Poetry Listening

Saturday, my Mom and I went to Athens, and looking at the upcoming events at Ciné I saw that the next night (last night) there would be a poetry reading with Coleman Barks, Ida Steward, and A.E. Stallings. I’ve been a Coleman Barks fan for many years, and recently I was awed by Stalling’s poems in Poetry magazine. So we went. The event met all expectations.

Barks read this poem the following poem.   

Thursday at Eno River

A poem roots, and I look for a rock
to rest my head on something difficult,
a trunk for flight-weary legs.

I sit finally on the bank,
with a sense of finality,
making a lasting impression
on the wet earth
whose fecundity paints
violet trail blazes.

The violence of the river to my left I find comforting.

Who am I to set a leaf adrift?
I dare not look this upturned tree
in the shimmering mirror.
Rotors beat the sky hard.
I can’t help
to turn away and see the process —
rock, roots, death and beetles —
wait comfortably for the next flood.

When is it safe to ride a bike?

I’ve been looking at the data available on cycling accidents in the Bay Area (of which I am a statistic). This data comes from CHP. I’ve learned the hard way to start a data analysis with a small subset of your data (else you sit around waiting for computations to happen), so I’ve started by looking at cycling accidents in Sonoma County. 

I haven’t figured out why some bars in this plot have gaps between them and others don’t. I’ll keep phutzing with the binwidth parameter.

I haven’t done much modeling yet, but I did model fatalities using logistic regression against time of day, day of week, road conditions, lighting conditions, and violation category. So far, the most statistically significant predictor of a fatality is alcohol being involved in the accident. Remember kiddos, don’t drink and drive.