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Namche Bazaar

the wait, the long wait

a weather-borne tragedy

oh my sweet defeat

 

but then among clouds:

helicoptors are the best

the timer reset

 

through the mist and fog

a clearing among giants

I stand on my feet

 

we begin at last

but, dear air, where did you go?

lethargy, no, no!

 

veggie lasagna

yak cheese, lemon tea, dal bhat

hard-boiled egg, no jam

 

step one, breathe two, puff

first steps are good for the soul

monsoon rain, go ‘way

 

up the mountains go

as the fog clears, higher still

to the atmosphere

 

benign mountain slope

here I am from whence I’ve come

the future is up

 

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they say I’m at the tip top
but the tip top
of my tip toes
is still less 5 feet

It’s been brought to my attention that I have a knack for convincing the good people in my world I’m competent until it’s much too late for them to do anything about it. It was brought to my attention recently when I mentioned to a friend that I was changing jobs and she said she wants to change jobs, too, but she doesn’t feel competent in anything that’s open on the market right now. I laughed at her naiveté and told her that competency has nothing to do with it. I personally am not capable of carrying out the duties of my current job and I failed miserably at my old job…I spread my incompetence around like a STD but I’ve mastered the art of appearing to be quite thoughtful and able to do many tasks. Now you can, too!

• You need to go to LensCrafters or some asshole hobbit eye doctor and get thick rimmed librarian glasses.
• You should put your hair in a bun, no matter your gender.
• In the course of a conversation, pick something you know about (however little) and pretend to have a strong opinion about it. They will wilt in your knowledge because if you are vehement, you clearly know what you’re talking about. For example, when I was 19 or 21 there were elections going on that I knew nothing about but I was in college and wanted to appear knowledgeable. Or simply repeat someone else’s vehemence (is that a word?) as your own conclusion. I listened to a pundit sarcastically say that Pat Buchanan wanted to nuke the borders to keep the illegal immigrants out. I repeated this in political conversations numerous times at my university and got raves for really knowing my stuff.
• Mention research or statistics. Peoples eyes go dead and they bow down to someone who knows research or can read it. Even if you haven’t touched the research. Spout facts and the people will be believe in your ability. TRUST ME! Note: you don’t even have to spout facts if you don’t want to. Most people will not question you. For example, if you start talking about standardized tests, and you say, “statistically speaking, there is no way for everyone to “pass” a test based on a bell curve so “rigor” cannot be determined by an invalid test,” who is really going to challenge you?
• Make bulleted lists when you go into a staff meeting or when you write a bullshit blog. Be sure to have enough bullet points to seem comprehensive and give pointless details to make the bullet points seem especially important. For example, use “for examples” frequently. Note: Titling your lists as “how to” also gives credence to the idea that you actually know how to do something.
• Shake your luminous hair out with a pensive look on your face. You know how to look competent…you’ve made it this far, right?

Things my dogs have eaten:
 My pristine Blackberry 8530. My Emmie chewed right through the ALT button and I had to buy me a whole new phone because a broken ALT button means you can’t properly punctuate texts and emails. (Did you know that new 8530s are $500??)
 My Blackberry phone charger
 My replacement Blackberry phone charger
 My crackers
 My peanut butter crackers
 Raisins (this is toxic to dogs but of course, it didn’t affect my Poppy at all but I have the vet bill to show for my lack of attention)
 Snickers bar(s)
 Toilet paper
 My dignity
 My carpet
 The once-white grout in between my tile flooring
 My G.I. Jane dvd
 At least 8 pairs of shoes (seriously)
 At least 2 tubes of Neosporin (not toxic but beware of the doggie gas toxicity you will experience)
 Entire ketchup packets
 Pepto bismal
 Gummy snacks
 Old bread
 New bread
 Bread that was supposed to be all mine
 At least 6 book covers (good sources of fiber, apparently)
 At least the edges of 4 other books’ pages
 More rugs and towels than I can count
 Each other’s poop (grisly discovery)
 Grass
 More grass
 Worms (specifically earth worms, not parasitic ones)
 A dead bird (almost)
 Ants
 My newly-bought used digital camera (telling are the teeth marks on the lenses)
 My USB drives with all manner of writing on them (okay, they didn’t actually eat them but that was a close call)
 My daddy’s hand
 My balance
 My neighbor’s respect
 My car floorboards
 All of their toys
 Their dog bowls
 My flipflops
 My purple sweater
 My blue sweather
 My pea green sweater
 My Clinique cranberry lipstick. R.I.P.
 The contents of my bathroom trashcan

The dogs have also eaten away the anger I feel with they happiness they bring…especially when they are asleep.

