Friday, September 30, 2016

Kopp-Etchells Effect

"How a Combat Photographer Named a Phenomenon to Honor Soldiers"

Photo by Michael Yon
Quite a phenomenon:

Sparkling spirals, eerie, grand...
From rotors clouting clouds of sand.


Some people give blood
And fall with a thud. 
Their knees just get too loose
When they're short a pint of juice.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Slow Going

I like raspberry jam,
And blueberry too,
But the traffic flavor, damn,
It leaves me very blue. 


Where has the heat of summer gone?
Why are there penguins on my lawn?
I made that up, of course, you know. 
But yes, my thoughts have turned to snow. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Round 1

Attended rehearsal until it was late. Sorry / not sorry I missed the debate. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Birthing for a Play

I just got done selecting a set of videos to be the stand-in for the "Lamaze video" in my new play.

Basically, in the second act, one character is supposed to have watched this video a couple of times overnight and now feels vaguely ready to coach a pregnant woman through childbirth.

This is what we call foolhardy. I mean, he might get lucky. The video might have prepared him for everything that he will, in fact, face.

But human childbirth often arrives with complications, peril, and emotional roller-coaster experiences.

And all the coaching in the world is only so much help to a woman whose body is just doing stuff on its own, stuff it may never have done before, in a big damned hurry.

Modern medicine makes it safer than ever.
Still it's a scary journey. We need a lever
Where you can just pull and a baby - poof! - appears
Without any agony, danger, fuss, or tears.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Working Riddle

When you have it, you don't want it.
When you don't, you do.

Work can be exactly like that.
Crazy, but it's true.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

20 Miler

I did a 20 mile run yesterday. I tried this new "Hot Shot" product which is supposed to fight cramping in runners.

It's supposed to be a scientific version of pickle juice, a longstanding folk remedy for runners' cramps. 

The theory is that the cramps are a neurological problem, caused by muscle neurons over firing. And the pickle juice - coating the mucosal membranes in your mouth as much as your stomach - supposedly disrupts that.

Anyway, I didn't get a full on case of cramps and had a pretty good finish time - for me. 

Did it really work?
I don't really know. 
But since it didn't hurt,
I'll give it another go. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Baby at a Bar Fight

My father was telling me a story recently, a story I've heard before over the years, about his last bar fight - which occurred on New Year's Eve in 1951. My mother was present, and apparently did not approve.

Despite having heard the story before, a new thought occurred to me when he told me the date, and I interrupted him.

"I was there," I said.

"Yes, you were," he said, and continued with his story.

I was young, too young to recall
these events at all.

I was, in fact, an embryo,
floating around in utero.

Dorothy Reflects

They have fine spas
In the City of Oz. 
But if you seek a helping hand
You might do better in Munchkin Land,

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cubs Clinch

For the second time in my life, I went to see the Cubs play at Wrigley.  

They've been playing hot 
And they had a shot 
To win last night 
And clinch a spot.   
Alas, it was not 
To be.   

Lucky for the Cubs, the Cardinals lost later in the evening, so the Cubs are now the winner of their division.   

But there was no party in the park.  
We filed out. The lights went dark.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Non Ignition

It's kind of late
And my car won't start
But my wife is on her way
So I won't lose heart. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Rehearsals for All Mixed Up

We have started rehearsals for my new play. 

It's a process I enjoy. 
I am a happy boy. 

In Saugatuck, Michigan

That's 2 views of the Kalamazoo river, as it flows through Saugatuck, just before it pours into Lake Michigan.

I joked that the second shot was a soggy duck in Saugatuck, but of course ducks don't get soggy.

When big old wave attacks,
the water rolls right off their backs.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Persona Grata

A play without an actor, is short a crucial factor. 

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Balancing Act

Great local school-district headline:

'Records: Lincoln-Way superintendent predicted deficit before presenting balanced budget'

Money quote from the story:

'Robert Ripp, a certified public accountant and member of the community group Lincoln-Way Area Taxpayers Unite, said Tingley's 2014 correspondence with the assistant superintendent shows "they factually knew they were deficit spending and they decided to prepare balanced budgets anyway."'

One way of balancing a busted budget
Is just to fudge it.

In Logic

In Logic there is no "but". There is only "and".
That's one of the reasons that logic can seem so bland. 
It drains some sense of dramatic opposition,
When it deftly proves a proposition. 

Monday, September 05, 2016

Transplants Who Thrive On This Soil

They come from all over the earth,
foreigners by birth,
but from the very start,
Americans at heart.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Cal City Mini

I ran the Calumet City Mini Marathon this morning.

It was only 30 dollars to enter, which is off-the-charts cheap.

I can see some of how they kept the price down. They had water, every 2.5 miles, not every 2 miles. And they only had water on the course - no Gatorade type stuff. Also, the course was not completely closed to traffic, although I thought they did a fine job of keeping us safe. There were Calumet City cops all over the course.

I heard some fellow-runners talking, and one was saying that this is actually the oldest half marathon in the Chicagoland area. Maybe that's why it's got this strange monicker of "Mini Marathon". Maybe they named it before the half marathon distance got popular.

At one point, the course ran on State Line road. If I'd strayed just a bit to the left, I would have been in Indiana.

Instead of drifting, I stayed straight,
and kept my course to just one state.

At Home Depot

Bubble, bubble
Toil and trouble 

This is a recycled rhyme, going back to Shakespeare's time, flowing out of Shakespeare's pen. Still, I'd rather live now than then.

Friday, September 02, 2016

As In Glengarry Glen Ross

rhymes with damn it, 
but his favorite curse 
was something worse.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends in Poetry

I was just reading an article by Frederick Turner, "Beginnings, Middles, and Ends in Poetry", which appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Think: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Reviews.

I think Turner's very interesting at times as a critic

"The postmodern movement, with its objections to what it calls 'essentialism,' its hostility to any kind of hierarchy or priority... and its rejection of the objective rality of nature, subtracted even more of the ways that we make meaningful sequences."

Unfortunately for postmodernism, fandom
abhors the merely random.

Where Did I Read That?

On the face of it, this seems comforting:

"In other words, forgetting is the brain's way of flushing out the irrelevant stuff so we can remember the important stuff."

There are various things I'd like to forget,
that I haven't succeeded with yet.