Waiting in the Bike Lane at an Intersection in Tacoma

If Wells Fargo were Safeway, would the money in its vaults taste like Death by Chocolate and cheap beer? Would midnight to 4 AM see an endless queue of drunk, snack-craving depositors and closing-shift employees ready to night-drop bulging till bags of Teriyaki vomit and tattered twenties?

As the ejaculating cars thrust forward, piercing the diaphragmatic intersection, the red glow of the stoplight grows old, blurred and meaningless with the wait. Peak pressure. Full aperture: green light. I remain balanced, track standing for an extra moment next to the street’s vacuous storm drain. Will it rain on Tuesday?

How long could a vulture capitalist scam like Target exist in a society that prized quality and authenticity over quantity and expedience? And, if so realized, would its people’s feet rest easier in socks from manufacturers that supported rather than preyed on the majority of its citizens?

Green to yellow, it’s such a brief intercourse, and then yellow to red. I remain balanced on two wheels with two narrow tires made in some other country with softer, less healthy, manufacturing and export regulations for a company that craves a “slight” increase in profits for a slightly increased chance of success … of raises to engorge its top two percent’s cushy wealth.

If Bank of America were Defiance Bicycles on Fawcett Avenue, would its half-dead denizen debtors slowly but assuredly progress into healthier, balanced and self-empowered people on a true path to prosperity?

The red light bursts into an emerald green, blinding all eyes trapped behind windshield glass, and I push forward with a dynamite enthusiasm born on pedals and steel.


K. Shawn Edgar | Cumulative | Alt. 62,000 Ft. | Pumpkin Spiced

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Letter to the Community

Madrid

Complying with dictates of Sapphire Heights I must reveal to you that I have a fetish for toilets. The solid, white porcelain, the high ceilings, and the sterile looking walls with frosted glass windows set in sturdy white oak casements. It’s all so ovarian. The aroma of urinal cakes draws me in every time. It’s the same scent as birth. Restrooms are the nonhuman functionaries of every building in the city. And yet, through architecture and upkeep, they never fail to capture the true culture and politics of the time. Contrarily, human functionaries are the keepers of the lie, not the symbols of truth.

It’s just such birth—raw, aroma-filled, productive birth—that I aim to bring to Sapphire Heights. The birthing of ideas and cloud castle conversations that build over time to defend, to encompass, to ingratiate, and to beautify. All loose and mobile as the clouds, and that’s why I believe the fawning founders of Sapphire Heights wished me to put forth the effort of this letter … so you, my future neighbors, will know something about me before I come.

And I am coming. Just as I did earlier today in the men’s restroom at Central Plaza Banks. Hard, at the urinal, I came as sort of a preemptive strike to level our playing field. Really it was just a way of preparing myself to write this letter, to expose myself to you—a Shakespearean dumb show, if you will.

You might think of it like this: my version of the Sam Harris “Camel’s Back” nuclear attack on anyone who follows Islam. Right? In his opinion, because some of us are convinced that the Islamic doctrine gives them the potential for unrestrained violence against us, then we should use unrestrained violence first. Only substitute, “anyone who follows Islam” for “anyone who lives in a high-priced, gated community” and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Urinal cakes. They buzz with the wavelengths reserved for cautionary signs and unnatural things one should not eat. I eat those things. I ignore those signs. So you, community of Sapphire Heights, need me at the forefront to guide you out of containment and forward toward eye-peeling awareness of a fearless life. A life of act, before acted upon.

I am coming. And you know it within the truest heart of your hearts.

Lady Books

_____________________________________

÷•÷•÷

Lady Books (the Illustrated Version)

 ÷•÷•÷

_________________________________________

÷•÷•÷

 

Across from milky fountains there’s a saturday market

flush with organic vegetables and handwoven blankets

Here, the free downtown trolleys end their runs

transitioning into their suburban commuter routes

High heels click brickwork, mingling with steel rail noise

Lady Books Image

As water tumbles, crows outcry buskers playing their drums

It’s an amalgamation of voices whirling up like dust devils

if dust held music, spit, and long eerie cries of visible woes

Lady Books Image

This curious arcade, burning with life-pulsars, is a mall

for those who fancy characters in an 18th Century novel

Pastoral romance of car alarms and homeless camp smells

Trolleys ring out; the sound bouncing around concrete domes

Image 

Female statues, gracing the fountains, have mascara smeared eyes

from years of air pollution, marble erosion, and many lonely caresses

given them before daybreak: “She’s hard and cold but her form is true”