• his thoughts weren’t worth my penny, I decided (much too late)
• if you want to keep him, don’t let him take you to Hot Springs
• I’m needy
• I’m weak
• I’m bull-headed stubborn
• if you want to get rid of him, talk about your own problems
• if you like him, you can sit through any story no matter how many times you’ve heard it or how vulgar and unbecoming it is
• if you like him, he will not like you
• if you agree that neither of you will play games, accept that you’re both playing that game
• I’m accommodating
• I’m sweet
• I’m a good listener
• weed is never a good conversation starter
• weed is an awkward topic of conversation if you’re not into weed
• telling me you tried to sell weed to an undercover cop and that as a result, you think you were “framed” even though you admit to doing it is cause for concern and perhaps a reasonable moment to challenge him on his “it’s not my fault” mentality
• sushi is okay
• shorties don’t do it for me
• kawai (spelling?) means cute in Japanese
• Republicans scare me
• tall men are unreliable
• tall men are reliable
• I don’t like body odor
• I like sexy texts but most times, sexy texts ruin a relationship
• I don’t like to hear about maps in the Middle Ages
• I have a birthmark on my face
• I have freckles
• not everyone is gay-friendly
• straight guys can be insecure
• men are robots
• men are funny
• I fall in love with laughter
• I don’t like rice balls
• as it turns out, I like blue eyes after all

I almost had a wet willie once
but as it turned out I didn’t have
a willie. I was wet, though.

Bryan has answered seven pressing questions (seven, because he refused to answer any more or less because of his ocd). Enjoy.

1. Do you find Nestle Crunch bars slightly more satisfying than love? Be honest.

When I was young, I did find Nestle Crunch bars more satisfying than love. But, truth be told, love to me then was make believing my high school girlfriend at the time (we’ll call her Melody Eclair) was actually a sophomore named Bo while a certain third wheel rocked herself crazily in the corner of my black Chevy S-10. Now, when pressed, I’d have to say the only thing I find more satisfying than love is a good creme brulee, so long as the layer on top gives you that little crunch.

2. What does it mean if a guy has medium-sized feet and squinty eyes? Don’t lie.

It means orgasm is probably out of the question for all involved.

3. I haven’t gotten a text in hours. Why is this happening to me?

Because you say things like, “I thought you’d never wanted to hear from me again,” “cooooooookies,” and “my dog peed on me.”

4. When are you going to provide me with a homecooked meal again?

You’ve requested Hamburger Helper of the Cheeseburger Macaroni variety. While technically this meal is beneath my level of skill, I will make this for you next Tuesday, with brownies for dessert.

5. Who would win in a break-neck, all-goes fight between bindo and Val?

I’m going with Val. I have a feeling she knows how to throw elbows. Bindo would get distracted by something depressing and write a wonderful poem about it, though.

6. Who let the dogs out? And what the hell was up with all the coconut in the Bahamas?

You let the dogs out, just the same way that you lost your room key and foolishly thought that, because we spent thousands of dollars to go on a trip together, I wanted to spend time with you. As far as the coconuts go, I didn’t see them. I was more impressed with all the men in speedos, which I don’t think you noticed because you hadn’t hit puberty yet.

7. Don’t you secretly wish you had a Blackberry Curve instead of dinky iPhone?

Never. All your readers who have iPhones should download the free App “words with friends” and challenge me, PoeticGrin, to a battle.

