POEM: camo & Chinese

camo & Chinese

carving out a little silence
in the grocery store cafe
pretending not to know
all the people I recognize

a grandmotherly type
in a red Cornell sweatshirt
chats with hopeful high school students
for whom the future is limitless

there are equal amounts
of camo & Chinese
the odd pairing of a college town
three hours from nowhere

I spot a former friend’s daughter
she used to sit on my lap and laugh
now she doesn’t recognize me
which is just as well

a little blond girl & her grandma
are talking about someone
with the same first name as me
I keep looking up, involuntarily

(meanwhile the Cornell grandma
and a young woman named Angel
are excitedly talking about
epigenetics and depression)

soon my friend will arrive
we’ll also talk excitedly about something
first I’ll eat this salad so
in a few years I won’t recognize me either

/ / /

Jason Crane
21 January 2018
State College, PA

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POEM: Kees Popinga

This poem was inspired by the book The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon

Kees Popinga

to pretend with all your might
for fear that one slip
& you’ll find yourself carried
like so much dead wood on the waves

to stop pretending
yanking at the door of life
till it bursts open & the light
spills over your face

you make a pledge of fealty
death its only end
as if the human soul were
a bright unchanging diamond

rather than a sand castle
with the tide approaching
the little architect long since gone
leaving a half-buried plastic shovel

/ / /

Jason Crane
19 January 2018
State College, PA

Posted in Books, My poems, Poetry | Leave a comment

POEM: nighttime at the Candlewood Suites

Photo by Jason Crane

nighttime at the Candlewood Suites

here in this bounded collection of beige halls
where the men with salt-&-pepper mustaches

walk slowly in their Steelers jackets
toward numbered metal doors like monastic cells

stuccoed walls & half-used bulletin boards
with notices of faceless, voiceless welcome

the heater kicks on for a few minutes
then the room sinks back into silence

on the tiny stove sits a tiny pot beside
a tiny coffee maker that holds enough for (only) one

outside the window the trucks moan across the overpass
sucked into the night forever in a moment

/ / /

Jason Crane
17 January 2018
Pittsburgh PA

Posted in My poems, Poetry, Travel | Leave a comment

Why Paul McGann Is My Favorite Doctor

I came to Doctor Who fairly late in life. I saw some Tom Baker episodes as a kid, but it wasn’t until the reboot in 2005, when I was 32, that I really fell in love with the show.

In 2013, I got a job answering phones in a car dealership. I sat at a counter and had very little to do. My bosses said as long as I answered the phones, greeted the customers, and topped up the coffee pot, I could do whatever else I wanted the rest of the time.

This seemed like a perfect opportunity to watch all of classic Who, and that’s just what I did. I watched every episode, even the shows that are nothing but still photographs with a soundtrack.

Before I finished, the 50th anniversary of the show rolled around, and thus my first exposure to Paul McGann, whose turn as the 8th Doctor in the TV movie I hadn’t reached yet. McGann starred in a short episode call Night Of The Doctor, and he was brilliant. Emotions right on the surface, McGann’s Doctor commanded every second of the episode in a way that left me desperate for more. Eventually I got to the TV movie, and while McGann was certainly good in that, the film as a whole wasn’t as strong as he was.

That’s when I discovered Big Finish.

Big Finish started making fully dramatized Doctor Who audio adventures during the years that the show was off the air. They’re fabulous at it. Smart scripts, great acting (including by many members of the cast of the TV show), and wonderful effects and music.

Big Finish have finally given McGann a canvas worthy of his skills. The Eighth Doctor Adventures, and the shows in Big Finish’s Main Range that preceded them, are completely engaging. McGann’s Doctor is in many ways the epitome of “New Who” — a moral, determined adventurer with a glint of the puckish spirit of many of his classic predecessors.

Whether you’re a fan of the current TV show, a devotee of classic Who, or just a fan of audio drama, you can’t do better than falling in love with the Eighth Doctor. And if you’re a completist, like I am, here’s a post that gives you the complete listening order. Enjoy!

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POEM: January 1, 2018

January 1, 2018

I read Be Here Now
as the planet’s odometer
ticked over to 0000

the box fan hummed
the blue budgie squeaked
outside: no sound at all

Ram Dass rests atop
José Ángel Valente
in the same bedside drawer

the lama and the laureate
stacked like folded socks
(if all you have is a hammer

every problem that involves
nailing something is
easy to solve)


12:12 AM
1 January 2018
State College PA

Posted in My poems, Poetry | 1 Comment

God I miss Bill Hicks

An essay written by Hicks shortly before he died. Published after his death by his parents.

I was born William Melvin Hicks on December 16, 1961 in Valdosta, Georgia. Ugh. Melvin Hicks from Georgia. Yee Har! I already had gotten off to life on the wrong foot. I was always “awake,” I guess you’d say. Some part of me clamoring for new insights and new ways to make the world a better place. All of this came out years down the line, in my multitude of creative interests that are the tools I now bring to the Party. Writing, acting, music, comedy. A deep love of literature and books. Thank God for all the artists who’ve helped me. I’d read these words and off I went – dreaming my own imaginative dreams. Exercising them at will, eventually to form bands, comedy, more bands, movies, anything creative. This is the coin of the realm I use in my words – Vision. On June 16, 1993 I was diagnosed with having “liver cancer that had spread from the pancreas.” One of life’s weirdest and worst jokes imaginable. I’d been making such progress recently in my attitude, my career and realizing my dreams that it just stood me on my head for a while. “Why me!?” I would cry out, and “Why now!?” Well, I know now there may never be any answers to those particular questions, but maybe in telling a little about myself, we can find some other answers to other questions. That might help our way down our own particular paths, towards realizing my dream of New Hope and New Happiness. Amen. I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

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