Teeter-Totter Border

Neighboring Communities Playfully Connect Atop Neon Pink Teetertotters Slotted Through the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall
Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello have long worked in activating structures in projects that blur the line between art and architecture. The Oakland-based duo, who self-describe as pursuing “applied architectural research”, also have a longstanding interest in the United States-Mexico border wall


Thanks to Lucy Moore for discovering this!

3 Haiku by Michael G. Smith: From 100 Thousand Poets for Change Reading

sky-blue piñata
my walking stick

Flip Flop, a co-created book of haiku by Miriam Sagan and Michael G. Smith,
Miriam’s Well, 2017

along the path
to the dead poet’s cabin
footprints in the mud

The Dippers Do Their Part, a co-created book of haibun and katagami by
Michael G. Smith and Laura Young, Miriam’s Well, 2015

willows bare
house sparrows
preen feathers

The Self Who Is Hungry by Miriam Sagan

I’ll be posting a few more days of haiku from a wonderful reading last week. But today is prose–memoir–from a rather difficult book I’m working on. Difficult how? Well, it seems that telling secrets simply and directly might not be as easy as I’d hoped. Still, this one works for me.

At the corner of Church and Market, on the south side of the street, was a small restaurant we just called “the sushi hole.” It had a real name in Japanese, but no one used it.
Zen koans are full of mean waitresses.
The young monk asks the tea lady: Can I order some cookies and macha?
She says: Show me the self that is hungry and you can have cookies and tea.
He stands there like the doofus he is, mute.
At the sushi hole, there was the fierce looking chef behind the bar and the small bossy proprietress in front. There was usually a wait to get in, but a short one. They were fast. Sometimes you didn’t get what you ordered. You might want yellowfin, but they’d serve the catch of the day. Or the proprietress would decide you “needed” something in particular.
One day when I was having a late lunch and the place was quiet she said to me: “What you do?” She practically yelled. It didn’t sound like ordinary chit-chat.
Good question. I hadn’t the slightest idea. I had a small massage practice, mostly Zen students with sciatica. All I’d ever wanted was a boyfriend and now I had a serious one—a husband, actually. I wanted to be a poet and I certainly was trying—writing, reading, avoiding a suburban life.
“You!” Now she was yelling. “Concentrate!” At the time I thought she was noticing how much I was trying to focus. But as time passed, it see med more and more like advice.
Thirty-five years later I was sitting on the floor in the great Narita train station outside Tokyo. I was sobbing. I had just arrived in Japan and was jet-lagged. I was starving and had to pee but had been told “stay with the luggage” by my daughter and son-in-law, who were my guides on this trip. I was beyond culture-shocked.
My daughter Isabel found me, and in one look ascertained the situation. “I’m going to get you some little sandwiches,” she said in a coaxing voice. “I have yen from my last trip so I’ll do that right now, before I change my money. Nice little sandwiches, you’ll like them. With no crust. They come in packages of three. Do you want egg salad? It comes with cheese and pimento ones.”
I had taken the self who was hungry half way around the world. Maybe I still couldn’t show it, but the person I had fed as a baby could see it.
“Yes,” I said.
The sandwiches of course were delicious.