Sunday, October 28, 2007

the unwritten fiction of charles darwin. chapter two. (as told by albert einstein)

(courage is a coriander)

"i wonder about things sometimes,"
good king george told me once
while climbing the rocky mountains.
i exploded then, and found a paradigm,
something to which i could attach a
stumbling forward;
it was like the fracture of earth and air:
there was an uttering stated,
a forward overstatement, an overtruth,
an overstanding, an opus as a dove.

there is a belief.
and, there is a mule.
and there is the long walk up to the surface,
as the whole affrontation;
with stirrups, boot straps.

as once the cat tails, wagged,
it is like the last extinction,
between the last ice age,
encumbered with force and determination,
as the fist of a whirlwind,
and fire and water are combined.
the two words rhyme
but cannot be spoken together.
we knew this only:
a dog is under something.

i wished sometimes when the night was grey,
and we were walking,
and a bird force was above us,
and the simple choreography of structure
implicit in a latter day saint baptism presented itself, ...though,
we found ourselves in an algerian cafe,
you, me, isaac and H-,
all were there. "i wish, ...
we are so lucky to behold the twenty second century,
like the space between the tick of a clock,
and a century of doubt,
the path we would walk is folden,
ridden with clout.
uncertain with forscision.
as the dunking of a doughnut in a mug.
the once king of a fallen nation." you said.

"i think" einstein thought to himself, as a response,
(the narrator chose to acknowledge):
"that the cause of the universe has as its potential,
the purport of a pulse,
as if the around focusing,
had to relinquish a scent."
"i had the distinct impression the other day that god defies occam's razor;
though he walks the razor's edge," you said.
i could have said: "it is harder to explain "god"
than "the universe" god created."
(as though one were not required by the other.)

imagine she, me and you with him,
drinking moroccan chai,
as though the wall beside us were clay,
as though we had a moon to drink by.
and significance could not be defined.
and thwarted as we were to see it,
we defied odds,
and saw as nods of a series of heads,
the immersion and the crisp, blue,
earth enclosed chamber,
the wholesome place of requirement.

the wholesome woman dressed in orange
stepped, like a catholic bible,
downward into the font, ready to baptize.
the blue water cast a glow.
"i had a becoming once with a beetle,
and walked away from it overplaced.
the blue water was like this,
or the scent of a cup of coffee
being poured into a glass bead cup;" said H-.
we had a good laugh.
there were hard lines in the bifurcated room,
the split was between us and them,
though we were baptized that day too;
like the whisper of an equestrian to his horse,
we lauded our honoree with this exclamation:
"if we could,
we would baptize ourselves
in amino acids."
(or, R- reminded us
in these woods which were
as though we thought we knew them, said:
"like a small dragonfly not knowing,
we glowed with amazement, knowing."


too, locked into our story, was forthcoming.
as it would have been.
the light in the room was perfect,
and we launched into the debate.
there were four winds blowing
when the innocent rose from the liquid water;
four winds blowing also,
the moment before.
H- said,
"incongruous as a warped board,
and squiggly as a rummy worm,
though firm as a foundation and pressed on firm,
like a buttermilk bread upon its spatulaed side,
with a sprig of lettuce and the
praise a man would give to the man;
a million metaphors, also."
"i said,"
said i,
"this is as it would be naturally,
'elected as the before point'."
(i had the distinct impression a couple of days later,
that the autobiography of herman hesse,
had a stitch of the super natural,
and i reckoned this with light.

i thought later that i knew then what god was).
you said then something i will always remember,
"the apple is only a seed."
as eating an oatmeal salad, i underate what you meant.
remembering later,
i see,
and would add as a caveat,
(as if i had the ability):
" i am lactose intolerant,
and as such am in at least one form of intolerant."
quick as the brown fox,
isaac interjected then,
"imagine an apple on an ox."
we laughed and put on our shoes and socks.
and the four of us went on as one person walks.
we walked backward from where we were
to the orange rose and wafts;
we sat and smoked and laughed.
the orange rose spoke,
we were uplifted,
as though the bench
on which we sat,
had always been above us.

