Update...The Bagger

10/29/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Blogging, Community, personal, humor, rant

It's not like I don't TRY to blog anymore. It's just that all the fucking negative shit that is on my usual blog reads sucks my blog writing enthusiasm out of me.

I didn't want to do more poetry posts cuz thats not what WITB is only about. Also, I'd rather DO wifi than write about it, though there are great strides going on around the country. New releases of open source code, newer cheaper equipment, etc.

I have written a number of drafts that have me ranting like a lunatic, but then I didn't want to add to the overwhelming downer that I find on the net anymore. Again, I think that trying actually do Buddhism is better than writing about it, even with my piss-poor practice.

So, I figured I'd just list the new stuff that has been going on in my life, what short thoughts I've been having, and try to cover the bases. If there is anybody out there that gives a crap, here is the fill in. And if you don't care what's up with me, then what are you doing wasting time at this blog. Piss off (said with compassion.)

  • I am gainfully unemployed. Haven't been selling coffee for near a month now. Can't say I miss it, the selling, but damn I crave an excellent espresso made from my own hand.

    I have been helping a Tremont gardener friend every so often. She pays better per hour than Phoenix, but it is hard laborious work. So I'm not actually hurting that bad for cash, though my over-planner, stability seeking mind keeps me nervous.

    I have a short temp gig doing some data entry tuesday, thanks to one of my new artistic, hipster pals.

  • I have written a few poems that I think is the best I've done yet. Only read a couple publicly and even then to small group of fellow poets, most that I respect for the quality of their work and longevity.


  • I've been published two more times since the grand announcement of getting an email into ArtCrimes 21 (oh wait, I was feigning modesty and didn't post about that!). I have been published THREE times, ArtCrimes 21 (can get it from DeepCleveland), the special Jim Lang chapbook for the Bookstore on w25th St anniversary (30/25th's Not Just Any Versiaries)(found at, duh, the Bookstore on W25th St.), and most recently in Kathy Ireland Smith's ezine, The City Poetry.


  • Just created my own MySpace page cuz I've had a number of requests to post my poetry. I didn't want to do it here or continue to contribute to other online zines, so now I'm "PoetSteve" at http://www.myspace.com/baggeroh and I even have friends!


  • I just read "The Raven" dressed up as Edgar Allen Poe at the Literary Cafe last night. Linda dressed as the Raven and squawked "Nevermore" at appropriate times.


  • The Literary Cafe Poetry Nite has been garnering a reputation around town and I've booked solid thru June and tentatively thru Sept. with other exquisitely talented poets on the waiting list. We haven't repeated anybody yet, with the exception of RA Washington, who got a lousy deal with his first feature, I wanted to make it up. Cleveland is so chock full of great poets its amazing.


  • I've been scanning comicbook covers to sell Smith's and my collection. The plan is to ebay in time for the holiday rush. Damn, time consuming though. Also starting to look at Smith's video collection for same treatment.


  • It has been over a year since my divorce. I feel like I'm ready to actual know what a woman's company is like. Okay, actually my loins are burning for some hot monkey love. It has been a long time and it is a bit disconcerting at my age, but it's nice to know that the plumbing still works....or at least the boys are still pumping testasterone. (I always thought that the name for the male hormone sounds like anti-freeze.)


  • Had a great interview that broadcasted last Wed. (and maybe again this weds.) on George Bilgere's Wordplay poetry radio show (Weds. 12:30 pm WJCU 88.7 FM). I'm embarrassed and proud of the intro he gave about the Lit Poetry Nite. I wasn't too bad, considering I already had a couple of beers in me.


  • I'm finding that I been eating too much and drinking more. Creeping to 200 lbs again, but I cook so well for myself. I blame Maj Ragain for the drinking. He introduced me to Jameson's Irish Whiskey, a popular quaff for talented emerald poets. I'm not irish and I doubt that there is enuff talent to forgive my drunken behavior. Thanking and damning Maj in the same breath has become a new pastime.


