An old/odd bit of verse for a new picture

Nearly full moon in Ohio City, Bridge Ave. 

guarded garden
as if stars only shine on top of pines
and heads on spines
my, my, mine—far, farther, farthest reach of sky
*********************************on high
muddy teeth and that's not how you pick a peach
just because it spilled 
doesn't mean it's wasted           
spoiled yet tasted
toil and face it


The Throb of Life

Tired of typing on mobile while laptop broken, so longhand must do:


Fictive Kin

Shanna was in town and we rented her a bicycle so we could cycle 'round town. Some old man sitting on a stoop shouted at us, 

     "Are you two sisters?"
     "No, we're friends," I answered. 
     "Same thing," he yelled. 


the art & science of being a whole person

If we follow rather than fight anxiety to where it will lead us, we make additional and extraordinary discoveries. We realize that our supreme anxiety and our supreme values coincide. We are most anxious about losing the things that matter most. . .It seems we can choose our lowest despair as our highest goal precisely because that is the one way we can savour and see the fullness of our existence.

-Peter Koestenbaum, Freedom and Accountability at Work


Oh, My Space

So, I got some old files back and my old My Space blog was on them. Below is some kind of storytelling ascii thing. Fun to scroll through. Not really sure what exactly I was trying to do, but it made me smile. Hope the formatting stays in line . . . 
Her earliest memory is a jumble of many memories and part recurring toddler dream. She remembers a large rambling house and empty rooms and she wandered and was scared. she had only lived in a "ticky tacky" house and so this is the part that was probably a dream. 
She remembers sitting on her dad's lap and how he smelled like drywall dust that had soaked up beer. She remembers sitting sideways on the stair while her mom read to her and her big brother.
                             |_t_   0  O
                                   |_T   |---[I]
                                         |  |==o
These are the first things she remembers. All of her other memories are compilations of stories that were told to her and pictures she has seen of herself along with her version about the way things should have been or simply the way they felt and perhaps weren't, actually.
These collections of memories and their varying degrees of accuracy are all right with her, but there are discrepancies. She remembers how things felt as opposed to how things were. How things were is not what is really important. You don't take were with you wherever you go; you take felt with you and keep it always either near or far from your heart.        


                                           feelings                  feelings 
When her mom got pregnant with her little sister, things changed. She had to share a room with big brother. This was okay, except she liked her yellow bedroom better than his blue one.
The blue room had bunk beds. Her brother slept on the top bunk and she had the bottom. The baby got the yellow room and slept in a crib. The baby was small and squishy and red-faced when she cried. Her brother would roll over in his sleep and fall off of the top bunk into a tangle on the floor. She would wake up when she heard him land. He wouldn't. 

                          /     /
                  ,,----/-o /

|                           |
         ''~~ ~~|-O 


Polyphonic Culture Smash

I'm pretty sure that Mom and her boyfriend Jose´ have never heard the Moldy Peaches, but they've perfected their polyphonic singing-over-each-other style. They were thrilled when they discovered they both know the same song in different languages. 

Here we have a beautiful culture smash of simultaneous renditions of "In them Old Cotton Fields Back Home" in both Spanish and English. According to Mom, this is probably the first song I ever heard in my cradle. Somehow I had a Southern/Appalachian upbringing smack dab in the Midwest. 

Mom & Jose´s rendition:

Many artists sing the song including Lead Belly, Johnny Cash and Creedence Clearwater Revival. 

Lyrics if you're curious:

When I was a little bitty baby
My mama would rock me in my cradle
In them old cotton fields back home
Now, when them cotton balls get rotten
You can't pick very much cotton
In them old cotton fields back home
It was down in Louisiana
Just about a mile from Texarkana
In them old cotton fields back home 



I've reviewed my life's list and I have decided that I'm done being so-so-careful with people. It is as if (using only eye contact) I grab you by your upper arm firmly until it is understood that my spareness isn't a lack of passion, but a winnowing down to the authentic--substituting meager with minimal and austerity for a simple abundance.  The difference? I think attitude. 


What's the BIG IDEA?

I really like the way Cuyahoga Arts and Culture is engaging citizens to vote which projects get funded. Six BIG IDEAS are online at  www.cacgrants.org/vote until February 20th. Cuyahoga County residents get to help decide which two new creative projects will be brought to life in our community through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's Creative Culture Grants program.

Many of the projects are in the public space, uniquely Cleveland and oh, so creative. Many of them are designed to bring people out of the house, out of their car and into the neighborhoods to interact with the City and with each other. This is going to be a hard choice!