light and matter and god and
the understory of chatter
in this late night cafe and
a certain mad hatter;
this is the welcome for which we were warned,
he came, he spoke and uttered
in the name of a certain father,
of a certain son,
and of a certain holy spirit:
a spirit of comfort,
of place.
"this is where you are,"
it said,
"before this what where you?" it asked.
"nothing." it said.
(it said this to teach you something.
(you learned it of course.))


the dining cafe and the baptism emerged
as a fox racing through the brush,
and a dry farmer noticing;
the drive home from the farm,
a few miles west from where your mind is.
a friday night in october,
baseball, football, soccer, an eagle scout
and a duck pond with
the brother of jared.
"i am the brother of jared," you said.
(we were all in awe, of course
for the orbs of light you manifested.)
"i know the orb is true," you said.
"you are human," we said.
we laughed, we had been here before.

light shone in to the baptismal font,
and then reversed itself.
we walked backward then and i said to you,
"albert, remember the way the light travels through water?"
(i said to you as though i were i,):
"charles, the light of god is
a light only i can see;".

the sound of the scene perished.
and somewhere a sound was made
of a carpenter exposing from a drift of ash,
a fine abacus.
we counted backwards from zero and found
the urn,
where we had stored ourselves.
(i remembered the irony.)
(each time we walked backward,
we came to nothing.)
(like a man walking a way from his sins).

as a pendulum ever returning,
we forever arrived at the moment before.
the candlelight of the table
overriding the saucers and kin,
perched like a head of lettuce,
in a land,
where there are seas and seas
of heads of lettuce;
miles and miles;
on and on as if lettuce where nothing,
and that was all there is,
or isn't.
(not to put too fine a point on it.)
the apple, perched
like a pelican on a pond,
like an aspen having lived a long and quaking life,
heading backwards always to that moment
when life was breathed,
perspicacity and thunder rolled and breaded,
non yeast fried.
we saw then that this could not be and retreated
from our retreat.

we walked forward again,
heading backward to our destination.
i said, "H-, when we get there,
will you tell me?"
H- said, " of course, but by then,
you will already know."
the turnips in the field,
just then,
like an apple cobbler,
baked in the earth, as an oven.
we waited to eat.
while we waited,
the carrots and the tomatoes counseled.
we waited to eat, and for the verdict.
while we waited,
the moon spun in perfect synchronicity with the very earth on which we stood.
by then we knew there was no soup,
no amino goulash;
only the verdict:
like a walk through a rain forest
on the sunniest day of the year,
we rolled in the grass
like oats, or late twentieth century diamonds, rocks.

there was a sense that morning was approaching
when i said, "we are the evidence we need."
"we do not have to walk backward."
"zero cannot reverse itself."
"courage is a coriander."

c2007 rrzollinger

The History of Oil - Robert Newman

It is sad, nay tragic, when truth is spoken best by comedians. In this 45 minute stand-up routine, Newman explores the complex and often overlooked history of our perverse love affair with oil. But, rather than boring his patrons with academic drivel, he speaks the truth through humor and irony. An astounding performance. If you have an hour to spare, give it a watch. (caution: the truth can be a bit racy)

Enjoy, and don't forget the popcorn.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dalai Llama and Mandalas

A connection was just made between me and the Tibetan Holy Man. A woman whom I met in Park City, visiting from somewhere in the south, bought some of my originals and a few cards from me this summer. We have since maintained a connection by phone. She just informed me that while visiting a workshop in Florida where the Dalai Llama was speaking...she placed the tulip mandala card in his hands.
In one instant, the sphere in which I live and create has grown large enough to encounter his circle of life and beauty.
It is a both big and small...for art touches multitudes of people we dont know...who treasure it no less.
But it is a sign, bright and bold, that marks a post along this path...that says it is enough to keep going.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Solanum Tuberosum

A Short History of the Potato.

