Now playing:

Cover image for the album Cool With That by Jazz improv quartet East Axis, showing a red sphere balanced on top of a purple cone in a bare grey space

I know it’s spelled W-e-d-n-e-s, but it’s pronounced Weltschmerz.

I’m going to the Ren Fest today for the first time in over thirty-five years, and possibly only the second or third time ever. This weekend’s theme is, apparently, Oktoberfest and I am told there will be yodelers. I think I’ve just developed an anticipatory hangover.

Now playing:

cover image for McCoy Tyner's album The Real McCoy, showing the pianist sitting at the keyboard, sleeves rolled up, looking off to one side (Joe Henderson on saxophone, Ron Carter on bass, Elvin Jones on drums)

My chapbook came out yesterday, and a problem with being an older debut poet is just hitting me.

Almost everyone I’d like to share the news with is long dead.

My parents, most of my teachers, all my mentors. The twentieth century has been dying for years; this week I feel freshly re-orphaned.

Obviously, this is not to diminish how great it’s been to share this news with all the people who ARE still here, but it’s all the more bittersweet because it makes me realize how many others have already gone…

Also… I may have a list of the dead, but I’ve lived long enough that there is also a list of the dead-to-me. This is bittersweet in a different way, but it also brings a grim satisfaction that I never have to deal with any of them ever again.

So that’s been my week.

New from above/ground press: my chapbook, This Folded Path.

close-up of a fallen log at night, lit from one side by a car's headlights, showing the tree rings in stark light and shadow

I grew up in the ’70s, so I’m having a very hard adjusting to the fact that bald eagle sightings are now a daily occurrence for me.

I’m only now beginning to feel slightly human again after losing a week to the most spectacular head cold I’ve had in years. Watching my immune system fight this cold was like watching someone try to build an intricate model airplane while being pelted with coins.

This is your periodic reminder that I have a newsletter and that now might be a good time to subscribe.

Another bookmark for the series.

I just found this in a book I bought during my only visit to Elliott Bay Books (and to Seattle), in 2014.

A bookmark with a drawing of an old three-mast schooner at the top. Below, a quote from Andre Maurois: In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.

(Original series here, with subsequent discoveries here.)