This has nothing to do with my work as a poet or the business of poetry, but I need this to be somewhere on the internet, and it’s been a while since I have posted to my blog so here goes. About two years ago, a plastic bag got caught in the leafless branches of a tree across the street from our big living room window in our neighborhood of Brooklyn. It drove my wife Rachel nuts waving at us when the wind blew. So being the uxorious husband that I am, I built a device for extracting it with some hardware I bought at Home Depot. I call it The Snatchelator, and it is nothing more than a telescoping painter’s pole (8′ at it’s minimum and 24′ at its maximum). At the tip, I use a hook for a small paint roller (with no roller attached) onto which I’ve attached four 90º metal L braces with butterly nuts and thumbscrews (so I can tighten them by hand). The whole thing looks like a spear with an awkward sprangle of metal pieces at the end, but if it comes anywhere near a plastic bag and I begin to twist it in one direction or another, the bag gets entwined around the metal and I can pull it from the branch with a little force. Sometimes I accidentally bring a few twigs and small branches down on top of me, but I always believe that the trees will gladly pay that price to be rid of the bag that might otherwise have stayed for years.
And soon I started to get calls from other folks in the neighborhood. One neighbor lost the balloons that her friends got her for he double mastectomy party; they spelled BOOBS, and they floated away and landed in a tree six streets over. So now I have an Instagram account (@plastic_bagman) where folks can watch videos of my snatchelating bag out of trees or make a donation to the cause. And recently I added a link to Google form where anyone in my neighborhood can log a bag in a tree that they would like removed! Here is that link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/19j1MWvTFe9a-7q0oJe20JE7zvFl31eWbndZ4RFb_qdU/viewform?edit_requested=true