Tag Archives: neighborhood

Word Fairies, On A Walk

17 Sep


A walk.  To battle the  Monday-after-Vacation, gross obeseness of crud.

…There’s this walk I take, that we call “the loop.”  It’s the long circle that takes you down the full length of the north-end neighborhood, and round to the point, looking down on Old Town, rising up from the sea. I usually take it when my brain is too full to negotiate actual directions and choices. It’s easy because it never wanders too far from itself and always comes back home again…like a good dog. Which is really convenient when you’re clearly too busy talking to yourself like a schizo, about all the things you didn’t get around to today, but need to, and how the associated reporting materials will be filled out, and in which order.

…Also, the ocean is good to focus on after a rough day. (If you let yourself.)  It’s calming, somehow.  Maybe because it’s bigger than anything that could possibly be bothering you at the time.  Maybe because it’s so “in your face,”  that you can’t help but get sidetracked by it.

…Sorta like how you can trick a kid outta crying if you give ’em something new to focus on, instead of whatever it is they first wanted, or was taken away, that they can’t have now.

I totally know how that kid feels, today.

Those bastards stole my vacation goodness away…and I was pretty ticked about it. 

…So clearly, after work was done, (and my car payment was made), “the loop” was in order. 

…Anyway…the point I was getting at is: mid-between casa de mi, and the beginning of “the loop,” is this house:


About once a week, they print out a poem, short story or anecdote in bulk, and plop it in that little plastic holder bolted on the post and driven into the ground, just on the corner, there. I dunno what the owner’s story is…I frankly don’t think anyone does.  And not too many people take the souvenirs, but I know I’m not the only one who stops to at least read ’em.

The rule is: it can only take up one page. 

…So far, that’s the only quantifying identifier in content or theme. And it has become an addictive reader board, like a fortune cookie’s guts, housing who even knows what words of wonder, day-to day. The top black flip-up cover says, “take one”…like those realtor get-ups you might use to sell a house.  Only this one is used to sell you “thoughts” instead.  Sometimes they’re goodish ones.  Sometimes not. Sometimes I wanna write a note back, and pop it in the box, for the Word Fairies.  Things like:

” I liked the one about the dog.”


” Sylvia Plath isn’t always totally depressing like I thought


” This one hurt my inside parts.  But that’s okay sometimes.  So, thanks.”

…Also, I wonder if they take requests?

” Maybe less Politics please…”

” Can you find something about sunshine for the next one?  It’s been raining for six solid weeks…”

” Have you ever considered limericks?  I’d suggest a good Dottie Parker…”

Regardless…its always nice to have some clean, warm air…to hear the sound of sprinklers and dog pantings and runner’s tread…and watch the sun set out over the water.  Its nice to have words like these in my head, other than the chanting of “to do” lists for tomorrow, and the balancing of my checkbook.  Those things can wait.  But a hard-earned piece of goodness and mental rest after a long day, cannot.

…So: “Thank you, Word Fairies.  Keep up the good work!”

(Here are a couple, most recent…)


Poem: “The Clearing,” by Gregory Djanikian
from “The Man in the Middle” (Carnegie-Mellon University Press)

**”Poetry is an act of generosity.” ~ Don Skiles**

And something will happen:
You will stand at the edge of a field

hearing the wind-skirted
leaves of the trees, and you

will try to remember
the woman you almost married,

though her life will spiral
like a hawk away from you,

and you will want her,
as deeply as you’ll want

the hawk to settle on your fist,
or the wind to empty

your eyes of grief for all
you’ve renounced to become

what you now are, but
nothing this day will claim you,

neither hawk, nor wind, nor lover,
and you’ll sense how your past

has seduced you through the years
to this field, this reckoning,

to, finally, this poem
which you will write by learning

what matters is not the words
but the unlabored

breath through which
they’re spoken and given up,

like hawks, or lovers
or this life you keep on revising.


Poem: “You should at times go out, ” by Elizabeth Daryush

You should at times go out
        from where the faithful kneel,
visit the slums of doubt
        and feel what the lost feel;

you should at times walk on,
        away from your friends’ ways,
go where the scorned have gone,
        pass beyond blame and praise;

and at times you should quit
        (ah yes) your sunny home,
sadly awhile should sit,
        even, in wrong’s dark room

or ever, suddenly
        by simple bliss betrayed,
you shall be forced to flee,
        unloved, alone, afraid.



In The Hood

3 Sep


I’ve decided to take you on a walk with me today. 

…I’ll point out some stuff along the way, while you feel jealous because when you go on walks, you stay in your neighborhood, but when I go on walks, almost every building I pass by takes me to a totally new location in the world, and/or historical point of time.

For instance we have the English Cottage.  The wisteria-draped front door, and combination of manicured topiary enhanced lawn has no idea it is actually planted in the Pacific Northwest.   

…But it shouldn’t feel bad about it…because this house thinks it’s in Greece.  I defy you to change it’s mind on that point.

Here, we have our very own version of the Winchester Mansion, in that the people who live here never seem to think the place is big enough, so have continued to grow it in various directions for years now.

…Meanwhile, this is where the Hobbits live when they move away from The Shire.

…And this place thinks it is the starring feature of all of the Bronte novels.

We have an actual Psycho house up on the hill…(and yes, those are mounted camcorders pointing at you.)

We have ethnic diversity who live here, and brought the primary colors Crayola box with them.  (As a representative of said peoples, can I just ask: wtf is with the bitch-slap-you brightness of our buildings, people?)

…There is the place that thinks it’s an English hunting lodge.

…The one that wants to be a castle when it grows up.  (Turrets anyone?)

…The one who thinks its in Nantucket.

…And the one they stole out of a Dickens novel. (I give you: the place where Miss Havisham lives.)

One of many representatives from the D.C. crowd is shown here.

“Welcome to New England,” might as well be posted on a flag outside this door.

This claims it’s in the Hollywood hills, circa 1920.

And, this one actually thinks it’s the White House.

Hey…you could move to the Mediterranean OR save your money and just pretend to, by living here.

You can go back in time and live in this original Mike Brady design.

Have coffee of the future.
Eat in the 50’s.

…Default to the Victorian.

…Visit the Hogwarts stand-in.

…Frequent the 40’s drugstore (that still makes deliveries)

…Relocate to Spain.

…Move in with the modern-day Flintstones.

…Or, masquerade as an eternal Frat Houser.

This is all within one giant loop of my own little home. Which I think you can agree ain’t bad for a couple mile radius that could fill an entire passport, and break some serious time-continuum laws. Not bad at all.


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