Category Archives: Indianapolis Colts

Feb-Boo-Ary

Maybe this is why I didn’t post anything last week. Maybe my heart had turned to ash, okay?

***

Landsakes–there’s been ever so much-and-so many goings on,  just generally speaking, that one scarcely knows where to dive in!

For example, we could talk about Scott Lee Cohen, the embattled former Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois:

If by “embattled” you mean “hoist by your own petard”, and if by “hoist by your own petard” you mean “police records”.

Because if Illinoisans do one thing right, it’s ensuring–via the democratic process!–that only the most hilariously untoward individuals are placed in a position of potential power.

COHEN: I’m a pawnbroker who assaulted my ex-girlfriend with a knife!
CITIZENS OF ILLINOIS: Cohen for President!

Ugh, embarrassing! Embarrassing. Illinois, I can’t take you anywhere.

MY ROOMMATE, THE NIGHT THIS STORY BROKE: [cheerfully.]     Well, the national media doesn’t seem to have picked it up yet!

***

That same night, I was reading a poem on a webby-site. The poem was about the death of a father. In the comments section below the poem, another reader spoke of how his own father had died; of how the poem moved him. The poet responded: “Thank you.” That is the perfect circle.

I read this to my roommate, and she told me a story.

Several years ago, she sang in a choir. The choir had some sort of show, which took place on two consecutive evenings. There are other details to the story, but the important detail is this.

On the night of the second performance, their conductor congratulated them on their performance of the previous evening. Then he told them that a man–an audience member–had approached him, that night before, and explained that his wife had died some months ago; and that as the man listened to their singing that night, it was the first time that he had been able to forget his grief.

***

That is everything. 

***

On February 8, the space shuttle Endeavour [what’s up with that “ou” spelling? That is traitorous, treason-talk spelling] took off for the International Space Station.

They–the astronauts–have attached what’s basically a new room to the space station. The room is known as

TRANQUILITY

Though its technical name is

NODE THREE

[This is not a joke]

After this, there will be only four more manned shuttle launches. President Obama’s  proposed NASA budget does not allow for the continuation of the Constellation program, which was developing the next generation of spaceflight vehicular na-na. The plan is to develop such things with the monetary support of the “private sector”.

I am a fan of the private sector. But I am nervous. Some of the space glamour has been stripped from life, it feels like.

[And I know that there are other ways to channel our monies in the here and now and Earth-bound, and who am I to take food from the mouth of a starving baby, but?  But. There is merit in exploration and knowledge, in discovery. It strikes me right to the heart to think that these concepts will somehow continue down a long, downward slide of devaluation. I think there is room for all of it, food for babies and cylindrical space nodes alike. Once I fix my Whole World Calculator, I will set things to rights. I promise.]

Also, do you want to see a manned space vehicle soaring through the hushed, sparkling outer reaches of the universe with a Doritos ad on it?

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

The Nails

I gave you sorrow to hang on your wall
Like a calendar in one color.
I wear a torn place on my sleeve.
It isn’t as simple as that.

Between no place of mine and no place of yours
You’d have thought I’d know the way by now
Just by thinking it over.
Oh I know
I’ve no excuse to be stuck here turning
Like a mirror on a string,
Except it’s hardly credible how
It all keeps changing.
Loss has a wider choice of directions
Than the other thing.

As if I had a system
I shuffle among the lies
Turning them over, if only
I could be sure what I’d lost.
I uncover my footprints, I
Poke them till the eyes open.
They don’t recall what it looked like.
When was I using it last?
Was it like a ring or a light
On the autumn pond
Which chokes and glitters but
Grows colder?
It could be all in the mind. Anyway
Nothing seems to bring it back to me.

And I’ve been to see
Your hands as trees borne away on a flood,
The same film over and over,
And an old one at that, shattering its account
To the last of the digits, and nothing
And the blank end.

The lightning has shown me the scars of the future.

I’ve had a long look at someone
Alone like a key in a lock
Without what it takes to turn.

It isn’t as simple as that.