Over the course of the last two weeks or so, I have had the pleasure of being involved in a fantastic discussion about writing and living well. As interviews go, this one offers insight and sincerity, and I hope you, dear reader, appreciate the self-depricating wisdom of our very own Uncle Tree.

#1. What made you an Uncle and not a Father or a Cousin or a Step-son Tree?

An anonymous young fellow, or dame, named Diablo, penned Tree on me. At a site called Intentblog (now closed), I talked about camping by the Missouri River, and mentioned a few of the things, including spiritual awakenings, that I’d experienced at my favorite spot. He must have thought I sounded like I was stationed there, or had put down roots there, in order to call me a tree. Since he claimed to be in his 20’s, I thought of him as a nephew, which made me his uncle.

Father Tree would have made me look like a priest, and Brother Tree sounds to me
like a deacon, and I really didn’t want to be cornered into anything too specific, such as Elder Tree, Sir Willow or Mr. Elmwood.

#2. If you had to choose between wilting in the sun or crumbling from the cold, which would you prefer?

Uncle Tree would prefer a climate ideally situated on this earth. That place would be a habitat that allows all of nature to express itself fully throughout the four seasons in equal measure. He feels that the coldest part of the year is the toughest to endure. Summer’s sun is warm and penetrating. In good years, when spring brings plentiful and copious amounts of refreshing rain, he reserves some of the moisture in defense against the blazing heat, and only wilts on top.

#3. Your cheekiness and wit in your writing (blog, poems, AND comments) are rays through clouds. How do you maintain a sense of humor?

I don’t believe anyone can timelessly maintain a sense of humor, no matter what is going on in their personal lives. Ups and downs, and highs and lows are to be expected, and they definitely contribute to my so-called moodiness. That I cannot deny. I never intentionally wish to bring someone down, just because I feel a certain way at the time, but I do suppose it happens sometimes.

Before I had my own blog, all I used to be able to do was comment, so I learned to make the best of them. For the most part, I try to say something appropriate, and attempt to keep my views on-topic. Humor has its place, and laughter is the best medicine, but we can’t always rely on them to get our point across. I can sympathize with Al Franken in that regard.

Me2 was my first moniker. This symbol contains a few meanings for me. It’s not funny or sad, in and of itself. It is rather more neutral than Uncle Tree, which I see as putting me in the category of goofy and kooky, but in a familiar, unassuming sort of way. It’s been fun to play with, and I’m still growing into it. I don’t always write from his perspective, as if I were actually a talking tree. That’s impossible! I do have a couple of poems which he wrote though, and I hope to create more at some period in the future.

My outlook on life is not always positive or optimistic. I accept the full range of emotions as a matter of course. It’s only natural. To deny is to lie to one’s self, and when we do, we’re not fooling anybody but ourselves. The reasons I have for writing poetry the way I do are too numerous to go into here. I want to read your thoughts for you and speak about it, when you can’t seem to find the right words to use yourself.
And of course, if I can bring someone to tears, whether they be joyful ones, or sorrowful ones, I would rightfully call that my crowning achievement.

#4. If you were me and Bryan cyber stalked your new boyfriend, how would you make him pay?*

Dear lady,

Your wish for revenge is in jest, of that I am sure. Nevertheless, it was your boyfriend, as you said. Paybacks are a bitch, but we can be fair about it. You don’t have to raise the ante. The punishment should be a fitting one; one that matches the dastardly deed that Bryan has committed. Unless, of course, you wish to start a war, for wars are not required to be just.

I can’t imagine that ‘Facebooking’ someone is a serious crime. Having said that, I came up with this as I was toying with the idea:

If I were you, I’d tell Bryan that I need to speak to him and his beloved at their place of residence. I would persuade, or talk him into setting aside a time, say 9 or 10:00 o’clock in the evening. Make it a Friday or Saturday night. I would tell him that I had an important announcement to make, and that I wanted the two of them to be the first to hear of it. I would leave it at that, and not hint around or make any wise-cracks.

