Three Line Lunch: Sportin’ the Cargo Shorts to the Pool Party

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 306 Sportin’ the Cargo Shorts to the Pool Party Just gotta couple more things  I gotta put in my shorts,  Then I’ll be ready to...

Three Line Lunch: Bargaining Ramps Up

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 305 Bargaining Ramps Up You can let them rile you, But don’t Let them rattle you.

Three Line Lunch: Now

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 304 Now You can only do what you can do, And you can only do What you can do now.

Three Line Lunch: Party Report #4: Prince at the Aladdin on Big Screen DVD...

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 303 Party Report #4: Prince at the Aladdin on Big Screen DVD “Real musicians up there,” says musician Jozef to musician Jimmy, “not syntheziers.” Jame’s Brown’s trombonist duels Prince’s guitar. “With real lungs and real fingers,” I say. “And real hearts and real souls,” says...

Three Line Lunch: Party Report #3: Driving the House

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 302 Party Report #3: Driving the House “Alimony,” mourns party guest Jimmy. “My wife got all my houses.” He gives a wry snickering laugh. “But I got to keep all my cars.” “You can always sleep in your car,” I say, “but you can’t drive around in your...

Three Line Lunch: Party Report #2: I Love a Good LA Party

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 301 Party Report #2: I Love a Good LA Party Jimmy hung a lot with Leon Russell after the divorce. “He was not a happy man. His wife got the house in the hills, but he was entitled to half of everything else. Made me go down the basement and take half the canned goods out the survival...

Hippie Squared: Penetrating the Wizard’s Bookshelf [Father’s Day]...

When I was a kid my dad was a private detective. He was a spy. He was a master scientist and a crusader for justice. He was a wizard. His bookshelves held the keys to his powers. They loomed above me there in his den where I slept when I visited him on weekends. Jacked up on Pepsi and potato chips, I would lie awake for hours scanning the titles. They held secrets. They held clues. They held knowledge, wisdom, spells and formulas. I memorized their titles and the swirling art on their covers. I read the back cover blurbs, the quotes from critics, the forewords and prefaces and afterwords. I scanned their indexes for the power words and concepts. I dipped into their contents and read a sentence here, a paragraph there. How could one person master it all, I wondered. How could I ever hope to be as well-read, as well-informed, as penetrating and wise. I loved to watch my dad, the 70s divorced bachelor professor, hold forth at parties. I liked to watch the eyes turned toward him, the people assembled around him suspended on the line of his conversation. It always seemed to me that whatever the voices in the room, my dad’s came out definitive. “Of course,” I would think, when I heard him lay out with clarity the injustices of racism, segregation, chauvinism. He would eagerly argue for the Equal Rights Amendment or Affirmative Action against anyone, of any race, man or woman. He’d flay Nixon with glee. The Vietnam War, once he got ahold of it, was transparently a mistake, a waste. He seemed to gain stature—like Gandalf in Tolkein’s descriptions of how he would transform from a bent old man into an imposing figure when riled...

Three Line Lunch: Party Report #1: Email from the Eighties

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 300 Party Report #1: Email from the Eighties “Quaaludes are still the only drug I really miss,” says middle-aged party guest David. “You could basically deny all responsibility,” he sits a little sad and frumpy. Party guest Jimmy laughs. “I’ve got the formula. I can email it to you...

Three Line Lunch: Listening to Neil Young in the Car

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 299 Listening to Neil Young in the Car (Cinnamon Girl) In such command of the colors of his instrument: His electric broad, heavy and deep; his acoustic strung with sunlit sand. His voice shot through with light, thin reed floating on...

Three Line Lunch: So the Wind Won’t Blow it All Away [BOOK WEEK]

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 298 So the Wind Won’t Blow it All Away by Richard Brautigan Had to read the book very slowly. Every line so beautiful and sad, So known and understood, that over and over and over again It broke my fuckin’...

Three Line Lunch: Pavlov’s Harp: The Books Written in My Brain [BOOK WEEK]...

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 297 Pavlov’s Harp: The Books Written in My Brain Any book anywhere anytime: spine straight, open in a lap, hefted in my hand, Splashes resonant redolent chord of music down library concert halls of my brain, revs Neuron harp strings poised shivering for angel finger caress; a deeply programmed...

Three Line Lunch: Only Now

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 296 Only Now There is only now. And now. And now.

Three Line Lunch: Almost Indecent [BOOK WEEK]

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 295 Almost Indecent Writing is something you do When you’re alone, And then you share it.

Three Line Lunch: The Man With the Three Point Knife

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 294 The Man With the Three Point Knife (2010 NBA Finals Lakers-Celtics Game 5 in Boston) Bryant in third quarter becomes a surgeon with a hot sharp scalpel His three point shots slice in clean and precise But the patient still...

