Saturday, April 26, 2014

Barefoot running

Part of what I do is run barefoot. Why? Because it feels great! Feel free to visit my other blog, John's Barefoot Running Blog and check out my race reports, and longer explanations on the why.

This is me during the last Hood 2 Coast race here in Portland, where we had an all barefoot team!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quiet by Susan Cain

I'm re-reading Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I bought it in hardcover when it first came out, and that says a lot, because I never buy hardcover. But, this book is about me. And I'm re-reading it! And enjoying it again!

If I were still teaching, I'd lobby to make this book a must-read for faculty and administration, as a way to understand fellow faculty, and students, and how education (higher, and K-12) basically ignores introverts.

It's now out in paperback. A good readable read, and you'll understand yourself, and/or others around you, better.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mountain poem for a woman

A poem that appeared in the print journal Bellowing Ark, which is no longer with us:

Mountain poem for a woman
who died climbing

Thundercells and lightning all around the valley
playing my guitar out on the grass
swatting mosquitoes and singing sad songs
looking in at the people in other trailers
drinking and watching tv
cool wind and an open patch of stars

I didn’t know you
our helicopter flew your body back down
you weighed nothing
and we flew you out in a bag
attached to a cable and hook

you fell two hundred feet
maybe more
your partner had her phone
though it was too late even then
even before the rangers could get there

your friends seemed like good people
they cried not because they didn’t understand
but because they did
that you were doing something you felt passionate about
and why should someone die doing that?
and yet what other way would there be to go?
standard procedure is to land the body away
from the helispot
where the coroner can pick it up discreetly
but they walked over to look at you
to open the bag and see you one last time

I couldn’t
I would have liked you
I have always liked the idea of women like you
physical and strong and independent

I stayed where I was
it was sunny there
and wrens kept circling around us
picking up small pieces of grass and dirt

Friday, April 18, 2014

Adios, Hemingway

Just finished Adios, Hemingway, by Leonardo Padura Fuentes. It's fiction, and classified as a 'mystery', but it's more like a meditation on Hemingway in Cuba, or, about the relationship a Cuban man (and ex-cop, and aspiring writer) has with one of his literary heroes.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I'm working on a review of Stephanie McMillan's graphic novel Resistance To Ecocide and just can't resist sharing a pic of her character Bunnista.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Here's a poem that originally appeared a few years ago in Bellowing Ark, a print journal that went out of business. Hope you enjoy.


I know it’s not popular
or even politically correct
to (still) like him
but  when my father’s great ambitions
were to have enough time on saturdays
to mow the lawn
and watch college football
Hemingway gave me men
who left conservative America
for adventure
because of course it couldn’t be found there
and causes they actually believed in
fighting the ultimate father figures
trying to protect countries and people

they went alone
were comfortable with that
didn’t talk a lot
though spoke fluent italian spanish and french
and always met beautiful interesting women
trying to do what was right
even if it was also for themselves
but that was possible
and if they came back wounded
or not at all
that seemed to be a given
even to them

and things were things
a big fish was a big fish
Kilimanjaro was Kilimanjaro
the hills in Spain were not like white elephants
what was important
was what was felt under the surface
and unlike my father
he trusted me
to be intelligent enough
to figure that out myself

and if ultimately it wasn’t all real
(and I didn’t care for the great white hunter phase)
enough of it was
and if Hemingway had his weaknesses
and if maybe he gave up without a fight
(though if you knew your mind was going
what would you do?)
he had a good run
and was maybe no more worse
and much more interesting

Monday, April 14, 2014

Click the photo to visit my website, where you can find lists of, and links to, my writing. Plus more photos and stuff. [photo by Catherine M.]

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Linework NW 2014

Attended this festival yesterday, Saturday, here in Portland. Lots of interesting work, though the venue was small, and crowded, and the panels were held in the noisy lounge bar. I didn't expect so many people with such a nice day to be outside, which was good for the festival, but I, and others, felt a little overwhelmed by the crowds. Still, shows how strong the art community is here in PDX.

Lorrie Moore at Powell's

I saw Lorrie Moore read at Powell's on Friday night. Good crowd. Good reading. Looking forward to reading the book!