Winter will think back to your lit harvest
For which there is no help, and the seed
Of eloquence will open its wings
When you are gone.
But at this moment
When the nails are kissing the fingers good-bye
And my only
Chance is bleeding from me,
When my one chance is bleeding,
For speaking either truth or comfort
I have no more tongue than a wound.

W.S Merwin

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The Big Apple: It Is Chewy

In New York this past weekend. It was on-fire-arrows-in-the-face cold, and I say that hailing from Chicago, where the cold weather is a commonplace matter; where people routinely wander about without a proper coat well into December, in an incredibly misguided attempt to prove what a mountainperson they are. Chicagoans: 90% of your body heat escapes through your head!

CHICAGOANS: I ate Lake Michigan for breakfast! Gaaarrrrr!

Why, I sure do remember last winter, when the weather was–what?–20 below zero, one day? By the time I made it to the front door of my place of employment, I couldn’t feel my legs beneath the whole rummage sale’s worth of clothing I had placed onto my person.

vs.

Remember the most terrifying picture of Old Man Winter EVER?

***

Actually, there is a picture that’s worse. I’m sparing you, believe me.

***

Aside from being cold, New York was wonderful.

“New memories”, said my friend Leah, and that is what I got.

***

On Sunday afternoon, Bridgid and I were walking towards a train stop at 49th Street. As we neared its stairs, two men walked up them from below. One looked at the other as they made it to the street level, and gestured towards the panoply of the city, all around us.

“Are you ready for this?” he said.

***

Illinois primaries on Tuesday! Woot!

CLICK HERE 

–if you live in the state of Illinois, and would like to vote in the primaries, and would like information on the primaries/candidates/the location of your polling place. You would, wouldn’t you? I know that you would.

Do not let yourselves be wearied. Go and vote. You can do it.

And:

If the sight of the Illinois state flag doesn’t warm you down to the marrow of your bones, then I don’t care to know what will.

***

I hope you’re all preparing yourselves for the Super Bowl. I am and I am. I’m being a pretty big jerk about it, by and large. The best offense is defense, if you know what I’m saying, and what I’m saying is that it’s a friendless lot, being a Colts fan in Chicago. People wouldn’t spit on me if I were on fire, feels like some days.

 With luck, I’ll be back next week with Victory’s Ivy Garland ’round my head!

You know, Victory’s Ivy Garland.

 

 

Caedmon

All others talked as if
talk were a dance.
Clodhopper I, with clumsy feet
would break the gliding ring.
Early I learned to
hunch myself
close by the door:
then when the talk began
I’d wipe my
mouth and wend
unnoticed back to the barn
to be with the warm beasts,
dumb among body sounds
of the simple ones.
I’d see by a twist
of lit rush the motes
of gold moving
from shadow to shadow
slow in the wake
of deep untroubled sighs.
The cows
munched or stirred or were still. I
was at home and lonely,
both in good measure. Until
the sudden angel affrighted me–light effacing
my feeble beam,
a forest of torches, feathers of flame, sparks upflying:
but the cows as before
were calm, and nothing was burning,
                  nothing but I, as that hand of fire
touched my lips and scorched my tongue
and pulled my voice
                                         into the ring of the dance.

Denise Levertov

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Heart Blender

That’s about all I’ve got, at the moment.

***

I mean…what do you want from me? I spent most of Sunday sticking a meat thermometer in my eyeball.

Or texting my sister, thusly:

SARAH: Why is this happening
ME: They need to pull it together
SARAH: I am going to throw up
ME: I am dead

***

And:

La la la la la la la la la la la la!

MARK SANCHEZ: I want to be besties with you guys!
COLTS: Nooooooo!

***

More next week, I promise. Me.

 

 

To Avoid Unnecessary Death

heed the rattler’s warning.
Listen for its tightly coiled rasp,

the burr, the catch, the purr
emptied of its chance of cat.

A brindled sound. Rapid slap. Hunting
once my uncle’s half-mutt appaloosa reared,

nostrils dilated, synapses flared, she struck
the gravel trail and, shrieking, thrashed

a gem-backed length of garden hose,
somebody’s trash. Passion may be blind–

truth hisses in the ear. Click of teeth. Snap
of sheets. Kitchen door just before it’s latched.

