Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Late August Post



Long time no post, there's no one reason why really. Mostly it's because I've been spending more time Advantage Playing certain slot machines, something that requires me to move around a lot from casino to casino, which means a great deal of walking. Thus less time spent sitting and contemplating and less time writing. Time management has never been a strength of mine, every Report Card I ever got in school said "Does not use time and materials wisely." I have stuff I want to write about including a short, short story, but I need to sit in one spot for hours to do that. And I haven't. Also, so many things going on in the world, bombs in Gaza, the invasion of Ukraine, casinos in AC shutting down, Ray Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator on video, the white sheet that covered a brown boy's body for hours on a hot street in Ferguson MO and the following flames that made everyone hotter. So, so many things. Including the nagging feeling that I should be writing about more of those things. My recollection of Ruby Dee reached 100 views faster than anything I've ever posted here and the truth is that my prose postings get way more pageviews than the poetry, although the haiku and senryu don't do too bad. I have written some ku and ryu since my last post here;

Late August-
Stopped by the road's only red
leaf

Everywhere 
but under this umbrella-
August sun

August morning- 
Dad's hairline receding
in my mirror

Another orbit
Now fifty-two flickering 
wicks

Round and shining 
On the desk -
August Moon

Gaza dawn- 
So many red marks
on my Lesson Plan

Changing the channel- 
Yet again
Gaza explodes

Bit by bit 
The cake disappears from
the urinal


A few of these may even be worth keeping. I also had a birthday and got three awesome completely unexpected gifts. My birthday isn't really a big deal for me and until I joined Facebook I would sometimes miss it until the day after. But Facebook makes it a big deal with all the birthday wishes so you know it's coming. What I didn't know was coming though were two anthologies I have poems in, both of which I was really excited about. One was "Red Reads First" an anthology of haiku and senryu from participants in the Head to Head Haiku Slam held every year at the National Poetry Slam and now the Individual and Women's competitions as well. As a two-time National Champ I was invited to participate and was eager to read the work of the many poets who won or competed in the years that followed. The other anthology is perhaps the most important publication I've ever gotten, inclusion in the 2014 Best American Poetry edited by Terrance Hayes. I've known since January that I was in but the books arrived unexpectedly the day before my birthday. I often get my mail at the Borgata Business Center (long story) and they call me when stuff comes in, but when I got the call this time I couldn't figure out what it could possibly be. The reading for Best American will be in NYC in late Sept. and I expected to get my contributor's copies then. So their arrival in the mail caught me off guard. And one of the copies is a hardback! That was a really pleasant surprise. I may have even celebrated a little. Then Showboat, and Revel closed, two places I have many fond memories of. At Showboat I'll really miss the Earl of Sandwich deli with their great sandwiches and fresh brownies baked with Ghiradelli chocolate. Many of the restaurants in Revel had great food and when their poker room was open I ate there probably five days a week. The food was so, so good in so many places. Of all the casinos that closed though I'll probably miss Trump Plaza the most, because I spent countless hours in the Starbucks there reading and writing. It had both chairs and free Wifi and was the only Starbucks on the Strip that had both. I probably made more Blog posts from there than anywhere else save the Borgata. The Plaza also had one of my favorite neon signs in all of AC (pictured above), it was a huge sign above an escalator that lead down to Pacific Ave and I never could figure out why it was there. It wasn't the name of a current restaurant or club on the premises, maybe it was leftover by a previous show or something. I always told myself that I'd ask, but never got around to it. I had to ride the escalator four times just get the shot right. But it didn't matter, how ever many times it took, I was going to ride it and get the shot. I'm a patient guy that way. 

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)!

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