The October Project 2005

Saturday, October 01, 2005

(written 10.02.05--1:46 a.m.)

i fell asleep with my glasses on last night
just like i im'd jill that i would
i slept for two to three hours
and then wrote last month's last poem
and emailed the people i share them with
and then i emailed the sf rdg i'm organizing
the finalizedinfo on the event
and then back-to-back episodes of coach on usa
then the early morning local news on four
then rocky ii on tnt
and then the last half hour of the net on tbs
as i fell asleep for ten minutes
and woke up and stayed awake for 30 more
i went to bed without setting my alarm
with my cordless phone right next to me
and i found out later that it rang twice
but i didn't hear them at all
i was happy for that
as i slept for two hours and 15 minutes more.

(written 10.03.05--1:57 a.m.)

when the starting lineups were announced
with him back in his familiar cleaup spot
we fans gave a standing ovation to mike piazza
who may or may not be a met next season,
and five times between innings they had different piazza highlights replayed
culminating with the seventh inning stretch skipping god bless america and take me out to the ballgame
for a long piazza highlight package
and the mets and rockies players standing on the top steps of their dugouts and applauding alongside all of us,
it is easy to recall how many of us were sad
when he was brought in to replace fan favorite todd hundley,
but that seems like a lifetime ago,
as we stand and applaud and whistle and stomp our feet.

(written 10.04.05--5:32 a.m.)

i should be asleep right now
but i'm anxious about this week
i should have been at my parents last night
for dinner for rosh hashannah
then tuesday and wednesday at my sister's synagogue
back to the city on thursday a.m.
for a meeting at unemployment
then two hours in my apartment to pack for cali
then therapy
our non-ny small press series monthly event
the hangout after,
back home around 10 p.m.
and then leave two hours early
the next morning
for my 11:30 a.m. flight to the sf bay area.
so it's 5:36 a.m.
i have a train in less than three hours to my folks.
i'm debating an hours sleep,
but you can sleep through that,
i'm debating on that time to shave, shower, wake up,
i'm guessing i'll stay up and shave or shower.

(written 10.05.05--2:27 a.m.)

the hours sleep
turned into 90 minutes
and an hour later train
and making my folks later than they planned
and then,
before dinner,
sis not needing my help,
i grab an hour nap and wake up i don't know where,
shaking my head free.

(written 10.06.05--1:37 a.m.)

clothes all washed
ready for my california trip

(written 10.07.05--11:15 p.m. p.s.t.)

at 3:30 a.m. i assessed what i should do about getting ready for my trip to the sf bay area
my super shuttle to jfk was arriving at 8:35 a.m.
so i divided the five hours by two
slept until six
leaving two-and-a-half hours to ready
i bound 26 copies of new me chapbook for s.f. reading monday
i made two cans if tunafish
for the onion bun and onion bagel i'd be eating on the plane
and little by little i packed
until i left my apartment at 8:35 a.m.
a few minutes late for the super shuttle.

10.07.05--11:15 p.m. p.s.t.

i didn't sleep at all last night
two-and-a-haf hours
and i wouldn't sleep on the plane
so tonight
here in the oakland hills
i would just crash to bed for a long time
i have missed parts of the yankee game
and a sex and the city rerun
i'm ready for bed.

(written 10.09.05--1:41 a.m. p.s.t.)

as family members
from my mother's side
enter the moroccan restaurant in san jose
where her brother sollie
is celebrating his 80th birthday
and his turkish roots
i eyeball the relatives
figuring which children
go to which parent
attempting to put names
correct or otherwise
to faces for about an hour.

10.09.05--11:14 p.m. p.s.t.

on the ferry ride back from san francisco to oakland
from seeing the air show a bit
and mainly having lunch at pier 39
an catching glimpses at the planes and the seals.
my uncle murray gave me a business pep talk
one of the many he's delivered over the year's
about what he's done and what i could do
to earn more money
have a career,
and all that good stuff.
i listened because he's my uncle and he's 85,
and that is what you do.

(written 10.11.05--11:24 p.m. p.s.t.)

sat in golden gate park
drinking powerade
on the fone to sean cole
and nathaniel siegel
the guy to my left
teaching his girl how to throw a frisbee
"you snap your wrist like this,
you don't open keep your arm going
or it will keep ending up over there."
in front the two laxers
with their lacrosse sticks,
throwing the ball back and forth
and almost always missing,
that's a heavy ball,
the lacrosse one is,
who's gonna get their head split open,
who is.
and there's some latin music across the field
under the sun
i hear the drums from over here
under the shade,
where i drink more powerade
more orange powerade.

