On My Complete Conversion to Apple Products

More of a “still alive” post than anything else.

On one of my blogs back in 2010 or so I dimly remember this “LOL whut” kind of post that I made from an Apple store. My son’s iPod Touch, which was fairly new, had broken down and I was there, and a little bit on the edgy side, to get it fixed.

I seem to remember thinking the iPads were kinda stupid. Now I’ve got one of those, of course, along with an iPhone, a Mac Mini, and a Macbook Pro. The Mini and the Macbook have only recently come into my life because of a job; I’d remained a resolute Windows user until this past month. I changed jobs this year from a Windows shop to a place where the owner wants everyone on a Mac.

All I lack now is one of those watches, but I’m still in “LOL whut” mode about them.

I’m Playing for Someone Famous Tomorrow

And tonight I had to escape from an extended-stay
motel proxy, which was the only thing I could get
after a five-hour rehearsal in a college town

and eat lamb at a Mediterranean chain restaurant
and watch Office Space again back
in my room.

It’s this transition from the sacred to the mundane
I heard a mixed choir sing a beautiful tune acapella
and it could have made me cry

if I hadn’t had to count 12 bars of four
before coming back in.

September 12

When I turned my iPhone back on as we taxied to the gate
preparing for a dash for my connecting flight
a voicemail had arrived:

The following is important information about your flight
which has been cancelled due to an earlier cancellation
due to weather in your area.

And this is how they told me I’d be emerging from the airport
an abstractly secure place with seemingly no connections
to the city around it

and negotiating with a native american woman
driving a Honda Odyssey with Super 8 vinyl lettering
do you have rooms?

And still I felt safer there than I’d done the day before
in a sterile concourse lacking only the words
FOR YOUR PROTECTION

on the sterile walls. Only the voice of some Orwellian god
droning every few minutes in the interest of airline security
all passengers are reminded to…

do nothing as you would do in a normal sort of world
and yet the interesting conversations with strangers
are so often in a seat

strapped into an aluminum tube and hurtling toward something.

Participation Mystique

Re-reading William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition made me sadly wistful for a time in the recent past, when the book’s heroine Cayce Pollard could seem hip, cool, and high-tech by cabling up a cell phone to an iBook and sending emails to people. She could do almost everything she does in the book now with an iPhone, as owned by every high school student.Read More »

Novocaine

I only learned today that the local anesthetic
my dentist used for extracting part of a tooth
and building up a partial, stumpy bit
of composite resin

in preparation for a later, larger
extraction of cash for a crown

is almost certainly not novocaine,
a generic term for Procaine
since the trade name Novocain
lost its battle with “ubiquity,”

before losing out altogether
to upstart dental anesthetics
like Lidocaine. I may never have
been injected with novocaine
in my life, as it turns out.

But my point, before this research
led me astray, was the feeling
or non-feeling, of a golf-ball-sized
part of my mouth. Hardly seems
important any more.

All fascinating dental drug facts from Wikipedia. I’m sorry I looked it up.

The Dream of An Office

…Ranks of books
On the sides — old Miltons, Tolstoys, Wuthering
Heights
, Ackermann’s Oxford. A holograph
Copy of Keats’s “To Autumn”…

— from The Dream of a House, Reynolds Price

I find myself in medias res
as one always does in dreams
in a small office, such as
an associate professor
at a branch campus
like the one I attended
would have.

In real life I have
a home office
my office at my company’s office
an office under construction at a new location
an office I can borrow at my company’s main office
and the use of a co-working space downtown 

So it’s not surprising that I’ve forgotten about this one
since it doesn’t really exist
but still I kick myself for having done so
and wonder why I rented the co-working space
which really does exist
and what would have happened
to all these books, every single one of them
a Penguin edition, bearing an orange and white spine,
had I not remembered them, or this wonderful view,
this forest outside a picture window.

Still dreaming, but starting to suspect,
I think of Reynolds Price’s poem
The Dream of a House
and compare my middlebrow taste in dream books.

But the principal motivation remains,
the recurring theme in these many
fugues of the subconscious
This is yours, understand. Meant for you.
Permanent.

I wake before being taken to the closet.

The Same Earth

My sons march on the same earth
I practiced on a different century ago
but that was before I tried writing a novel
getting married, watching
Remains of the Day.

I can’t recognize the place
because the new band room
and a fence has been added on
and so much grass has grown
since then.

Booze and Jetlag

As shown in a movie like Lost in Translation
best experienced with headphones, the way
sounds of a strange city come at you wrong
out of phase

are what separate you from the self
that worries about the past and future, which
liberates you for a moment

which must nevertheless be saved up for,
and paid with interest.