Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Work Shy" by Alex Phillips

To be poor and raise skinny children.
To own nothing but skinny clothing.
Skinny food falls in between cracks.
Friends cannot visit your skinny home.
They cannot fit through the door.
Your skinny thoughts evaporate into
the day or the night that you cannot
see with your tiny eyes.

God sticks you with the smallest pins
and your blood, the red is diluted.
Imagine a tiny hole, the other side
of which is a fat world and how
lost you would feel. Of course,
I'm speaking to myself.
How lost I would feel, and how dangerous.

hunting vest

Nearly every day I wonder if I am ready to say goodbye to you, or to him, and I don't know about you (or him either) but I remain hopelessly unsure. the comfort and the agony of intellectualized paralysis. all these false equivalencies, the consummate absurdity of this choice I've created for myself, which I am not making.   

I returned to the valley floor today, determined, this time, to be less afraid. When I first wrote that line in my head it went like this: I return to the valley, this time unafraid.

But that would be a lie. As I descend the tension in my chest constricts, constricts, constricts as I work to remind myself, over and over again, to be brave. It's something about being that close to the water, I think, two miles spent criss-crossing the creek via slippery stones, all those dark crevices behind and underneath boulders into which a woman hiking alone could so easily go missing, all those deep pools in which she could so easily drown.

In defense of framing a piece of art

I didn't eat for so many years. It was no way to live.

I am learning, once again, how to feed myself.

I think art is important. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"The Thrush" by Edward Thomas

When Winter's ahead,
What can you read in November
That you read in April
When Winter's dead?

I hear the thrush, and I see
Him alone at the end of the lane
Near the bare poplar's tip,
Singing continuously.

Is it more that you know
Than that, even as in April,
So in November,
Winter is gone that must go?

Or is all your lore
Not to call November November,
And April April,
And Winter Winter—no more?

But I know the months all,
And their sweet names, April,
May and June and October,
As you call and call

I must remember
What died into April
And consider what will be born
Of a fair November;

And April I love for what
It was born of, and November
For what it will die in,
What they are and what they are not,

While you love what is kind,
What you can sing in
And love and forget in
All that's ahead and behind.

Heron sighting

One thing I am learning about faith is that you can't have faith in things happening in a certain way, only in that they will happen.

Speaking of which last night I drove out past the hotel where that coworker got married to a church, which is unusual for me these days, or at least I started driving there but then I followed a yellow schoolbus in the dark to a brick building near the end of the development I lost the schoolbus went inside went to the bathroom laughed with the woman who accidentally walked into the men's bathroom sat down in the auditorium got comfortable took some deep breaths then a man stood up to talk into his microphone headset and I grabbed my coat ran drove off like a maniac in pursuit of that yellow bus, screaming into my cell phone careening down a darkened road alongside a gated community.

I thought I might miss her.

Instead I sprint to the doors of the church this time, the yellow schoolbus is in the parking lot, I slide into a hard pew and stretch my body over the armrest so I can see around the pillar. Her hair is grey-dreadlocked and her pink scarf looks just fine with her new blue sweater. She speaks and I am confronted by my expectations, stiffened, and then she makes me laugh.

It takes what it takes.
Hope inspires the good to reveal itself. 
Forgiveness is where almost all of the miracles reside. 
Just feed each other and get each other some water.  

I am a spiritual person, "yes" I write on the college students' survey, and last night was a spiritual experience. Still all that lofty talk didn't prevent me from looking down during our hike today, kicking at grass alongside the road until he mentions the herons and sure enough in the sky there are two of them, right above me great blue. All that cawing from God, all those great big yellow buses, and I nearly missed them for needing to look up.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach

I try to write it this way:

Going down is the hard part.

The ravine is cold.
I am alone.
I am scared.
The woods are deep.

I am scared because I am alone and because the woods are growing dark.

I cry the nearest approximation of the sound of my heart breaking.
He drives away.
I am standing in my socks on the asphalt,

The old man at the party wore his sweater tucked into his jeans.
I laughed when others made fun of him.
Not to his face.
But I laughed. 

I do not want to be blamed for this.
I am so very sorry.

I have been invited to a moon-howling.
There will be a campfire. It will be dark,
save for the moon, which will be very bright. 
The boy who loves birds might come. 
Fifty or more of us will gather together. 
We will stand shoulder to shoulder as we scream.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


What are we gonna do???

I think it is just a stink bug...

Thank goodness!

In no particular order and without exhaustion here is a list of things that have changed my life

the waterfall glens
       Wilson the cat
backpacking trips
       camping in Vermont
the broken lampshade
       Amish furniture
a number of bands and musical arrangements
       books and writers, and a few select photographs
works of art that I no longer remember
      the tick on my inner right thigh
people I love and have loved
peeing in the woods
     fingers and bumpers
Winnifred the subaru
     living on a couch and from the trunk of a car
hostel sex
him cooking for me
the first time
    that rock on our backs on it
Oberlin anarchists
recycled bracelets
    Mrs. P
    my adopted grandmother
being labeled a leader
Colorado mountaintops
cross-country tripping
    hand-knit gnomes, mittens, and dolls
    lying on my back
drinking in high school
     my lung collapsing
multiple relationships
     being harassed in Washington, D.C.
environmental studies
    cultural theory
     rain boats
phone counseling
being hit
learning to eat again
     rejected hand-made ceramic bowls
buying new clothes
     running, squat thrusts, weight lifting
     going gluten free
moving a lot
intersectionality and rhizomatic realities
orange polar fleece