Tag Archives: Washington

The Wheeling Year

Plunging into the proud once bold steel spokes of Wheeling
on a boast, leaving self-identified low-brow intellectuals
thick on their heels, disciples of mediaplex back home
to guzzle odd beers, to call forth warm meals,
shutter fashion clues and scatter candle wicks,
cascading ambitions, creeping years and shell-soaked
beltway snobberies if not outright fears
only the duty-stoked people of paper bountiful
& class swearing beautiful can celebrate or poke
without laughing out loud
(Must calibrate gross weight or reluctantly take a dive...),
to increase their distance from the nothingness crowd
lost to brutal calories and raw educations
that rarely matter. Sometimes freedom
of choice is just a cigar.

The boy scout giving good turn a bad name
squats two seats away from the shadow's flame. To this end
I am greeted by
icy gray broken asphalt gristle patched with frosted gray cloud cover,
stuff of gray twigged mountain peaks and frisky billboards, soaking up
mere strands the soot life left to the rights of man in sixty year exodus,
sealed in a book mapping tough cookie Norwegian painter Edvard Munch,
(recently purchased in Washington and also found in local library, with lime)
to his destiny of soul-watching inched in regional nee personal strife,
the contact spy, the imperfected feeling magus,
the mystic's eye bent to March Madness
and the gnat gusts of George Mason's run
smack past the heavily brokered UCONN largess
predicted here on this page at patriotic halftime
with the same breath as "Pop Mike, Pop Mike" fun
veers the seer from Connecticut Avenue to Main Street
invoking play by play off the curve, via broadband, the long hike,
the voice of God dead or alive voting one sorry syllable at a time
with these heavy feet, with these heavy heavy feet
chanting "Long live the Mountaineers!"

Early thoughts among leafless trees recall jobs lost on a dime,
mantles of black gold from ancient burial grounds that fed
the former veracity, stolen with a few strokes of ink and power
of law but that's sparing a crime, spoiling the climb (social)
more shame in responding to a coal miner's lament
however sublime. Ignorance is egregiously polled,
and tallied like a certain hour where uncertainty takes hold
but will never sop these wet K Street cement trucks
with an exchange value that will surpass the damage of
wasted years looking for evidence of American life elsewhere
among the stark solar systems and pigeonholes of our enemies.

This rambunctious exile with single wave of arms deal
might have dropped anchor in Cumberland, M-D
some many miles franker (with escalating gas prices) still to the east,
instead, in exit from the nation's capital in the land of Nod,
brave hardly but where art thou hididen in tattered cards,
revealing seven maybe eight convalescing spirits,
as thy wholesome West Virginia Left Bank energies
emerge among fading old mills and abandoned
century old cigar warehouses,
nail factories and one fairly new hockey arena
skimming along the once mighty Ohio River
banks and bards, shanks and shards
like some Indian giver (that old tale)
ignorant of industrial bed safeguards
perfectly, perfectly American...

and I too, have come to recapture Victorian Wheeling metaphor,
ripped from ancient headlines in the days of Zane and Fort Patrick Henry
speaking the spectacular language of oldest and largest...
magnificient suspension bridge still in use, American Legion Post #1
recalling the 1940s, the unvarnished glories of the Capitol Music Hall,
where thy current president "Bush II" delivered another Iraqi hoot
hosted by the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce such as it is,
(commerce by all indications is not the city's strong suit)
before whizzing past in the familiar ironclad motorcade
black to the gills, in tight with street throngs of mere dozens
confused but supportive of Orwellian nation-building doubletalk
(a mere handful of detractors showed up with predictable signs)
hurrying to greet proven Pittsburgh past any sad assassins
hiding in the vacant ruins of the stunted and the shade
just two short days after my own arrival,
recalling former feasts of this harsh Steeler Nation
now in fester.

Victory to explore this old house of Wheeling,
home of some thirty thousand souls nested in the airy hills
to examine the lost fortunes of free elections and free speech,
to score on the fading linebackers godwilling for minimum of one year,
axiom by axiom in a tutelege of the expatriate, I am after all, a city boy—
saith the tainted poet, painteth the awkward painter...
Drawing upon the strength of history wanting a chance,
success and sure loss of dead weight left in the District of Columbia
where special populations prove numbers are anything but...
(absence of voting rights, questioning the dance)

But just as the petty thief draws near,
there is visionary hope in new places, new perspectives, new choices.
Infrastructure—civic, civil, and yearning awaits.

