Friday, December 3, 2010

Quickness of fire

On Thanksgiving eve a fire destroyed the ceiling of the sun porch in my Father's home where I was staying. It spread quickly from a metal chimney in the middle of the porch, devouring a path under the roof. We called 911 and a fire truck was dispatched. The 911 dispatcher told us to immediately evacuate.

I watched the firemen quickly scamper to the top of the roof, enter the porch area and remove furniture as they contained the blaze. I saw sparks flying, smoke engulfing the men. My Father watched from the end of the driveway.

It was one of the few times--the only time?--I saw my Father cry in agony. He was utterly vulnerable and suffering the pain of loss.

He has to stay out of the house for at least three months while they repair it. My Father wanted to go back into the house that night.

Your life can change forever in an instant, your past and all its tracks can be erased in an instant.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In the Berkeley Poetry Review

To my delight I learned I have a poem published in the latest issue of the Berkeley Poetry Review--if it ever reaches local bookstores. O ego validation.

I hope my friend Franz Wright survived cancer surgery.

I purchased the "New and Selected Poems" of David Young; published by Knopf. A beautiful book. I'm addicted to poetry books and fine written prose.

Ran in the hills above Berkeley. Waiting for the rain to descend this weekend.

I discovered and used the "Notes" feature on FaceBook. I may never try to submit poetry anywhere again. I love it when people I don't know like what I've written and "get" it. Well...maybe I will submit to journals again.

The usual surreal panorama to and from work: the homeless begging, students hurrying to their morning classes, people running or cycling, delivery trucks, massage parlours, busses. And, of course, the deadline I met. People in the office sit in their cubiles, IPODS plugged in, each one in their separate world.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Love the Berkeley Public Library Bookstore!

After lunch today I visited the downtown Berkeley Public Library's small bookstore and was excited to see what they had on the poetry shelf at ridiculously low prices ($2.00). The Collected Poetry of Czeslaw Milosz (Ecco Press) a Poetry East edition featuring translations of Eastern European poetry, and the 30th edition of the Pushcart Prize Poetry--2006.

When finding books like these I'm hopelessly greedy. Of course, I bought them.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Saw the movie "Howl." Although I think Allen Ginsberg is overrated as a poet, and became a self-styled pop culture star, the movie successfully portrays him as someone who is labeled "crazy" by the dominant culture because he dares to speak his vision of the truth. He comes across as an earnest, striving, poet trying to articulate his thoughts.

He was a young man at a time when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. He endured institutionalization and got out when he convinced the psychiatrists that he would try to become heterosexual.

He was adept at playing the games. Like Foucault he questioned "the authorities' version of reality" against his own.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Did not run today. Slept late. Got up and did the laundry. Went to Peets instead of the trails. The usual assortment of people inside and outside the place: homeless youth, summer session students, regulars.

Bookstore browsed--what I always do when I take a day off. Went to University Press Books and Moes. Bought books at these remarkable treasure troves.

Wrote in my journal at the Musical Offering as I ate lunch.

People wandering Telegraph Avenue. Youths laughing and running; older people using canes and walkers, barely able to move along.

The morning was foggy and drizzly. Droplets of water covered the vehicles parked outside. The afternoon was warm, not hot. A light breeze gently caressed our skin. It was good to be alive, good to go walk outside in such pleasant, comforting, weather.

Taking a day off rejuvenates me and makes me restless. Tomorrow I run with Catra.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The reading I participated in last Spring, the "Solidarity Night," is on You Tube.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4-

Ran about five miles with Jerry and Catra. Saw the parade in Fremont as it went into and around Ohlone College. I was struck by the diversity of ethnic groups: the Sikhs, VFW's, the nuns from the Mission San Jose, etc. A good glimpse of the people that comprise the community of Fremont, Union City, and Newark.


Delighted to learn that a poem of mine was placed on the "Poets for Living Waters" website:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

7/3/10 Thank God for the Berkeley Public Library store

Yet again, I scored big time at the wonderful Berkeley Public Library bookstore: Coleman Barks' "essential" Rumi translations in hardcover for $3.00, Wislawa Szymborska's "nonrequired reading" a collection of prose pieces for $4.00, Czeslaw Miloz's great anthology "A Book of Luminous Things" in paperback for $2.00

Did a late morning run in the Berkeley hills. About four or five miles. Young people running, people hiking and carefully taking photographs of flowers. Off in the distance, below us, the cityscape of Oakland and beyond that--the ocean.

Always happier when I run.

Went to RSF for a weight workout. Had lunch at the Musical Offering where the gorgeous and gracious Jennifer was behind the counter--showing a new employee the routine.

Warm day of mid-Summer.

The glow of completing Western States for the 13th time is fading away; becoming a mere memory.

Sad but inevitable.