Monthly Archives: November 2012

Philip Johnson, Public Sculpture, “Turning Point”

I have never been a big fan of Philip Johnson, but one day I saw him outside my building amid that gaggle of university officials that signifies the presence of a donor or celebrity. He was looking over the site … Continue reading

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Li River Valley, Guilin, China

The Li River ( 漓江 or Lí Jiāng) runs through these karst formations in Guangxi Zhuang, an autonomous region of southwest China. For centuries poets and other people have traveled here to ponder the sinuous river as it wends through … Continue reading

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Child of India

“Tomorrow. The word hangs in the air for a moment, both a promise and a threat. Then it floats away like a paper boat, taken from her by the water licking at her ankles.” ― Thrity Umrigar

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Hector Camacho & Jimmy Bivens, R.I.P.

I boxed in the Golden Gloves when I was 14. My dad had taught me, and I thought I was pretty good. So I spent a summer training in an old house in Avondale, a black neighborhood in Cincinnati. The … Continue reading

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In my sleep I wrote a poem about wonder, how difficult it is sweeping the mind clean, keeping in wonder when the army of fallen petals distracts me. I have left wonder there — see it?

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Machu Picchu, 1975

The way it was in 1975: …. the night before your visit, you took a bus from Cuzco, noticing in the decline of light that it was getting jungley, that you were going slightly downhill. You got off at Aguas … Continue reading

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Rust, Tartu, Pound

Song of the Bowmen of Shu Here we are, picking the first fern-shoots And saying: When shall we get back to our country? Here we are because we have the Ken-nin for our foemen, We have no comfort because of … Continue reading

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Grand Teton, New Year’s Day, 1975

At this point in the winter ascent with Paul Petzoldt, I thought maybe I was in over my head. What did I know about winter climbing? The light was beautiful but the wind sharp enough to cut your eyeballs. I … Continue reading

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Chick seller, Belize City Market, Belize 2004

The market had just closed and he hadn’t sold many chicks. He was sitting there with another old reprobate, talking about how to get drunk, when I walked by. So they hit me up. “I not kill ’em” he said … Continue reading

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Claudia Rankine, 2010, Case Western Reserve University

A former colleague, and a forceful poet. “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely [There was a time]” by Claudia Rankine “There was a time I could say no one I knew well had died. This is not to suggest no one … Continue reading

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