Two short poems about airplanes (from my pilot hero, Patrick Smith, via Salon
At the far end of Heathrow Airport is the row of hangars
where they load up the cargo planes. You walk across the asphalt and hide
from the rain under the wing of a Virgin Atlantic 747, orange and white,
and below the windscreen is a hideous emblem of a woman with a Union Jack
trailing from her hand. Through the mist are the lights of Terminal Four,
where the Concorde docks and where you can walk from airplane to hotel room,
or onto the subway, without even stepping outside. You remember
a thirty-dollar breakfast and the rows and rows of pilgrims headed to Mecca,
in the spring of 1992. Now a British Airways jet turns onto the runway,
Your adrenaline surges as its engines rev, and then it's gone in a blast of heat
and a vortex of fog around the wingtips. Up on the fin is a small crest,
and if you bother to read the small print it says "To Fly, To Serve" and you think,
hey that's a noble enough ambition.
Seven hours away the twin blue towers of the Whitestone Bridge, camouflaged
against the noon sky, poke their heads above a checkerboard runway barrier.
Sitting at the gate, it strikes you, like New York fist in the nose, that it was seven
years ago this very afternoon, when you made your first trip to Manhattan,
21st Street, and how you were at least as excited
as Neil Armstrong must have been, skipping across the surface of the moon.
It was a warm day -- men and women in shorts in Gramercy Park, piles
of old snow still in the gutter. What do they mean anymore, these fragments
of a city? The cab driver who knew the capital of every country in the world.
The taste of lemon on your girlfriend's breath. None of it much like
the romantic gray Gotham of the movies, and today the other fifteen people
on the two o'clock shuttle don't seem too concerned with history, yours or theirs.
The order of the day, in this so-different life, is only to get home. Outside, seagulls
are circling like buzzards, gleaming yellow taxis slam shut their doors.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
"Muir Woods, Thinking Of Earthquakes"
The approach to the airport is from the west, snowcaps buttered
yellow at sunrise, and then the land flattens out.
Next come the lights of the lower East Bay, and the long skinny span
of the San Mateo. The skyline like a pincushion between the hills.
But I'm looking northward, below the fog as if peeking
beneath the corner of a worn carpet. Follow the coast.
Any of a hundred of those quiet seaside towns,
could have been the death of me. Funny, the blurred recollections
after five quick years and a hundred unanswered letters. Ready I was,
to fell an acre of redwoods with the side of my bare hand,
if that's what it took. To stand with crazy Californians
scrambling in disaster drills, our houses toppling
from mud-soaked hillsides, if that's what you asked of me.
Memories and their aftershocks -- these clear new earthly fears:
fault lines, fires, the cold Pacific tide against my feet.
Here are two pages dedicated to that stupid 'words ending in -gry' puzzle, from puzzle newsgroup rec.puzzles
and the wonderful internet public library
And a Salon's-not-dead-yet set: re-barcoding, heh heh. Nudist swingers magazine 'Jaybird,' (great name, at least) and an article (and gallery) about a book about women in white cotton panties. Speaking of Salon, incidentally, that Day Pass thing is such an absurd money-on-the-web plan that it should've been launched in the mid-90's. I was going to make some extended rats-on-a-sinking-ship metaphor, but... nah.
designed some of the most famous images in computerland, including the smiling Mac and the original Windows Solitaire interface.
And here's the Visual Thesaurus, which is, at least, a really cool concept. And the Beatles Discography, from which I learn that my favorite Beatles song is, in John's opinion, one of the worst Beatles songs ever.