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Category: Pennsylvania

POEM: onion snow

onion

onion snow

Years ago I left the North;
ended up in a place where
people wear shorts outside
at Christmastime.

I thought I’d died and gone
to heaven, except Tucson
was real. Carne asada
enchiladas, elegante style,

served during the set break
at the restaurant where we
played for the salseros.
It all seems so long ago.

Now the onion snow falls
on the recycling bin
outside the store as I leave
work to walk home.

It’s called onion snow,
presumably, because
the sight of it this close
to April makes one cry.

/ / /

Jason Crane
1 April 2015
Oak Street

I’m not sure if I’ll write a poem each day in April. And honestly, this one was written a few minutes after midnight on April 2, so I guess I already missed the first day.

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A Report From Harold Taddy’s Variety Showcase (27 Feb 2015)

Harold Taddy puts on a great show. Tonight he brought a varied group of poets, musicians and dancers to the Bremen Town Ballroom in Millheim, PA. He also brought a crowd — the place with packed with attentive, appreciative folks who braved the single-digit temperatures to support local artists. Huzzah! for everyone involved.

A personal note: Last night I timed out my set, including the banter, and came out at 13 minutes (two minutes under the limit). Tonight I stuck in a bunch of jokes and went three minutes over, for the first time in my life. Embarrassing! My apologies to everyone who had to suffer through the super-sized set of poetry.

Regular readers know that the camera on my phone is horrible, and tonight I forgot my real camera. So here are a few bad photos of some of tonight’s performers. You can also listen to, or download, my poetry reading using the player above.

Laura Boswell played several beautiful classical guitar pieces.
Laura Boswell played several beautiful classical guitar pieces.
The Psychic Beat, Danny Brumbaugh's one-man band, was a heck of a lot of fun.
The Psychic Beat, Danny Brumbaugh’s one-man band, was a heck of a lot of fun.
Peter Buckland read poems that rely on his deep knowledge of central Pennsylvania.
Peter Buckland read poems that rely on his deep knowledge of central Pennsylvania.
Eli and Harold and trees.
Eli and Harold and trees.
Alyson Kate read poetry while Harold Taddy and Eli Bryne played soundscapes and songs.
Alyson Kate read poetry while Harold Taddy and Eli Bryne played soundscapes and songs.

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POEM: tonight I miss New York

nyc

tonight I miss New York

tonight I miss New York
so bad it makes my stomach hurt

I long for it like the tan stuffed dog
I had when I was a little boy

I want to take New York into my arms
pull it tight to my chest
feel the warmth against my skin

tonight I need its hard streets
under these Chinatown boots

the sound of the subway coming up
through the grate in the sidewalk
where the snow doesn’t stick

tonight all I want is to go back there
to remember how the parts of me that stick out
and the parts of me that curve in
fit perfectly into its wild beautiful jigsaw

tonight I want to flee these fucking fields
run from these goddamn hills
back where the trees were planted
where they didn’t just happen
where somebody intended the green

tonight I miss New York
ten years is a very long time

/ / /

Jason Crane
15 February 2015
Oak Street

Image source: Obvious Child

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POEM: Smallman & 21st

Smallman & 21st

she said nobody
had ever kissed her
on a street corner
right out in public
that seemed like
a damn shame
so I kissed her

/ / /

Jason Crane
7 February 2015
Oak Street

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Closed On Sunday (Martinsburg & Huntingdon)

I took a hundred-mile ride today in the company of my pal Wiggus, who rides a sweet Triumph motorcycle with a much bigger engine than Zaphod’s. I didn’t ask him, when it was all said and done, how much slower than normal he’d had to ride, because I was afraid he might tell me. Truth be told, I don’t think he had to throttle down that much. Those winding Central PA roads tend to even out the size of one’s engine.

Today's route was breathtaking.
Today’s route was breathtaking.

So that’s the route up above. Believe me when I tell you that the map can’t even begin to represent the beauty of this drive.

Our steeds, parked outside Chez Wiggus.
Our steeds, parked outside Chez Wiggus.

The first part of the ride, over the mountain in the direction of Hungtindon, was one I’ve taken a couple times before. In fact, I first did it on Vroomfondel (photos). And I rode part of Route 305 just the other day. But today we took 305 much further. And it was stunning.

On 305 to Alexandria.  It ain't ugly.
On 305 to Alexandria. It ain’t ugly.

We spent most of the non-riding time photographing our bikes.
We spent most of the non-riding time photographing our bikes.

I don’t have a picture of most breathtaking moment, which was coming around a corner to see a wall of mountains to the right and a mile-wide swath of farm fields between the road and the mountains, all of it stretching away over the horizon. I can’t remember if this happened before or after Martinsburg, but I do remember the tingle that ran up my spine when we rounded the bend and saw this majestic vista.

We made it to Martinsburg only to discover that Mamie’s Cafe, our destination, was closed on Sunday. I peeked in through the window and it looked lovely. A counter covered in pastries and cakes and pies, with classic round tables and wooden chairs visible through an archway. Definitely worth a return trip.

Denied.
Denied.

Wiggus knew of a place in Huntingdon, so we headed up Clover Creek Road and over the mountain to get there. At one point we were passed, fairly dangerously, by four guys on crotch rockets. They whipped around Wiggus and me and the car ahead of us, all uphill around a blind curve. All four survived. Later we were passed by their two friends, one of whom barely missed hitting an oncoming Harley, the driver of which was not amused, if his gesture was any indication.

The joint in Huntingdon was also closed, because this is central PA, so we ended up getting drinks and snacks at Sheetz and then coming home via 26.

Wiggus up ahead.
Wiggus up ahead.

Going back up the mountain on 26 I started losing power, but Wiggus pointed out that it was likely a fuel delivery problem, and when I thought about it, that made sense. I was nearly out of gas, going up a steep grade with the throttle wide open.

We parted ways to our respective homes shortly thereafter. A fabulous day, and definitely not my last ride with Wiggus.

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