Plus open mic. (3 minutes) – The host will be taking open mic signups during the event.
Hosted by Jerry T. Johnson
Mark Saba’s book publications include four works of fiction and three of poetry, most recently Two Novellas: A Luke of All Ages / Fire and Ice (fiction), Calling the Names (poetry), and Ghost Tracks (stories about Pittsburgh, where he grew up). His work has appeared widely in literary magazines around the U.S. and abroad. He is also a painter, and works as a medical illustrator at Yale University. Please see marksabawriter.com.
A.i. Firefly was born at the tail end of the 1970s in the suburbs of NYC. She is the author of Cast Iron Poetry #2 : A Moon Magnetized This Screeching Bird, a poetry collection published by Time Is An Ocean Publications. Her previous work on the web & in print appears in publications by Having A Whiskey Coke With You, NYSAI Press, Blood Moon Poetry & Great Weather For Media.
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On December 25th, Christmas Day, I took a train from New York City to Charlotte North Carolina.
Since we are in the middle of a pandemic, I decided to purchase a ticket for a private room. I could go mask-less in a private room as long as I kept my door shut. I kept my door shut.
I like riding trains. A lot of my poetry writing and blogging takes place on some type of train. For my day-job I took Metro North commuter train from Brewster, New York to White Plains, New York on weekdays. I wrote during the morning ride. I usually slept during the afternoon ride. On weekends I would take a train from Brewster to Manhattan in New York City. I wrote a lot on the way down to the city. I usually slept on my return.
Often, I take a a train from New York to Washington, D.C. I also take many trains from New York to Charlotte. I write during these journeys as well. The trip to DC is 4 1/2 hours long. Writing makes the trip feel like 15 minutes. The trip from New York to Charlotte is 12 hours long. Writing makes that trip feel like an hour. Along with my writing there’s also reading that takes place. I’ll usually read for a half hour to an hour and then I’ll pick up my phone and start writing.
I used to write in a tablet with a pen. For a long time that was how I wrote all of my material. One weekend when I was in Washington D.C., a friend asked if I could give him a ride to Reagan National. I picked him up from his hotel and I noticed that he was very busy writing something on his smartphone. He was typing away with his thumbs. I thought to myself, “man, there ain’t no way I would write on a smartphone.” A few weeks later I read a wonderful piece written by about his favorite guitarist in an online magazine. I wondered if that was what he was working on during the ride to the airport.
About a month later, I was on a flight from Chicago to New York. Yes. I write while traveling by plane too. It is a little harder to write while seated in a plane. You don’t have a lot of wriggle room on a plane. Now if you are seated in First Class or Business Class that is a different story. All of my day-job travel is in coach.
I digressed. Let’s go back to the flight to New York from Chicago. I boarded. I put away my jacket in the overhead. I pulled my writing tablet from my carry-on, placed it in my lap and stowed the carry-on underneath the seat in front of me. After a long time on the taxiway the plane took off. We reached cruising altitude and I was ready to start writing. I opened my tablet and to my surprise and consternation I had no more blank pages.
My jaw dropped. I asked myself, “How did I miss this?” I was in the mood for writing. I thought about my smartphone. I pulled it out of my pocket. My plane was just very Indiana at that point. I navigated to the Notes app and with my thumbs I started typing. I typed all the way to final approach to the runway at LaGuardia in New York.
I still write in tablets but most of my writing is done on my smartphone. I’m using a smartphone now to type this piece, I am on a train, I’m in private quarters and I have plenty wiggle room.
———————————————— (c) 2020, Jerry T Johnson
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I was on assignment in Torrance California, a suburb of Los Angeles. After several days of work, I finally got some me time.
Here I stand at Manhattan Beach Pier wearing my Mickey Mouse jeans. Yes, you guessed correctly. There is a story behind the jeans.
Prior to my Torrance trip, I was working in Orlando. I arrived at Orlando on a Sunday and was scheduled to meet coworkers at Disney’s Pleasure Island for dinner. After dropping off my bags and heading to Downtown Disney, I was burning up. Orlando was hot and I was still dressed for the Northeast where winter was not quite finished.
I walked into a Disney shop, purchased a T-Shirt and the jeans you see me wearing in this picture. I actually changed clothes right there in the dressing room of the store. When I walked back outside in the burning sun, Wow did I feel better.