Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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May 2011 Archives

sealed but red

ballroom dance class
partner swapping for social exchange
I brought me

As we moved
My face seemed to make her smile, then laugh
He looked past his partner to watch us in the mirror

I danced rhumba with a fiancée
Someone engaged to someone else
Her arms spoke to me of hope:

Her right wrist bore a long scar
The proper way to cut yourself to die, from your palm towards your elbow
The cut looked sealed but red, like an adult decision

On her signifying left finger, a glimmering rock bouquet
Someone else had invested in her future
She was healing, or at least learning to partner dance.

the cloud our destination

Slow motion war
We give our lives gradually for our work
Here in the cloud
fogbound San Francisco
We expand the range of diversions and connections available
For people with devices

Each day we take away from our family
Evenings at our terminals
A founding mother father said
We will not wish we spent more time with our machines

But maybe we fashion these machines into beings
And plucking away on this tiny screen
Is touching humanity
A nice song for myself to sing

As I face the years in front of me
The prospect of making new friends and making a new family
To replace the growing number of folks I know
too dead to reply to my messages

unpacking for one

Spent the weekend wrapped up in a family
Not my family by blood or law
but a family of proclivity and taste

All the uneven houses we build
We'd never pick these arrangements in a fortune telling exercise
We see the winsome porter helping us to our next life journey
Not the baggage they carry
Or the claim check leaden in our own pocket

Home is a place to unpack
And maybe jam our belongings amidst the objects and rituals of our deep roommates

In a house full of children and teenagers and parents
I saw myself standing in a clear cold light
No one needs me to pick them up from practice
No one needs me to hold a screaming child at 2am

entirety of possibility is my horizon
Live anywhere, anyhow, do anything I want evenings and weekends!

My default mind schemes to flee this freedom
I miss constant contact with adored humanity.
Hello my loveable self! I will hold Justin
With novelty and regimen
I will live!

hunting and fishing

I have been thinking that seeking a mate for me these days is like hunting

though I haven't shot a wild animal
only hacking at a chicken's neck with a machete on a mountain in nepal
twelve years old, city boy
not killing it enough
so my reward before the meal was witnessing a real metaphor:
a running around chicken with its head half cut off

my grandparents gave me a cabela's gift certificate
which I used to purchase a hunting slingshot and a pellet mold
useful in the big city
I sat in a long mezzanine corridor in my large high school apartment building
shooting wax pellets at the EXIT signs.

later I had that slingshot at the Platte River State park
Nebraska family reunion
I had a bowl of pistachios
and I saw a raccoon coming for our trash can
I shot at the raccoon, sometimes striking it
and then the raccoon would come back for the nut I shot him with
it was an endless cycle, as long as I had nuts
I began to feel bad

but hunting as I imagine it - setting my sights on "big game" something worthwhile and chasing it down
relentless in my pursuit
estimating moves, positioning myself to cut off escape
exercising my tools at a distance to pin down my target
and then closing the gap for an intimate embrace

I've done that a few times, with a few women
and I came to know them so well
I can remember their parent's names and faces
some of those parents are no longer alive
I didn't kill them
but I didn't make their grandchildren neither

tonight it feels like being single is fishing
dropping lines
in unclear water
remembering the sweet taste of cornmeal-fried freshwater bluegill
working probability
to see if something bites

tonight in the security line
I saw a woman in a compact straw hat with a red t-shirt
"you look cool" I told her, as I walked past in a late night airport
she slowly cracked a thin smile as I moved along security

maybe she'll sit next to me on the plane, I thought - that would be good fortune
we could someday remember how we met
over drinks on some porch
"you said 'you look good' at the airport"
her memory will be better than mine

another woman I chatted with at some length on the train
on the way to the airport
I'd remember the shape of her columella if I saw it again
she has english finals
she was friendly and open to talk
probably too young, I should throw her back

after these momentary interactions with stranger gals, I think
I've practiced connection
and I've left a trace perhaps
we would smile at each other next time
a chance to inspire each other
to hunt or fish or just each vegetables together


Thanks Steve Rhodes - from @tigerbeat on Instagram
June 2012 dancing in the streets of San Francisco with Ilyse Magy, photo thanks Steve Rhodes on instagram!

Hi, I'm Justin Hall and this here is a personal web site I've used to chronicle my time on earth since 1994. The content on the front page is relatively recent; if you search through the archives, you'll find old pieces of Justin. Some folks have indexed my doings on Wikipedia.

Twitter: jah
Facebook: Justinreach

eBooks by Justin Hall

I've published books for sale, somewhere else online! Behold:

Now available for the Kindle: A Story of GameLayers. My experience being CEO of a tech company, 2007-2009:

"A tell-all story of a startup from the very beginning, with lots of info about real-world fundraising. A more intimate look than you'll find in other business reads." says Irene Polnyi in a 5-star review on

A Story of GameLayers, for the Amazon Kindle.