All posts by AJ

Superior Sunrise #18

My commute to work takes me around the shore of Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior. Every morning for half the year, I get to see the sun rising across the water or ice.

There’s a little turn-off about three-quarters of the way to work where I can jump out of the car, walk to the edge of a short clay cliff, and bask in the sunrise.

This is what it looked like this morning.



Bucket-list Race – Arrowhead 135

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the long trail. And in the last couple years, I’ve started to get into long races on some of those trails.

One of the Big Boys of those races is happening right now: the Arrowhead 135.

In fact, some of the racers (the fastest bikers) have already finished it in just 15 hours this year.

But the people I’m really rooting for are still out on the trail with miles to go before they’re done.

I know all you racers are hot, wet, tired, sore, maybe bored… Keep on keeping on!


People Food

You must understand, dear
that I made you a false promise:
that morsel of toast
so enticing you couldn’t pull away your brown eyes,
was never going in your mouth.

Give me your saddest, hungriest look
— a starving refugee from a strange land —
and still, the bite is mine,
and the languishing bark,
yours, alone.

Busy Day

The boys bellied up to the bar at The Rivers Eatery in Cable, WI.
The boys bellied up to the bar at The Rivers Eatery in Cable, WI.

It was a busy day today:

  • Did an upper-body workout
  • Drove 60 miles to fetch newly-stone-ground skis (with boys, who were awesome in the car!)
  • Ate at a new-to-us restaurant and had delicious pizzas
  • Got my VA up and running with a new project
  • Two blog posts and some online social stuff
  • The Day Job

Next up: waxing skis, helping a friend move, finding packed-and-tracked ski trails. Thank goodness that’s not *all* tonight. :p


It’s the heat of the
long-awaited moment,
– singeing hair and melting fingerprints
until we all look the same
– charred, harried zombies –
to the government investigators –
it’s that heat and pressure
that allows us to forge new alloys
from common feedstock.
Here, at the end of time,
we have the clearest view
of those last few actions available us.
Entropy has all but won; I’d
raise my glass to concede, but I have
a few more minutes.

– 08/29/2009

Dinner with the Neighbors

The neighbors are out in their yard
eating and bawling and mooing
stomping their hooves
and pushing their fat bellies through the grass.
What a herd of cattle!
I’ll have the last laugh, though
with my carefully arranged pyramid
– small square, sun-glistening black –
in the bottom of my rusty old grill.
Hot times on the back deck.

Apple – An Immigrant’s Tale

I left the land of my forbearers
packed into a seasick shipping container
with countless others like me
– we all look the same to you;
no faces here –
and traveled the dark and swelling ocean
for twenty two black days
no sun; no breeze
only the others’ rounded shoulders
jostling me in the dark.
Then a creaking of salt-encrusted hinges,
accented voices and officious flashlights.
I am hauled under fluorescent lights,
poked, prodded, labeled
then put into quarantine.
A week later, in a restless California night,
a man with keys comes
out of nowhere; around the corner
and shoves me rough in the back of a truck
and I roll across the desert
heading toward sunrise salvation
but get detoured at the MegaMart
where I’m lined up with the others;
perfect rows of immigrants.
His daughter inspects each one of us,
listening, gently fondling
– his eyes have a proud shine –
until she finds me.
“This one, daddy!” she exclaims. “It’s perfect!”
And daddy pays for me
and makes me ride in the back
of the family SUV.
Driving home through sprinkler perfection,
daddy tells his princess all the
things she can do to me:
“First you have to wash it
to get off all the dirt,” he says.
“That’s yucky! Then, we’ll use a knife;
don’t worry – I’ll help.”
The SUV stops and daddy pulls me out
and takes me into the kitchen.
Princess gives me an abbreviated shower
– barely enough to get me wet –
then drops a shining stainless blade
through my core again and again.
I’m laying pieces on the counter,
my juice dripping from her weapon;
She smiles and reaches for me.
Bon appetite, princess.