Driftwork submissions deadline

Monday July 10th as the submissions deadline for the first issue of Driftwork. The release date is July 13th. This publication is digest-sized and saddle-stitched with a card stock cover, like most little magazines. Page count will depend on amount of quality work we have by the printing deadline. This issue will be, like any other, from one to multiples of four pages.

We are open to any subject, any style: poetry, black & white art and photography, fiction, flash fiction, biography, rants, reviews, serialized work...etcetera. Previously published and simultaneous submissions are okay.

Contributors will be notified whether or not they have been accepted by the 12th of July. Payment is 2 copies with extra copies at cost. The price for this first issue is currently undetermined but it is safe to say it will be less than the cost of a kidney transplant or knee surgery.

Please email submissions to: driftworkATgmail.com. Be sure to include a three line bio. Attachments are NOT acceptable. Initially, only send work in the body of your email. If we want to see more we will contact you for an attachment.

Submit your work without fear of rejection. The best of writers have sometimes papered their walls with rejection slips they have received along the way. We may not be able to use an excellent piece simply because it does not fit into the drift of a particular issue. Please consider sending something.

An inconvenient truth, global warming

An Inconvenient Truth is the name of Al Gore's latest book. A documentary, same name, has also just been released. Laurie Lennard (Larry David's wife) is one of the producers. You may have already watched it but if not, here are links to an interview Jon Stewart did of Gore on the 28th. Between them they cover a lot of ground. It's very interesting, well worth your time and worth passing along to your friends. I hope you do.

I have a lot of respect for Gore. He seems to have actually stepped out of the ring for this. I've been wondering if he might run for president again, but after listening to this interview, I don't think so. Too bad. I like him. He gets it. How very rare.

Part 1
Click to view

Part 2
Click to view


Cold tubbing in the rain

"Plenty of tubs, no waiting!
That is my personal guarantee!"
~ Louie, Guardian of the Bird Park"

I'm working on those Campeche photos again today but will have to post them later because I have managed to complicate the hell of the the project. In meantime, I did another video of the ongoing adventures in the Bird Park. I don't know what I'd do without the birdies to help distract me from myself.

In today's exciting episode, a couple of portly pigeons are cold tubbing together in the rain. They are pretty laid back until one bird gets tired of the other's preening and stretching and just generally being a big, fat tub hog and decides to bump him out and into an empty tub nearby.

 A couple of pigeons cold tubbing in the rain. No laugh track.

Photos from Campeche

It's been six days since my knee surgery and my leg is still pre-tee sore. I worked in my office for several hours today but then was suddenly overcome by a deep fatigue and napped for about an hour. Since then I've been having a fine old time doing things I'm generally too busy for such as ... paying attention to details. Perhaps this reconstruction and recuperation thing is generalizing.

Among details I've slowed down to notice are the 10,000 photos I took in the Yucatan last fall. This afternoon I sorted through a few and will post today'’s batch between Flickr, my website (the Mexico Diary is meager) and here. I focused on Campeche, one of my all-time favorite cities and places to live. In my mind. Campeche has a lot of problems. But it also has some of my favorite qualities. Campeche is sea-swept, ancient, hip, beautiful and ambiguous. Even its mold participates in the town's implied art life.

Mr. Lee and I are going to watch a movie now so here's one photo for tonight and a promise of more tomorrow.


Meet Beat Baby

Back in the day, Mr. Lee's Dad was a "dirty beatnik". That was in San Francisco's North Beach in the '50s but he wasn't born on the west coast. He grew up in Chicago and started out playing in the Chicago Symphony but quickly discovered the jazz scene and started playing bass on the side in hardcore jazz clubs around town. This is odd for a couple of reasons...

1) He was a teenager

2) ...and a white guy.

But he was a musical prodigy so the band had him play from behind the curtain so the audience couldn't see he was a white guy.

Jim is a giant who, by the age of twelve, was over six feet tall, dressed (with money he made gigging) in pimped-out, hand-tailored silk suits, wore fine fedoras, and sported a mustache.

When he arrived in San Francisco he grew a beard and became part of the North Beach hard bop scene. Hence Mr. Lee, being one of the only babies to make the scene, is Beat Baby.

Sometimes during our off-road rambles through remote places, Mr. Lee tells me odd little stories about his childhood in San Francisco. I named him Beat Baby and decided that he should have his own comic strip but the idea never made it off the page. Today however, grounded because of the knee surgery, I started thumbing through an old notebook and found those first drafts so, rough though they be, I'm posting them here for your entertainment. I've also decided to create a page for Beat Baby on the ashabot in case I want to do more. I like him. He's a simple little fellow. I hope you will like him too.


Wild horses come home to roost

I was probably over-medicated at the hospital because the day after surgery I was still too nauseated to eat, and when I could choke down a cracker it tasted like dry leaves so I cut the pain meds in half to get over the nausea then the pain increased and, for whatever reason, I had a fever. On Friday, I called and got some anti-nausea medication which helped and once I could eat again the hydrocordone stopped making me sick so I could take the prescribed amount, the pain level came down and now, three days later, I'm beginning to feel better.

