Sunday, February 28, 2021

Overheard at Booth 3: Another Fragment of Poetry from an Old Notebook

Eyes black as a starless sky.
Eyes hauntingly devoid of light.
Her prowl, completely without clink or clamor.
She presides over all she sees and claims
without ever needing to growl, or even speak:
All fall prostrate before her.


Overheard at Table 3: If We Are Surrounded by All This Positivity, Then Why Are We Still So Miserable?

Ching O'Madre: All I can say is that all these touchy-feely feel good "be true to yourself" "be happy" messages just leave me more miserable than ever.

Dever Dodd: Why do you think that is?

Ching O'Madre: I call it the "Curse of Unrealistic Aspirations"

Clare O'Casey: I hear that.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Overheard at Booth 2: A Stanza from "The Soundtrack of Our Lives"

... found in an old notebook, undated, but concurrent passages are from June of 2019.

Title "The Soundtrack of Our Lives"

[Stanza is further down the page, indicating that it would be the final or penultimate stanza ...]

And if I keep my arms wrapped
Around this corner of the sky
You will know you have a home
As you go sailing by


Overheard at Table 3: The Girl in the Spider's Web


Saw this on Prime.  Thought we hadn't seen it.  Wife thought we had, but wasn't sure, so we watched it.

Unfortunately, I hit the wrong button and bought the damn thing for $20.  This was in the middle of the COVID epidemic and we hadn't been to the theatre in months, so I was thinking we'd already saved more than that by just not going.

To be honest, after watching it, I still can't tell if we've seen it or not.  Until I was looking through an old notebook and on a page where other notes referenced dates of April 2019, there was written:  THE GIRL IN THE SPIDERS WEB - CLAIRE FOY

This either indicates we did see it and I had planned to write about it, or I had seen the promo and intended to watch it.

Either way, this move is, for the most part, forgettable.  Only the opening scene of her brutalizing the abuser has any sort of real tension, and even that seems a bit contrived.  The whole "you left me in the hands of our molestor/father so I hate you but it made me a powerful woman hell bent on world domination" theme is hard to follow.  Especially since the time frame is all wrong.  By the time Lisbeth was rescuing young girls from molester fathers, her older sister was already an adult as well.  So there is no real point to this whole mess of a movie.

But, I must admit, Claire Foy does indeed have the sexiest pout I think I've ever seen.  Just had to throw that in there.  But even that pout can not carry this clunker of a movie.  Go watch "Inglorious Basterds" again if you want your cool action violent revenge fix.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Overheard at the Counter: A Fine Line

Niall Carter sits back on his stool at the counter and says, "They say it's a fine line between genius and madness.  I think I just erased it."

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Overheard at Booth 2: Scattered Lyrics "Arapaho"

Found in a notebook, a song tentatively entitled "Arapaho"

Oh sappa sappa - you live like a rappa
Got your presents in a wrappa
Never gonna suffah
Live like a rappa-HO!

[seems like there was the idea of making a Native American chant into a rap]


Overheard at Table 1: World Cup 2014

I was looking through an old notebook and found this written, dated 06/18/2014

"Uruguay blamed their loss to Costa Rica on the confiscation of their dulce de leche by Brazilian customs officials."

That was the only note.  I think I meant to look further into that.  It was just so odd.

One comment that springs to mind is, "Wow!  What's in that Dulce de Leche?!"

When I entered the note into a Google search, I found this article:

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Overheard at Table 1: The Art of Peace

The Art of Peace

1) Take nothing personally.

2) Understand that the other person believes as much in their position as you do in yours.  Even more so.

3) Breathe.  Very important.  Always remember to breathe.

4) Old adages are often very useful, both as points of wisdom and as ice-breakers.  Choose a few carefully and use them wisely.

5) The other person is not your enemy - even if they themselves believe that they are.

6) Your enemy is that force whose only purpose is to deny you peace.

7) Learn how to quiet your mind.  And more importantly, learn how to keep it quiet.

8) Read by natural light as much as possible.

9) Work at what you love.  As the adage goes, "If you love your work, it ceases to be work."

