Yoga will not be televised, its moves are not dictated by chart, table, or graph; yoga will not whiten your teeth, but you will be astonished in moments of fluid inspiration, and the deep breaths you take will sustain apprehension of a true presence at once ecstatic and sublime.… read more...
Port Yonder Press / Eastern Iowa University will be publishing its third volume of lyric essays this summer. Work by two writers is now online, including my essay, “Midwest Intimations.” The other essay online, link included is, “You Will Have a Son,” by Cindy Lamothe, an expat living in Antigua. Thank you Port Yonder Press.
|Eastern Iowa Review|
Let me pry loose old walls.
Let me lift and loosen old foundations.
Beat me and hammer me into a steel spike.
Drive me into the girders that hold a skyscraper together.
Take red-hot rivets and fasten me into the central girders.
Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through the blue nights
into white stars.
–Carl Sandburg, 1918
The American Midwest is a great nail in my body. Its rusty gestalt formed me, and my heart pumps iron history through my arteries and veins. The Midwest broke me and made me strong. It formed my hard-edged will and chastised me with ice.
I’ve lived in Hawaii, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, and Washington. I’ve traveled to 43 of the Continental United States and motored through Spain, Korea, India, Argentina, Haiti, Germany, England, and Mexico. I’ve rubbed elbows with people in the sovereign nations. Their names drip from my tongue: Navajo, Potawatomi, Lakota, Menominee, and Ojibwa.
I’ve embraced Midwest geography; most of it is not beautiful, however, some sites rival the rugged, purple Andes of Northwest Argentina, the coast of Barcelona, and the tumbling waterfalls hidden deep in Molokai’s rainforests.
The friendliest people don’t live in the Midwest, except once in a while we are the friendliest.… read more...
Decompression in a short video. https://goo.gl/photos/pdBb7KKt2JtGT268A
It’s been called The Old Style Place for 42-years, four months. I like to call it Oz. But at this Oz, there is no wizard behind the curtain. Not one is capable of changing the weather or bringing dreams to fruition.
Here, it is still. It is quiet. One is left alone in the heavy gravity of time and its discontents.I keep coming back to Oz for those rare moments when the jagged edges of my psyche melt into the infinite now. A breath in and a breath out in gratitude is the best that I am.
I live for this one breath, and revel in the harmony of one biosphere and one ecosphere, where each waving branch is a small sun and its wild music is mine.
Paragraph from an essay in progress, “Oz: Emerging Truth.”
OZ sits me down where we’re accompanied by the parting grip of Old Man Winter. His dying is not pretty, he’s peeping around the corner in prurient self-interest, wanting to mess with Easter. But he can’t, so Old Man Winter becomes a disgruntled wizard, holding on to his wish for relevance. The curtain is pulled back and he’s busted as a fake. He’s not the all-powerful controller. I try to ignore the cold bearded man behind the curtain as I sit with him, the snow, and the wood stove. Outside, I hear him weep at his parting.
Notes from The Old Style Place
remains upright, anchored in stubbornness. Its steadfast preachment to tenacity
has denied gravity its victory. This stubbornness was earned by hammer and saw,
shovel and plane, elements of willful ambition. Having endured tornado-force
winds, the yearly push and pull of cold and hot, nearby forest-fires and
electrical wiring that’s older than the oldest goat, somehow it’s still
“updates.” There is no indoor plumbing or bathroom. To leave it all
behind, I walk outside to a small outdoor toilet where I encroach upon the
world of bugs.
doorframe. On a narrow window sill facing north, dead flies pile up forming a
grizzly pyramid to mortality.
framed hunting cabin, it remains a testament to quality. The two by four framing
boards really are 2 x 4, not the cheap sticks sold now that have been shaved
over time until what we call 2 x 4 is really more like 1 5/8 x 3 5/8.
its truth upon my bones, and I unmask the lessons to absorb what I need to
learn. I sit at the metal table in the cabin’s main room and I’m reminded of
the hours my brothers and I sat here. We argued and competed. I cheated by
moving game pieces or hiding cards.
Battleship, Five Straight, Password or Jeopardy.… read more...