B.T Shaw

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An Ear-and-Eye Full

 

Well, THANK GOD.

***

I have learned that the tears which we produce due to strong emotions are comprised of different chemical compounds* than the tears which are produced when–say–we smell an onion, or wander into a sandstorm in the middle of the Kalahari Desert [why are you doing that, anyway? Don’t do that]. Or–to be more precise–these particular tears contain more of certain “protein-based hormones”, the best-named of which is adrenocorticotropic hormone. Woot!

How far we have come, with our scientific understanding! When our ancestors, the cavepersons, wept in sorrow–no doubt due to a peckish saber-toothed tiger–they had no idea that there were protein-based hormones swimming around in their eyeball-tears! They didn’t even know what a retina is. We do, right?

Gross!

*[Ugh, that sounds like a robot, doesn’t it? The tears which we produce due to strong emotions. “I do not compute the tears which you produce due to strong emotions, human,” said the Uldof Bot 5000, and swung its shiny robot arms! Robots: They do not have a care in the world.]

***

I didn’t even know that there was anything in the way of protein-based hormones in tears, though, to be honest. Salt? I thought there might be some salt. Hold on, I will go and look.

***

Yes!

***

Also, there is a song called “The Salt in My Tears”.

The lyrics are a real downer, however, so we needn’t share them here. This little snippet should tell you anything you need to know:

“I realized after all these years/That you ain’t worth the salt in my tears.”

Uh-HUH.

***

[Tears: Haiti. Haiti, and everyone everywhere helping with Haiti, and doing good and their part. That is all I have to say.]

***

I’m flying out to New York the last weekend of this month. I haven’t been there in three whole years. Circumstances have stood ever in the way; not this time. I am excited. The last time I was there, it was my birthday. We all went to dinner that night, but I don’t remember where. I remember being very tired all over, body and soul, but staying out late anyway.  For some reason I always remember having a conversation that night, in a cab, about the fact that people can haunt you.

I was trying to recall the last time I even set foot on an airplane. I initially mis-remembered–it’s been about a year, but before that it was a flight to L.A, around this time two years ago. Visiting L.A was consumingly strange, for me; I loved it, immediately, head-over-heels, face-plant into the ground infatuated. Pre-visit, I was all, “L.A, blecccch.” When I came back to Chicago, I got on Craigslist and looked at apartments. In L.A. This is what I am saying.

I started looking through old pictures, from that trip; oh, goodness!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

 

 

After the Elements

You and I, we are too far
from fire now: the chimney-pots
have driven out their smoke,
and stood alert for its return,
but flames are rare, or else
they are disaster; our rooms in brick and board
have insulated from the wind
our blood and voices,
so that neither moves inside the wilder air–
those bands of warm and cold, force
and impetus or null
that comes when two great streams oppose
and cancel out; we are
too far from water now, both you and I,
the green of dissolution kissing
wrack to wrack, sun
crisping to the glitter
of the stars; for in the water,
night comes soon, and in the water, there are bands
of cold and warm, and in the one
you die, and in the other live
but briefly, you and I;
we are too far from earth,
and when we lie down on the grass,
the palm a star, a shadow-bed,
we’ll never know if under us
there creep the fossils of a youth
who died and slumped beneath the earth,
and earth has moved across
his thorax and his thigh; until the air
we are too far from, though within
its stale caress had brushed the last
of sandstone from his eyes,
and took from bones
the oxygen they kept,
that entered time as expiration,
and enters us as breath.

Judith Bishop

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Three Nights Two Days

Home in Indianapolis for the weekend, for my niece’s sixth birthday party.

I got in late Friday night. On Saturday morning, my parents made breakfast, and we randomly began watching a Western film that was on the TV. My pa’s a real fan of Westerns. This particular Western was called:

Ulzana

ULZANA’S RAID

Of “Ulzana’s Raid”, I will say this. AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

One minute, we’re enjoying delicious cinnamon rolls and the gruff banter of Burt Lancaster’s “McIntosh”, a world-weary tracker; the next minute, we’re staring at the screen in frozen horror at  a wagon ride through the countryside gone HORRIBLY, HORRIBLY WRONG and OH MY GOD ARE THEY–? and IS THAT A HUMAN HEART? THAT IS A HUMAN HEART.

