Tuesday, January 30, 2007

muhaned

Is that you with the sleepy eyelids,
standing behind the prime minister,
scanning the crowd for assassins and suicide bombers?

Is that you in a pair of dusty slippers,
picking up body parts
and shaking your olive fists at the sky?

Is that you in a mask on the scaffolding,
wrapping a white scarf
around the dictator’s neck?

Is that you waiting for work by the bus station?

Is that your head in a ditch outside of town?

Is that your voice yelling out my name
as an American soldier presses his boot to your throat?

Is that your kitchen? Your wheelchair?
Your terrified brown eyes?

Do you remember teaching me to dance like Michael Jackson
in the stairwells of Moscow, our cigarettes burning
on the porcelain windowsill?

Do you remember our silent moves in the hotel lobbies,
with no music, an empty overturned hat at our feet?

Do you remember how we never said goodbye?

Did you realize we would live forever?

Monday, January 29, 2007

hall of words

This week's feature is Richmond poet and artist Maggie Hall, available for publication anytime. I especially like The Hand Basket, The Clown and Rat Poison. Enjoy.

Friday, January 26, 2007

double time

This week, I used my wristwatch to time several things: a live Bob Dylan song (8:33), a help-wanted radio script I wrote (0:58) and my morning run (59:67). But in each instance I hit the lap button instead of stop, meaning the watch captured the length of the occasion, but after ten seconds secretly resumed its speedy march. When I finally looked at my watch again -- in some cases the next day -- and saw those numbers still racing, I let out a little gasp like I'd left the baby on the train. My double was still running that dirt road with no end in sight -- cramped, thirsty and panting. Dylan had slipped from his cowboy suit and sat on the edge of the stage in sweaty underclothes, crooning into his second night. And my client was flooded with job applicants, the marathon plea penetrating the minds of even the happily employed -- lawyers, deans, sous chefs all requesting interviews for the salesman's job. It took a moment to regain composure and another to resist the urge to revel in my power. Then with a push of the stop button, I released them. The showroom cleared out, delirious citizens scratching their heads as they climbed back into their cars and returned to kitchens, courtrooms and campuses. My twin collapsed on the shoulder in a neighboring county, then stumbled toward a pharmacy for ibuprofren and a bus schedule. And Dylan grabbed his clothes and headed off stage where he drained two bottles of water, staggered onto his darkened tour bus and fell into an unmade bed, snoring before his head even hit the pillow.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

trent pic no. 1



One of my fave photographers, Trent Campbell of Middlebury, has agreed to submit photos to this blog, hopefully on a steady basis. Here's the first one, a barn in Shoreham. Enjoy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

blogroll addendum

In expanding and thinking about my blogroll this weekend, I realized the list was starting to get a little long and unwieldy. So I've categorized the sites for easier browsing. I'm also adding a feature section, highlighting blogs I've been checking out lately. Anyway, I hope you find the list easier to absorb. As always, thanks for visiting.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

six for the roll

I'm adding two more political blogs to my links: freyne land (by peter freyne of alt-weekly seven days) and vt buzz (by burlington free press political reporters). They join vermont daily briefing and what's the point? for the Future of Vermont/America portion of my show.

To balance the load, I'm introducing four non-political sites: justin atherton (Burlington graphic artist whose cards I can't bear to put in the mail), gadabout (young free press reporters musing on Burlington nightlife and social scene), maple mama (sweet blogger spirit in Hinesburg), and behind the lens (a how-we-did-it blog by free press photographers). And if you hadn't noticed, I recently added false 45th, an excellent music (and soccer) blog out of Montpelier. Anyway, they update pretty regularly, so visit often. I do.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

a curiosity shop

In a New Haven storefront on Route 7, I noticed a series of large block-lettered signs, one in each window. Yarns. Quilts. Notions. Buttons. From the car, I almost missed that curious third offering. Since I know nothing about sewing, I stopped in on my way home, looking for a couple of cheap hunches, maybe even a full-fledged theory. But I was too late, they were nowhere to be found. The only curiosity in the place was me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

91 Peace Street (by chris d.)



For our friends in Richmond -- Maggie, Ted and James

Friday, January 12, 2007

the dig

I cleaned out the drawer of my bedside table. Hadn’t rooted around in there for years. The accumulation went down several strata. Bookmarks, eyewear dating back to college, seven-year-old rejection notices from writing contests and literary magazines, poems folded inside wrinkled SASEs. Under an eyeglass shammy and gambler’s brochure, I found an old reporter’s notebook filled with tiny coked-up print, pages saturated with urgency and commas. Further down: ear drops, expired cold pills, Tylenol PM, a broken book light, unsharpened pencils and pens with teeth marks. Beneath that, I pulled out a pamphlet of running tips, elementary school pictures, a grainy photo from Soviet Pioneer Camp and a charcoal sketch of two pears. To my surprise, I then came upon several pot shards, a rock tool and cave drawings: a speared mastodon and a stick man rolling rocks up to a fire. That's when I saw them, from the corner of my eye, a group of dusty men and women standing around my bed in multi-pocketed vests, gripping straight-edged trowels, waiting for me to fade from memory.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

blogger air

click here to read/hear my latest vpr commentary, on blogging.

Monday, January 08, 2007

pain at the pump

Well, it finally happened. I drove away from the gas pump with the nozzle still in my tank. At the Ferrisburgh Mobil, a mad-hopping place at 8:30 am. This is something I’ve long feared. But a risk I often take. I’ll start filling up, then head inside to use the bathroom. If there's no line, it times out about right, and in this multi-tasking culture, I’ve learned to feel good about getting two things done at once. But this morning, I came out of the store and got right in the driver’s seat without a second thought. Dragged the entire station to Burlington. The parking garage was a total nightmare.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

in my bedside drawer

Cleaned out my bedside table this evening. In the drawer were a scattering of forgotten rejection notices from agents, writers colonies, literary magazines; among them this poem in a SASE postmarked June 8, 2000.

What Dreams

Here, the flies are fat and slow,
to be flicked from my pillow
like cookie crumbs.
Others I hear knocking inside lampshades,
half crazy for the bulb.
Out there, homeless boys
have armed themselves with railroad spikes.
Here, I am god,
staring at the ceiling tiles.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

the poetry of closed captions

I listen to music and watch CNN in closed captions while plunging forward and back on the elliptical machine. I follow the white-on-black type unfolding on the screen, picturing frantic fingers trying to keep up with the fast talk of ad-conscious anchors and analysts. In one news loop, I read about the deposed Iraqi “deck tater.” In another about the new U.N. Secretary General who “steaks office today.” And for a moment, I can’t help but envy those hard-of-hearing TV watchers for whom Kofi Anan’s replacement is a controversial performance artist. For whom Saddam Hussein was no more harmful than a starboard spud.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

surrender (by chris d.)


all runners are poets.