Published: “In the Footsteps of Beats”

Beautiful magazine WeMove created by talented designer friends out of Portland, Oregon included “In the Footsteps of Beats,” an excerpt with photos from my manuscript, to their digital issue. Excited to be part of a publication alongside dutch daredevil Wim Hoff, ultra running legends Krissy Moehl and Scott Jurek, climber Ron Kauk, and others.

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Published: “Why I Run”

Territory Run Co. out of Portland, Oregon, just printed a short piece I wrote called “Why I Run,” for a Spring 2016 collaboration package with Rucksack Coffee. 

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The short piece “Why I Run,” was inspired, in form, by Terry Tempest Williams’s “Why I Write,” something I’ve read at least fifty times myself and have shared with at least fifty others. Gold. The writing was included in a package offering from Territory Run Co, a unique, trail-wilderness-lifestyle company based out of Portland, Oregon, of which I’m an athlete-writer-ambassador. Along with the print journal, the package included apparel and a bag of rich coffee from Rucksack Coffee. Running and roasting. What else is there?

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Return to Todos Santos, Mexico

Ten beautiful days back in Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico, proved restorative, nostalgic, and productive. Photos + words.

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Todos Santos Music Festival. Death Cab for Cutie. Santa Cecilia. John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin. David Fricke from Rolling Stone Magazine. Dharma Talks. Todos Santos Writer’s Workshop. Cerritos surf. Late night music jam with old friends and family. Fish tacos, ceviche, everything covered in lime. And arroyo running. Lots of arroyo running. Todos Santos in Southern Baja remains one of my favorite spots on the planet. Great trip south of the border this time, packed with inspiring people and events.

A synchronized sunrise run was organized around the world by my running sponsor Territory Run Co. so a dear artist friend and I went out for a hunt.

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Jackrabbit crosses the path as we start up, start in, start out. A swerve left. A swerve right. Sandy paths, fishtailing feet. Go. Go. Go. The sun is making things pink over there, over in the Sierra. Hurry.

Down the arroyo. Technical. Watch that prickly stuff—ocotillo, pitaya dulce, torote, cardon. Baja wilds have teeth; they bite. Catch a toe, take a fall, and you bleed.

Go faster. Sun about to crest. That knife-edge ridge above the cactus canyon is where I want to be for sunrise. Cross a wide arroyo choked in sand. Common to see coyote here. None today.

A climb. Colin behind me with a long stride, a graceful gait, an adjunct art professor from Bennington College, Vermont. Solid man.

Climb. Climb. Climb. Up the ridge we make it, only to flare off a pair of white-dotted birds. Rustle in the bramble right of my ankle. Once saw a six-foot rattler here. Only the wind this time. Onshore, 25 mph today, Colin tells me.

We reach the ridge of awe. I smell torote peel, like cinnamon. There’s my heart beating. There’s warmth. There’s red. There’s orange. There’s that fiery reminder that all things in nature reset. Everyday. The sun rises, and us with it. Bees nearby, too, have risen to collect pollen by the pound next to us. Industrious bastards.

Awe. Reverence. Simplicity. Migration. I think of my home in Missoula where ice fringes everything. I recognize my privilege to be here in Todos Santos, Mexico. And I’m grateful to my core for this place, this moment, this friend, this sun.

We keep noticing. We keep attending. The great dawn helps us attune and attend with its shadow and easy light. We descend through hundred-year old cacti that look like stampeding elephant legs and return to van, to coffee, to family, to life.

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I Sail It

Words and photos from the past few weeks of visitations by good friends, talks and thoughts and travels through Wyoming wilds. Tetons + Yellowstone + Big Horns. Summer.

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I SAIL IT

I sail it
A boat to travel;
Tack wide,
Or dive deep?

I follow it
A path to meander afoot;
Through soft and tough,
Tangled bramble and view-sight-awe.

I scratch it
A wound to bleed;
On me on others on everything,
Purple scars stick around.

I hear it
A coyote to rise at dawn;
Snout-snot pointing at melting starscape,
Liberated yelp begs Moon to stay.

I browse it
A library to know to penetrate;
Ribbed rows of prose and bones,
Stillness and headphones and butterfly-catchers.

I find it
A key to unlock;
Shadowed cellar-box dusty and stale,
Only to discover another key.

I love it
A world to rest here-now-naked-alive;
Gifts of perceptual song,
Bubbling up from chambered mystery

Too grand for us, but of us.

