Outing my age, sorry if you thought I was a young hot thang. Anyway, thanks to Jeremy Scott of the Sparrow's Trombone for publishing two funky poems of mine.
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Friday, August 6, 2021
|To read part one, click here|
After spending the night in New Orleans it was time to take the Sunset Limited in the morning. I wish I could've stayed longer to debauch myself, but at least I had a fairly decadent bed. The New Orleans station is small, but they did have a waiting area for us special sleeping car passengers. While it was no Metropolitan Lounge, they did have a coffee pot and some baked goods, which were mostly still in their packaging.
|Guess what's behind the doors? If you said gambling, you were right.|
|Laptop case for scale|
|Half of the time it was packed with Mennonites speaking Pennsylvania Dutch to one another while filling out coloring books|
The observation cars, like the whole train, had no wi-fi (it puts the "limited" in the Sunset Limited) but they had outlets spread through the area. I spent my time at the tables but you can sit in one of the seats and imagine yourself on the deck of a spaceship. One that is hovering very low to the ground for some reason. The tables were a rare commodity. I had to park myself at one early and the day and stay there until lunch, if I wanted any chance of a place to spread out and work. For passengers not using the sleeping cars, they provided an area to eat. Under this level, the Sunset Limited keeps its regular café area. Normally the seating around it would be open too, but because of Covid it was closed off.
|Lobster Cake: I thought it was good, a nice amuse bouche in a sense before the main course|
|The steak was decent, I normally don't eat much of it to be honest let alone in a brown sauce. But it was a nice cut and the vegetables were well done. I enjoyed the polenta it came with as well.|
|The desserts were probably the best thing on the menu|
|The French Toast was good, but then again it's a hard dish to mess up. It didn't taste eggy, which is a plus. Not pictured: a side of breakfast sausage I ordered|
|A simple lunch, I got a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon. It was advertised as "artisanal" but, anyway, it was bacon. Pictured: wine. The choices are limited, but when the view is great, who cares?|
|The cheesecake. For some reason I forgot to get a picture of the carrot cake, which was my favorite on the trip.|
|There were some ethnic options. They had tortellini (which I avoided since I make enough of it in NYC) and a tamale. It was good, and the salsa verde was a nice addition.|
|The chicken. Yes, it looks like the steak. But notice, no potato! I liked it. The sauce was better than the one that came with the steak.|
|The depressingly small Houston train station|
|The titular mountain. The title itself I forget, but it was obviously titular|
It was like being in a Western, in part because even the cell service was down now. We went by Marfa, but saw no lights. A couple of hours later, I understood just how big Texas was. Thirty minutes after that, we were in El Paso.
|El Paso, where all the Mennonites on the train got off.|
|We were somewhere near Lordsburg, NM when the wine began to take hold and I took a nap|
Monday, August 2, 2021
Last week I embarked on another cross-country journey across this country's rails. No, I didn't pack up my bindle and hop on board a cattle car like a hobo in search of adventure and vittles. Instead, I took the Amtrak from New York to Los Angeles, by way of New Orleans. From New to New and LA to LA. The first leg of the journey was on the Crescent. It took me along the first 1,377 miles (2,216 km) of the trip, through Philadelphia, DC, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Meridian, Mississippi.
|Amtrak Valhalla, where only the bravest and least claustrophobic travelers go|
|I recommend the provolone and fig sandwich|
|Ha! Peasants! Ha! Look up my free bag of chips and despair!|
They called my train number and I went down into the bowels of Penn Station. While the entryway where I made my descent was changed, the actual platforms where the trains pull up are the same.
|Looking at it reminded me of the Skylab exhibit at the Air and Space Museum|
|The table that folds out isn't big enough for a standard laptop|
|I found the secret storage rack!|
We pulled out of Penn Station and started to head south and west away from the city. The first stops on the Crescent were all familiar to me since I go between DC and NY on the train quite frequently. There was nothing drastically new to see while this part of the country flew by. I took a leak while looking out at the Meadowlands, so that was a change of pace from usual. It wasn't until the train left Union Station that I got to see a new side of America. Now I got to experience going over the Potomac in a passenger car and the sight of the Alexandria, Virginia station.
|Playing hide-and-go-seek with the Capitol|
|I watched Chinatown in honor of my second destination|
|The salads come with two dressings: ranch and Italian. |
Oh, and you get a free alcoholic drink on the train.
You spend roughly a day and a half on the train and get into New Orleans at night. That meant one more dinner. I went with the chicken marsala. It was fine. Overall I rank the enchiladas first, the marsala second, and the creole last. To accompany it, I bought a glass of white wine.
|Metro Card for scale|
With a little innovation you too can transform your spaces to help with work and play! From this perch I watched Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi roll on by. Lots of lush landscapes, forests, glens, farms, paddocks, and some cities.
|Like Birmingham, Alabama|
Then as night fell, the Crescent went across Lake Pontchartrain (putting the "train" in Pontchartrain you can say) It was too bad that it was dark out and I couldn't see any of the water or the city or the other side. It's one of the issues with the long journeys on Amtrak. You can't time things just right so you see things when you want to. The train keeps going and stops when its wants. You're a passenger, along for the ride, surrendering your control, in exchange for the ability to stand on a toilet and write.
Saturday, July 31, 2021
Happy end of July everybody. Today, I learned that I was mentioned in the Falls Church News-Press, as part of Charlie Clark's "Our Man in Arlington Column." It is part of a general review of a collection I appeared in last year focused on Arlington County, Virginia, my hometown. It was edited by Katherine E. Young, the county poet laureate. The anthology is titled: Written in Arlington: Poems of Arlington, Virginia, and it still available for sale as far as I know. It also features work from my friend Christine Stoddard.
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Greetings from Tuscaloosa. It's here that I've received news of a poem of mine being published in the Dope Fiend Daily. Yes, it's another one in that august blogspot site. It's called "the Dankest of Avatars."
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Hello all, it's been a while since I had any news to share. Well here's two. One is in the Summer 2021 edition of the Split: Quarterly, a publication from Splintered Disorder Press. The other is in Cerasus, a publication based in the United Kingdom. Sigh, here is the Amazon link.
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Two poems of mine are at Flight of the Dragonfly. They've got a Classical theme of sorts.
Also, I'm in the inaugural issue of Whimsical Poet, edited by Sara Altman, for sale on Amazon.
Saturday, May 15, 2021
The drought of short fiction is broken folks. Up at Short Story Town there is a piece by me called "Plugged into the Jacket." It's at the top of the page for now. In a week or so you might have to scroll down to find it. It may or may not be based on a time when I wrote essays meant for other people to use for studying purposes. No comment.
Friday, May 14, 2021