Three Line Lunch: A New Face On It

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 174 A New Face On It The gray and brown and red hairs fell like rain, caught in the trap Before they ran down the drain. With spinning vertigo from depth-gazing my soul I shaved my four-years beard this morning: wanted to see my true...

Three Line Lunch: Night and Then Morning

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 165 Night and Then Morning “Look in my eyes,” I said last night, holding both her hands. “You know I love you.” And I move in quietude this morning: get up alone and make coffee, sit and read Quietly by myself. Take the dogs to the park and sit with them in the...

Three Line Lunch: The Type Ecstatic

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 164 The Type Ecstatic Sometimes there’s nothin like a night at home alone with your smokin stuff and Your music and your woman on text and your dogs and your roaring fire on the patio And your thoughts all your own, and your rapid-fire fingers they type...

Three Line Lunch: My Minor Morning Meter Adventure

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 163 My Minor Morning Meter Adventure Our separate paths through yesterday converged for dinner and drinks at the York. So We left her car at 8am meter. I rise early, while she sleeps, to my morning quest: Move her car around corner, bring home mocha, black espresso, toasty egg...

Hippie Squared: Secret Beach & Sweet Elise Answers

Earlier in the week our friend directed us to a secret beach north of Malibu. When we came over the mountains and saw the ocean, at first look it was almost gray in the late afternoon sun. It was cut by hills, and off to the right it looked even more gray. Until we realized that off to the right we were seeing clouds, hanging over the ocean. “Clouds are really just an ocean in the sky,” said Elise. We climbed a trail to the bluffs above the secret beach. We brought wine but no glasses, so we passed the bottle back and forth. We ate cheese and pate and crackers, cherries and grapes. Dark chocolate truffles and a chocolate eclair. We held hands, we kissed. We shared our secret silence on the secret bluffs above the secret beach. We watched the hawks soar, the pelicans glide, and the gulls flap. We saw creatures out in the ocean and tried to decide if they were dolphins or seals. In the end, I believe we decided they were both: those with dorsal fins were dolphins, those with flat fin tails were seals. And we watched the whole colorful progress of the sunset, from the orange ball of fire sitting on the horizon, to the pink wisps of clouds trailing above the horizon after the ball of fire fell below it, to the deep dusk that gave us more secret space for deeper secret kisses. It was sort of an early Valentine’s Day outing. And that’s where this photo comes from. I think that occasion and this photo well match the following poem, which I wrote many years ago, and which I also recited at our wedding five years ago. Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweet Elise! Sweet...

Three Line Lunch: Cypress Park Patio Night

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 162 Cypress Park Patio Night Seventeen shots loud and close. Elise runs through gate from back patio as car peels out. While on phone with 911 we hear the same gun one block down, ten more shots. Soon helicopter thuds rhythmic circles above, its spotlight paininting houses and...

Three Line Lunch: Pacific Bird Trio

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 161 Pacific Bird Trio Hawk soars in a royal circle above bluffs, gently descends, rises on sure wings, banks. Pelican unexpectedly majestic glides like a B52 bomber on still wings high above surf. Gulls flap and flap, flap and coast, herky-jerky fliers, low above water along bluff...

Three Line Lunch: Red Follows Me

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 160 Red Follows Me Red moves his old bones, 100-year old arthrtitic dog, tumor-ridden, Climbs down portable stairs off our bed in the morning dark, and alone Of all our dogs, follows me to the kitchen, the bathroom,...

Three Line Lunch: Chasing My Own Tail Around My Own Head

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 159 Chasing My Own Tail Around My Own Head Sometimes I gotta slam the door on my own head, Take that de-elevator down into my body. That big fat head thinks it can figure out all the answers, but it...

Three Line Lunch: Bleak LA #3

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 158 Bleak LA #3: Pasadena Movie Theater Men’s Room Waystation Funny the instant messages intuition delivers. As I enter he shies away, and Before I even smell him, or see his three backpacks, see him washing himself In the sink and drying with paper towels, I know he’s...

Three Line Lunch: Wild LA

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 157 Wild LA Our dogs bark wildly from backyard, over squirrel chattering, badger growl. Elise: “They’ve cornered some creature.” I trudge up with flashlight. “Nothing.” But then Molly’s sightline guides my light treeward: two raccoons huddle on an upper...

