Saturday, April 26, 2008

Not that I'm bitter

37signals speaks the truth yet again with this post about why it's good to have employees that have a life beyond the workplace. "Constraints" in general provide better outcomes... because you have to be more smart and more clever to come up with them. It's not anything goes. It's what is smart and worthwhile goes.

And can I say (again) how much I love where I work now? Dear Where-I-Work-Now: I LOVE YOU.

never going to let you down?

Me: This girlfriend Rickrolled her boyfriend's birthday. She made a fake birthday cake with a Rick Astley cake inside.

Him: That's bad.

Me: Yeah, cuz that real cake is so much smaller.

Friday, April 18, 2008

this morning i walked to work

this morning i walked to work, originally uploaded by emdot.

Okay, I guess this is Dharma Friday! ;) I read this a couple days ago and it was something I wanted to share.

It uses some words that could put you off of the message. For me, those words are "warrior" and "victorious." I have to watch it because if I don't like the terminology, I might dismiss the message entirely. But, I put my biases aside and took the meat of the message instead.

For the Shambhala warrior, the actual, basic notion of victory is not so much that you have one-upped your enemy and therefore you are victorious. Rather, no enemy exists at all; therefore, there is victory. This is the idea of unconditional warriorship and unconditional victory. In connection with this, the concept of sacredness is that fearlessness is carried into everyday life situations, even brushing your teeth. So fearlessness occurs all over the place, all the time. Fearlessness here is also unconditional. In this way, fearlessness becomes cheerful and very light. There's no need for cowardice or fear at all, or any moments of doubt. Actually what we're talking about is doubtlessness, we could say, rather than fearlessness. There's no doubt. There are no second thoughts. Everything is a complete warrior's world. So here victory is not having to deal with an enemy at all. It is the notion of no enemy. The whole world is a friend.

— Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The same day while driving to work I heard an NPR segment about the Dalai Lama's visit to Seattle. (We are so lucky to be alive while this guy is alive. Seriously.). The basic jist was
"Destruction of your neighbor or enemy is destruction of yourself."
I agree with that so much.

I really hope we can all get a little more sane and a little more open-handed and open-hearted and brave and all the rest. Wouldn't that be something else?

trite. true.

To contemplate impermanence on its own is not enough: You have to work with it in your life. Let’s try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object at which you are grasping. Hold it tightly clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging to. That’s why you hold on.

But there’s another possibility: You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it.

So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.

— Sogyal Rinpoche

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ok Em, where do we send this?

Ok Em, where do we send this?, originally uploaded by rkevwill.

I have the coolest flickr friends. RKev and his wonderful Cyd framed my photo.

... wow! i knew they were doing this but still, the words escape me. just.... so cool!

thank you kev and cindy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sherley Anne Williams

(This one so knocks me out)

Straight Talk from Plain Women

Evangeline made her
own self over in
'65, say she
looked in the mirror
at her face saw it
was pretty (her legs
was always fine and
she'd interrupt a
dude's rap to say how
it was a common
amongst our women

the same thang with her
neck pointin to
its length, its class. And
we dug where she
was comin from specially
that pretty part, how
she carried herself
with style, said go'n girl
so be it

Evangeline made her
self over and who
eva else didn't see
We is her witness.

— Sherley Anne Williams

Favorite Flickr Flicks

Flickr added video this week and I love it. :)

Here are some of my super faves:I know I'm missing some, but those are the ones that I would make you watch if you came over to my house and/or shared my office space.

First Name, Last Name

If you know me, you probably know I am a Name Nut. I love names. And I sometimes hate names, too. So I almost always have an opinion about them, one way or the other.

Which is why this is a link I had to share on my blog, not just through or through the Google Reader (which damn, now that I think about it, I should have shared it there, too).

» dynamic name creator (via Kottke)

Oh, and also, where in the hell have I been that I didn't know about PopURLs? (Actually, I know the answer to that, and the answer is "in information overload hell," which should explain a lot).

And, one of my photos was a blip on reddit yesterday... and where I might average about 100 or so views for a photo on a given day, this one garnered about 10,000. Jeesh. Put fat ass, environmental anonymous, and flyers together and you get a lot of page views.

the hardest thing to decipher

Wrong views and wrong convictions can be the most devastating of all our delusions. Surely Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot must have been convinced that they were right too? And yet each and every one of us has that same dangerous tendency as they had: to form convictions, believe them without question, and act on them, so bringing down suffering not only on ourselves but on all those around us.

— Sogyal Rinpoche

That is so true. The quote goes on to talk about "the true view" in Buddhist speak, but man, who can't relate to that? By either being someone caught in it or being affected by someone caught in it. It's very tough.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Derek Mahon

Everything Is Going to Be Alright

How should I not be glad to contemplate
the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window
and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?
There will be dying, there will be dying,
but there is no need to go into that.
The poems flow from the hand unbidden
and the hidden source is the watchful heart.
The sun rises in spite of everything
and the far cities are beautiful and bright.
I lie here in a riot of sunlight
watching the day break and the clouds flying.
Everything is going to be all right.

