Discovering Houston, Texas

Discovering Houston, Texas

Houston. I’ve been here for a few weeks now. All is good. The first few weeks were difficult for various reasons that I won’t go into so as not to bore you to death. Mostly job and money related. The good news, is that I’m starting to get my bearings a bit, and that I finally have a job I’m happy with. My apartment is right smack in the center of town, and I’m pretty close to just about anywhere I want to go. There’s plenty of places for me to hit on foot, where I don’t have to worry about driving, and if my car were to break down–knock on wood that won’t happen–I wouldn’t be stranded, as my job is but a few blocks from my apartments, and I can make it to groceries and just about anything else vital either on foot or by bike.   That being said, Houston is one hell of a big town. It was built on a swamp, and it’s one hell of a sprawl. To give you some perspective, (according to Wikipedia) Houston spans 639.1 square miles (1,625.2 square Km) and has an approximate population of 2.3 million people, that’s a general density of 3,662 people per square mile (1,414/km). Compare that to Paris, France. A city where I’ve also lived. That city also has an approximate population of 2.3 million people, except the general average density is 55,000 people per square mile (21,000 per square km), and the city itself (intramuros) is 40.7 square miles (105.4 square km). Greater Houston, Texas is 1,660 square miles! Covering more space than...
Trip to the Coffee Shop

Trip to the Coffee Shop

I went to my local coffee shop without my computer this morning. On purpose. I took two books with me: ROMMEL DRIVES ON DEEP INTO EGYPT, by Richard Brautigan, and THE COMPLETE COSMICOMICS, by Italo Calvino. And yet, I felt left out. Everybody else was buried inside their laptops. It was like a bunch of laptops came to the coffee shop, and brought along their humans for entertainment. So, so as not to feel completely left out, I buried myself inside my smartphone. @lovieolivia did our new gorgeous menu! Thank you so much. Come check it out and try some of our new items Houston! A post shared by Black Hole Coffee House (@blackholecoffee) on Oct 19, 2016 at 7:09am PDT OWEN BARFIELD — POETRY DICTION She has her thumb over the first letter. At first I thought it was a P, as in Parkfield, however–thank god for smartphones! I look it up on my portable brain and see that it is a B, and that it isn’t PARK but BARF– the excuses I use to dive into a screen, any screen! I cannot extricate myself. She is reading a book. Amazing things happen still, even in today’s world, and I climb out of my e-verse to look at her, me trying not to look creepy or be creepy, or anything else that might seem less than acceptable or advisable, so I plunge back to “learn about the publisher” Wesleyan: who are they, where are they from, what do they publish? Lots of poetry it turns out. Back inside the device where everything is safe not as fluid or...
New Book Placement, Life Keeps Going

New Book Placement, Life Keeps Going

This afternoon, I scored a new placement for my books. Both of them. I’m rather excited about this, so I’m telling you about it. Simple communication strategy. I write and you read. I talk and you listen. I listen and you sing to me. Hopefully you eventually show me in words, songs, and body language what I need to know. And if in case you hadn’t heard, I live in Houston, Texas. Moved here in January of the year of our Monkey 2017. So it ain’t been that long since I’ve been here. This cool little book & record store on Dunlavy and Westheimer in the heart of Montrose decided that both BEER SONGS FOR THE LONELY and GOOD FEELING SEVEN SHORT STORIES should live within their walls. That makes me happy. Please read my books. Please tell me what you think. Even if it’s something close to: Fuck you Asshole for writing this fucking Shit and bothering to get it printed on perfectly good paper that could have been used for something useful! Though obviously, I would rather you tell me I’m a genius 🙂 WIRED UP has very few books on their shelves, and they decided to carry my books. That’s really cool, and it makes me very happy… feeling funny inside like I’ve just eaten a huge breakfast and I now get to hang out on a park bench on a sunny day. I bought a copy of ROMMEL DRIVES ON DEEP INTO EGYPT (Heartworm Press 2016), by Richard Brautigan, at the book store in question while I was filling out the consignment paperwork. This collection...
Looking for readers

Looking for readers

Hey folks! What’s going on? It’s almost the end of 2016, and the start of 2017. It’s been rough, but what the hell, I’m coming out of it breathing and kicking. I started out the year homeless and working on a farm, and ended the year with a roof over my head and a car in the garage. Things are looking up. At least personally. In 2013, I set out to write and publish 1 book per year. I did good in 2014 and 2015. Now, in 2016 I did manage to write a book, unfortunately I ran out of funds and wasn’t able to publish. Which is fine. It means I have more time to make sure it’s as good as I can make it before going to press. And that’s where you come in. I need readers. I need your comments and thoughts. I need to make sure that my manuscript, SONGS OF THE ROLLIN CHATEAU is ready to become a book, and for that, I need your help. The artist Brian Wootan, and myself, are working on making SONGS OF THE ROLLIN CHATEAU a great little book. Brian is working on several illustrations that will go inside the book, as well as the front and back covers. He is also working on a couple of posters, and we will decide on at least two broadsides. Before the spring, Brian and myself will launch a crowdfunding campaign where we will pre-sell books, posters, broadsides, and private poetry & art parties at your house. Your comments will be used to first help out in finalizing the manuscript, and...
Two Slim Volumes

Two Slim Volumes

Recently, I read two very different books that have changed something within me in a good way. The first of these two book is a slim volume by Elizabeth Bishop that I picked up at Book People. Geography III is Bishop’s last book. I’m ashamed to admit, it’s the first I’ve read by her. It won’t be the last. Then last week, before going on a road trip to Santa Fe, I decided that I needed a book specifically for my journey, so I stopped at Malvern Books and asked Schandra, the Assistant Store Manager who happened to be working that day, to please help me pick out a book. She chose Fair Play, by Tove Jansson, translated by Thomas Teal. Turns out this is also a slim volume, though this one is a collection of interrelated short stories. I don’t think that it is entirely irrelevant that both these books were written by two established writers toward the end of each their lives. The powerfully descriptive poetry of Bishop, and the seemingly mundane world of Jansson is exactly what I needed. Is exactly what I need right now. I’ve been struggling trying to figure out what my next book will be, and I’ve been struggling with the type of writing that I write, seemingly autobiographical tidbits, written either as prose or as poems. These two writers, Jansson and Bishop, do it much better than I’ve ever done. Maybe toward the end of my life, after lots of hard work, I will achieve the power in my writing these two writers have achieved in theirs. Fair Play is a...