Tuesday, April 13, 2010


This was the scene Sunday night at the Mag’s Sentence compound. Heavy rain. High winds. Lightning. Thunder. The atmosphere brought to mind a combination of Vietnam, the jungles of Chiapas, and the darkest, swampiest recesses of Gainesville, Florida. For a while there, I was considering strapping my meager belongings on to the back of my burro and making way for high ground, but then I realized, whoa, I was already on high ground – honestly, I mean elevation-wise I live on high ground, as in near to the top of a hill from whence, on a typical dry Southern California night, I can gaze down at the streetlights of Glendale Boulevard or gaze forward at the police helicopters circling over criminals like English professors over an opportunity to get a poem published in an online literary journal.

So yeah, the rain pounded down for a long, long time. I was naked when I took this picture, and all soaped up – there ain’t nothing like a cold shower, right? – and I was singing a little song Shakespeare used in a couple of his plays: “With a heigh-ho, the wind and the rain/ and the rain, it raineth every day.”

This is to say when there’s standing water on your patio in California, something truly special has occurred. Does this not make you want to put your nose to the ground and take a drink? I mean, if the thought of me running around soapy and naked in my backyard in a rainstorm hasn’t made you too nauseated to take in fluids?

As along as we’re on the topic of fluids and nausea, check out how much water these people have at their disposal. This is a photo I lifted from Facebook. It depicts a panel presentation at the AWP Conference in Denver last weekend. I’m not sure what the presentation was about: the lyric poem? Miniature fiction? Techniques for teaching graduate students the art of networking and nurturing? The panelists, in any case, obviously have some prepared statements on a subject pertaining to creative writing, and they are here pictured during the grueling, heart-pounding hour of their presentation: my thought is this is during the Q & A period because all the panelists have their mouths shut in a tight, I-know-you’re-talking-but-I-am-supposed-to-be-talking-now grimace. And this is all wonderful. Comical to me. But wonderful anyway. But why the fuck do they need all that water? And why has it come to pass that people can’t make a short presentation in front of a small audience without slugging a full liter or more of water? These panelists aren’t even standing up! Hell, in a cyclocross race, the racers wail the tar out of their bodies for anywhere between 35 minutes to an hour, with no bottles on the bike, with no hand-ups allowed, and you think it’s remotely possible that a cross racer’s need for water is slightly in excess of a seated panelist at AWP?

I know, I know. Creative writing is a tough job. I’m glad I have cyclocross to remind me just how hard the writing life is.

And heigh-ho, I’m doubly glad to have the rain.


  1. that's better. thought you'd gone m.i.a. or maybe, maybe, eaten some glutin and were inside out somewhere without your clapper life alert handy.

  2. Those are some desperately awesome shots! Hope you got a good ride in it before the sun came out Monday. Conferences...essentially you've seen one you've seen them all. The field and topic is irrelevant. For me, it's all about trying not to giggle while watching the grimaces and the water. One of these days, I'll lose it and have to be escorted out because my braying will disrupt the proceedings.


Mag reserves the right to delete your comment. In other words, if you want to start up shit with Mag, send him an email.