Three Line Lunch: Not a Fan

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 291 Not a Fan (2010 NBA Finals Lakers-Celtics Game 4 in Boston) At end of couch Elise leans against me. Imogen cat jumps on her lap, knocks remote. Arches back and rubs her gray and white furry face against Elise’s face, then jumps To my chest and bumps my chin. “Not much of a basketball fan, are you...

Three Line Lunch: Top Three Tips for Living in a Climate of Fear

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 287 Top Three Tips for Living in a Climate of Fear Refuse to be afraid. Band together and refuse to distrust each other. Be discrete, yes, but refuse to be ashamed or to...

Hippie Squared: Before the Jump

So with a blog due last night and a basketball game to watch, I thought I’d try a little experiment: write a poem about the game in real time as I watched the game. Didn’t get very far: Elise came home with dinner, we paused the game, fed the dogs and cats, had pina coladas on the patio, came back and watched the rest together. But I got a chunk out of it that I like. And I aim to continue the practice throughout the series, so by the next Hippie Squared I’ll have more. In the meantime, after the jump, a little basketball poem I’m calling “Before the Jump.” Before the Jump (Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals 2010 Game 2 Impressions) It starts from before the beginning: Player introductions. Laker Center Andrew Bynum bounces out Shoulder-butts a teammate and spins off him. Derek Fisher ducks and crab-walks out through standing teammates, Brushing each hand, then in a ritual series of hand motions He pats his thighs, cross-brushes his lapels, passes both hands Across his bald head, pats his lapels. Kobe strides out, brushing and slapping a gauntlet of teammates hands, His game-face on: mouth face set, eyes focused straight ahead And right past the present into the game, unflashy bravado of the champion, The one who has done it and knows how to do it How it works and feels in the mind Where championships are won, how it works and feels in the body, Where championships are won. Phil Jackson with his clipboard is inscrutable, unreadable, calmer than anyone. How many times has he been here before? He’s climbed this Everest More than most and he’s used to the thin air up here, He can breathe at this height and in this pressure, He’s...

Three Line Lunch: Intimate BBQ

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 280 Intimate BBQ She cuts veggies, brushes them with olive oil, forms burgers. I fire up the coals. She mixes rum cocktails in tiki glasses. I pack the pipe and crack the beers. Colored lights crown patio as we eat & talk. Intimate Memorial weekend bbq for...

Three Line Lunch: A Notion of Ocean Pervades

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 279 A Notion of Ocean Pervades (Saturday Morning Redondo Beach Precinct-Walk Impressions) Saltair-weathered wooden houses with ship’s-deck porches and crow’s-nest balconies Yearn for the unseen sea. Wind-twisted old trees with leaves whipped like tattered sails.  Tank-topped women & shirtless men deep-tanned. Gull’s cries over hills...

Three Line Lunch: Shred and Recycle

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 278 Shred and Recycle Office copy room. Little girl runs in laughing, someone’s daughter, slides three sheets  In slot of the big blue shred & recycle bin, runs out. Back with three more, runs out.   My copies go awry so I find her, hand them to her. She looks up at me and...

Three Line Lunch: These Unexpected Moments

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 277 The Unexpected Moments In dark with touch she eases me awake early For pre-dawn delight.  Oh these unexpected moments.

Three Line Lunch: Her Homecoming

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 276 Homecoming Elise has been north for three weeks of classes and friends. I wrote, I goofed off, I moved into the guest room — my own little camp-out just down the hall. Somehow tonight I feel ready to remake our bed, retake my place, make it warm for her...

Three Line Lunch: Exhiliration!

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 275 Exhiliration! Exhiliration! — Just one of the cataloged nine types of joy — I just made that up, that “nine” part — The exhiliration took hold...

Three Line Lunch: Time-Travel to the Present

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 274 Time-Travel to the Present If your time-travel journeys to the past hurt Your forays into the future scare You can be back here safe right now with just one conscious...

Three Line Lunch: Living in the Past Tense Again

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 273 Living in the Past Tense Again  Even as it’s happening I’m looking back on it, describing it As if it’s in the...

Hippie Squared: Woulds (Elegy for a Mystic Poet Died Too Soon)

. a blogumn by Jeff Rogers I think the advice that we give to others is often exactly what we need to hear ourselves. Have you noticed that? Do you agree? I wrote this poem years ago for a talented, charismatic, ambitious poet I knew named Tony Clay. We were in a poetry performance group that evolved into a theater troupe called Gary Pony back in 1989-90. He was once described by mistake in a poetry reading flyer as “Frantic Poet Tony Clay” and the description always stuck in my mind because it was so appropriate. It seemed he could not be still. He was into the occult, he was charismatic and good-looking and he liked to seduce men, women and more men. He liked altering his state of consciousness, he liked club-hopping, he liked the glamor of being a poet. He really seemed to be banking on the idea that some sweeping change in human consciousness was going to come about by all of us doing our poetry and performance thing, and then he wouldn’t have to worry about anything practical ever again, he’d be loved and revered as the mystic shaman poet master that he was. He ended up alienating many of his friends (a good story for another time), contracting HIV and getting beaten up in an alley in Paris and dying shortly after in a Paris hospital. I wrote this poem for his memorial and read it for him then. I’d said much of this to him once in a phone conversation, but of course it didn’t make any difference. If you’ve been following Hippie Squared and Three Line Lunch lately you might have noticed I’ve been thinking a lot about how to ground myself in the present moment, get out of...