Three Line Lunch: Sharing the Poker

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 156 Sharing the Poker In our wet patio chiminea I use firestarters to set flames gnawing on moist logs. In dark with our cocktails we pass the poker back and forth, taking turns Kicking red embers into flame, re-jiggering logs to draw air, co-tending our...

Three Line Lunch: In a Hall of Love and Tears

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 155 In a Hall of Love and Tears (In Memoriam Erica Tabachnick) At Hollywood Forever Cemetery, before snowed peaks in a blue sky, In a hall of love and tears family and friends talk and cry. Gathered home after They can’t help but laugh and smile. Today life takes in death but so vividly...

Three Line Lunch: Plunging Rainbow

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 154 Plunging Rainbow North off 10 Freeway into downtown, fat rainbow plunging against high-piled clouds, From their white pillow tops down to their pregnant purple foundation, Then just brushing pure white snow-capped saw tooth San Gabriel...

Three Line Lunch: Poem Ten

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 153 Poem Ten Wrote ten poems today, and remembered That I can always come back to myself If I can only be still for a little while and...

Three Line Lunch: Setting Records Making Memories

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 152 Setting Records Making Memories At home under blankets with my sweetheart, hot chocolate and a good movie. Rain slaps the streets below, taps the windows, drums the clay roof tiles above, Setting records. While cozy inside here we’re making lasting...

Three Line Lunch: Antigua Coffeehouse Rainy Afternoon Haiti

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 151 Antigua Coffeehouse Rainy Afternoon Haiti As Yancey makes my Mayan Mocha he says he’s been reading online in back All about Haiti. The English doctor trying to prevent amputations on children, The prison that crumbled down around 700 political prisoners never charged now...

Three Line Lunch: Antigua Coffeehouse Rainy Afternoon Family

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 150 Antigua Coffeehouse Rainy Afternoon Family Puzzling out relationships two tables away: mother with kid And hired tutor? College sister, older brother, brother’s kid? The man teasingly Helps the kid with his homework, then buys him a sweet. His dad, I...

Three Line Lunch: Antigua Coffeehouse Rainy Afternoon Sun

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 149 Antigua Coffeehouse Rainy Afternoon Sun When the rain suddenly pounds flooded Figueroa the coffee drinkers And computer tappers and studiers turn as one to look and ooh and ahh. Later the sun stripes the photographs of East LA and turns sponged-gold walls...

Hippie Squared: Making My Mom’s Mistake

Is there a gene for putting too much milk in the macaroni and cheese mix? And could it lie dormant for over forty years, only to be triggered by stress in middle age? These are the questions I pondered three nights ago as I felt my mom’s ghost laughing at me, finally. I was raised largely on packaged and processed foods—I used to hate vegetables, because the ones I ate all came out of a box and were boiled in a bag, then spread nearly lifeless on the plate. But man did I love my Kraft Dinner macaroni and cheese—a top comfort food to this day. Creamy, cheesy, and that special heavenly orange color all its own. My mom would serve it with ham, and green beans—boiled in a bag, yes, but somehow the golden glow of the macaroni and cheese shone on them and gave them new life and taste. That’s when I was an only child in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Idyllic days, for me, in some ways. And certainly relatively calm and peaceful. So later, when my mom married my step-dad and we moved in with him and his three sons in East Lansing, I suppose the dramatic decline in quality of her mac-and-cheese execution became a symbol to me of the chaos and conflict of our new household. Instead of thick and creamy it became thin and milky, almost watery. I was an angry teenager by then, so even though I knew she had a lot to deal with, I still complained. “I’m doing it the same way I always did,” she’d say. This drove me crazy. She was an archaeologist, a scientist. Seemed to me this argument violated her training. “Obviously you didn’t because it didn’t come out the same.” I...

Three Line Lunch: Sweet Pressure

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 148 Sweet Pressure Red always sleeps against my leg at night, or if cold scooches up against my side. The tumors growing inside him now make for a lumpy bed, he’s grown restless at night And I know that soon that sweet pressure and comfort of him beside me will be...

Three Line Lunch: Young Beauty in the Water Store

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 147 Young Beauty in the Water Store The old Romanian couple took over the water store. He worked hard, she in wheelchair, Slouch-faced and sad. But I always said hello and she brightened. After a year I come in, She’s on a cane — “You’re walking!” — big smile and at once I see the pretty young...

