythm,

the overlapping joy of the treble-

but I did not stop,

some angry marching soldier of me, with the mind of

a soldier on mission-

I did not add my harmony, my counterpoints

my lullaby, even-

I said there is no room no room no room

for the music anymore, chop up

this piano

with an ax, and bleed

on the keys, now black and white

and red all over-

and you were just about to start singing, weren't you.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

What I didn't tell you

(Pre-Script: This poem is meant to be paired with the song, "Bend and Break," #38 on the playlist. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)

What I didn't tell you
is as much a part of me as


and maybe more so-

what I didn't tell you is that everything

was meaningful, everything,

and what I didn't tell you

is that I knew.

(I saw an angel that day-
I saw it and no one else in the room saw it
I saw it-

it wasn't the first angel I'd ever seen, but
maybe the most significant)
What I didn't tell you
(and how could I)
was that when the rip
from skin to soul
to bone cracking bone occured,
there was a shaking,
a kind of little earthquake
that shook the core of the earth
yet no one else percieved it-
it was a disturbance that I am sure
the universe grieved.
and what I never told you,
(and now it's too late)
is that I saw an angel-
it was white and large and

I saw it-

was not looking at me but looking
at God;
in the midst of this

swirling chaos,
was looking up, detemined.


Friday, July 1, 2011

History-onics worked for me! (AKA blame it on the infomercial. AKA Your baby does not need to know how to read.)

(Pre-Script: This post will expand your horizons when read as the song, "Everybody's Changing," #13 on the playlist, plays in the background. So go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...don't worry about what I'm doing here, I'm just inventing the wheel.)

Remember the time when that guy discovered the continent that the people living on it already knew existed? Good times.

And he didn't even know where he was. But they did.

I bet they felt how I feel any time I read an article about bargain shopping in a fashion magazine. The article usually has a items at price points that are above what most people consider "in the budget," let alone "bargains." And then they follow up with something written in the tone of, "OMG! WHAT a STEAL, can you BELIEVE IT??" And I'm like, "OMG, you might as well just smack me in the face and insult my grandma!" I don't need to be told how to find a bargain. The people doing the thing already know how to do the thing...Not only do I already know how to do it, but I know how to find better quality items at better prices than the magazine "bargain" is showing me. I look to the fashion magazine for inspiration, not exact-tation. The magazines would be better off continuing their beauty and fashion quest, and leave the bargain finding to me. I consider myself a treasure hunter, and as such, I don't want my field of expertise brought to me on a shiny platter and labeled for me. Leave the hunt to me; the hunt is part of the fun.

*And, as I said before, I'm better at it. Amen.

I wonder what would have happened if Columbus would have landed his Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria, and said, "Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle; I don't know where I am, but since there are people walking around, I have clearly not discovered this place, and they probably already have names, so maybe it's not my job to come up with a name for them, either. DOH!"

And then he could have sat down and cried, because crying, I have found, is the solution to a lot of things, and then I bet one of those people already living there would have walked up to him, curiously, and said "Oh dear wacky guy who is strangely overdressed, don't cry. We knew the planet wasn't flat, too, but we didn't want to waste our boats contracting your acne and tendency to bake with white flour...but here, have some fish and corn, you look too thin."

Christopher Columbus would not have understood this particular conversation due to the language barrier, but he would have seen the food, he would have understood food, and maybe he would have eaten gratefully and thought "Wow, I really am no better than these here under dressed land dwellers," and "not only is the world round, but it's a small world, after all!" And then he could have gone on to create Disneyland, only he wouldn't have called it "Disneyland," he would have called it "Columbusland," "Chrisland," or somesuch thing, and since the theme park would now be over 600 years old, the lines would be much shorter, so it would have been a win win for everyone.
Just Walt Disney would have to come up with a new life calling, but I don't doubt he could; he was very creative.