John 8

Below is the poem I promised to post last week in response to this discussion, in which Kirstin, the editor of Catapult, has recently weighed in about her reasons for publishing the controversial article.
The poem was written for a poetry class in 1994 in which we were to keep the same end words in each stanza we wrote. I am not really pleased with how this poem reads, even though I haven’t done anything to fix it in the intervening decade or so, but I do like some of the images in it.
John 8
It was an odd time to make an ending,
When so much was beginning.
Fresh silence soothing the fever of the night.
Clean sunlight washing the dusty temple yard.
And a young Rabbi softly rending its ancient stony walls.
But they had brought the woman there to make an ending,
When so much was beginning,
With scalpel-stones to excise her cancer in the night,
With harsh light to expose her temple’s filthy yard,
And have the Rabbi raze her crumbling, ruined walls.
And the woman knew it was her ending,
When so much was beginning.
No dawn would soothe her fevered night.
No light could wash her cluttered yard.
And the Rabbi’s word would start the battering of her walls.
And the Rabbi made an ending,
When so much was beginning.
His scalpel cut the stone throwers’ cancer in the night.
His light exposed their hidden dusty yards.
And His word softly slammed their hardened rocky walls.
And so there was an ending,
And so much was beginning.
The Dawn had soothed the fevered Night
And stones patterned the dusty Temple yard,
And the Rabbi had softly razed its ancient stony walls.

Fat Hobbit

It had been quite some time since he had been
On an adventure, and there was the fat
To show for that, and in his mind, unseen,
An equally fattish lethargy, that
Grew large and seemed to swallow everything.
But he had heard the holy songs of elves.
And longing grew to wander and to sing
Songs of those who’ve learned to forget themselves,
And in forgetting gain the Earth entire.
Farewell to constant comfort and to ease,
Not choosing, but to bear the dark and mire,
To see and be the light to truer peace.
How can such foolishness be all that’s wished
For, to be, not less, but more hobbittish.

The Discussion Continues…

I decided to go ahead and begin the discussion of Barbara Zielinsk’s article featured in the latest issue of Catapult, and there have been several posts in the discussion thread. If you want to follow along or jump in yourself, you can do so here. A link to the pertinent article is posted at the top of my first post.
If you’re here from there, welcome.

The Discussion Continues…

I decided to go ahead and begin the discussion of Barbara Zielinsk’s article featured in the latest issue of Catapult, and there have been several posts in the discussion thread. If you want to follow along or jump in yourself, you can do so here. A link to the pertinent article is posted at the top of my first post.
If you’re here from there, welcome.


Saturdays? Well, frankly, on Saturdays I fairly often have rather a saturnine disposition, particularly if I am tracking low already, and the day gets wasted, further contributing to the lowness.
The past two Saturdays have been much better, however. A week ago, the afternoon was brightened by going to an art show in which Safe, But Not Sound had a lovely piece and meeting with many friends. This Saturday was even more fulfilling, starting with a 5:30 am trip to go birding…sort of, followed by 5 hours of working in the hot sun pulling up grass by hand, rototilling, burning branches, followed by a one hour event photo shoot (my first professional one….kind of…it was for my cousin), followed by an hour of editing pictures. Even though my body was dead on its feet, the heart felt fine.
That was, I believe, because I was operating according to proper instructions, with the right proportions of work and rest, and hard work at that. Hey, the work might not have been so hard then, but it was there even before the Fall.
Here are some photos
Saturday, June 9th
Saturday, June 16th

Something There is That Doesn’t Love a Wall-A Photo in Catapult

Part of me wanted to not create my customary post about having a photo published in Catapult. However, that would rather have gone against the spirit of the issue [Deleted for Inappropriate Subject Matter]. Indeed, I believe the subject matter of the three main articles, sexuality, should not be deleted, but rather needs to be discussed more. I appreciate many of the questions that Barbara Zielinski brings up in her feature article and even some of her framing of the topic, yet I must add that I do not agree with her central premise. I do commend to you Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma’s fine editorial on our cultural poverty in the area of conversing with strangers and overcoming the taboo of breaking the silence in public.
I do also have a picture in the issue, picturing a word that, coincidently, pretty well captures the issue’s theme.
You are invited to discuss these issues on the Catapult web site, and we can certainly have a smaller discussion here as well, if you like.
Here is my previous work in the magazine.


