Friday, March 27, 2015

First Time In, From A Poetry Workshop

My wife takes classes at Tulsa Community College and one day she brought home a flier for some "I Can't" workshops scheduled for March and April. They cover a variety of subjects such as screen printing, swing dancing and more. The workshops are free to students and the public so I attended the "I Can't Write Poetry" class this past Monday. Even though I already write poetry or spoken word or lyrics or whatever you want to call it I thought I'd give it a go. Maybe I could learn a new way to look at things. The instructor did just that for me. He told us to think of something that had a lot of concrete, sensory details which led to what's written below. I didn't do everything he said but still, it was interesting. Last night I was finally able to type it up and edit it, I must say though I'm sure it will change even more over time. How far in can you get before you know what I'm talking about?

first time in

on the edge
a violent maelstrom
swirling evolving
the one constant is change
i've never been inside
always stayed where it was safe
it surges and roils
bodies spit out
they pick themselves up
then dive back in
the band is blasting
in my face
over my head
off the walls
the energy reaches inside
it seizes my soul
prodding me
pushing me
drop your fears and worthless worries
accept the challenge
sweat pours freely soaking my skin
hesitation kills momentum
a small push from behind
suddenly i'm inside
no longer thinking
just reacting
arms come up
legs kick out
bodies jerk and spin
fists meet faces
knees to bodies
blood spills here and there
nothing intended all accepted
no pattern to the madness
a release of pent up anger
of aggression and stress
finally on the last note
the crowd is spent
nothing left to do
go back and replenish
we stagger arm in arm
laughing at the memory
i've done it
we've done it
the pit is now closed

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Monday, March 9, 2015

notmovngpictures Episode 032: Tulsa Punk Rock Flea Market, Henry Rollins, Cometbus And More

Another solo episode is here, this time I'm talking about not wanting to talk about too many negative things on the podcast. Then I move on to the Tulsa Punk Rock Flea Market that was held on March the 1st where I scored some cool items. After that it's about the upcoming Ok, So Story Slam as well as talking up Henry Rollins foray into the podcasting world and zines. I'm completely obsessed with Cometbus and getting into Snakepit and still trying to work on issue 1 of my zine, Exercising Demons. Lastly I touch on the Tulsa SXSW showcase at Hillman's Garage on the 17th. That about does it.

Opening music: Alloy - Live To See The Day
Closing music: Rollins Band - Low Self Opinion

Email: Twitter: @notmovingpics

Older episodes can also be found @, just search for notmovingpictures.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Not So Bad Weather

Whoever gets paid to make the decisions on whether school should be closed due to inclement weather in Tulsa needs to give part of their salary back. Once again he or she reacted to reports of impending snow and ice on Tuesday night and elected to close schools for Monday. It was supposed to get bad so there was no taking chances. The only problem that I could see once I had rolled out of bed at eleven-ish was that there was very little snow or ice.

Sure there was a small amount of snow but not even enough to call it a dusting. As I looked out the window I could tell that there might be some ice as well. Emphasis on the word might. The weather in Oklahoma does have a nasty habit of changing and often during any given day but still, by the time I left for work at three in the afternoon it still wasn't what it had been built up to. The only change I made from my normal speedy driving was to give a little bit of extra time and space for braking so that I wouldn't have any sudden stops.

As the night went on the snow did come but not the three inches or more that was predicted. The side roads were icy but the main streets not so much. Of course school is cancelled for Thursday. It's laughable to me that the schools are cancelled on the more suggestion that it might snow. Try being someplace where it actually does snow often, where they get feet not inches and people still have to go to work or school. They must look at rubes like us and shake their heads in disbelief.

One thing the Army did instill in me was that you have to be at your appointed place of duty, no excuses. So even in a blizzard we knew to get up early to clean the car off and make our way into work (whether we were supposed to is a different thought). Once you get used to doing that what we experience now seems slight in comparison.  For me the Army was just a job with occasional adventures but every once in a while I wish I could slack off and call in from work. But we all know that won't happen, don't we?