10.11.05--11:29 p.m. p.s.t.

jeff maser
of detritus books
picked me up at the north berkeley bart
to go to his store
and jeff maser
of detritus books
asked me a few hours later
if i was hungry
and in five minutes we all
were walking for mexican food
and jeff maser
of detritus books
waved my wallet away as i went to pay.
so thank you jeff maser
of detritus books
this was a good day,
a very good day.

(written 10.13.05--1:30 p.m. p.s.t.)

notes from the traveling "baseball as america" exhibit,
now at the oakland museum of california

1950s American Legion team outfield in Oakland--
Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, and Curt Flood

then-Oakland Tribune columnist Ralph Wiley
coined the term Billy Ball
to describe the style of play
of the early ’80s Billy Martin helmed Oakland A's teams

the 1989 San Francisco earthquake,
which took place during game three
of the A's-Giants World Series,
saved many lives
as people were off the roads
and home readying to watch the game on tv.

on display:
FDR's "greenlight" letter
in reply to Baseball Comissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis
that he thought baseball should be continued during World War II

Henry Chadwick,
a baseball journalist from 1857-1908
"refined and popularized box scores,"
and introduced ERA and batting average

On the 1983 sheet music for Culture Club's Karma Chameleon
the band are all wearing baseball jerseys,
bats slung over their shoulders,
and Jon Moss is wearing a Yankees jersey.

on display:
1927 Babe Ruth bat
"Bat notched 28 times by Ruth
as he tallied a partial season's worth of
'apples knocked out of the ball orchard.'"

Bill DeWitt, Jr.,
the St. Louis Browns batboy
whose jersey was borrowed by 3'7" Eddie Gaedel
so Gaedel could bat in a big league game,
a stunt engineered by the late Bill Veeck,
is now the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Casey Stengel managed the 1948
Pacific Coast League champion
Oakland Oaks
and the next year was managing the Yankees
to their first of five consecutive World Series championships,
his former Oaks player,
Billy Martin,
manning second base now for the Yankees.

side exhibit
George Powles,
Oakland's Coach

Powles coached:
Frank Robinson
—1st Black MLB manager
Bill Russell
—1st Black NBA coach
Curt Flood
—"Who sacrificed his own career
to challenge baseball's reserve clause"

(written 10.14.05--2:01 a.m. p.s.t.)

(sing to the smiths' "death of a disco dancer")

yom kippur services in oakland
in my cousin sharon's schul
but the schul's too small
for a 1000 family congregation
but maybe in the next world
maybe in the next world

so instead we go
to the club paramount
this art deco masterpiece
both nights on the aisle in row bb
i stare at the ceiling a bit
and i count the bow ties

(written 10.15.05--2:51 a.m. p.s.t.)

after the poetry reading
we end up at one poet's home
seven of us
three boy-girl couples
and me.

(written 10.16.05--5:21 p.m.)

the jet blue airliner
sitting in 25C
only two rows
from the flight attendants
and all of the beverages i want
it's diet sprite and diet coke
and some arizona ice tea
juices orange and apple
and some 2% milk for my oreos
for my oreos

and after all of those beverages
i walk back those same two rows
and stop
and there are two bathrooms
before another cup of ice
and two 5.5 ounce cans of welch's orange juice.

(written 10.17.05--2:01 a.m.)

day in bed
my cold is beating me down
that and my sleep
which isn't coming like it should
i talk to my doc
he says my cold meds are ok to take
despite the diabetes warning
and i cough throughout the day
and spit flem and blow my nose
i'm hoping to leave my apartment tomorrow
and get some cough medicine and drops
we'll see
we'll see

(written 10.18.05--1:35 a.m.)

so i didn't leave the apartment today
my cold still draining me so
i steered clear of dairy
and so what to eat
a lot of peanut butter on toast

(written 10.19.05--1:37 a.m.)

another day in my apartment
and i slept a little bit more
feel a little more like me
but not enough
tomorrow i leave for sure

(written 10.20.05--2:12 a.m.)

i left my home today
for the first time since sunday
trying to keep my cold from continuing

i took a shower
first since california
i always forget how much better they make me feel

threw on my last clean clothes
met nathaniel in the hall
and then we headed out the side door

and i picked up a scrip
made a deposit at the bank
and then the e train uptown

in front of moma
we saw risa waiting
before we walked up one floor

the bar opened
and we grabbed three nonalcoholic drinks
it seems that we're getting old

we escalated four floors
and it's all elizabeth murray
colors so bright and the wood bent every which way

said hello to shappy
then to ed and miriam sanders
right after a huge bear hug from a tuxedoed bob holman

bob was so happy
as i thought he would be
that was so nice to see.

