Monday, June 29, 2009

Better than Farm to Table

Farm at table. In New York City from August 26-30.

(Photo not mine.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Poem Interlude (Draft)

The Voice on WNYC Says

“I find that extremely moving.

Julie Andrews and Ben Kingsley,
‘Shall We Dance?’”
                            It’s amazing
they find their way through space
at all, the radio waves, dodging
raindrops today, not to mention
a flowerpot on the windowsill,
a bowl of apples, me –
                                  all to sing
from the white box on top of
the refrigerator. They’re there
all the time, of course, waiting
for the moment when we call
         like applying an iron

to a love letter written in milk.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happiness Just Before (More) Rain

Where does it come from? I realized tonight, in my attic/roof, looking out over North Brooklyn into glittering Manhattan, that I love living here. I've always lived near and been drawn to rivers: the Mississippi, the Liffey, the de la Plata of Buenos Aires, Glasgow's Clyde, Montgomery's Tallapoosa. In my eight years in this city, I've overlooked the Hudson's George Washington and the Harlem River Ship Canal, followed freight trains bound from Long Island as they streaked across Hell Gate, and now found the East again, her Manhattan Bridge strung along the twilight. The luckiness of here, though, is that I can turn my head and also see the distinct green of the road, in the I278 sign over the BQE, linking me to all the waterless rivers of the country.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rain, Rain, Come and Stay

I love this weather. Two summers ago, the rainy days in Dublin held for most of the summer, and even there, where people are accustomed to the gray, last-minute holidays were being planned to Malta and the like, anywhere with sun.

I biked to pick up vegetables (arugula, sweet Japanese turnips, rainbow chard, napa cabbage, lettuce...)

(Drawing by talented high schooler.)

The McCarren market then called, as I haven't had Ronnybrook milk for a while. And rhubarb caught my eye, which then evolved as follows:

And what says happiness as much as impossibly curly scapes?

(Note the cat paw in the bottom left corner.)

Or as much as the cat himself, radio waves, coffee, and the rain, still.

Monday, June 15, 2009

What Will They Think Up Next

Just when you thought the likes of Wonder Showzen would never be seen again, along comes Food Party. Thanks, G.

"Food Party is a mind-bending, non-reality cooking show with Thu Tran as your hostess, a cast of unruly puppets as culinary aides, and a cavalcade of fictitious celebrities as surprise dinner guests. Shot on location in a technicolor cardboard kitchen as well as other foreign and exotic cardboard locations, each episode will or will not instruct you on how to prepare wild gourmet multi-course meals with ingredients you probably have on hand in your kitchen already, such as pretzel rods, eggs, narwhal lungs, bizarre plot twists, secret ingredients, and pizza. After all, you never know who might show up for dinner."

But Wonder Showzen, I still miss you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


We're going to hear The Dodos this afternoon, part of the today-concluding Northside Festival. North Brooklyn has as many festivals as mimes have unanswered calls.

"And the stance that we take isn't much to bear
Yeah, we leave things to change on their time."

And speaking of animals, here are some from places that can seem nearly extinct amidst these streets and buildings and furtive stares.

Buffalo near Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Squirrel in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Geese near East Glacier, Montana.

Cat in Missoula, Montana.

Elk in Packwood, Washington.

Human in Alberta.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Report from BiFF

Tonight, at the Brooklyn International Film Festival (and almost everyone around me was speaking other languages, which makes it very different from the Quad City International Airport), I saw a short animated film called Backwards, directed by American Aaron Hughes, and feature Borderline, by Canadian Lyne Charlebois. The film is described as combining the novels Borderline and Labrèche, both by Marie-Sissi Labrèche, to create a visual story of Kiki. "With her mother institutionalized, she takes refuge in school [and her lit prof lover]. Sex and alcohol are her only outlets. But at 30, Kiki faces the hardest challenge of all:" learning to ride her bike in the snow. No, but seriously: there's a lot of bicycling through snow in this movie, which looks picturesque and nearly impossible. There's also a lot of wine flowing over flesh at the film's opening, which seemed a little sappy to me. But I liked the way Kiki appeared around corners as younger and older versions of herself, and I liked the idea of imperfect (and bescarved) reclamation.

And now, the slam summary:
Wine words pain child craziness dog solace skin
Craziness winter loved running hurting wanting dog peace
Bottles spinning addiction skin confession writing mothers pain
Paint birthdays forgotten wine cake child loved slow
Kindness friend pages running death mourning waiting release
Goodbye release winter river child opening arms

Monday, June 8, 2009


Not just your long-lost bully cousin, BiFF is also quite worldly, home, in fact, to 110 countries! That's right: the Brooklyn International Film Festival is playing in our backyard (Brooklyn Heights to be exact). There, through this Sunday, and thanks to the sundry likes of Stella, Stevia, and the insurer to all those able to submit to this festival, you can still see, among hundreds of options:

*an encounter between a a white boy and an African girl in a night train.
*two teenagers' lives brought together through internet webcams.
*the search for the writer of a mysterious diary.
*cash, a car, a mobile phone...and fish.
*the invasion of creatures that steal what you have inside!

For $25, you can watch four film programs, many of which are collections of shorts. And speaking of invasions, the 12th annual festival's theme is Open Source, of which Festival Director Marco Ursino says, "Our 'friends' and 'followers' are becoming more interactive by the day and we truly welcome the invasion."

As long as my friends and followers are not 1) locusts, 2) pastel figurines, or 3) spam messages that talk, I, too, welcome whatever is to come.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Graceful and Green

Dear BQE,

I don't know if I'm staying or going or what either means. But from the roof, dusk turned the spire of Empire State green as a new flower, and the sun went down fiery behind the bridge.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Walk Hard

L Magazine and Neighbors Allied for Good Growth have partnered this year to organize the 2009 Williamsburg Walks. Come all ye clowns, suits, merchants, and merry-makers, and festoon the streets (Bedford between North 4th and North 9th, noon to sunset) with the dazzling daisy-chain that is us! Oh, and how will Bedford look different than it always does on a Saturday afternoon? Cars will be required to dress up as people for admission.