10) Be prepared not to have money.  Seek joy instead.

11) Love the way a dog loves: openly, honestly, joyfully, happily, unashamedly.

12) Speak only when silence will cause more pain.

13) Let your words be soft, yet swift as arrows.

14) Know that you are not in control.  Accept this condition.

15) Seek always for restoration, never for retribution.

16) Forgive.  Forgive often.  Forgiveness frees you.

17) Love how people live in a variety of climates.

18) Seek the wind on your cheeks.

19) Remind yourself every moment that you have nothing to prove.

20) Harmony is more important than proving yourself right.

21) An angry person is like a speeding car with no brakes.  It the only way to survive is to step out of the path, then do so.   Even if they will crash into the wall.

22) If the person who thinks they are your enemy falls into trouble, be the first person to lend a helping hand.

23) Forgive more often than you draw breath.


Overheard at Table 3: Trinity

"Those who refuse to accept the concept of the Trinity," he said, "are saying that God can be known by the human mind."

"That's such a cop-out," she said.  "Basically, you're saying to take your word for what God is even though God can't be known."

"The Trinity can only be known by acceptance of the Trinity," he said.

"That's crazy."

"I think of it as kinda Zen-like."

"I think of it as kinda cult-like."

"At least this cult is a cult of God, and not some human."

"So you say," she said.  "But then, I suppose I can't know.  Human mind, y'know."

"Now you're catching on," he said.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Overheard at Table 5: First Time in a Gender Neutral Bathroom

 ... so I'm at the shoe store with my wife and I go to the bathroom.  First of all they've got one locked off and the other has a sign on it, printed from a printer on a piece of paper, saying GENDER NEUTRAL BATHROOM, and I'm thinking whaddoI care, I just need to pee...

and so I go in and it's a bathroom, like any other bathroom.  Got no urinal, but that's the only difference.  It's a bathroom, we should have had these things named like this all the time, I really don't know what all the fuss is about.

and so I do my business and then I try to flush the toilet and the water doesn't go down.  Fortunately there is a plunger next to the toilet so I use that, and that's when I find out that the water is not going down because someone has tried to flush what is described in polite company as a "feminine hygiene product"

... and my first thought is, 'is this what women have had to put up with all these years?  Using the bathroom and finding that the person before them tried to flush something that clogged up the damn toilet?!'

So I keep trying to flush, keep trying to plunge.  Thing keeps coming back.  So finally I turn the plunger around and pick up the tampon with the handle and launch it into the trash can (a three-pointer, by the way!) ... and voila!  case solved!

... So then I go out and tell this story to my wife, thinking that she will be impressed with my care and concern and taking care of the problem, but NOOOO! she's all torqued that I was fooling around with some other woman's personal product.  It's not like the woman was THERE in the bathroom with me, but suddenly my wife is acting like I'm cheating on her or something. 

Look, all I wanted to do was to make sure that the toilet was working for the next gender-neutral person who came in needing to take a whizz.  I didn't know that this was all going to be such a big hullabaloo.

Look.  Guy's bathrooms are simple: guys get in, do their biz, they get out. Sometimes there's a little bit of piddle on the floor, but you just stand clear, hit the target, wash your hands, leave.

If this gender-neutral stuff is going to get me in hot water with the wife, well, let's just go back to the guys and gals.  If we're not going to go back to that, then everyone:  THROW YOUR HYGIENE PRODUCTS IN THE DANG TRASH CAN!!

Overheard at Table 4: SC 44 t2 "Welcome to the Jungle"

Notes from The Salinghetti Chronicles Vol. 44, track 2 Guns n' Roses "Welcome to the Jungle"

When your eyes are never used to looking down, do you have a greater sense of vertigo?

Standing on that balcony, the street so far below ... do you have a unique sense of just how far it is to fall?


Overheard at Booth 3: Notes from the Writing of "The Tongue is Also a Fire"


There is a call that is coming from the ships on the sea

A call that is flying across the land

You can’t ignore the hurricane and you can’t outrun the flood

And soon the streets and valleys will be filled with fire and blood.


