July 27, 2002

so, like, if we were going to move....

Say we're thinking of moving out of the U.S., you know, packing up the blogs and taking them with us, so to speak. Does anyone think they live in a really great place outside of the U.S.? And, is there a house for sale or rent near you? And why do you love where you live? What's it like there--what makes it special?

Because, really, I'm trying to figure out if it's the climate here in America, which seems to be growing ever more obnoxious, or if it's Atlanta proper that's getting unbearable, or if it's just that the world is ready to spin off its axis, in which case we won't bother packing but instead get into the bathtub and prepare for a bumpy landing.

Everything seems amiss. Nothing seems right. I just got Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language and Loss to add to the pile of books I want to read, not so much thinking of this displaced feeling I've had based on geography, but more based on rootlessness or something I haven't quite "got" yet.

But I will get it, and when I get it I'll blog about it, if I get it this decade. Anyway, here's a snippet of an editorial review to tell you what the book's about, which, since I've only read a very nice 5 pages worth, I can't tell you yet (though I CAN tell you it doesn't have the cool briefcase looking handle it appears to have--it's a paperback.) Nonetheless, it looks like a very promising read.

---->In these distinct and forthcoming original essays, five prominent writers offer their meditations on exile and memory. The authors represented in Aciman's (Out of Egypt: A Memoir, 1995) collection are a varied lota not atypical sampling of men and women who have found their way to the US from around the world: Aciman, an Alexandrian in exile via Paris; Eva Hoffman, a Pole in exile via Canada; Bharati Mukherjee, a Bengali in Berkeley; Edward Said, a Palestinian exile via Egypt; and Charles Simic, a Yugoslav exile of 1945 vintage. These voices of exile are unusually eloquent ones. All five authors are non-native speakers who write professionally in English. For them, the common duality and instability of exile are heightened by the very nature of their work. Aciman puts it well: ``their words . . . are the priceless buoys with which they try to stay afloat both as professional thinkers and human beings.'' <----

See, their WORDS are buoys that keep them afloat when they are exiled, homeless, rootless. Ring a bell? A poetry bell? A music bell? a blogging bell?

Anyway, it's really late, and I need to be sleeping, but instead I'm sitting in a relatively comfortable home with my nice laptop and air conditioning thinking somehow I've always been in exile from myself. Either that, or I've been living in the wrong places, places that don't quite feel like home.

So give a shout if you happen to know where home is.

exile 1

when you cut
me open
the thing
that will suprise
you the most
is the mysterious
ball of twine
that is my heart
twisted tight, its
genesis invisible,
hidden within
a tight coil
it would take
too long
to unravel.

this is what
feels like.

unable to
touch the
beginning of
roots buried
so deep
it takes
to unearth

And then,
they are cold.

It's not always
about leaving
a place, about
leaving family,
exile is a place
is family
gone because
never knew

from yourself:
the wind.

I leave myself,
a homeland
wasted by
this war
is inside me
not the best
but the only
is to

July 26, 2002

people are saying...

Hey, j., I like your poetry. When do you write it--do you write right there in your blog?

Answer: Gee, thanks. and, uh, yep. I write right here in this posting spot, and most often, I write the poetry as I'm nodding off at night, in that space between wake and sleep where I find that having my fingers on the laptop keyboard pays infinite rewards, the most fun being, I don't know until the next day what I wrote. And sometimes I acutally like it! Write a stanza, nod off, pull my head up, write another, nod off, and so on. It's not for everyone. For instance, if you have a life and/or need your sleep, this method of writing may complicate things.

That's pretty much how I do it. No real thinking. Just finding the words leftover when my mind goes dark.

A highly recommended exercise for blogging junkies.

And now, speaking of sleep, I'm off to put the kiddo to bed.

Bottom's Up, by the way

This is precisely how we are going to change Korporate Amerika. Not so much the "role of weblogs in organizations" thing. That's nice. That's a good way to get companies used to it--unafraid of it. But the bigger change is going to be more about the role of BLOGGERS within organizations.

