Day: January 16, 2005


life by water

the fog crawls over the mountain
like the chilling glove of the sea
it captures, it raptures my heart
chained in the land of the free

cold are the streets, the avenues dark
then the sand, then the waves and japan
somewhere behind them the sun sets
land of the rising sun – another koan.

there is no space, no time by the sea
the smell in the air, the sound of the halcyon wave
seagulls screaming a sad song of lore
immobile they stare at their star

i jump and i roam and i tread through the sand
naked by now of fabric and reason
dead is my heart and my soul
and yet burning alive

when i leap so rushed comes the flight
should i be freezing and yet the fall
shelters me from knowing

and then i touch water

a million needles pierce through my skin
reaching in, drilling in, searching my heart


my mind starts wondering, finding itself again
and numbness is running, returning to hades

water, water, churning waves
thundering all around me
penetrating, infiltrating
gushing through my soul

death is a silent growth
a fortnight past a shiny riddle
on a clear skin, unblemished
today you can’t move
can’t stand still, can’t stand

life is portentous – a thunderbolt
thrown in the face of misery
boldly claiming its right
to the invention of time

gasping, my head
pierces through the surface
air and water alike
are filling my lungs

i am born again

i will swim for my life
in the dark solitude
air and sea and land
black as my thoughts

my body shivers alive
as i wash ashore
once more
i averted


can you turn off that smile?

you walk around
as if you didn’t know pain
or rather, as if it didn’t bother you
any more

stop dancing in the streets
you are making a fool of yourself
out of love

you’ve known this before
haven’t you?

how can a slave be so joyful
in the face of a master
whose studly disdain for all pleasure
is like stone on his face?

you believe you can win
you know nothing of pain
my pleasure exactly

i am fate

i won’t use any whip
i won’t need to flog you
or beat you or harm you
i’ll just need some papers from you

madness you know has a reason

death by the hands of love

the little child has faith
in life in love in everything
why would it not?
we hover through our lives
like the maidens of youth
pandoras without boxes

and that thing you call smile
how could it be helpful
when the storm arrives?

startling how the blacken clouds
darken up the evening sky
in the midst of summer

i talk you talk and then there’s silence
and thence comes the lie

seeking the unwanted

evil is a pretty child
charming eyes of wonder
a perfect row of blinding teeth
the laugh’s a roaring thunder

but don’t you ever get too close
to nature’s dazzling beauty
the smallest gap between those teeth
reveals the stench of putrid

of selfishness and cowardice
is evil baby dear
the sovereign daring ruler
of terror and of fear

words, you see, can’t describe

in the lair of darkness

once the brooding mimosas
and their sensous smell
were able to master your dreams
like the broomstick of a magical mistress

all in the world
flows and revolves
around its center
the vortex

please put a finger in the whirl
that formed in your sink
it seemed so strong
but it dies
just like that

someone touches your vortex
the heart of your heart
you seemed so strong
but you die
just like that

nothing has changed
everything is still as it was
meaning is a silly notion
as it is a smile

the horror of unmotion
wakes you up at night
a dagger through your soul
restlessness but frozen.

the vibrant colors of summer
are dull and drab in fog
dampness is an enemy
that glues to your skin
like a leech
in the river of darkness.

and you lash out

the enemy is the self
the master of all fury
doomed to fight and wrestle
the dangers far within

can you blame the soul that is craving
the life that it lost just before?
can you shame the mind that is braving
the chill of a world without lore?

tiny little mini-steps
walked by baby dear
turn around and bite you
destruction looming near

like a soda can
well-shaken in the summer sun
someone comes over and flips the ring

you explode

regret is an easy motion
hurting those who love you
is adding to your pain
and yet
there is no choice.

the glorious sun

of the afternoon
slowly, calmly, steadily
burns off the fog

rivers, then torrents, then streams then creeks
of frothy air
across the mountains
die while rushing to your face

like a dying giant grasping from behind the green hills
the white fingers fail to find you
leaving you and their cold breath
that streams to your face
just enough to make the heat
bearable once more

you wake up frozen on the ground
and her radiance finds the lock to your heart
the grass is greener in the light
the scent of flowers
is charming its way to your heart

and once more
you survived

brother, sister of mine
when life is death
and death life
and nothing is real
in the fog

you must run
you must fly;
somewhere else,
close by –
in an hour, in a mile, or a thousand feet high
it still is july

Months in the City

A collection of short poems intended to encompass twelve total. These trifles were born out of a creative spurt after I left the startup world and started enjoying the City by the Bay again.

The collection is incomplete, and currently encompasses only four poems:

is the original text of a personal ad I put up. I got great responses, several of whom said they liked my ‘poem’. January was never meant to be a poem, but became so by people’s choice.
is the gayest of the bunch, a very short poem written just as the first mimosas started blooming and the grip of winter started leaving the City.
is more of an embarrassment and may be replaced by a better one later on.
soon after I left the City for the burbs, I went through a really rough patch that had a lot of the characteristics of a depression. I never had felt anything like that, and this is the result of my remembrance.
just like january, the text of another personal ad. Same thing happened as with january, despite the fact that august is much shorter and much less interesting.