Though there existed a time of dispute as to the origins of the potato, it is today certain this unique and potent agricultural crop came from the new world. The ethno-botanical evidence narrows the point of origin to the great north-south Andes spine of South America. It appears to have been a staple food of the peasants before the European conquests.

When the Spanish first encountered the crop, they were only mildly impressed. Some specimens were transported back to Europe during the 16th century for study, but as it was considered a bland food, it failed to gain immediate appeal. There exists a kind of natural conservatism in peoples diet, and it takes some shaking up to introduce new foods to foreign lands. Nevertheless, there is some evidence from the diaries of the late 16th century which show a growing appreciation of this exotic species. Carolus Clusius, a Flemish Monk and botanist, did studies on the plant, and in Ireland, it established its famous foothold.

It is curious to consider what the ancient diet might have looked like before beans, maize, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin and pineapple. Bland certainly, with lots of ale or wine to promote forgetfulness. I can scarcely imagine what the Italian diet consisted of before tomatoes...and I would guess the Irish were asking themselves in the late 1800's what exactly their diet was previous to the full scale assault of the potato...

Some of the early skepticism concerning this tuber was justified, but some was obviously not. As it belongs to the family of plants which include nightshades and the great modern killer tobacco, it was considered poisonous. Other considered it to be an aphrodisiac, still others thought it was a plant that produced an exorbitant amount of flatulence, and was therefore to windy. Of course, none of these amounted to a successful campaign against the potato, as we can see by looking at the modern global diet.

There are reasons why this particular crop gained universal popularity, primary being its toleration of extreme environments, and that it is anything but delicate, though that would be sorely disproven by the Irish potato famine of of the 1840's. It is not often that a single plant can cause bio-regional shifts in human population, but that was the case for Ireland. The Irish were the first to grab the potato in Europe, cultivating it only 100 years after the first Europeans arrived in the new world. For centuries the Irish peasant farmers developed a symbiotic relationship with the potato. One farmer could cultivate 1 acre of potatoes which would in turn feed 12 for a year. 1 lb of potatoes per day would offer a daily dose of vitamin C, Vitamin B, trace minerals, and easily digestible starch. What it lacked in Vitamins A and D was made up by the milk cow. It was a copasetic relationship, leading to a population growth in Ireland of several million.

By the 1840's, Ireland was vastly unprepared to deal with any interruption in its hand-to-mouth economy.In 1846, a fungus swept through the countryside, through 2/3 of all potato fields, and devastated them. The following year, Ireland had a 100% crop failure, leading to wide starvation and immense amounts of suffering. Between 1846-1849, 1.5 million people died. The population of the country fell from 9 to 6 million, either from forced immigration or starvation. The consequence of the wedding between the potato and Ireland was brutal, expatriation became for some the only option. America was one of the obvious destinations in the aftermath of the Irish potato famine, and for any American worth their ilk, they can immediately understand the importance Irish-Americans have played in the unfolding history of our country.

It is amazing what one plant can do, can cause. The potato, the Idaho Spud, French Fries (or, freedom fries if you are republican) (/snark), the Au Gratin revolution. It is a world cuisine, a staple of the poor, a food which we all love whether in chip or the much preferred smothered in pot roast gravy (you know what I mean). We are dependent on our food, and it in turn uses us as a means of its own evolution. Copasetic, symbiotic, beautiful, and at times devistating. The potato.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Balloon Fiesta Pictures

In a post below, I mentioned my run in with the unfortunate during balloon fiesta. It wasn't all terrible though (other than I was sick the whole time, and had midterms that week). Here are a few pictures of Albuquerque's premier event, the International Balloon Fiesta.


The Balloonists Prayer:

The winds have welcomed you with softness, the sun has blessed you with its warm hands. You have flown so high and so well that god has joined you in your laughter, and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth. Cheers (after which we feel justified drinking champagne at 9:30 am).

