The hole-in-the-wall bike shop

By Ben |

When I worked for the Friends of MPL, I rode the bus most of the time. Bicycling through downtown was always a little nerve-wracking, and although I had a pass to park in the employee bike parking complete with locker room and shower, in the library's temporary location that was down in a sub-basement of the heavily fortified former Federal Reserve building. Biking down the steep ramp through the giant motorized blast-resistant doors (4" solid steel!

Graph of X to the X

By Gordon Stallings |
3-D print of X to the X

This shape represents the mathematical function y = x raised to the x power, where x is a real number but y is complex.

The model was printed on the Dimension 3-dimensional printer.

For further information about this shape, continue reading below.

Dallas Rally '94 poem

By Ben |

I wrote this after attending one of my last YRUU conferences (which were then called "rallies" in Southwest District) as a youth. To attend the Dallas Rally, I had to drive an hour from Bartlesville to Tulsa, then ride 5 hours to Dallas in a 15-passenger van full of other teens and luggage. It was worth it.


Bullets poem

By Ben |

I wrote this poem in the early 2000s at a UU youth conference I attended as an adult advisor, where a number of the youth had said they were struggling with depression. Having navigated my own way out of depression with the help of a therapist, I thought I'd share my experience. After I recited the poem in the conference's talent show, one of the youth came up to me and eagerly asked for the secret of how to beat depression. I had to say there is no one answer for everyone, and you have to work through it with professional help.

My Dabbling in Anthropology

By Ben |

I wrote this poem in 1997 after my summer internship at Great Lakes Free-Net. My choice of faculty advisor for the internship was not available, so I got paired with a sociology professor, who told me he'd expect me to write a sociology paper about my experience. I'd only had an intro class in the subject and did what I thought I was supposed to do. It was a disaster. One of my classmates in the poetry class said that what I'd done was anthropology, not sociology, so I changed the title.


"I'm not sure you see the big picture," she said.


By Ben |

I wrote this poem in high school. It is not about anyone specific, but about a number of girls I knew who, at that age, felt they had to repress who they were. More of this story after the poem.


all eredniC and the Seven Snow Whites

By Ben |

I wrote this story back in high school (early 1990s) and submitted it to a dozen or so magazines before finding one that offered to buy it … and then went out of business before they could send me a contract. Rereading it now, it's clear I'd had a bit too much literary analysis.


“It seems like it’s all over before it’s begun … ”

And they all lived happily ever after.


Worm Bin poem

By Ben |

shredded newsprint
    moistened, yellowed, pungent
shelters squirming handfuls
    garbage eaters, dirt makers, red wigglers
slimily slithering
    beneath, between, among
silent, secret orgy in the green beans

brownness from greenness
warm and heavy, dark and musky
beforeness from afterness

soft skins explore, recoil
    sing a single whisper of wriggling
neverending moistened newsprint
    baking soda rain

SWUUSI '92 poem

By Ben |

I wrote this poem after attending a summer camp for Young Religious Unitarian Universalists in 1992 (age 16). It was an eventful week, because there were a few kids intent on breaking the rules. They kept at it until they got kicked out, after an epic 5am meeting called by my youth director, Bill Gupton. Bill was equally adamant that he would not be the one to kick them out; the group had to agree to enforce the rules... we just couldn't end the meeting until that happened!