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War Paint

Some poetry exploring psycho-adolescence and the lessons taught from our wilds. 

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War Paint

Boy stripes face
Deeply with color
Lathered thick and slanting

He bursts outside through
Frail screen door
Heart tha da da dumping
Like battle drum phantoms
Scouring hilltop mist moist

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Mind the Gap

Poetry generated from a particularly poignant moment while wandering through Colombia. 

Photo: Alejandro Nunez

Travels to Colombia this June brought many incredible memories. It also exposed some harsh realities of a widening cleavage between the rich and poor. On a balmy afternoon in Bogota, I was sitting in a busy plaza when a homeless boy, 10 years at most, collapsed face-down in front of me, quite possibly dead, a shadowed casualty of huffing glue, aloneness and a system putting profit well before people. I’ve been witness to such tragedy before, both at home and abroad, but this scene rattled me to the core. A few words surfaced shortly afterwards.

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Mind the gap, would you?
That bleeding, gaping
Socioeconomic wound
Screeching white noise.

Overdosing adolescent,
Bit and bat, split and splat
Sipping, gripping, tripping
Into diaphanous dentures
Of broken class-glass.

Pillow fluffed, overstuffed
With bills, pills and oil spills
Suffocating the Forgotten,
Silhouetted surrender.

Great Chasm, indeed.
Only those with enough rope
May afford to breathe.
High up in Emerald Caves
Crumbling.

Squeaky camera
Scans subtle movements,
Permapupils anxious,
Eye shadow of rust.
WD-40. Apply like napalm.

King of the Hill swirling,
Mustache twirling.
Distended tummy curling.
Watches atop empty piles
Of dirty riches and on-sale bitches.

Whose teeth to kick in
For traction?

Middle-Class Clown
Spoon-fed hopes and dreams.
Costumes cost lives.
Coagulated make-up
Hiding tears, entombing fears.
Unimpressed mirror.

Wastebasket Legacy.
Plastic-pilled drunk-tank,
Petro pollutant Periwinkle.
Attention! Attention!
The Department of Dignity
Is downsizing.

Ropes tied to limbs,
Horses wild and cantering,
Allies of riotous Wind.
Warm animal blood
Rubbing and surfacing,
Braided now into tethered lashings.

Rise. Rise. Rise.
Social climate change
On the rise.
Sweeping with it
The inequality,
The syringe,
The raped shadow.

So grab your biggest stick.
Wrap open-pit gold chains
Around knuckles
Scaly, white, quivering.
Death Round.
Go.

This is War.
War of the Illusion-Chasers.
War of Immortality.
A race to the bottom
Surely no one to win.
But everything to lose.

Rope is nearly gone.
Just enough for a noose.

Earth Day in Las Vegas

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Hotel linen sterility
Bleached blank.
Swapped by Invisibles,
Overworked.
Hiding in Shadows.

Flatscreen stares long
Cold and grinning.
RoboRetinas,
Pixelated price-tags
Taunt groggy animal eyes.

Boobtube bleeds panic.
News anchor war paint
Dripping from chin.
Prying. Trying. Crying.

Air-con meat freezer.
Dull machine bizz-buzz.
Decry, deny and defy
Intensifying, warming world
Outside.

Parking lot. Feed lot.
Lonely lines painted
Conformity Cream.
Factory-farm eggs
Stand no chance
On this searing sidewalk.

Paper pup-cup caffeine.
Honoring Tree with a quickie.
Harmless rape.
Styrofoam saucer-eyes.
Single-use everything.
Disposable all.

Shower blasting,
Sipping playfully
From stolen water.
Scrub with urgency.
Save the whales.

Front-desk façade.
In hot pursuit
Of the American Dream.
Banana in tailpipe.
Follow corporate crumbs,
Clever acronyms.

W.I.N.
T.E.A.M.
R.O.A.R.
L.O.S.T.
S.O.S.

Hooters. Bellagio. Circus, Circus.
Psychic porous poisonous pour-overs.
Towers of excess. Toothless grin.
Rapacious rotting from
Inside out.

To the Airport!
Great Carbon Party.
Gasping trumpet
Asphyxiated Elephant.

Monkey contact, scoff!
Tuck behind DigiVeil.
Micro-bulb-lumens ablaze,
Snuggle nearest, Avatar dearest.
Perfumes of posturing.
Apply liberally.

Stay where it’s safe.
Do. Not. Engage.
Color inside the lines.
Otherwise,
You’ll get hurt.

And don’t you forget…

The House always wins.