As soon as I can get him to make a promise about the date, then, in advance, I would hire a professional to perform a session for these young men at said time. And by professional, I mean a dancer. And by dancer, I mean a blonde, gorgeous, well-proportioned, sexy and provocative female stripper.

*Note: I must mention that Uncle Tree answered this one with characteristic grace and a kind sensibility that is incredibly endearing and almost makes me question my urge for seeking revenge. 😉

#5. What makes a poet “good”? (And you are good, Uncle!)

Thank you! It’s nice to know you think of me as such.

Success in any endeavor is highly personal, and the meaning of it depends on where one currently fits into the mix, and one’s general expectations, hopes and dreams. Like happiness, once you’ve had a taste of success, you inevitably wish to savor it again. If at first you only receive a morsel, the next time you’ll want a bigger bite, and so on and so forth until you believe your plate is as full as the possibilities allow.

I take the title of poet very seriously. Within the elite literary circles of today, I honestly do not know the requirements necessary to earn such a lofty label. Personally, I do not consider myself to be worthy of the name, nor can I say that I will ever rise to those heights of grandeur. Therefore my thoughts on the subject will pertain to the ladder as I see it, and the steps that might be involved in the process from beginning to end. Again I will stress that this is my guess, my opinion, my estimation.

Anyone with a firm grasp of their own language is capable of writing. That doesn’t make them a writer. We can say the same thing about poetry. By the age of 10 or so,
most anyone can create and produce a finished product, but that doesn’t necessarily
make them a poet, however easy and natural it seems to seep forth, as if it were on it’s own, and only needed a little direction.

When first starting out on this road, success would simply mean a piece of work that pleases its author, and brings to them a sense of pride and satisfaction; a poem with which the originator may be well pleased.

The next step might be to show off, or to display your new wares to family and friends in order to receive some friendly feedback. It’s up to the author alone to decide whether or not the praise is worthy, or if the unwanted criticisms are well intended. It is highly likely that you will procure positive, reinforcing encouragement from this group of readers. The worst bit of advice you may hear is familiar to all: “Don’t quit your day job just yet.”

If the author is attending a school of higher learning, they could gather up enough courage to show their beloved poetry to a teacher, or professor of literature. Here one would hope to obtain an objective viewpoint, constructive criticism, and maybe even noteworthy praise from an ‘experienced’ reader of letters.

Another venture might entail a step that would allow complete strangers to freely read what you have done, as in the case of internet exchanges such as we have at wordpress and blogspot. Just how difficult it is to get a comment from someone you don’t know at all is another short story that I’ll not get into at this time. Again, if you do get one or several replies, it’s up to you to determine their trustworthiness. Your perception of these can then be the deciding factor in the measure of your success.

My personal knowledge of the ladder ends at this juncture. That doesn’t mean I’m done here, nor does it mean that I’m through climbing myself. Moving on up —

If you are now more certain of your abilities, entering a poetry contest may be in
order. From what I’ve heard, there are usually a lot of competitors, and taking the first prize would be akin to winning the lottery.

One more option would be the act of submitting your unpublished work to a magazine or journal that specializes in art and literature. Let us say you are successful. Let us say that you are now one of the critically acclaimed authors of your generation. You may choose to write a book that contains a selection of your finest poetry. The meaning of success from this point forward will depend on the quantity of books sold.

Let us assume your book of poetry becomes a best-seller. I would have to say, “You’ve made it to the big time!” Certainly, at this point you should be deemed worthy of the label, and have a right to think of yourself as a poet. Others will now call you by that name. They may even take a vote, and choose you to be worthy of holding the honorable office, and dignified position of Poet Laureate. This is what it means to be highly successful. And yet there is still more to be had.

You may become world famous. Your work may be translated into several, if not hundreds of languages. You may be nominated, and you may win the Nobel Prize
in Literature. What a success you’ve now become! But have you finally reached the highest heights? Have you reached the pinnacle of success?

Nay, not if you ask Homer and the Bard! If your name, your poetry, and your achievements are remembered, talked about, and taught in educational systems all around this homey globe of ours for hundreds, or even thousands of years, that my friend…that must be the zenith. That deserves the praise of The Masters. That is when we all can say, “You, dear poet, you have shown us the true meaning of success, and the ideal way to live and love that leads to a successful life. Thank you!”