It was almost enough to deter us from enjoying our breakfast, but not quite.

MY DAD: [giving me a level look.] Two rolls left, three of us.

***

My niece’s birthday party was a cracking good time. My sister’s mother-in-law has a real knack for clever cakes, and she didn’t disappoint this time:

Bee

YES, THAT’S RIGHT

P1010618

IT’S STILL TRUE

She wrapped the legs of the Barbie in Saran Wrap, and I don’t know what-all, and plunged the doll into the skirt-cake.

When it came time for Madge to blow out her candles: Dilemma! What to do with a pair of flammable plastic arms?

But my sister did not bear five children to be thwarted by the likes of a Barbie Doll.

P1010707

I AM BA-AR, PAGAN QUEEN OF THE SHADOW PEOPLE!

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek

***

Later, we squirted silly string onto the children, to fun up the joint. They screamed as though they were in “Ulzana’s Raid”.

***

The next day, breakfast and Mass, and a Colts game in the afternoon!

There is a time delay between the television in the kitchen and the television in the living room.  This creates a certain amount of  highwire tension during the Colts season. A certain amount of “gentleman’s-honor-I-won’t-give-the-game- away-just-because-I’m-fully-several-seconds-ahead-of-you-here-in-The-Future.” My brother and father and I were in the kitchen at one point, snackin’, and my little sister was in the living room. Something good happened; I don’t remember what, now, but it was good and it was the Colts. Perhaps a “first down”? Perhaps “the Jaguars went for two and they went down hard”.

MY FATHER, BROTHER, AND I: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
MY LITTLE SISTER: SHUT UP!
MY FATHER, BROTHER, AND I: Sorry!
MY LITTLE SISTER: Yeah, baby!

***

Hubble talk in next week’s blog. Let’s examine the universe.

Oh, The Universe! You’re a real card these days, The Universe.

THE UNIVERSE: Tell me something I don’t know!
ME: But you know everything, The Universe!
THE UNIVERSE: How embarrassing for me.

 

Insomnia & So On

Fat bed, lick the black cat in my mouth
each morning. Unfasten all the bones

that make a head, and let me rest: unknown
among the oboe-throated geese gone south

to drop their down and sit beside the out-
bound tides. Now there’s no nighttime I can own

that isn’t anxious as a phone
about to ring. Give me some doubt

on loan; give me a way to get away
from what I know. I pace until the sun

is in my window. I lie down. I’m a coal:
I smolder to a bloodshot glow. Each day

I die down in my bed of snow, undone
by my red mind and what it woke.

Malachi Black

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No More Disneyworld

Colts Chargers Football

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Nooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooooooo                       oooooooooooooooooo

 Nonononononononononononononononononononononononononononononono

***

Let me tell you what misery is. Misery is watching the Colts and Chargers in overtime on a television at Diversey Bowl, because you are there for your friend’s birthday party, and you are wearing–for the love of the Archangel Gabriel–you are wearing your Joseph Addai jersey; and as you watch,  your heart making a noise like a garbage truck with a stalled trash compactor, Darren Sproles runs the ball into the Chargers end zone, while a group of men behind you shriek with girlish joy.

***

I called home on Sunday night, just to make sure that everyone was okay.

MY DAD: [joyously.] Six weeks ’til pitchers and catchers report to spring training!

***

I had a long talk with a good man, Fr. Jonathan Meyer, when I was home for Christmas. We were in a Starbucks in Edinburgh, Indiana, and it was this many degrees outside:

62

I wore this many socks:

0

The subject of the talk was:

 Life, or: What, In The Name Of Sprinkles McGee, Am I Doing With My Life When I Should Be Vaccinating Babies In The Democratic Republic Of  The Congo?

“Most of us live in Disneyworld,” said Fr. Meyer.

“I don’t want to live in Disneyworld anymore,” I said, and I probably banged my latte cup on the table for emphasis.

So my brother Ben and I decided that our motto for 2009, his and mine together, would be No More Disneyworld.

That is why this blog is called No More Disneyworld.

I thought you would want to know.

