Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


They made me a tiny violin.
they did not make me a gift
of a tiny violin.
I am now a violin.
And there's a dreadful
din of caterwauling
coming from the alley
accompanying me.
I finally don't feel lonely.

This is part of a series of horrible poems that I'm writing as a 2014 New Years Resolution.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


It's finally happened: I train elephants for a living. This new job is in the Business Service Center of an Amazon building so you might be surprised that elephants have anything to do with it, but I'm training them to walk quietly. They're showing some promise, it's very hard for them but soon they'll be ready and we'll be able to let them out on the floors to do the daily copy room runs on each of the floors. Of course they're also receiving training on using prosthetics in order to increase their dexterity but that's run through a different office. I'm in the 'walk softly' office. 

You see, imagine you're hunching over your computer screen and have hit a wall, you look up, and there is an elephant tiptoeing past. Wouldn't you find that inspiring? The hope is that if they walk silently enough they won't disturb anyone concentrating but those who need a break will get a burst of joy at the sight of our highly skilled elephants. It's all very experimental but we're really investing a lot here. We're replacing all of the existing elevators with freight elevators to create a workplace that doesn't discriminate against any of our employees. It's very important to us that the elephants get treated with the same respect and have the same benefits we do.

I've been taking the bus to work every day, soon––maybe tomorrow––I hope to ride my bike there, but so far I'm only taking the bus. It's great to have the reading time, though every once in a while I tear my eyes away from the page and soak in the view of the boats and the houses on the lake sinking away into the foggy morning.

In the afternoons I work with a gaggle of gnomes, teaching them how to sing in four part harmony. I've found this to be a demanding but incredibly rewarding task. Gnomes pitch fits quite easily but they're learning to appreciate the music I have picked out for them. Tomorrow afternoon I've arranged for the gnomes to teach me about their traditional music. I had to get permission for us to get access to the most secret basement level of the building, the gnomes tell me the acoustics get better for their folk ballads the more subterranean you get. They also tell me I'm supposed to dress up like a slimy worm, do you think they're pulling my leg? They're teaching me a lot about being a good sport and not taking myself too seriously.

Where exactly the singing gnomes will fit into this corporate landscape continues to remain unclear but it's important to think laterally and between the lines and boxes. Plus, now that I've started with this band of hellions, I want to teach them how to sing "Catch a falling star" until the day I die. It may take them that long to learn it, anyway. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I received an email sent in 1969. That was what my inbox told me earlier this morning. It said their was no sender, no message, but someone was trying to reach me in 1969. Later on, when my inbox woke up a bit more it pretended that had never happened, corrected itself by showing me an email sent last night from a service I subscribe to. I want the first message back.

In 1969 my Dad was in France or Belgium, my Mom was in Salt Lake, my sister and I and many of the people I know were still spirits and star dust spread across time and space. Also, the first Led Zeppelin album was released, the Soviet Union was sending space craft out towards Venus, Nixon took office, passenger railroad lines were closing, Elvis was making a comeback, the last Saturday Evening Post was published, the Beatles gave their last public performance, trials are being held on the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Harvard students are rioting, there's secret bombing in Cambodia, not secret bombing in Vietnam, and Charles de Gaulle is voted out of French presidency.

I remember reading about that, Charles de Gaulle being ousted, as a research assistant in university. I was reading the London Times looking for things that might have inspired Monty Python sketches. This past summer my French employer talked about Parisians, the youth, rioting in the streets, throwing pavets/cobblestones. I asked him if he'd been part of it guessing the correct answer that he hadn't. He was never much for joining in, never fit with the crowd like that, he told us. I learned from the London Times that this was the same era in which England was making a bid to join the EU but France was really not in favor of admitting them. There was also an article about an eye doctor who felt that sunglasses were dangerous and would become habit forming.

Everything comes back to Monty Python.

Anyway, as for present updates, my house is lovely, the people in it are perfect, this city is marvelous, I'm making a desk and am obsessed with this one fact, I will soon be starting a job that may last longer than two months, the rain has started, and for the remainder of this day which will be spent working on my desk, cooking, and crocheting, I will be imagining someone in 1969 trying to contact me, somehow magically getting access to email but in a bittersweet twist the technology can't handle the timewarp.

How are you?