Raising poets, growing poems

The rain screws up its face
and falls to bits.
Then it makes itself again.
Only the rain can make itself again.
–Adrain, age 4

Great article in Orion giving me hope that there are so many teacher poets changing vision and changing lives out there. Remember being a child? Remember learning to see? To hear? To take risks and to express and feel and ride it out? A chronicle of tiny, poetic lessons, major victories against complacency. Check it out, A Wilderness of Thought: childhood and the poetic imagination by Richard Lewis


Bad as Me: Hanging with Tom Waits

Well virtually hanging anyway in the front seat of a very rusty old car with a great set of speakers.  New Waits album, Bad as Me scheduled to drop on October 25th but it’s been leaked and Tom’s not too happy about it.  A spoiled birthday surprise so to speak.  I can understand wanting to hear the leaked album (especially  if you’re as hungry as me for everything this man touches  ie The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus) but I’ll wait until the official release and buy a legit copy.  Tom is one of the few artists, maybe a handful that I have bought every album they’ve put out and not yet been disappointed.   So enjoy these snippets from the new album, climb inside that rusty listening booth and dig this

And if you missed this one from the Glitter and Doom tour announcement, check it out.

Cover Junkie

No ideas but in things declared William Carlos Williams with his red wheelbarrow and pilfered plums.  But I’m an idea guy and have always found ideas easier to work with than things.  And what if we’re talking in terms of ideas of things, the aesthetics, the looking and thinking about things in ways which physically handling the things tends to destroy their beauty?

I’ll use the book cover as an example.  Sure I love books and reading, but it’s because I’m a cover junkie that I take so many home.  Most I don’t finish, some I don’t even open but instead pour over the cover, the design, the font, the humor.  What is included, what is alluded to or excluded altogether?  Now as  a librarian I always feel a bit guilty about my strong attraction to covers and I have tried for a long time not to give in to this indulgent, graphic tractor beam, but resistance is futile.  Now to make matters worse, in terms of staring at things, loosing hours just looking, I’ve been introduced to these sites, The Book Cover Archive , Faceout Books and Book Covers Anonymous (just a sampling of the links from BCA).

Pecha Kucha?

Hadn’t heard of this presentation style featuring 20 images for 20 seconds each in a slide show format.  Was checking some out and thinking about making one myself and this one featuring TEXTURE just struck me as wabi sabi to the core.  Simple, found beauty, object speaking for itself, white background.  Could work even without the audio commentary.  Dig…http://www.pecha-kucha.org/presentations/249



Alternative Energy Alaskan Style

OK, so this post doesn’t fall into the poetry, blood, or shack category but I wanted to share two articles in AK papers I

copyright, Carla Pedersen / For the Capital City Weekly

came across lately that got me excited about the new thinking that is going into alternative fuels.  What excites me is the whole ‘post-apocalypse’  aspect of it all, I mean living in Alaska people here remain closer to the concept of survival than elsewhere in the world.  I know that regardless of how well insulated my house is or how little fuel oil I burn (none) to heat my home, or how green the source of electricity that feeds my furnace (hydro), when the shit starts storming and there’s no electricity, I’m going to wish I had that wood stove installed to heat my home and cook my meals.

I’m excited about the concept of waste-wood products (pellets, bricks) due to their high concentration of BTUs, low moisture content (in Southeast AK even seasoned wood is soggy) and low residual ash.  Don’t know how the plastic back to oil would apply but it’s cool for sure.

Prince of Wales Biofuel Coop could bring cost-effective, locally produced waste-wood products to the Juneau market if only there’s enough mill-waste to keep this production sustainable without digging back into new virgin old growth stands.  My question really is, will the mills run and produce waste if they are relegated to milling 2nd growth?  Read more, here.

K&K Recycling and Chena Hot Springs Resort (already an innovator in the geothermal world) have begun re-liquefying plastics to create a fuel-oil like substance that might just turn out to be a reasonable alternative form of recycling/re-use in communities too remote for recycling to off-site locations/buyers to be sustainable.

Readjusting to Small Town Life

Wishing I could grow a beard if only to provide a tiny layer of anonymity in a place where everyone knows your name and business even if you can’t quite place them.  But it’s not all bad, in fact I spent the entire time I was away from Alaska talking to people about Alaska, so I am very glad to be home.  Heard these lines in a Drive By Truckers song the other day and thought they really hit the mark in terms of the way things are remembered in small towns.

The pretty girls from the smallest towns
get remembered like storms and droughts
that old men talk about for years to come
I guess that’s why they give us names
So a few old men can say they saw us rain when we were young

Lyrics: Mike Cooley / Music: Cooley, Hood, Morgan, Neff, Tucker and Gonzalez
© Razor and Tie Music (BMI)

Your Local Library

What does your local library mean to you?  Do you recall your first visit, your first card?  OK so the link to this great conversation from Think Out Loud on Oregon Public Broadcasting got shared on every librarian in the state’s Facebook pages last week, but as I haven’t been getting to the blog often enough I’m a few days late.  Regardless, this needed to be shared. 

I know I’m biased about the value of libraries and the vast array of services they provide to the communities they serve, but was astounded to hear the common consensus among library users (not librarians) and to see the few absurd comments by those of the “Why do we need libraries when we have the internet” persuasion. 

Dig, comment and please share your library experiences with me here in this post as well.