Author Archives: cyphilbrick

The Tutmarc Brothers: Keeping Hawaiian Music Alive and Well in Seattle

On a chilly Sunday evening, eighty and ninety-year-olds crowd the entertainment room of an assisted living community in Seattle. Walkers tangle with wheel chairs, slippers, and chair legs. Shaky hands adjust hearing aids.

“Oh,” one resident says loudly, pointing across the small room. “There’s George. I thought he was dead.”

Northaven residents have come to hear the Tutmarc Brothers, Greg and Paul, who play a blend of hymns and Hawaiian standards. The brothers – often accompanied by their sister, Jeryl, on ukulele and Jay Deffinbaugh on bass – play monthly shows for nursing homes and churches around Seattle…

Poem of the month: Instructions for Riding the Bus

If you can, pay.

If you have eyes, greet the driver.

If you have a voice, do the same.

If you have legs, and they work, move to the back.

More. More. A little more. Please

don’t make the driver remind you. She’s tired.

Ignore the man who smells of toe gunk…

A film it’s right to see

I’m guessing you haven’t heard of The Right to Heal. The film, and the movement it stands behind, get a fraction of the publicity of other global health causes: AIDS, clean water, and women’s education, to name a few of the most worthy. Into this world of hurt comes a global health movement for access to essential surgery.

How essential can surgery really be, you might ask. When compared to the fundamentals of survival – food and water – surgery can seem a privilege of a developed society, the cream of a mature education and health care system. The word surgery conjures images of expensive medical equipment and PHDs.

If you think in these terms then The Right to Heal might blow your mind. Unlike a lot of meandering and punch-less documentaries out there, this one gets right to the point. It’s a powerful one: we should include essential surgery as part of any health plan for the developing world…

Poem of the Month: Energy Level

A poem I’m still working on: Energy Level On my run uphill, I take the winding root orbiting layers of city gas: piss and weed paint and honeysuckle. Past a man fermenting for too long – his teeth mush, foot pickled. I nod. I feel your pain brother, except not at all. My thighs ache […]

The History of Cyprus’ Most Torrid Soccer Rivalry in “The Blizzard”

Cyprus is getting some serious space in the news these days, probably for the first time since about 1974, when a Turkish invasion split the country in two.

I recently spent some time in the country, mostly due to the pull of implicit egoism. Also while there, I investigated the country’s most torrid soccer rivalry, the Nicosia derby between Omonoia and Apoel. My piece about the history of the rivalry was published in The Blizzard Football Quarterly (VIII) in March. I recommend it to anyone interested in soccer, Cyprus, coups, or overlooked history – interests that should account for pretty much everybody. The rivalry is a fascinating and deep-rooted one that stretches back to the British occupation of the island. I also hope the piece sheds some light on the the country’s current political state.

Poem of the Month: Clean Mouth

Clean Mouth Can you pick up some mouth-wash on the way home? No, not that crap. Freshicle Max. No. Fresh-ick-le Max! Yeah. It’s pricier, but worth it … Well, no more snoring, for one. More importantly, my breath will jumpstart your bones. No joke. Freshicle patented these nanoparticles called Crysta-salves. Patented shit. I’m not totally clear on […]

Poem of the Month: Darwin’s Pod

Digging through the crates, I resurrected this one from a college poetry class. I’m still reworking it. But the time seems right to share it considering recent news of i-phone thefts driving up crime numbers in New York city. The poem has two voices, one in regular font and one in italics (slightly hard to […]