Saturday night at a workshop on Tibetan Butter Sculpture at Jewel Heart, a dear friend from Kent and a member of my very first facilitated Dharma class told me that she has restarted writing poetry.
She said that I helped inspire her (how, I haven't a clue) but that she approaches writing totally different. It's not about getting the word out any more, seeking recognition, or finding publishers. She says she writes as a part of practice. To express what she is discovering, to hopefully help someone else discover something similar, to simply be in the moment of writing. She seems more fufilled and happy since I last saw her and she proudly proclaims herself a poet.
I muttered that I'm a poet wannabe, but that Ray McNeice once included me as part of "us poets." (Good ol' me, always looking for outside validation). Anyway, my friend used to be a teacher and a former student of hers, now with an MFA in creative writing, came back to the old haunts. The tables have turned and the master is learning from the student. She was telling me that her old student told her that a poet is someone who feels like a poet.
For explanation, she said that if someone sees something and they want write a poem about it or thinks up a phrase and wants to write it down. He's a poet. If he hears or reads a poem and that gets them inspired to go and write a poem, that's a poet. If he just thinks of something and is moved to write it in a poem, then that's a poet. Even if it's scribble on a napkin, or in the margin of a newletter, or on the back of a book of matches, that all counts.
She said that when she was cleaning up, she kept finding these scraps around and she realized all these years that she was always doodling around with words. That was when she relized that she was a poet.
I guess that make me a poet too.
BTW here is a picture of my butter sculpture flower.
From Ton Zylstra, he talks about a program that builds on the possiblity of building trust through blogging.
At Can I Crash? "a service that lets you lend your sofa to travelling bloggers" bloggers can indicate their willingness to host a blogger at their home, or their desire to stay in a certain city. Bloggers can then judge on the content of their respective blogs and the following interaction whether they want to host or be hosted.
Ton continues by talking about similar programs with other clubs, Ham' ers, and likeminded clubs, "But this is a bit different as it positions your blog as a reputation builder."
Makes you think twice about what you post and if it reflects the real you. Authenticity, baby!
I remember in a number of cafe conversations years past, our discussing the potential ability to figure out where anybody was based on where they were online. There was talk about triangulation, GPS, and so forth. The funny thing was that at that time, most of us were hanging out together at the same place at the same time most of the time, so it was just an intellectual discussion.
Well, now we are all acting on the ideas we generated back then, sending us all in different directions. We try occassionally to cross paths, but most of the time we are squeezing time between appointments or meetings, or just work that needs to be done. It would be cool if we could take advantage of the serendipity that might put us in the same neighborhood, unknown by each other.
Ann Arbor blog buddy, Ed Vielmetti has been using and wrote a bit about this application that does just what we all were talking about those years ago. It is called Plazes and I remember Valdis mentioning it in an email during the planning of one of the wifi crawls. When I noticed that Ton Zylstra of the Netherlands was also a raving fann I decided to try it out.
So I have been using it to both log hotspots in Cleveland (usually Phoenix and home) and to check if any other "plazers" are around to discuss how they like it.
However, much like Skype, being an early adopter (at least in Cleveland) makes it very lonely indeed. With Skype, Lev Gonick introduced it to me, but he was the only one I knew that was also on it! But when I go to Ann Arbor next month, instead of trying to figure out where Ed is and trying to coordinate via Skype, I can just check out Plazes and surprise him! (BTW we have never actually met.)
Anyway, I invite you all to try this thing out for a few reasons. First It will help in mapping out hotspot areas around town in a very minimally invasive way. Second, it might make it easier to meet up others serendipitously. Finally, you might find it FUN to see who is around, 1km away, 1 km away, or 5km away!
BTW my plazes name is bagger.
Interesting day where I take breaks from reviewing Steven B. Smith poems (for the salute at the Literary Cafe Thurs. Jan 12)----[this is a plug!] by surfing new websites that people have told me about. By exploring all the little nooks and crannies at these site, I discovered a new blog. And I mean brand spanking new.
Meet Alexander Malina at Ravaged Heaven. Alex is an accomplished classical guitarist, songwriter, and poet. And yes he is one of the young poets that prompted me to write the post on poetic connection.
Did I mention he is a Tremonter. Damn what a cool place to live!
BTW I also got an email from a good friend in Ann Arbor that he just started his blog on the first of the year. He might have to come up with something snappier than "Tom Hornyak's Blog." I'll be staying with him for a week or so in February, so I'll do the veteran blogger coaching thing.
... like I need another cup of coffee. From Jason Duncan, coffee entrepreneur in Bozeman Montana, he points out a new GPS application called Caffeine Finder GPS. In the small biz/entrepreneur supporting mindset, Jason adds:
We have been trying to put our own cafe finder together and I hope to begin really work on it in January. Ours will feature independent cafes and show pictures, menu samples, events, locations, and contact information.
Hey maybe somebody slightly smarter than me can hack this thing up to work on my v710, or we can make a wifi triangulation algorithm to make up one for our ubiquitious Cleveland Wifi cloud. Any takers?
Stu Spivak has gone on about the CleveWiki project and pointed to the community portal of Lawrence, Kansas. I clicked thru to see what intelligent design popped up there (cause evolution is JUST a theory) and saw this link to watch an indy short on William S. Burroughs.
It had me entranced with the ADHD-like bobbing and weaving of the elder statesman of Beat. Take a look.
With all the talk and commotion about a Clevewiki (yeah, it would be cool), it tied into a series of conversations I've been having with a number of young local poets this week.
Most of them are web savvy (many have day jobs as graphic or web designers) so they know how to use the web to get their poetry out. Some also do self paper publishing, since it has become so easy. There are a handful of the "old guard" (old is not a pejorative here) that also know the strength of self publish and web-publish. Heck the old mimeograph chapbooks were a precursor.
So as we are talking, I find out that they are unaware of the Slam folks, the Kent poets, the old hippie poets, the Deep Cleveland writers, the NIA crowd, and other poetry communities(or maybe even be called hierarchies) around town. So when the young folk wanted to exchange links, it dawned on me that everybody could benefit from knowing who is writing, where are the open mikes, who is publishing, and what workshops and seminars are going on.
So maybe a central website with links to the local self publishing poets and small publishing houses might make sense. It could also help highlight the creative and unique style that Cleveland has developed. And I mean to the rest of the world. It may be the beginning of the Cleveland Poetic Renaissance.
I liked this quote at the end of one of Jerry Brown's commenter posts:
"Education is the sleeping pill that makes dreams happen" - Peggy Hill
I have been reading the "Coffee Bible," William H. Ukers All About Coffee. Thanks to the Superbarista for lending it to me. In it I have been reading about life in the coffee house during the 17th and 18th centuries. Ukers includes first hand descriptions from contemporaries and darn if it sounds just like today!
Don't believe me? Well, look at this picture I snapped this morning at the Phoenix Cafe on Superior.
On the left, you may recognize the ubiquitous hat of Thomas Mulready of CoolCleveland, across is James Levin sipping something. Must be a meeting about next year's Ingenuity Fest. The guy with the playstation is the new podcast star of the weekly newletter Max Mulready.
And I don't know for sure, but the guy by the window looks a bit like Chris Redfern, the new Ohio Dem Party Chair. I've only seen pictures of the guy, but Hey it's possible.
Not bad for a slow week in the coffee klatch center of Cleveland.
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