Hillman City Haibun 4 (Sleep, Crackers)

It’s a toss-up for the best American Sentence this week. Yesterday’s pertains to a new health condition, or at least a new diagnosis. Today’s comes from a source who said she did not write it, but has made “the book” one previous time. That’s what some people say when they inspire one of my daily 17 syllable poems.

The Central Scrutinizer

The Central Scrutinizer

I was diagnosed Monday as having Sleep Apnea. According to the machine designed to determine whether one has the malady, I woke up 28 times during one hour of sleep Friday night, when I did the test. Risk factors include being male, overweight, obese, or over the age of 40; or having a large neck. I knew my fat neck would one day do me in. Finally having health insurance after essentially eight years without it does have its benefits and this diagnosis is the chief one so far during this period of reasonable health care.

So as I wait for the specialist to, first have a consultation and then the old “you-stay-here-overnight-while-we-attach-electrodes-to-you” plan, I am sleeping on my side and using what many consider the top alternative method of treating this disorder, acupuncture. Thanks goodness for 3rd Space For All community acupuncture, which I have written about before. And Lynn, the acupuncturist on Wednesdays, who has treated me before, has no doubt that I do have Sleep Apnea. I was taken aback by this declaration, and when I asked her how she knew that, she said: “I’ve seen you sleep.” And she would again.

1.28.15 – Go to community acupuncture for Sleep Apnea & promptly fall asleep.

* * *

And Doreen Mitchum has made the “book” before:

2.28.03 – Tonight Doreen Mitchum said: D.C.’s Hollywood for ugly people.

Colorless Snack

Colorless Snack

But she is a reader of this here blog and saw my story about being in a bar in Dania Beach, Florida, rooting for the Seahawks while everyone else in the bar was rooting for the Packers. To say I had the last laugh is an understatement. Growing up as a Bears fan, the 2015 NFC Championship game is salt I can rub in the wounds of Cheeseheads for decades to come. Doreen expressed disappointment I would use the pejorative “Cracker” for less-than-intelligent people in the southern United States, who sometimes get their hearts ripped out watching football games that do not end the way they’d hoped, but she set me straight.

1.29.15 – Doreen says: “Cracker’s not PC” – I should use: Saltine Americans.

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After The Japanese 25-28

NCNPIn this stretch of the project of writing inspired by the classic Japanese poetry anthology, I start in memory and move to the time about a year ago when I was the guest of Gerry Cook and Hannah Sullivan. Gerry was a longtime ranger at North Cascades National Park and he and his wife have a cabin in Marblemount, the last town before the park entrance. They invited me to have a writing retreat and I accepted with huge gratitude.

Getting in, having a nice dinner and then being led on a walk to a park across the street gave me a nice sense of the landscape, which would change dramatically before my visit was over, but that is covered in future poems. Thanks Gerry & Hannah.

ATJ 25-28

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Four Hoarse Men Ride Again

Four Hoarse Men at the Frye Museum

Four Hoarse Men at the Frye Museum, Greg Bem, Joe Chiveney, Paul Nelson, Jason Conger

A couple of years ago I became part of a group of poets that sought to explore poetry from the angle of pure sound in the tradition of Dada, Kurt Schwitters, the Four Horsemen (of Canada, from whom we poached our name), Michael McClure’s Ghost Tantras and others. It was originally to cover the “Emotional Poetry” of the Four Horsemen and we had fun doing it and when we were not received well, or even politely, we cleared out the room in the case of one performance at a Lit Crawl that happened at the posh Sorrento Hotel.

When Greg Bem went away for a year to live in Cambodia, we settled for three hoarse men, but it was not the same. You can see performances at the blog set up for the promotion and archive of our work as this group here: http://thefourhoarsemen.blogspot.com/

Thomas Walton asked us to perform at the next release party of his fine Pageboy Magazine and we shall do that and encourage you to attend and buy at least one copy of the magazine:

1/31 6:30-9 at Vermillion, Seattle.
1508 11th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
7th Issue Release Party
Readings by Chris Ashby, Amaranth Borsuk,
Sarah Erickson, Catherine Karlak, and Ed Skoog.
Comedy with Bettina McKelvey and Ryan Casey.
Prayers (both sacred and profane) by The Four Hoarse Men.
And never before heard or seen lost drafts of Walt Whitman.

We plan to perform one Ghost Tantra, albeit a more subdued and creepy arrangement and a Jason Conger original to open and close the show.

See our rehearsal of the Ghost Tantra, with some of the worst camera work in history, here:

Ghost Tantra 8

R.I.P. Anita

See also: http://paulenelson.com/2013/02/19/ghost-tantras-ceremonies-to-change-the-nature-of-reality/

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