Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In the Meatpacking District

The day like a thousand steps
and me too anticipation-petrified
to note the strain of each or all;

Imagining you beside me at MoMA
in the next room contemplative
before Magritte while I succumb

to Klee's underembellished portrait
and discover Boccioni for the first time;
Wishing you there beside me

to mark with a knowing glance
the humor of a tourist confident to his friend
that The Persistence of Memory

is Dali's most famous painting
(and promising the existence
of a larger version elsewhere).

At dinner you hide in the shrugs
of friends sick of hearing your name
cross my lips like a profane sacrament.

Later, across a table your angular visage --
overbite inhabiting a cloudy smile --
captures candleflame and dances,

a vindication of our mutual apprehension
three years later -- and not a blue day gone by
without a rumor of rain in your name.

To have given what cannot be reclaimed,
a cloak sewn from what is worthy in me
that i'd forgotten lending.

My spectral companion embodied
and in the flicker and din,
a drag queen belting out show tunes

at the next bar
over cabernet
no candle.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Veterans Day

This bleeding heart, for one, is grateful for the many Americans who have fought on behalf of this great nation, in wars just and unjust. No matter the cause, the political climate, the misguidedness of our leaders, our men and women in uniform lay their lives on the line in good faith service to our ideals.

Where there are problems, they never lie with the troops. This is not to say soldiers do not make mistakes, or do not act inappropriately and even barbarically from time to time. But, apart perhaps from a very few isolated instances, even this misconduct is the product of leadership, whether by affirmative direction, negligence, or simple fecklessness. And all too often, as in the current war, the leadership itself does not consist of veterans who know what it's like on the ground.

So thank you to those fighting and dying in service to the United States of America, and those who have done so before.

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Last Post on Football, for Now

Celebration, Piscataway Style.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Too Big for an Update

Tonight the Empire State Building was limned in scarlet in honor of the Knights. And then, much as one would expect, Rutgers went down 25-7 early in the second. Louisville would level the same smak on the Knights that they did on the Mountaineers. Offense. Defense. Special teams. It was over. And only my love for beer, an absence of other things to do, and a hopeless romantic streak kept me watching.

The rest you can read about elsewhere. The bottom line, when all was said and done, a sea of scarlet stormed the field -- the blimp cam (blimp cam in Piscataway New Jersey!) showed a field full of scarlet, little yellow rings of security ringing each goalpost, because God damn, after beating the number 3 team in the country, Rutgers actually had a reason to bring them down.

What did it take? A 74-yard pass play in the fourth quarter, capped by the receiver recovering his own fumble inside the 5. An offside penalty against Louisville that enabled Jeremy Ito, the Rutgers kicker, to take a second whack after missing a 32-yard kick at the end of the game. And he made it. But this, and everything else that happened in the second half, is the product of a best-in-the-nation defense rattling the hell out of the national title contender with the second-best offense in the country. The same offense that barely moved the ball during the second half, gaining only two or three first downs in the entire half.

This is the real shit, right here. Even if they win out, even if they whip WVU's asses in the first week of December, Rutgers won't get a shot at the national title, and to be fair they probably don't deserve it. But I say that only because I think Louisville didn't deserve it either, because if Louisville deserved it, then so does Rutgers, which just outclassed them across the board.

Here's to Brian Leonard, Ray Rice, the nameless but brilliant Rutgers defense, and Coach Schiano, who's put this team on the map. And here's to the Scarlet Knights, for tonight, for a few moments, providing the other bookend to the history of college football.

The rest is up to the coaches, the players, the computers . . . and the WVU Mountaineers.

It's going to be a fun ride; it already is one.

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On the Banks of the Old Raritan

I've been terribly remiss here, yet again, and this is not the time to get into it or make up for lost time. But it's kick-off for Rutgers-Louisville, and I'm struck by how much pride I feel for my heretofore football deficient alma mater -- that they are, at a minimum, serious spoilers for a team's national title hopes, and at the outside very serious contenders for a BCS bowl if, alas, not title contenders.

The biggest game for Rutgers in 137 years, since they played Princeton in the first college football game ever.

They win the toss and take the ball to open the game before what might well be their first true sell-out ever. They're moving the ball methodically, eating clock. I've gotta go.

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