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Sunday, July 13th, 2008
4:03 pm - Almost a year
Funny, it's been almost a year since I've written in this space. Even after all that, I'm still going to hesitate, and be a bit of a chicken about trying to journal again. Behind the cut there's an assignment I've written for class (I'm finally, after many a pause, going back for a Master's in teaching) concerning a soundtrack for your life. It's long, of course, but it plays like a journal entry. So yes, maybe I'm trying to come back, after all this time. Though, I've always been here.


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Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
5:22 pm - Oh, and did I mention...
...that today was my first day back at grad school. For now, I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum from poetry; this degree actually involves science (gasp, horror of horrors).

I'm in a Rehab Counseling program. Essentially, I'll be learning how to help those with disabilities get and maintain employment. Later on, hopefully, I can acquire a counseling degree (I believe they call it an LPC). I jumped on board because supposedly there's a grant, and I don't have to worry about tuition (I'm not enjoying my current student debt).

So yes, school again. But I am older. And hopefully, a little wiser. And definitely less apt to miss half of my classes, as I perfected in my undergrad days.

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Saturday, August 18th, 2007
8:29 pm - Amusement in Fayetteville; and Flickr, of course
The guy at Mcdonald's was incredulous. "You want a large drink. And a large iced coffee?"
I gots to rehydrate, I tell him. That, and I almost grabbed him by the collar and said, "Do you even know what I'm capable of??"

I finally got myself a camera and have been throwing a few things on Flickr.com. Username: banjopwhistle. If you've got an account, I'd love to see some pictures.

What I'm capable ofCollapse )

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
1:23 pm - sketches from a southern california trip...
Sat. 7/28-- the pre-birthday party with friends and family, and for probably the first time for everyone, the friends' kids. i take a picture with a gathering of six and dub them my mormon family. it is good, and good to see a peace, a settling, over one of my friends as he holds his child.

Sun. 7/29-- santa barbara with my parents and sister. crosses set in rows aside the pier; a protest, one for each of the dead. art along the boardwalk. a photograph of horses hurtling over a hill at dusk, primal and electric, a storm hesitant to even approach the scene. bought pictures of a desert storm, reminder of the many cross country trips. my sister and her negative explosiveness, her bundle of anxiety and anger and who knows what.

Mon. 7/30-- miles and miles of walking, down the coast, through the carousel park, up state street, the harbor, back again. santa barbara roasting company's delicious iced coffee, along with numerous refills. assorted pictures from the present to myself, a camera, after having stolen the ex's pictures for so many years as my own. at night, a family game, my sister laughing, finally, and then blessed rest.

Tues. 7/31-- the birthday, one of those milestones, of which, honestly, i still haven't given thought. odd, never home, or at "home", on a birthday, always: moving and moving and moving; SoCal, Fresno, North Carolina, Arkansas; as a child, camping, party-less (but really, no loss).
walked alone that morning. wonderful choosings at the farmer's market that evening, strawberries the size of sausage and pluots, those remnants from my days of fresno, lovely pluots. i choose sushi for dinner, but noone else is willing to every try it; it's the brewery, a defeat. that night madison's bar and their karaoke night, the supportive regulars and a couple of long island's the size of a tijuana margarita. bloc party spilling out from the hipster bar on state. i flash my arkansas driver's license--yes, sir, i have traveled a long way.

Wed. 8/1-- the trip back to the old homestead. sore. rest.

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Monday, July 16th, 2007
8:37 pm - The quote for my upcoming birthday
Now Henry is unmistakably a Big One.
Funnee; he don't feel so.
He just stuck around.

--Berryman, Dream Song 7

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Sunday, June 10th, 2007
11:29 am - Recommendation
I am becoming thoroughly convinced that years from now we will look upon Edward P. Jones as one of the great writers of our time, specifically his short stories. He's a master of the devastating clause, that final turn at the end of the sentence which nails past and present (he's great at scope), and also heartbreak or small joy. I'll throw some examples on here one of these days. Richard Ford was excellent at the devastating clause, especially in "Rock Springs." But Eddie P., you, my friend, are the man.

