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BY Michael

02/01 Direct Link

Is it really February 1?† I think I made a mistake here.† I am not completely sure, but I man have misplaced my timer before I sat down to write.† It is not a fatal error; only a serious one.† It could cause me to veer into uncharted activities, unplanned situations, or unanticipated segments.† I could end up not doing something critical I had planned to do today.† Is there anything I had planned for today that was critical?†† I would have to look at my schedule. No, think.† Was there anything you planned for today that was absolutely critical?

02/02 Direct Link

It was pointed out to me this morning that there is a February 29 this month.† Thatís right!† Itís a Leap Year!† We get an extra day to pay taxes!† We get an extra day to live!† Donít we get an extra day to write 100 words?† Do you think Uncle Roy will give us the day off?† I look back to the calendar.† I cannot tell.† Do you suppose the system will crash on that day?† There will be accidental missile launches as 100 words sparks internet glitches across the globe?† What happened to my extra day to live?

02/03 Direct Link

Perhaps love

is not the

deep rooted

single-minded

declared flower

I once believed

her to be.

I see lately

a different thing:

a weed growing

crooked, wild,

weedy in the wind

and desperate.

Perhaps a poison

†thorny climbing vine

with roots boring

through rocks,

and wrapping

madly around tree

after tree, choking

out the light.††

A thing not

to be safely touched.

Do not fill your arms and fly home

with your heart on fire.

Get thee to a physician, a fumigator,

a hospital, a sanctuary, a

fall-out shelter.†

Bury your nose in a book.

Stay away from poetry.

Perhaps.

02/04 Direct Link

OK, I just got the news. The stupor bowl thing is tomorrow; not today. It is super bowl Sunday; not Super bowl Saturday. It has taken me a while to collect key information about this event.† It is Super Bowl 45.† The New England Patriots are playing the New York Giants.† Yes, the Giants are also a baseball team. New York has elected to name both its football team and its baseball team the Giants. I am a little nervous about this piece of information.† It doesnít ďfeelĒ right.† I sense a correction zinging its way from some editorís desk.

02/05 Direct Link

A road slipped toward a curve

At least it was a curve suggested

Where the blacktop dipped

Into the soft wall of fog.

The edge line seemed

To pull at that point

Away from the fence line

And there was a sign post

Its head too

Hidden in the grey

Blanket of unknown

Possibilities.

Someone had left a hint

Buoyed up by the lush

Grass in the ditch:

A top-tucked puffed up

Burger King bag.

Remember that.

We will no doubt

Need it later.

As this is a fully

Modern parable

And we must work

With what we have.

No two roads

Beckoning off into

Happy instances

For our reckonings,

But any number

Of unseen possibilities

Or bogus rounds

With garbage for our guide.

02/06 Direct Link

I come here at my scheduled time, often with something bubbling in my head to write, but then I stop to read what you have written, all of you, and by the time I have finished, I have quite forgotten what I was going to do. It was something fun today too. †And I needed something fun today! I have had so much of the not fun the past few days.† I think, munching on a graham cracker. There is no way I can get it back. It is gone. Probably the second best thing I would ever have written.

02/07 Direct Link

He had a lover for a week once, a one-nighter that turned into a one-weeker. She was a tall lovely woman who took him home from work, a pharmacist with bushel-basket red hair. They never dated again.† She asked him once later, but he was solid with someone else by then. As solid as any of us ever get. There is always that lonely difference, that silence between words. The new girl was a mistake.† We all knew it.† Iím thinking he would have rather gone home with the red-head again.† Iím thinking I would have breathed more easily too.

02/08 Direct Link

He did not count his lovers the way some men do.† If you asked him how many he had had, he would be unable to tell you.† His eyes would do that sweep of the inside of his head for a moment as if he were seriously considering the question, and then he would simply craw into himself. He does not count them because he does not consider them as conquest.† To him they were failure; losses. Each one represented some kind of personal failure on his part to maintain that intitial spark of joy, no matter how ill advised.

02/09 Direct Link

I am sitting here

Yes here

Back leaned against the cheese shredder

Waiting perhaps for you

I donít know

It seems

We are all so ready

To leap into that thing

To embrace that clean pain

That bright spurt of sun and blood

Something we know and can

Put a towel around

Something we can suffer

And eventually heal

Oh now tell me

Isnít that the best thing?

Is that not so much the better

Than the waiting?

The uncertainty?

The giving and not knowing?

The interminable hours and days of

Pounding insufferable reality?

The clean sharp poetic

Cheese grater?

02/10 Direct Link

I was going to poem.

I had some ideas.

You know

how Poem is;

how Poem wants.

It hadnít occurred

that Poem would

go to you.

Obviously

I didnít

think it through.

I should have prepared

with roadmaps, compass and

Electronic GPS.

