Ruthanne is the kind of poet that is open to constructive criticism as long as it isn't from some sexist pig who is going to get her freaking out about things like grammar and strong verbs and effective line breaks.
Chip was tall, thin, intelligent and had an unstoppable charm that would have made him a success anywhere. Why he was a manager on the way up in a restaurant chain, I'll never understand, though, he did marry a waitress.
Bob has made restoring a Victorian home into what can only be described as a work of art. Remote control lights, because accuracy to period doesn't permit light switches, hand cut and puzzled together wallpaper designs--passionate virtuosity of detail.
Jim has been known to describe himself as "the short, fat, asian looking guy". I'd describe him as that human dynamo of publicly performed poetry, and the one man alive today who can make Chuck D shake in his shoes.
Kris is a creative speller with a bright, agile mind. She has a laugh-giggle that resonates the intersection of sly, seductive, innocent, ribald, happy, effervescent, wicked and mmmm. In a world with no easy answers, she brings easy smiles.
Tom was the outcast who wished he wasn't. Big for his age, he talked like a mouse. I think he scared people by appearing strong but uncontrolled, mad scientist smart, and capable of irrational viciousness. None of this was true.
Winston beat boredom during a paying gig providing on-demand rhythms to a dance class by gradually adding more ways to play more sounds simultaneously. The end result was a one man world music show that was jaw-droppingly good.
Kim wore her face painted on thick, her clothes always smelled slept in. Waiting tables you could always tell by the sharp shocked looks on the reached-over customers's smelling salts faces when the dinner rush, or summer, had arrived.
Today at "around noon" (EST) PBS station WVIA will be broadcasting in interview with JHK and I about the x365 project. To listen to the stream, please visit:
Gary was a natural athlete but a little knock-kneed, the kind of class clown who worked the material of borderline meanness, relying on an impish look to make all needed amends. In everything he'd go a little too far.
Susan has grace, charm, and that inner coilspring of mischievousness that you can catch in her eyes in wicked flashes. Too sensitive to not be hurt by baseless hurtful criticisms, too strong and talented to be set back by them.
Phil got gypped, and so did everyone who knew him. He didn't have to like me, but he did, and damn I'm going to miss being able to prove to him he was right to like me. I'll try, anyway.
Jennifer was instrumental in my first published pieces, first paid published pieces, first public poetry reading, first trip to NYC, first poetry reading in NYC, first poetry essays, first Sarah McLachlan, and connected me with clusters of equally instrumental others.
Bev is the wicked librarian type--seems to all outward appearances to be shy and proper (to the point of an occasional stutter), but once you get to know her she's got a real laser-accurate everpresent sense of humor.
Ryan was born on April Fool's day. The way the orbits of our lives went, I saw him regularly the first five years of his life, then not again until he was an adult. I missed too much to understand.
John was given the deal of the century: a studio built for him, to his specifications--to produce a line of products of his own design, with full credit--and completely available on the weekends for personal work. He complained.
Kathy did one helluva job at one of the toughest jobs known--being one of the first second wives in a fairly close-knit family. She did it by being herself first, foremost, and consistently. Which makes it sound easy.
Bob came down and publicly out on the side of being grateful for finding love in this world wherever and whenever it finds you without lamenting the particulars of the circumstances. And for that he has my respect and gratitude.
Paula honeymooned at the Jack Daniels distillery. Overhearing a conversation about bespoke tailoring, when asked to which side her husband dressed, she thought for a moment and said, while patting her left shoulder with her right hand, "to the left."
Jim still has most of his fingers and some of his teeth. He's a master of incrementally backing you into a conversational corner where you're forced to declare which of the two of you is being wildly unreasonable. Every time.
Jeff was almost home from the party when he took the last lazy corner a little too fast too wide head-on hit a car coming the opposite way, killed that car's driver, a neighbor, girl, one year older, then.
Fran is the tree the two most beautiful apples in the world don't fall far from. Her way with words, images, and props is spelled "right". For decades I thought I had the world's best mom. Now it's a tie.
Jo was the older woman who stole the younger man from her new-mother co-worker friend. It was as much his fault (if there's even fault to place) for wanting to be stolen as hers for any active theft.
Nayna Lea has the kind of laugh that starts out soft and giggling then roils itself into eye-tearing rib-aching impossible-to-stopness. And she's not afraid to use it. Easily one of the most giving people I know.
Julie was the only redhead I ever dated in my life, and I am ashamed and embarrassed to admit today that I broke up with her in college because it creeped me out too much that she had hairy nipples.
John was often funny, but was always working hard at it--usually a little too hard. One gag I still remember was a sign he handmade with paper, marker, and a popsicle stick that read "End of Joke, Laugh Here."
Connie had class. Walking with a group towards a bar, when we got to the door she half-paused without breaking stride (or conversation) in a way that didn't expect the door to be opened for her, it caused it.
Danny lived and breathed tennis in high school, and so did his younger brother. I don't think I ever saw either one of them, anywhere, in school or out, wearing anything other than their tennis clothes. More than focus, obsession.
Glen does antique restoration with an ultra perfectionist's attention to authenticity. Broken jewel in a Tiffany lamp? Time to build a period-accurate furnace, take a mold of the broken piece, and cast a new jewel to be identically imperfect.
Deb has a jittery kind of nervous energy that at times, especially in conversation, can border on the frenetic. But when she puts nib to paper the result is always the slow-moving, smooth-graceful lines of accomplished ink confidence.
Nayna drove around the parking lot for 40 minutes until she got one of the first spots in the row. She could write the check for the groceries while they were being rung up and be right, to the penny.
Mutt Doin' was the name my dad gave to the dirty-faced neighborhood boy who was odd, inquisitive, agile, persistent, eager, active and completely unable to speak any words other than this, his crumpled contraction of "What are you doing?"