Three Line Lunch: Ghosts of the Living

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 272 Ghosts of the Living  I’m seldom truly alone When these ghosts of the living Haunt my waking dreams.

Three Line Lunch: Moment to Moment Tenderness

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 271 Moment to Moment Tenderness  From moment to moment I’m in love with life. Then my gaze is pulled back into a face of regret. It snaps forward into a face of dread. When life with all her tenderness for me is right here standing in this moment that I...

Three Line Lunch: Stop Flopping and Breathe

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 270 Stop Flopping and Breathe  My mind flops around like a fish out of water. But this fish breathes oxygen. I just have to remind it to stop flopping and...

Three Line Lunch: A Feel Good Poem

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 269 A Feel Good Poem  Makes you feel good When I do that to you. I like that.

Three Line Lunch: Living in the Past Tense

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 268 Living in the Past Tense  My mom, creative and adventurous, used excitement to manage us unruly kids. Going somewhere she’d rile us up with all her talk about how much fun we would have. By destination I already looked forward to looking back on all the fun we were...

Three Line Lunch: Whiskey Watch

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 267 Whiskey Watch  Watch how multi-faceted shotglass refracts light through palomino liquid, like sunlight On a clear stream. Watch inside the glide over tongue, back-of-the-mouth internal burn. Watch gentle relentless soft-focus begin to stuff brain, blur walk words and...

Three Line Lunch: The Quiet Rumble

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 266 The Quiet Rumble (Striker on My Lap)  Little black paws curl over my arm. Little black head fur-padded pushes up against my chin. The quiet rumble...

Three Line Lunch: Top Step Ritual

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 261 Top Step Ritual Vinnie cat eats outside. But I have to guard her from Striker. So I sit on top step, Steep concrete staircase; look down in bird music through leaf curtain at sparse cars, Parents walking kids schoolward, distant train, 5 freeway banding hills. Precious...

Three Line Lunch: Driving the Corridor of Trees

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 260 Driving the Corridor of Trees Driving the corridor of trees at night Canopy over solid darkness Headlights bore me a tunnel.

Three Line Lunch: Grip

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 259 Grip Sometimes it’s a struggle just to stay in the now. I grip my coffee cup For dear life.

Hippie Squared: Forget Foucault! Damn Derrida! Stan’s the Postmodern Man!...

I’ve been reading some of the old Marvel comics lately (look no farther than Three Line Lunch #239 for the evidence) in collections—early issues of Spider-Man in the Marvel Masterworks color reprint series and tonight one of the first Iron Man comics in Essential Iron Man, a black and white collection. It’s fun stuff. It’s also incredibly postmodern. I think that might be one of the reasons so many currently hip literary guys—Michael Chabon and Jonathan Lethem leap to mind—not only liked comics, but Marvel in particular. What initially struck me as so postmodern is the self-consciousness of the hype. Issue #11’s cover blazes: “The Long-Awaited Return of Doctor Octopus!” It’s only issue #11—how long could the wait have been? Issue #12’ cover calls itself, “The latest…the greatest Spider-Man Super Spectacular.” When it’s really just another issue, and everybody knows it. But the hype is done with a wink. It’s all part of the fun. The postmodern stuff seems to all come from Stan Lee. I think he’s an archetypal postmodernist. There’s a whole meta-narrative created by his constant referencing of himself, the artists, and the fact and process of creating the comic books you’re reading—much of that meta-narrative carried in and around the hype. The splash page of issue #14, which introduces the Green Goblin for the first time (and guest stars the Hulk), proclaims—in three separate word boxes, each a different shape: “Only the Merry Marvel Madmen could have dreamed him up!” — in an arrow-shaped box pointing to this rectangular box: “Here’s how it happened: The gang at the bullpen said let’s give our fans the greatest 12 cents worth we can! Let’s get a really different villain…a bunch of colorful henchmen for him…and let’s even add a great guest star!! So, we...

Three Line Lunch: Room for Love

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 254 Room “There’s a lot of love between us,” I said last night, “And there’s room for a lot...

Three Line Lunch: Comfort Welcome

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 240 Comfort Welcome Come home to Elise on top step, wine in hand, waiting. I don new MSU sweatshirt, Warm and soft; sit a step below, bury my head against her neck, scarf soft on my cheek. Her words know; she rubs my back and shoulders. Chill night air and the ways to be...