A good breakfast, †full tank of gas,

and a lucky rabbitís foot dangling

from the USB on my CPU.

Thesis, topic sentence, research, references

and a full paragraph outlineó

those are the tools to prevent surprise.

Otherwise Poem is a thing

with its own

will and want

driven by whim.†

you write her or,

sheíll go to you.

02/11 Direct Link

Itís a day of steam.†

A brutal day of slick icy steam†

rolling from sewer grates,

caressing intersections.†

A twelve-bar cloud rising

from the laundry vents,

turning to silver snow chords

before crossing the roof line.†

Saxaphone vapor pours out your nose

freezing your mustache and beard

into stiff little spaces† and

counter points.

Dirty icy electric guitar licks

drop casually from cars

as they slide by.†

A piano chorus

billows from the car wash,

freezing the ragged girl at the exit.

She holds a stiff towel

and a roll of dollar bills

on fire, flickering

high over her head.

02/12 Direct Link

At the Athletic Club

powder blue cubes of chalk

dust manicured fingertips

that line up shots across the

ancient enameled mahogany.

Empty mathematical truths

stretch across groomed carpet

narrowing without ends

into the quiet crush of crystal and

the table stomps solid onto

ancient oak flooring

a reflection

unseen in the haze of dirty windows

running out past the security gates

over stained bricks,

and into the vacant streets of a mummified city

where Woodward avenue

runs

five ghost lanes

where frail men squint and spit

into the dead heart

of a broken machine

sliding slowly

into dark river silt.

02/13 Direct Link

In Ohio

the corn is dry.

A surly sea

of brown caps rolls

into the woods

out and away.

My motherís feet

groove a path

between three houses,

moving

to her daughterís

then her granddaughterís

where her great granddaughter sleep

in the cradle great grandpa made.

They are following the scent

of apple pie and yellow pine

home.

Next door the first generation

sleeps beneath marble

and limestone decay.

And I am coaxed to join

that sweet reunion of family home.

but the corn is dry.

A deep sea of bitter

brown stalks roll under

hard ice out and away.

02/14 Direct Link

These things

cut beneath my feet

and into my teeth.

Every leaf, stone, face,

every thought, and sound.

The flash of hair on my head

or the smallest particle of lint

saturates my soul.

Calling out,

pressing into my spirit,

this world stretches me

like a endless rainbow arc that seeks

and is cluttered with

eyes,

movement,

particles of thought.

Each beast crawls across the palm of my hand,

the pulse of an ocean of blood,

the slow movement of sap,

the crackle of flames

the quiet and cold between.

the space;

the moment before touch.

Stand.

Face the dance.

02/15 Direct Link

It is becoming apparent to me that it is a time for choices in my life (if death does not overtake me first.)† I ought to be making decisions.† We all ought to be making decisions:† decisions about what we are, decisions about what we will do, and decisions about what we will be about to the best of our ability.†

We need to take responsibility for these decisions.† Responsibility here means 1, actually making the decisions and following through with them, 2, accepting the consequences, and 3, behaving like good managers and monitoring the outcomes and making appropriate adjustments.

02/16 Direct Link

It is writing time again. Writing time earlier did not go well leaving me napping and waking to inhale the remains of a cheesecake. Now my brain is rocking from the insulin swell.† Perhaps this time things will go better. Perhaps I will make some coffee?† That is forbidden, but it no longer matters, since everything is forbidden.† I go to make the forbidden coffee.† My sister gave me this Krueg coffee machine for Christmas.† It only makes a half a mug of coffee though.† I look into the mug and cycle the machine again. It is a lovely machine.

02/17 Direct Link

He had a lover for a week once, a one-nighter that turned into a one-weeker. She was a tall lovely woman who took him home from work, a pharmacist with bushel-basket red hair. They never dated again.† She asked him once later, but he was living with someone else by then. ††There is always that lonely difference, that silence between words. The new girl was a mistake.† We all knew it, holding our breath until the inevitable divorce. Iím thinking he would have rather gone home with the red-head again.† I donít know that his life would have been easier.

02/18 Direct Link

I dropped out of the cycle abruptly this morning sometime around 8 am. I was talking to one of the Korean Finance Ministers. I took a three-point landing on an unfamiliar square and stuck it.† Continuing to talk to the Minister, I looked around.† It was a new square.† This one had never been used before. I donít think I had ever so much as brushed it.† It was a light square, well-lit and spacious.† It filled me with a sense of well-being.† I thought I could make a life in this place if I were allowed to stay here.

02/19 Direct Link

The maid showed up this morning for her initial cleaning. Iíve had maids before, but this is the first time Iíve ever been home when one was working.† I found myself taking breaks to do little sorting and straightening projects Iíd been meaning to do for years.† She was here four hours and the end result was that I put in two hours as well, and my house smelled kinda fruity.† This was pleasing. It also had an indefinable aura of cleanliness about it that it had not had in a long time.† I was happy. It was worth it.

