I'll be the first to admit: recent posts have been skimpy. I'm sorry.

For a handful of reasons, I've decided to take a short hiatus. Probably one month, maybe two, namely because I need to focus on other things for a while.

I'm taking a creative writing course at Emory and now have real writing assignments to do (
not to say that blogging is not real writing), and I've started a novel.

There... I said it.

I'm finally leaving the safe familiar waters of poetry and diving off the deep end, into the shark-infested ocean of prose. Oh but before I do — once more, unto the breach my friends, once more! I leave you with this poem from my cache, circa 2005. In the meantime, Godspeed.

Coconut Grove

We leave at the onset of the rainy season
Before your country turns to mud.

We leave when the air gets too heavy
Thick with humidity, weighing us down,
Pressing our eyes further into our white heads
Shutting our pale eyelids—
One more curtain between our travels
And your reality.

My hands ache, yellow callouses start to form
After pulling for fifteen, twenty minutes,
Barely pulling on that fishing net,
And you sing and pull, five hours longer.
You chant these tones, barefoot on the sand,
Wearing only these denim shorts,
Brown with sweat and age.

Your hands are two big callouses,
Also yellow.



Meet Ryan's long-lost twin: Jacoby Ellsbury.

Watching the Red Sox game last night, I was reminded of just how much they resemble each other. Strange...


carried away

Adding to the Things I've Grilled list:

Shish kebabs. Specifically: chicken, onion, red pepper and pineapple shish kebabs.

So good.


move over, susan boyle

By now you must know who she is. If you haven't, you must watch this. (Or if you're my Aunt Pam, who can't connect to YouTube from the hills of Apex, NC, read this article — love you!). But that isn't the crux.

Sunday morning, at my church here in Atlanta, I witnessed the most incredible musical shock of my life. Singer-guitarist Cindy Lou Harrington tells the audience that she's also been a special education teacher for the past twenty-plus years. This morning she's invited a former student, a woman named Beth, to perform a song with her.

Beth appears from behind the curtains, pushed in a wheelchair by her parents, both of whom look to be in their sixties. I'm not sure which specific issues and illnesses Beth suffers from, but she is hunched over in her chair, head hanging down to her chest, her withered legs much shorter than the average person's. She doesn't seem to have full control of her arms either, and to top it off, she's blind.

At this point, I'm embarrassed to admit, I'm expecting her to sound the way she looks; different, crippled, weak. Cindy hands her the microphone, and starts strumming her guitar.

Beth starts singing. And — to my great surprise — she has this big, sweeping, soulful, commanding voice you would expect to come from an african american gospel singer. Close your eyes, and you'd think Aretha was in the room. Halfway through, almost every person in the room is crying.

It was the sort of experience that shakes you awake, and plants a new, pure sense of hope in your soul... nothing short of incredible. I can't even remember the song, but I will never, ever forget how wrong I was, at first glance, about her.


springtime in the city

"Operation Atlanta Appreciation" continues. Here's the weekend report card for a few firsts:

Fox & Hounds = B
Technically I've been there twice (but I didn't write about it the first time).
big open patio with lots of seating, cheaper than midtown, closer than the highlands, quality time with friends
Cons: slow waitstaff, unreliable mix of music

City Grilling = A+
When Walmart says "Save money, Live better," they aren't joking. For $15, I'm the proud owner of China's cheapest charcoal grill.
Things I've grilled so far: ballpark beef franks, buns, chicken with Hot Squeeze sauce.
Things I plan to grill: everything, from now on.

Dogwood Festival = A+
Today's rain may have kept the masses at bay, but for the few and brave among us, it was worth the trip. So very tempted to buy something from this local artist. I think I will, I just couldn't choose which one I wanted to splurge on.


sometimes i love myself

What I really need to be doing is writing my novel (because the first three pages are due on Monday for my writing class).

After plopping down on the bed with a pen and a notebook, feeling a lack of inspiration, getting up again to blow my nose, I realize — candles will help me write.
Who isn't more creative by candlelight? But where did I put those damn IKEA tea light holders? I absolutely must find them. Clearly, I can't write without them.

I dig through the closet. Not there. Rummage through the craft drawer. Not there. At this point, I should just call it quits and go back to my notebook, but that would be too easy.

Long story short, this contraption was born: take three unused cd's, flip them over, tape the backs together, and voilĂ ! An ultra-reflective tea light holder.

You say procrastination, I say misplaced creativity.


simply because

life is short, days are long, I have zero self control, I hate owing the IRS money and it is Wednesday: this was my breakfast. Spectacular.


56 and cloudy

Perfect weather to write. I'm spending a few days at my "country home" (my parent's place in the Roswell suburbs), drinking their coffee, eating their food, being a giant human leech as I sometimes am.

Yet there is a semi-productive slant here. In addition to bumbling my way across the pages of turbotax.com, I'm sifting through ten years of notebook writing, attempting to type and save it all to my computer. Less of a fire hazard, I figured.

In a strange way though, I feel like I'm resurrecting the teen angst of my 15-year-old self, digging up poorly written poems from high school. Maybe a bonfire isn't such a bad idea?

Thankfully, some resurrections are more meaningful than others... Happy Easter! Here's hoping that good things lie ahead for you, dear reader, and your loved ones.


new love...

a duo called blind pilot. Heard their story on NPR this morning. Going home to buy the album on iTunes, because it is probably time I stop listening to the three songs on 3eb's Red Star album on repeat. I mean, I adore them, but my brain is begging for something new.


i believe in the sand beneath my toes

Four days in Key West is certainly something to be grateful for. Especially when you don't have to pay a dime. I am one lucky, lucky son of a gun: I know this. Don't hate.