Three Line Lunch: Panelology

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 239 Panelology (Reading Hadley’s Marvel Masterworks: Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2) Sequential art—simplicity of pictures strung together with words to tell a story—kinetic But frozen: action—suspended. Age 10 from Dad’s Kalamazoo apartment I’d cross Busy W. Main to drugstore spinny comic book rack, crouch there reading, safe...

Three Line Lunch: Hadley Bat Mitzvah Morning-After

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 238 Hadley Bat Mitzvah Morning-After Gaggle of girls runs down hotel hallway yelling and laughing, leaping to touch the ceiling. We take Gaku & Aki for typical American breakfast: eggs, sausage, potatoes, pancakes, Mammoth portions. They snap Japanese iPhone shots of all the plates ranged on...

Three Line Lunch: Hadley Bat Mitzvah After-Party

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 237 Hadley Bat Mitzvah After-Party Downtown East Lansing Marriott, klezmer band, cream of Haslett Middle School jostles for Snow globe photos with Hadley. Adult side: Maya recalls Detroit’s years-gone great days, Ice cream downtown — though in nearby Dearborn, to be black after dark meant...

Three Line Lunch: Her Voice (Hadley in Her Bat Mitzvah)

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 236 Her Voice (Hadley in Her Bat Mitzvah) The notes in her high sweet voice, light and feathery, Singing torah and haftorah, blessings and teachings of her tradition, Dance like particles in a beam of...

Three Line Lunch: Deep Traveling

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 236 Deep Traveling Four years ago this week I traveled to Michigan for my mom’s death. Now I travel there for my niece Hadley’s bat mitzvah. Where and when I mourned I now...

Three Line Lunch: Chicago Dog at the Chicago Airport

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 235 Chicago Dog at the Chicago Airport On poppy-seed, mustard onions relish tomato pickle sport-peppers celery-salt. Elise insisted, bless her. At O’Hare bar the Goose Island IPA swims on my palate, Relish and onion drips down my fingers to mingle with potato chip salt as I write...

Three Line Lunch: Four Stoops

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 234 Four Stoops (Election Night Pico Rivera Precinct-Walk Impressions) At my knock, little girl voice: “For my daddy?” Then boy: “Dad, some guy’s at the door.” Caged cockatiel outside hops on perch as chihuahuas crash snarling against security door. Bamboo windchimes knock knuckles. Next house: faux-bamboo ceramic windchimes...

Three Line Lunch: Cafe Tropical Morning

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 233 Cafe Tropical Morning Caught in a whirlwind—work deadlines piled on pre-trip to Michigan. Back on caffeine Three days now. This is a place to stop, sit at scratched & battered heavy wooden table. To think, sip cortado, observe the moving life around me. A pause, before launching...

Three Line Lunch: Cheap Traffic School, Culver Hotel

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 232 Cheap Traffic School, Culver Hotel Grand old brick hotel, marble floors, crown molding; Oz actors stayed here for shooting. True cross section of middle LA, multi-ages & ethnicities—all but the rich and homeless. Hierarchy forms around prettiest woman—offered a seat, given a pen and handed...

Hippie Squared: Twenty-One Line Brunch

. a blogumn by Jeff Rogers So my other feature on this site is Three Line Lunch, my diary in three line poems–one of which will run later today, if I get it finished in time. I first took on the project of a year-long diary in three line poems from September 1, 1993 through August 31, 1994. Which by grand design of the Muses turned out to be the year I met and courted my wife, so that got me some good stuff. And over the years since, every now and then I’ve found myself returning to the wonderfully flexible, nearly formless form (as I have practiced it, anyway) of the three line poem. Anyway, here I am on the night my Hippie Squared piece is due, and I got nothin’.  Ernessa suggested I do a thing about cutting my hair, which is a great idea, but it’s growing into a larger meditation on change, and I’m still working on it. So for fun, I thought I’d run a few of the old three-liners from sixteen years ago. Back then there was no such thing as the world wide web. Or was there? I don’t remember. If so, it was early going, and I sure didn’t post my daily poems on it. I did read them out at coffee houses, though. Including a few of these. Guess you could call this a kind of Hippie Squared/TLL crossover/mash-up. Enjoy. First off, on one of the most common battles between the sexes — sleeping temperature negotiations: Nocturnalistical Intemperatures I’m too hot, she’s too cold; peas porridge in the pot nine days old. Fan in spinny and windy open:  I happy, she freezy. Fan unspinny and windy down:  she’s toasty, everything’s breezy. About my old cat Shadow, now a...

Three Line Lunch: Saturday Morning Pico Rivera Precinct-Walk Impressions...

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 231 Saturday Morning Pico Rivera Precinct-Walk Impressions Smells of jasmine and cooking frijoles. Square yards, small square stucco houses, Brick lined driveways. Guadalupe virgin statue in a rose garden. Mattress rolled and tied Standing on a small square stoop. Two calico cats startled off porch dart under...