02/20 Direct Link

I initiated a new offensive against the malady today, whatever it is that has attacked my lungs, sinuses and body. I did some research on herbal anti-viral treatments and went to the store and came home with elderberry extract, Echinacea with vitamin C, and a new round of Mucinex.† I already have the Vitamin E.† Iím hoping these things will give my body the edge it needs to fight off this crap.† Of course there is always the chance that the mixture of chemicals will just cancel one another out or produce yet another toxic to make me even sicker.

02/21 Direct Link

It is not worthy of blame.†

Yes yes.

Born into a house of death.

I am obsessed with screws

Taps, digits, and tubes.

I cannot conceive

Living alive

Yes with my

Perilous geometry

I can conceive a door

And what I can conceive

I can make.

To change an equation,

One must only change a

Single variable.

One need not erase

The entire equation;

Need not start over.

And yes, some variables

May be upon scrutiny

As closely held be as the

Entire textóan excellent

Clue for a place to start.

Itís probably time to find

Something that scares you.

02/22 Direct Link

I donít know how I could have used up a half hour writing a single 100-word entry.† If this is true, and given the number of entries I have written over the past several yearsóno I am drawing the wrong conclusion.† It is easy to line up all the hours spent eating and sleeping and show how much more life you could have if you did not eat or sleep. I once presented a hospital administrator with an argument that fully half his costs were patient related, and that he could operate more efficiently if he had no patients.

02/23 Direct Link

Many of you have taken to writing startlingly well. I get caught up in reading as I write my 100 words.† I watch you slide in, write for a while only to disappear, spinning off in some other direction.† It makes one wonder about this gift that is so obvious in some of you for strewing words across a page in such a way that they evoke light and emotion in others. And there is often no knowing exactly what light or emotion will be evoked.† A thing written is a thing found in a different place, a new context.

02/24 Direct Link

Iím reading a simple passage to a student when suddenly I forget how to read. I donít know how else to describe it. These were three-and-five-letter words and I could not make sense of the sentence or the act.† I apologized to the student. I remembered a time in the summer when I was eighteen going off the high board into the pool down into that box of water and not being able to swim; just suddenly disconnected from that part of my brain. It was the same thing.† Little random disconnects from things you think you can rely on.

02/25 Direct Link

I donít want to eat, but

I am supposed to.

I know about this.

You would think you could

depend on your

Brain to take care of these

things for you, to tell you

it is ok to eat now or

no you donít have to.

But what do you do when

your brain has rebelled

like a

sixteen-year-old,

has packed up some old rucksack

it found in the attic

and has gone on a

cross-country hike just

to see what he could see.

There is no useful

information forthcoming

except random images,

participles, sorrows, and

†glimpses of the future?

02/26 Direct Link

There be snow on the roof

next door.

My skull seems made

of that hardboard Masonite

My father loves to use for

Little things, with the extra plating

Of walnut or maple veneer

solidly glued on, neatly trimmed.

While it is the only thing that

seems to hold back the pain

in my head,

at the same times it creates a

kind of crazy nausea

that I am sure would go away

if weíd just let the pain have its way.

what, father, I ask, is the worse

what could happen?

Are lasers suddenly

going to pierce through my skull?

02/27 Direct Link

Iím hanging from an old cottonwood

bleached out over the snow,

eyes closed against the

radiance of the cold below.

I can come

down any time I want.

I am enjoying the view

If there is nothing in this world save

saying it makes it so then

There is no madness unless we point

and name the act,

the condition, or the man.

And there are times when it all

appears to be beauty, and then it flashes again

to madness

and it flashes

beauty.

And it flashes like some old stuttering

†movie projector slowly catching

up to the film.

02/28 Direct Link

Touching my left arm, I begin the ritual.† Then I touch my right arm. Then I must touch my right arm first and my left arm second. Then I must begin again touching my right arm first, my left arm second, my left arm first and my right arm last.† This continues more rapidly, my brain beginning to seize in a kind of foam. I know that this is some kind of aberrant loop.† I can remember doing it as a child.† Accidentally brushing my left leg with my left hand. Brushing my right leg.††† Brushing my right leg firstÖ

02/29 Direct Link

The flu thing is gone now. I am left with this semi-musical rasping in my throat and upper chest.† That and other symptoms. If it were not for the regular set-backs I would say I am getting better.† I cannot say that to the doctor though.† The doctor will say, ďWonderful,Ē and dismiss me once more to let the damn thing claim me two days later.† This time I must insist on a confirmed kill.† Itís on the run now; I can see that.† It has morphed several times over the past few months trying to get awayÖtrying to hide.†