  • Major Ragain is the most respected poet, teacher, and human being in northeast Ohio. He teaches at Kent State and was kind enough to critique three of my poems, now that I have enough confidence and thick skin to handle opinions about my writing. He tore me up, but he was correct in every comment. I think that is why my newer stuff is better, but I love those poems I sent him and I am struggling to refine them with his guiding comments. It's hard. Damn you Maj, and thank you.


  • I have been applying for real jobs, corporate jobs with regular pay, benefits, and some structure. I'm worried that I have fallen in love with the neo-beat lifestyle. Very romantic, sure, but not very pretty if the electricity is shut off, ramen noodles becomes the base of your food pyramid, and the landlord is taping an eviction notice to the door.

    The pseudo-entrepreneur experience has taught me how much I can actually do in a day, as well as that there is a whole lot of available time past 8 hours to do it in. I hope not to get caught up in either the corporate ladder climb, reputation seeking again, or fall down into the Dilbert fatalism. We shall see. No bites yet.


  • On the otherhand, I am seriously considering moving away from Cleveland. I have been finding Clevyland to be a big downer the past few months. But I'm not looking to another city with a new set of fucked up american problems.

    I think I will go to India, specifically, Dharamsala the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile. They have a wifi program that I have been following and I think I can contribute something there. It is inexpensive to live, I will have a ton of chances to improve my spiritual practice (the formal sitting practice that I suck at), and plenty of time to work on the writing.

    Too many things point to this, it looks very easy to accomplish. So much so, that I am actively looking for reasons and obstacles to NOT go. So far, I haven't found any.

So, that's what's up, down, and sideways. Just a glimpse in where I have always had to live every day of my life, where I will always have to live for the rest of my live, and where I live now.

Patience Through Interconnection

10/13/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Buddhism

As I struggle with my internal disappointments, I have noticed that I constantly look outside for the reasons, for the lynchpins that spark my basic lousy attitude. Intellectly I know that it is just me lying to myself, but how to avoid projecting it on others.

Again, 1300 year old wisdom from Shantideva that seems to be directed right at me.

I do not desire sufferingf; yet, fool that I am, I desire the cause of suffering. When suffering emerges due to my own fault, why should I be angry with anyone else?

...

Those who hurt me are impelled by my actions, as a result of which they will go to the infernal realms. Surely, it is I alone who have ruined them.

...

It is I alone who harm them, and they are my benefactors. Wicked mind, why do you misconstrue this and become angry?

---Shantideva in A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara), Wallace translation Chap 6, lines 45,47,49

It is a bit out of context and a slight understanding of karma helps so that this doesn't sound as self-flagellating as it appears.

Basically it is reminding me that I set the karmic wheels turning and others are simply playing their part. Unfortunately, their actions create negative karma for themselves as well and I should see my contribution to their future suffering. So what is the anger for? Thus the cyclic karmic existance where we all sow the seeds of our own unhappiness as well as others.

The good news is that this works for positive karma the same way. We can create our future happiness as well as pull along others by having them play their role in doing positive actions. So patience has its virtue for everybody.

A New Tagline

10/11/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Community, personal, humor, rant

I some how found myself inebriated while slurping down rum and coke while watching Bukowski interviews on GoogleVideo/youtube, when attempting to respond semi-coherently to an email, this new Tremont Wifi Neigborhood tagline hit me.

TWiFi- you don't have to wait for dusk to connect.

Get it TwiFi. Twilight. wifi and connection.
Okay drink some cuba libres and then read this.

Then read some Bukowski poetry and find someone to hug.
*urp*

The Solution

10/09/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Community, personal, humor, rant

Like Oddball (Donald Sutherland) said in Kelly's Heros, "Too many negative vibes, man." That's the sense I get in the NEOblogosphere lately and I'm tempted to join in, what with The Church closed and the typical Ohio election futziness.

