Pairing Your Poetry


Allen Ginsberg – Black IPAHowl













Jack Kerouac – Cheap red wine













Pablo Neruda – Sweet Port or Sangria








Dylan Thomas – 19 shots of whiskey (if you’re buying)















Shel Silverstein – Whiskey, Maker’s Mark




E. E. Cummings – Gin and Tonic








youngfrostRobert Frost – Black Coffee








Naomi Shihab Nye- an almond fig liqueur 











Baudelaire500Baudelaire – Absinthe and water.










Bukowski – whiskey or cheap malt liquor/beer







BIO_Mini-Bios_William-Shakespeare_SF_HD_768x432-16x9 Shakey Baby – Mojitos




Anne Sexton – a nice large glass of a dry pinot noir.








Walt Whitman -a double shot of wheat grass and a drop of honey   








Ferlinghetti – Bourbon and Ginger Ale









I can’t resist – Buffalo Trace bourbon


Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah 

The Bright Side of Hackers

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Keren Elazari is a security expert, public speaker and industry analyst with GIGAOM Research.  Since 2000, Keren has worked with leading IT vendors, government organizations, Big 4 firms and Fortune 500 companies.
Keren is a featured speaker at many international events such as TED 2014, RSA Conference, DLD, NATO’s Cyber Conflict Conference, DEFCON, WIRED and more. Keren is fascinated by the rising power of hackers, the value of data and the evolution of security paradigms.

In 2012, Keren held the position of Security Teaching Fellow with Singularity University.  Keren holds a BA in History & Philosophy of Science from Tel Aviv University, and the international accreditation for Information security professionals, CISSP since 2007.

Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security at Tel Aviv University, where she explores the intersection of cyber conflict and politics.


Keren Elazari gave a TED talk about the positive side of hackers.

Maybe not even the “positive side”: she explained the useful, pragmatic, philosophical side of hackers.

Because when the typical person thinks of hackers, they think of things like this:

computer-hackerI am exploiting your grocery list, Mrs. Robinson. 


hackers-cast-thumb-560x286Meet me in the basement after 3rd period. And bring your snazzy jackets. 

What a hacker really looks like is this:


This is Kevin Mitnick.  He was one of the first notorious hackers of the 90s, and he is holding a “Free Kevin” sticker that was on every linux computer back in the day, including mine.

 Keven was before his time in hacking.  “In 1999, he pleaded guilty to seven felony counts of wire and computer fraud that he committed between 1992 and 1995.[5] At the time of his arrest, he was the most wanted hacker in the United States history and a federal fugitive…

but the way he got started was,

At age 15, Mitnick used social engineering and dumpster diving [12] to bypass the punch card system used in the Los Angeles bus system. After a friendly bus driver told him where he could buy his own ticket punch, he could ride any bus in the greater LA area using unused transfer slips he found in the trash. Social engineering later became his primary method of obtaining information, including user-names and passwords and modem phone numbers.”

He started hacking in order to fill a need.  Illegally, mind you.  But he got around the system.

So, how can hacker poets hack the system?  Is there a need we have to fill of poetry that speaks for our culture…do we post our poems on lampposts again?  Should we use form? Do we have to lower the bar of quality to write coffee shop poetry?  How do we raise the bar of quality and write poetry that matters?


The soul of Hacker Poetry is the hacker nature of the poet.

The past 2 or 3 generations have been hacked to bits.  The 70s were protests.  The 80s were hope that never panned out.  We were told to “Say No, and Wear Neon.”  The 90s started getting moody, and we don’t have a term for 2000-2010.  The Millenials?  What about the last 4 years?  Where are we?  Who are we now?

During WWII the nation was told to fight for their country.  Yet, after 9/11 we were told to spend to keep the economy going.

Who are we now?

College students with $100K of debt?  Mothers who have taken a sabbatical from writing to raise their children?  Fathers who have a decent job?  We certainly aren’t the Beat Poets ditching society and driving in a beater to Alaska.

We will put these hacked pieces together and make poetry that speaks for this.  We will do it with, or without, the approval and praise of academia.  You don’t need a book club meeting at Borders on Tuesday nights at 7 to write poetry that matters.

So write. 

What Would Peter Quill Do?


..An alien entity called the Master of the Sun later visits the space station that Quill and other astronauts are inhabiting, and offers the mantle of Star-Lord to a worthy candidate. Quill volunteers, but is rejected in favor of a colleague he once treated badly.

Quill is outraged, and NASA orders his return to Earth and discharge for his conduct. Instead, he steals a scout ship, returns to the space station, and takes his colleague’s place. Quill becomes Star-Lord, with the Master of the Sun first creating an illusion in which the character is able to find and kill the aliens that murdered his mother to free him of his past. Equipped with a sentient vessel called “Ship”, Quill commences his role as Star-Lord.


