Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Art Institute of Chicago

I took my class to the Art Institute today and snapped a few pics.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Once more

I've written about how great the movie Once is and going to see The Swell Season and now they've won the Oscar for best song for Falling Slowly! It was great to see them win!

Poem O' The Day by Mary Ruefle

Kiss of the Sun

If, as they say, poetry is a sign of something
among people, then let this be prearranged now,
between us, while we are still peoples: that
at the end of time, which is also the end of poetry
(and wheat and evil and insects and love),
when the entire human race gathers in the flesh,
reconstituted down to the infant's tiniest fold
and littlest nail, I will be standing at the edge
of that fathomless crown with an orange for you,
reconstituted down to its innermost seed protected
by white thread, in case you are thirsty, which
does not at this time seem like such a wild guess,
and though there will be no poetry between us then,
at the end of time, the geese all gone with the seas,
I hope you will take it, and remember on earth
I did not know how to touch it it was all so raw,
as if by chance there is no edge to the crowd
or anything else so that I am of it,
I will take the orange and toss it as high as I can.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Indecision '08

So, I was torn between Obama and Clinton, and still am, but I voted for Obama on Super Tuesday. I am a sucker for powerful speechifying. When it comes to policies and voting record I feel that they are very close. And how am I supposed to know who can "get things done"? But when Clinton started to bash Obama for his great speeches I wondered what exactly was wrong with being able to inspire? When I hear Obama speak the stark difference between him and our current president amazes me. Yesterday Bush was trying to convince everyone that he didn't want to build military bases in Africa and he sounded, well, like Bush. It seems that leadership is a hard thing to possess and Obama has it. I am usually very cynical when it comes to the choice for president. I think Futurama had it about right in the episode, A Head In The Polls when two clones were vying for the presidency. At least this year, no matter who wins on the democratic side I feel like we will have someone who represents a different viewpoint than the 43 white males that have come before.


Reginald Shepherd blogs over at the poetry foundation site. Here is a post of his concerning "post-avant" poetry with the 100+ comments that follow. Now, I admit to being pretty slow on the uptake, but why do poets care so much about what "school" of poetry they are lumped into? I can understand poetry scholars arguing over these things in the future, but if you are writing poetry and you are worried about what that poetry is called then you should take up a new hobby.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wednesday Night! Lunar Eclipse!

A total eclipse of the Moon will occur in the early evening hours on February 20, 2008. In the Chicago area, the eclipse will begin at 7:43 p.m. (CST) and end at 11:09 p.m.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Clemens On The Hill

Originally found at Ivy Chat. A couple of my favorite things, baseball and A Few Good Men:

Clemens: You want answers?

Congressman: I think I'm entitled to them.

Clemens: You want answers?

Congressman: I want the truth!

Clemens: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has baseballs. And those balls have to be hit by men with bats. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Congressman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for steroids and you curse HGH. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that HGH, while illegal, probably sells tickets. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, sells tickets...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that mound. You need me on that mound. We use words like fastall, slider, splitfinger...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent playing a sport. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and falls asleep to the Sportscenter clips I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bat and dig in. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

Clemens: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.

Congressman: Did you order the HGH?


World Without Tears

Dottie in action . . . sorda

Dottie in the sun

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is coming to Chicago April 2nd! Her New and Selected book was the first book of poetry I ever bought. Her "tour" is selling out wherever she goes. In Seattle tickets for her reading went for 100 bucks on Craigslist. Her book American Primitive is still one of my favorite books of all time. I love the last stepped-stanza of this poem.(edit..I can't seem to get the formatting right on this poem. Each four lines are supposed to be "stepped" which I think helps pace the poem quite well. With the correct formatting you can feel the struggle and journey.)


Where the path closed
down and over,
through the scumbled leaves, fallen branches,
through the knotted catbrier,
I kept going. Finally
I could not
save my arms
from thorns; soon
the mosquitoes
smelled me, hot
and wounded, and came
wheeling and whining.
And that's how I came
to the edge of the pond:
black and empty
except for a spindle
of bleached reeds
at the far shore
which, as I looked,
wrinkled suddenly
into three egrets --
a shower
of white fire!
Even half-asleep they had
such faith in the world
that had made them - - -
tilting through the water,
unruffled, sure,
by the laws
of their faith not logic,
they opened their wings
softly and stepped
over every dark thing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Angels by B. H. Fairchild


Elliot Ray Neiderland, home from college
one winter, hauling a load of Herefords
from Hogtown to Guymon with a pint of
Ezra Brooks and a copy of Rilke’s Duineser
Elegien on the seat beside him, saw the ass-end
of his semi gliding around in the side mirror
as he hit ice and knew he would never live
to see graduation or the castle at Duino.

In the hospital, head wrapped like a gift
(the nurses had stuck a bow on top), he said
four flaming angels crouched on the hood, wings
spread so wide he couldn’t see, and then
the world collapsed. We smiled and passed a flask
around. Little Bill and I sang Your Cheatin’
Heart and laughed, and then a sudden quiet
put a hard edge on the morning and we left.

Siehe, ich lebe, Look, I’m alive, he said,
leaping down the hospital steps. The nurses
waved, white dresses puffed out like pigeons
in the morning breeze. We roared off in my Dodge,
Behold, I come like a thief! he shouted to the town
and gave his life to poetry. He lives, now,
in the south of France. His poems arrive
by mail, and we read them and do not understand.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Eclectic Company

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy will be host DJ on XRT's The Eclectic Company this Tuesday. I look forward to hearing his playlist. I'm a big fan of their music and Tweedy's voice.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

James Wright

I think this poem is where all my poems come from; sad imitation after sad imitation!

A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

Friday, February 01, 2008


It snowed about 8 inches here.