Baltimore, poetry, the chorus

from the lighthearted department

Spent the ||8ve session this week on four Robert Herrick poems–there’s nothing to make you stop thinking about Poland like a good half-hour spent directing “Upon Julia’s Clothes.” O, how that glittering taketh me. It is really good to be silly–it’s better still to take silly things seriously, and serious things in humor.

J and I spent time after the actual rehearsal working on some administrative stuff for the group. We’re being serious–speaking of taking more silly things seriously–we made a FB page, registered a domain name, created a to-do list, and J actually sketched a logo in a notepad in Subway.


today is the birthday of Parallel Octave. He is six months old, having been born on April 10, and is probably too young for Julia’s clothes or being upon them. The news is next. From National Public Radio in Washington, I’m Karl Castle.

Baltimore, theater


Reading of play in progress at CenterStage tonight: ran into two people who I know from Planet Theater, one only by email and another an old friend. I like how small our world continues to be.

Baltimore, Poland, the chorus

(carriage) return

I have returned from a week in Wroclaw, Poland, taking a theater workshop with Piesn Kosla (Song of the Goat) and am getting back into the swing of things here on campus–teaching, seminar, making final revisions to essays for a grant. Today is my third day back and the jet-lag is finally fading a bit.

I owe a great many people a great many phone calls, a situation complicated by falling asleep at 5 pm Eastern.

The theater workshop itself was extraordinary. I have a lot to say about it. I’m working on an account of the trip, which I hope to finish this week, while the memories are still recent.

The travel back from Poland to the US was no less extraordinary, but not in a good way–I managed to miss both a train and my flight, and have to rebook.

But I’m here now. It’s very good to be back. Baltimore has never looked so beautiful, and there’s nothing to make you appreciate Southern politeness, and the “how are you”s and door-holding-opens at every turn, like 24 hours stuck in Warsaw central station.

Baltimore, music

the spirit of Frank Zappa

“Rocker Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore but gained greater popular acclaim in Europe than in the United States. On Sunday, devout European fans of the late musician brought his mustachioed likeness back home in the form of a bronze bust.

Several hundred fans gathered on a sweltering afternoon as city officials dedicated the bust of the ponytailed rocker outside an east Baltimore library. The bust is a replica of another in a public square in Vilnius, Lithuania, and was donated to the city by Zappa enthusiasts in the small Baltic nation.

“The spirit of Frank Zappa is alive and well in Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.”

Yahoo! article. Via.

Baltimore, theater, workstyle

weekend update

Last night, working on the grant in the computer lab. Rows and rows of empty workstations. Not a lot of people writing papers on the first weekend of the semester, and the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. I wanted to go to a musical improv session (the Volunteers’ Collective is starting up again) at the Red Room, but I wasn’t done with the writing. Today, I’m still working on it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the last two Parallel Octave sessions. We had unexpected guests at both. Two weeks ago, two kids–brothers, I think–who lived nearby wandered in and ended up playing spontaneous percussion for us. Last week, some actor friends came in–people I did my very first Baltimore chorus workshop with–and one of them brought her sister, who was visiting. Last night, I saw the sister again, and learned that she, like I used to, is living from job to job, from one place to another, and not paying rent.

It’s unreal, but good, that I have a space where people like that can come through and play or act. Kids, or travelers.

Today, I woke up and made pancakes for the week. I’m in the mindset of preparing in advance. Everything has to be done by Friday, when I get on a plane.

There’s a free yoga class at the Hampden Baltimore Yoga Village at 5 pm, and I’m really going to try to get finished in time to go.



(1) It’s as bright as June outside but the sunlight is hollow. The wind is moving everything it can move.

(2) Our neighbors are having a yard sale: one neighbor purchases spoons from another.

(3) Coming out of the Kinkos with copies of Tamora and The Demon Lover / House-Carpenter song, the wall of green-and-yellow trees along Charles Street is festooned with loose, swirling leaves, from sidewalk to canopy. Circles of leaves are spinning and elevating on the concrete steps.

(4) The mail contains a renewal notice for a magazine and a train ticket from Berlin to Poznan.

Baltimore, theater

animated cacti

The Annex Theater premieres


Fri Sep 3, 8pm.
Creative Alliance at The Patterson
$10, $8 mbrs & stus.

Fistful of Flowers is a soulful, multi-hued, queered Western. Collaborating with artists, performers and musicians, Annex Theater is one of Baltimore’s most innovative young companies. Hurt cowboy, ex-lovers seek vengance amidst animated cacti and live music by the company and musician Gerry Mac. A woman plays a gay man while an exit wound bleeds a thirty-foot long batik of the western landscape.

3134 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21224
Phone: 410-276-1651

Baltimore, F&F, gradschool


Off for the second day of departmental TA training / boot camp for the introductory creative writing course we all teach. It’s fun to have more of an idea of what’s up this time around.

My freshman roommate has been in town for the past few days, too. Been getting to see more of Baltimore with her–we went to Fed Hill last night for dinner with an old friend of hers from Kauai.