Friday, July 20, 2018

ROAD TRIP Day 3 : Pittsburgh

Made it to Pittsburgh the same day. Wow! David drove and drove and didn’t get sleepy once.

Three rivers offer the city plenty of vistas, bridges, parks, plazas, and even fountains. Market Square, Andy Warhol Museum, The Strip, Heinz History Museum and many more landmarks allowed us to get a good idea of its vibrancy. The presence of iron and steel is ubiquitous. Lots of history here, history I didn’t know a lot about. Like the Underground Railroad, Rachel Carson, Roberto Clemente, Heinz and of course Carnegie and Mellon.

Last night we met a young woman from New York at dinner and conversed for a long time. It was pleasant to share drinks and supper with someone.

Warhol’s museum - filled 7 stories with his art. I enjoyed it, David not so much. The Strip district reminded us of the way the Randolph Street Market used to be. Becoming hip and trendy but still with plenty of fruit stalls, fish markets, and Stamoolis grocery store since 1909. The Greek presence everywhere.

One more item scratched off my bucket list. Today we bid farewell to the steel city and head south to Fallingwater.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Tomorrow morning
we hoist our sails,
breathe deeply, and
hope for the best.

What will we encounter
in the unknown territories,
in the east of the land?
Questions keep me awake.

Certainly highways - dull of color
and empty of vistas. Perhaps
a rural road will offer fresh hues,
unusual fragrances, unique resonances.

I'll be sure to record them all.
Remembering is the best part of
a journey. Memories we take with us
and carry until the end, our end.

Friday, April 27, 2018

MORE RANDOM THOUGHTS (or not so random)

1. Reading Patricia Hampl's new book I discover she too has a complicated relationship with to-do lists and books started and deadlines. Her new publication, "The Art of the Wasted Life", is an eye-opening parade of feelings and thoughts about time and work and what to do when.

2. She writes "waste your life in order to find it." What she calls "waste" is actually "daydreaming" she says.

3. She writes about baby boomers - like her and me - who think they are young forever, petulant, and past ambition. Are we? Am I?

4. What the heck are hashtags (#) for? And why does everyone crowd their writing with them?

5. Sometimes - when I'm waiting for someone at a café - I half-wish they don't show up.

6. Hampl writes about Montaigne, considered the first essayist, and I think: essays in Spanish are ensayos: rehearsals, practice. Is that what we're doing? practicing for real life? rehearsing for the actual show?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


1. I've started reading eleven (11) books in the last month. Haven't finished any yet. What's the deal? There is always a more interesting book out there and I have to have it. I think that's like thinking that everyone else is having fun while I'm left out. Left out of what? And I think that comes from growing up as an only child and needing friends all the time, company, needing to be the center of attention.

2. Being an only child sucks. There, I said it.

3. This morning I heard on the radio that anyone can baptize a child into the Catholic religion. All you need is to spring some water from the faucet and recite a few words. Can I charge for that?

4. That's like being an officiant at weddings and funerals just by getting a certificate online. I should try that. After all, I've tried so many other "unusual" things.

5. When I ride by a neighborhood where I used to work at or frequent and see it renewed, it bugs me. What's wrong with me? Am I anti-progress?

6. What does it mean when your teeth fall out in a dream?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 18

In the desert we are fleeing
and fighting. My four front teeth’s caps
fall out. I try to stick them back on
but to find them I have to search first
because  my palm holds all these other things:
pine cones and dates and assorted insects
lie among my teeth's caps. Then, on a bed,
in the middle of the desert my colleagues
gather around. We walk and walk
to reach a building where our offices are. 
Finally I manage to put my caps on but
I’m afraid they’ll fall out again. What does
it mean? when your teeth fall out in your dream?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 17

How to make a fire  

Light a match. Watch the blue wedge

flutter in the strong wind, weakening,

weakening. Hurry up. That’s your last

one. Throw it on top of the woodpile

swiftly, before it goes out.

Sit and wait now. And hope the red flame

grows big enough to warm you up in

this dank crook of the world, chilled

to the bone as you are. Breathe

deeply and watch: the darkness might

bring uninvited guests. Sooner or later,

the sun will rise, the wind will die down.

It will be your time to stand up then, to go out

into the world and start other fires, other fights.

Monday, April 16, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 16

BIRDS IN “EL PARAISO” (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico)

A vermilion flycatcher flutters around the shrubs,
bright red breast, black head,
could not be more beautiful jumping from branch
to branch, hiding in the tall trees in
the distance, coming closer to my window. 
A red slash against the blue sky, impossible not to admire. 
Two grackles walk back and forth across the street,
their long black tails sweeping the cobblestones,
determined and purposeful.  Sometimes
one of them perches himself on the dome
above the house and calls out
to who knows who - a mate? a friend? us?