Three Line Lunch: Cafe Figaro, Los Feliz, Friday Evening

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 230 Cafe Figaro, Los Feliz, Friday Evening Light chill mediated by heat lamp in the awning above our sidewalk table. Elise: “People love to watch things. Like the cats and dogs do.” Young crew at nearby table, Much hair, dogs in laps, cigarettes poised. Walkers watch sitters, sitters...

Three Line Lunch: Gypsy Michigander

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 229 Gypsy Michigander When she hugs she throws herself into it, body and soul. My feelings so often land-locked, I liked her right away, little fierce warm Kari, and we swapped our Michigan memories. Her gypsy soul calls her to Australia job adventure. Don’t know her well l but I’ll miss...

Three Line Lunch: A Minor Personal Victory

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 228 A Minor Personal Victory Weeks off cleanse, still off caffeine, eating well, I hit an afternoon slump. Heading off for an hour’s traffic slog I long for one shot espresso, one drive-thru Milkshake. I gather myself; grab a Persian cucumber and a handful of...

Three Line Lunch: Painting an Easter Egg

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 227 Painting an Easter Egg Know your medium and your materials. Soak in vinegar and thin purple dye a long time. Hillocks of paint on paper plate palette, cheap brush in hand, stabbing, sweeping strokes Spoking outward from a yellow and orange circle: a multi-colored star born in an egg...

Three Line Lunch: Blowing Out the Insides of an Easter Egg

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 226 Blowing Out the Insides of an Easter Egg Poke holes both ends, work one end wider. Grip egg both hands not too tight. Take breath, mouth around smaller hole, blow. Breath blocked, bear down, blow. Stream of sun orange yolk and clear jelly egg white pour into bowl. Ready the...

Three Line Lunch: Elected to the Bargaining Team

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 225 Elected to the Bargaining Team Worker for a union I’m a member of a staff union too. Storm clouds gather round our Approaching contract talks, and we gather together to prepare. I’ve done this before. Comrade colleagues vote me a seat at the table where the storm clouds will soon...

Three Line Lunch: Dream Catalog #4: To Protect Her

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 225 Dream Catalog #4: To Protect Her Elise and I not husband and wife are kids, in empty carpeted room, awaiting punishment. Adoptive parents come in with earplugs. “This’ll be a loud one,” mom says. Elise throws A push-pin at her. I wrap Elise in my arms. “It’s okay,” I whisper, “We’ll get through...

Three Line Lunch: Happy Hour

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 224 Happy Hour Well at least It started out Happy

Three Line Lunch: Mariela’s Tacos

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 223 Mariela’s Tacos, Koreatown, Thursday Evening Spanish only behind counters. 3 Korean boys knit caps wolf burritos. White office dweeb, Too-short tie, tries Spanish on Latino colleagues. Korean girl, cut shirt off shoulder Walks by, shoots a hard look. Old Latino woman—breasty man?—bundled up shuffles...

Three Line Lunch: Present Moment

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 222 Present Moment Book in hand in hot bath; birds sing close out bathroom window, plane drones far away. Fragrance of my lover-wife still on my face floats to my nostrils on the in-breath. Present moment, wonderful...

Three Line Lunch: Nostradamus Graffiti

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 221 Nostradamus Graffiti Weeks away from office and political tectonics have shifted. Inner circle’s inside out. Turvy’s turned Topsy and Topsy’s gone underground. And what is that fresh handwriting On my cubicle wall? Looks alot like Nostradamus’s gossipy and grim-minded...

Three Line Lunch: First Awake Impressions

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 220 First Awake Impressions That air that can only be of late late night’s early early morning, charcoal gray, Sliding through our sliding glass door just cracked to our balcony: moist, tasting Of water vapor, and carrying the sparse chirps and high calls of the earliest eeriest...

Three Line Lunch: Michigan State B-Ball Beats Tennessee

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 219 Michigan State B-Ball Beats Tennessee Elise wrapped in blanket, head on my lap. Tennessee tough D and State can’t penetrate. But they keep at it, paasing, cutting, patient. Second half they break into hoop-town; Great game won by a free throw. Cell phone buzzes brother Ray’s cheer from...