Three Line Lunch: Wordstorm When the Wind Becomes Unstoppable

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 146 Wordstorm When the Wind Becomes Unstoppable A justice of words can never be permanent When words shift and scatter like sand, because Meanings storm and drift and sting when the wind becomes...

Three Line Lunch: Some Makeshift Temporary Justice of Words

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 145 Some Makeshift Temporary Justice of Words It all goes away when I write. Everything recedes Except what I pull in close, tease apart, struggle to resolve Into some makeshift temporary justice of forever inadequate...

Three Line Lunch: Destiny in the ER

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 144 Destiny in the ER Destiny’s a drunk transexual smiling with blood on her teeth, Frankenstein stitches On her cheek, biker boyfriend at hand. She tripped and bashed her face in a parking lot. “Bring me Atavan!” she yells, laughing. “Before my DTs start! You can’t keep me...

Three Line Lunch: Testimonies in the Court of the Heart

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 143 Testimonies in the Court of the Heart Showed up yesterday to the Court of the Heart with testimonies In my back pocket, and I read them out in a clear strong voice. I copped to my lies and my truths, and now the judge...

Three Line Lunch: Silent in the Court of the Heart

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 142 Silent in the Court of the Heart Today I observe the Rite of Silence For anything I say can and may be used against me In the Court of the...

Three Line Lunch: Things Wondrous Made of Plain Things

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 141 Things Wondrous Made of Plain Things (NELA Art Walk) We buy three stars of rusty nails and screws from Nan’s show at Future Studios, Then move on to MorYork, a fantabulous treasure trove of artistic assemblage oddities Display cases, statues, things hanging, things wondrous made of plain...

Three Line Lunch: The Love-Killer

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 140 The Love-Killer Sometimes I see her scanning my eyes for what she fears. Sometimes I see clear love like clean water glistening in the sun Going all the way down. Fear is the love-killer. We must dive...

Three Line Lunch: Your Wild Flower

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 139 Your Wild Flower How I do love Your wild flower, down among Your sweet native grasses.

Three Line Lunch: Holiday Watermelon Belly

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 138 Holiday Watermelon Belly Looking down as I sit naked writing on my laptop in bed I see the round watermelon-ness of my belly, holiday legacy, and I know That it’s time to do a bowel cleanse again and start...

Three Line Lunch: Dealing With Shit

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 137 Dealing With Shit At my counselor’s again last night, dealing with shit. There’s rarely a shortage of shit to deal with, is there? Oh well. Progress was made. Life is good when it’s real, even when it’s...

Three Line Lunch: Two Rides at Disneyland Courthouse

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 136 Two Rides at Disneyland Courthouse We’re lined up against the dirty cream stuccoed wall as if awaiting a firing squad In the security line that snakes around outside the downtown LA courthouse. I could’ve ridden two rides at Disneyland by the time I make it...

Three Line Lunch: Messy Affairs

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 135 Messy Affairs Over twenty-three days I’ve posted six poems, drafted and noted Several more. Today I stitch it all together, fill in back-dated the online blanks Of my own life and delinquent art. Poetry and life can be messy...

Hippie Squared: The Tickle Game

I set out on our trip to South Carolina for family Christmas this year with one central mission: to win the hearts and minds of my niece Genevieve, age five and my nephew Jackson, age four. I had the honor five years ago to share Genevieve’s first Christmas, but she was less than a year old then and she doesn’t remember me bouncing her on my knee while she laughed. She and Jackson don’t seem to remember Christmas from two years ago very clearly either, which is just as well. They just seemed scared of me that year. But that’s okay, I told myself then. Time is on my side. So on the first full day of our trip this year, I found my opening. Genevieve drifted over near me in the living room, looking for something to do. I don’t know how I was inspired to ask this–I guess it just seemed like an important part of a kid’s resume–but I said, “Are you ticklish?” “Yes,” she replied, with a little lyrical upward lilt that seemed to invite further inquiry. “Do you like to be tickled?” “Yes,” she answered again, a little more slyly than shyly this time. So I invited her to be tickled. I stationed myself kneeling on the soft rug in the central hallway not far from the Christmas tree, and she and soon Jackson, called by the laughter of his cousin, would play at trying to get by me. I would grab them and tickle them: the magic waist spot, armpits, bottoms of feet, even the neck eventually. They would roll and tumble and laugh and giggle. This quickly became known as “The Tickle Game” and we played it almost every day. Jackson is a real competitor—at about two he asked his parents to call him...