But I found the solution! Click and Watch.

Come to Poetry at the Lit Thursday Nite and get yours.

I only blog on Lit Cafe Poetry

10/05/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Blogging

Looks that way, doesn't it? So pimp my venue I go.

Next Thurday, Oct. 12 at our usual 9:30 ish sorta time schedule, we will have a DAMN HOT time, hence a HOT DAMN poetry night! Feature readers will be Gina Tabasso and Miles Budimir.

Gina, a poet with her M.A. in English and the Associate Editor of Grasslands Review, has won numerous awards and has been published in Mangrove, The Common Review, Upstairs at Duroc, The MacGuffin, Mid-American Review, Slant, Blue Mesa Review, Pavement Saw, and many others. Gina earns her living as the Multimedia Communications Specialist for a tire distributor. She loves to ride her Thoroughbred racehorse and bellydance, but I don't think at the same time.

Miles (or Milenko, if you don't know him) is a Cleveland-based poet, freelance technical writer, and sometime lecturer in philosophy. His own life philosophy comes close to Kurt Vonnegut's saying that "We are put on this planet to fart around, and don't let anybody else tell you otherwise." Miles recent published his first book, Rustbelt Romance.

As usual for the Penpad-Padpen Poetry open (you must be bored with this explanation already), where everyone is encouraged (nagged) to write during the readings, get drunk, then share with us all (who are also drunk.

The Literary Cafe is at 1031 Literary Road in Historic Tremont. Thanks to Denise Dee's photo pbase for Gina's image (taken by Sean Murphy) and to Andy Timithy for Miles'.

Tremont Poetry, Wifi, and Festival

09/12/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Poetry, Community

This is the week that everything converges. Yes, everything! That is everything that I foolishly agreed, planned, or bragged about.

First, it is the second Thursday of the month and that means POETRY AT THE LIT. This week we again have outrageously outstanding features.

Rita Grabowski worked as Coordinator of the CSU Poetry Center since 1995. Her poetry has appeared in KINESIS, PUDDING MAGAZINE, WHISKEY ISLAND, 5 AM, and the anthology VOICES OF CLEVELAND. Her first collection of poems, MY LIFE AS A NERVE, was published by Pudding House. She leads a freewheeling, first Friday of the month forum -- open to all -- where poets gather to read their work and listen to constructive criticism.

George Bilgere is a superstar in northeast Ohio poetry circles. He has received grants in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Ohio Arts Council and has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. George’s poetry has appeared in such journals as Poetry, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, The Sewanee Review, The Kenyon Review, Shenandoah, Chicago Review, New England Review, and Prairie Schooner; and has published three books of poetry, The Going (University of Missouri Press, 1995) and Big Bang (Copper Beech Press, 1999). The Going received the Devins Award, honoring an outstanding first book of poetry.

A terrific reader, he has even read at the Library of Congress. You can hear Professor Bilgere every Wednesday at 12:30pm on WJCU for his radio show "Wordplay." George teaches at John Carroll University.

And as usual, we will have paper and pens for the penpad padpen spontaneous poetry free for all to spark some creativity in our beer soaked brains.

Also this weekend is the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival with TWiFi as a sponsor. Sounds great, huh? Except I went and shot my mouth off by promising to have Lincoln Park be Cleveland's FIRST community wireless mesh network for the festival. We are getting close the making it, but the festival is looming. At the very least, there will be some wifi leaking out from some of our hotspots (civilization, st. augustine's, merrick house) We shall see if we get them meshed up in time.

Come by the TWiFi booth, say hi, leave a few bucks in the tip jar, go over to Prosperity Social club for a drink (pay cash and TWiFi gets a cut), and enjoy the art and culture. (There's even poetry at 11:45, 1:05, and 1:55)

Shameless Self (& MTB) Promotion

09/06/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Blogging

Wow, with the LDay holiday (L stands for Labor or in my case Lazy), this week creeped up lightning fast. Now I face prematurely the Meet The Bloggers silent auction and poetry reading fundraiser.

