May 25th 2023 or Writing Exercise #1

Quarter of 7, up, make Hudson breakfast, drive to school, check for vultures that were feasting on two dead deer the day before, the deer are gone, strange. Anyway, Hudson’s last full day of school, so happy/sad, that pre-summer, pre-moving out of Tennessee feeling. Home, upload Alphabet poem onto my blog, check email. Fruit only breakfast, blueberries, bananas, apples, all cut up (not the blueberries), eaten with a spoon. Oolong tea, gift from a student, the perfect gift. Read a book on intuition, meditation, sitting, allowing the universe to guide you/me, by Echo Bodine. Talk with my wife, she’s in California driving, hear the road, 280, heading to San Francisco. Meditate for 16 minutes, why 16? Because, it’s one more than 15, bonus minute for me. Walk on treadmill, slowly, because of spondylolisthesis, old man Dan. Nostalgic for the summer of 1988, listen to sweet child o’ mine, treat people with kindness, see Harry Styles dancing, When In Rome, the promise, then sleepyhead, Passion Pit, details, details, details. Research Axl Rose, Wikipedia says he’s 61, abusive childhood, Lafayette, Indiana, home of Purdue, but bad times for Axl. Harry is 29, happy childhood in Redditch, Worcestershire, England, but I didn’t have to tell you the England part, you knew that, and he does seem kind, at least in the video. Suntan by the pool, 14 minutes, slow and steady wins the race, what race? I just like the ritual, hearing birds, watching the ants. Next, oh the excitement, a double pilates workout with Caroline Jordan, I watch her on a screen for 20 minutes, take a break, then another 30, floor based, again, spondylolisthesis, born with it. Salad, so healthy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cabbage, olive oil, bit of salt and sunflower seeds, bubbly water, a must, now here to write.

My Alphabet Poem

A-acorns, that become trees, big seeds, runner up, aristotle
B-butterflies, that become caterpillars, wrong, runner up, birds
C-candy, peppermint patties, product placement, runner up, cool
D-dentist, see above, little shop of horrors, runner up, doo-wop
E-everything, as in, i want all of it, runner up, earth
F-fern, wilbur, charlotte, templeton, runner up, farm
G-gas, petrol, fossil fuel, global warming, runner up, gun
H-hungry, as in, feed me, stomach gurgles, runner up, hearing
J-jungle, welcome to it, appetite for destruction, runner up, journal
K-kangaroo, the shoes you knew, 1980’s, runner up, keds
L-lyrics, we got fun and games, axl, runner up, lauryn hill
M-machine, rage, capitalism, scientific management, runner up, money
N-need, as in, i still want all of it, got to have, runner up, nothing
O-ocean, surf it, watch it, love it, moon waves, runner up, oscillate
P-perfume, fragrance, cover up sweat smell, runner up, party
Q-queen, as in, you are a queen, mercury, runner up, quiet
R-radio, am, fm, shortwave, fireside chats, runner up, racism
S-smart, as in, my boy’s wicked smart, runner up, skylar
T-teacher, we need more, learning, education, runner up, terrific
U-underwear, fruit of the loom, hanes, commando, runner up, unless
V-valuable, diamonds, friends, family, life, runner up, vaccine
W-wood, after the tree died, cedar, cherry, floors, runner up, wonder
X-x-ray, lead apron, teeth, bone image, runner up, xylocarp
Y-yacht, rock music, doobies, what a fool believes, runner up, yonder
Z-zoo, captured, monkeys, popcorn, languid lions, runner up, zebra

Tennessee in 10

  1. Grace, given and received
  2. Yes ma’am, no sir, y’all
  3. Sweet tea and grits
  4. Bronco, GMC, Jeep Wrangler, F-150
  5. Dolly Parton, who is Whitney Houston?
  6. Trader Joe’s empty, church on Sundays
  7. Vols, Titans, football, little else matters
  8. Nothing itches like chiggers, alive in your skin
  9. If prom is coming, spray tan
  10. Bless your heart, double-edged sword

Ode to Harpeth Hall

You students, you plaid, you dress uniforms
You Souby lawn grass, you magnolia shine
You red bricks, you Ann Scott Carell library
You Wallace, you Massey, you Bullard 
You green hills, and rain, and snow sometimes
You cardinals darting from tree to tree
You middle school girls skipping and free
You AP scholars, you Harkness discussions
You United States history, your voices so bright
I sing your praise for days now past
Though some may say he’s a California lad
The truth is, he’s really quite sad
Harpeth Hall you have made your mark
And hark, you who I taught, I may be gone
but you still have my heart

Best Meatball Sub in Nashville: Little Hats Market

After a months long quest, we have discovered THE best meatball sub in all of Nashville! 2nd place was Bellagio Pizza & Subs. 3rd place was Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen. The quality of ingredients (bread, meatballs, sauce, cheese), along with the proportional balance, made Little Hats Market the clear favorite. The secret ingredient of their sub? Pesto!

Let Technology Go

Sit in silence, with screens in another room. Wait quietly 
for each word to arrive. Have faith 
that they will, that the universe will guide you/me/us.

Alone, we feel detached from the world where everything happens. 
Now someone is tiktok singing, now someone is 
posting a photo, now someone is smiling on a screen.

But no one is here in this room, which could be an ocean or
the branch of a tree, free to be. Dare we separate from the 
netflix masses and those who have lost their way? 
I understand them, I too have been lost
but now found.

Dorm Hallway Phone

it rings and rings, that 
sound now fabricated for
flat screened rectangles in 
jean pockets, or purses

back then you had to jump 
off the bunk bed, sprint 
down the hallway hoping
whoever was calling would be

desperate enough to let it ring
8 times, 12 times, so important
that someone, anyone answer
because it could be a girlfriend

or boyfriend, or heaven forbid
a parent calling about a pet
dog who was put to sleep
then tears in front of all 
the other dormers in Foss Hall

and to think this happened
maybe twice a day, the phone rang
twice a day, or maybe three times