Three Line Lunch: Griffith Park Assignation

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 134 Griffith Park Assignation She reads sexy Lost Girls at Skylight Books before we leave for movie. I detour into Griffith Park past Authorized Personnel Only sign. Fold seats down and under blanket I answer her pressing need oh yes I...

Three Line Lunch: Something Has Opened

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 133 Something Has Opened Something has opened something has risen something has fallen away. We talk and we hold, we talk and we sit, we talk and we touch and we kiss. And somehow we’re man and we’re woman and inside and outside we’re...

Three Line Lunch: New Year’s Eve Comes Early

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 132 New Year’s Eve Comes Early New Year’s Eve begins early and could end right there and I’d be fine Because my love is quite loving when I get home. So when the champagne cork pops this midnight it’s merely an after-thought to...

Three Line Lunch: Full Blue Lunar Eclipse

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 131 Full Blue Lunar Eclipse This New Year’s Eve Karin says the full blue lunar eclipse riding tonight’s sky means “let go” and Elise Takes up the chant, so we’ll tumble over hand-in-hand, trying to travel light in spirit, Into this new year that threatens such great grief but holds out such great...

Three Line Lunch: The Softness and the Melting Fire

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 130 The Softness and the Melting Fire My wife was beautiful at dinner and when I park in the dark I do not get out but as if on first date I kiss with senses tuned high And exquisite the softness and the melting...

Three Line Lunch: Triangulation

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 129 Triangulation Yes we see counselor and she is devious and honest and good. We triangulate: a chair, a loveseat, a couch. I boil and recoil. But truths get bandied about and lessons extracted and we write her a...

Three Line Lunch: Where Love Rushes In

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 128 Where Love Rushes In We are standing and we are grieving and I hold her. Hands comfort Hands touch hands move and under hands are familiar contours grown new. Shared hurt builds heat and opens places inside where love rushes...

Three Line Lunch: The Un-guessed

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 127 The Un-guessed When now becomes vividly present the universe changes its shape And I churn in this flow of time, it moves now swift now slow but only in one Relentless direction: out from my discovered sin and toward the...

Three Line Lunch: Christmas With Genevieve and Jackson

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 126 Christmas With Genevieve and Jackson My aim this Christmas: stake my claim on the hearts of my niece and nephew. Four years ago baby Genevieve laughed on my knee. Two years ago I only scared them. Tonight Genevieve comes down before bed and runs to me for a goodnight...

Three Line Lunch: Scotch and Cupcakes This Christmas Eve

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 125 Scotch and Cupcakes This Christmas Eve Beef tenderloin in Dad’s brown sauce. Kid-decorated cupcakes left out for Santa. For father and son left alone at last past midnight talk is love. It flows more freely even Than scotch and beer. On our way to bed Santa leaves only the cupcake...

Three Line Lunch: Dinner at the Seabrook Club

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 124 Dinner at the Seabrook Club Our family ten strong, woven together by choice and blood, through divorce, remarriage And new generations arriving, dine at long table. “It’s good to be all together,” says Dad. “Growing up in conflict and struggle I didn’t have this.” We toast what we all have...

Three Line Lunch: Sea Things

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 123 Sea Things Walking the broad beach, John’s Island, SC, hunting for sea things: Tiny linked translucent white shells like fairy wings, fuzzy antler sea plants, Intact sand dollar, clumped carbuncled shells, thin waves tickling the...

Three Line Lunch: The Great Blue Heron

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 122 The Great Blue Heron On walk by lake back from gym we see him: great blue heron crouched on bank Head cocked back on long neck. He shoots forward, wings spread, beak stabs water. He strokes great wings and rises from lake with a fish draped out of his...

Three Line Lunch: The Tickle Game

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 121 The Tickle Game Uncle Jeff: “Are you ticklish?” Genevieve shyly: “Yes.” “Do you like to be tickled?” Smiling: “Yes.” So I have my in. We invent the tickle game. I’m on rug in hallway; She and Jackson run by, I snag them, tickle waists and armpits to great glorious...