This past Friday night, several friends and I began a lovely evening by going to see the movie Once, and I highly recommend that you do the same, at least once, and maybe twice as I plan to do when I get the chance. It is a musical for folk who don’t like musicals (though you have to be able to at least tolerate a contemporary style of sort of singer-songwriter music). It is a celebration of creativity and friendship. It is a serious look at making a good choice, which more often than not is the harder choice of the two, when you desperately want to do the opposite. It is a beautiful, small film about beauty in the difficulties of life. It makes me want to go to Ireland (though I will more likely go to Scotland to get that fix).
Here is the review that hooked me into seeing this movie, but beware it has major spoilers. Here is the official movie site, which has the trailer and, I believe, loops the entire amazing soundtrack to the film (plus, there are loads of extra video clips lower on the page). And here is the Metacritic site, where it has received an amazing aggregate score. There is more music from the principle actors in the film here and here.


This page will be updated in batches as I wear them and think to take the pictures. It may take some time (it is a big collection). If the name is blank, it means I have not as yet thought up one. Here, in no particular order, is the Dassler t(ie)pology. Click on the thumnails if you prefer a bigger image.
There is a lot of polyester here, but I like how they look and they are low maintenance. You have to be more gentle with silk ties to get stuff off of them. I do like the feel of the silk though. Oh, and just so you know, just because I do pay a fair amount attention to my tie choices and matching them with shirts, I still must insist that, no, I do not wear outfits.
Oh, and tie tying style? Full Windsor all the way, baby! Love that symmetry. If you are worried about fat knots, keep pulling down as you tie it. As far as I’m concerned, you only need another knot if you are tying a skinny leather tie from the eighties, any skinny tie from the eighties, for that matter.
Cohort I
blue and gold and silver.JPG
Name: Razzle Dazzle I
Brand: n/a
Origin: thrift store
Material: polyester
Comment: OK, so its a bit flashy, I know, but with the equally bold shirt, I can manage to pull it off.
Brand: 615 Collection
Origin: thrift store
Material: polyester
Comment: I really feel bad for this tie, as I do not think it has ever gotten commented upon. Perhaps it is because it is rather somber and serious. But it has a lovely shade of red in it and shiny, navy blue. Perhaps I need to do better by it and wear a shirt that makes its strengths shine.
red paisley.jpg
Name: Red Paisley
Brand: n/a
Origin: gift / thrift store
Material: Ancient Madder, All Silk
Comment: Ah, this was one of my favorites at one point. Alas, it has begun to fray on one side, so it does not get nearly the circulation it deserves anymore. And this is not a fantastic pic of it.
Name: The All-time Favorite / Interview Tie
Brand: Regalon (Wash and Wear)
Origin: gift / thrift store
Material: 100% Polyester
Comment: Oh, I do love this tie, its color and pattern. It matches a lot of the colors I like i.e. the family of brown, which I have been pretty much inhabiting over the past 5 years or so. Oh, and gotta love a wash and wear tie.
green on green.JPG
Brand: n/a
Origin: thrift store
Material: 65% Acetate, 35% Rayon (yes, I think that makes it 100 % Polyester as well)
Comment: The patterns on this ties are intricate, yet subtle. You only catch them in good light. These polyester ties are amazingly textured. Not sure how they do that, but I like it
Name: The Power Tie, Slumming with Hipsters
Brand: Jones New York
Origin: thrift store
Material: 100% Silk
Comment: OK, so this tie is a bit out of place here, but the red is of deep and melancholy enough quality and it has a very nice slate stripe, so I let it in. It is amazing the brand names you can buy at a thrift store
pink and blue.JPG
Name: Midnight with Chagall Blue
Origin: thrift store
Material: n/a but it seems like Polyester again
Comment: OK, so the name is a bit pretentious, but that is what it looks like. This picture doesn’t do it justice.
new brown and orange.jpg
Name: The New Regalon
Brand: Regalon
Origin: thrift store
Material: 100% Polyester
Comment: This, along with “The Power Tie, Slumming with the Hipsters,” were my most recent purchases. Now I need to get a shirt to do it justice.
from lydia.JPG
Name: Nerve Cells with Stained Nuclei
Brand: n/a
Origin: Gift from Lydia
Material: 100% Polyester
Comment: Lydia was my direct supervisor at SIUE and a bit of a mother to me for a while. This tie is polyester, but it feels like silk
burgundy and green.jpg
Name: Just Making the Cut
Brand: Polo by Ralph Lauren
Origin: thrift store
Material: Polyester
Comment: I gotta tell you, I am rather ambivalent about this tie, but the burgundy and green in it goes well with a shirt and my only summer suit coat that fits just now.