Life isn’t always easy.

Sometimes life isn’t easy because you aren’t utilizing yourself.  If I don’t do the laundry, life is harder because we don’t have clothes to wear.  If you don’t do your job, you don’t have money to support yourself.  Sometimes it’s our fault for the hard times.

But sometimes things happen completely out of our control, and you have two options:

1. Be a victim to your circumstances.

2. Steal a starship and become the Star-Lord.

Okay, so stealing a starship might be a little more difficult (for some), but let’s use it as a metaphor.

Life is just a series of circumstances.  You can either let the circumstances control you, or you can control the circumstances.  Even if they’re bad.  Even if they are a step back.  Even if they are a bucket full of rejection: use the bad, the step back and the rejection to make yourself stronger, better and smarter about where you want to be, what you want to be doing, and ultimately who you want to be.

Sometimes, life is tough.

But what would Peter Quill do in the face of defeat?  He would want to be in space, driving a starship, as the Star-Lord.




That is what Peter Quill would do.




Pairing Your Poetry

This is an amazing idea.  Stick with me…

The other day I tweeted, “‘Howl’ is definitely a black IPA kind of poem. Enjoying both.

And I suddenly realized that I could pair poetry!  With alcohol*!


Inglorious-BastardsAww yisss…see, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

 So let’s do this thing!!

#1 What is your favorite drink?

#2 What is your poetry of choice? (Whitman, Silverstein, Shakespeare, Ezra Pound, whatever you want)

I’ll be posting the chart on Friday!





*There is a difference between a connoisseur, who knows everything, a drunk, who drinks everything, and a snob, who admires only the select. I am the latter.

My Pilgrimage to North Beach

This past Saturday, we needed to get out of the house.  It was hot (+100F, blech), and the only thing I had to do was cleaning.  Who wants to do that?  Not this girl.

So we headed to SF for an adventure day.  Originally we were going to go to the zoo…but after spending more time enjoying ourselves at The Melt, eating ridiculously good jalapeno and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, than we intended, I had to look for something else to occupy our afternoon.

Suddenly I remembered what I wanted to do: CRASH NORTH BEACH.

If you don’t know why, I’ll tell you why:


The Beat Generation really found itself in North Beach.  They even have a Beat Museum…which is cool, even though it seems to go against the whole grain of “Beat.”  Just my opinion on that.

So, the first place we went was Cafe Trieste, which has walls and walls of pictures of amazing poets (Allen Ginsberg), writers (Francis Ford Coppola) and visionaries (Lawrence Farlenghetti).

I got two cups of black coffee, and it came out of an old school glass carafe…and it was really good coffee!  I know this is an odd thing to marvel over, but ordering black coffee is tricky because it is either really weak or really bitter.  This was strong, but not burnt.   So, I approve.



Then we went across the street to “City Lights,” which was not only co-created by Mr. Lawrence Farlenghetti, but it was the publishing house for most of the Beat Poets’ first books, such as “Howl and other poems” by Allen Ginsberg.



IMG_8733 IMG_8735


This is the first floor of the bookstore, and I tried not to look like a tourist.  So I put my phone on mute so no one would hear my phone take pictures.  It was a total Batman move, on my part.IMG_8737


There were pictures and original posters for world-changing books all over the place.  My geek-o-meter was completely off the charts.



I started walking upstairs and took pictures of entire book cases so I had the titles of all the books to add to my reading list. IMG_8739 IMG_8740

Along with some websites for later!



Here is where I almost wept.  This was the staircase to the Beat Poetry room. There were pictures of the poets along the way, and quotes from the poets typed and framed.  It was ascending to victory.IMG_8742




I also took some pictures of names I wanted to check out later.  This is the dedication page of “Outlaw Poetry” which is an anthology by SanFrancisco poet, Alan Kaufman.  I have been thoroughly enjoying reading his works and projects, and I am really hoping to learn something from him.  He and some buddies almost had a Free University in SF, but it looks like the idea fell apart, which is a bummer (but understandable).IMG_8744

What is the “Constructivist Moment”??   I love finding things I never knew about.IMG_8745


So, I bought a few books (which will be in another post, entirely) and a “City Lights” button for my backpack,  and went outside to find Ben and the kids, who I could hear playing in Jack Keurouac Alley through the poetry room window.

But first, I found Vesuvio, the famed bar that the Beats frequented.  That shall be visited later.  IMG_8746


In the alley were a bunch of these lovely quotes from poets.  IMG_8747


And Eve loved showing me her dancing in the middle of Jack Kerouac’s circle, which was far too fitting.IMG_8748

Little Moments on Friday

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Line up your martinis like a lady, girls.