As it turned out, I did get an ACL but not as a replacement. Apparently I didn't have an ACL to replace. The ligament came from someone who recently died. I don't know who donated it but I'm very grateful to them. Whoever it was has become the stranger I share the road with in a very personal way. The surgeon also fixed the torn meniscus and removed scar tissue from the top of my knee cap and re-centered it as it was off kilter. He couldn't explain why the scaring was there in first place. My guess is that my knees got scarred from the many hours my friends and I played "Horse" as kids. We must have crawled for miles those summers, whinnying and rearing up and just generally being really bad ass wild mustangs.

So I'm sitting here naked, hooked up to electrodes and Mr. Lee just brought me a pop-sickle. I'd say it's time for a Saturday afternoon matinee . . .

Let's begin with a Close-up.

And now, on to the main feature....

I know the poor guy's suffering but I can't help laughing at this video. Too bad though that they didn't nab Dirty Dick Cheney instead. The world would be a much safer place with that mad fuck behind bars.

You can stop now on this funny but low note or watch a short, elevating video narrated by Thich Naht Hahn. Naturally, the choice is yours.


Longest day, shortest night

We got to the mountains before sunrise, which basically coincided with the exact moments of the solstice, and found a good place to set up. It was a great morning. We chanted, consulted the oracles, read poetry and feasted. We stayed almost 3 hours then went to a coffee shop to discuss and read more poetry and settle on an new project. Excellent morning.

I recently learned that Tony Seldin the Vagabond Poet died so we included a remembrance of him this morning as well. I met Tony at a poetry reading in Ashland Oregon several years ago and, naturally, we became one of the friendly houses along his road. Tony was unique, a true underground legend, a poet hitchhiking with a bust of Einstein and about a ton and a half of poetry books, scrapbooks and tattered posters from Haight Ashbury's glory days. Mr. Lee found the article. We've both been wondering why he hadn't showed up here since we moved to Nevada. Now we know.

Door near the coffee shop.

What a day. The PETA chicken was in Carson City today to picket the KFC and got friendly waves from some, criticism from others. The usual. KFC must be the 13th hell in hell's underside. Even the Dali Lama has petitioned KFC to stop their gratituous cruelty with no success. If you have a heart, don't eat there.

I'm going in for knee surgery in the morning, torn minescus and possible ACL replacement. It's the knee I injured skiing this spring. Not much warning, it got scheduled on Monday, but sooner the better so it's a another early morning so g'night.


Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is tomorrow at 05:26 PST and a friend is coming over at 4:30 in the morning so we can get out to the mountains in time to do a little improvised solstice celebration as the sun rises. Right now, I'm making a list of things I want to bring.

So far I've got:
1) poetry
2) I Ching
3) Runes
4) 2 new red candles
5) a gift
6) kartals
7) something to sit on

I'll post more about it later but right now, gotta go. I have a hundred things to do today.

Crow's lunch - Adventures in the Bird Park

Another day, another treat, another 30 seconds and there she was. Didn't see the binocs though. She must leave them in her perch.

The change game

There's an excellent article at DailyKos today by Steve G. that digs below the surface differences between our political left and right and helps clarify why it's so impossible to penetrate conservative blockhead stupidity. As Lakoff pointed out in "Don't Think of an Elephant", we use very different criteria to select "facts" from the overwhelming, chaotic sensory overload (life) surrounding us.

In case you don't bother to read it, here's an excerpt that pretty much sums up the basic idea:
"Conservatives Look at "Who" and Liberals Look at "What"
Indeed, the terms conservatives and liberals are the wrong terms to use here. They indicate political left and right, but that's not what is at issue here. What we are really talking about here is authoritarianism vs. anti-authoritarianism.


Crashing the Gate

Karl Rove takes this book seriously. He read and studied it because he is determined to crush the progressive net roots, grassroots rise of people powered politics. Crashing the Gate is written by Markos Moulitsas who started DailyKos and Jerome Armstrong, founder of MyDD.com. I ordered today. If they have a plan, I want to read it.

Even though they are corrupt, ridged and inept to the core, the one thing these bastards do well is manipulate public opinion. And, as back-up, they control the voting machines so no matter how very wrong they are, it's going to take a huge, collective effort to kick these losers to the curb.

Bean Paste Party

It's still early, my favorite part of the day. It's not hot yet so, although the blinds are closed to keep the light out, the doors and windows are still open to let the morning's still cool air circulate through the house. As it gets hotter, we'll close everything up. This knocks at least 10 degrees off the temperature. We don't like air-conditioning so, although I miss the radiant desert light, the cave-like afternoon has a comfort of its own.

