Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Could there be a poem in here?

As of August 24, 2010, I can’t imagine leaving Seattle even for a job working for my father and sister. I suppose it would be different if I were asked to move to Portland instead of Lebanon (38 miles southeast of Salem) population 15,397 and is 93.98% white. I really don’t want to go back into a rural area to live, but, at the same time, I do love visiting (or spending time in) quiet places like Grand Ronde Oregon, which is only a few miles to the west from where I grew up in Rowell Creek valley (between Valley Junction and Fort Hill).

Rowell Creek Road reminds me of Tolkien's, Shire. There are people who've lived in the Grand Ronde-Willamina region for multiple generations, who've never heard or ventured up into that valley. Maybe the Shire is not the correct adjective or metaphore to use. Maybe the Willamina-Grand Ronde area is the Shire and Rowell Creek valley is like that hidden Elven highway in the Shire that Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry stumbled upon when they were stumbling off the beaten path to Buckland or like the Old Forest where Tom Bombadil resided.

Sunday, after singing old time gospel at the eleven o'clock Mass at Immaculate Conception, I argued with my father regarding the details of the deal, it dawned on me that I could simply take a leap of faith into the knowledge that I will find a livable job here. To stay here is certainly scarier. To stay here means I have to actually exercise faith or even ask people whom I'm not related to for help; it means I may have to lower my standard of living. To stay here is like riding on a motorcycle versus riding in a car. I know that once my father passes on, the safety of that car will be blasted away and I will be standing exactly where I am right now. If this business goes under, I will be worse off than I am now, because even in a good economic climate Oregon's job market is depressed. In my early life as an Oregon resident, the highest wage I ever earned was about fifty cents more than the prevailing minimum wage. The person who wants to stay here is that individual who wants to ride a motorcycle into the heart of danger. It's the person who wants to break the promise he made to his mother at age seventeen not to purchase a motorcycle till after she passed away, because she could not bear to see me killed or maimed by one like her younger brother almost was or like how Pastor Ned Landis of Emmanuel Lutheran in Willamina did. (Pastor Ned took a job in Vancouver WA, at a much larger parish. He gave six weeks to this process of making his rounds to visit and say goodbye to all of his parishioner. We were the last folks he visited. He left our house on his motorcycle and hit an elk going nearly 100 mph and skidded for eighty yards before he came to a stop. Ned survived, but he never recovered his full intellectual capacity and thusly, never pastored a church ever again. However, he did pass on a few years ago and I learned that he converted Catholic around the same time that I did. Go figure. It must have been the motorcycle, the thrill of riding the beast exposed to the elements that caused him to step off the protestant plank and become catholic) The person who wants to stay is that individual who wants to become a man like his father who can stand (for the most part) on his own two financial feet.

Anyhow, the other day, I was over at Aaron’s having dinner prepared by his beautiful partner Pei. Afterwards, we retired to his living room to drink a Smokey single malt scotch aged ten years to play scrabble. Aaron, you should know, has recently published an experimental fiction novel that will soon be released on amazon.com (and other places) and is also a member of my writers critique group called Red Pen. His first book published in 2006 is called “Reserved for Emperors.”

Here are the words generated by the scotched up game of scrabble. I've extracted the words played and wrote them bellow for sake of convenience. I lost by 40 points with a score of 195. There must be a poem in here somewhere:

Frown                           Treads                           An
Na                                Nor                               Mart
Fogs                             Gave                             Vat
Given                            Dorm                            Jog
Hog                              Year                             Hog
Do                                Sud                              Huh
Dime                            The                               Rind
Clue                             Cube                             Pe
Plots                             Steep                            Lean
Kiln                              Fogs                             Gave
Vat                              Given                            Weary
Screw                          Wine                             Year
Ax                               Sud                               Quod
Bust                             Zits                                Lie
Be                               It                                    Or

Nor gave Quod [a] frown
[He wore] the lean dorm year treads
[Dipped in a] dime wine vat [of] Po

Fogs steep lie or an ax
Hog gave Po [a] weary sud screw

Cube-mart kiln bust
Zits plots be it
Or lie weary rind huh

Given zits,
Jog the cube
An ax nor mart or pe na

An abstract ditty anyway…

Feel free to rearrange the words in any order you wish and leave it in a comment.


  1. From Lutheranism to Catholicism ... that's an interesting path, for sure.

  2. Thank you for reading my agnst JC!