Please visit Uncle Tree’s House at http://me2watson.wordpress.com/.

Bunny and I met recently through Bryan and we’ve fallen in love. He’s also our Asian love child, which has a little bit of an Oedipus-esque twist minus the shame and eyegauging, and I am happy to share the fruits of our love with all of my dear readers.

I. From dearest Bunny Belletryst.

Careful, my medicated lady, for if
you prescribe, know this, a narcotic, is what
you’ll imbibe.
A bunny leaps,
reads the label, but what it should say,
is a bunny takes you, takes you,
may lead you astray.

Should my jolly roger affect you lightly, pop a few like jolly ranchers…
Should my taste suit you, a Pavlov-drooling, babbling, witty banter…
take more. take more. take more.

What’s your dosage, my lady?
Can you take the bunny-pill pledge, Lady?
If you think the shoddy design on the old bottle is faded,
just read the poem,
the inscription, get jaded.

A bunny leaps and leaps and leaps.
And so will you, come, creep
to my bottle, hold out your hand.
Look before you leap,
or you may never understand.

II.
From MedicatedLady to Bunny.

An indelible duo
of heart and head
Your Honey to my Bunny.

Twenty-four hours is too long to decide to love.
Let’s make it snappy
and I’ll give you double snaps
and a freckled smile
not much to give
but what I have.

It’s not that I think I’m good
it’s that I know you are
and I’m happy
to follow you
wherever your bunny trails may lead.

See Bunny’s blog at http://brbelletryst.wordpress.com/.

 Once again, I’ve asked a fantabulous writer and blogger some questions for those of us who are not “in the know” but would like to be.

1. Do you ever take a handful of raisins and eat them quickly because you suspect if you took time to really think about them, you might actually hate raisins?

I savour my raisins. I do, however, swallow my deep fried hedgehogs whole as a result of an unfortunate accident as a child.

2. How the heck does one pronounce “gingatao”? I am at a loss and no medication seems to help me figure it out.

‘ginga’ is Portugese. The first ‘g’ is soft and long and sexy, almost like ‘shh’, and the ‘inga’ is like a German lady. Tao should be pronounced as though it was Dow. Strangely, I have only ever heard one other person say it out loud.

3. How is it you became a writer, dearest?

When I was seventeen I felt far too ugly and ungainly to become an actor so I chose the other career in which one never has to be oneself.

4. How do you get out of a writer’s rut?

Alcohol. (or reading the great writers of the past.)

5-ish. Do Australians really say “crikey”? Also, do you all wrestle alligators? Is it true Australians are zany? Do you think I would fit in in Australia? Do you were funny hats? What is Australia’s stance on clogs? Do you call flip-flops “flip-flops” or “thongs”?

No Australians say Crikey anymore. Many of the old Austalianisms have died out. Noone refers to ladies as ‘sheilas’ anymore. Interestingly the Prime Minister is copping some stick at the moment for using blokey language like ‘fair suck of the sausage, mate.’ Australia also has the highest rate of indigenous language loss of any country. There were thousands of indigenous languages and now there are only handful still in active use, which is a tragedy.

I hope we are not zany, a word I use interchangeably with stupid.

Everyone fits in in Australia, it is one of the most tolerant and multicultural countries anywhere. Like the rest of the world though, we have developed a deep suspicion of Americans which you would have to overcome.

I wear funny hats. At the moment I am wearing a green felt hat.

Our stance on clogs is neutral, our stance in clogs is a little crooked.

We call thongs thongs and the other thongs g-strings.

Thank you for your questions, M’Lady.

I’m sorry my answers weren’t as clever or as funny as Bryan’s but I just woke up on a Monday morning. Have a fantabulous day full of tiny miracles like unexpected flowers blooming,

Paul.

Paul–these answers are not to be compared with Bryan’s. These were YOUR questions to answer and I think you did a mighty fine job, kind sir.

SOB with me

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