My Daughter’s Birth Day


My daughter’s birth day.
32 years ago at 6:00 p.m.
She was born,
a bit precipitously
and without our midwife.
In her rush to join the mad show,
she appeared whole and ‘in the veil’, our caulbearer.
I pricked the amniotic sac near her nostril
just before she left my wife.
A gush of water,
a slippery silver dolphin swimming into my hands.
My son nearby saying, “Is it alive?”
Oh, yes.
I held on tight.
I can still see the light of wild expectation in my wife’s eyes.

The Path to Quality is an Open Conversation or None at All

Yeah, this is a big question and I love how she wanders through it, a personal feldgang that keeps approaching the issue from lots of angles, mostly asymptotically–my favorite oblique stance.


“I’m undergoing a fundamental change in thinking about a lot of things right now, and one of those is how I manage my personal knowledge. I am a very good researcher and acquirer of information, but over the past two years I’ve stressed over finding a good way to curate all the content I amass.”
Much good follows.
I would love to be able to just publicly annotate her post, but so much has been made of late by a few very loud megaphones about how this is a violation of …privacy?  This chilling is the result of assuming ill will and bad motive on the net instead of addressing it as it happens.  Speech is chilled because of this overarching, bend-over-backwards need to armor the few from the truly few trolls roaming the net.
So I privately annotate and don’t share OR I ask permission. Just another bit of friction this asking permission. I annotate as a way of close reading.  Too many sites. It ruins the spontaneity of initial read.
I think that if you want to be part of the commons, you subject yourself to the dangers, known and unknown,  of the commons.  I don’t see how it can work as a commons otherwise.  Of course, you must protect the commons from those who seek to enclose it, the trolls who seek to close off discussion and difference with hate and misfeasance, but that is the duty of those who use the commons.  You need the community to help you fight these battles.
If you call on the community and they do not rise to the call, then I think folks may indeed withdraw from that community.  Not really a community then is it?  If you decide to fight the fight by yourself, then so be it, but don’t expect to withdraw your goodwill from the rest of us and not get a response.  My response was to no longer read those who want to be public but accept no public duty.  I really did believe that I had a right to annotate and to do so in a public way and to share it.  But now? Not as much.  The shine is way off that bloom.

A Fool’s Prayer

Inspired by this “horror poem” by Davis McCombs, another Kentucky native son. Listen here. It’s a good one.

Dumpster Honey

The bees were working the contents
of the fenced-in metal trash bin,
zigging and scribbling past the goo

of candy wrappers and the sticky rims
of dented cans, entering, as they might
a blossom, the ketchup-smeared burger

boxes and the mold-fuzzed, half-eaten
fruity snack packs, those food-grade waxes
mingling with Band-Aids and a limp

“We’re #1” foam finger while on top
of the disposable wet mop redolent of solvents
and fresheners the F.D.&C. Red No. 40

nontoxic food pigment leaked
from a bloated dip packet where the bees
were buzzing and collecting the high-fructose

corn nectars of that uncompacted jumble
and returning, smudged with the dust
of industrial pollens, to, perhaps, some

rusted tailpipe hive where their queen
grew fat on the froth of artificial sweeteners
out back of the little oily gas station

in the middle of Arkansas where we pulled off
to change the baby’s diaper and had to ask
for the key they kept on a giant ring.