Saturday, February 6, 2010

Opechee Bay

Will Oggy fall through the ice?

Colby Field in February: A Remembrance

Ice cracks not balls on bats
broken brown grass silently awaits April
as the player in his down jacket paddles through winter,
reading Robert Frost, texting secrets, copying Gene boxes from his lab partner
"What's that one?"
"Beats me. I copied it from Mary."

The empty dugout, the buried foul line, the absent bases
are mysteries to be solved by Spring.
The black rubber swing seats are ice cold in the empty playground
shoes squeak on the basketball courts now. The sun limps tiredly over the horizon.
The air is full of wood smoke.
Far away a motor turns a screw drill into the ice where fish eye a worm with suspicion.
No score, top of the first inning, no outs, no one on base, no count.
Someday the lights will shine again on 18 players, the lights will tell their story
On a winter day at Colby Field history whispers through the bare branches.
On a February day at Colby Field a traveler rubs his numb hands together and conjures a June vision.

Character, Courage, Loyalty
the three pillars of little league baseball
where do we learn these skills?
Not in winter
not on an empty field
but in May and June when your friend strikes out and you don't make fun of him
when you are sure you will strike out but you go to bat anyway
when your team needs you and you need them
this is the February fertilizer of Colby Field, what makes the grass grow.

Laconia Picture Tour

As requested by my hobo buddy Junk Master McGee in S.F. here are some pics to tug at your heart...
I missed these moments of clear cold in New England. Something about it stirs my poet's heart like '40s Swing.
You think S.F. is where poets go, but that was in 1952, when poetry was on paper. I didn't feel anything on the South West Coast. I'm dead to concrete. I didn't know I missed having numb fingers until I had numb fingers.
Just walking around here made poetry spring to mind everywhere. Everything seems to be worth talking about. Kids skating on a frozen lake. Using a shoe for a hockey puck. Every moment seems sigh-worthy. Two golden retrievers looking for their master. Snow banks against a fence. No sign of birds. Ice. To me at least this is winter. When I was in L.A. or S.F. it seemed the poet part of me was dead, supplanted by a desire to swim all year round and wear $200 jeans. This is part of the reason I wanted to come to New England for this winter, to resurrect that poet and see what he has to say for himself.

This is some kind of granite planter box behind the library. I thought it was a fireplace and I suppose it could be used for that.

The tracks leading to new vistas...a sign says this is an active track but I haven't seen a train. The depot is a bar called the Black Cat.

This is the Library where Courtney works...

The town square and congregational church in downtown Laconia. Could be 1890.

Bird house near Library. Empty.

Opechee Bay north of Laconia. Frozen solid for ice fishing and hockey.

Chief Sachem, the mascot of Laconia school district. This was carved with a chainsaw.
Irresistible slice of pepperoni pizza. Fresh and hot. I give it high marks for delivery. The oil was bright red denoting excellent grade beef. The crust was chewy and tasty. $2. And I think they made it in 4 minutes so that's speedy and good.

Laconia has one of the highest pizza place:person ratio. There are at least 11 places to buy a pizza.

Here's R. old victorian. You can rent that little watchtower for $85. It's big enough for a couch.

The Spa, with $3 six packs of 18 ounce PBRs, and Happy Jacks tabacco shop.

A long shot of the house on Church Street. You can see El Conquistador on the left there hidden from the police...I live in the back carriage house. It looks like a barn (was a barn) but it is connected by an unheated corridor. Laconia has many big houses that are now boarding houses. Lots of11 bedroom houses. It's odd. We think R Rooms was an old brothel.

The tracks again...

You gotta click on this one to see the squirrel jumping. There are at least 3 squirrels in this picture. Can you spot them all?
The winter here is not like the arctic. People and animals lead normal lives. There were four squirrels chasing each other around. I think they were getting freaky too...making baby squirrels. I guess if you want to get freaky you got to jump from one branch to the other. Take risks.

I noticed there are like 5 different American Flags in these random pictures. Like I couldn't go ten feet without seeing an American Flag. I just randomly took these pictures and only now do I see that the flags are in the background everywhere. There's some essay in that but I'm not going to write it now. I've got an orange to eat. Maybe it's the simple fact that I live in America and New Hampshire folks like to remind everyone where they are. Like, during any given argument a man might be able to say, "Da ya know wha' cahntry ya in?" and turn and point. "'merica!"

sleeping with snakes redux

Some genius suggested I place this link here...again...I don't know why. Promote it here when you are already reading better material for free? I guess if you want to be materialistic then go bid on the book, but I've already said I'm selling these books to any reader who wants one and I'll personalize it. I can't really blame you if you'd rather buy some whiskey.
What can you afford? It costs me $5. I think $12 is reasonable. If you drive a newer car then call it $15. If you just want to donate to my life and have no intention of reading the story then call it $50. In fact, no, I don't want your pity money.
There's no need to go through eBay. Just email me.
I've sent two out so far and one of them was nearly destroyed in transit. No word on the other one. If yours is destroyed or vanishes I'll replace it for free...unless I don't have any more in which case you are out of luck.
I was horrified to find that my original listing said "Brand new FIRST ADDITION"
Ugh. no wonder no one bought it.

Note to self: no listing stuff on ebay when drunk.

Ebay listing
For sale is 1 brand new FIRST EDITION paperback copy of Sleeping with Snakes: Notes from the Los Angeles Underbelly.
This anthology of stories by Los Angeles based authors was compiled by anthologist Ron Sievers.
The stories, confessions, essays and anecdotes cover many mature topics.

The seller is a contributor in the book and will personally sign the title page if the buyer requests it.

Many of these authors have not been published anywhere else so this would be the first edition of their first publication. A personalized copy of this book will be as rare as an empty seat on the Express 333 bus from Venice to the Staples Center.

The famous Los Angeles drunk/writer Charles Bukowski is also a contributor but the seller is not going to sign his name since Bukowski is dead and that would be rude.

Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.