The Phenomenology of Error

The Phenomenology of Error[i] A solo Mission at the Ranger Station before group poetry night, hoping for a good napkin poem. When we read like police we make a criminal[ii] shot with red pencil corrections, the poet apprehended, booked. Pull over the rotting rhymester! Handcuff this conceptualist clown. Arrest that academic asshole. Ticket the doggerel…

Division Alt Guitar & Junior Brown

Junior Brown plays an inventive, alternative guitar: method, form, and style. Brown is a rockabilly virtuoso, as in jazz guitar, Joe Pass was expert, where skill matures into virtue. Junior plays a custom designed and built two-neck guitar that he plays behind a stand rather than hanging from a strap around his shoulder. The setup…

SE Portland Triathlon Photo Essay

For the first leg of my triathlon event yesterday, I boarded Line 15 and rode down to the river, disembarking at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. I sat in the last seat of the bus, in the left corner, with this week’s New Yorker fiction issue. I had read on the bus stop…

Teeda, Sped, Flotsam, and Twist

Mr. Teeda with tart taste hairy-scarfy lips late but at last arises to seize downtown bus amid yawns and snort, sneeze and nicks himself hie shavely in tortello braggadocio hurry-scurry. “Out-a-my-way, out-a-my-way,” Teeda cocoons the mod you low muddle of his noggin. Meantime, Mr. Sped, cold splash asleep in red tide road dust, implacable rouge…

My Blood Red Moon

A couple of out-of-town visitors from Vineland crashed here last night, the night of the celebrated Blood Red Moon. We ate dinner at the Bagdad on Hawthorne, walked around the blocks, checked out the absurdly named “Goodwill on Hawthorne” (gentrified thrift shop), and headed up to Mt Tabor to view the moon. A month or…

Optotype

Line 15 currently detours across the Hawthorne Bridge due to a temporary weight restriction on the Morrison Bridge, which is under repair. I hopped off the bus at the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge, passed the Salmon Street Springs Fountain, and walked south along the Willamette to the eye clinic, just over a mile upriver. I…

Two Hep Cats and the Cool Comma

Scamble: I met a comma at the bus stop this morning. … Did you hear what I said? I said, I met a comma, at the bus stop, this morning. Cramble: Be wary of commas. They’ll be on you like fleas. -Did you know the apostrophe is the feminine form of comma? -Band of punctuation…

Abaft the Blues Fest

Red-orange earworms admonish taptoo! fashion, now clear the drum is an old, beat suitcase rigged with foot pedal, and, too, there they are, tin bells on his curled toes, as literal as pencil lead, as calloused as an oak pew hymnal. Lavender fresh, she sang at Hop’s Hootenanny, sipped mint juleps from a food cart…

The Art of the Bus Stop

It was to be his last day, he dreamed, a phantasmagorical dream recurred, after a cup of coffee, in wakeful brain, a near belief in seizure. How would he spend his last day? He should limit his options, if chance proved him a fool tomorrow, build a hedge of porcupines. But if today’s feeling did…

East Side Mt Tabor Photo Essay Walk

The sidewalks in what used to be called Tabor Heights, on the north slopes of Mt Tabor, were poured in the early 1900’s. The dates are marked on the curbs, but many of the dates are being lost to code enforcement requiring homeowners to fix broken concrete in their sidewalks. Curbs rounding corners were banded…

Two Poems for Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany

Epiphany In the straw burrow farm mice. Get a little closer and you’ll see Nits in baby Jesus’s hair, lice, And a house snake in the olive tree. There’s beer on the breath of the three Sage men sitting under the olive tree, Playing games of cribbage, Ushering in a new age. The pieces are…

Winter is icummen in, Lhude sing Line 15

“Winter is icummen in, / Lhude sing Goddamn,” sang the irascible Ezra Pound, and while, as far as I know, he never had to ride local Tri-Met’s Line 15, he seems to have had some experience with public transportation, for he continues, in his poem “Ancient Music”: “Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us, / An ague…