THIS WEEK’S POEM, MY ATTEMPT AT POETRY

I’m continuing to write weekly poems. Here’s this last week’s first draft:

LO QUE DECIMOS DESPUES

Como narcos, lenguaje en tu boca,

mentiras, fragmentos de lengua, o

fraccíones de vidrio,

espejos oscuros en uno cuerto

de crepusculo.

Digame, niña, ¿Que te quieres?

Te quiero, pero…

Tiempo no es fáctico, no es lineal,

en mi cerebro los círculos

tocan, se besan,

con labios secos, poco de

sangre, pies descalzos y manos

abiertas.

Despues, puños cerrados.

 

I wrote it in Spanish, but here’s my English translation:

WHAT WE SAY THEN

As drug traffickers, language in your mouth,

lies, fragments of tongue, or

fractions of glass,

mirrors, dark in a room of twilight.

Tell me, girl, What do you want?

I love you, but…

Time is not factual, is not linear,

in my brain the circles

touch, they kiss,

with dry lips, a little bit of

blood, bare feet and hands

open.

Later, clenched fists.

 

 

 

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Week One Of Climbing Training

As a try-hard local, I figured I’d post some training weeks in prep for my El Cap race with Hans Florine in June.

Week One Of Training:

Sun – 20 boulder routes at the gym (up to V3), then sent one V8 for power

Mon – Climbing rest: Light weights, jumping jacks, push-ups

Tues – Speed climbing outside at The Columns. 7 fast laps (5.8+ to 5.10c)

Wed – Easy climbing outside, bouldering at Sisters, 10 routes up to V3

Thurs – Active rest: 4-mile hike + 4 easy boulder routes (VBs and V0s)

Fri – 2-mile run, 1.5-mile hike, + outdoor bouldering at Sisters (13 routes up to V6)

Sat – 10 outdoor boulder routes up to V6

I’m Racing Hans Florine In June!

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Hans Florine lead-climbing on El Cap, Yosemite Valley

“Super Local vs. Super Pro – An El Cap Day At A Crap Cliff”

Recently, I was being interviewed by an adventure journalist name Jayme Moye, and she decided to help set up a strange event.
The short version of the story is this: Hans Florine is flying up to Eugene, Oregon to race me on an El Cap Day (3000 feet of climbing in one day) at my local cliff where I’ve done many El Caps. He’s a world class speed climber, but he doesn’t know the routes. I’m just an average local dirtbag – not world-class by any standards – but I do know the routes.
Hans Florine has won a world speed-climbing championship, three X-Game gold medals, and holds many world records.
I really sorta kinda like to climb a lot, pretty often, and anywhere I can.
The race is high-stakes: We’re betting a beer, a burrito, and a monster cookie.
The journalist (Jayme Moye) has written for National Geographic, Outside, and Men’s Journal, and she’ll be writing about the event for multiple magazines. Climbing Magazine has asked me to write a feature for Climbing.com.
Running laps at The Columns

Me running laps at the Columns, Eugene, Oregon, on an ascender (with my surgically repaired thumb in a cast)

Specifics On The Race:
– Our local cliff is only 47 feet tall, so each time I do an El Cap Day, it’s 64 route-laps. I last did an El Cap Day there two weeks ago. The last time I climbed there was Tuesday.

– I usually fix a few lines and run 64 laps with an ascender on a drag, then rappel each lap and start over. This is the system we’ll use for our race.

– Although I never race my El Cap Days, it usually takes me 3.5+ hours to rock climb 3000 feet (while eating and talking to people a little bit), but I’ll train and get that time down before the race (Note: The time includes 64 rappels).
– Hans has climbed the real El Cap in under 2.5 hours – and formerly held the world speed record on that cliff with Alex Honnold – but again, this is a new cliff to Hans, and he doesn’t have to rappel 3000 feet when he speed climbs in Yosemite.
– But – honestly – that might not matter. He might just crush me anyway. So I’ll just do my best. I do know the cliff well and have first-ascent trad routes at The Columns of up to 5.12cR.
– The dates we’ve set out (three in case of weather, specifically rain) are June 10-12. Tentatively, the race is set for June 10th, at 9:00 AM.
Character details:
– I’m more than 10 years younger than Hans. So that might help me?
– Just kidding: Look at his picture and notice that he’s kind of fit.
– Also, just two years ago, Alex Honnold said in an interview that Hans is still the greatest in the world. Since Alex Honnold is considered the best in the world by most people, this is a huge compliment.
– Injury notes: I have a brain injury from getting hit by a car on my bike three years ago (and a torn right meniscus + surgically repaired right thumb), yet I keep climbing every week at the crag. Hans probably has a few things that hurt on his body…doesn’t everybody?
I’m ready to get crushed compete!

Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister

Cumberland Regional HS Media Center

Too Shattered for Mending by Peter Brown Hoffmeister. September 12, 2017. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 384 p. ISBN: 9780553538076.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA; Lexile: 680.

“Little” McCardell is doing all he can just to keep it together after the disappearance of his grandfather “Big” and the arrest of his older brother, JT. He’s looking out for his younger cousin, trying to stay afloat in school, working in the town graveyard for extra cash, and in his spare time he’s pining after Rowan–the girl JT was dating until he got locked up. When the cops turn up asking questions about Big, Little doesn’t want to get involved in the investigation–he’s already got enough to deal with–but he has no choice. Especially not after the sheriff’s deputy catches him hunting deer out of season and threatens to prosecute unless he cooperates.

Soon Little finds himself drowning in secrets…

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The Best Birthday Advice Ever!

My friend Derek Harney just gave me this excellent birthday advice and I want to pass it on. He wrote:
 
“I don’t want to miss this birthday, since it will likely be the last one you have! Here are a couple tips to taking advantage of being an old man!
 
Remember to complain about everything that sucks, like the entire world. Sit on the couch and watch the TV as much as physically possible, and then a little more. Build a mound of empty beer cans on the couch next to you so no one can sit next to you and steal your alone time. Be rude to people you’ve never met, they don’t know what you’ve been through! Criticize the youth, they’re stupid! Remember to distance yourself from your pesky family, no one wants to do girly stuff with their daughters! Don’t let anyone challenge your ideas, you have no room for improvement. Most importantly remember to take everything very seriously! Goofing off is for hippies, and you’ll never get into a good retirement home if you waste your time making jokes and playing children’s games! Don’t forget any of that! If you do you could get a belly ache from laughing and that would be very uncomfortable. Comfort is the most important thing! Also Beer! Beer is the most important thing!”

Reading With Willy Vlautin, Wed, Feb 21st

I’m reading with Willy Vlautin tomorrow night in Eugene as part of his release tour for his new novel Don’t Skip Out On Me. We’ll be at The Foundry, Sam Bonds on 8th, at 7PM.

Willy was in London last week, and Portland last night (reading at Powells). He’s one of my favorite authors and an incredible reader.

Come check us out if you’re free!

Works In Progress – Spanish Poetry: La Pregunta

I’ve been writing poems in Spanish lately, then translating them back into English.

Here’s an attempt – a work in progress – a rough draft of a recent poem:

La Pregunta

Eres como un eclipse,

oscuridad del sol, día

muerte un poco

una sepultura, yo camino

y veo el cielo,

giró violeta, se sombra.

Un cuervo talla los cosmos,

confesor negro, pajaro

sacerdotal, y yo pregunto

mi consulta.

 

And in English:

 

The Question

You are an eclipse,

obscurity of the sun, day

dying a little

a tomb, I walk

and see the sky

twist violet, shadow itself.

A crow carves the cosmos,

black confessor,

sacerdotal bird, and I ask

my question.