— Derek Mahon

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Diane Wakoski

Love to My Electric Handmixer

with apologies to Andre Breton

My electric handmixer of 87 bloodstone finches,
My electric handmixer of a house on fire,
My electric handmixer of sunflower petals,
My electric handmixer of clenched teeth,
My electric handmixer of gold in the sea water,
My electric handmixer of carboned tunnels,
My electric handmixer of frequent metallic rain,
My electric handmixer of sugar beet oceans,
My electric handmixer of lemon ears,
I am happier with you than
lifting leather cushions and finding spongy gold.
I am happier with you than
electing a cowboy to office.
I am happier with you than
the United States Navy.
O, electric handmixer, I would put your
names on the wings of gypsy moths,
for love.

— Diane Wakoski

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Villanelle

The villanelle is a favorite poetic form for me. I want to write one. I'm afraid I couldn't be quite so clever. My favorite villanelle is Sylvia Plath's Mad Girl's Love Song. So brilliant. So brilliant. But I quite like the Elizabeth Bishop poem "One Art" (see below) as well.

Maybe some day. :)

Elizabeth Bishop

baywood: later, originally uploaded by emdot.

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

—Even losing your (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

— Elizabeth Bishop, The Complete Poems, 1927–1979

Monday, April 07, 2008

James Wright


She's gone. She was my love, my moon or more.
She chased the chickens out and swept the floor,
Emptied the bones and nut-shells after feasts,
And smacked the kids for leaping up like beasts.
Now morbid boys have grown past awkwardness;
The girls let stitches out, dress after dress,
To free some swinging body's riding space
And form the new child's unimagined face.
Yet, while vague nephews, spitting on their curls,
Amble to pester winds and blowsy girls,
What arm will seep the room, what hand will hold
New snow against the milk to keep it cold?
And who will dump the garbage, feed the hogs,
And pitch the chickens' heads to hungry dogs?
Not my lost hag who dumbly bore such pain:
Childbirth and midnight sassafras and rain.
New snow against her face and hangs she bore,
And now lies down, who was my moon or more.

— James Wright

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Judson Jerome

Eve: Night Thoughts

Okay, so the wheel bit was a grinding bore
and fire a risk in the cave, never mind the dogs
he brings home, and cows: but I can endure
his knocking rocks for sparks and rolling logs.
It's his words that get on my nerves, his incessant naming
of every bird or bug or plant, his odd
smirk as he commits a syllable, taming
Nature with categories—as though the Word were God.

Okay, so statements were bad enough,
and accusations crossing, spoiling digestion.
But then he invented the laugh.
Next day he invented the question.
I see it: He's busy building a verbal fence
surrounding life and me. But already I
counterplot: I'll make a poem of his sense.
By night, as he dreams, I am inventing the lie.

— Judson Jerome

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Frank O'Hara

Why I Am Not a Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink: we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose. I am a real poet: My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.

— Frank O'Hara

today at the sea

today at the sea, originally uploaded by emdot.

I really love this photograph. I know it's "wrong" on some levels... or that it is not quite right? Or maybe I am too sucked into the Flickr Aesthetic? Still, I totally dig it. It makes me smile every time. :)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Chogyam Trungpa

calla, the morning after it rained

Simplicity, free from conceptual mind,
Dawns as one taste, fresh relaxed.
Seeing nothing but That
Is the ordinary mind.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Today is the 21st anniversary of Rinpoche's parinirvana

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Robert Creeley

I Know a Man

As I sd to my
friend, because I am
always talking,—John, I

sd, which was not his
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn big car,
drive, he sd, for
christ's sake, look
out where yr going.

Robert Creeley

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Gary Snyder

train, originally uploaded by emdot.

Looking at Pictures to be put away

Who was this girl
In her white night gown
Clutching a pair of jeans

On a foggy redwood deck.
She looks up at me tender,
Calm, surprised.

What will we remember
Bodies thick with food and lovers
After twenty years.

Gary Snyder

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April is National Poetry Month. Let's start with Miller Williams.

, originally uploaded by emdot.


I'll sit down sooner or later. Untying my shoes
I'll look up at the sky and say Hello, Sky.
Look, people will say, He's come to his senses.
I've said Hello to walls. Nobody has said
A man has come to his senses, come and look.
But sooner or later I'll take a drink
and sit down and look into blue space and say Hello, Space,
and people will whisper, He's come to his senses, look.

— Miller Williams

All He Ever Wanted

A good friend, a casually chosen book,
a couple of perfectly rotten magazines,
hot bread, cold milk, lean sausage and one good cook
who knows precisely what over-medium means.

— Miller Williams

» Read more about Miller Williams