Posts filed under 'Les Poesies Quotidienne'

Hidden Meaning

Overheard while standing in line at a coffee shop:

“It was crazy. CRAZY. I mean, I was running around like a head with my chicken cut off.”

Add comment January 18th, 2009

Poesie Quotidienne – All That’s Missing is the Headband

I got ready for work the other day using what I consider foolproof sartorial strategy: black and denim. More specifically, I paired black trousers with a subtle pinstripe with a fitted, cropped, black turtleneck sweater, then finished the ensemble off with a pair of black heels. I tossed one of my favorite garments over the top of everything – a classic time-weathered21-jump-street.jpg denim jacket. So what if it’s so “weathered” it has totally eroded in a few small, discrete places? Holes give denim character, right? Sam gave me the once over and said that I looked like a stylish New Yorker… circa 21 Jump Street. I wore it anyway.

Add comment March 6th, 2008

Poesie Quotidienne – Life in Phantasia

Driving towards the mountains the other day, Sam pointed out an interesting phenomenon – the mountains had disappeared. Blue sky arced from the top of the world’s dome down to the hazy horizon; it didn’t look like the mountains had been rendered invisible – it looked like they’d been erased.

Morbid curiosity mixed with trepidation as Sam observed, “I think the writers erased the mountains because they’re tired of being on strike.”

An interesting possibility.

Television, film and radio writers have been on strike against producers since November over issues around fair payment in an evolving industry. If the writers refuse to create new stories, then actors have nothing to act, directors nothing to direct, producers nothing to produce and consumers nothing to consume. Hopefully, this will lead to a resolution of the writers’ grievances. But in the meantime, it only makes sense that with the imagination industry grinding to a halt, with no new stories – arguably Los Angeles’ principle export – this city will slowly start to disappear. What’s next? If the producers don’t pay up, will the writers erase the Hollywood sign? The Hollywood Hills? The Pacific Ocean itself? The Nothing has been unleashed, and it’s being allowed to nibble away at the outskirts gmork.jpgof our land.

I’ve been looking over my shoulder for the G’mork ever since…

Add comment February 28th, 2008

Nomad Studio – Borders, Saturday Morning

Borders is one of my favorite places to write. Not because it’s Borders, particularly, but because you can’t beat the ambience of a coffee shop inside a bookstore. On the one hand, you have all the olfactory and gustatory delights afforded by a full-service café – individual pots of French Press coffee, tea in a rainbow of flavors, the choice between paper cups and ceramic, the smell of freshly ground coffee beans, pastries, cookies, breakfast sandwiches, toffees, caramels… and of course coffee shop décor, which juxtaposes warm earth tones with large indirect patches of sunlight – all of which invites you to sink in, be cozy, and muse. On the other hand, you have a three-storey bookstore with everything you could want to tickle your imagination – there are books on finance and investing, science-fiction and fantasy, magazines on everything from new age spirituality to celebrity gossip to Goth subculture to how the affluent travel. The second floor is lofted – there’s a giant square missing, where you can look out and down into the first floor and the grand staircase, or look up at the beamed ceiling and skylights. The bookstore encourages the life of the mind, the café indulges your body, and the loft ensures that your thoughts can expand as much as they want and float around, unperturbed, up in the rafters. The skylights make it easy to relocate the good thoughts that grew too big and floated away.

I am not, of course, the only person who thinks this is a great place to work. It can be a real battle to find even a single chair. And you need more than a chair – if you plan to work you need a table, and an electric outlet for the laptop. Now here’s the tricky part: if the store is crowded, if the customers are too presumptuous, and if the baristas are cranky, they will announce via loud speaker that café seating is only for people who are actively consuming café food and beverages. We all buy something from the café, of course, but after an hour or so we’re just loitering. It’s a real gamble. If you stake your claim inside the café, it is possible that you can stay all day. But if the baristas kick you out, chances are good it will be during the busy part of the day, and you will not find another seat in the store – or quite possibly within a ten block radius.

Just outside the café there is additional seating – some would say better seating – in the form of leather-ish stuffed easy chairs. There are a dozen and a half of them spread around the clear glass half-wall that keeps patrons from falling off the edge of the loft. But there are only three little tables scattered amongst the easy chairs, and between the glass wall and giant windows, there are practically no outlets. Furthermore, if you’re outside the café, you aren’t bathing in the aroma of freshly ground coffee, nor are you benefiting from the almost subliminal sounds of baristas hard at work – the kind of ambient noise that occupies part of your mind, so the rest of it can maintain focus, uninterrupted, for hours. You can see the dilemma.

This morning I executed one of my fail-safe nomad studio strategies. I woke up early on a weekend, and arrived at Borders at 10:02 – just after the doors opened. I ran up to the second floor, took a few seconds to revel in having my choice of prime seats, then established myself in the very best one in the house. A stuffed easy chair WITH its own table, NEXT to an electric outlet for my laptop, pushed to within ONE INCH of the line on the floor that technically separates the café from the non-café seating.

I’m never leaving.

Add comment February 18th, 2008

Poesie Quotidienne – Penguin Dreaming

Sam came wandering out of the kitchen the other day, wobbling from one foot to the other, arms held tight to his sides, quacking. As I watched, quizzical, he started flapping his lower arms about, while holding his upper arms against his torso. Odd. When I still didn’t get it, Sam looked at me with a trace of exasperation and started wobbling from side to side with even more vigor. Quack. Quack!! QUACK!!! “I’m a penguin!” he finally announced, and then, of course, it was all clear. We watched “March of the Penguins” recently and the image of thousands of Emperor penguins wobbling thousands of miles between the ocean and their hatching grounds is still fresh.

Watching Sam flap his arms, and remembering the arduous earth-bound migrations of the emperors made me wonder: do penguins dream of flight?

People do, universally it seems; and they don’t even have wings. What about all those penguins that have to wobble to the ends of the earth and back, wings tucked against their sides?

Add comment January 17th, 2008

Olfactory Heaven

Autumn, Winter, Spring – and the occasional cool Summer night – it’s possible to wander around close to the ocean, and smell the sea air and wood smoke at the same time. Add the exotic perfume of flowers that only bloom after sunset, and one could get tipsy just from inhaling.

Add comment January 10th, 2008

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