Th 284295

To Find a Poet

May 1, 2008
What I was remembering this morning was the PC camera that my oldest son (now 25) got as a gift from his grandparents 11 years ago.

by Mark Hartley

What I was remembering this morning was the PC camera that my oldest son (now 25) got as a gift from his grandparents 11 years ago. He hooked it up and perched the tiny lens on top of his monitor. We prepared a serious message of gratitude that would be viewed by his grandfather — my father. But we started giggling, which erupted into peals of laughter, and we couldn"t stop — spitting out the words of our message when we had to gasp for air.

I think our first digital video turned out all right. There"s no doubt that my father enjoyed, with immense pleasure, watching his son and grandson together in a moment of hilarity.
Click here to enlarge image

It"s a nice memory. However, if I win the lottery, I"m still going low tech with my life.

I"m going to toss the cell phone that I have as far as I can into the waters of my version of Walden"s Pond, rather than upgrade to a fancier model. You know how they fall behind on picking up trash at the barrels that are placed at the head of a hiking trail? You"ll find my computer in that pile, and you"ll find me on the trail — not at the store with my millions buying some sort of monitor that stretches the length of a wall in my house.

But I haven"t won yet. In the meantime, I will embrace the intrusion of technology along with the rest of the working dental hygienists who read RDH. Grin. Grin.

And it"s not a forced or fake grin either. As the byline above implies, I do have a MySpace profile. I log in several times a week to see what is happening with my MyFriends. MySpace (or Facebook, if that"s your preference) is an excellent way for me to communicate with younger dental hygienists (it"s very diplomatic of me to say that all MySpace hygienists are much younger than me. Wink. Wink.).

And there are MySpace treats to be discovered. My favorite is a poet, although she doesn"t label herself as one. Jamie Gallegos is a Denver hygienist who, in my opinion, expresses herself very vividly through her blogs. She ( is like a Christmas present for this editor, who just wants something interesting to read on MySpace. Wedding and baby photos, as well as the music audios, are of limited interest to me.

Gallegos combines the gambling with punctuation and capitalization that we associate with e.e. cummings with the 1960s imagery evoked by Richard Brautigan. I love reading this woman"s stuff, even though I acknowledge that I have only a marginal appreciation for what it is like being a young, married female in Denver in the early years of the 21st Century.

The best part is that Jamie is a hygienist. I didn"t have to wade through thousands of "creative writer" profiles to find her. Hence, one benefit of technology is that it can connect you with some very interesting people.

A short example of Gallegos" blog that fits into this space is "wake {up}," which she wrote in 2007:

"do you ever blink and ... suddenly you"re 5 miles, 7 stop lights and, like, 3 school zones past where you thought you were?¿this was my whole day....aaaaaalll ... day ... long."

Have you noticed the icon at left yet? The PennWell community site (click on "community" at the top of or type in has an interesting assortment of dental characters as members, including the editors and writers associated with Dental Economics and RDH magazines. Stop by and visit us sometime.

by Mark Hartley
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