Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The story is told that Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of the magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral in London, would often wander unrecognized through the structure, noting the progress being made during the many years of its construction. According to the story, he would sometimes ask a simple question of the workers he encountered: "What are you doing?" He received many replies, most of them like this: "I'm putting in my eight hours"; "I'm laying stones"; "I'm just keeping the boss off my back"; "I'm trying to feed and clothe my children"; "I'm putting in a window." One day he stopped a young man who had the least prestigious job on the whole project—carrying heavy loads of mortar to the stone masons. When he asked him the question, "What are you doing?" the young man stopped, smiled, and gesturing toward the heavens, declared, "I am helping God and Sir Christopher Wren build this beautiful cathedral."

Friday, March 9, 2012

The New Poetry Handbook

1 If a man understands a poem,
he shall have troubles.

2 If a man lives with a poem,
he shall die lonely.

3 If a man lives with two poems,
he shall be unfaithful to one.

4 If a man conceives of a poem,
he shall have one less child.

5 If a man conceives of two poems,
he shall have two children less.

6 If a man wears a crown on his head as he writes,
he shall be found out.

7 If a man wears no crown on his head as he writes,
he shall deceive no one but himself.

8 If a man gets angry at a poem,
he shall be scorned by men.

9 If a man continues to be angry at a poem,
he shall be scorned by women.

10 If a man publicly denounces poetry,
his shoes will fill with urine.

11 If a man gives up poetry for power,
he shall have lots of power.

12 If a man brags about his poems,
he shall be loved by fools.

13 If a man brags about his poems and loves fools,
he shall write no more.

14 If a man craves attention because of his poems,
he shall be like a jackass in moonlight.

15 If a man writes a poem and praises the poem of a fellow,
he shall have a beautiful mistress.

16 If a man writes a poem and praises the poem of a fellow overly,
he shall drive his mistress away.

17 If a man claims the poem of another,
his heart shall double in size.

18 If a man lets his poems go naked,
he shall fear death.

19 If a man fears death,
he shall be saved by his poems.

20 If a man does not fear death,
he may or may not be saved by his poems.

21 If a man finishes a poem,
he shall bathe in the blank wake of his passion
and be kissed by white paper.

-Mark Strand

Mary and the Auditor.

Mary: Pretend! Robert, I didn't just go out with you because of my taxes. I mean, look, the audit is over and I would still like to go out with you, so Robert I- I must like you!
Mr. Brandt: Alright, how about dinner, tonight?
Mary: Fine!
Mr. Brant: Fabulous! Well, okay- I can't, because I've got to work tonight!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Deep-Sworn Vow

Others because you did not keep
That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine;
Yet always when I look death in the face,
When I clamber to the heights of sleep,
Or when I grow excited with wine,
Suddenly I meet your face.

-William Butler Yeats

Friday, March 2, 2012


  1. Swim in the sea.
  2. Give 20 things to charity. (8 down)
  3. Clean the kitchen for Mom.
  4. Edit 10 poems.
  5. Volunteer at Martha's Village and Kitchen.
  6. Visit Huntington Gardens.
  7. Play a show in the desert. (kind of?)
  8. Cook dinner three times.
  9. Draw something.
  10. Write about ideas more.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Strange Sea

Implausible fish bloom in the depths,
mercurial flowers light up the coast;
I know red and yellow, the other colors,—

but the sea, det granna granna havet, that’s most dangerous
                                                              to look at.
What name is there for the color that arouses
this thirst, which says,
the saga can happen, even to you—

-Edith Södergran
Translated from Swedish by Averill Curdy

I hung out in Provo last week.

It was fun. I don't take pictures.

Some things I did:

  • Baraka with Scott and Maddison.
  • Played music with Chris and Brooklynn.
  • Salt Flats with Parker and Maddison.
  • Les Femmes De Velour.
  • Village Inn.
  • Seviche with Collin and Jennifer.
  • Hung around Utah Lake and downtown Provo.
  • Sticky pudding with Pearl.
  • Tacos, rainbow jello, playing music, and Rocksmith with BoTW and the Hansens.
  • Walked to the Provo cemetery.
  • House hunting with the Mads.
  • Open Mic.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? with Chris, Maddison, and Niels.
  • Slept over at the Bennions.
  • Lunch at Pei Wei with Scott and Maddison.
  • Flew at night.