Showing posts with label Frankfort. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frankfort. Show all posts

07 October, 2019

From Field Notes: Lo-Fi, Part 1


The 6:15 AM bus leaving Louisville and going to Frankfort drops off at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Leonardwood Drive. We rolled in on time, a little after 7 in the morning, just as the sun was breaking the horizon.  I end up being in Frankfort, for one reason or another, two or three times a year. And when I go, I take the bus. It's a holdover commuter route between Louisville and Lexington with a stop in Frankfort. The early bus isn't heavily populated. I've ridden it at different times and it's rarely a full bus, which is just fine with me.  I just hope the line stays open.

According to Google, it was only a 3.6 mile walk from there to the Kentucky CoffeeTree Café. Not an unreasonable distance, and the morning was still cool with a light breeze. I'd gone through the trouble the night before to look it up and to even print maps out; I wanted to go more lo-fi and not depend on the step-by-step of GPS, which I credit for a share of civilization's downfall.

LO-FI. I've felt increasingly tethered by technology -- annoyed by its reach, unraveled by how central it and it's non-stop market-researching/spying is shaping the reality I share with an increasingly large amount of humanity. So I decided to take this opportunity, this trip -- a relatively low-stakes scenario as travel risks go -- to assert my quasi-independence from The Matrix. *

I started off without difficulty. Between studying it the night before and somewhat from memory. I felt pretty confident, pretty comfortable. And the directions weren't complicated:

L: Leonardwood Rd.
L: Lawrenceburg Rd
R: Louisville Rd. 

After that, a bit more of a walk, crossing the lovely little bridge . over the Kentucky River that cuts through the middle of town, a few blocks and one easy turn to West Broadway.

As Google flies, the walk should have taken me a little over an hour. I know from experience that I can't trust Google Time; I walk a bit faster than I used to, but I don't walk anywhere near as fast as Google Man can. I had plenty of time to get there at my own pace, so I wasn't worried about that, either.

I wasn't especially worried until I'd been walking for a while and I didn't seem to be getting any closer to town. I passed one guy waiting for the circulating local bus, but it didn't register that I was walking the opposite direction that the bus was going to go.

By the time I figured it out, I was almost a mile out of town.

Oh feet how oddly you fail me
carrying me on, away
from where I'm supposed meet
my friend, from where the map says
I need to be where I'm pointing

Thanks for reading! Listen for "Lo-Fi, Part 2 in Episode 11 of A Record of a Pair of Well Worn Travel Boots on iTunes, Spotify, GooglePlay, Stitcher, and TuneIn.


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24 April, 2019

Kentucky Writer's Day 2019

"Well, you're cozy sitting back here with all your friends."

I was surrounded by three empty chairs, all of which were leather, soft, and looked as comfortable as the one I was sitting in. I made some off-handed reply, as one does in those situations. Except for me and the guy recording the event for the University of Kentucky Archives, everyone else there was paired or grouped off.

He introduced himself to me. Later I would find out he was some assistant director or under secretary of Kentucky Workforce, standing in for the director who was unavailable today.

"What brings you here?"

"Well," I said, "I've never been to one of these, and it seemed like a good time."

I always find Frankfort to be a beautiful little town in the way that all river towns are beautiful. Nestled up on both sides of the Kentucky River, it's beautiful in the way all river towns are beautiful -- this mixture of old and new, a sense of nostalgia without much in the way of sentiment, and an understated laiz faire attitude about things in general, except for a short list of completely random Things That Actually Matter (Unless They Don't At This Particular Time.)

I'm sitting the coffee shop next to Poor Richard's Books on West Broadway after going out to the Kentucky Library and Archives to watch the inauguration of the 2019-2020 Kentucky Poet Laureate, Jeff Worley. Given that we have a governor who barely reads anything except bible tracts and Ben Shapiro, that we managed to get another poet on the state dime is an extra special pleasure. The Kentucky CoffeeTree Cafe makes a decent cappuccino, has a nice atmosphere with shelves of books, some chairs and couches along with the tables, and variety size of those, too, with even one small table in the back with a single chair for solitary keyboarders and anti-social bibliophiles.

The ceremony out at the Archives was about what I expected. A few speeches and some nice poetry, some of it even read by the poets who wrote it. Right now is the break between the ceremony and the readings of the past and newly minted Poet Laureates, which will be held a few blocks away at the public library. I'll get to listen to the first hour or so of the readings before I need to leave and catch my bus home.

Although I have no part in today's festivities, I wanted to come anyway. Like going to the AWP in Portland this year, I need to start getting to know this part of what my friend George calls (sometimes a bit sardonically) "poet culture." I've paced back and forth for years, stopped at the imaginary border by my anxieties and insecurities. I used to spend a lot of time -- too much time -- drinking and ruminating over whether I really belonged in the same room with these people and being generally resentful if I wasn't ushered in like a dignitary. I removed myself from a conversation and then got pissed off when no one talked to me.

And while I'm a bit too gray in the goatee to be all starry eyed about these kind of things, it was nice that no one gave me the bum's rush. It's never easy being an artist. But it's nice to know that I can, every once in a while, sneak in to the same clubs as the cool kids.
After the new Poet Laureate gave his acceptance speech, I was standing outside waiting on a cab. My new acqauintance, the under secretary, walked by on the way to his car. He asked I enjoyed the ceremony.

"I did," I answered. I was going to go on about how smoothly it went and how I enjoy the brevity and wit of poets. But he nodded in the affirmative and strode off towards his car and towards the next thing on his agenda. As I he pulled out of the parking lot, I stood there waiting for my cab, waiting for the next thing and enjoying the spring air.




Thanks for reading! 

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