Hippie Squared: Red Sleeping

. a blogumn by Jeff Rogers Leaving his body was very hard; for a long time I couldn’t do it. I just kept stroking his fur, and getting down and hugging him, from behind, like I would do in bed when it was a cold night and he would move up and lie next to me for warmth. I’d hold him from behind with my hand holding his chest, his rib cage, where the fur was white. He was so soft. I also kept putting my face down next to his, the soft fur on his cheek, kissing his snout and his cheek, the ruff there—knowing I’d never feel it again, memorizing the feeling, as I had been for months while he lived with the cancer, so that particular unique sensation would remain within my sense memory for as long as possible. Elise asked for scissors to cut off a lock of his fur. We ended up cutting several locks from different places. From the fringe up near his front leg, from the ruff collar around his head. Some of the white from his chest. Elise set up a little shrine to him at home. She went through old photos and found a great one of his “JFK look,” looking very noble and handsome (not digital, unfortunately, or I’d post it here). She nestled the photo, and the locks of fur in a small basket, inside his rugged, beat-up leather collar, with a candle between, and now the cedar box of his ashes, on the mantel. For anyone who’s never loved a dog, this might all seem a little elaborate and excessive. Anyone who has loved a dog will understand. It’s a wordless love on one side of the equation, and yet the communication...

Three Line Lunch: Gentle Waking

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 218 Gentle Waking Firm warm contact with Elise’s back all along mine. Morning light easing through curtains from balcony to my slow-opening eyes. To awaken always to a world so gently...

Three Line Lunch: Just a Little Taste of Hangover

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 217 Just a Little Taste of Hangover After our cleanse little drinking for weeks and weeks; now Michigan State on Irish bar TV Followed by fruity drinks packed-in chattin’ with patron Frank at Tiki Ti. Morning comes Desert-mouthed and woozy, a little weak on the feet, with a slight dull ache of the...

Three Line Lunch: Awake before the Alarm

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 216 Awake Before the Alarm Is it possible to sleep when you’re trying to sleep? When you know the alarm Is on its way? Perhaps it’s meeting the delicate challenge of letting go, a willed Careless release from care, letting yourself sink without clutching the...

Three Line Lunch: The Privilege of Renewal

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 215 The Privilege of Renewal Yes it’s a power play, a demotion from office of two to cubicle bay of four. But I get good new neighbors, a set-up mine from the first: files, desk photos, workflow. Though it came to me unasked for, unwanted even — I get the rare privilege of...

Three Line Lunch: Moving Offices

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 214 Moving Offices Delegates from the past haunt my file cabinets, bookshelves, desktop paper towers. Things undone, things unread, thoughts scrawled on yellow pads then fled and gone, Glory moments now thin relics. I purge, I take in, I strive to bring to light and...

Three Line Lunch: Unsleep Morning

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 213 Unsleep Morning “How do I ply my trade on the seas of the night?” rang in my head 5:32 am Thirty minutes before the alarm’s jangle would ring out When all I wanted to do was...

Three Line Lunch: The Gone Voice

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 212 The Gone Voice Chris nervous at the mike, with Music in Silence in hand, and Savage Rose, begins: “Charles and I used to talk about who would give voice to our poems when we died.” Then Chris lends his Philly beat cadence to his gone friend Florida-Haight St.-LA...

Three Line Lunch: The Two Charlies (Another Charles Bivins Reminiscence)...

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 211 The Two Charlies (Another Charles Bivins Reminiscence) Bivins knew Charlie Manson in the Haight. “He was a dirty little hustler and a cheat.” Bivins, aka Little Sunshine Dada, prided himself that he and the other acid dealers Ran Manson out of town—chased him down to LA. “He was giving us all a bad...

Three Line Lunch: Bivins Reminisces (from Beyond the Grave)

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 210 Bivins Reminisces (from Beyond the Grave) Bivins looked out his 1967 Haight Street window to see John Lennon walking toward him. “My grandfather came from 8 Sussex Street, Liverpool!” Bivins called down, “But the Germans bombed it.” “Bloody savages,” growled...

Three Line Lunch: Between the First and Third Alarms

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 209 Between the First and Third Alarms First alarm 6am stabs the dark — daylight savings stole my morning to pay the evening. But second thought at rising early: vitality. Between the first and third alarms  It rolls around my brain, sing-song: “My vitality belongs to me,...

Three Line Lunch: Anniversary of Our Meeting

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 208 Anniversary of Our Meeting Sixteen years ago St. Patty’s Day the English met the Irish, so Elise and I Hit the old Scottish bar Tam O’Shanter for a little anniversary medicinal Irish whiskey And people watching: all shapes, sizes, ages of celebrants decked out in...

Three Line Lunch: Another Ambush

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 205 Another Ambush Drowsy from my afternoon cold-recovery nap, I glance at the bedside clock: 5:30 pm. But then I notice my iPhone says 6:30–and we’re due for Kimberley’s dinner at 7. Oh no! It’s another Daylight Savings ambush! Wide awake I jump of...

