Monthly Archives: July 2015

“I Hope You Can Hear Me:” Poetry in the ER.


Good Evening:

On Tuesday morning at work, I suffered a minor but excruciatingly painful, no, make that EXCRUCIATINGLY painful medical issue that ended in the ER, with approximately 20 electrodes glued to me, an IV drip administering both an extremely powerful painkiller plus a second drug to counteract the side effects of that painkiller, a barf bag full of goodies, and various and sundry medical implements attached to me or close at hand.

And that was after they had diagnosed and solved the problem.

Which meant that they needed my room for the next ER patient, but they couldn’t discharge me quite yet, so they had to wheel me out of the room and deposit me against a wall in the hallway so they accommodate the next individual.

He was at least 90 years old, well over six feet tall, and he had even more things attached to himself than I had. I did not have two IV drips going at the same time, an oxygen mask, or electrical paddles by my side, and I had never slipped into unconsciousness as he had.

His wife was also attached to him.

Also at least 90 years old, with equally white hair, she was much shorter than him. She sat in a wheelchair to his right, somehow leaning onto his gurney, clutching his right shoulder with both hands, her head next to his, her lips close to his ear. I heard her speaking quite faintly.

“I hope you can hear me.

I’m here for you.

You know I’m here.”

“If you can hear me,

I won’t leave you,

I will never leave you.”

“I know you can’t hear me,

But I always loved you.

I will love you forever.”

Then she grew silent and closed her eyes, still clinging to him.

Vonn Scott Bair

Apexer’s Masterpiece, and a New Puzzle! (Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up)


Good Evening:

This is Apexer.


And honestly, I think this new mural is his/her/their masterpiece.


You will find it in a parking lot across the street from the main branch of the SF Public Library. The building in black is a gym. I hope this mural stays up for a long, long time because in person this 10-12 foot tall mural becomes even more impressive than I can show.

And you know what that means–time for another puzzle! I present a collection of close up shots of mural details (which among other things will demonstrate just how much technical skill the muralist[s] possess).

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Now all you have to do is locate the close up shots within the mural as a whole.

This might be one of my more difficult puzzles. Have fun!

Vonn Scott Bair

Konorebi, “Stag.” (Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up)


Good Evening:

Brand new mural in the Lower Haight, about 50 feet from the intersection of Haight & Fillmore:

Konorebi: "Stag."

Konorebi: “Stag.”

Not bad at all, but if you look close up, you will see an extreme rarity among San Francisco murals: a variation of Pointillist technique. “Konorebi” seems to be the pseudonym of a woman named Nora Bruhn, whom you can find on Instagram. Here, instead of using tiny dots of primary colors, she used white. Here are some closer looks.

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I think she used her fingertips to apply the white paint. As far as I can tell, Konorebi is mostly a photographer, but this represents a nice change of pace for both her and for San Francisco murals.

Vonn Scott Bair

Land’s End, San Francisco, California, 4 July 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half)


Good Evening:

Thanks to our famous fog, some of the pictures I took at Land’s End over the July 4th holiday proved suitable for the Challenge. All shots taken with a Nikon D40, a few slightly cropped in iPhoto.

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Vonn Scott Bair

The Minimally Artistic Art of Instant Minimalist Art, 21 July 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half)


Good Evening:

Saturday afternoon, walking to the grocery store, wondering how one might respond to this week’s Photo Challenge. An odd one, given how all photography texts emphasize the Rule of Thirds. Then I noticed this in a laundromat:


Huh. One color becomes two by the simple expedient of shadow.

Turns out that if you look around, you will find a lot like this. You will see only one color in each of the following, but shadow will create the impression that you see two. All pictures taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.

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Of course, eventually I had to break my “one color” rule–or in this case, bend it:


And then I just forgot about the rules, period.

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Vonn Scott Bair



Good Evening:

Tonight, I saved someone’s life. My 14th, in fact.

I kinda screwed up.

I had just seen some friends perform a reading of a few short plays written by W. B. Yeats at Pianofight, a theater-slash-bar-slash-music venue-slash-restaurant on Taylor Street between Ellis and Eddy. Turned left, heading back to Market Street and the bus that would take me home.

The man walking toward me looked like trouble.

Not trouble for me, for himself. Short, probably Caucasian, he dressed entirely in black with a black hoodie pulled over most of his face. In the shadows he looked almost invisible, but this was no mugger looking to surprise his victims like a well-camouflaged Stonefish or Gaboon Viper. He had gotten so drunk that even with his feet spread wide and his arms held out for balance and a healthy dollop of good fortune, he could just barely stand. He looked down at nothing with his jaw slack and eyes glazed. He looked up at me.

Then he walked out onto Taylor Street into fast incoming traffic.


He stopped, turned to look at me, and tried to give me the finger except it was too hard for him to do. Yes, he was that drunk-slash-stoned.

An all white van zoomed past him, right where he would have stepped if I hadn’t yelled at him. The driver did not honk at the man, nor did any of the cars following him. No one could see him in the shadows.

He tried once more to give me the finger, but once again he could not. “Hey, I was trying to help you!” I shouted.

The man leaned to me with his palms up. I cannot feel certain, but it appeared that he was crying. Then he turned again and walked into the middle of the street.

But the light had turned red and the street had emptied of traffic.

Once again, the man turned to me with his palms up. I cannot feel certain, but it appeared that he was crying. Then he turned again and walked all the way across the street to safety. And that’s when it hit me.

He had tried to commit suicide.

And I had ruined his evening.

Far worse men than him in far worse shape than him have turned their lives around, and I hope he does, too. I would hate to think that I had done him an unkindness by saving his life.

Vonn Scott Bair