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C&P Reading – September 2012

Had a great reading at the C&P this evening with Janée J. Baugher who read different sections from a personal essay of hers about her brother, his ability to fix anything, the ride up towards Wenatchee and their harrowing trip down the river on inner tubes. I’m very pleased to have had a chance to hear her and read some of my work on the same stage.

Also had an opportunity to meet some great new people and hear poetry from the open mic participants, which included Michael Hickey, former Seattle Poet Populist. Michael was elected as Poet Populist on the same historical day on which we elected Barack Obama, our 44th president of the United States. I had known this because President Obama frequently mentions this in his speeches, but I hadn’t had a chance to meet Michael until tonight.

(Okay, so Obama hasn’t mentioned it yet – we just need to let him know. He’s a busy guy.)

If you have a chance, come on down to the C&P Coffee Company on California Ave in West Seattle on the fourth Wednesdays of the month. There’s  two featured poets plus open mic. The C&P is one of my favorite places for coffee and hanging out when I’m in Seattle. It’s inside on an old, converted residence from a time when houses were built with a lot more flair.

También, antes de que me olvide, tuve la oportunidad de practicar mi español con una maestra allí. Está trabajando en un proyecto artístico en San Felipe (Baja California) y espero saber mas sobre esto pronto.

Here’s the poem I opened with tonight. It’s from The Second Book of Muwadi.

Cave

Gratitude

When my death melted away and its mortal sickness passed, men and women became translucent again and once more I could see the color of their hearts. They bore their heaving breath in bushels as they rolled boulders aside to call on me in my tomb.

“We have forgotten your face,” one of them cried and another said “No, it is your name that eludes us.”

If I could, I would have spoken and advised them to look no farther than their own heart where all the truthful bits and pieces of God dwell, as a single rabbit though chopped and sliced, inhabits the stew.

But my throat was a cactus, as it is after every bout of death, and I thirsted for a lake of wine. The people saw my need and fetched a bowl of blood to wash the spines away.

Replenished, I dribbled thanks on my shirt and broke a bubble on my lips. “It is I who have forgotten,” I managed to utter. “When ill, I see only devils; when in health, even the snakes are saints.”

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Tags: Poetry

Side Effects

Side Effects

So, I’m watching a movie on Hulu the other night and since they’ve gotten very good at making sure that ad blockers don’t work, I get to see the usual bunch o adverts for cars, cell phone plans, celebrity sightings, and my all time favorite: psychotropic medications.

I guess they’re running out of kids because now we’ve got ADHD meds for adults, too. But don’t worry. The pharmaceutical companies that make them assure us that it’s a real disorder. As in, not made up. They tell you that just in case you were wondering. You know, just in case you thought they might be pushing their goods only to make some excellent currency for their coffers. Don’t worry. Because it’s real disorder, it proves that they have an altruistic desire to sooth the anxieties of the world with a cool cloth.

Watching these adverts is educational. I’ve learned that these drugs don’t do the following:

  • Help walk the dog
  • Wash the car
  • Dry the dishes
  • Answer the telephone
  • Put the laundry away

They only help with ADHD. Nothing else. Well, that’s what the guy says in the advert and I admit I’m a little disappointed because sometimes I wish didn’t have to bring the towels in and fold them myself.

But that’s not the funny part. After the guy stands around for a few seconds in his modern apartment and describes how well managed his life is now, they turn the advert over to a doctor-looking actor who comes on screen with some excellent doctorish advice. Don’t forget, she says. This stuff has a risk of abuse or dependence. Keep it in a safe place. Selling or sharing this stuff may harm others and (look out!) is illegal. This stuff may cause sudden death or at the very least, serious heart problems. And that’s not all. You (*cough*) might experience:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Hearing voices (well, that's okay)
  • Believing things that are not true (I'm pretty sure this happens anyway)
  • Being suspicious
  • New manic symptoms!!
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Tics

Also, don’t forget: decreased appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, trouble sleeping, upper stomach pain, vomiting, weight loss, chest pain, aggressive behavior or hostility. It takes twice as long to say what's wrong with this stuff than what it's good for.

So, remind me why people buy this stuff, again?

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Tags: Ideas:Rant

By God, We Showed em!

By God, We Really Showed em!

Yep, we really showed em, we really did. Why, we saved the hell out of our freedoms. I don’t know sometimes whether to laugh or cry. How much longer can people put up with this upside-down bullshit is beyond me. We’ve got people these days like Lindsey Graham saying on the floor on the senate for all the world to see and with a straight face that we need to be able to imprison anybody / anywhere / anytime-we-feel-like-it forever if we want and without trial to - wait for it - preserve our freedoms!

Of course, he and his ilk don’t dare call it imprisonment. They scrub the stains from their bullshit very methodically and deem it a detention, like it’s teacher keeping a student after school for an hour.

So, yes. We kicked butt and preserved our precious freedom to: kill, lie, torture, lock people up, bash the crap out of peaceful protesters, swindle mom and pop out of their life savings, buy your very own congressman / senator / president on the open market, and (most importantly and most revered) receive 577 cable channels of inane bullshit to help distract you from the fact that the average Joe gets only crumbs.

When I think of the young men and women that died in this insane debacle called Iraq, I absolutely DO know whether to laugh or cry and I always come down on the side of tears. They died for a buck. A filthy buck. That’s it. Cheerleaders, spin it anyway you want, but all you had to do was watch the constantly changing rationales of the swine that started this slaughter to see behind the curtain.

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Greatest Movie Ever!

Greatest Movie Ever!

Wow! Badlanders (aka Prison Planet in some releases) is the greatest movie ever made! Seriously! But not for the usual reasons.

Not because it has great acting. It doesn’t. This is the worst acting ever. Terrible, amateurish acting throughout. The guy lying in the road calling for help is one pitiful example and of course the head-honcho baddie (Michael M. Foley) who delivers every line through clenched teeth like he has a rabid badger in his pants is another. But whew… I’m happy he finished the movie without having a stroke.

Dialog? What a hoot. “Welcome to hell!” not once, but twice! But to be fair, it was two different people in two different places so I guess it’s two different hells and they probably thought it was such a killer line that they should slay the audience with it once more and.. oh never mind.

Verisimilitude? Well, let’s see… this is a barren desolate planet where the evil king exiles prisoners (hence the title “Prison Planet”) but is the king really evil? I mean, really evil like everybody says? I don’t think so. He’s actually a pretty thoughtful guy. Check it out: as a notorious criminal in exile on a desolate planet, you get some cars, gasoline, guns, bullets and (my favorite!) large industrial power lines to drive under on the way through the wastelands.

Oh, and let’s not forget  the tiny spaceship made from a painted-over Burger King box flying through the air on a string and the awesome way they show you how to escape from bad guys in a car by jumping up from the hill you’re hiding behind and running out into the road the car’s on.

But why is this the greatest movie ever? First, you have to watch the whole thing. But WARNING: be careful of your dosages. Watch maybe 10 or 12 minutes and then take a break. Rest your eyes before starting again. Wear a helmet at all times. Make sure you let somebody know what you’re doing.

With those few precautions, you should be fine. And don’t worry: when you’re done, it’s normal for your brain to feel like it’s on fire. It should pass in a day or two. And then you’ll be glad you saw this burning barrel of trash. Because after Prison Planet, you will never ever have to watch a worse movie. If you live to be 100, it doesn’t matter. The worst possible film in the history of film-making is behind you!

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Tags: Arts:Movie