Check out "All Aunt Hagar's Children" or "Lost in the City" if you get the chance. The dedication to his mother in the former is wrenching.

Speaking of the devastating clause, it brings to mind James Wright and what a former teacher used to call his "terminal endings." If I were in school, maybe I'd write an essay. Alas, I'm not, and really, thank god for that.

In other news, I am sporting the case manager tan. Left forearm, the one hanging out the car window, a thing of dark beauty. The right, pale, withered and evil. If any of you need a subject for a before and after picture, tan spray or such, I will send you my digits.

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Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
3:50 pm - Going back to Cali...Nah, I don't think so...
My new philosophy on life:
Don't let 'em catch you ridin' dirty.

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Sunday, August 27th, 2006
3:06 am - Poem draft: horribly, horribly rough

I will die a quiet death,
not one of pomp, or ridiculuous circumstances.
No acrid fog of gunfire; no dangled limbs
and spilled hair in a gauzy after dinner glow,
from the woman I’d been seeing, on the side,
and her husband’s thick fist and flint swerve
of a tire iron, an almost orchestral movement,
his conductor’s grace, beautiful and terrible,
fierce in its whipped flashings.

None of that silliness—blood and bone
with too much witness.
Too much clean up,
those rash and fulfilled decisions.

It will be in the hollow,
between two staid, immovable and ancient hills,
the languid glide of the porch swing,
her brushing the thin hairs
on the insides of my wrist,
a remnant memory.

That churning and electric
throb from the cicadas.
This quiet dissolve vanishing
into the moon’s severed half-light.

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Thursday, August 24th, 2006
9:29 pm - Where I Am; Come Meet Me
I want to live different lives, in different places. A year at a time. Half a year. A month, a week.
I want to teach in Asheville, North Carolina. Be a police officer in New Mexico. Manufacture wheels in North Dakota. Collect garbage in Pittsburgh. Sell insurance in Idaho.
Many lives. I want many of these lives. And many, unnamed ones.
I feel restless after awhile. My heart is transient, aimless; thirsty.
This is a good place. I'm stable. This is good.
But honestly, I want to wander.

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Monday, August 21st, 2006
7:20 pm - Me and Sis, Pedestal Rocks

Me and Sis, Pedestal Rocks
Originally uploaded by banjopwhistle.
My sister visited me, in pretty Northwest Arkansas, last month. Here's a picture of us at Pedestal Rocks. Notice the dorky socks over sweats look my sister is employing (practical, though, as the word 'ticks' was mentioned numerous times; we had never heard of such things in suburban California). Also take a gander at what I deem, "the bouncer cut," my current and past cue ball look. And that is as close to the edge as I will ever, ever get.

Ah, my first LJ pic. Milestones.

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Tuesday, August 8th, 2006
1:03 am - Long time coming
Finally, after many fits and starts over the years, finished Cormac McCarthy's, "Blood Meridian".

Damn if I don't feel like I've been beaten and trampled raw.

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Thursday, July 27th, 2006
10:04 pm - My silence
A lack of any words is due to the stress of:

1) Moving.

2) Buying a car.

My advice is to try and not do these things at precisely the same time.

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Monday, June 12th, 2006
1:09 pm - Extended lunch
Took an extended lunch today. And let me just say, I am embarrassed by our country's soccer team. Absolutely pathetic showing.
(Odd, I know, but I do love the World Cup).

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Sunday, June 11th, 2006
12:58 pm - "I am my father's son..."
The roomie is now spending a couple of weeks in Hawaii with her family (after her grueling stretch of tourism in New York). Rough life, I tell you. In the meantime, somehow she must've coordinated a siege timed specifically upon her leaving.

Spiders. Everywhere.

