I guess all those letters I sent after she split with Bruce worked.
I can't believe I missed her when she came to the Lit.
(What was she doing in the men's room anyway?)
I'm a bit down lately as I typicaly cycle through sometimes. This time triggered by a combination of things: travel for too long/ too often, a couple of screw-ups at work, guilt over not fulfilling some commitments (I left TWifi, didn't wish sister happy birthday personally. haven't seen my granddaughter in oh so many months). The results are despondancy, lethergy, avoidance of company, drinking too much w/o the happy buzz, and worse--crappy writing. Also as I review and attempt to revise older writing, I felt that it is all utter crap and should be hidden before it infects young minds.
So I have been trying to think of some positives and I came across something. IA received a number of emails about my name being mentioned in Monday's "Around Noon" with Dee Perry as she interviewed Patsy and Heather about Gallery Ü-Haul/ArtMIX Überlin. Though I was supposed to participate until work sent me to soggy Florida, Patsy was good enough to mention me as the "inspiration" for the program in the press release. Thanks so much to Heather for actually talking me up.
I have never been an inspiration before and I'll admit it feels pretty good.
With so many excellent poets here in Cleveland, and our reputation spreading throughout the country so's that requests to read by poets far and wide in our not-so-humble venue keep tumbling in, we have not needed to repeat featured readers in our 21 showcases in 22 months but in a single instance (RA Washington). However, this month's extravaganza (Thursday October 11 9:30pm) has not one, but two poets that have been features at the Lit before. Why this exception? Because after 14 months traversing Europe and North Africa like the Allies in WWII, the Irreverent Steven B. Smith of the Church of Not So Much Pain and Suffering, and the Lady Kathy Ireland Smith have come back as NEW and Different people. If you have been following the blog of their adventures on Walking On Thin Ice, you see from their writing that they are NEW poets as well.
If you don't know the original Agent of Chaos, you must have either been living under a rock (tho you might have met him there during his hermit phase) or you are illiterate and couldn't read any of the 21 ArtCrimes magazines in the last twenty years, or any of the other chapbooks, zines, or collaborative pieces from Steven B. Smith. And you may have been blind not to see his unique style of mixed media collage and assemblage art in the many galleries around town over the last few decades. What I mean is that Smith has been here, creating, and expanding for DECADES. So where were you?
Lady Kathy has been publishing The City ezine for quite a while as well. Been writing and poeting and publishing and now artistizing, documentizing, and taking care of the Grendell named Smith through the labyrinth of international travel, language, and coolness. She has been part of the Cleveland cool scene for much longer than I even knew that it existed. She has shed her geekism along with a second parasitic kathy, and though always been and excellent poet, now has blossomed into a major versifying master. She also has a thing for guys named Steven B. and that has to be great all over.
So don't miss this exciting evening of poetry at the Literary Cafe at 9:30 pm Thurs October 11. The Literary Cafe is at 1031 Literary Road in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.
So I've been in the new place for what....5 months already and all I have made for food was ramen noodles and coffee. Reheated some pizza from the joint down the street a few times. This has been expensive and I need to get back the culinary pleasures.
Why have I waited so long? Well besides laziness cuz I want food immediately after I get home from work, and I'm too tired some days after work and I don't have the time I used to to plan shop chop and cook, I am have had some reservations about my kitchen. I was enamoured with having a gas stove for the first time in my life, but that got in the way of seeing the other difficulties like space to put all my kitchen stuff, working triangle distances, and that the handyman my landlord uses is not the fastest snail in finishing work up that started before I moved in.
Well, I bit the bullet and just stopped the excuses, shopped, and cooked.
The first thing I made was my tried and true rice pilaf with turkey breast. It is simple to make, it keeps well, and I can make enough to be lunch for the rest of the week. Things were awkward, but I didn't think much of it.
Then I tried something new that I saw on Rachel Ray on cable in the hotel when I was in Texas. I made turkey cacciatore burgers on portobello buns. As you can see, it came out great, tasted better, but a royal pain in the ass with my kitchen design.
I will make this again but I don't think I'm going to renew my lease, unless the kitchen gets a major overhaul. I have my priorities. Only 7 months to go.
Lately, I have been subjected to an unbridled bashing of my chosen political party. Every problem that can be thought of, from the Iraqi war to the revival of bellbottom jeans has been blamed on the GOP. With ex-expatriate Smiths coming back to depressing old home, I expect some more earfuls of rants.