NOTE: These four lines were found in the working document for "The Tongue is Also a Fire," a song based on James Chapter 3.   Somehow these lines were inspired by that chapter or that passage.

Overheard at Table 3: Overheard at Work

Here is a note that I jotted down from what I overheard one of my staff on the phone - she's divorced so I think it was to one of her kids:

"I'm at work - I told you to stop calling - I'm training - I can't deal with this right now, don't you get it?  Finally?  Stop calling.  All right.  Bye."

I was struck by how this could have been spoken to a husband, either estranged from or just distanced from.  I was thinking that so many women treat their teens like they do spouses that they live with but are no longer in love with.


Overheard at Table 3: Where Is the Poetry?

Where Is the Poetry?

The poetry is inside your melanin-infused cells, or
Is it inside your chromosomes, as they are being reimagined
By the serotonin chemicals that spark misfires in your brain?
Where is this poetry of which they speak?
Is it somehow carried on the wings of your soul, and
What is this soul?  Is the soul a creation of poetry?  Or vice versa?
Is poetry a retelling of your past? A restructure of your present?
Is poetry the streaks of rain against the window
Of some untold as-yet-to-be-imagined future?
Maybe it is the rhythm of your blood pushed through veins
By a heart that is powered by impulses from the music
That flows into your ears and your fingertips through the world’s speakers.
Maybe poetry is a flick of the wrist, a lash of the eye,
Maybe it is every hello and goodbye
Maybe it is the waking up or the sitting down, or the smooth recline.
Perhaps poetry is nothing at all
Perhaps is only the collection of various word scraps,
Brought together in a discordant order by your chimpanzee hands on a typewriter.


Overheard at Booth 5: Christmas at 50

Christmas at 50

The kids, gone to the movies,
to see WW84.

The wife, in Washington state,
watching the slow, anguished passing
of her mother.

Me, watching, "It's a Wonderful Life,"
for free on Amazon Prime.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Overheard at Booth 3: I Am Everything My Ancestors Dreamed Of

"Saw a kid at Dillards the other day, wearing a t-shirt that read 'I AM EVERYTHING MY ANCESTORS DREAMED OF'."

"Sounds cool."

"Yeah.  The kid was throwing himself on the floor screaming his head off saying he was bored and wanted to go home and play his games."

"Hm.  Never knew his ancestors dreamed of THAT."

Friday, February 19, 2021

Overheard at Table 1: #CancelKindness

Be Kind to Everyone

Once, a motivational speaker of great renown came to the city and everybody went to see him.

They gathered in the amphitheater and waited expectantly for his great words of wisdom.  When he came to the stage, the lights dimmed and a spotlight focused on his figure, standing at the podium.

To the crowd, he said, "Be kind to everyone."

Then, he left the podium.

The people were enraged.  They rushed the stage, demanding to hear what more he had to say.  They had come to hear some true words of wisdom.  

He said to the crowd gathered around him, "Until you learn to be kind to everyone, I can teach you nothing further."

"But we ARE kind to everyone!" they shouted. 

He looked at one.  "You said you were happy that Rush Limbaugh died of lung cancer."

The person replied, "Of course!  He was a racist who laughed when gay people died of AIDS."

The speaker said, "But was that kind?  And you ... you have told members of your family that they can never see you again and you will not take your kids to their houses for holidays."

That person replied, "That's because my family is MAGA and I'm not going to have my kids exposed to that kind of hate."

The speaker replied, "But was that kind?"

That person replied, "It's right for my kids."

The speaker asked, "But is it kind to your family?"

That person replied, "They are dead to me."

The speaker said, "And now all of you know why I can't teach you anything further."

The crowd grew even more incensed.   Every person took to Twitter, Instagram, IG, TikTok, FB, every platform they had available, using the hashtag #CancelKindness.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Overheard at Booth 3: My Body is Yours

 Husband: Just want you to know, I really liked what the pastor was talking about in that sermon for Valentine's Day.

Wife: Oh yeah?