[ 2006, Wheeling, WV }

All So Lovely And Fine

samplex

HEY LIV. BROADCASTING FROM WASHINGTON, DC. Cute, colorful, and as complex as a single flower in the sun, Olivia Pantelidis is the name I immediately loved, and loving with the prattling passion of history, I presumed it to be Greek in nature. Perhaps I am wrong. Yes, Olivia Pantelidis, I just had to write it again, the other names are all so lovely and fine, Liv and Okimikko (Japanese-flavor I note), but it was your whole given name which drew first blood. Thanks for writing back. Despite those terse beginnings, we have materialized much fun playing among the words.

Meanwhile, to answer your question, I live in Washington, DC, a block away from the stadium where the REDSKINS footballers used to play until moving to a new expensive facility in the suburbs last year. Good riddance I say, but I'd really love to see a baseball team play there for many reasons which I will spare you for now.

...like a whisper among the rapids. I write many words on many pages and build my websites one page at a time. Desperation is the poet's business. And my poems rot because I haven't put very many online yet, but the space is allotted, and some poems are planted there.
There's also a public hospital, a large highschool, a single small Ma & Pa grocery store, and the National Guard facility in my immediate neigborhood. Nothing else but old rowhouses, many in slum condition, offer my life much urban immediacy. Litter and glass plague these neighborhood streets and alleys. Gunshots are not so rare. Graffitti slang, not EVEN artistic, is sprayed wildcat upon this wall or that building. Wearing my social engineering cap, I lust for new business sections to open up down here, in well-designed heavy commerce worthy of a vibrant city just bursting to emerge from this neighborhood. My property is about half a mile from the River Anacostia flowing just the other side of the stadium. We are prime commercial, but alas, the city suffers and rages and dies, arguing poorly for residential nothingness. There are few wise men here. A city of imposters and ugly metaphors. Fakes and spastic manipulators. Tyrants and suit salad liars. The city is withering on the vine of potential growth. Down here they call it a race issue. It's really an ego issue. Meanwhile, we wither no differently than the ivy on the pole.

mothergrad
Peggy Nix, Gabriel Thy, Sue Hedrick
It's no secret I too curl up among my words and the books that publish them. My own few favorites are scattered around my website. You can visit the Scenewash Project 20003 and click to THE LITERARY CHIP. Still not a whole lot there yet, but I aim to establish a little here, a little there, and take heed that I am slowly bringing it all together. This is practically all I do in my miserable life among the mobs of malcontention, but that might be exaggerating ever slightly, like a whisper among the rapids. I write many words on many pages and build my websites one page at a time. Desperation is the poet's business. And my poems rot because I haven't put very many online yet, but the space is allotted, and some poems are planted there. Check around. Be my Australian friend. I don't have one yet.

It seems like we've damned near established some sort of literary correspondence, and while I get really busy sometimes, I do appreciate an interesting correspondence. I freelance, and work several current clients on a sporadic basis. I work and take great peace and ponderance in my garden, and am enlisted in the minds that matter to fight back all the garbage entropy and grime have a way of bringing to my attention . . .

She's a 63 year old junior at Oglethorpre University in Atlanta, down in the state of Georgia, so go figure. She loves school, and has never been happier in her life! She studied Nietzsche this past quarter and now feels driven to discuss a poem with me...
I do all this from home, and in fact, rarely leave the Dollhouse & Grill [our pet names for the house & yard], and am somewhat agoraphobic in that way. I live here with two others. Peter and Sue. You can read about them on the website as well. I'm currently trying to finish Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. You really should read this book, without question. It is a rare instant classic, much better than (Gunter) Grass's The Rat, which I only mildly found amusing or interesting. In fact I was disappointed, I must say. Perhaps the title was not indicative of Gunter's other work, but it reminded me of Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, and although I love Pynchon's earlier work, Vineland and this latest book, Mason and Dixon (a much difficult read, and I have read very little of it frankly.) leave a lot to be desired. Vineland kicked its own ashes down the road as far as I am concerned, a pale shimmer of past literary glory, this book. Mason and Dixon is something altogether different. Written in Olde Englische, I don't know if it's worth the read or not. But for now it remains on my shelf, a gift from Sue, barely opened.

Don't use Netscape, eh? Which browser DO you use? Tell me about your computer, if you've a mind to go there. I work from a Power Macintosh, of course, an 8500/120, but I hope to upgrade to a G-3 soon. Anywaze, it's been fun chatting widja . . . keep it cool, and we'll just play this mystery, word by word. As some unknown poet wrote some time ago, twig by twig we build a language. That reminds me, my mother wants to discuss a poem I just had published, but one I had written a while ago. She's a 63 year old junior at Oglethorpre University in Atlanta, down in the state of Georgia, so go figure. She loves school, and has never been happier in her life! She studied Nietzsche this past quarter and now feels driven to discuss a poem with me, so I suppose I must oblige her. I've got to write her now, so tiddly widdly, until the next time we meet, Olivia, just call me...

[1998, Washington DC ]