Hippie Squared: Red My Old Dog in the Morning

. a blogumn by Jeff Rogers I admit it. He was my favorite. My favorite dog ever in the whole wide world. And he died two Saturdays ago. If you follow my “Three Line Lunch” feature here on Fierce and Nerdy then you might have read about it. And you might have read some of my previous chronicles of Red’s decline, as he aged and as his cancer took hold. I wrote about our trip north to Mendocino to take him to the redwoods one last time, because he always loved camping and the outdoors. The photograph you see here is from that trip; the three-line poem that accompanies it is here. We took him down into a truly primeval and magical redwood forest, but he was so old and arthritic that he couldn’t really make it back out on his own. So I hoisted him on my shoulder and carried him about half a mile out the trail to the car. He seemed quite happy about the whole arrangement. That’s the thing about Red. He was a truly happy fellow. One of the sweetest souls I’ve ever known on planet earth, human or animal. His happiness was infectious. He had the softest fur of any dog I’ve ever petted. The most common reaction when people would pet him for the first time: you could see them visibly relax. The tension would drain out of their faces. And then pretty much word for word, with little variation, they’d say, in a tone of wonder: “Oh, he’s so soft.” We were lucky, all of us—my wife Elise, me, and particularly Red. He kept that happiness to his last day. I’m sure when he was actually dying he wasn’t all that happy, but he didn’t seem to...

Three Line Lunch: Nahuatl New Year, Xocolatl Cafe

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 204 Nahuatl New Year, Xocolatl Cafe Out for a sandwich we find a parking lot marketplace: handmade jewelry, masks, balms, Cacao & corn drinks, for Aztec-themed charter school. Men with braids, feathers in hats, Women in silver and stone jewelry; evident pride. A community of the...

Three Line Lunch: The Hot-Bath Cold-Care System

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 203 The Hot-Bath Cold-Care System Delightful nakedness. Head under water — sound of spaceman breathing. Lying back hot tea and book at hand against suction-cupped pillow, Sweated brow and muscles slack. Gaining good ground against...

Three Line Lunch: Phlegm in the Night

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 202 Phlegm in the Night Like a ball of wet cotton Shoved down my throat All night long in my half-sleep.

Three Line Lunch: Basketball Banter at the Bel Air Bar & Grill

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 201 Basketball Banter at the Bel Air Bar & Grill I grab last happy hour stool, game on TV. Elegant woman in fur coat, with girlfriend, Talks playoffs deep-voiced with bartender Armando, who re-pours their white wine Without being asked. “We’re Lakers and UCLA fans,” she tells me, “here all the...

Three Line Lunch: Good Dog, Deserving

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 200 Good Dog, Deserving Red knew one command: sit. Kimberley taught him, we didn’t. We’d ask him to sit To get harnassed for trips to the park. Whenever he wanted something he would Make sure you were watching then quickly sit, so you knew he was a good dog,...

Three Line Lunch: The Red Magic

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 199 The Red Magic Dogs smile. Red had such a winning smile, so purely happy It made everyone around him happy: people, puppies, kittens, fierce dogs. And his fur: so soft when people touched him you could see their tension drain...

Three Line Lunch: I Keep Expecting to See Him

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 198 I Keep Expecting to See Him In kitchen I expect the click of Red’s paws across the wood floor, coming to see me. Sitting here in the study a moment ago I expected to see him nose open the door, Stand in the doorway, smiling, and give me that little feathery flutter of the...

Three Line Lunch: Red’s Last Day

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 197 Red’s Last Day Morning he came to me in kitchen. “Hey, sweetie boy,” I ruffed his scruff and he smiled. Afternoon he collapsed, I carried him down to car, Elise sat with him in back, gave herbs. Quiet natural death at vet’s while we hugged him and talked him through to the...

Three Line Lunch: Books of the Dead Poet

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 196 Books of the Dead Poet On floor of Peditto’s study I kneel with Bivins’ books. Chris shows Elise photos Of the huge poet’s last readings, his long white beard, cane propped against mike stand. In my hands: “The Ruins,” old English poem he thundered out when first I met...

Three Line Lunch: Purge of the Martian Hailstones

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 195 Purge of the Martian Hailstones Last night: Drank epsom salts dissolved in hot water, chased by dab of honey on pinky. One hour later: Downed equal parts olive oil and grapefruit juice — shaken, not stirred. This morning: I passed dozens of squishy little mud-green gallstones, fruit of my...

Three Line Lunch: The Haircut

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 194 The Haircut Twenty-year long hair snipped away — yes, it still falls almost to shoulders, But it sweeps, it curls, it waves, it dances, if it could by god it would sing. Change is in the air — change is in the hair — and a new day brushes my...

Three Line Lunch: Stomach Rumbles

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 193 stomach rumbles much gurgling and churning in the abdomen through this three day juice fast hours spent cutting and juicing fruit, brewing earthy herbal detox teas, squirting herbs and how the system adjusts – one glass of fruit juice last night filled me right...

Three Line Lunch: A Grand Profusion

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 192 A Grand Profusion A grand profusion of bougainvillea tumbles down our hillside Like a vegetable tsunami, all translucent magenta crepe-paper thin flowers And thick green arms reaching into trees, twisting round each other,...

