Saturday, April 30, 2011

Poems: A Song for Merwin's April

     A Song for Merwin’s April

With complaint of work
We are trite to sing April

April showers bring May flowers

But rain strikes fog
And flooded earth runs to sea

So we grow impatient
And must be reminded
April showers bring May flowers

Friday, April 29, 2011

Poems: The Stationary Bike

So I have this assignment in my poetry class that says I need to attempt to publish some of my business.  So I decided that I'd write some bike poems and throw them up on here.  I ended up with about ten final poems in my chapbook which is entitled Curleh Mustache.  (I'll sell you one for thirty-five dollars or a good pancake recipe (preferably, the recipe from The Golden Harvest).)  Today, I'll start posting a poem a day.  Some are about biking; some are not about biking.  Don't take them too seriously... because I didn't.  Here we go:

     The Stationary Bike

dead lady bugs of last spring rest on the window sill
black and skeletal they crunch into dust
but fail to float into the exercise room breeze
when gym patrons rest their fingers on the ledge and look
through the glass panes towards the indoor basketball court
and we watch the basketball court each day
but nothing notable happens on the basketball court
the people spray their equipment with disinfectant
that has a warning label that covers half the bottle
and they use it like Febreeze dusting everything
including the chubby kid on the bike behind me who bugs
the old lady to my right who smells like a whiskey sour
and the asthmatic who I’ve nicknamed Chris Farley
suffering on the elliptical in front of me because
no windows exist to let in outside breeze
the single window looks to the basketball court watched by all
and janitors clean it wearing masks plastic gloves
and hazmat suits but never quite clean the sill
they set sticky tracks at the top of the window
to mire this spring’s lady bugs
the tracks too low would offend the patrons but
most of them will never crawl that high
resting on the sill and feeling the whir
of the exercise room that sounds like a breeze
but does not feel like a breeze

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Dawn of the Character Directory: A reader's guide

As Robbie and I near our departure date, the time comes to get a few things done. Here's a general overview: Robbie is in pretty good physical shape. I'm not. The LO Ryder is in good shape. The Mango Sentinel needs some work. Tickets are purchased. Route is planned. Lodging is not planner per say, but we have a battle plan for finding lodging each night. The budget looks rough. We will be talking to loan sharks to backup our finances. I'm picking up a Ukelele I found on Craigslist on Saturday. We need to come up with a prize for the game, holidays, our Road IDs, badger tickets, a reasonable diet plan, and of course, the Character Directory. That starts now.
The Character Directory is our tribute to the people in our lives. There are some personalities that both Robbie and I feel are worth sharing with people. The world would be a better place if there were an entire novel about each of them, and yet an even better place if every single person on the planet could just know them personally. We provide option three, a short description of them here, on our blog. This will assist other readers in understanding certain references we might make to these people.There is no particular organization to the character directory. Instead, we will just produce an entry to it periodically when we feel motivated or when we have nothing else to write about that day. We will, however, begin the title of each one with "CD" followed by the number of the entry so that people might easily search the directory to find a person who has been referenced in a blog entry.
Information we will include about each character will include, but not be limited to the following:
Relation to Sacrag:
Sponsor Status:
Rob's favorite Quality:
Stu's Favorite Quality:
Bio Entry.....
If you would like to nominate somebody for priority consideration to be described in the character directory, comment below.
I say good day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Centipede Leg: The leg of many legs

So, we need to have this route planned out, so that is happening right now. Below is the official calendar controlling the entirety of the remaining stretch. The low down: there are only 18 days from June 19th until July 7th, and we need to be rolling our starved, sun-dried asses into Blissfest on July 7th.   Below, you will see 17 days of planned travel. We will be seeing Mount Rushmore, The Black Hills of South Dakota (wherein somewhere lived a young boy named a Rocky Raccoooowooon; we will sing that there), Winner (the town), Manderson, Friendship (the town), the Badger (the ferry), and Home Sweet Michigan. There may be many reasons we wish to stop for a day, and we also may want to spend a day or two in Yellowstone before rolling out. What I'm trying to tell you is, we might hitch a ride in a truck through the mountains before Yellowstone. Our sources say that there are no safe roads, and the dangerous roads are covered with snow in high altitudes. While we would like to boast about having conquered the mountains on our bikes, if it means making it to Bliss on time, we are exploiting a loophole, and we will just sit on our bikes in the back of a pickup truck.
So, what you see below is a list of days, and how we will travel on those days. But likely, this whole agenda will be moved forward a few days.
The Skalmowski Manderson Part
June 21st: Yellowstone to Cody (80 miles)
Route: US-14 E/US-16 E/US-20 E
Stay: somewhere in Cody
June 22: Cody to Manderson (66 miles)
Route: US-14 E/US-16 E/US-20 E
Stay: Somewhere in Cody
June 23: Manderson to Kaycee (90 miles)
Route:  WY 436 East
Stay: in Kaycee
June 24: Kaycee to Newcastle (144 miles CAN WE DO IT!?!?)
Route: WY 387 E/ Cosner Road/ Little Thunder Road- WY 450 E/
Stay: in the castle
June 25: Newcastle to Rapid City (83 miles)
Route: a whole bunch of roads
Stay: backyard in Rapid City, but we will nap on Mount Rushmore

