Thursday, June 28, 2007


Land Mammal tagged everyone reading her blog to reveal eight things about themselves. My list appears below. Many somewhat more private things about me appear in my blog if you can get past the photographs and my attempts to make my blog less revealing or impersonal.

1) I was born in what was then called French Morocco, which technically makes me African-American. This foreign birth would prevent me from becoming president, assuming, of course, that I had the money to run for office. The idea of the average person becoming president is a myth.

2) I didn’t get my first driving license until I was 37. Before that point, I relied on public transportation and my own feet to get to where I wanted to go. Although I had driven my roommate’s car in the Air Force, I didn’t start driving again until I met my wife, fifteen years later.

3) I don’t usually eat meat for any meal except dinner. Bacon frying in the morning smells awful. I prefer my portion of grease later in the day; my wife, however, dislikes having bacon and eggs for dinner.

4) I have been stopped by the police for my driving on five occasions, three times for speeding, once for not stopping at a stop sign, and, most recently, for turning left on a green light when an oncoming car was approaching. The Lansing, Kansas policeman who stopped me said that I needed to wait for the green arrow and only gave me a warning because of my “spotless record.” I was driving my wife’s car at the time; it’s adorned with blue flashing lights attached to the tires’ valve stems, so the policeman probably thought that I was a kid or something. These five stops have only resulted in two tickets and a written warning.

5) I’ve never spent a night in jail. I was once mistaken for a trustee returning from funeral leave when I taught at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, the only maximum security prison for military prisoners. This case of mistaken identity only lasted for a few moments.

6) With the exception of socks, boxer shorts, and t-shirts, I tend to leave new clothes and shoes unworn for six months or a year before I dig them out of my closet. I’m trying to break this habit although I still have shoes I haven’t worn as of yet.

7) My chapbook of poems The Lights of Carrickfergus has been rejected twenty-six times. I’ve had positive feedback a couple of times and was once offered a contract as a runner-up if I could sell one hundred and fifty copies prior to the first printing. The twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth reactions to my chapbook have not yet been received.

8) I haven’t written a new poem in about two years. The majority of the poems I’ve written since earning my PhD have been left unfinished. I don’t know when I’ll write another poem. It was my poetry that got me through all three degrees. The voices of my teachers have long left my head, and I’m still not writing. I don’t know what it will take to get me writing poems again. The woman who read my tarot cards at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival said I need to take a writing class.

Those of you able to get through this list should consider yourself tagged.