How Would I Know

12/24/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Buddhism

During some repetitous task at the seasonal job I got (and isn't every task in a warehouse repetitious for the temporary help), I was trying to keep sane by doing some informal Buddhist practice. Admittedly, all my practice has been informal of late, ie not sitting cross-leggged, breathing and wish all beings a better existence. The effects are noticeable as I beep more and drop f-bombs during my daily commute. However, I do regret my vehicular temper tantrums, try to purify the effects, and still think on basic principles during stolen moments now and again.

So sitting at computer terminal printing out shipping labels and packing slips (over and over and over again), was thinking about why this seemed so miserable. I found my thoughts going to what else I could be doing that would be more meanful to me (or selfish for me), how I was going to get all those errands run after work if I stayed for more overtime, wondered if I'll be too tired to write later, wishing I could have a good cup of coffee and convesation at a cafe, etc.

The common thread was that I was not at that desk, in a warehouse, in Glenville, poking in numbers on a computer printing out packaging documents. My body was there, but I wasn't.
So what about being present, lessee if that helps. Nope, the mind wandered to analyzing if I was purely present, in a full awareness of what in front of me, what would that be like?

These questions came up(and I have no idea the answer:

  1. How was this meaningful, without the context of the past and it memory for reference?
  2. Any time I have been in the "zone," I don't remember any details of it. How would I know I was present, if I have no memory of it except for a sudden loss of time?

If any of you have a clue, leave me a comment.

First Step in Open Source HW

A week or so ago, Ed Morrison asked the question on BFD whether Open Source principles can be applied to hardware design like it is with software and, with his help, economic planning.

I responded in a comment that it already exists and is usually called hacking or making. This was met with a resounding silence. Not surprising since Ed pointed to BusinessWeek and as a typical MSM, it is a step or more (usually alot more) behind in knowing about the truly current innovation that exists. However MAKE magazine's purpose is to report on HW design and design bending as it becomes available. It is put out by O'Reilly Media, the publisher that is built on Open Source and information sharing. (our own Shannon Okey is very involved in CRAFT, an offshoot of MAKE.)

MAKE has put out the principles of Open Source hardware design in this, the Makers Manifesto. (subject to change via hacking, of course.)
makers manifesto

Shall we make, hack, and create something tangible together?

Lit Cafe Potry Near Miss

12/12/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry

We had a little scare last week as one of our feature poets, Dan Smith, had a heart attack last weekend. I think that it was the anticipation to read for us this Thursday December 14 at 9:30pm (sharply dull) that kept him from going into the light. A direct quote from Dan's email:

i am still ticking, if not kicking, and definately want to do the could be exciting!!! betting whether i make it through the evening? a pool on the exact time i will croak?

This is the kind of poet we bring into the Lit!
Dan has been writing poetry for 3 or 4 yrs, inspired by the poetry of Hafiz. He found the deep cleveland poetry hour at borders in strongsville where he met many fine poets who he claims have helped him to grow as a poet & as a person. Dan has a chapbook "Crooked River" published by Deep Cleveland Press in 2005 and had the good fortune to be published in the 2006 Hessler Street Fair anthology, in Smoke, Mist & Mirror in 2003, and last but definetly not least in ArtCrimes 21. Online he has been
on , , , and

Also on the card is the ellusive Ben Gulyas. Ben Gulyas is a poet and sometimes-editor, librarian, bookseller and bartender in Cleveland. His weekly poetry performance `Money for the Band´ adds flair to Friday nights at the Barking Spider Tavern in university Circle. Always experimental and very improvisational, we never really know what Ben is going to do.

"Looking out now, he knows himself to be among those who climb into lost things along with a few far away lights. What is the past, well you eat it. What is the future, well you eat it. What are we doing, well we are eating time, striking teeth and igniting the tongue. In short he is a man who climbs into himself to perch in the chimney. There he cradles fire and smoke, there he feathers bone soot and stork"

So for some poems with humor, holiday, Clevelandish, politish, and even some mysticish (Dan may reveal what is in the great beyond), come on down. As usual, the paper and the pens will be available for our trademark Penpad Padpen Spontaneous Poetry Open and Extravaganza. Be ready to write, read, and riot.
The Literary Cafe is at 1031 Literary Road in hysterical Tremont neighborhood. We may even be smoke free, so bring your own stents.

Cloth Gift Wrapping

12/10/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Economic Development, personal, humor, rant

Furoshiki is Japanese for cloth gift wrapping. The Ministry of the Environment in the Government of Japan has a guide on using cloth as opposed to paper for wrapping gifts to cut down on the wasted paper usually used in gift wrap. Click the pic for a pdf of your own.


Now, I'm in no shape for conspicious consumption (except for my granddaughter, Tatiana), but many of you may be able to celebrate the reported economic recovery. Let us be serious about the environment and take their lead.

Don't Leave Anything at The Lit

12/01/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: personal, humor, rant

Just a warning. Wondered where my hat and gloves were, then I saw them on YouTube.

No Borders

11/27/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Community, Social Networks

Valdis posted about network weaving in Latvia. His best quote was:

Local network weaving is great, but global network weaving is better!

I just experienced much of the same thing, but while sitting on my duff in front of the computer monitor (like I'm doing now.)

SA griffin I announced jumping into the gen x-y-z realm of MySpace a month ago and yes I got jokes about 14 year old mipples and other crass things about dirty old manhood (like Bukowski?). The real reason was to stay in touch with poets from across the country that I met at the Levyfest last month. One ,of which is SA Griffin of Los Angeles.

