Category Archives: reality

‘Surprises, a story’


When Does the Heart Rest? asks the slam-poet…

[ When Does the Heart Rest? ]   by Taylor Mali

Our Science Teacher asked the question,
and we laughed at the kid who said:
When you sleep?

I raised my hand with what I was sure
was the correct answer –
When you die—

and then put it down quietly
when Angel got it right.
Between beats.

That didn’t seem like enough time to me.
Still doesn’t.
But it was Angel again in the schoolyard

standing up for the heart
when the older kid said the strongest muscle
in the human body was the jaw.
No, it is the heart.

The bully said we should have a contest—
between my jaw and your heart—
and we all laughed because it didn’t seem like a fair fight.

And it still doesn’t.
Because the heart rests and keeps working.
Between beats.

And my money is on Angel
and his heart,
not the bully and his jaw.

And anyone who thinks otherwise
can eat their heart out.

(Excerpted from a collection published in NYC 2009 called The Last Time as We Are, courtesy of writebloody publications)

The Age of Raconteurs is Not Past

I listen to a lot of radio. Today I was thinking of Jean Shepherd, Robert Lurtsema, and the names of raconteurs I currently know among the living.

Who are your favorite living raconteurs?

My current favorites include Ira Glass, Davey D, Christopher Welch, Sistah Souljah.

On Being Stuck, and On Innovation

I occasionally get reminded by the lump on my own forehead that I need to stop metaphorically banging it against the wall.  Finding a new solution to an old problem is a little more challenging. Lists of things I am grateful for can be a catalyst, or at least can serve as a come-along to winch myself out of a rut.

A few years ago, I discovered that the Golden Gate Western Wear in Richmond had some woman-sized snap front shirts, with diamond snaps, mostly made in America.  Rockmount Ranch Wear. Truly great. Well made, beautiful, a great idea, and a pleasure to wear and own.  They are among Joe A. Well’s finest western innovations.  For these we are grateful.  Thank you, Golden Gate!

Our country is truly the land of Innovation. It is hard sometimes to remember that, since sometimes every piece of news, the behavior of most people, and the design of everything seems anchored in stupidity. We do have real work to do.

Stay tuned for:  Cigar Box Guitars, and their Makers as outlined in Mike Orr’s book: Handmade Music Factory (Fox Chapel Publishing).

I need to make an ironing board dobro. Right after I get some chores done.

Social Media Makes Me Weary

From a post by David LeeIn a few years, perhaps many of us won’t care about it any more and we’ll have our own zone where grown people make eye contact, talk to each other politely, and hold hands (for safety, as they used to do when I was very young — in the days when people still wore white gloves on occasion) while crossing the street.

I am weary of virtual reality, and concerned about the viability of other kind.