Friday, August 1, 2008

a good riddance

I imagine that for all of my good friends and readers of this blog there is a certain expectation that every post discovered here may, indeed, be the last. Let me ease your expectation by assuring you that this is the last. It's a little pitifully anti-climactic to announce the long-over-due retirement of a web log that didn't receive nearly enough attention from its composer, but the difference is mine. I always meant to do better things with it, and more frequent things too, but I find I no longer have any use for it. Honestly, I could have gone on typing to my heart's content with never a hit or a comment and enjoyed every minute of it (the exclusive, self-serving advantage of one who writes in order to read). But I guess I've used it up for what it was good for. Or, more accurately, I've begun something that doesn't include it. So this is it.

Thanks. It's been fun.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


yesterday at work i met some people from middle eastern iowa. they asked me if i knew where a particular lake was in winconsin. i told them i wasn't sure, but i was sure that since they were shocked i hadn't heard of it and that the most notable lake in the area is very difficult to mistake for anything other than the sea, they had the wrong part of the state. they had heard of some of the flooding that had gone on in wisconsin and i guess that as long as they were there it seemed like a good idea to try to catch the spectacle, which, incidentally has all but passed. they asked if it had really been bad at all and i accidentally stumbled in acting as an instrument to fill in the gaps of the story. i gathered that the lake they were looking for was not lake "Dalton" but lake "Delton" from the fact that they had heard it crossed its banks a bit. in fact the lake broke clean through, emptied itself out in the Dells and damn near took the city with it. the same rains forced rivers and lakes up all over southern wisconsin and i remember one paper that had a full page picture of about a half mile stretch of I-94 under water. my fellow iowans had no idea of any of this, and i wonder if they knew how flooded their own state had been. for some reason their ignorance made me uncomfortable and i neglected to mention that i was also from iowa, perhaps from fear that they might mistake me for a comrade willing to show them around. instead i found myself hustling them out, somehow hurt by their apparent total absence of mind in the past two months. i told them that they were probably looking for the Wisconsin Dells, which were an hour-or-so west and in the middle of the state but failed to mention that when they got there they would find neither Lake "Dalton" nor Lake Delton.


i would just like to take this moment to remark that sufjan stevens is the positively best thing going on in music. i mean, honestly.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

blog for blog's sake

clearly as regards my life style in recent months blogging has not fit very well into the intinerary. i do apologize to anyone who may have been interested enough in my life and creativity to check the posting. and as regards such things some of you may have noticed that the title of this blog has changed. i can offer no explanation, but hope that you find it to your liking and that it is not too baffling. as some of you know i find it somewhat bad manners for a writer (not to say author) to discuss work and particulalrly ill advised to discuss titles. hence the lack of explanation. suffice it to say it's really not that important anyway.

but as i was saying, as regards my life, my posts are, habitually, few and far between. and as impolite as it may seem, i find it an effective means of warding off regular readers (that's a good thing, right?). i hope you'll forgive me. the fact of the matter is i can't write very quickly, but have to sort of let things ferment for a while before they can become any kind of presentable anything.


if it was a hard winter in Wisconsin it's been an equally hard summer. the rains have forced rivers and lakes beyond their borders and into peoples yards, basements, and in some severe cases into altogether taking their homes. Holly and i live in a pretty high area but last month when we went up north for vacation we were forced to find roads that weren't under water in order to get there. but once there the result was beautiful. the majority of the rain and the real flooding has been in the southern state but there was a noticably greater quantity of water up north as well. the lakes were swollen to the banks and docks either hovered just above the water or dove beneath its surface. an elderly man at a bait shop informed us that it had been a particularly dry year and we were obliged to think that, to him, every year was a dry year and nothing could make this change. if a number of people's piers were six inches under water, well then those people must have just built them that way. and maybe as regards his more expansive memory he's right. the only evidence I can offer to the contrary is that in four years time i have never seen the water that high. but then four years isn't a very long time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

brief thoughts and brief revisions

here are some snippets of some things that have been on my mind lately:

i recently joined facebook. i'm as suprised as anyone.


