Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Annual ManualInternshipMartini Fest

Des Moines Art CenterBike World
Posted August 27, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

How did you spend your summer vacation?

The blank white paper sitting on the laminate desk glares back unhopefully. Of course, the early morning fluorescent light doesn’t help, nor does the scratching sound of other pens. Your classmates busily write of north woods adventures, trips to Okoboji, the awesome water park ride at Adventureland. Perhaps if you turn

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Posted August 20, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

The train station interviews

Maybe buildings aren’t just brick and mortar and wood and stone and paint and tile. Perhaps they absorb all the life that scuffs their floors, and gives voice off their walls, and pushes at their revolving doors. Sort of like that crumpled shirt on the bedroom floor that smells of

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Posted August 13, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Included in the price of the ticket

“Don’t stare,” our mothers instructed, as they pulled one arm away from whatever caught our fancy. This parental technique, always hopeful and always coming from a good place, was always a disaster since our remaining limbs and extended necks then swiveled in the other direction, away from our fast-walking, arm-yanking

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Posted August 06, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Perhaps it is time to draw attention

Quiet is the only sound to be heard in this old neighborhood. Until a distant bird starts to chirp. Softly. Ah, and there’s the ever-present squawk of a seagull. Demanding attention. Irritating. No different than that scolding squirrel in your own backyard. Tossing the husk of an acorn at your

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Posted July 30, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

‘Are you all right?’

Every four years she resurfaces, magically it seems. Not a sighting for months and months, then “bang,” there she is on our TV screens, surprising us with her raw power, her vertical jump, her quick reflexes. Suddenly we are rooting and cheering as if she’d never left. Our long lost

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Posted July 23, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

A sense of place

Look for Iowa farmers before planting. You’ll see their pickups parked at an angle in the entrance to their fields, like they didn’t have enough time to park straight with all the traffic in the ditch. Driver’s doors left wide open in the supposed rush. And a short distance away,

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Posted July 16, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Aging in wonder

THE STYLIST Leaning in over the chair, his right arm held up and out in classic ballroom dance form — elbow high, left hand centered, body balanced — he cuts hair. Elegant, poised, and the center of his world. No orchestra, just the sound of the scissors. Snip, snip, snip,

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Posted July 09, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Girl with a volleyball

The Girl holds herself with regal deportment. Shoulders down, back straight, head turned, ready to receive her fans. She comes home after being gone from Holland for too long. Japan, New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco and Italy. She was sorely missed. The crowds on this Friday in The Hague

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Posted July 02, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

A Dutch bar — in three games

The high gloss on the wood shines as the rag wipes the first spill of beer to the side. The movement of the rag continues over the wood, back and forth, polishing, as the young bartender patiently waits. He is almost indolent at this early stage of the evening. Why

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Posted June 25, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Summer solstice with a witch

The witch sits across from me at the table, smiling. No pointed hat. No flying broom. Not a single cackle is recorded during our long conversation. She is smart, open, answers each question carefully, and is aware of “being made a fool” by others. She does suggest that I don’t

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