Husband: Yeah, and I just want to let you know, baby, that my body is yours.  All yours.  It may not be perfect, but only you can have it.  It's yours.

Wife: That's so sweet, honey, thank you!

Husband: But, just in case, should the opportunity ever arise, could we let Kate Winslet borrow it for an evening?

Overheard at Table 4: Some Perfect Albums

Ten out of ten albums

The Beatles - Revolver

The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Moody Blues - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

Ten Years After - A Space in Time

Alvin Youngblood Hart - Testimony

Heart - Little Queen

Eels - Electro-Shock Blues

Jackson Browne - For Everyman

Friday, February 12, 2021

Overheard at Table 4: Contrast

 "... and they call it contrast but it's the coloring and as I layered it on, and it's tight, it doesn't hurt on my arm, it's a spray but ... I was just going to have to stop and wait for them."

Overheard at Booth 3: Notes from a National Emergency Day 80

 Niall raised his shot glass "To Mexican Independence!"

"Jesus!" Lucky said.  "Do I have to explain it to you AGAIN?!"

"Nah," Niall said, tossing back the tequila.  "I just like seeing you go LOW-COH!"

Verble came up to the table and said, "Need I remind you that we are a café and I do not have a liquor license so please stop bringing tequila in here."

Niall, "But ... not even for Mexican Independence?!"

"God help me," Lucky said.

Overheard at Table 4: Don't Wanna Get COVID

1: One guy at work is out with COVID. In the hospital.

2: That sucks.  Hope he'll be OK.

1: Hope so too.   You know, I sure do NOT wanna get COVID.  Because I just know if I do, I'll probably be one of those cases where they'll have to put me on a ventilator and on those blood machines that sucks your blood out, pumps oxygen into, and pumps it back into you, and then three weeks later they'll bring me out of the drug-induced coma and my wife will be standing over me and the first thing she'll say is "I FOUND YOUR PORN!"

2: ... sounds like if you go under, you just better not come back out.

1: Oh for certs.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Overheard at Table 3: The Way of a Man by Gene Getz, study notes on the section: Ser Justo y Recto

presentation on the study of one chapter of 

La medida de un hombre: Los Veinte Atributos de Un Hombre de Dios (Spanish Edition)

por Gene Getz



Un hombre de Dios debe ser JUSTO … como “Justo y recto”

La palabra usada por Pablo es el griego “dikaios” – significa RECTO, RELIGIOSO.

En el Antiguo Testamento, era un título daba a los hombres religiosos, pero en el sentido de cristianismo, somos JUSTIFICADOS cuando aceptemos Jesucristo como nuestro Salvador.

Romanos 3: 24-25 siendo justificados gratuitamente por su gracia, mediante la redención que es en Cristo Jesús, a quien Dios puso como propiciación por medio de la fe en su sangre, para manifestar su justicia, a causa de haber pasado por alto, en su paciencia, los pecados pasados,

Romanos 1:16-17 Porque no me avergüenzo del evangelio, porque es poder de Dios para salvación a todo aquel que cree; al judío primeramente, y también al griego.  Porque en el evangelio la justicia de Dios se revela por fe y para fe, como está escrito: Mas el justo por la fe vivirá.

…y después de la justificación (the position), we then GROW in righteousness – to be JUST.  We are to LIVE in this righteousness

Romanos 5:1 Justificados, pues, por la fe, tenemos paz para con Dios por medio de nuestro Señor Jesucristo.

Tito 3:7 para que justificados por su gracia, viniésemos a ser herederos conforme a la esperanza de la vida eterna.

El Señor quiere que vivimos una vida de Justicia e Imparcialidad.

Santiago 2:1 Hermanos míos, que vuestra fe en nuestro glorioso Señor Jesucristo sea sin acepción de personas.

Colosenses 4:1 Amos, haced lo que es justo y recto con vuestros siervos, sabiendo que también vosotros tenéis un Amo en los cielos.

… en tiempos actuales, “maestro” y “siervo” son como “empleador” y “empleado” … y Dios requiere que conformes justos y rectos.