(written 10.22.05--4:12 a.m.)

therapy for the first time in two weeks
not much to say,
well a little more than normal
and out the door,
after cutting myself on my windbreaker's zipper
and getting a bandaid from my therapist,
the walk to the corner
i think about whether to stop at the corner Gristede's
and buy some groceries
but instead buy a two-liter caffeine free diet pepsi at a bodega
so i can get home for the five o'clock gilmore girls,
even though it's being taped.

(written 10.22.05--4:22 a.m.)

still up
just finished the frame for boog city
didn't stop
even though out of the bathroom
two im's awaited me
one from a steady phone sex friend
another from a once steady one
but a new to me episode of roswell was coming on at three
and i wanted to finish everything but redoing all of the images
and so tomorrow, maybe, if they're there

(written 10.23.05--2:28 a.m.)

i had thought about calling my best friend ian,
one of two people, with risa,
who i've called best friend for close to 20 years,
i'd thought of calling him throughout the night
at intervals
trying to guess the time that he was born 40 years ago today
in part because i figure him to be one of those type
who when you call and wish them a happy birthday
that he'd say that it's not my birthday for another four and-a-half hours,
and also cause i figured him and kimberly would want to kill me
wish is always fun
but then i realized that his mom has been ill
and calling at odd hours in the middle of the night wouldn't be a good idea,
so when i woke up off five hours sleep to pee at 10:23 a.m.
i forestalled a return to sleep,
and as he answered the phone,
"i just called
to say
i love you."

10.23.05--5:06 p.m.

after watching reality bites for the first time in a while
on the we channel of all places
they got to the credits
and they condensed them to the bottom half of the screen
to let you know on the top half that bridezilla was coming on later
and when they went back to full screen on the credits
with a couple of seconds left
i heard a few bars of lisa loeb's stay,
her video image,
that black one-piece dress
her cat's eyes glasses,

(written 10.25.05--3:17 a.m.)

you can only have one doctor's appointment per day
not your g.p. and the podiatrist or the psychopharmacologist
but only one doctor's appointmen t a day
when you're on medicaid
that's what i found out today when i tried to have two
and they told me
you can only have one doctor's appointment per day
when you're on medicaid
otherwise medicaid won't pay.

(written 10.26.05--3:14 a.m.)

took a shower
like my doctor asked
it came four hours
after i waked
by then it was 4:30
and i hadn't eaten
so i toasted three slices
of seven grain bread
cottage cheese on two
natural peanut butter on the other
half a dozen strawberries
and a half-gallon of
decaf sugar free nestea iced tea
in place on my bed
at 10 minutes to five
10 minutes to gilmore girls.

(written 10.27.05--2:43 a.m.)

the cleaning lady came today
first time in a long time
it looks so nice my roommate said
smells so nice his mother said

(written 10.28.05--1:59 a.m.)

not much talk in therapy
as usual
more talk than at the lowest talk times.
things are racing through my head
to talk about
but i let them race by and back again.
the words "what's on yr mind?" from my therapist
after noone says anything for the first three minutes
elicits my usual "not much"
as everything much races on by,
and i feel the things i want to talk about in my mouth
i'm trying to say them
but it doesn't happen.
twenty minutes in i think about sitting up on the couch
that maybe this will make me talk some
but i don't and talk at the same rate
feeling guilty all the while

(written 10.29.05--2:44 a.m.)

at the fancy restaurant
too fancy for me restaurant
after the gallery reading
i order an entree
drink lots of lemon-water
eat a slice of bread
then later another
and spend some of my groceries money
it's hard when yre broke
and on unemployment
and you go to the fancy restaurant
the too fancy for me restaurant
but it was nice to talk to paolo and his girlfriend
and to tracey's girlfriend
and the multi-cheese ravioli with basil was good
at the fancy restaurant
the not too fancy for me restaurant

(written 10.30.05--2:12 a.m. eastern standard time hour gained)

for trane

at the opening of the creeley memorial reading
at the church today
anselm the younger said
that creeley's first time that he
read at the poetry project
was december 20, 1967
my first birthday

(written 10.31.05--2:14 a.m. )

their co-owner buried
two days ago,
one of his granddaughters
sings the national anthem
before the giants first game in 80 years,
first game ever, without him.

10.31.05--11:15 p.m.

leather jacket and a zippered, hooded sweatshirt
even a scarf
and it's 70 degrees
i find on my walk to the doctor

woman in the clinic asks if i'm in the program
huh, i say, i'm just here to see the doctor
methadone, she says,
didn't realize they see regular patients, too

at my bodega
asked where the nice woman was
who normally is at the register.
she's pregnant,
gone home for two months.
she's the owner, you know,
i do, i said