Monday, October 15, 2007

As yet, untitled

He who pulled paragraph like espresso
died of old age with a thousand
boxes of bound alphabet in his shed.

Periods are enemies he would tell us
and semi-colons, a constipation.

Believe in exclamation!
Personalize, comma.

Guard the little swatch
of fabric you find in grasses,
imagining it as scarf or chemise.

Read it like a basket.

Invite grasshoppers and crickets to the critique.
And, if they sing you will know it is good.

Trust the line.
Trust the hem.
Trust the wind-step whisking.
Trust the song of thyself.

Stand on your shaky metaphors
until bullfrog leaps from lotus—
generosity burning wellspring in your cheeks.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

the unwritten letters of charles darwin

("please: read only at your leisure, if you please." Charles Darwin)

chapter one

there is writing on a wall,
and there is a certain non verbal language,
attending to a certain nuance,
giving a particular meaning,
and allowing a comprehension,
to and of an immaculate truth;
as the late leaves fall,
and express toward an imprint in a clay,
in the wind which breaks toward its fall
(though the imprint is unnoticed).
as the quick golden sun, progresses
to an olympic peak, we are invoked by these and other
portentous things.

remember last year when the writing was on a wall.
i remember the hope,
though, like the crescent sound of the airplanes,
flying like october baseballs overhead,
i have been stunned, been whirl-winded,
been enveloped
and have forgotten though,
as those anteloped
on a certain rock, calling sure
what the point was called for.
"i would forget again if i had to,"
i said as though i were myself:
"it is difficult, like evolution."

there is a cactus in the desert.
and like the husk on a cob of corn,
there is a scar on my skin.
as the rough and tumble world
breaks through the crust and shell,
i hang in the balance, weathered and forlorn.
i am not sorry that i myself feel this way.
i am sorry that i had to put things this way
to bring you up to speed; as though the waves on the shore
of the olympics had not spread their wings,
but were hung.
like drapes from the curtain rod, which passed for the wind
i held on in a most curious state.

i woke up later walking.
there was a stiff surreality to the scene before me.
i walked stiffly as a reaction.


the silhouette of the skyline, was dark grey.
and there was a mood in the air,
there was noise, but it was quiet.
einstein said, "the whole universe is but a thought."
and i thought, but did not respond.
we walked for a while as though he or i were laying on a couch.
the sun set and we walked.
the dirt beneath our feet,
the grass and dirt,
shone a sheen,
described the setting as we walked.
enstein pondered and did not speak.
i thought about the big bang.

there, beneath the horizon,
i watched the setting sun rise.
i could hear the sound of our footfalls,
and then i knew about the big bang.
einstein presently spoke,
"i was speaking with my friend, mr. nietzsche,
we were discussing the big bang,
and he said, "imagine the moment zero.""
einstein stopped walking,
turned to me and i fell into a trance.

the blackness and darkness crept in,
there was no silhouette in the sky.
like a tarantula on a photograph of the universe,
al and i walked as though we were in a trance.
i felt enormously unsettled,
like the moment before the big bang.
in that moment the world broke through,
the frosted ground in winter was a sign.
we walked on the dirt road,
we knew there were ten miles of "canopy of birch"
lining this road on earth.

the hope we walked toward
was like carrot tomato soup and toast,
after a long journey.
maybe a good pint of your famous lager.
i remember when you used to walk with us
when we walked in the dark on the dirt road lined with kentucky blue grass.
the tire marks from the pickups
were illusions and transformations when we walked.
"remember the orange rose?" einstein spoke.
"i do remember that there is an orange rose," you said.
i sensed an impasse, and said,
"i think i can posit the need not for god."
you both turned and looked at me.
you did not walk with us again,
yet you are walking with us now in your dream.

a dream is a place. in the universe
there are places deep within a dreamer,
where the universe plays out
possibilities which could not become actual,
possibilities which could only remain possible;
the universe needed this place in order to be.


