Monday, July 27, 2009

Thoughts of Immigration

Our Story shows the wonderful grace of migration. I picked apples for many years in northern California. There is a rhythm to picking apples. The human body will break down if this rhythm is not heard. I learned this (in my youth) from migrants.

We scrambled for "wind falls" in the coolness of morning, then with muscles loosened, we took to the ladders. The rhythm of speech was then established. Nothing important was said before footing the ladder.

Do you know that men have pruned trees in anticipation of you? For lifetimes these spaces were carved for your ladder, and with ease you can "enter" the tree to be surrounded by shining fruit and shade, and in rhythm you will find the dents and scrapings of ladders that have gone before.

There was a Jap-Camp in this ranch. The communal kitchen and cots provided years of safety for Asians during the years of war. Ranchers brought provisions by day. Schoolteachers arrived at night with lessons and books and dreams. Do you know that folks did this in anticipation of you?

Do we know that anticipation is migration? We hear the wind falls in noisy buckets and nothing need be said. As in a dream, nothing need be said. Well, perhaps Andale (come on) or Vamos (let’s go)!

Migration will be the last to leave.

Last Supper at the End of the Line

On Tuesday night the (real) Slam built to a crescendo which I try to use as the launching pad for this rant, while writing in Stream Of Consciousness’ Narrative to capture the ride. The Slam was fun and the writing it inspired was more fun yet. Read below and enjoy!

Dear Patrick:

I don’t know how to begin, so maybe I’ll just stick to the facts, that in the beginning there was man, and in his haste to be manly, he left. Kind of like you did before the Tuesday night Slam. From what I can tell (as World Policeman) this was an untimely exit, and without poetic license, simply, the wrong time to leave.

I heard the murmurs in the thong … I mean throng, but didn’t think much about it.
As Stefan did his ditty the way Stefan do, people began pouring through the door.
To be clear, they weren’t pouring any thing through the door, it was more like they were being poured, kinda like those sheep that run off the cliff.

Anyway, the walls were bulging inward and then they bulged out, and with every chair taken the third ditty began with a young woman Whaling. I thought she was Vegetarian so I knew something was amiss, when she referred to her monthly ebb… I mean flow, and every back stiffened. Well, mostly the girls but the guy’s eyes kinda shattered red, not loud like a shot but rather like a BB gun tinkle.

Now, I’m old enough to see clearly, and as World Policeman it falls on me to remind you this whole thing started with Stefan. I’m not sure of his motives but when the 4th ditty started about the Three Deaths of What’s His Name , Stefan chuckled. The insensitivity of this moment made every body look up celestial, and I don’t mean in the dictionary, but actually look upward, and in venison.. I mean unison, they saw the sheep on the roof.. I mean ceiling, and you know the wood slats up there were talking all clickety clack… clickety clack, when the sheep began to part, maybe from the vegetarian knife (I don’t think so cause it flew clear through) but the guys… the guys with red eyes saw all the parting as pink, even the clickety clack, and when the horse appeared in the clearing it was pink too, at least to lesser men, and sure as shit there was Stefan in the saddle, you know, all laid back and his toothy grin parted by a piece of straw.. or wheat.. or staff of life. I don’t mean staff in the biblical sense, but he did have a twinkle in his eye, and I just don’t know how I found myself thinking about that saddle when I heard someone say “hey… that’s Patrick’s horse” and since the horse was on the ceiling, I saw it as a high horse and agreed!

I’m pretty sure I was the second voice, but anyway right then all the sheep froze and fell to the floor. Shattered to rubies for some and diamonds to others, and by the time we looked back up from our pockets the saddle was empty as a deer in the headlights of the last supper….. I mean the last speaker, and she slammed her ditty to the wall from the halls of the VA (hear the echo) and it was pretty much anarchy by then, and god dammit I want insurance too, but I don’t think THIS shit would be covered…
Doctor says “What seems to be the problem?” I say “GET AWAY FROM ME YA RAT BASTARD, I’M CRAZY” knowing full well that a rat bastard is only half a rat… (it’s almost a term of endearment), when I hear the echo “Rat Bastard.. Rat Bastard” and realize I’m at the End Of The Line YELLING and the VA Girl’s rant had gone silent when the cadence of the thong … I mean throng, began their own version of Rat Bastard and looking to the saddle saw the Stetson all black in sheep shit and they knew it was yours Patrick, and somehow they thought the Rat Bastard was you.

Isn’t it poetic that MY meaning was lost in HER poem while YOU were found out? Say it isn’t so Patrick. Say that you can fix it. They burned the ass end off The Line and the garden is in ruins. Tiny little voices lying on the floor point to bunny pictures standing hollow. The lasso broke a railroad track cross every bunnies heart and still they hold a candle for YOU Patrick… I mean me… no YOU.

(w/thanks to hunter S Thompson)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Conversation Poetics Conest Winners!

Congratulations to Stefan and Trevor for placing first in the contest, and to all of you who participated!

Tonight was great. A lot of good readers, a lot of laughs, and a lot of fun.

Thanks so much for coming,
see all of you next week!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Contest Rules

Conversation Poetics:

Get a partner (up to groups of three) and write a poem
trade pens on each word, line, stanza, or idea
whatever you'd like.

Agree on the end; then, decide how to present it.

Performance and vote will be next Tuesday!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Foremost, I want to apologize to everyone about Tuesday night. I know my absence was confusing, especially considering my presence beforehand.

It would have been right and proper to at least tell somebody I was leaving.
I didn't do that.

I've been at NPS without fail since the beginning.
Even when no one showed up.
I'm not going to say why I left; I'd appreciate some respect to my privacy.

So, once again: I'm sorry.