Three Line Lunch: Travel Day

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 120 Travel Day On Sunday we rise in the dark to travel. Over Houston I see the blue gulf curve. From Charleston airport my dad drives us under trees hung with Spanish moss To the island townhouse overlooking salt marsh, and here we will have our...

Three Line Lunch: Mindfulness: What a Good Idea

  a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 119 Mindfulness: What a Good Idea The book: Miracle of Mindfulness. The goal: read it at the park with the dogs. But we get to the park: no book. I find it later, driving home, Flapping tattered in the street: I left it on the roof of the car and drove away....

Three Line Lunch: After Party Anthropologist

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 118 After Party Anthropologist At the after party it’s best to turn anthropologist, sociologist, sit back and watch The dance floor assertions and attempted mergers, the confidences whispered On the smokers’ patio, the pairs who slip out early, the thirsty souls who hang on...

Three Line Lunch: Holiday Staff Party Politics

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 117 Holiday Staff Party Politics She rises to announce the annual recognition award. It will not go to me. But a chant goes up from one table: “Jeff! Jeff! Jeff!” A voice calls: “Where’s Jeff?” I thrust up my hand to silence them. I didn’t ask for this. But I appreciate...

Three Line Lunch: Red at the Vet #3

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 116 Red at the Vet #2: Nailed to a Prognosis X-rays show Red’s tumors have grown, with new liver node. Vet ducks prognosis. “We’re leaving town for a week,” I say. “I need to know if he’ll be here when I get back.” Her gut tells her two weeks, she says, but with cancer it could turn any...

Three Line Lunch: Red at the Vet #3

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 116 Red at the Vet #3: Nailed to a Prognosis X-rays show Red’s tumors have grown, with new liver node. Vet ducks prognosis. “We’re leaving town for a week,” I say. “I need to know if he’ll be here when I get back.” She says her gut tells her two months, but with cancer it could turn any...

Three Line Lunch: Red at the Vet #2

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 115 Red at the Vet #2: Red Loves the Vet Red is that rare dog who loves the vet’s office. It’s just another place where People are nice to him: the vets, the techs, people and dogs in the waiting room. He goes each to each, drops his head, smiles and gives his tail a little...

Three Line Lunch: Red at the Vet #1

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 114 Red at the Vet #1: Emergency Appointment Red’s been living well with cancer. But last couple weeks he can’t get Comfortable at night. He’s lost weight. This morning: sharp breaths, pain. I leave work to carry him downstairs to car for emergency vet...

Three Line Lunch: Rain Magic

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 113 Rain Magic Magic, walking to the car with Elise late, down middle of narrow wet street; Thin spears of rain slant down through the soft umbrella of streetlight, Puddles glisten on the blacktop, smells of wet leaves and...

Three Line Lunch: B-Day Lunch With Chuck for Jason

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 112 B-Day Lunch With Chuck for Jason Jason calls the shots for his b-day lunch: Dong Il Jang in Koreatown. Banchan dishes All over table: Korean pickles in chili and vinegar. Beef barbecued on the table before us, Eaten with onion and oil, then rice fried and spiced in same pan. Buzzing on good...

Three Line Lunch: Late B-Day With My Lunch Crew

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 111 Late B-Day With My Lunch Crew Nicely spiced flatbreads, shawarma, kebabs, amid groups of office holiday lunchers — More diverse than organic friends. “Same for us,” says Jenny: Mexican, Chinese, Armenian and WASP. “This is three-line worthy,” says Saira. “Guaranteed,” says...

Three Line Lunch: Reading is Sexy

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 110 Reading is Sexy Saw a bumper sticker I liked last week: Reading is Sexy. And don’t you look sexy right this very...

Three Line Lunch: Muses

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 109 Muses You take your muses where you can find them. Your wife. Your dog. A flower. A friend. The sound of a car rounding a corner, gathering speed, When you’re up late at night, alone, in the dark: a rumble shaking the...

Three Line Lunch: LA Cold Snap

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 108 LA Cold Snap I the Michigander who loves cold bundled up greedily in bed last night. This morning my Weather Channel iPhone app warns of black snow in the desert And “Frost on the windshield” comes my wife’s text as she leaves for school in the...

Three Line Lunch: Weather Vane in a Hurricane

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 108 Weather Vane in a Hurricane Anything outside that can give you confidence can take it away: black espresso, Beers, something in a little smoke, a beautiful smile turned your way, a rave review. Grow your own within or you will slam around like a weather vane in a...