***

disney_world

No

***

maybe

Maybe

***

Around New Year’s, my friends and I carefully select a group motto for the upcoming year. Many are called, but few are chosen. [Fischer has attempted, for two years running, to submit the motto “Hearts on Fire”.]

The mottos have run as follows:

1. Crazyfest 2004

[It was crazy]

2. Amazingfest 2005

[An unsuccessful attempt to ward off further crazy]

3. Bring It On [Unprintable] Fest 2006

[When we concocted this motto, we jokingly said that our motto for 2007 would end up being something like “Perhaps Don’t Bring It Quite So Hard Fest 2007.” Ha ha! Hahahahahaha! Oh, we were prescient, we were! If we had seen what 2006 was unpacking from her picnic basket, we would have forged some passports quicker than you can say “Jack Robinson”, and fled to the docks and joined a freighter crew bound for the Maldives.] 

4. Dad, I Don’t Wanna Be A Lawyer, I Just Wanna Dance Fest 2007

[Simplifying matters and bringing it back to what’s important: getting down]

5. Maybe A Human Rights Lawyer Fest 2008

[We remember that we have to pay our utility bills]

***

This year’s motto…well, I just don’t know how to explain it, and I’m not going to try. Suffice it to say that it’s based upon the following:

1. An episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer [natch]

2. A decision that we needed to break free from our supah thematic mottos, and wrap our arms around randomness and delight

Make up your own mottos, why don’t you? It’ll do you a world of good.

***

Multiple people spoke to me of last week’s poem.

“That poem my God my God my God my God,” they said, generally, and then they pressed their hands to their hearts, because they hurt. 

Like Fools

Like fools we waited to hear the tomatoes, we knew
what greenness meant on the vine and we were able
to bypass the peppers, green and red and stop at
the wall where nothing wet between the stones
gave them their shape to start with since they were
    mostly
flat and heavy and it was a vocable
so pure I almost froze and it was a guttural–
reaching out to the pines–the small rouge came from.

Gerald Stern

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Could Be Said, Shan’t Be

There is a-much to say–a-much that could be said–of Colts games witheringly lost, and fall-crackle weather, and my new sewing machine, and the life story of the woman who wrote the sewing manual my grandmother gave me with the sewing machine, a woman named Ann Persons, who–according to her sewing manual’s introductory section–suffered through The Polio, and whose husband suffered financial setbacks within the logging industry. Those loggers! Mischief-makers, if Ann Persons is to be believed, and I believe she is.

There is a-much to say, but it will have to wait a bit to be said, because there’s too much going on right now for me to compose a full-blown-eagle’s-wings blog. I will come back swinging [or soaring through America’s azure skies, possum in beak, I suppose] soon, and talk about some things. Next week, I hope. Right now, all of this is full:

MIND: Full
HEART: Full
FINGERS AND HANDS: Full
SOUL: I’m pretty sure that’s also full

–thusly leaving me with no space. I’m mostly space-less.

But: space for one small thing. I love this lovely line [more “language in strips like pennants”, to quote Annie Dillard from an earlier blog] from a poem called “Explaining It“, by William Johnson:

“Too often a name/subverts the pang it answers for, inwit of/heart-light, the epiphanic clutch.”

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

See you soon.

[Seriously: 29-13? 29-13? I had the following conversation with my roommate, after I stormed into the kitchen post-fumble-stupid-something-or-other:

JESSICA: Uh…we’re going to have to figure something out here, because if you’re ever actually being murdered and screaming in the next room, I’m not going to be able to tell the difference.

ME: [heavily.] Yeah.

My Moses

Big Jack and his walking stick
live on the ridge. Navajo
orphan kids dance for him,
bobcat urine’s in the weeds,
the shotgun barrel’s up his sleeve,
a Persian coin is on the wind.
The Chinese Mountains smell the moon
and arch their backs. I tell him, Jack,
there’s times I wish I was living in
canvas France, the old west,
a picture book, the Sea of
Tranquility, or even in
the den near the hot spring.
He says, kid, to hell with

phantom limbs; spring is a verb,
a wish is a wash, a walking stick
is a gottdam wing.

Wendy Videlock

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