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Happy birthday, South Dakota

My home state turned 125 this month. When I was little, you still occasionally met someone who remembered the days when it was Dakota Territory.

Ask me anything. State bird? The ring-necked pheasant, an import from China that was introduced for hunting. My dad often took payment in trade, so we ate pheasant (& buckshot) pretty frequently.

State tree? The telephone pole. That's Read More 
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The Mexicans

Though we always say "the Mexicans'," it's really called Downtown Bakery & I eat there often enough that they know my voice on the phone & half the time they say "give me 10 minutes" before I even tell them what I want. (It's always a ranchero burrito or a torta de queso.) The food is made by several members of a big, close family. The best part, in a way, is how small & unappealing the place is from the outside—it keeps the crowds away. One of the places that reminds me that I really live here.  Read More 
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Techno poetry

A glow-in-the-dark bike path just opened in Nuenen, Netherlands, designed by an artist named Daan Roosegaarde as homage to Van Gogh's "Starry Night." (Roosegaarde's the one who called it techno poetry.) “By incorporating lighting into the bicycle path itself, additional street lighting is unnecessary,” reads a project description, which also assures us that the "bicycle path lighting is as subtle as possible to ensure minimal intrusion on the habitat of animals." Me, I'm a sucker for luminescent & fluorescent Read More 
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Ice world

Everything about Philae lander blows my mind: that it landed on a comet! That the moon is 1 light second from us & Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is 28 light minutes away. That it took 10 years to get to a comet more than 300 million miles from Earth. That scientists managed to figure out how to build something that could land on a tiny chunk of ice that far from here. How it sounds (click on the photo caption). That we can see a comet up close! Rosetta,  Read More 
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The benefits of cleaning

I put this pillow outside & it disappeared right away
I found a box of books, including a couple I looked everywhere for not long ago. Why were they shoved under a table & not displayed on a shelf? I have no idea! And as usual when I'm cleaning & tossing, I ask: Why was I keeping THAT? It's embarrassing what I seem to think I might just want or need in some unspecified future. And of course the longer you hang on to some stupid thing, the more it seems of important, historic &/or sentimental value.

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that you are constantly making exciting discoveries!--A.A. Milne Read More 
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More about WCW

We've all absorbed Williams' examples so well that his "I do this, I do that" poems (except it's patients & Elsie & Kathleen & a Negro woman who do this or that) almost no longer demonstrate his startling freshness (although they do!). I remember an acquaintance, burning with indignation, saying "This Is Just to Say"—the famous "plums" poem—was "nothing but  Read More 
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A quote I like (& thoughts about it)

Not a farmer
What we know of Paradise we learn here, by looking, by vision, by imagination, and both Paradise and the ground underfoot are always beyond the perfect grasp of our arts, as of our sciences. —Wendell Berry, The Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford

As with a poem, you can't summarize this book, but I think it fair to say it concerns itself with what Berry calls  Read More 
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The Tompkins Square Poems V

5. I Can’t Have Enough

the invisible elm
that’s impossible
to miss

a tall man & a short man
a woman in a gold dress & church hat
dogs – hipster glasses – dogs –

skinny well-dressed young folk – dogs

Dante’s Inferno & I miss Eileen –
wherever she is

that’s the center

might be roses, woodpeckers, pedophiles
what’s for dinner, billy boy?
 Read More 
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Little miss tidy

Books everywhere
So I leaned on a shelf & it immediately split from the bookcase, not dumping everything & it probably would be fine indefinitely, but I decided to Fix It, so I dug under the tub for nails & a hammer, which led to me throwing away 2 full bags of paper bags (sacks) that were between me & the tools, taking all the books out of that bookcase, tossing 1 or 2, failing to hammer a nail (sheesh) & feeling inspired to clean, toss, discard, clean both home & office. Only 50-odd days left in 2014. Whatever else, I can go into 2015 with LESS. Read More 
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Friday, yes indeed II

Just when I thought I had the whole day to myself, first my email went wonkers & I took careless stabs at it wherever I could find a place so I messed it up more, & then suddenly it worked fine, better than ever. Then I hung out with some friends visiting. Then it got cold &  Read More 
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