Archive | November, 2004

A Man in the Bush

My daughter noticed a man living near the storm drain lake near our house. The storm drain lake sits behind a chain link fence and collects the run off from the city streets, the strip mall parking lot, and Pacific Highway South. The water sits in the pond and slowly filters through the gravel to the Sayworth Creek running in the green belt near the highway. The creek runs down a steep gully and passes through tunnels beneath side streets. Finally it comes out at the top of Saltwater State Park. The park seems like a little stretch of beach from the shore line, but really runs like a nervous system in thin belts through our entire neighborhood, green spaces that hold the inexplicable sound of the creek, birds, and frogs. The green belt behind our house is near the headwater. A man lives in the forest.

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Jack, don’t touch that.

Jack, don’t touch that.

But Jack, never one to listen to the rules, put his hand right into the blazing fire. His hand burned right to the bone. His sleeves caught on fire. He jumped and hollered and cried, “I shouldn’t touch that.”

Jack don’t touch that.

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Blue So Screwed

Thursday Nov. 18th, at 7:30 there will be a “wrangle,” (aka civic forum) on the topic of the recent election. It will happen in the Richard Hugo House cabaret. Admission will be a ticket worth 2 drinks.

The panel is made up of Anna Maria Hong, Nick Licata, Ann Powers, Jonathan Raban, and Josh Feit. I will represent Dick Cheney’s New American Century, and so may need to wear a concealed, slightly bulgy, bullet proof undershirt. Grant Cogswell will moderate.

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Note on The End

Although I wanted the event to retain the overall texture of a reading, the idea resulted in something that was rather, well, not a reading. At one point, the entire audience made a tremendous amount of noise as they constructed a group text based on my story “The End of the World.” Everyone participated, and so this was a great thing, and I got the sense they at least recognized (not as if they knew them) but rather were aware of each other in the audience. In this sense, I successfully moved the center for the reading out from the stage (and myself and Gregory Hishak) and turned it over the audience. Too, the event still focused on the topic at hand, which was The End of the World.

However, the event did do damage the cozy inertia often associated with reading.

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The End Poll Results

On November 11th, 2004, a sample of Seattle’s population was polled regarding their habits and mores in the event of the End of the World. Asked, if you could take one thing with you to the End of the World, what would it be?

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Can I Chip Your Tree?

BUD: My daughter arrived during an unseasonably warm winter week.

KEVIN: I’m late.

BUD: The tulips bloomed in our neighbor’s yard.

KEVIN: I leave early but I arrive late.

BUD: And I carried her up the driveway in a basket. The cherry tree blossoms glowed in the pale dusk light.

KEVIN: In between those two points – I don’t know what happens. I listen to the radio. I drive. I wait behind a half-mile line of cars at a stop sign. The row advances car length by length. That stop and start is how every one of my days begins.

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A New Story Posted

“An Uncontrolled Swelling” at MonkeyBicycle.net…

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The End of the World (Isn’t Good for You)

I will be presenting a collaboration with Gregory Hischak tomorrow night at Richard Hugo House on the topic of “The End.”

Here is an illustration of the first stage of the End of the World Sequence:

WARNING:

My mailbox was flattened that October, not like mailbox baseball, but flattened like a steam roller had passed over the metal post, leaving it crushed into the clover and gravel growing in the no man land region between the curb and the fence edging my yard.

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Writing Exercise – Asahel Curtis

Part 1 — We came to the end of the gravel. It wasn’t really gravel anymore. It had long since given out to small rocks, ruts filled with black muck. Clear water rushing over the muck. A cool fog lay on our faces brushing away the smell of sweat. I always smelled like sweat and wet sock after moving along like for as long as this. I had to go back to work and now I smelled.

You said right at the top. This is too far. There is nothing here. There were the fresh stumps of fur trees fresh enough they smelled of sweet sawdust.

Get down on your knees.

I am paying you. The customer does not get down on his knees.

I didn’t attend business school, he said.

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