Leg 2
June 26: Rapid City to Wanblee (98 miles)
Route: South Dakota 44 East
Stay: in the magical land of Wanblee, named by the parents of Anfrinee Hardaway
June 27: Wanblee to Winner (112 Miles)
Route: A whole lot of numbered roads; we will be using the GPS this day
Stay: at Charlie Sheen's house (spelling intentional to avoid lawsuits)
June 28: Winner to Parkston (104 miles)
Route: South Dakota 44 East
Stay: in a back yard
June 29: Parkston to Sioux Falls (75 miles)
Route: 271st Street
Stay: Under the Falls
Leg 3
June 30: Sioux Falls to Jackson (92 miles)
Route: 270th Street
Stay: with my grandma's Minnesota Doppelganger
July 1: Jackson to Austin (114 miles)
Route: 100th Street
Stay: with a Texan
July 2: Austin to La Crosse (111 miles)
Route: Root River State Trail
Stay:a back yard
July 3: La Crosse to Friendship (88 Miles)
Route:La Crosse River State Trail
Stay: at Friendship Lake
Leg 4:
July 4th: Friendship to Appleton (90 miles)
Route: WI 21-E
Stay: in Appleton. I feel like I know somebody there.
July 5: Appleton to Manitwoc (50 miles)
Route: Man Cal Road
Stay:Probably in Ludington. We will take the Badger across Lake Michigan to Ludington once we arrive.
July 6: Ludington to Traverse City
Route:We know Michigan like the backs of our hands. We will take Pleasanton Highway
Stay: with Tim the Toolman Taylor
July 7: Traverse City to Bliss (98 miles)
The LAST DAY of the trip. Holy cow. Hard to imagine what that is going to feel like. We will just follow the waterfront north and then hop on the highway to Bliss, where our family and friends will receive us with joy and jubilation.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Planning Part VII: The Big Rock Candy Mountain Hike, Portland to Yellowstone

This school noise is almost over: four and a half weeks until the bike trip, so it’s time to get down to business (to defeat the Huns) with this blog thing.  You’ll see some posts about biking outside and some about graduation.  And you’ll see some bike trip poems that I’ve been working on.  One of them is about cheese stuffed hotdogs.       !

So until then, get down with the next part of the journey:

The Pacific Northwest.  The Rockies.  Yellowstone.  This segment epitomizes our fantasies of the west…… a land that’s fair and bright, where the handouts grow on bushes and you sleep out every night, where the boxcars all are empty and the sun shines every day.  There’s a lake of stew and of whiskey, too, and you can paddle all around them in a big canoe.  Really, we’ll probably be tuckered out and terrified of the bears.  

June 9: Portland to Lower Twin Campground (65 miles)
This campground may not exist.

June 10: Lower Twin to Cove Palisades State Park (70 mi)
Passing through the great city of Madras, the world’s largest producer of carrot seed.

June 11: Cove Palisades to Canyon Creek Campground (66.5 mi)
Straight Mountainous

June 12: Canyon Creek to John Day, OR (90 mi)
John Day was a woodsman in the early 1800’s.  Turns out he was robbed by Native Americans and left naked in the wilderness.  Maybe, this will happen to us, and we will become famous and start a nude biker gang.  They’ll name US-20, “Avenue of the Birthday Suits.”  

June 13: John Day to Jamieson, OR (97 mi)

June 14: Jamieson to Boise, ID (83 mi)

June 15: Boise to Fort Running Bear Campground (69 mi)

June 16: Running Bear to Carey, ID (88 mi)
All these places have been tremendously exciting to research.

June 17: Carey to Mud Lake, ID (98 mi)
We go through Craters of the Moon National Monument, a place once called the “devil’s vomit.”
Also, we pass through the Idaho National Laboratories, a huge territory of nuclear energy research.  I imagine we’ll see some nice fences.

June 18: Mud Lake to Harriman State Park, ID (88 mi)

June 19: Harriman to Yellowstone National Park (77 mi)
Trees, mountains, Old Faithful.  Boom.