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Day, part 1, An Original Story

                                                                                                                                            November 16

Everyone left has a name for the day when the world as we knew it ended and never would be the same. Some call it the change, others refer to it as z day or even zero day. Me? I simply call it the day. Not many people throughout history can say they saw the clear demarcated line of when such a drastic transformation of society occurred, regardless of the country or continent you were on. Us survivors can though. Been there, done that and it’s nothing to brag about.

The thing is though, where I was when it all went down. Somehow I ended up in Lima, Peru when they took over, a very foreign place compared to my small town Oklahoma upbringing. How did I end up here? Chasing a girl that’s how. Anna Maria was in Tulsa on a temporary work visa when I met her. She was beautiful and fun and exotic and I convinced myself that I was in love with her. So when her time was up and she returned to Peru I decided that she was the one and the only thing I could do was to follow her.

There I was, fresh off the airplane in a foreign country where I barely spoke the language and the culture was so incredibly different from the one I was raised in. I was out of my depth, my element, but none of that mattered. I was here for love and nothing else mattered dammit. Once Anna Maria saw me the rest of the details would fall into place. I mean, she’d have to be flattered right? A gringo like me following her all these miles, sorry, kilometers. would break through any doubts she could have. Or so I thought.

The thing is I had blinded myself to reality. Anna Maria did not return my feelings which clearly weren’t love no matter how much I tried to believe it to be true. When I showed up at her house she was shocked but not in a good way. She admitted that while she had fun with me in the States she didn’t have any feelings for me at all. As a matter of fact she had a fiancĂ© that she intended to marry and he was inside the house right then. For my personal safety she advised me to vaminos before he caught wind to my presence.

Heartbroken I retreated to the hostel I had spent the night in and there several fellow travelers helped console me by giving me large and copious amounts of alcohol, not that it was a good thing. I paid for it dearly later both physically and emotionally. When I had left home I had sold my car and pretty much everything else I owned and had left the lease on my house early incurring the loss of my deposit and the wrath of my landlord. She blessed me with many interesting curses as well as threats of a lawsuit. Who could care though? I was leaving the country for good.

None of that stuff mattered. I was in love. Except that I really wasn’t. I just thought I was. Now that my foolishness had been painfully shattered I was at a complete loss about what to do with my life. With my leaving as quickly as I did and not thinking things through I realized that I had no plan for how to make a living or how get things done in this foreign land. Like I said, I barely spoke the damn language. Could I even go back home to the shame and ridicule I would surely be showered with from friends, family and enemies alike?

I’m far too stubborn for that so leaving was not an option. I’d just have to make the best of the situation. Surely there was some way I could earn some money regularly so that I could feed and house myself. It couldn’t be that hard could it? Well, yes it could as it turned out. The next two weeks were a constant struggle for me. The food was like nothing I was used to. Anytime somebody spoke English I latched onto them like a drowning man to a life jacket. In short, I was rather pathetic. At least until I met Carsten, a fellow expat, albeit one from a different country. He was from Denmark but spoke excellent English.

Carsten took pity on me and decided to show me the ropes of Peru. I met him one day in Barranco as I stumbled around trying to find a restaurant I could feel comfortable eating in. Over the next few days we would meet up for lunch and he would inform me about things that were important to see like Pachacamac. We talked of local customs and how not to offend Peruvians through either negligence or accident. Carsten even helped me find a room to rent for an affordable price and then gave me some leads on where I could teach English.

Things were definitely looking up for me though I was heartbroken and overwhelmed. Well, at least they were until the day happened that is. After that nothing was looking up for anybody least of all me. I’d best stop for now. Soon night will fall and though we still have electricity we don’t dare use it. Noise and light will only draw them to us and that is something no survivor wants to happen. I’ll continue when I have a chance. There’s a lot of work to be done during the daylight hours. We have to scavenge food, water, medical supplies and anything else we think can be used. I think it’s necessary to document our days though. Perhaps in the future it could help someone. At least I can dream of that.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.