when we reached the orange rose,
as we walked upon our path,
the silent smell prompted the sounds of our footfalls to cease.
oh, the reverie.
it was as though a cowboy had rolled
the first perfectly hand rolled cigarette.
we sat on the bench beside the orange flower
and rolled cigarettes; smoked them.
"charles," einstein spoke,
"light is energy, and thought is energy; energy is mass, and mass is in a couple of hours."
"the number two," i evoked, "is a brilliant notion."
like the ocean and its sound,
the two knew that it was true. (like the color blue)

"i think the breakthrough is in the thought,"
you say, as though we were there in your dream,
"the deepest and most unreachable place you know is,
that you know of this most deep and unreachable place."
"do be careful when you speak of places so deep,
that they reach an unreachable state,"
einstein breaks in to lighten the mood, like
the opposite of a bolt of lightning.
if i were speaking about it as though it hadn't happened yet,
i would have noted the brilliance of your jocularity,
when you said, "unreachable is beyond reach, is like saying,
there is a certain cow in a certain meyer."
a dark plume of smoke became then,
the pluribus unum of our dream.
and the orange flower spoke with reluctance,
"there is an history of evidence."

beneath the overtones of scent,
cast off by the october rose,
the three of us found ourselves walking,
again upon the footpath.
"you said," i said, "that nietzshce spoke of the moment zero, mr einstein.
evolution of species, and back to the moment of just after the moment zero,
there was zero, then there was zero point one. before there was zero point one,
there was zero and then,
there was zero point one, or
zero point zero, zero, zero, (ad infinitum), one.
there was zero, then, not the originally complete zero.
which equals two states the zero was in."
"light on the other hand," moves at a certain fixed number of distances per second." enstein smirked,
"remember the pendulum," i said,
"there is a place for zeros in our universe," you cordially reminded us.
i invoked the first article of faith. then elaborated on the distinctions of quanta.
like a branch upon a fire, the fifth desert wheel of our desiring,
preyed upon our digital mind scape,
we walked on as though we had had enough to think about.
we heralded this event, once.


in the combination light of winter morning,
the stiff smell of coffee presented itself in the context
of desert effervescences.
wholly uncertain of their landing, the three had context to begin again.
the circle of time,
like an asymptote upon a graph,
approached infinity and the three
immortalized the taste of coffee on their lips.

a stark uncertain new mexican sky,
and the smell of the chaparral;
a certain few remaining butterflies, and a flock of geese.
a halloween.
all souls eve.
the hunter becomes hunted.
"i hunt there,
for, i am hungry and there is food there"
enstien says in a remote state.
the state of kentucky is renown for its blue grass,
like its whisky and rye, its blue grass is sly.
the mountain goat on the swiss mountain rock,
sometimes dreams of listless days of frolicsome realities
skipping through a days worth of kentucky blue grass;
like whippoorwill,
or a thin mountain crane on the horizon.
i had to say something,
"which takes more energy?" i said,
"to go from zero to one,
or from one to two?"
the clocked ticked,
and the firelight from the place in this library,
lit up the library we three found ourselves in;
as those literacists say, presently,
we laughed.

sipping on a cognac as though it were evening,
and as time had passed, you said,
"there is a graph where an asymptote begins from infinity,
and forever approaches the smallest approximation of something."
the firelight and the shadow
spoke then upon al's face,
like a certain orange flower quivering in the wind.
"i know what it is you are saying"
you said after that long moment when there was no sound.
we all had transcended back to a start in that moment,
and were left facing the wrong way on our walk upon the path.
we knew this to be true immediately,
and turned around and walked the other way in what was then and had been all night,
an absence of moonlight.
like a ship with the ocean on her belly,
we circumscribed our perfect understanding,
found ourselves choked up,
became children, and sages at once;
saw the faintest whisper that there was night sky.
einstein happened to find himself singing, "micheal row your boat ashore, hallelujah,.....""

