{ Ode to the Midwest }

January 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

Poetry from a native Nebraskan:

The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
—Bob Dylan

I want to be doused
in cheese
& fried. I want
to wander
the aisles, my heart’s
supermarket stocked high
as cholesterol. I want to die
wearing a sweatsuit—
I want to live
forever in a Christmas sweater,
a teddy bear nursing
off the front. I want to write
a check in the express lane.
I want to scrape
my driveway clean
myself, early, before
anyone’s awake—
that’ll put em to shame—
I want to see what the sun
sees before it tells
the snow to go. I want to be
the only black person I know.
I want to throw
out my back & not
complain about it.
I wanta drive
two blocks. Why walk—
I want love, n stuff—
I want to cut
my sutures myself.
I want to jog
down to the river
& make it my bed—
I want to walk
its muddy banks
& make me a withdrawal.
I tried jumping in,
found it frozen—
I’ll go home, I guess,
to my rooms where the moon
changes & shines
like television.
PS – Thanks, Ulzii.
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{ Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River }

April 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Words can’t describe the sky-splitting sound of ten thousand cranes taking flight at one time. Pictures can’t really, either*, but if you get the chance to see one of nature’s greatest shows, it’s definitely worth the trip. These photos were taken from a blind at Rowe Sanctuary. « Read the rest of this entry »

{ Kearney’s giant calzones }

April 5, 2014 § 1 Comment

Let’s start from the end of the day, when Andrea uttered, “I am going to tell my grandchildren about this calzone.”

The most unassuming restaurant I think I've ever seen.

The Flippin Sweet. Pretty sure it’s in an old garage.

As journalists and lovers of rock music, we were obligated to order the “Almost Famous.” Pretty sure it’s the best calzone I’ve ever had. Or best food I’ve ever had? I’d post a picture, but this isn’t Midwest Living, and we ate it all in five minutes. “If you were a baby, you would fit in the calzone,” says Andrea.

Anyway, to her credit, after the calzone she did add, “and the cranes,” rather quickly.

Because that’s why we’re really here. To see the Sandhill Cranes staying over near the Platte River. Us and dozens of these other suckers:

Viewing deck on the Platte River just off the Lowell Road bridge south of I-80 exit 285.

Viewing deck on the Platte River just off the Lowell Road bridge south of I-80 exit 285.

This is my third year in a row to see the cranes, but the first time I’ve planned a trip myself. First, I went with a group of journalism students, and last year I went with ornithology students. Now I’m with my Grampa Marty and good good friend Andrea. Very different experiences. I should write a guide book.

I'm fixing my hair, not tired of Grampa's company.

I’m fixing my hair, not tired of Grampa’s company. Although he does tease us quite a bit.

I knew they wouldn’t judge me if I royally messed up plans, and I needed someone to write down our bird list!

Thanks, AK!

{ Not pictured: } our hike around the Eastern Nebraska Platte River Preserve Native Prairie Nature Trail. (That’s a mouthful. They could work on marketing.) Anyway, I’ve been following Chris Helzer’s blog, “The Prairie Ecologist” for several months and was excited to see some of his work. Even though it’s April, and you kind of have to poke around in the grass to see green things.

Also, there’s a great Vietnamese/Thai restaurant on 4th Street in Grand Island, Nebraska. But what is this, Midwest Living? I’ll shut up now.

Can you tell I’m tired? I’m writing like Ernest Hemingway. We’re waking up in four hours to go to the blinds at Rowe Sanctuary. Those birds better appreciate it.

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