Achilles in Jasper, Texas

Achilles in Jasper, Texas

I know this: a man walked home drunk
along the corduroy of pines
in west Texas, the bronze duff and

the dust and the late light that fell
on him. Three men gave him a lift

that afternoon and raised him
with their fists and lowered
him with their nigger this and

nigger that and after a while,
when all the fun they could have

with him leaked out into
the ruts of a logging cut,
they tied him to the boat

hitch of their truck and pulled
away. I know he kept his head up

awhile because his elbows were
ground to the bone; I know enough
was finally enough, and his head

left his body behind,
but I don’t know what to do

with this, America, this rage
like Achilles twitching
Hector behind his chariot

for 12 days until even
the gods were ashamed.

–Jeffrey Thompson
2008 Split This Rock Adult Poetry Festival Winner

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In The Know

Have you ever been in a position where you know you should be somewhere else but, and for whatever reason,  you remain where you are completely entrenched in a potentially bad situation?

Yeah, I know this feeling very well now.

The other day I ran into–let’s just say, an uniquely surly type of guy–and as we started to talk about the US economy and the intricate details surrounding the chaos on Wall St. and the surrounding infrastructures, I suddenly realized that this guy, who just knew too much about too many things about the US government, didn’t quite bode well with my senses. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have spent many a moment or two speaking with complete strangers and in very diverse situations, but this conversation by far took the cake.  So, reaching back to my earlier question, why didn’t I leave or remember that I had a pot of boiling water at the house?

God only knows.

The curiosity.  The conversation. The fact that his voice and features resembled Vladimir Putin.

Yeah, I know.

Needless to say, I should have practiced better judgment but honestly, we didn’t discuss anything that would have made my butt cheeks pucker. In fact, despite knowing too much information for my comfort about the US government, he and I laughed at many things that affect both of our daily interactions.  One thing that I have yet to laugh at is the fact that a recent domestic flight shortly after “the meeting” quickly led me to front ticket counter.  For some God-awful reason, I am now on the Federal Watch List.

Yeah, I know.

M.C. Davis

Time Is One Your Side?

In more ways than one at times.

For example, the other day I was walking down the street and thought to myself to walk into a local bookstore for some adventurous reading. In a moment that seemed like a nanosecond, I was scooped up into a 3 hour period. Last week, when I was chatting with a complete stranger on a park bench about the economy and the possible solutions, I was also scooped into a 2 hour window of “Where the hell did the time go?”. This situation, as it stands, is very common and now that it’s getting a little cooler on the DC streets, perhaps this will change.  But, as it stands now, I might need to keep my assets close for fear of losing them without my approval.

And yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve written but of late, I have been crazy busy with work and life. My running, for example, has become more than about me. For the people that work for me, I have been tasked to lead them and in this game of leadership, there are no options. So, as their leader, I have taken my skills to the running track and beyond. There are times where I’ve ran a total of 10 miles through the day! However, this is bliss for me and if I told you I wasn’t the happiest runner alive, then I would fibbing my arse off.  Next step, get these guys focused on themselves vice me chasing after them at 4am.

Lastly, I can’t believe it’s October and even closer to November. Can you believe that we’re almost to the point of saying “Merry Christmas!”. Believe I lose my mind, remind me that we’re not getting older at the same time?

So, yes, time is on your side but depending on which side of bed you rise from, will most definitely change your outlook on the very simple practice of living life.

M.C. Davis

Small Steps

So, I’m sitting on the couch in my usual position of intense and almost irrefutable laziness, and all of a sudden, my neck and back feel like two toothpicks fighting for a seat at a Laker’s game!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had many “crooks” in my neck over these fun and exciting 32 years, but this one has taken me to that place where I question my own existence. I mean, I feel like my neck has ran a few marathons, and before it has had the chance to rest, it’s force-fed into a blender and quietly mocked from outside its plastic and metal prison. So, Motrin and I have become best of friends and for once in my life, I am reminded of how valuable it is to take care of your body, because somewhere in the mess of things, your body will take care of you.

(or something like that…)

Other than that, I missed the Army 10-miler this year, even though I signed up with tons of enthusiam. Even walking around the Expo center to pick up my packet and running supplies–including a $130 pair of new shoes–I felt good and excited about the run. However, the CPO process had taken a toll on my training program and for once in my life, I didn’t feel ready to compete in a race that truly would’ve proven seriously how to torment a body that’s not ready for 10 miles of running. So, I slept in until around 10am and as my hefty reward, I got a serious crook in my neck and remained in race denial for the rest of the day. I know God works in mysterious ways but man, he could have left just a tad bit of mystery in my current physical condition.

So, the next step is obviously a new race, with a new training regimen and of course, a new attitude about prioritizing the most important things I need to do to keep myself in shape for any dilemma or schedule change.

My buddy Matt and I hung out this week and had a blast. He’s probably the coolest guy I’ve come across in the military and at times, I forget we’re situated right smack dab in it.  He’s crazy smart and humble at the same time and gives me a new meaning of friendship each time we hang. Of course, the fact that he used to work for me in Brunswick for 3 years doesn’t help either…in either case, I hope we hang as much as need to.

That’s it for now. Quick week off and finally got into the guts of the bathroom–which I hate by the way–and cleaned, cleaned, and yes, did some more cleaning. I even cooked dinner which is quite rare for me to do.

I suppose these hard economic times are causing more than one habit to change.

M.C. Davis