we each knew we were not at an impasse.
and knew there were four or us speaking.


a certain microphone,
with its capabilities and its ability to contort,
was given to the creator.
and with this creator's abilities,
this creator was given a certain microphone;
that is to say,
a really small phone,
that is to say,
the remote ability to transfer a certain truth:
like the underwriter,
and that noble soul who would stand under it,
the universe is a multiverse and is as such,
as though it were as much as said such.

the absence of fog undertook us on our night path,
and we found ourselves
walking still in the blackness,
like shadows falling in love with the law of gravity.
sir isaac knew the importance of nostalgia

resonant footfalls in the key of e
and pardoned thoughts and a canopy of birch
and we walked on in the whippoorwill's echo.
it had a starkness to its sound and created for us a resonance,
as we walked,
at peace,
and troubled,
all at once saying goodnight to irene.
"there are perfect things," i said.
"there are perfect things," you said.
"i am in love with the speed of light," enstein said.
(the narrator): as their footfalls echoed
in simultaneous resonance,
the three had not realized their feet were not walking on kentucky blue grass nor earthly soil,
they like the infinite ability for light,
to travel however far it must,
to record,
like a microphone plugged into a recorder,
whatever happened there.

c 2007 rrzollinger

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blog Update

I amended the site to only include the last 10 posts, as it was getting digitally taxing to include the bulk of it. Also thought it prudent to include Google Analytics to the blog, which allows us to track our traffic. If your interested, I'll send you a link with directions on how to access the site.


A 700 Year Old Vindication

Today commemorates the 700 year anniversary of the downfall of the famed organization known now as the Knights Templar. It was Friday, October 13, 1307 that the Vatican conspired with King Philip IV of France to draw the Templars into a noose, leading eventually to the burning at the stake of Jacque de Molay and the retreat of remaining Templars and their secrets to Scotland and the greater British Isles.

The level of speculation surrounding this band of medieval warrior monks has become a kind of budgie-jumping historical sport, the rock-climbers version of academic fun. We have the Da Vinci Code and Holy Blood, Holy Grail to convince us of its continued and presently heightened popularity. But nothing reaches the justifiable ground wire like the news coming out of the Vatican these past few days...

From Thursday's edition of the Guardian Unlimited:
A couple of years ago, one wintry morning in Hertford, I met a mysterious man who claimed to belong to the Knights Templar. As readers of The Da Vinci Code will know, this secretive Catholic organization had been officially disbanded in 1307 by Pope Clement V, who had accused them of being heretics and devil-worshipers; their leader, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake. This Saturday, October 13, marks the 700th anniversary of the day their persecution began: Friday October 13, 1307, which may be the origin of the idea that Friday 13 is unlucky. But the Templars didn't go away. Instead, they went underground - taking with them, it was whispered, the Holy Grail itself, the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Then, in late 2004, they resurfaced. A letter arrived at the Vatican, purportedly from the Templars' grand master, insisting on the knights' innocence, and demanding an apology. The Vatican said it would give the matter "serious consideration" - but for Templar-hunters, the exciting aspect was that the letter bore a Hertford address.

A reporter at the Hertfordshire Mercury tracked down a local Templar, who explained that treasures of "immense importance" were hidden in a secret network of tunnels beneath the city, extending from the council offices, via Threshers, to Monsoon and Accessorize. Which was how I came to visit. Was the most fabled relic of Christ hidden underneath two boutiques on Market Place in Hertford?

I never found out, despite the best efforts of Gemma, the manager. But the other part of the tale has a happy ending: later this month, the Vatican will publish a book based on the Chinon parchment, a rediscovered fragment of the trial proceedings against the Templars. According to Professor Barbara Frale - who found it in the Vatican's secret archive, where it had been misfiled - it absolves the Knights Templar.