Hippie Squared: Friends at First Sight

. a blogumn by Jeff Rogers Yesterday it was my birthday. How many people have you known who shared your birthday? Have you been close with any of them? One of my oldest and closest friends, Scott Roat, was born one year after me, same day, but we met both as freshmen at the University of Cincinnati in a beginning German class. In an early class we had to tell our birthdays in German, and we were both December 5th. I could tell just by looking at him that we could be friends. He has never really remembered me from that class, though. The first time he remembers me is the time I asked him to buy me a meatball sandwich. I remember that I introduced myself to him after that class. Had a quick conversation of maybe no more than three or four sentences and went about our ways. May have even found out about both of us being aspiring writers, but that might have come later. But I lived in the dorms. They served every meal except Sunday night dinner and one night on a Sunday I found myself, a hungry freshman boy college student wandering the streets of Clifton, the neighborhood surrounding the university, with no money and casting myself upon the fortunes of fate to furnish a meal. I believe I also had a coupon in my pocket, cut from the college newspaper—a two for one Sunday night special at the local sandwich shop. I loitered near this shop hoping someone I knew would come by, and I could cadge a sandwich off them. Down the darkening street I saw Scott approaching, on this chilly fall night, black coat on, lapels up, his hands thrust in pockets. I think I knew...

Three Day Lunch: Birthday Weekend Saturday

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 107 Birthday Weekend Saturday Figaro French cafe breakfast, latte bowl, rich omelette. Then loft friends downtown Writer and animator over English pub pints. Glendale for annual December birthday boys Dinner with our wives and wine and books before late night vaporizor. Lights out...

Three Line Lunch: Birthday Weekend Friday

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 106 Birthday Weekend Friday Strong coffee slow vacation morn, then the ocean blue on drive to Malibu For long wine lunch easy talk old friends. Then sun falling toward ocean blue I drive Topanga valley to Hollywood for new friends tequila happy hour comedy...

Three Line Lunch: Anatomy Lesson

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 105 Anatomy Lesson Elise, studying for massage therapy test over turkey dinner at Astro diner, Shows me all the little red muscles interlaced between the vertebrae along the spine And remarks, “We’re really just a pile of sticks and rubber...

Three Line Lunch: The Orange

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 104 The Orange Saira running late to join Aram & I for lunch, through text msgs & courses– Entrees, cheese & crackers, apples & oranges. We leave her one round orange On a round paper plate at center of round table. Final txt: “Lovely. Thank...

Three Line Lunch: Saving the Centipede

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 103 Saving the Centipede Instinctive repugnance. The centipede with all its legs swimming Against slick aluminum, scrambles up side of sink, slips back, struggles, slips. I chase it round sink with a jar, scoop it up, carry it out to the...

Three Line Lunch: As I Pour

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 102 As I Pour I hold the steel bottle in my hand as I pour The ice water. I feel the cold climbing From the base of my palm up to my...

Three Line Lunch: Evening With Elise

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 101 Evening With Elise Evening with Elise In our new sitting area, newly upholstered mid-century chairs, Gaming together quietly on our...

Three Line Lunch: Even While I Meditate

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 100 Even While I Meditate Even while I meditate, eyes lidded but not closed, Red in soft focus paces in front of me, Then lies down at my feet, chin on...

Three Line Lunch: And the Loving Turns Fierce

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 99 And the Loving Turns Fierce Cold night patio, absinthe before the flames curling over the glowing wood In the clay chimenea, and the loving turns fierce Before we take it...

Three Line Lunch: Thanksgiving Buffet

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 98 Thanksgiving Buffet with Kimberley and Ed at Castaways From high above on a warm night, at a patio table well-appointed With feast foods, good friends and easy jokes, even Burbank Its lights spread out below and ringed with dark mountains, can be...

Three Line Lunch: Happy Thanksiversary

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 97 Happy Thanksiversary Champagne in glowing flutes with OJ, strong coffee, warm croissants, little dishes Of butter, jams and feta, loving cards in bed this morning because Five years ago this date we were married on the day after...

