Pinned toot

For friends among the hashtags I regularly use -- etc -- I am going to pull back in most digital spaces for the month of July (as I do every year). I may still jump in now and then, but nothing with any regularity. I hope you all keep writing.

Pinned toot

Perhaps I need to do another here, since it has been some time since I did it last. My regular forays here include composing , writing , sharing and other connected sharing threads. If you write there, I'll try to respond. I may even remix as a way to honor your writing. I try to keep my heart and mind open.

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@dogtrax For visually oriented thinkers, that “talking through” can be a real compression bottleneck. There’s really been two major models of human mapping: describes and drawers. And a third, a very important third, left moribund by the priorities of empire: the mythopoetic. But it’s indeed interesting how infotech is grafting on this fourth, the cybernetically dependent. I’d hazard to say it helps the routing challenged. But as studies show, it is stealing from us our magnetic orientation.

Addendum 2 to : My wife had an entirely other set of directions she began to give this man (see original story), and I was confused that she was seeing a map in her head that was different than the map in my head. I soon discovered why: she had the wrong bridge in mind. She was leading him to an different part of the city altogether, to another bridge, and after realizing this, and providing accurate directions, her map and my map were once again in sync. That's love! :)

Addendum to my : This experience had me wondering if those being raised on GPS/digital devices can "see" their communities in same way, as geographic maps that can be accessed by one's imagination. Some recent studies on brain development, young readers and use of screens indicate this skill -- of knowing where you are by accessing imaginary maps -- may be suffering because screen reading gives you no tangible sense of place. And GPS reliance further removes you from where you are.

We were running late for the Climate Change Rally. As I pulled up to park, a car slowed and a man shouted: "Can you help me? How do I get over the bridge? My GPS keeps pulling me through downtown and downtown is blocked off!" (see: Climate Change rally). I did that thing where my brain pulled up an invisible map of our city. I immediately began to map out alternative routes. I talked him through it - right, left/right, left -- and sent him on his way as he shouted his thanks.

“Nina had not contented herself with the views of the upper decks. She had gone below. Behind. Around. About. In the time that Nina had been in the hotel, the walls had not grown inward, they had grown outward, expanding in scope and intricacy.”

-- from A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles, page 57

Period Two

Almost like:
marbles on a wooden floor
a hornet's nest, disturbed
glitter in a spring wind
confetti from a skyscraper
voices at a riot
eraser marks on paper

This is how the mind works
the longest day of the year
so far

from the classroom setting

Three kids came into the classroom, weeping.
I rushed over, fearing the worst.
"What's happened? Are you OK?"
One caught their breath.
"Our bus driver ... Sammy's ... leaving ..." and began to sob again.
It took nearly 20 minutes to calm down. I gave them space to make cards for this beloved bus driver.
Later, one of the students said, "You know, I cry at anything."
"Well," I replied, "this news must have been a shock."
"Oh, we've known for two weeks that he's leaving."

“It was a forger who waited in the shadows, a forger not only of ink and paper, but of worlds. Like painted screens placed in front of a real landscape, these altered realities were moved softly, silently into place.”

-- from Jade Dragon Mountain, by Elsa Hart, page 254

Class Period One

Murmurs in the room
captured voices - planning --
talking slowly -- each
demanding attention -- sharing
thoughts -- go wander in among them;
insights fueling discovery -
they teach each other
ways into the world

Note: this is one of four small poems I wrote over a course of the day, capturing the essence of each group of sixth grade students I teach

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in spring rain
rising from my teacup

I've been sending my young students out and about with two of my classroom cameras. It's part of a project to connect our classroom on the east coast (New England) with some classrooms on the west coast (California). The photos will become part of our conversation. My only instructions were to "capture the wild" of town. Some of the images coming in offer really cool perspectives -- unknown places, deep wood-lines, trails, streams. I'm seeing their world at interesting angles.

“We can, if we want, see literary history as a kind of struggle for control of language, or a struggle to stop echoing someone else, to find your own signature or your own voice. Poets, like every other kind of artist, begin by imitation; sooner or later ambitious ones try to stop copying.”

-- from Don’t Read Poetry (A Book About How To Read Poems), by Stephanie Burt, page 256

All things begin
from somewhere;
an idea nestled
in the head and the
heart; what we make
of it is where we

as comment left at

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hello friends!!! i made a zine

it's a collection of 16 pieces of art i've been working on over the past few months. i'd greatly appreciate it if you checked it out :)

pdfs at

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because an unremarkable, benevolent raccoon is about to discover that he is in fact a child's toy... in the Twilight Zone.

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a vacuum
of thought
will deliver
frictionless zones
where one cannot breathe
sometimes the beauty
and silence
worth the boiling tears

The air is where
we find our balance,
the frictionless zone
of silence

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I wrote this morning of noticing a new trend in my classroom, of my young students calling themselves VSCO Girls, and of my own exploration as a teacher to try to figure out what that means, and of how to help frame discussions with them about being empowered in a social media saturated world. It's hard to keep up ...

Today, I'm reversing the electoral telescope. We have a preliminary run-off election for our neighborhood ward seat, for the city council of our small city, in a state of the United States. It's a small, local election. I'm hyper-attuned to the presidential campaign, but it's good to remember that local elections often have the most immediate impact on our lives. I'll make my way to the voting booth today, cast a vote, and know, here at least, the ballot box has real value.

“Gift. One word, one syllable. I don’t know if it rhymes with anything because it’s a word I never thought could be used when it comes to me.”

-- from On The Come Up, by Angie Thomas, page 361

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