I'm throwing a Red Bean Paste Party in the Bird Park today. Whenever we go to Vegas we stock up on vegetarian delights in Chinatown. Among other delectables, such as soya "duck" for which Mr. Lee has a hound-like craving, we get red bean paste steam buns. The problem is that we both prefer grabbing something quick and grazing over our keyboards so even the task of steaming a pastry first is often just too much, especially for me given that I get very nervous trying to time the bun so it gets steamed just right. As a result, these frozen treasures sometimes end up freezer burned before we get around to them.

But the Bean Paste Party is a great success. The first blobs disappeared instantly. I didn't even see who got 'em so I put out a bit more but not too much, I hope. I don't want some sugar drunk crow cackling from the top of the street light all afternoon waiting around for more. I'll save the rest for the afternoon. There's a little black bird who's been dropping by at twilight looking for a bedtime snack. Red bean paste will blow his birdy mind.


Saturday Matinee - double header

Today, you're in luck.
It's a double header and
a newreel. I suppose to
make it a proper matinee
I should also have a cartoon
so, if I remember, I'll have
one for next time.

There's more going on in Reno's downtown casino district that you might expect such as this event that occurred this afternoon along the banks of the Truckee River as it meanders through the middle of the biggest little city in the world.

Now on to the first of today's double feature:
Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories (Dave Chapelle Show)

The second video is at Google. I know that extra click is a lot of work,
and it's a piece by Billy Collins,
but chances are you will find it was well worth your time and effort.



Out again

So my friend called today and gave me results of the Nevada Arts Council Artist's Fellowship Awards JUDGMENT DAY. It's a public event and she attended because she also entered work in the contest. This is Breaking News as otherwise, I have to wait for the council to get around to mailing me the judges written critique.

This year I made it to the second round. That's a step up from last year when I didn't even make it past the first cut. Different judges, different results. If you're one of the two or three regular readers around here, you may remember me ranting about last year's bimbo poser judge who hated my work. She found some of the images "captivating", but otherwise complained that my poems left her "confused and disoriented." Wah-fucking-wah. At least she got that far.

This year and last the judges referred to me a "mystic-poet", "in the French surrealist tradition", and that my poetry is "mysterious" and reminiscent at times of "William Blake, and at other times of T.S. Eliot." Unfortunately, that's not good enough to win their damn five thousand dollars. Oh well . . . and shit!


Rove's deal

In case you're throughly disheartened by the news that Karl Rove won't be indicted for crimes related to his role in the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, here's a bit of information to brighten the day. It's from Firedoglake:

"Anne at 44 (and Jeralyn) are right I think: The language used by Luskin strongly suggests that Rove got immunity in exchange for his cooperation (it is probably the same deal I have been suggesting was offered to Novak way back when.) Otherwise he never would have testified in the Grand Jury to begin with.

“Does not anticipate seeking charges” means that if Rove testifies at Libby’s trial as expected, and as his agreement no doubt provides for him to testify, (lawyers call it providing “ongoing cooperation”), then all will be well for him. But if he “goes sideways” on Fitz and testifies differently from what is now expected, he could be charged–w/perjury certainly, and his deal to avoid criminal liability in the larger conspiracy could be “off” as he could face charges in that as well.

All told, a very standard deal and not unexpected. The more interesting issue and the reason for optimism now is that he couldn’t have gotten such a deal without having something important to offer Fitz. The “no prosecution” letter pretty much guarantees that he that he made a good deal. Either he offered up Cheney himself, or he offered up Libby to guarantee a conviction so Fitz can roll up Libby to Cheney. Either way, for me, I see Cheney going down and that’s something I can live with!"


Bird Park bird watcher

There's one crow around here who watches the Bird Park through binoculars and when she sees me put out an especially tasty treat she's on it in a minute. Yesterday it was a big blog of Marvel Meal and sure enough, as soon as I went back inside, she swooped down and started drilling. Say what you will about "bird brains", crows are smart enough to be greedy so after a couple of bites she decided the busy Bird Park was not a good place to dine and flew off with the whole chunk in her beak.



Bush's words

I've posted this link before but with the election heating up seems like a good time to review some of things Bush has said...


Delicate One

My beautiful, delicate daughter, my Krsangi ... with whom I rode a giant wave in from the solitary sea of her pre-dawn February morning birth painlessly, who as a baby chirped like a bird and later declared she was a faerie, and later gave us three giant hissing cockroaches as a house warming gift, and just yesterday threw herself on top of a raging pit bull attacking Edison, the heart breakingly sweet golden retriever, ... is marrying Clark, the best of men; intelligent, good looking, humble, nice and kind! I couldn't be happier.


SATURDAY MATINEE: Black Books - Bernard's Letter

I don't intend to make the Saturday Matinee a regular event but Mr. Lee, my secret source, just emailed me this clip which just happens to fit into the general theme around here and today just happens to be Saturday so put your feet up and enjoy this gripping episode in the life of a brilliant writer...