February 10th, 2006

Spring and all

Spring's coming. Today I ran for three miles in shorts and wasn't even cold.

Like most of Greg Brown's songs, this one's about Iowa...but it could have been about southeast Portland.

Spring and what's left of the hippies return
from old rooming houses and Mexico.
More letters, more journals, more poems to burn;
real heat at last.
At last my words glow.

My friend Jim just broke up his band;
the guys all have jobs and the nights got too long.
He's selling the amps, one guitar, and the van.
I'm sure you could have it all for a song.

Snow on the north side,
trash in the yard,
love like a newspaper tattered and stained.
A two-bourbon twilight,
fog from God's cigar,
the neighbor's retarded dog chasing the train.

Don't see any good in just hanging around;
take a tip from the birds and change the scene.
Find some long river and follow it down
to where our old sins have washed up in New Orleans.

Spring and what's left of the songbirds return,
to fight about loving and nesting and such.
Thanks for the letters you sent back to burn.
Their smoke is as light,
and as dark,
as your touch.

Someone leaves town

I'm doing something I have never done before. I'm sitting in a coffee shop with the PowerBook, drinking coffee and updating my journal. I guess the transformation is complete, eh? Welcome to Portland. I've been thinking a lot about why, exactly, it is that I feel so at home here, and the best explanation I can come up with is that it's, well, homey. And I'm sort of completely in love with that.

This is arielgodwin's last week in town; despite our efforts to get him to stay, he's decided that Columbus is a better fit for him. So we took advantage of the rare sunshine last weekend to go hiking over at Powell Butte, east of where I live. For a park surrounded by suburbs on all sides, it sure felt far away from civilization. I think we got some pretty good pictures with his new camera, which I promise to share later on if I can get my hands on them.

Afterward, we went to Soup & Story at jes5199's house. It was kind of funny. This Jes fellow had friended me, and I'd seen that he also had Ariel friended, so I assumed they knew each other.

Lindsey: So after this, I thought we could go to Soup & Story at Jes's house.
Ariel: Okay!
Later:
Lindsey: Do you know where he lives?
Ariel: No.
Lindsey: Okay, we'd better stop by my house and check online before going.
Ariel: Okay.
Later still:
Lindsey: I'm not even sure if his name is actually Jes.
Ariel: Me neither.
Lindsey: Wait a second. Don't you know him?
Ariel: No, do you?
Lindsey: No, I thought you did!

Etc., etc. So we ended up looking up the address and arriving at Jes's house, slightly apprehensive but curious to find out what it was all about. It turned out to be a delightfully geeky gathering featuring food and a round of storytelling. One person read the excellent first chapter of one of Cory Doctorow's books, which alerted me to the fact that, uh, that Cory Doctorow writes books. Another person read the "candy" passage from Gravity's Rainbow, which was awesome, and someone else came through with the mandatory Hitchhiker's Guide installment. I told you it was geeky. I read a Grimm's fairy tale, which seemed to go over pretty well, but Ariel brought down the house with a Prairie Home Companion-worthy rendition of his song "Cat Custody Battle" ("I'll meet you in Van Wert/To give you back your cat/But not in Wapakoneta/That's too far"). It's funny, Ariel, because I know that two of your main reasons for going back to Columbus are better weather and better reception for your music. Yet I can't imagine either being better than they were here in Portland last weekend. I guess if it were that way all the time, you'd stay.

Come back soon. I'll be around.