Monthly Archives: April 2011

Literature as Carpentry

“Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry.”

— Gabriel García Márquez

Red and Green Things

tulip canopies over cafe tables
brick tail light
stop signs

The Only Things

The only things you have time for:
being present, authenticity, service to others and a sense of humor.

–Annie Lamott


Fevered shouting
at unseen leering giants

legions of armored demons
pushing shopping carts

towering over the homeless guy
waiting for the light to turn.

Advice from the World’s Oldest Man

_ Embrace change, even when the change slaps you in the face. (“Every change is good.”)

_ Eat two meals a day (“That’s all you need.”)

_ Work as long as you can (“That money’s going to come in handy.”)

_ Help others (“The more you do for others, the better shape you’re in.”)

Then there’s the hardest part. It’s a lesson Breuning said he learned from his grandfather: accept death.

“We’re going to die. Some people are scared of dying. Never be afraid to die. Because you’re born to die,” he said.

–Walter Breuning, died yesterday in Great Falls Montana at the age of 111

Pablo Casals on Patriotism

The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?

–Pablo Casals

I’m Buying

Chicago. Walking across the State street bridge on a sunny, windy spring evening in that crystaline Chicago light. A guy was panhandling in the middle of the bridge. Good eye contact. Friendly but not obsequious. Said he lives under a bridge.

Do you really live under a bridge?

Yea. A lot of homeless in Chicago.

I gave him some money. He shook my hand.

My name is Andrew Cobb, he said. Are you hungry? I’m buying.

No, but thanks. Good luck.