Friday, April 29, 2016


Mark asked me that morning if he had to actually, you know, GO to his Benefit. 
'I dont want all that attention" he said. "Its embarrassing" "
Well, Mark, I think people are expecting you to be there. So, yes, I think as a general rule ones attendance is required at your own Benefit, especially since there have been a few benefits lately that it was impossible for the honoree to be there, if you know what I mean". 
Mark hung his head, played with his eggs. 
"I was afraid you'd say that" he said. "I've asked about 6 people, and they all tell me the same thing". I laughed. "Is there anyone left to ask?" 
"No, I guess not." 
"Well, I'll be seeing you about 3 O'clock then" .

I started to tell all about Mark, how he had started taking pics with his phone camera a few years back, then he bought a stick to steady the camera, and started taking videos of music shows, until one day some pro photographer (they say it was Larry Dillon) said "Hey man, I got a bunch of old gear you might come dig through, and see if we cant get you set up proper", and Mark and Larry got him set up proper, and Mark would go to all the music shows he could, taking pictures of the acts, and more pictures of the folks enjoying the show, (he used to want to film me dancin', but I always told him "If you want to SEE the show, you are going to have to COME to the show"), and as I was to find out the last time I saw Mark, the photographers like to take pics of each other taking pics, like this one of his friend Robert he took at Reds just last Saturday.

Everybody knows while Mark was in the hospital  someone came and ripped off all his gear, and a benefit was held by Mark's friends. an undetermined amount of money was raised, enough to replace all his stuff, and I have to think the total was quite substantial.

But I didnt want to turn this into a long post. Mark went from being a hobbyist to a professional photographer in about two years, and along the way everybody loved him, He was as much a part of the scene as the musicians themselves.  He was famous, though he didnt want to be, and his great humility always shone through, and now that I've put it down I guess I really regret not letting Mark film me dancin', just one time.

Marks camera, taken by Robert Keith, 4/23/2016 at Reds. Mark passed 4/27/2016. 

This has got to be the loneliest camera in the world right now.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


In a dream I meet
my dead friend. He has,
I know, gone long and far,
and yet he is the same
for the dead are changeless.
They grow no older.
It is I who have changed,
grown strange to what I was.
Yet I, the changed one,
ask: "How you been?"
He grins and looks at me.
"I been eating peaches
off some mighty fine trees."
- Wendell Berry

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


"In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves. Through the eyes of a real friendship an individual is larger than their everyday actions, and through the eyes of another we receive a greater sense of a self we can aspire to, the one in whom they have most faith. Friendship is a moving frontier of understanding, not only of self and other but of a possible and as yet unlived future."

"..., the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone."
David Whyte

More, click here.

Monday, April 25, 2016


These are not hollow words.
Just sit there, and let me land on your finger.
I’ll try to be lighter.
Just remember these are not hollow words
     when I say how much I love you.
bulletholes, 2016


The trading of joy comes naturally because it is of the nature of joy to proclaim and share itself. Joy cannot contain itself, as we say. It overflows.

And so it should properly be with pain as well. We are never more alive to life than when it hurts—never more aware both of our own powerlessness to save ourselves and of at least the possibility of a power beyond ourselves to save us and heal us if we can only open ourselves to it. We are never more aware of our need for each other, never more in reach of each other if we can only bring ourselves to reach out and let ourselves be reached….
We are never more in touch with life than when life is painful, never more in touch with hope than we are then, if only the hope of another human presence to be with us and for us.
Being a good steward of your pain involves all those things, I think. It involves being alive to your life. It involves taking the risk of being open, of reaching out, of keeping in touch with the pain as well as the joy of what happens because at no time more than at a painful time do we live out of the depths of who we are instead of out of the shallows.
-The Clown in the Belfry
Frederick Buechner gatehered at Alive On All Channels

Friday, April 22, 2016


So I had this dream last night. 

She had moved into the same apartments as me. 
Lived just a couple doors down. 
I went outside to smoke a cigarette, which is weird because I don't smoke. I look, and she is by her car, kissing some guy. She looked up, see's me, and I yell “NO!” and turned and started to run to my apartment. She’s running behind me, yelling “Stop!” and every time she yells "Stop!" I yell “NO!” and now my apartment is like 100 miles away, all the while she's somewhere behind me yelling "Stop!" and I'm running fast as I can yelling "NO!". 
Finally, I see my apartment. 
The door is wide open, just like I left it. 
I go running in, and stop to close the door. 
But I don’t. 
I stop, catch myself, and leave the door open.
Bittersweet. Surrender.
End of dream.