PREGUNTA:  ejemplo…. Hay empleados que installan insulación, pero se pagan poco.  Casi $10/hora.   Roban el material para hacer trabajo en los fines de semana.   El dueño de la empreza sabe bien que los empleados roban el material, y el sabe que es porque no peuden vivir en este salario... porque tienen niños y familias.   Que es más justo?  Pagar los empleados mas, o simplemente despedirles?

Si el dueño sea un hombre de Cristo, creo que necesita piense muy duro en sus decisiones.

Ejemplo en la Biblio de los hombres justos – Noe y José – they were desribed as Just, but were they just before God spoke to them or were they just because God spoke to them?

Overheard at Booth 2: Julio Cortázar - We Love Glenda So Much and Other Tales

[found in an old notebook - hand written]

Julio Cortázar - We Love Glenda So Much and Other Tales

Alfred Knopf 1983

Poets should always write prose.  They always bring something lyrical to the prose art form - and Cortázar is fantastic at this - especially in these stories.   I put them almost on the same lever as Robert Coover.  Best Story "Orientation of Cats" - fantastic!  I wish I could describe it.

dated 2001-1210

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Overheard at Table 2: She's a Mom, Not a MILF

Daughter: Here dad, I have some Ho-Hos I've been saving.  Want one?

Dad: Naw, I need to lose some weight.  Your mom says she's gonna leave me for a guy with a 30-inch waist.

Daughter: Mom's never gonna leave you, Dad.  Besides, she can't get anybody else.

Dad: Of course she can!  She's a hottie!

Daughter: I mean, yeah, she's pretty, but come on, Dad ... she's a MOM, not a MILF.

Dad: She is to me.

Daughter: Ew. Dad! Gross! No!

Overheard at Booth 1: Spilling Ink Into Rivers

She awoke each morning to the smell of the dew, heavy-laden across her lawn.  And each morning, she would rise and warm some bread, thick with singular grains, paste it with butter, slaver it with jam, and then, make coffee.

Piping hot, the coffee would accompany her to the back porch, where the dew continued to press deep the grass and slowly soften as the sun pulled itself into the morning sky.

Then, bellyful, she would rise and walk across the grass, through the thin line of trees that stretched themselves as canopies over the river.  And there, she would, with the fingernail of one hand, open the vein of her opposite wrist, and, holding her arm above the waters, she would boldly spill ink into the rich waters.

She would stand for long minutes, watching the ink float with the current downstream, long past where the river stretched out of sight, and she would imagine those in the village far below, and those on the coast far beyond, who would drink of these ink-rich waters, and so too be filled.

She was The Poet.   After giving what she had to give for that day, she closed up the flesh across the wrist by pressing it closed with the other hand, and she would then turn and walk back toward the house.

It was lunchtime, and she was famished!



(Inspired by a tweet from Mad Queen Storm)


What is it that poets possess? The virtue of audacity. Boldly spilling ink in rich rivers, staining pages and spirits alike with words that sing, that speak, that shout. #vss365 #microprose #microstory

Monday, February 1, 2021

Overheard at Booth 1: Fragment

Show me where the water is hidden

Show me what hands are used for healing

Let me know where the shining glows

of the lamplight flows,

and all the love you dropped like breadcrumbs along the path forbidden.



Overheard at Table 1: Tepid Anomaly

Chicago, February 1, 2021

He looks out the window of their condo on the fourth and top floor across the city.  The lake, barely visible on the other side of the four blocks of homes and buildings much like this one.  His daughter, 10 years old, so excited to be going back to school today.  He'll have to tell her that today is not the day.

The news, the teachers, refusing.  The mayor, imploring.  Threatening to cut off their internet access so they can't even teach remotely.  Another year lost of her learning.

His wife, purse across shoulder and work heels clicking across the hardwood, leaves through the front door, without looking in his direction, much less a word goodbye.  He watches her walk down the steps, where he knows in her small office she will find some sense of accomplishment on this day.

He takes a deep breath, then logs into his work.  The clouds will break later in the morning, and there will be some sunlight that will drift in through the window.