I found out that he was friends of Matt Wascovich "Wasco", local Tremonter-buddy, experimental noisemaker, avante gard promoter (he was the one that booked me for my first feature reading), and publisher.wasco Wasco also introduced me to the work of west coast poet/musician Jack Brewer. Well, SA is very good friends with Jack and just did an interview with him and sent the magazine to me here.

Are you all following so far? Good.

Also thru SA, I met Dave Smith, another MySpacer and Levy fan. From a little lyric response on a poem blog post on Whitman, Miles Bell from Northern England contacted me and we have been corresponding. miles

So, thanks to a social software tool (not a replacement for interaction, but a tool!), from Cleveland to LA to merry old UK, we haven't been closing triangles as much as we have closed tetrahedrons.

Picture of Wasco (the bearded one) was by lou muenz.

Lit cafe Poetry Pimp and Test

11/26/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Blogging, Geekism

As you may have noticed, I had updated the b2evolution blog software amd had to tweek the skin and css to make it work. I now have better anti-spam, less hacks to do what I wanted, and a load of other features.

For example, I can post video like this promo by Andy from the Literary cafe. Note the new url. Enjoy.

Best Listen

11/18/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Political

I have listened to so many pundits and self-proclaimed experts during this past season and I just got fed up. I don't want experts, I don't want knowledge. I want teachers, true teachers. So I have been taking Horace's advice. BTW I shot this on the streets of Charlotte, NC when I was getting coffee'd up at SCAA.

In case you forgot (yeah forgot CMSD)who Horace was, he was THE poet during Caesar Augustus's time. He was the one that coined the terms like "carpe diem" and "nil desperandum." This stuff didn't come out of Hollyweird.

More for our jack ass politicos and that includes all you blogging geniuses that realize writing about elections with party-bigoted bias means anything:

"Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled."

"It is your concern when your neighbor's wall is on fire."

"I am not bound over to swear allegiance to any master; where the storm drives me I turn in for shelter."

"Force without wisdom falls of its own weight."

"To flee vice is the beginning of virtue, and to have got rid of folly is the beginning of wisdom."

Not bad 2185 year old advice. (I guess this post shows why Chris Seper called me "preachy" a couple of years ago.)


11/14/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Buddhism, Cooking

With all the crap that I'm working out in my head, I need a break and pure sitting meditation just hasn't been doing it for me. But cooking, that's an activity that demands concentration, have immediate gratification in smells, warmth, and anticipation.

I've been lax in the cooking posts of late, mostly because I just have been doing standbys and redoing dishes I already posted on. Also, most of the experimentation I've tried hadn't come out very well and there is no sense in sharing blech.

This is Poitrine de Poulet au Sirop d'Erable or chicken breast baked in maple syrup. I had overheard someone a few weeks ago talk about using maple syrup and thyme in a chicken bake so I wanted to try it. This recipe had along with the thyme, sage and savory. I had to go all over the place to find some savory and ended up paying six bucks at Heinen's the overpriced yuppie store.

As you can see, baked in a dutch oven with slices of onion over the top of the lightly flour dusted breasts with some chicken stock and basting occasionally, it was worth it.

Tasted great too with the play of the maple sweetness and sharpness of the thyme and spices.
A tasty catharsis.

Lit Poetry Academy Performance

11/02/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry

If anything fits with the raucousness and wildness of a Lit Cafe Poetry nite, it is performance poetry. That poetry that, not only looks good on paper or sounds good to the ear, but is experienced and felt and seen and is FUN! Plus if we aren't supposed to hear it, if it is somehow subversive, perversive, and down right wrong, it is even MORE FUN. Perfect for the FIRST ANNIVERSARY of our Poesy Free-for-All. Next week, Thursday November 9 at 9:30pm, we have it all covered.

Michael Salinger, Cleveland's Slam master, is a consummate performer-poet. He has been writing and performing poetry and fiction for over 25 years and was five time captain and coach of the Cleveland Slam team that represented the city at the National Poetry Slam competition, he has also served as a consultant and board member to Poetry Slam, Inc., the governing body of Poetry Slams across the country. Mike is the founder and director of the Nova Lizard project, a seminal performance troupe in Cleveland, Ohio and chief facilitator of the teen writing and performance program at Cleveland's Playhouse Square Foundation. His work has appeared in dozens of literary journals published across the US and Canada, including Poetry Magazine, Sapphire Magazine, Taproot the Detroit Metro Times and the Cleveland Free Times.

And my favorite BANNED BOOK POET, Sarah Holbrook is on hand.
Her statement:

"I have written poetry ever since I can remember. I started writing for kids when my two daughters were small, continuing through their middle and teen years. When I began, I would write the poems and my girls, Katie and Kelly, would draw pictures to go along with the poems. The first audience for one of my poetry readings was a slumber party. Since that time, the poems and my audiences have increased. I am now the author of six poetry books for kids and one for adults. I also share my love of poetry with teachers, parents and students at around 100 schools and teacher meetings per year.
"I am a performance poet, I don't think a poem really comes to life until it is read aloud.
"I call my poems Kid Poems for the not-so-bad because I write for kids who are like I am -- maybe a little ornery, but really not-so-bad."

[YAWN] As usual, the Penpad-Padpen Poetry open (explained ad infinitum), where everyone is forced to write during the readings and then put into a hammerlock by Nick until they share with us drunk poetry snobs.

The Literary Cafe is at 1031 Literary Road in Historic Tremont.

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