Writing – Overview

Months in the City

A collection of short poems intended to encompass twelve total. These trifles were born out of a creative spurt after I left the startup world and started enjoying the City by the Bay again.


A collection of short essays on management matters. These essays focus on my personal experience in the work environment, although they try to be as general as possible.

My Lemond Tete de Course


{moszoomimglink:tete.gif}One sunny July afternoon my Bianchi Veloce had decided it was time to quit. The first thing to give way had been the clamp on the 105-s, and replacing it had been a major problem. So I started looking at alternatives.

I knew what I needed: a sturdy, yet light bike; some better components than the 105-s, whose shifting shifting had annoyed me beyond means on uphill struggles; overall, something that could withstand both the perils of a daily commute and the pleasure of a century on a weekend (and the nut-case that would do both).


Two weeks later, I was casually browsing through Palo Alto Cycles, a store that always left me ambivalent because of the widely diverging skills of the staff. The last experience was with the guy that gave me the clamp for the Bianchi for free and even offered to install it.

I checked the single-racked (i.e. expensive) bikes, and this beautiful Titanium Lemond coyly looked back. It was beautiful, with the cool shimmer of titanium, the minimalist look of the Bontrager wheels and the mechanical accuracy of Dura Ace components.

It was on sale. Someone had ordered it, but had ultimately chosen to wait for the 10-speed 2003. It was my size. I turned the pedal arms once, twice, and they cooed in unison, the ball bearings clicking ever so softly.


My Bianchi Veloce

It’s All About Love

{moszoomimglink:Bianchi}All foolish things are born of love. But fortunately some fun things are, too. In this case, I was head over heels, and one of the conditions for the love to be successful was to spend a lot of money on a bike.

Some of you snobs will think that Bianchi Veloce is nothing expensive. But to me, the investment was enormous. After all, I had a perfectly functional bike (a twenty year old Nishiki of unspeakable incompetence)!

City Bikes

I went to the bike shop in the maniacal mood of the freshly-in-love, and was told to go to City Bikes in the Marina. A small store on the richer side of the city, CB now specializes in custom frames for the wealthy. Still, the owner (?) is a really nice guy that genuinely loves cycling. Not like the other ones for whom cycling is a pain they have to endure: this one smiles all the time, always has a cheaper option if you start panicking in front of your loved one, and constantly chats about his weekend rides.

We started at Seven. No, not the number, the manufacturer. He had such a beautiful custom Seven with a Chorus gruppo. The only thing I understood was: “$5.000.” We swiftly shifted down to the choice whether I wanted my Bianchi in aluminum or steel. I tried aluminum, found quickly it looked ugly (yes, I am ashamed of myself now) and went for the steel frame.

From there on my only choice was color (baby blue or yellow?). Everything else was decided by a quick confabulation between my eternal idol and the City Biker. Two weeks later I picked up a yellow bicycle that cost more than all my other six bikes combined.


Conquering Mt. Tam

Mt. Tamalpais, a.k.a. Mt. Tam

joomplu:9475When you drive on Highway 101 from San Francisco North, there is this huge mountain looming on your left. It stays with you from Sausalito to Novato, a landmark whose view makes real estate prices jump.

Someone had come back with pictures from the summit. An expansive view of the whole Bay Area from Napa to the City seemed possible. You could see the Golden Gate, and Alcatraz, and the Marin Headlands. It had to be the most spectacular vista in the whole Bay Area. And there was a road that leads all the way to the top.



Climbing Up Haleakala

On Second Try

joomplu:10827Wednesday had been a horrible day for a bike ride up Haleakala. Gale force winds had been hammering the islands, accompanied by heavy rains. Power lines were down in Kihei, trees fell crashing to the ground, and the noise made it impossible to sleep.

Guess who chose that very same Wednesday for an attempt to climb Haleakala? Yours truly. Nothing discouraged me, and I even made it all the way to over 5,000′, just to be pushed back by the storm, unable to manage even one more inch against the winds. I felt betrayed by my mana, as they say here, and froze myself down the mountain, slowly trying not to slip on the drenched street.

What a surprise on Friday, when it already seemed impossible to get up again. I checked the weather forecast, and the winds were expected to be down to an acceptable 20 mph. I collected all my gear, avoided the mistakes of the first try, and left home.


The Spectrum Ride

The Spectrum Ride

If you have been riding on the San Francisco Peninsula, chances are you have heard of this ride. It’s not the most splendid setting per se (unless you happen to like your front man/woman’s derriere), but it’s a great ride, and you can join whenever you like.


The ride starts at 9 AM every Saturday, come rain of shine, at the intersection of Hollenbeck and Homestead in Mountain View. That’s where the old Spectrum bike store used to be, and if you are an old timer, you still have your Spectrum store jersey with you!

Highway 87 has an exit “Homestead”. Use that one, and go to the East from there. Soon you’ll get to Hollenbeck and its Starbucks (why do all bikers end up at coffee houses?). The trek leaves at 9 sharp, so be punctual!

Basically, Spectrum is an open ride and anyone can participate. It is quite a fast ride, so you have to be fit to participate. A lot of us jump on and leave after a variable amount of minutes, proud of having been part of the pack. Others though are pretty annoyed at slower bikers, and people don’t mince with their disapproval, especially at newcomers.