Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Expressionism in Germany and France Exhibit at LACMA June 8, 2014 to Sept. 14, 2014

If you visit LA by Sept. 14, 2014, you may want to see the Expressionism Exhibit at LACMA. Wear your crash helmet, as narrow lanes, fast cars, and death-wishers made this more of an adventure than I wanted.

Forgive the poet in me, but LA air looked like a giant dragon fart.  On the way, it was sad driving over Ballona Creek to look down and see cement.  In a related matter, I read at the L. A. Story Virtual Tour, "1910 Last salmon seen in Los Angeles River." For all of the leaders here who should have protected their ecosystem, words of Pink Floyd come to mind: "Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?"  In other words, LA people are breathing dragon fart so oil company owners can have hundreds of thousands of billions of dollars if you can wrap your mind around that fact.  At the same time, Mega-food companies are feeding people garbage that makes them sick.  Watch this 2 minute trailer from Forks Over Knives which really could save your life if you haven't seen it -- but maybe your life isn't worth 2 minutes to you, I don't know.

Most of these economically and politically-powerful men have consciences so even if there were no God or universal life energy, they still lose the argument.  Kabir wrote, "people won't wake up -- Not until they feel death's club inside their skulls."  Each year I teach I have a theme.  This year it is "Try to wake up."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Enlightenment for $19.99

Thanks to Festival Writer for publishing my new poem "Enlightenment for $19.99" about Jungian psychology, real and imaginary Post Office clerks, and a "genuine whale tooth" I never received from BAZOOKA Bubble Gum at Box 9200, St. Paul, MINN 55177.  Hey, AWP is in Minnesota this year! Maybe I could stop by and get it.  Actually, we should all let whales keep their teeth.

Festival Writer appears at AWP, SSML, and M/MLA, and "Premier[ed] in 2009 as an offsite event at AWP."  Its regular issues publish five to seven authors, and special issues more. Poets there you may recognize include Shaindel Beers, Susan Yount, and Valentina Cano.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Healing Power of Water

A fat 14-inch trout fresh from the sea.

Also Known As Heaven Creek
There is almost nothing electrician's tape and Maxima leader can't fix. See this creekside eyeglass repair.  Notice the fine craftsmanship and precision work.  Maybe when I retire I will open a fishing tackle/eyeglass repair shop.
Andy Goldsworthy's film Rivers and Tides inspired this Howling Banshee.  Maybe thousands of lifetimes ago, he started this way.
Turkey Vulture Serenade
That's what I'm talking about!
I had to get in one more float trip before I return to teaching.  My justification was to save a caddis larva I found in the raft bag in the back of my car. I caught cutthroat from 8 to 14 inches.

This summer I did Blame and Denial Therapy.  I am getting good at blaming others for my troubles, even strangers who have nothing to do with what happened.  Denial Therapy is harder since it goes against my nature as a poet, but I have been watching how Western Civilization does it.

One of my students, mimicking Bart Simpson, said, "I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything."

"Son," I replied, "you are destined for the U. S. Congress."

Unhatched Caddis

struggling in the raft bag
in the back of my car
required an 8 hour drive
back to her native river.

I was accused of doing it
on purpose
so I could go fishing
but it was because

I too had been taken
from my home
of ancient evergreens
and swift pure waters.

For years I have watched them
hatch and rise
like tiny wish-granting fairies
landing on my arm.

On our long drive
she sat by me in a blueberry
Nancy's yogurt cup
and I kept the music low

so as not to hurt
her caddis ears
which had maybe
already been injured

when my landlord said,
"Does Scott know
the carbon footprint
to save that bug?"

At the river
caddis crawled away
in her stone tower
and lived happily ever after,

maybe the only one
of her kind
in 10,000 years
to be that crazy-lucky.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Fish Who Swallowed Time

Thanks to The Release Literary Magazine for publishing my poem "The Fish Who Swallowed Time" in their inaugural issue. 

The Fish Who Swallowed Time

I know gravity only works
because of the curvature
of space-time, while

constellations burst and fade
like embers of far away cigarettes
on the Deschutes River.

There was a frog watching a
dragonfly until it lunged
and Mr. Dragonfly was no more.

The moment I hooked the steelhead,
I forgot about everything else.