stone #21

Listen using the player above.

coconuts in a winter bus shelter
like finding snowballs on the beach in Maui

/ / /

part of a river of stones

stone #10

Listen using the player above.

/ / /

first my teeth pierce the soft nori skin
then move through the rice into the rich
avocado in the center

the mug of sencha fits perfectly in my hand
and there’s just enough room at the table
for these friends who will miss me when I go

/ / /

part of a river of stones

Albert Glover at Caffe Lena

From 101006_caffe_lena

I had the distinct pleasure of having dinner with the poet Albert Glover tonight and then hearing him read at Caffe Lena. Thanks to Alan Casline for putting the event together and for inviting me to tag along. If you’re not familiar with Albert’s writing, look him up. He’s well worth the effort.

Here are the photos I took tonight of several of the poets who read, including Albert:

And here’s a video I shot of one of Albert’s poems:

I also have an audio recording of Albert’s entire set, which is going to be part of a new project I’ll be announcing soon. Stay tuned!

Violating a law (of nature)

I asked my landlord for a weed wacker / and he gave me a slingblade

No, that’s not the first line of a terrible, Billy-Bob-Thornton-inspired blues song. Read on.

For those of you who know me even slightly, you know there is one underlying philosophy that informs every aspect of my life. It is the beacon of wisdom that lights my way forward, and it is this:

I hate manual labor, especially if it occurs outside.

So when I asked my landlord to borrow a weed wacker so I could clean up our side of the block, I fully expected to be pulling a crank line and buzzing my way down the street. Instead, I had a lovely opportunity to study the life of a 19th-century farmer as I hacked and chopped my way down the street.

Before we go to the video, allow me to mention two other facts:

  • It was 78 degrees Farenheit
  • The humidity was 96%

Let’s go to the tape:

Reading (and playing the saxophone) in Albany this week

This Thursday, one night only: the Poets Jazz Trio at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave in Albany. Poets Jason Crane (poems, sax, percussion), Dan Wilcox (sax, percussion) and Tom Corrado (bass) will perform a 20-minute set of jazz and Jason’s poetry. There will also be an open mic hosted by Dan Wilcox. The shindig starts at 7:30 p.m. Be there!

POEM: First Night of Summer, 2010

Listen to this poem using the player above.

First Night of Summer, 2010

At the Mobil station on the corner of Quail and New Scotland,
an obese man in a tank top delivers a lawnmower from the trunk
of his NASCAR-stickered beater to a young man in the latest

summer fashions. The obese man plops back into the driver’s seat,
reaches an arm through the open window to haul the door shut,
cranks up the radio, loudly injecting a surprising R&B track

into the first night of summer. Did the Indian or Pakistani or Sri Lankan
cashier in the Mobil station ever imagine himself here?
Did he play soccer or cricket as a child back home, dreaming

of the night when he’d sell Cheetos and Double Chocolate Milanos
to another obese man in dirty shorts, while R&B blared
and nervous SUV drivers stopped on the way to the suburbs?

Did any of us dream of this night? We sat on our mothers’ laps,
had our backs rubbed, dreamed of being paleontologists
or marine biologists or superheroes, not of schlepping to the gas station

to buy crap before the Red Sox game. In case you hadn’t guessed,
I’m the Second Man, one before Welles and not that many pounds off,
selling no wine before my time, plodding past the young and beautiful people

at the bars to get to the late-night sanctuary of those with no place else to go.
How the fuck did this happen? Where did the dumpster in my driveway
come from? Who put all those memories in there?

I want my mother, or at least the possibility she represented.
I want to go home, but I’m already there, and there’s a dumpster
in the driveway, and in a few days the men will come and haul it away.