Three Line Lunch: Morning on My Top Step

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 96 Morning on My Top Step, Petting a Cat, Looking Out Young white woman in full stride with two dogs on short leash, no sniffing allowed. Older Latino couple out health-walking, she in pink terry-cloth hoody, he plodding behind. First of the parade of mothers walking children to Aragon elementary...

Three Line Lunch: Fall Leaves

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 95 Fall Leaves Thich Nhat Hanh’s mindfulness meditation CD plays in my car as I drive to Piper Tech. Walking through the City of LA print shop I see stacks of glossy brochures and postcards Like piles of colorful fall...

Three Line Lunch: I Stop for its Music

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 94 I Stop for its Music Jenny supervises me sorting my books: two seconds to sort into Bye-Bye, Keep, Or Don’t Know. We hear Elise from the other room laughing on the phone. “She has a beautiful laugh,” says Jenny. I stop for its music. “She sure...

Hippie Squared: Family Thanksgiving with Friends

Thanksgiving is by tradition spent with family. But in a place like Los Angeles, particularly, many of us are far from our families, but among friends who become our local families. I’ve been in Los Angeles a long time, and while I’ve often gone back to Michigan for Christmas, I’ve only rarely gone back for Thanksgiving. For a few years there a group of friends from Michigan who had all moved out here would gather for Thanksgiving, and that was nice. As I became more entwined in a new life here, though, I began to develop of group of local friends with whom I had more in common at that time: artists, poets, writers. They reflected what I was becoming, not where I had come from. Getting a new group of friends can be hard. One can become divided. Sometimes you grow into a new group of friends, but you rarely, truly outgrow the old—certainly not if there was any depth to those original friendships. If you can gradually meld the two groups that helps. Invite them all to parties consistently and eventually they’ll inter-mingle and they will probably blend well over time. Anyway, the new group of friends was originally centered around Lani and Steve, Shelley, Harold, Rolly, Kimberley, and Barbara Romain and Chris Peditto. Over the years I’ve spent many a Thanksgiving with those people and others in that circle in various combinations. But I courted that group of friends for some time before I truly felt like I belonged. Barbara is an artist, and she and Chris in particular are close to my wife Elise and I now. Not long ago Elise and I were at Barbara and Chris’s house. She rotates her paintings on the walls, new ones, old ones,...

Three Line Lunch: Tale of Two Birthdays

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 93 Tale of Two Birthdays For Cappell it’s a surprise Lebowski party. I wear my Lebowski-Fest bowling shirt. For Michael it’s a part the Gaza/Manning loft downtown, spacious And partitioned with bookshelves gloriously stocked. Nice people...

Three Line Lunch: Pushy Asshole

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 92 Pushy Asshole Light turns I’m stuck in intersection. I squeeze in to right of car ahead. In her bubble she rages. “Roll it down,” I mouth. “You can’t cut!” she yells. I try to explain that I wasn’t. She: “I’m not listening, you pushy...

Three Line Lunch: One of Those Days

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 91 One of Those Days no whining. i’ll find my ground and stand it, with those who have my back. i live only so much of my life in public verse, so i’ll say no more but this: anyone who knows offices knows office...

Three Line Lunch: What We Take In

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 90 What We Take In Second day on the Dr. Schultze bowel cleanse, my second one this year, And thinking about what we take in. It’s vegan and no caffeine for a week, But full of energy. Cheated with a cheese enchilada and got a...

Three Line Lunch: Digging a Cat Grave

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 89 Digging a Cat Grave The dead smell came up through the floorboards last night. This morning, I crawled under the house, flashlight in teeth, found her, the neighborhood matriarch. I dug a good grave where the earth was soft. We marked it with big...

Three Line Lunch: Bad Groove

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 88 Bad Groove Sometimes you get stuck in a bad groove. Buzzing, popping, clicking, scratching. Repeating. So do you shoot an elbow into the turntable Or do you lift the arm gently and try to find the next...

Three Line Lunch: Where the Wilds Things Are Movie

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 87 Where the Wild Things Are Movie Sometimes we act stupid and we mess things up. Sometimes we try to act smart and we mess things up. Sometimes we have to howl it all out before we can smile...

Three Line Lunch: Full Weekend

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 86 Full Weekend Folk rock and chili dogs with Jason Friday night. Saturday van trip north For subservise union gathering. Sunday brunch with Melanie then tonight it’s Elliott Levin & Don Preston: wild improv jazz at the Tribal...