At least four or five a day. If I were a better man I'd trap them and let them frolic back outside. But I'm weak. And scared of damn spiders. Plus, an ample wasp (or hornet, I don't much know the difference, other than they're both big and mean) flew out of my closet the other day. Spraying is supposedly in order, but nobody's come a knockin'.

As much as I prefer playing basketball at the park (it's oddly rarely done here in Arkansas as opposed to California; maybe not oddly, heat + humidity) or a little beach volleyball, I've had to pick up golf. I have clubs now. Cheap. Wow, I'm getting old.

And when I say I'm golfing, I somehow feel like a dirty Republican.

I lent "Jesus' Son" to one of Laura's friends yesterday. It's my bible, as far as writing goes. In fact, I might stock up, put on a white shirt and tie, ride around, knock on doors, share some testimony as to the power of fiction (or poetry, if you must). Yes, this will be my plan. Will you accept "Jesus' Son" into your life?

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Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
7:02 pm - The life, the job
What do you say when one of your clients, after having checked out Cyndi Lauper's greatest hits at the library, asks, while driving him home, if he can sing you "All Through the Night"?

You say:

Go for it, man. Go for it.

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Monday, May 29th, 2006
1:43 pm - What you may not know about me
I have the most glorious farmer's tan. Impeccable, really.
And when they tell me they love me or throw me those salacious looks, I know it's not me.
It's the farmer's tan.
The blessed farmer's tan.

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Thursday, May 11th, 2006
10:05 pm - quickie
Went to see the United movie by myself the other day. Monday matinee. At one point, I was sobbing uncontrollably. Tough movie to watch, and I'm sure you've been forewarned. Trying to talk about it later, I broke down, again.

Played some beach volleyball at the park today. Sore, sore. But it reminded me of the good old days, of beach, of sun, of long days that last forever, the summers stretched out, no responsibilities, playing hooky and bodyboarding after sixth period. Oh, such youth.

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Sunday, April 30th, 2006
6:19 pm - maturity
The last month or so has gone pretty swell. Have eased into the job and find myself happy to be there, of some use and purpose. Taken a hike or two in the area, where everything has swelled up, green, flaunting. Actually begun cooking a bit, a little grilling here and there, some veggies tossed in, organic eggs and all healthy like. So yeah, I'm functioning at a decent clip. At times I miss being caught up in my head, the agonizing intellectualizing. Though only at times. And I seem to finally slow down a bit, catch my self back in that other, previous world, of words and ideas when I get chance to catch a poem here or there.

But now, when I walk, I start to ask for the flowers by name.

"Lucky life is like this. Lucky there is an ocean to come to.
Lucky you can judge yourself in this water.
Lucky you can be purified over and over again.
Lucky there is the same cleanliness for everyone.
Lucky life is like that. Lucky life. Oh lucky life.
Oh lucky lucky life. Lucky life."

--Gerald Stern

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Saturday, March 18th, 2006
6:07 pm - going out
Wilco concert tonight.
Aww, yeah.

This song: my total sex machine music.
Awww, he says.
And yeah.

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Tuesday, March 14th, 2006
6:56 pm - scenes and recollections
In the waiting room at the county jail, a woman, deep south accent, gentile and Georgian, lamented "...both my kids here...who would've ever thought it...both of them." She was a huge woman, with a problem leg, and there was something sad and entirely gothic about the exchange with the sheriff's deputy and her lonely, hunchbacked teetering.

Twice now, in the past two weeks, a car from my household has broken down. The same guy, Rick, towed the roomie's and my car. He rarely sleeps after doing a wreck; his wife passed away in a car accident a year or so ago. What would it be like to work a job, as he does, always reminded, always seeing a loved one in the pieces?

I need a new tranny.
(transmission, for the laypeople).

I need to start pimping myself again, to the tune of 2300 or so bones. It hurts just saying the number.

The saddest question to hear at work:

will I ever get better?

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