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Between vacant towers, a blue sunrise and glass storefront awaits

ladies whose corsets are too confining during the daily work grind

Push through mirrored doors – a jingle of bells and a rush of lights

to a long hallway decorated by wartime pinups and pinwheels

Image

International pleasures, graphed onto graticule wallpaper, adorn

a vaulted main lounge crisscrossed by ornate library style shelves

Creativity, humor, and exoticism are all spices in these spicy racks

Image

Section headings printed on milky 3×5 cards are listed on each row

  • Time Traveling Firemen

  • Blades, Babes, and Glory

  • The Peppermint Baristas Union

  • The French Undergraduates

  • The Witches of Muff Town

  • New Guy & his Two Brothers

Image

  • Ladies, Lollipops & Tetris

  • Zombie Love: Two and a Half Men

  • Russian Dolls: Duke it Out

  • The Walking Drop-Dead Gorgeous

  • Makeup Make out

  • Men Who Look like David Bowie

Welcome to a bookshop for the ladies who read-write their own code

May your screen shine from within as your voice sings without disguise

_________________________

•Poem by •K÷S•E÷•

Illustrations by http://gregorsamsaisanoctopus.wordpress.com/

÷•÷•÷

___________________________

Glimpse the Empire to Come

photo of Tallinn-Tornimae by Priit Koppel from Wikipedia

Tallinn-Tornimae by Priit Koppel

On the train, slick with speed,
Tallinn slips by in flashes of black, gold, and green
This tall city of towers twists old and new together
Its chromium spires of time cascading arc light
Reflectors of the past; ignitors of the future
Bow down old New World, your time is done
Cue Tallinn, emerging from the wings

City’s Thick with Blades Growing

20110826-085256.jpg

The green turf spreads widely,
marred only by car tire imprints

You of enlarged gasoline heart,
motor pulleys pushing RPMs red

Your face a soap bubble bulging
without its usual rainbow beauty

Will push on so, forever clipping
down the green earth bristles

They grow, and spread, so even
your biggest, sharpest blades fail

Failing without caretaker concern,
without your true self inside caring

It is the self-deceiving pro-pusher
who succeeds the most often now

Never fully eyeing or admitting your shock-
waves; vibrations of fallout pushing too

This self-imposed ignorance of the lives
destroyed, as each shoot falls behind you

It will allow focus and freedom from
the ugly hindering distractions of empathy

Defer now, head tucked down low,
to the lawnmower’s forward momentum

It will lead you home over those
you crush.

Orenco Project

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZZZ0EO?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1

The Orenco Project on Amazon.

Beaverton, Oregon’s Community Garden Program

Beaverton’s Community Garden Program (CGP), first established in the early 1980s, continues to bring residents together to engage in one of humanity’s oldest and most important undertakings: growing healthful foods locally.

The benefits of locally grown vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits are vast, and the positive interactions of people in a community who work on conjoined garden spaces are even greater.

Scott Keller, manager of the CGP, says the main goal of the program is to provide a dedicated place for Beaverton residents who may not have space at home to garden and grow supplemental food.

The program provides gardeners with a plot or raised bed, a portion of mulch and running water, which is available from April 1 through October 31. The plots are 25’ by 25’ and the raised beds are 4’ by 6’. Gardeners pay a $50.00 annual fee.

As for methods of growing, most “how-to” decisions are left up to the individual gardener. Keller stresses that the program is not certified organic nor chemical free, however, everyone is urged to employ environmentally friendly pest controls and fertilizers when possible. Herbicides are prohibited.

Expectations of etiquette for gardeners include responsibly tending to their plots or raised beds, while not interfering with neighboring spaces.

The CGP encourages a shared experience and helpful relations among gardeners, though the extent to which this happens depends on the people involved, Keller says.

The dynamics change from year to year.

At harvest time, Keller and other CGP staff have facilitated, with the gardeners, the donation of extra produce to organizations like The Oregon Food Bank.

A non-profit group called the Tualatin Valley Gleaners, which has registered a garden plot for the past four years, raises food for those who need supplemental help providing for themselves and their families.

Activities like these help to promote a communal energy in the otherwise self-contained, individualized community garden plots, suggests Amy Miner – Public Information Manager for the Beaverton Mayor’s Office – and Scott Keller.

The nature of gardening here is somewhat solitary,” says Keller, “where even at the largest garden you don’t see more than a dozen gardeners at any one time because people have different schedules.”

Though not always working the earth at the same time, the gardeners often make friends with the people around them. Some even swap seed-started plants.

Gardeners are encouraged to share knowledge with each other and participate in the gardener community,” Keller says, “but ultimately each gardener is responsible for his or her own plot.”

Although agrarian in its equitable division of land between the people involved, and its interest in promoting local agriculture, the garden program at this time is not a fully-realized communal cooperative.

Its structure is a microcosm of the structure of a municipality or even a neighborhood subdivision. Individual decisions and ownership rights trump concerns or actions with potential to benefit the group as a whole.

Participants can attempt to persuade each other with suggestions, but the essential rule remains, “Mind your own plot and don’t interfere with others.”

With the loss last year of the property containing the program’s largest garden – known as the Kennedy Gardens – Keller, along with Miner and the CGP staff have been considering the future.

The program is in transition,” says Miner, “and we are always working toward improvements to best serve the public.”

Finding a new site for the Kennedy Gardens has been under way since the CGP was notified by the owners of the previous location – St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church – they had decided to use the land for a different community-based purpose.

The lease arrangement ended December 31, 2008. At that time the City said it hoped to find replacements at one or more new locations for as many of the garden plots as possible.

Two challenges still face them, however: Finding a large enough piece of property, and gaining adequate funding to develop the site.

For more information on the progress of the program and to become a gardener, please contact the Community Garden Program by phone at (503) 526-2665 or on the Web at www.beavertonoregon.gov/gardens.