Archive for June, 2009

Zheng Gu Shui

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by wally426

Vic has inspired me to write some broken poetry. Check out his blog if you get the chance (on the right side with the links). Just a few contemplations from the past week…

Dead Bird Blues:

A gentle flap, then a glide

so graceful, cutting through the thick haze

cool as a cucumber, ice veins pulsing

beak curves into a smirk, it cannot rid the crescent shape

the toothed arrow is quicker, anticipates every feather’s move

quickly it punctures the breast, a puff silences the horns

dead stop and a fall from grace, hoping dashed haze will cushion the fall

to no avail, only hard concrete and soft rubber tires

not soft enough though

the beak rolls to the gutter, still smirking


7th Avenue

Steps echo as heels clip the concrete

Rats wake me from a beautiful slumber, they gnaw at my sneakers



The cave-like existence is swell

Amarous only towards those who lick crumbs from their beards

Malodorous? Me!?

This is what a real man smells like

Dirt. Sweat. Urine. Dust. Tears. Booze.


Body is swelling in this seat, wooden nursery school box

Does the MTA try and make them uncomfortable?

Spit lands on Armani shoes

Sorry? Watch where you’re stepping, man


The long lost breeze twirls newspaper into an avant garde dance

E and B come at the same time, a lover’s waltz

Must be rush hour again


Alert, Nunavut

Up, up, up

Past the snow and grass

Only grey skies and quick clouds visit the compound

The wind speaks in an alien tongue, unsure of its predictable mood swings

Skin is never caressed, only bitten by its lashing tongue

Ten minutes of sunlight break through the darkness

Hundred foot swells of gold wash over the jagged hills and rusting oil cans

Rays bathe the glistening permafrost, crunching lightly under the fox’s foot

It’s a long way down from here


En Verde Veritas

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by wally426


08-06-2009  Brooklyn, NY

As great as summer in NYC is, sometimes certain things can wear on you  during the warmer months. Shimmering walls close in around you, your shoes melt to the concrete, exhaust from city buses blows in your face, clothes drench through with sweat and relentlessly stick to your skin, horns blare, kids yell and dogs bark. You need someplace that is completely devoid of people. A place where there is a respite from the heat, where cool waters constantly flow. A place where strong breezes tickle the senses, carrying with them the sounds and smells of the natural mystic.

New York has plenty to offer in terms of amazing summer escapes. After a four hour drive up North, you can find yourself in the largest national park in the continental US. I first explored this place after graduating from Miami University in the spring of 2003. Rob (one of my best friends) and I charted a grand excursion through two sections of remote Adirondack wilderness. Being recent college graduates, we thought we had the world at our fingertips and could conquer any obstacle thrown our way. In reality, we had no clue what the heck we were doing. Our preparation was minimal, our food supplies were lacking, our maps were outdated and our cars were one pothole away from falling to pieces. After rendezvousing in Ithaca, we set out into the wilds of Adirondack Park for our week-long adventure.

Almost immediately, the trip began with a calamity. Rob and I had planned on making our first hike an easy one, so we set our sights on the Wolf Lake trail in the southwest sector of the park. In our respective hoopties (my 1992 Mercury Sable and Rob’s 1997 Hyundai Accent), we continued off-road towards the trail-head. The road went from mud to gravel to rocks to boulders and logs. Still, we prodded on into the woods, dodging rocks and sticks as the bottom of our cars scraped along. When we’d finally had enough and pulled into a clearing, we had gone eighteen miles into one of the deepest parts of Adirondack Park. As Rob and I exited our battered vehicles, we were bombarded with swarms of biting black flies. While dodging the swarms, we quickly set up our tents and cooked with the little bit of water we still had. It was at that time Rob looked at me quizzically and asked “What’s that hissing sound?“. The next morning, we would try and make it out of the woods to repair his ailing Hyundai Accent.

Miraculously, we managed to drive 40 miles in my Sable, bumping, scraping, and shimmying our way to Indian Lake and back to get some fix-a-flat. Not only did his tire hold up on the way out of Wolf Lake hell, but managed to last the remainder of the trip until we circled back to Burlington, Vermont, four days later!

After our failed attempt at hiking to Wolf lake, we took a stab at our second planned location – the Pharaoh Mountain wilderness. Here we planned on hiking the entire 19.2 mile loop over the course of three days. We had thought the first spot had tons of dreaded biting black flies, but this place was completely swarmed. Everywhere you turned they were buzzing in your ears, nose, mouth and eyes, biting every bit of skin that lay exposed. We trudged through the muddy trails and decided to go off-trail and make our camp on the banks of a pristine lake. Once the sun went down, we finally got respite from the evil flies. Bowls of steaming hot ramen warmed our bellies as the temperatures dropped. We finished up the meal with a cigar over a roaring fire and talked as the stars blew up the night sky. The haunting cry of loons in the lake lulled us into a fitful sleep. We didn’t know it yet, but we were on a completely different trail and were lost. Until this day we still don’t know where that lake was located.

Despite getting lost a few times and constantly battling the black fly menace, we completed the loop safely and made it out of the woods two days later. We crawled back to our cars, racked by fatigue, soreness, and bug bites, and continued on to Burlington. After finding a hotel with a fitting name (the Hobo), we took long hot showers and headed out to a local Irish pub for a few pints. It was paradise. We realized that most of our conversation during the hike was focused on the simple things we missed most. Pillows, clean clothes, subways, family, rocking chairs, steak, hot showers, cold beer, baseball games, soft beds and driving. One of the best things about being away from the things of man is appreciating the things you love most within the “civilized world”. That night, the beer was perfectly crisp, the steaks were succulent and perfectly charred and the sleep was blacker than an oil slick.