I am waiting a little bit anxiously for the convergece of George Partington's and Jeneane Sessum's and Gary Turner's (and more) split personalities into one well-informed, tightly-connected, dangerous, risky and serious weblogging mofo. Today we have one foot on the net and one in the workplace. Tomorrow we are the workplace, or more appropriately, the workplace is us.

Go George!

Hello, he's one of us.

Lots of talk yesterday about the Worldcomm article on weblogging and organizations. Doesn't seem like anyone noticed that the author of the article is George Partington, Atlanta blogger and author of the recent interview with Chris Locke.

Doc blogged it (but his archives gave me an error so you'll have to scroll down to the post--and Doc I think your link to the aritcle is off.)

blogroots blogged it.

And the article is 23 on Daypop right now.

So it's only fitting that George take a bow. You could say George P. is clued. Smart. Creative. A great writer. And an all around great guy. Well, that's what I say.

Denise Howell and I chatted by phone last night--HI DENISE!--and she told me about the article and how no one had picked up on George being one of us. She wasn't sure if George wanted anyone to pick up on that--those of us with corporate day jobs can be kind of sensitive about that--so I emailed George, who called while George S. and I were still in bed--SORRY GEORGE P.!, or should I say SORRY GEORGE S.?--and so I didn't answer, but rose and shone to an email from George P. telling me to blog away about him being the author.

George also has a link off his article to an information page he put on blogspot. Nice!

So there you have it, the REAL scoop from the early edition of allied. all the news that fits we blog.

Links to George Partington's blog and his Worldcom article on blogging are welcome. Let's push him to number 1 today.

July 24, 2002


ima take a ride
ima go too fast
ima smash a wall
ima not come back

ima fly so far
ima lick a cloud
ima do some flips
ima yell real loud

ima stay up high
ima feel so cold
ima slice the sky
ima make a hole

ima fly on in
ima float above
ima hug the dark
ima die for love


wind barely moves
tattered blue drapes
remind me
that nothing
is still
in time

going away,
her footprint
in grey carpet
lifts and fades
three steps
from now

night is charged
ripples displeasure
the neighbor
on the phone
says a big storm
is on the way

Back from rehab
four weeks,
he knows storms,
been home
too much,
I've started
to look for
in his hands

you come/go
and the wind
moves us,
I reach back
for you.
Hold me.


George's post today tells where we're at. It's a big adjustment going from a physically and emotionally charged performance situation six nights a week at a five-star hotel in the opposite time zone to a messy livingroom where a four year old tests your patience every chance she gets. He's doing remarkably well; off tonight to buy a hard-earned fretless--I can't wait to hear how it records, how it sounds through his gear. We have so much work to do to hook him up with the right management this time around--maybe keep him from having to go so far away next time--Europe in autumn has a nice ring to it.

Meanwhile, back to the old responsibilities of momhood and dayjob, fatherhood and business. What I think we need is a vacation. Away from home, atlanta, routines, work, school everything. Fishing. Amberjack are biting in Pensacola. How hot could it be there now--any hotter than Atlanta? I'm not sure. As long as there's a pool and the ocean, it's good by me.

And what is the payoff? I don't know anymore. Once I had hopes that what we're doing right here, right now would pay off. I still have a glimmer--part of me wonders if Shelley isn't right. If I stopped doing this, would I follow through on the other, more important things? Or does doing this give me the confidence and energy I need to do the other, more important things? No answer yet.

The payoff, the checkered flag, who's in the race, who's gonna win. Used to be when George went on the road there were gigs to be had at home when he came back. Since 9/11 and the economic blunders of our current administration, ain't nothing extra going on. Corporations have eliminated entertainment budgets; parties are a thing of the past. The production business is tougher than ever--folks are conservative with their money thanks to our daily dose of bad news.

One answer is hightail it out of here, maybe to Europe, pick up and go. Harder for me than for George, but if it had to be, I could do it. The nice thing about my online family is that I could take you with me. Matter of fact, you'd be there ahead of me. That is an amazing feeling. That confidence thing I was just talking about.

No decisions to be made yet, but so much work to do; press kits to get done for George, CDs to make, dayjob dayjob, house, house, jenna jenna jenna.

and no sleep for the weary.