Yes, I am one of the features to share verse with other poets, many who blog, such as Michael DeAloia, Ken Duncan, Don Iannone, Jeffrey Bowen, Anna Marie Jones, Adrienne Craver, and Adam Harvey.

Come on down at 5:30pm to the Tower Press Buiding, 1900 Superior to hear a little fancy-tickling poesy and maybe you will see something in the auction that tickles more than your fancy.

Composure, Then Action Reduces Suffering

08/31/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Buddhism

Yes, I'm a nut case. Yes, I take on too much. Yes, I act like it is the end of the world if I don't do it. So advise given in the 8th century speaks to me, very poetically might I add.

When one intends to move or when one intends to speak, one should first examine one's own mind and then act appropriately with composure.

When one sees one's own mind to be attached or repulsed, then one should neither act nor speak, but remain still like a piece of wood.

When my mind is agitated, sarcastic, full of conceit and arrogance, ridiculing, evasive, and deceitful,
When my mind is inclined to boast, or when it is comtemptuous of others, abusive, and irritable, then I should remain still like a piece of wood.

When my mind seeks material gain, honor, and fame, or when it seeks attendants and service, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.

When my mind is averse to the interests of others and seeks my own self-interest, or when it wishes to speak out of a desire for an audience, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.

When it is impatient, indolent, timid, impudent, garrulous, or biased in my own favor, then I will remain still like a piece of wood.

---Shantideva in A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life (Bodhicaryavatara), Wallace translation Chap 5, lines 47-53


Looks like I'm not going to do much in the near future, [knock wood] or at least until I can knock on my head the same way.

Protest Canceled?

08/29/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Political

Got a call from organizer Lois Romanoff 216-371-1175. She let me know that the Net Neutrality protest at Dewine's office today is cancelled. So don't show up in the rain. You'll be alone.

The reason she gave was that the keynote speaker, who is a local mayor, cancelled. Quite honestly, I think that is a lame excuse. Who gives a crap what a politician who is not an influencer on the vote, has to say about net neutrality. At least anything that any of us who are informed can't say ourselves.

Unfortunately, we also have to be a little cynical when it comes to elected officials when it comes to this issue. AT&T and Verizon spend millions for the COPE and ATOR bills. Anyone who's job depends on campaign contributions have a tough tradeoff to contend with. I'm not saying that this mayor decided to withdraw support, but we can't depend on anyone that has these kind of pressures. We need commitment, unwavering.

So I change my mind. Go out there, scream, chant, show signs! WE don't need no stinkin Tie with good delivery. We need passion. We need commitment, rain or shine, popularity or not. Make Dewine see that this is a very important issue.

Lois, there is a lesson here for you too.

Show Support of Net Neutrality

08/27/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Political

At the TWiFi Hack Nite, a women came by to let us know about a demonstration in front of Sen. Dewine's office downtown this Tuesday, August 29th at 4:00pm.

I've certainly gone on about the House's COPE (HR 5252:Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act), but not too much about the Senate's ATOR (S.2686 Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunities Reform Act or the Steven's bill). There are some better things in the Senate bill, but still pretty much sucks with national telecom franchising and wishywashy free and open net usage. Anyway Callahan does a better job analyzing policy than I do or go to Free Press for an opinion.

But I do know that so far neither of our Ohio Senators have gone on the record for S.2686. So go to this demonstration Tues at 4:00 at 600 Superior Ave. (5/3 building) and let Mikey Dewine know his reelection is on the block with his decision on ATOR. For more information call Lios Romanoff 216-371-1175, The committee on Corporations, Law, & Democracy.

Also click and donate at SaveTheInternet banner in the sidebar. TWiFi, WITB, and me personally are members of the Save The Internet coalition. Also here is Sherrod Brown's, Dewine's senate opponent, statements on Net Neutrality at MeetTheBloggers.

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