I spent june in amsterdam, writing, but also biking [fell 3 times; definitely getting better at falling] and watching the skies, which are higher there, the clouds always on the move over this land by the north sea.


  1. When I was in Amsterdam in the waaaaaaaaaaay back, my friend Sandy hit a cyclist one day as we were driving!

  2. I would love to visit Amsterdam if for no other reason than to visit the Van Gogh Museum. Did you visit it?

  3. Big fan here, and also a person who lived 1/2 time in Holland for 6 years. My lover gone, I still dream of bike rides across Holland and Terschelling Island up north…Joop still produces the annual OEROL Festival up there in mid June – ( I was a headliner in 1997 with the group SALT), and our communal home there was way east (Ooost) – a 12 kilometer bike ride to our rehearsal space daily, with lots of biking to Midland for our lunches. I can’t think of anywhere that I have seen more bikes (and more happy/smiling faces) than during my half-decade in de Nederlands. So I just want to say I am sorry you fell down 3 times, but I am happy to hear you are up and “at ’em” again. Wish I could ride with you up there some day….such a feeling of comfort, acceptance and simple ‘being’.

    a fan named norman

    1. norman, thanks so much for writing. everything about amsterdam makes me feel freer, less encumbered by routine. I keep thinking this will wear off, but it doesn’t.

      1. I’m sorry to inform you that it most likely won’t wear off. I miss the cobblestones, friendliness and, more than anything – the optimism of the Dutch. So revel and repatriate; party and write poetry… whatever you do, you will always be part Chicago, and we’ll hold you up to that! norman

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