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Just watched the Indian F1 race where they started with a moment of silence for Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli. I haven’t been following Indy Car so don’t know much about Dan Wheldon, but bummed about Simoncelli.

Makes it hard to believe these guys can get back in their cars and on their bikes after things like that happen. Especially since these guys die so publicly and, with the moto deaths, so… I guess the word is obviously. Meaning you can see exactly what happens. Not to be morbid, but those moto crashes are disturbing.

The most heart-wrenching shot from the MotoGP race is Colin Edwards kneeling in the grass, pretty badly injured himself, looking back at Simoncelli on the track. You can’t see his face behind his helmet, but the body language tells a lot.

I’m not usually one to get worked up about celebrity deaths, but like I said, these are just so… public.

Here are some photos I took of Simoncelli from the last two years at Laguna Seca.

Here’s a Poem

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How My Father Made it Easier for Me to Fly Back to California

It was the last time I saw my father,
and I mean that as the last time
I saw him as him,
not someone changed
by the thick trucks of morphine coursing,
chugging through his body on a roadmap of veins,
rural capillaries,
the massive city of his heart.

He was standing at the window of his hospital room
wearing the short, papery dress of his hospital gown,
waving goofily.
Then he cinched the gown tighter at his thin waist
to accentuate the perfect shape of his basketball gut.

He put a pinky to the corner of his mouth and pursed
his lips, sleepy eyelids, one raised eyebrow,
mouthing, “Happy Birthday, Mister President” through the glass.
He blew me a kiss with a flourish of his thick hand,
then quickly turned to moon me through the slit of his gown.

We both laughed, him silently, framed by the window,
me walking into the thick humidity of a late New York summer,
as if everything was going to be alright.

Song Yet To Be Titled

Here’s a song. This is a collaboration between my niece, Emily, Jeff and me. Most of the magic is those two. I make a little sketch and they turn it into amazing stuff. It’s only 2 minutes and a bit, so check it out. Pizza.

For mobile devices, click here.

Went to a zoo for the first time in my life…

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And I’m not really sure how I feel about it. Most of the animals don’t look “happy” in any way. I’m not sure how I would know, but even the frolicking of the lemurs seemed more stir crazy than anything else. The spaces just seemed too small, especially for one of the rhinos who was rolling a barrel around with his hornless (do they cut these things off or was he a poacher victim?) nose. It just seemed depressing.

We got to the gorillas almost last. And while it was amazing to see them so close, their faces are so human that the sadness really shows. Their eyes are just too much. Maybe they are perfectly content. Maybe because of the foggy SF weather there was just a mood over the whole place. Maybe I was mistaking the pride and dominance of the silverback as sadness over the tiny size of his territory, his minions sitting in plastic tubs like mental patients, the general ennui of the rest of them… I guess I should reserve judgement until I know more.

Here are some photos:

And here are some more from the gorillas. They really affected me…

Philip Levine Named Poet Laureate of the United States

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And to celebrate I thought I would post the poem of his that I memorized in grad school. I guess if you live in England this is a timely poem although it was originally written in response to riots in Detroit in 1967. Read it out loud and let it fill up your lungs.

 

They Feed They Lion

by Philip Levine

 

Out of burlap sacks, out of bearing butter,
Out of black bean and wet slate bread,
Out of the acids of rage, the candor of tar,
Out of creosote, gasoline, drive shafts, wooden dollies,
They Lion grow.
                        Out of the gray hills
Of industrial barns, out of rain, out of bus ride,
West Virginia to Kiss My Ass, out of buried aunties,
Mothers hardening like pounded stumps, out of stumps,
Out of the bones’ need to sharpen and the muscles’ to stretch,
They Lion grow.
                        Earth is eating trees, fence posts,
Gutted cars, earth is calling in her little ones,
“Come home, Come home!” From pig balls,
From the ferocity of pig driven to holiness,
From the furred ear and the full jowl come
The repose of the hung belly, from the purpose
They Lion grow.
                        From the sweet glues of the trotters
Come the sweet kinks of the fist, from the full flower
Of the hams the thorax of caves,
From “Bow Down” come “Rise Up,”
Come they Lion from the reeds of shovels,
The grained arm that pulls the hands,
They Lion grow.
                        From my five arms and all my hands,
From all my white sins forgiven, they feed,
From my car passing under the stars,
They Lion, from my children inherit,
From the oak turned to a wall, they Lion,
From they sack and they belly opened
And all that was hidden burning on the oil-stained earth
They feed they Lion and he comes.