Just after the 700th anniversary of the day their troubles began, the Templars will get their apology. "We pray that, at the end of seven centuries, the soul of Jacques de Molay may now rest in peace for ever," says Ben Acheson, who describes himself as a Templar. "The Temple now considers the matter closed."

Now all that remains is to find the Holy Grail. If you need me, I'll be underneath Accessorize.
So, after 700 years of supposed Templar heresy, they will finally be absolved. Fascinating how justice works inside the halls of the faithful.


Update: (From the Times Online)
VATICAN CITY The Knights Templar, the medieval Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican publishes trial documents it has closely guarded for 700 years.

It is publishing only 799 copies of the minutes of trials against the Templars, Processus Contra Templarios - Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars, which will sell for €5,900 (£4,115).

The giant work will come in a soft leather case, with detailed reproductions of original Latin parchments and the wax seals used by the 14th-century inquisitors.

“Nothing before this offered scholars original documents of the trials of the Templars,” said Professor Barbara Frale, a medievalist at the Vatican’s Secret Archives.

The Templars were founded in 1119 by knights sworn to protect Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. Legends of their hidden treasures and secret rituals and power have featured in films and bestsellers such as The Da Vinci Code. (Reuters)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Seattle Times: A Smooth Move

The Seattle Times: A Smooth Move

(Pacific NW 10/07/2007 | A Smooth Move | )

One of the interesting things about this article in the Seattle Times, Sunday Magazine, "Pacific Northwest", is a small clip in the article about the two hundred rhododendrons and plants, transplanted from their old residence. The new property was on a steep hillside where each and all had to be securely fastened to the ground. I am happy to say that though we did have some casualties along the way, the garden has achieved in the five years from its inception, (having been improved by many hands), has achieved that classic state, where the plants, the house and the architecture combine to what I would call a masterpiece, if we were talking about a work of art:

Pacific NW 10/07/2007 | A Smooth Move | Seattle Times Newspaper

...and of course the non sequitor:

like the donkey approaching the last few stumbling blocks,
to the lowest part of the road,
having stretched its legs upon the long journey,
like a summit to the bottom of the canyon.

the grand canyon.
and the colorado river, like everests
stretching their tendrils upon the earth,
like overarching theories.

i wish that mr. bush wouldn't torture people
or torture people by making them torture other people.
the central intelligence agency, like a rock upon the earth,
cannot redefine itself; or its country.

the impulse to desire a fleeting thought:
like the rapture of noah's dove,
is a peace;
the purpose of which is peace.

the elephant in the room,
is the elephant in the room.
and the donkey is still going south,
like the geese this time of year.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Mass Ascension

Fiesta is the harbinger of fall, of lanterns and pumpkins. It is a smooth transition into the season of the fallen. Usually.

This morning was cold. We launched around 7 am, and immediately drove south for the chase. Upon stopping at a traffic light a few miles from the launch site, I commented to Adam (the other crew on our balloon) that the balloon flying directly in front of us was too close to the power lines. Moments after I said that a line lodged into the side of the balloon's gondola.

For fifteen minutes I watched as the tragedy unfolded, powerless to help in the face of it all. The tension on the wire was so great that it was literally tearing away at the basket. The pilot tried to negotiate a drop line hitched to a truck to pull him out of it, but the line snapped and sent the balloon careening away from both the drop and power lines, dumping a passenger in the process. She died upon impact, from 60 feet up.

Powerlessness in the face of tragedy is at best humbling. Death came today, as it does, creeping in from the corners of our lives, the places we least often look. Death came today, and its questions remained unanswered.


Monday, October 1, 2007


Along hairline

Gypsum vertebrae
Basalt backbone
Cobble belly

Heels of pumice
Breast marble
Neck flint

Even blue bells between
Turn schist

No more fragility of aspens
Or golden staircases

I sprout baleen
To make ribbing
Stay corsets

I am Jaw line finally
Translated to jet—

Yet still you come
Begging hair

Still I purge
Heavy confluence

And you swim up
Swollen-whaled breathy

Pulling the roots of my home