Now that school has started, I am a little busier.

Just a little bit. (she says sarcastically with a wickedly wry smile)

It has been my goal all week to get caught up with laundry (no…stop laughing, I’m serious).  I am happy to say we have clean towels and a couple clean pants.  Fortunately we have a free weekend at home, so I’m really…really…going to try to make a dent in laundry.

I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed with the kitchen, that was clean yesterday afternoon.  There are mysterious spots on the carpet that I’ve been meaning to clean for a week or two.  I did get back on track with exercising…for the most part.  And I’ve been doing well with eating good food all week.  But you know how you wake up and all you see around you are things you haven’t done, things you have done that have been undone, and things you don’t even want to do?

Those are rough mornings.

I realized I was in a bad place when I began the day by snapping at the kids…but I’m not spending the day getting on them for my own frustrations.  So I took all those expectations that I think matter so much…and drowned them in a cup of coffee with 3 sugar cubes and heavy whipping cream…because I am a beast!…and I didn’t sit at my desk all day.  I did school with the kids on the couch, I got the kitchen cleaned (again), I took some of the kids for a walk with the dogs and enjoyed talking with some neighbors.

It was shaping up to be a better day.

But then I went outside to water the plants, and I noticed there was a mom and her little boy at our Little Free Library.  I’ve noticed a few moms already who make it a routine to stop by the Little Free Library with their kids, and it is now part of their week to get books together.  You know what that is?  That is AWESOME!

Seeing them really made me think though: as parents, you invest so much time into your home and into your kids.  So many little things throughout the day to make sure everyone is heard and taken care of.  Making their favorite sandwich for lunch when you know they have a tough day ahead of them; finding their favorite shoes for class; remembering the names of their favorite characters and asking about them.  All these little moments can add up…and they are no longer little moments, but the moments that they will remember when they are older.

I really didn’t know how the Little Free Library was going to turn out.  I just did it because it was a fun project to do with the kids.  But I’m finding out that there are tons of other families who are actually making it a part of their lives now…sometimes the little things you do have big effects that you don’t see until later.

So, that’s what I’m finishing the week with.  Make the little moments count just as much as the big ones.

Cheers 🙂


The Helmet – A Jig Into New Formalism

So, for the past 30 years Poetry has been in a New Formalism phase…

which doesn’t seem to be a phase, after 30 years.

But if that’s what the kids are doing these days, then let’s do this thing.


The Helmet

If you drop your helmet, and there is no expected

Damage, you might want to consider a survey

inspection.  Falling on the soft shoulder may

have saved your head.  But, get your helmet inspected.


Mini stress fractures can compromise your advantage.

So, in the event of an accident,

it may not protect you 100%.

The helmet may not appear to be damaged.


It is not always the case.  You can have it inspected

to see if all is okay with the integrity.

It feels like the time has been crushed into brevity;

That is how things go. The events were connected.





360evrThat’s how it’s done, folks.





A Little Poetry For Sunday

I was a poet way before I was a blogger…so how about some poetry for you lovely people?


In The Wilderness


In the wilderness

begins my walk across the baked earthen floor.

The sun’s gaze was so much greater

with no tree or building to hide me;

the ground has not had rain

and is as parched as my soul;

Even the hungry wind barely carries

the meager dust and pollen from

desert flowers, somewhere in the distance.

Somewhere in the distance

I can see some desert flora

hiding in the heat waving on the ground.

It seems, the dry yet fertile land around me

holds many seeds, but they lay in a

dormant sleep

under my feet

until they find the grace

in the clouds.

There is no harvest.

I can barely scrape

a handful of dirt in my hands.

There are cloudless skies.

There is no rain.

There are no shadows under which to hide.

There are no shadows under the sun,

no where to escape, no hiding place I can see.

In the middle of the desert,

I have found myself.

My heart is searching for something

incredible; and yet, I have walked into

the barren land which can’t even grow shadows.

My mind feels lost, being so exposed.

Yet this rouge shape that sits on the horizon

compels me to continue.

I am compelled to continue,

because if I sit, I will be lost in the wilderness

for the eternity of my soul.  But this blush of hope on the horizon

beckons me with such burning intrigue

I can only heed its call.

When I reach the plant, nay a foot high in person

I tower over its beauty,

which called to me from across the entire desert.

This prickled desert rose, such an unusual presence in a

place of barren thoughts;

Her purpose was not to be beautiful unto herself,

but to use the barren land around her

to show the enormous beauty

God could fit

into something so small.