Photo by friend of the author

“Even sweetness can scratch the throat, grandma said, so stir the sugar well.” — Ocean Vuong in “Notebook Fragments”

The thing is, I don’t like sugar in my coffee.

But, I was taught recently that a spoonful of sugar in the pot — if you do it Turkish style — makes the final product creamier, frothier, tastier. I have to admit, he’s right.

2018 had its sweet moments, but I didn’t always stir well. Sometimes the crystals tickled, other times they scratched at something deeper.

Ah, it’s 2019, you say? Tis the season to reflect on all the sweet, salty…

Photo source: Flying Goat

The Flying Goat Camp & Hostel is the new kid on the block in Geyikbayiri. They are distinct in the area for their smaller size and communal vibe.

Heading into their second year of operation, owner Fleur Derks wanted to emphasize a hostel aesthetic. The space features a community kitchen (the first camp to do so), they organize family dinners and movie night, and encourage communing in common spaces, like the upstairs “living room” that has a fireplace along with various boardgames.

I had chosen this camp because it looked relaxed, friendly, and picturesque. It lived up to expectations.

Photo by the author

A funny thing happens:
A day becomes a month,
a plot becomes a line
— best fit —
and outliers are discarded
for sake of
the data.

We must

focus on
the conclusion
and fabricate
the narrative to
make it
Our lifeline
depends on fit.

In time

we learn
to walk backwards
into the future,
trying to
today by
making up

History is just

the bias that passes
as narrative by
the victor after

A word of advice:

the end.

Originally published at on January 1, 2019.

Photo source:

Boulder Istanbul is your neighborhood climbing gym on the Asian side.

It’s akin to your favorite little cafe down the street, full of character and familiar faces. Or it’s the climbing set-up you wish you had in your two-car garage, just for you and your buddies.

The Vibe:

Make no mistakes, this is an “old school” gym and one of the first in Istanbul.

This place has a slightly gritty feel which adds to its well-worn charm. The holds are a little polished, rubber streaks mark the walls, and the paint has faded from years of use.

Admittedly, I have a soft…

Photo by the author

Ballikayalar (or Honey Crag in Turkish) is the best outdoor climbing near Istanbul.

It is about an hour drive from the city of 15 million and consists of over 70 routes on limestone. The routes range from 7 to 35m, and most fall within a difficulty rating of 5.10 to 5.12 (or VI to IX- in UIAA). Many of the older routes were originally climbed as trad, now that they are bolted the line naturally follow the cracks.There …

Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash

Sometimes life doesn’t play out as you had hoped.
Joyful meandering leads to thickets of nettle stings that remind you of that Tryst long after you’ve made it back to the path.

That dirt, hard, crusty, caked on knees.
Sweat. Sweat on back and upper lip —
Tongue swabs away salty.
Hands. In fields grabbing fistfulls
Of grass, as hair, tugged, it’s attached, it’s there, you know it
Combed through to tips,
Repeated because you like your hair tussled. Neck stroked.

Streams down cheeks. Currents strong
In spring time thaw, the winter was
Long before it warmed, and even
That deep cold…

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Charming tan charlatan parading down the main street
Checks bounced n’ we ate pasta and oatmeal for a week
Charizard used flare blitz incites super effective display
Champions of Americana piñata made from papier-mâché
Clouds never part for the too young a lifetime of grey

Churro roll stick em up pow pow thought it was an automatic clip
Cops off the hook because of the color they mistook
Crazed kids match sticks acting got something to say
Chorizo ground up hot water you are encased in intestine
Car can’t pass inspection can’t get no satisfaction

Claims benediction but really needs…

Photo by Bruno Ramos on Unsplash

They say we have four seasons

I object. They ignore the interstitial

At the inter-seasonal divide

Of last dustings giving way

To war

Between fallen clouds and

Vertiginous vernal


It’s not Winter to Spring;

It’s Winter to Winter to Winter

Dwindling to Winter to Grey to

Rain to Rain to Spring.

Don’t lie to me of the seasons

Of distinction, of parting of the seas,

I know what I see.

Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash.

It’s hard to imagine a castle in a pebble,
The juxtaposing imbalance inveighs
Against proper proportionality. To dream
Is audacious enough — an azure flame
Slugging it out with temperate
Forests teeming with yellow
Hues. To construct enters
The realm of the absurd. Who dared
To build the cathedral brick
By brick? Obstinate

Fool. Obsidian

Dolt. Awashed

Agate. You hearty arrogance

Ego trip-lollying
To villas, vistas, and mountain
Peaks rounding in to views
Most mortals don’t
Dare to venture —
We all know

A pebble is a pebble.

What are we if not for harmonious balance? …

Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

Rhyme a dime dime, Kyrie cuttin’ be curing, meats
So to speak are probably okay to eat.

Vegetarians. Bah. Vegans. Can’t feed ’em.

But I don’t blame, ain’t no shame,
Do what you will, the blood’s on
My hands, my mouth, my chin, goblet in and swill…

Sparrow marrow and quail kill.
Nesting babies end up in Hades.

Cause I ate my fill, now time for the bill.

Like the words and the pretty picture? Get that and more 👉download Aaron’s full-color-poetry anthology for free!

Aaron Gerry

Hey! I’m a freelance marketer + writer, traveling, and climbing around the world. You can say I’m adventurish. I also like donuts. 🍩🍩

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