Filial Eclipse

There are lunar eclipses of the sun. Last night there was a filial eclipse of the Sonosopher, Alex Caldiero.

The event was the TV broadcast of stages 2, 3, and 4 of American Ninja Warrior. Isaac Caldiero, Alex’s son, was one of the finalists. This is the seventh year of the competition and no one had ever finished the course. Last night there were two finishers. Isaac made the last climb faster than the other man, Geoff Britten, and won the prize: $1,000,000.

HERE is a link to the last two stages.

What an athlete Isaac is. I once commented to Alex that, given Alex’s pronounced non-athletic lifestyisaac2le (he does all his physical training with a pen and notebook in hand), Isaac is no chip off the old block.

Au contraire, Alex replied. When I was growing up in Brooklyn I was one of the best ‘builderers’ in the neighborhood. We climbed buildings as sport. And I was damned good at it.

[photo from THIS SITE]

… lunch with Alex today. He claimed there was no eclipse involved, that Isaac had always been the more famous member of the family.

About Scott Abbott

I received my Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I directed the Program in Integrated Studies for its initial 13 years and was also Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy for three years. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (REPETITIONS and VAMPIRES & A REASONABLE DICTIONARY, published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade and in English with Punctum Books), a book with Sam Rushforth (WILD RIDES AND WILDFLOWERS, Torrey House Press), a "fraternal meditation" called IMMORTAL FOR QUITE SOME TIME (University of Utah Press), and translations of three books by Austrian author Peter Handke, of an exhibition catalogue called "The German Army and Genocide," and, with Dan Fairbanks, of Gregor Mendel's important paper on hybridity in peas. More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and dance/yoga studio manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as an ecologist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a parole officer, as a contractor, as a seasonal worker (Alaska and Park City, Utah), and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett, with whom I have written a cultural history of barbed wire -- THE PERFECT FENCE (Texas A&M University Press). Some publications at
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7 Responses to Filial Eclipse

  1. It was killing me yesterday trying to find out if they were related – I thought… Caldiero isn’t that common of a name and he hailed from Orem and climbed in American Fork. Lately (like for the past 6 months), I’ve been reading one or two Alex poems every month at our local poetry night/open mics.


    • Scott Abbott says:

      Nice to hear you are still poeticizing. Have you read Alex’s new book “Some Love”? It is, I think, a remarkable book. If you are interested, I reviewed it for Open Letters Monthly this month.
      And wasn’t Isaac amazing!


      • Meriaten Long says:

        I’ve read from Some Love twice – I preordered it via amazon. I guess I’m just a Caldiero fan for life. I keep fantasizing about Alex being a featured poet at some of our Seattle-area places. There are about a gazillion poets and poetry readings up here.


  2. Meriaten Long says:

    I just discovered your blog and read your review and about your published books. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Most of my poetry books of Alex’s I got via Ken Sanders and they got them signed for me and even threw in something extra. Man, I miss seeing him live. YouTube just does not do him justice.


    • Scott Abbott says:

      Alex has produced several dozen chapbooks in small editions over the past year. It is an amazing process to watch his notebooks give up their treasures. I bet Ken Sanders has copies of these new works, although they may be pricy.
      Additionally, Alex is gearing up for the 60th Anniversary of Ginsberg’s HOWL. Once again he will perform the whole poem. Ten years ago over 1000 people tried to get into the auditorium to hear him.


  3. Meriaten Long says:

    Darn it – I’m on my phone and I keep forgetting things I meant to type in this tiny box. YES- Isaac was phenomenal!


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