Good Morning!

This blog basically doesn’t exist anymore. I write a daily email that bears almost no resemblance to the stuff that appears on this blog.

Readers have called my emails "better than most of the junk I read on the Internet" and "good to wake up to." Many readers “can’t believe how long you’ve kept this up.

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Discovering the strange, just right there just an inch from where you always look

Our homes become familiar within a few weeks of habitation.
Within a few hours, the rhythms of the walls are already those
That will coast you through the next years or decades.
An airport terminal during a long delay already shows the
Rhythmic waves of familiarity and it only takes the rivulet
Of time to define the current through the rock to make
The river of memory and connotation that, after all those
Million to the billionth power removals of boulder molecules, the centuries-
Long smoothing of the rock veins, after all that time
The river still just follows that same path winding with a
Torrent where the rivulet bubbled and trickled.

Point is here you are, you are the river, this home,
Here you’re at home, you’ve seen this, you are a pro
At matters pertaining to familiarity with your own home.
But look! There just right plain in sight, look there all
Along was that pipe leading into the shower head
Always so foreign? Did it always look so ramshackle, so
Like it’s in some Mexican village, so just like a painted pipe
Through the wall? Of course, it’s always been there, every
Morning for a million to the billionth showers. You missed it.
What else is strange? What else touches you, is just inches
From you crawling so strange?

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Ah, blog

I’m tweeting no more, at least for a while, so I gotta put my thoughts somewhere (public). A few goals in quitting Twitter:

1. Think and write in a longer format. I have been thinking in tweets. Even the conscious amount I’ve been doing of this is disturbing, and I can’t imagine how much its been pervading other ways of thinking. When your most frequent creative output is 140 characters, you’re bound to develop something of a 140-character character.

2. Get away from the trolls. For almost two years, I’ve tried to endear myself to the menchen and frauen of the schadenfreude kingdom. They’re funny people, many of them are cool, sometimes they’re capable of some pretty great social and media commentary, but bullying is their bread and butter. These folk take a hard line on trolls, but there’s a shared impulse to enjoy the suffering of others. At my closest to them, I received arbitrary affirmation in the form of retweets, favorites, and comments on Twitter (still not sure what made some tweets more worthy than others). If these are the nuggets amid a backdrop of indifference and snark, no thanks.

3. Greater control over my thoughts. "To some degree, it is choosing to subject ourselves to thousands of ads throughout the day, but ones that come from trusted sources we care about, so they’re actually impactful." I’ve been using Twitter as a pretty bad RSS reader for a couple of years. Instead I’m going to use an RSS reader.

4. Greater control over my mood. Conflicts are endemic on Twitter. If you engage with people at all, even with the best of intentions, messages will be misinterpreted and conflict will arise, often leading to a premature block and the end of a conversation. It’s inevitable that many 140-character, semi-broadcast messages with context only of other messages bearing mostly no relation to said messages will be misunderstood. On Twitter, it’s uniquely easy to assume the worst and end a conversation (forever) with a click.

I owe Twitter a lot. My presence on there is part of the reason I have my current (great) job. And Twitter is how I met maybe the first person who really seems to completely get where I’m coming from. The platform has a pretty incredible capacity to connect people. It’s an unprecedented real-time zeitgeist of a massive portion of the world’s population.

But Twitter giveth, and Twitter taketh away, and these days, for me, it seems to taketh much more than giveth. So smell you later, Twitter.

More blogs to come because I have no where else to put this stuff. 

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Rumors of a Sixth Coin

Crawling elbowy up the wicker
carpet steps, 22 St. James still ringing
with milk odors first cultured
in 1936. St. Elmo keeping watch
over his disciples. An old nurse
wonders who cares for old nurses.
All the rugs are partially disintegrated;
around 1967 you could really call it
a single ruggy mass, loose affiliations,
a pungency covering at least
part of each square foot of the
"pre-War." Do I have your permission
to show the last three photos? Public
domain because it’s sepia toned.

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Booth Stamp

The booth’s rubber stamp has
Not been lost since the museum
Opened in 1946. It has received
New rubber approximately every
Two years. By the end of a two-
Year cycle, tickets are marked with
An indistinct red splotch, bearing
Almost no relation to the seal
Of the Locomotive Association of
North America. The stamp is now
Older than approximately 35 per-
Cent of items in the museum’s
Permanent collection. The first
Stamper, Edmund Talgry, died in
1997. You think maybe he stamped
All his life, but he didn’t. He was
Primarily a doctor. He stamped only as
A teenager, but his love of trains
Never died. You can still see
His dusty train set, still mostly
Intact, in the basement of Angela
Nibbins, his daughter, who inherited,
With her husband, the first stamper’s home. 

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Thought while reaching for and opening a hymnal one afternoon alone in the church

Eloise dreamed of tripping Father Bill.
The worst part was who could she
confess to? Father Abe listened like
a table fan, spitting out your own words
with robotic vibrato. Father Ned,
God forgive her, smelled too much like
cat-soaked record store carpet to
spend even a moment near let alone
the tear-filled minutes needed to
confess, fully and with clear heart,
her devilish lust to bring Father Bill
Eckhart, keeper of her secrets, sins,
and ungodly technicolor fantasies,
crashing to the hard carpet floor
of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s rectory. 

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Ignatius Reilly

Ignatius Reilly

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Re: two guns not far apart in space, time, or proximity to children

The boy’s fuzzy shaved skull
leather brown against the
monolith black of the tall barrel’s
NYPD steel. Down the guarded
steps, walk into a C train down-
town 14 stops. Find the hydrant
that washed away with speed
but no urgency several gallons
of evidence pouring from the
cracked open pressure cooker
of a three-year-old’s expanding
skull. Growth is rapid but
not inevitable in the first several
dozen months of life. Did some-
one (a sanitation worker?) from
exhaustion not cruelty, think
of the baby’s auto-cleaned blood

"at least the hydrant
saved me some effort”? 

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Weekend Plans

Kelsey goes about serrating all the blades in his home
as a preventative measure against—
well he hasn’t figured what yet, but this seems to be
a plenty good idea. “I’ll be prepared and look how
they’ll be gawking when I’m the only one
able to saw through
(that’s it saw through!)
the doors when the locks rust shut,
the flood water bursting in;
good luck, sheep! My knives are mine.”
He’ll leave just one blade behind, he figures,
as a last act of Christ-like charity
bestowed on those who offered him not even
the empty appearance of basic neighborliness.

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Feeding Time

I’m at, say, the lion’s cage at the zoo.
It’s not a cage anymore but a plexiglass
wall or pane. I’m, maybe, let’s say four
steps back (my steps; just maybe one
for the lion) and let’s say I have a pulled-
pork sandwich in my pocket for, well
I don’t know, I think that might encourage
the lion, who probably needs none (my
meaty cheeks are encouragement enough,
I imagine). Let’s say all this and standing
there at the lion’s, right in the lion’s
framed face (a frame of hair, what??) my
thought is this plexiglass could simply
vanish and I might be, the lion might
cancel me right there. Call this either
evolutionary adaptations at work, trump-
ing domesticity; or else it says there’s
some baseline missing within me,
a lack of faith so pervasive gravity
and object permanence are suspect. All
the world’s a poltergeist. No wonder
involved. No chance pigs might fly but,
the containers, the levelers, the weights
might suddenly give out. A worldwide
crash in the laws of physics. Two feet
held to the ground by brute will alone. 

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