Three Line Lunch: Sitting Through

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 191 Sitting Through (Morning Meditation Struggles) Only breath, like waves moving onto the sand and receding, only that. But muscles Between shoulder blades seize rope tight and burn, and waves of failure crash over me: I will never. I can’t. I throw my head back and yell: “Goddam it!” But I sit...

Hippie Squared: Can I Make a Blog Out of This?

What do I write about for my blogumn today—which is late, by the way? What kept me lying awake in bed this morning when I woke up before dawn? All the things I have to take care of. All the things on my mind. Mindfulness is on my mind. Thankfulness is on my mind—but plaguing me. There are people I haven’t thanked, people I’ve neglected, whole areas of my life gone fallow. Long lost family I’ve not talked to in years, family friends, all of that. There are plane tickets, plans to make for a trip back to the Midwest for my niece’s bat mitzvah and transport of my mom’s old furniture and books and papers out here, a cross country trip with my brother Ray. There are money matters that need attending to, book balancing and budgeting. This blogumn is overdue. I’ve been out of work for awhile; going back next week; been hearing rumors of what’s been happening there when I’ve been gone and at some point I’ll have to turn my attention in that direction, figure out what I’ll be walking into when I return. There’s stuff on this computer that’s important to me that I haven’t backed-up yet. How is it that all of it piles up? I turned off my 6:30 alarm at 6am this morning and got up and sat down at this computer and began to type. Can I make a blog out of all this? There are probably any number of blogs I could make out of this, if I pick a direction and go with it. At least I feel a little empowered now, because I’m writing this, and at the same time I’m downloading the new version of iTunes to my computer and my...

Three Line Lunch: Poet and Poem Gone (In Memoriam Charles Bivins)

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 189 Poet and Poem Gone (In Memoriam Charles Bivins) Stop by Chris’s office and he tells us: Bivins, titanic Haight-Ashbury Falstaff Orson Welles humongous raging great poet died. Chris’s eyes look into watery distance When he recalls the mystical deathbed poem Charles wrote. Nurses threw it...

Three Line Lunch: Wonderful Moment, Terrible Moment

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 188 Wonderful Moment, Terrible Moment “Present moment, wonderful moment,” goes the mindfulness meditation exercise. But this morning all my mental and bodily knots and quaverings sit with me. The moment becomes full when I accept them; it becomes wonderful and terrible...

Three Line Lunch: Figments

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 187 Figments Maybe it’s like this: We’re figments of God’s imagination. God has a vivid imagination.

Three Line Lunch: LA’s Emerald Jewelry

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 186 LA’s Emerald Jewelry It’s never more clear than after weeks of rain that LA’s been thrown down Into the bowls made by mountains — while I drive the freeways that thread them, My eyes thrill to the emerald green that rises above buildings and presses the...

Three Line Lunch: Do Be Gentle

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 185 Do Be Gentle It’s okay to look at your pain and your fear– But yes, do be gentle with them– Like you, they’re only trying to...

Three Line Lunch: Chasing Free Will

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 184 Chasing Free Will To the extent that we can direct our own attention We can achieve free will — I thought, this morning, in meditation While trying to simply attend to my...

Three Line Lunch: The Fluttering Wings in My Chest

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 180 The Fluttering Wings in My Chest Just my hobbled best I try to do in this maze of puzzles and mystery, deep comforts And deep pain, flailing about with no compass but the whirling blue sky roof And nothing to grasp but the fluttering wings in my chest of my own stuttering...

Hippie Squared: I Think, Therefore I Ramble Through My Moments

I’ve been working on mindfulness lately. What do I mean by that? Well, to take myself as the starting point: I think, therefore I ramble. I think and think and think and therefore I am unfocused. I like thinking. I’m a fan of it. I’m doing it pretty much all the time. But too often my thoughts are like a kite on a cross-windy day—leaping up, diving down, darting left, darting right, executing a spontaneous pattern of loops and curls and straight short shots. My thinking is often a speech, or a dialogue, or a monologue, directed outward, toward an imagined audience of one or millions. I am explaining how I came to write a poem. I’m holding forth on Obama and the ungovernability of the United States in the 21st century. Maybe I’m lost in a righteous argument with someone. Or just telling a funny story, or saying something wise. Rarely am I thinking directly to myself. More importantly, in a way, for mindfulness: rarely am I standing solidly in my present space and time, without a constant commentary track that usually isn’t even talking about the movie I’m watching—what’s actually going on in the here and now. It’s off somewhere and somewhen else—a remembered past, an imagined future, a conjured alternate timeline. I’ve written here before about my theory of the moment as the essential unit of human experience. Like an atom is to matter, the moment is to our experience of our lives. And because each of us is different from each other and moving through time on our own individual track, each moment you have belongs only to you. No one else gets your moment. And you get each moment only once. You can never recreate it. At best you can only partially...