Three Line Lunch: Elevator Repair

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 85 Elevator Repair “How’s your day?” Kari asks at the elevator, just after Clark has stalked in wielding clenched teeth and deadlines. “It just took a serious turn for the annoying,” I say, and we...

Three Line Lunch: :)

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 84 :) How pretty she smiles Walking into the restaurant Looking down at the text message nestled in her...

Three Line Lunch: Sequence

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 83 Sequence Life’s a series of moments that seem to be over as soon as they begin. I push my fingers into your hair and sweep it behind your ear. I’ve clocked this poem at less than twenty seconds to...

Three Line Lunch: All Asleep and All Good

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 82 All Asleep and All Good Elise lies on the couch propped on pillows, TV for a lullaby; Her cheek cradled in her palm, lower lip drooping, and She is again a sweet little girl, pretty child, all asleep and all...

Three Line Lunch: The Mission of San Juan Capistrano Ruins

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 81 With Elise and Michele at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano Ruins People heaved these rocks up for walls before they tumbled down. People lie under the grass in this cemetery. People walked these cold Stone floors and in this courtyard they gathered the sun into their...

Three Line Lunch: Committed to Fun

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 80 Committed to Fun Seeing Leon Russell at the Coach House, at long communal table. Old George Sits nearby, missing girlfriend Dee. They live two hours apart, but are bound By legal commitment to stay together for as long as they keep having...

Hippie Squared: Goofy old Genesis

As a sort of coda to my last two blog postings about matters spiritual and religious, I thought I’d say a few words coming off seeing the art exhibit of R. Crumb’s illustrated version of Genesis at the Armand Hammer museum. I wrote about it already, over here, in my other Fierce and Nerdy incarnation, “Three Line Lunch,” but three lines only captures a little of what I felt was noteworthy. A close reading of Genesis reveals a lot. Crumb, in his project of illustrating it, has given it his own close reading. And since he reproduces the text nearly word for word, if you read his version, you do a sort of guided close reading of your own. There’s a lot to notice in that crazy book that doesn’t often get talked about. I remember reading once that something like 94% of self-identified atheists had read the bible, whereas, for instance, something like 6% of Catholics had. That doesn’t surprise me. There’s so much in there that works only as myth. To take it literally, word-for-word, as fundamentalist Christians do, is simply ludicrous. Anyone who tries to do that is contorting their brain in ways that just can’t be healthy for their overall cognition. There’s much in Genesis that seems pretty clearly to be a mash-up of different versions of the same basic stories. It’s easy to believe that when the priestly caste got together to codify this thing, they had to resolve various versions from various sub-groups of the overall tribe, to get them to mesh. And they didn’t always mesh all that comfortably. Crumb’s introduction takes up the notion that part of what’s at work in it is an assertion of patriarchy over earlier matriarchal traditions, and it’s not hard to...

Three Line Lunch: In the Rearview Mirror on Highway 5 South

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 79 In the Rearview Mirror on Highway 5 South She’s passenger. He’s driving. Her face is angry and she speaks quickly. She leans away from him. He leans toward...

Three Line Lunch: R Crumb’s Genesis at Armand Hammer Museum

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 78 R. Crumb’s Genesis at Armand Hammer Museum Images and episodes linger. Crumb’s expressive faces. Isaac and Rebekah Lying together in innocent loving human nakedness. Abraham pimping His wife to two separate rulers for riches. God’s breath on the whirling...

Three Line Lunch: The Young Cats

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 77 The Young Cats It’s the young cats who are curious about the bath. They bat The plastic curtain aside, curl little paws over the porcelain, perch on the rim And peer bravely into the water, paw at the toes resting near the...

Three Line Lunch: The Virus Paws at My Gate

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 76 The Virus Paws at My Gate Hate being sick. But the virus paws at my gate. I take measures. Stay home. Rest. Thai massage, hot Thai curry, cold Thai beer. Lovecraft & zazen. Netty pot. Reading Chopra in a long hot bath. Methods both conventional & un. I...

Three Line Lunch: To Eat and Sleep is Almost All

a yearlong diary in three-line poems by Jeff Rogers, day 75 To Eat and Sleep is Almost All The animals that humans have domesticated as pets Are as bound to ritual as we are. Our cats each have their place To eat, the dogs each have theirs, each has their sleeping...