Dan Rather Not. Hot Sauce. And the Greatest Love Poem Ever

Like many of you, I sometimes quaff a few of the greatest beers created by man in the late evening and find myself Drinking and Ebaying. This leads to fascinating discoveries in the mail a few days after: a decorative pillow the size of my thumbnail; a Sherlock Holmes action figure; a brass bottle opener in the shape of a llama.

Yesterday a UPS truck rumbled and screeched up to the adobe. A wood nymph in brown shorts bounded out, and handed me a long rectangular package. As my 4 year old watched on (I love the way kids view the mail, like poets–anything could happen!), I ripped open the box, peered in, and pulled out…yep.

It’s a machete.

The cool thing was when my kid (his eyes gleaming. A dad holding a giant sword had him so overwhelmed he was lost-4-words babbling) said, “Dad. When you die, can I have that?”

I said sure. Then we worked on a still life, placing the machete with various objects. We are artists (pronounced R-teest), as you know. This was our favorite. Father and son call this MACHETE WITH DARK HORIZON AND VINTAGE TOY.

machete still life

machete still life

Gary Snyder

almost fell into Beat-dom, but one day woke with a felt beret dangling from his ceiling fan and Kerouac handing him a freshly toasted Pop Tart, so immediately came to his senses. Forsaking it all in the good ol’ USA, especially the rising consumerism following WW II, the entire country rapidly growing a middle class (not yet obese, but trying!); and this demographic defining its Time and Purpose and God: to buy shit, use it up, and throw it away to buy more shit. What a religion, Gary thought. So he left it all for camping in the wilds of Japan. And I mean everything–all he owned or knew, even his Tupperware. Oh, and his soul-mate, Robin. This should be no surprise. One point of enlightenment is to let earthly things fall away, even your cool hippie girlfriend.

Buddha says: “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

Later in his life, Snyder had regrets. We all have regrets (Those who proudly proclaim they have none make me want to kick a sycamore in the forehead); but Snyder records his, in verse. Thus we get the exquisite Robin Poems.

Which leads to this: The Greatest Love Poem Ever

After Work
The shack and a few trees
float in the blowing fog

I pull out your blouse,
warm my cold hands
     on your breasts.
you laugh and shudder
peeling garlic by the
     hot iron stove.
bring in the axe, the rake,
the wood

we'll lean on the wall
against each other
stew simmering on the fire
as it grows dark
            drinking wine.

                   Gary Snyder

Where is the word love? The words how-incredible-and-immediate-is-the-intimacy-of-cooking-our-meal (a close, creative act you will later ingest to provide energy you will later Newtonian First Law engage into loss)? Where is the way one glass of wine crackles the synapses and blood? Where is the perfect poetic idyll, the Time-Out from the Dark Flailing World outside these walls, the gratitude for leaning against another in a woodfire-warmed, still moment of true?

(note: The font and such may appear odd from here on. I’m not sure why. I wish I knew how to blog. I really, really do…)

NO WHERE!! But in verse and meter, in concrete image. In the fragile freeze-frame authenticity of poetry. Mr.Snyder, I thank thee (and a Hallmark card is on the way [I jest, I jest]).


I had nachos for breakfast. If you think nachos are inappropriate for breakfast, you need to recalibrate your boredom meter.

NACHO RATING: 5 of 10. For some reason, my tortilla chips were 8% too crunchy. I am looking into this. But the hot sauce is a special Habanero Bat’s Brew blend and made my tongue hysteric, loud, and happy like a bag of tomatoes. Like a microphone.


Other LOVE THINGS you should read…

1.) Kristen Sund in Dark Sky Magazine 7.4. Oh, so sad, this poem. This is the moment I call Before the Day After. The first itching that you must leave the person you are with because you are treadmill more often than not and life is way too short for sustained, recognized errors; and you have reached the percentage of time you will allow your true self to do things you actually do not want do (everyone had a percentage they keep inside). All of this in the prism glow of image.

2.) In Rachel Hartley-Smith’s blog, a farmer woman says, “Make your omelettes. Make your omelettes for your family. I didn’t mean to bother you. Just wanted to hear your voice, sweetie.”

This made my heart purchase gloves and lug a bucket. Sometimes simple words are like dirt. Rather enriching.

3.) Dora Malech kinda Laundromats my sunset with this one over at La Petite Zine. It makes me want to meet this narrator for fourteen minutes. Then run.

THE LOUDEST SOUND I HEARD TODAY: My child scream with glee. It sounded like a seagull in a big house. I told him no daycare. We are going to a larger, lower, more vivid education–canoing the White River in our bad-ass Mad River canoe.

Gary Snyder approves, my friends.


2 responses to “Dan Rather Not. Hot Sauce. And the Greatest Love Poem Ever

  1. Those nachos look………horrible.
    What is the greenish colored liquid? Hot sauce I guess?
    That is a lot of hot sauce.
    love snyder.

  2. That is the greatest machete still life I have ever seen. I just like the fact that you got a machete in the mail and your son’s eyes glimmered. I might come live at your house.

    You inspired me to eat nachos for dinner tonight. It was like long-distance communion, even though you had no idea. The nachos were huge, and good. Lots of jalapeno and hot sauce. I give them a 5/10, as there was nothing really exotic or strange among the toppings. Still good, though.

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