"...the heart breaks, and breaks, and lives by breaking..."
Stanley Kunitz, "The Testing Tree"

Thursday, April 21, 2016


"I always enjoy the parts about Lisa in Junior High because that is what I remember best. But, yeah, I remember that your bedroom was dark and scary with lots of strange posters depicting music groups like Black Sabbath. Lisa & I scooted on past your door very quickly when heading to her room."

And I responded:
Suzi, you stopped by my room one day...I had The Who "Quadraphenia " going....Daltry sings...
"Only love
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea
Only love
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers
Laying in the fields.

Love, Reign o'er me
Love, Reign o'er me, rain on me

Only love
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky
Only love
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high

Love Reign O'er me

On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain
I can't sleep and I lay and I think
The night is hot and black as ink
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain "

Suzi, Daltry was singing his heart out, singing from his toes that day.
And the voilins wept and Moon carressed his drums and Suzi, you got this glazed look in your eyes
And Suzi, you sat down crosslegged on the floor and sagged against the wall and mouthed the words to me "That song is beautiful Steve" and it was very intense.
And Suzi I got to tell you I just nearly kissed you that day, but you were even scarier to me than my room was to you.
And you never came back again.
No, you never came back again.


I've never had a really nice grill and smoker before. Always just the little 50 dollar rigs that dad's use to cook burgers twice a year. But I went ahead and got a pro model. its bigger than it looks. When I got it to my apartment I discovered that it would not fit through the sliding glass door to go safely and secure on my back porch.
So I bought a chain, and a motion detector, and dared anyone to try to steal it from under the stairwell.
Well, as things go it didnt take long for it to attract the attention of Apartment Management. They said it broke city code by "impeding egress".
The Grill Nazi's at my apartments have made me move my grill from sitting harmlessly beneath the stair to my back porch. I didn't even whimper, I just complied by pulling out the tools, removing the sliding glass door (it would not fit through otherwise) and put the grill on the back porch.
I hold no resentment towards the Grill Nazi's, and wont burn the complex down in retaliation. Not on purpose anyway.

When chicken thighs and country style pork ribs are on sale for 88 cents a pound, this is what $12 worth looks like.

Monday, April 18, 2016


"You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
Patton Oswalt via Alive On All Channels

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Sleep comes its little while. Then I wake
in the valley of midnight or three a.m.
to the first fragrances of spring
which is coming, all by itself, no matter what.

My heart says, what you thought you have you do not have.
My body says, will this pounding ever stop?

My heart says: there, there, be a good student.
My body says: let me up and out I want to fondle those soft white flowers, open in the night.

An Old Story by Mary Oliver, from "A Thousand Mornings"

Friday, April 08, 2016


"Women think that the men will eventually change, and men think the women never will".
A good friend of mine

Thursday, April 07, 2016


Friday, April 01, 2016



"Dammit! I was sleeping so good. I guess I need to start driving to Kansas, though. Gonna try to walk fifty miles tomorrow if I get myself all the way there, which is a decision I'm still making. Shouldn't the adrenaline be kicking by now? Hello! Adrenaline! Oh, God. Cristina Renfro was so soft and sweet and the bed was so warm. Stop it! This is nonsense! It's not that bad a drive and you know the route be heart. Stop at Rush Running on the way there--that'll cheer you up! You said you wanted to visit the Mothership, the new store in Bentonville, so do it! Nope. As soon as the guys pressure-washing the breezeway finish, I'm hitting the road and I ain't stopping till I get to the same gravel road where I stopped to pee last time. Hey, I think my afternoon pain pill is starting to kick! Fucking oxycodone is magic! You know what? Turn your alarm off, Babes. I'll sign Donald out of school a few minutes early and get him some French fries on the way home. I want to kiss my baby. Hell, were it not for an accidental conversation with Zach Adams this morning, I wouldn't even know there was going to be a speaker at Celebration Hall tonight. I'd love to hear his presentation, but I'll meet the dude at the finish line instead. I want to pick my son up from school. That's my job. Balance, baby! Balance!

You should read my radiology report, which contains the word innumerable. I'm as proud of that word as I was of the speeding ticket I got in 1988 when I apparently passed a sheriff's deputy in my Datsun 510 autocross car at the Doty fire hall on Nemo Road and she didn't become visible in my mirror until I was already in Rapid City. She wrote "very excessive, dangerous speed in corners" on the ticket but was super cool about it. She didn't seem pissed at all; she knew she was outgunned! But that's lateral information. The point is that I'm gonna finish this fucking race regardless of what it says in my radiology report. I dropped last year because I didn't know what I was doing. Not this year. I can shit my bowels out and I will not drop. As long as my heart is delivering oxygenated blood to my brain, I'm going to keep walking, and that is a fact. Just want you all to know."