Folks, the root cause is not one party or the other. The shit has been flying from the fan no matter it was an elephant flipping the switch or and ass. Conservative does not mean republican, as neither does liberal means democrat. Some of the most conservative people I ever met were Southern Dems in North Carolina in the late 70's. Nixon had to deal with a Dem Congress, Carter had a Dem congress, etc. Tammany Hall was Democrat as was the the first Chicago Mayor Daley. Boys and Girls, check out the politicians, not their affliation.
Thanks to John Ettorre for posting this Abe Lincoln quote. These are the roots of the Republic how I was brought up. I even played A.L., beard and all, in a school play. It is up to "real" republicans, republicans that hold onto the ideals of the party that will save it and the country. Same goes to democrats. Dems, you need me and if I (like Diogenes)can find a true democrat, I need him.
Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
-President Abraham Lincoln.
Wise up, People. It ain't the party, its the party guests, and they aren't sharing the hors d'oeuvres. If you can find a quote or example of someone that epitomizes the ideals of the democratic party, send it to me.
Hey Cleveland! Instead of the complicated machinations of industry revival, high tech stimulation, and healthcare marketing, how bout planting some trees on that brown field.
Amazing accomplishment with short term rewards and a very long term view, "replace rain forests in another 10,000 years." Visit www.plant-trees.org
Thanks to S.A. Griffin, Poet extraordinaire of L.A., for bringing this to my attention.
I'm on the road for work again this week. This time For Texas Sweep Part Deux. I used to live in Dallas and couldn't wait to leave. Having to come back twice is not at the top of my happy list. Fortunately, I'm traveling with two colleagues that keep things light and pretty fun. However, last night in Waco, we had an experience that shook us up pretty bad.
After dinner, we decided to get a few beers. In the midst of silly Texas teasing and redneck jokes, we opened the door of the rental car and heard a loud pop like a backfire from some rusty pickup. I was about to comment on how timely the backfire was, when we saw a guy across the street unload a shotgun into the door of an apartment. We popped back into the car and scooted out the back driveway. Here is the link to this morning papers story.
Over a few huge 24 ouncers of Shiner Bock at a bar/restaurant near the hotel, the three of us couldn't agree on the details about the shooter, the number of shots, whether he ran or walked away, not even what he was shooting at. We figured we would only confuse matters if we tried to tell the story.
Some more evidence on why I don't like it here. Yee Ha!
At last weeks Lit Cafe Poetry nite, after I stopped getting self-conscience and stopped trying to be Nick, The energy in the room rose to fantastic heights and we pulled in 21 open mic readers including a few virgins. In closing the evening, I was so unaware of myself, so into what occurred during the evening, I surprised myself with these words tumbling out of my mouth.
hug your significant other.
hug a stranger.
hug your enemy.
Save the world.
First thought, best thought. Unrehearsed, unscripted, just pure wishes to all that made an amazing evening. Some of the best lines I ever came up with, I don't even believe that I said it.
Barely recovered from Lit poetry nite, but there is more. Come hear me and others tonite for music and words after the Tremont Arts & Culture Festival.
Saturday, SEPTEMBER 15, 2007
VISIBLE VOICE BOOKS
1023 Kenilworth Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
(In the Tremont neighborhood)
Time: 7-10 p.m.
Etc: byob, coffee/tea available
"An evening of words and sound at Visible Voice Books"
- J.S. MAKKOS - (poetry)
- MICHELLE KRIVANEK - (poetry)
- TED FLYNN - (solo banjo & voice)
- MATTHEW WASCOVICH (solo guitar & voice)
- ALLISUN HOVATOR (poetry)
- STEVE GOLDBERG (poetry)
- INFINITE NUMBER OF SOUNDS (electronics & film)
- MIKE OCAMPO (solo bass & voice)
- JESSICA WOBIG (poetry)
(Didya notice that Mark Kuhar of DeepCleveland mentioned the Lit and VVB in his inteview in CoolCleveland? Thanks, Mar.)
... with all the Bush-pushing patriotism that surrounded the fifth anniversary of 9/11. It made me sick to be an American and embarrassed for my party that used to represent the sorrowful reluctant use of force. I couldn't let my memory of my dear lost friends be abused like that. So I skipped.
At retreat last week, the text we were studying "Wheel of Sharp Weapons" written by Dharmarakshita over 1000 years ago, had a verse that I had trouble getting by.
(59) With comparative ease, we develop new friendships,
Yet since we are callous, not one of them lasts.
-from Alex Berzin poetic translation 1973
So this year, six years too late, I honor and cherish my old friendships. To Glen Wall and Dennis Buckley, dear chums of my youth, companions during the difficult adolescent years, teammates, and drinking buddies, lost in the calamity from generations-old global hatreds, I wish you a good rebirth and I'm sorry for my neglect.
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