have you seen Juno? it's delightful.


newspapers never say anything. i spent a month in a hotel in illinois and had a free USA Today every day and was startled to find that nothing was ever written in it. i naturally quickly compared this phenomenon with other newspapers--the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Onion--and found, to my disay, that all newspapers are completely empty.


writers read their own work by writing it, and can never share a reading with anyone. for this reason they are always wrong about their own work, and can't tell anyone anything about what they've written because it will always be based on a reading that includes information no one else can share, and that, in fact, is not even part of the finished work.


this: a revised version of something previous

and we
in the wind
i am weighty
round their tree
the drizzle
and blow
i am weightily

mmmmm..... i like that....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

happy to be posting again

it's a beautiful day. it's about 40 degrees and clear skies. i'm sitting on my porch with this computer and some coffee in a sweater and a green bay packers hat. the melted and melting snow has made a bog out of the low part of the yard that was a small skating rink only a month ago, and the grass that's not beneath it, that has been buried for near five months in snow, is smooth and soft looking on the little ring of a hill put there to keep the water in one place.

it's difficult for me to post anything at all, anywhere, on a regular basis. for this reason i find it difficult to believe that i could ever have a good relationship with a publisher. i could never write on demand. it doesn't get done that way for me. instead things have to fester and ferment for a while and i never have any idea when they will be ready.


the air is crisp and there's a slight breeze, just enough to bring the surrounding smells to your face to be sampled, tasted. one side of the street is grassy and slightly green, a little gray, and looks like spring, and the other--literally across the street--where it's shady is mounded up snow, 2-3 feet of it still.

it's not spring yet. at least not safe to call it that. about a week ago we had a pretty big snow storm. about 15 inches in 2 days. so it's still snowing. there is a difference in that it melts, but that means flooding. and flooding plus the remaining threat of cold means, of course, that the whole countryside, at least in low spots, may yet turn into a skating rink before june.

Julie Sosebee once referred to me as an avid northerner and i doubt i could come up with a more pleasant way to describe myself. i love it. in all of the seasons and the weather and the details i feel, smell, and taste home.

Friday, February 22, 2008

happy b'day to me

it's my birthday today. i officially cross today what i have (for reasons i do not quite understand) always considered the threshold of actual adulthood. i'm 25. and i thought i'd take this opportunity to update you, my loyal few readers, on my life as it is shaping out as i cross into adulthood.

i'm still waiting tables for a living, but only for one more week. i got a new job as a customer service representative for Verizon Wireless, and after training i'll be working only about 2 blocks from home, which i am excited about. I was hoping to begin at Marquette this fall, but i didn't feel good enough about my application as is, and i've put it off for now.

i haven't been posting here much because i have sort of shifted my thinking from verse to prose. this is possibly an even bigger shift than it sounds. i started out with very little idea about how to write prose, and i'm trying every day to figure it out. i've begun working on some various short stories and two or three novels all in the hope that i will break through somewhere and be able to write to the finish. as i discovered before, the secret to writing, as the secret to reading very long books or gobs and gobs of research, is simply not to stop. but sometimes i have to, and sometimes i have simply no idea how to go on, and even more often i hate the rough draft so much that i begin trying to redraft it before it's ready and the process comes up short. but as i promised before, i'm working very hard to finish and put something up here as soon as possible.

something i badly needed after living for 2 years in the perpetual summer of Abilene, Texas, was a long, cold, and very snowy winter. and i've gotten it. i love it. i feel at home in the cold. it makes me want to chop wood, build a fire, and write a winter idyll. somehow the winter seems to write itself as a story or a poem (a very concise poem, without superfluity), the feel of which is gently but clearly perceptible. and it is somehow summarized a little at a time in hot chocolate, mittens, scarves, and the feel of stiffening lungs as sub-zero air fills and contracts them. it really is a wonderful thing.