2022-11-10 21:11

Now playing:

cover image for the Sequentia album Dante and the Troubadors

2022-11-10 10:18

Covid test? Negative. Feel like crap? Positive.

2022-11-09 19:05

Now playing:

cover image for the album Hanging Gardens by the Australian jazz band The Necks showing textured canvas painted with colors that suggest an evening sky or sunset

2022-11-08 05:12

The total lunar eclipse is in turn eclipsed by the solid cloud cover.

2022-11-06 16:04

Today, I had to abandon a book on a topic I’ve been obsessed with for many years. The book is incredibly valuable: exhaustively researched, written by someone who’s a leading expert on the subject.

And yet…

The writing is atrociously, embarrassingly bad. I just couldn’t go on.

2022-11-05 19:34

Now playing:

cover of the jazz album Deadeye, bright pink with a cube obscuring a faint image of an eye

2022-11-04 16:52

Now playing: Esmerine, If Only A Sweet Surrender Be True

image of the pilings under a pier with ocean

2022-11-03 20:00

Now playing:

cover for the album Miles_Gurtu, two hands beginning to touch fingertips behind a red circle

2022-11-02 21:39

Now playing:

cover image for the album Absent Minded by jazz duo Mikrokolektyw

2022-11-01 14:34

📚 What I finished reading in October.

2022-10-31 10:42

First Halloween in our new house. Our neighbors say they haven’t had any trick-or-treaters at all the last two years — hardly surprising, of course. So who knows what will happen tonight?

2022-10-25 16:03


2022-10-14 11:12

A Day in the Life.
14 October 2022, 07:30 CDT.
Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Waking up to the first snow of the season.

the railing and wall of a balcony, and the branches of many trees, all dense with fresh snow

2022-10-07 07:37

blue sky with a tiny white cloud in one corner and the yellow leaves of a tree in the other corner

2022-10-04 09:11

Seventy-eight years ago today, one of the two men I was named after was murdered by the Nazis. His body was left on a street corner in Apeldoorn, along with six others. A sign reading Terrorist was pinned to their chests.

2022-10-02 20:38

🔥 It’s the third night in a row we’ve had a fire in our fireplace since getting it inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep last week.

2022-10-01 07:53

📚 What I finished reading in September.

2022-09-26 20:16

Apparently, some foolish press has committed the grave tactical error of accepting a manuscript of my poetry, going so far as to claim they will actually publish it.

Why would anyone do this? I have no idea. Were they hopped up on pain meds? Did they lose a bet?

Publishers are inscrutable and are often motivated by strange, dark urges. Best not to dwell too much on their disquieting perversions.

In short, my debut chapbook, This Folded Path, is forthcoming from above/ground press.

Details to follow!

writing news
2022-09-25 08:07

Visiting the parents last week.

cemetery on a sunny afternoon under blue skies, a row of three maples, one of whose leaves have begun to turn orange

Remember, death is beautiful when you wear it like a maple.

2022-09-23 16:01

Just hanging out downtown with Bob.

Positively… Fifth Street? Well, close enough.

I’m a few blocks from Ninth & Hennepin, where, I’m sorry to report, none of the donuts have names that sound like prostitutes anymore.

2022-09-21 16:26

Last, next.

89: Great Lakes (Michigan)
90: Pitch Black (lined)

Michigan, Pitch Black

2022-09-17 07:18

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own:

…the beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.

2022-09-16 05:52

Lewis Thomas, “Information,” The Lives of a Cell:

The solitary wasp, Sphex, nearing her time of eggs, travels aloft with a single theory about caterpillars. She is, in fact, a winged receptor for caterpillars. Finding one to match the hypothesis, she swoops, pins it, paralyzes it, carries it off, and descends to deposit it precisely in front of the door of the round burrow (which, obsessed by a different version of the same theory, she had prepared beforehand). She drops the beast, enters the burrow, inspects the interior for last-minute irregularities, then comes out to pull it in for the egg-laying. It has the orderly, stepwise look of a well-thought-out business. But if, while she is inside inspecting, you move the caterpillar a short distance, she has a less sensible second thought about the matter. She emerges, searches for a moment, finds it, drags it back to the original spot, drops it again, and runs inside to check the burrow again. If you move the caterpillar again, she will repeat the program, and you can keep her totally preoccupied for as long as you have the patience and the heart for it. It is a compulsive, essentially neurotic kind of behavior, as mindless as an Ionesco character, but the wasp cannot imagine any other way of doing the thing.

Thoreau, Journal, 13 February 1859:

Sometimes in our prosaic moods, life appears to us but a certain number more of days like those which we have lived, to be cheered not by more friends and friendship but probably fewer and less. As, perchance, we anticipate the end of this day before it is done, close the shutters, and with a cheerless resignation commence the barren evening whose fruitless end we clearly see, we despondingly think that all of life that is left is only this experience repeated a certain number of times. And so it would be, if it were not for the faculty of imagination.

commonplace Thoreau
2022-09-15 05:37

John Ruskin:

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one.

2022-09-14 06:06

Spinoza (trns Elwes):

Men would never be superstitious if they could govern all their circumstances by set rules, or if they were always favoured by fortune: but being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being kept fluctuating pitiably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune’s greedily coveted favours, they are consequently, for the most part, very prone to credulity. The human mind is readily swayed this way or that in times of doubt, especially when hope and fear are struggling for the mastery, though usually it is boastful, overconfident, and vain.