July 22, 2002

Halley Rules

quite literally.

to be real

dusk mountains
blue gatoraide
lightning slices
wind moon,
moon, moon
skinned faces
fried in oil
nuclear winter
fire rain
trees ignite
dead crow
children holler
open door
the old lady
on three wheels
rolls by --
looks like
take meds
turkey sandwich
piles of books
loss, forgiveness,
self, relate
cry don't cry
never was
peanuts by the door
lead me not into temptation
evil, sex, acid
snow drifts
writing not writing
heat, sleep, moan
the colors
red black blue
crawling clawing
to get to you
then undone
love unloved
escape voice

July 21, 2002


I rested for two hours this afternoon--stretched out on the bed across four or five pillows... I love lots of pillows because it's like laying on a cloud. The "nap" was something I could do only rarely the last four months. I didn't get much rest--hardly any from April-July. But since George has been home, I have had sweet relaxation, the kind I forgot existed, the kind where you don't wake up in a panic. I drifted off thinking about how many single moms were wishing, at that very moment, that they could lay down too. Take a break. Listen to silence for just a half hour.

So many single moms, single dads never get the relief I got today, while Jenna and George worked on the computer, and I slept, pure simple uninterrupted rest, until she couldn't stand it another minute and came to find me, her hair smelling like bubble gum and baby powder, the scents of the oils daddy had put in her hair as he combed it through while I slept.

I wish I could bottle the feeling and send it to other moms who are missing their rest. I can't pretend to know what it's like to be a single parent day in and day out, but I do know what it was like for almost four months to carry the load by myself, to have my child on my own, with Dad on the other side of the world. I do know the fried patience, the wear and tear that sometimes buckles your knees as you wonder, can I do this another day? Why won't she listen to me? What happened to my kid? Who is she and who am I? Why can't I focus? Why can't I pay the bills, keep the house up? And will frozen dinners for one more night kill us? And if they did, would it be so terrible? And who's taking care of me anyway?

Showers for mom put off until after bedtime, books I'd like to read piled up with the mail; instead it's Phonics and fights over bathtime, friends I'd like to talk to who can't hear me through the wildings of a four year old who wants nothing more than my undivided attention.

I think of Halley, who posted today that she will be getting divorced, and I'm sad and sorry for her trauma, her stress, and wish I could bottle my rest today for her, for a time in the future when she will need it most.

and on this odd day...

of traversing the neighborhood, looking for Shelley's missing house, I find a photo of Dane Carlson's radiant and pregnant wife among the sunflowers.

That is sweetness. Enjoy the ride, Dane.

BurningBird, I miss you and your blogroll

I just realized how many places I used to get to through BB's blogroll. Now that it's gone, where's my jumping off point? I'm disoriented. I have to rearrange my unconscious map around Blogaria my brain, in my fingers. It'll take me some time, I think, to get used to not reading Shelley, to get used to not jumping off from her place to other places.

It's like someone erased a road from my neighborhood. The road to the familiar mom and pop grocery store where I could count on cold, fresh milk and my favorite Cheese Doodles (JAX). I knew the way, always found what I was looking for. Now the road's gone, and I'm wondering how I ever got places before I knew about that road.

Off to drive around the neighborhood for a while, find a new route to the places I go.


grocery shopping for dummies

Make a list that goes something like this:
bread, meat, eggs, toilet paper, lettuce, salad dressing, chicken breast, microwave popcorn, coffee, cream, soda.
Think about going to the grocery store
Find anything else to do instead
Stop blogging
Get off the fucking couch
Get car keys and purse
Walk down the steps
Get into the car
Start the car
Park in fire lane
Get out of the car and lock it
Remember you left the list at home
Say, oh fuck
Grab cart and start down the isles
Get stuck behind some lady checking the many sizes of pampers
Load cart with 1 bag of Doritos, six frozen dinners, three frozen pizzas, microwave egplant parmesean, 1/2 gallon chocolate chip ice cream, whipped cream, hot fudge, salted peanuts.
Grab a bottled water and drink it while looking for your checkbook
Toss the bottle in the garbage before checking out
Pay $44.23
Load healthfood into the car
Drive home
Carry all the bags upstairs at once
Cook til al dante and serve