Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Early morning
On a wilderness river
Through the fog
I thought, for an instant
That I saw an eagle fishing.

Seconds later, through the fog
I heard an eagle scream
I thought.

    - Rod MacIver

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Curated by "A Pause for Beauty"

Our fantastic civilization has fallen out of touch with many aspects of nature, and with none more completely than with night. Primitive folk; gathered at a cave mouth round a fire, do not fear night; they fear, rather, the energies and creatures to whom night gives power; we of the age of the machines, having delivered ourselves of nocturnal enemies, now have a dislike of night itself. With lights and ever more lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars? Having made themselves at home in a civilization obsessed with power, which explains its whole world in terms of energy, do they fear at night for their dull acquiescence and the pattern of their beliefs? Be the answer what it will, to-day's civilization is full of people who have not the slightest notion of the character or the poetry of night, who have never even seen night. Yet to live thus, to know only artificial night, is as absurd and evil as to know only artificial day.

    - Henry Breston, The Outermost House

I have . . . a terrible need… shall I say the word? . . . of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars.

    - Vincent Van Gogh 

less of a woman

The dreams left me as aggressively as they came. I sleep not well but thickly until Wilson baps my face awake.

For the first time in the nearly two years since I've lived in this apartment the bar beside my building is playing a good song.

It was hot when I climbed onto my bike and I forgot I was wearing floppy sandals. My shoes and water were in the pack on my back but at that point I was too hungry to change or to drink. No choice but to ride.

I guess I'll eat crabs next time.

Fuck you youtube for putting an advertisement right in the middle of this Mazzy Star album. I'm trying to be somewhere.

I am misanthrope.
I am trying this on for size. I am questioning whether kindness (or a certain kind of it) is a medium of oppression. 

I am trying to care less, at least in some circumstances.

I am not entirely satisfied. 

Am I less of a woman because I don't want to be pregnant?

Perhaps someday someone will look at this blog and think "If only she had been more disciplined. Perhaps then her stanzas would have been properly formed and the visions she had for her poetry would have actually translated themselves through her fingertips." 

But at the same time fuck off.

I am trying to do it; I am trying to sit with myself. Lord it's so hard when you've been away for so long.

The truth is much harder to say than smiling. I'm sorry. That creek was contaminated by the landfill I just know it.

Perhaps I'll swim to that duck blind in the middle of the river and make it a home. I'll hang marine plants from the thatch, take off my clothes, grow a few fins, and call it my own.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Observations (v1)


The penis in my dream had a dent in it, like someone had taken an ice cream scoop to the bottom left side.

I guess I shouldn't leave the windows down; it might rain. It's hot as balls, though.

5:16. I'll walk til the minute hand kicks over.

This is not the side of the creek on which I usually run.

The water is lower than it was three weeks ago.

The dog can tell that I'm bleeding. He plunges his nose into my crotch and inhales. Why isn't his owner calling him off.

I am lost. Or, rather, I've never been on this trail before.

I am in the woods. I have no reason to believe I am safe. Always the thing I am scared of is men finding me alone. I have my car keys, so that's something; I can put them between my fingers...

Come at me, motherfucker, I dare you.

Oh, here's the red blaze.

Oh, I remember this car from earlier.

Wherever I go, eventually I'll know where I am.

That was a fast mile.

Here's that spot where I saw that mama duck and her ducklings.

Sand. that scene from the Princess Bride, with the quicksand, right before Wesley is attacked by one of the ROUSes...

Shit, don't bite me; dog looks skittish.

I've never seen greyhounds so small. I wonder what a baby greyhound looks like.

Oh, here's the covered bridge.

Here's that spot where I saw a great blue heron that one time. God that was so good.

I'll walk this hill. Here, crooked lung, I will concede this much.

It's not my fault.

I am hugging my own stomach and walking breathily down the side of the road.

The corn is much higher than it was six weeks ago. I feel private, hidden, like I'm in the jungle. I know what it's like to ski these trails in winter.

Those robins are startled. I startled them with my running.

A rabbit.

God it's beautiful out here.
I'm really grateful. 

Here I am crying on the edge of a corn field.

Here I am spinning in circles on the edge of a corn field.

The sun is setting. A hawk takes flight.

Friday, August 28, 2015

We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened. 

    - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


After the bear left I walked into my neighbor's house to borrow her TV. The kids tear around the squalid downstairs while I follow her to the second floor. She comes at me with a safety pin. I dodge the point and sprint down the stairs. I shove her children behind me, spread my arms wide, and bellow.

Two days earlier I and a friend from high school were creeping through the labyrinthine underground of the city's public library. The tall man in dark clothes planned to kill us. We emerged on the streets, sprinting through sidewalk cafes and past shiny rows of rent-a-bikes. People glared up from conversation, annoyed their bike helmets had been bumped or their coffee spilled. We ran and he followed, a block behind and gaining.

The night before that you showed me the bruise on your penis. I was concerned but also (I confess) my gaze wasn't confined to the bruise. Your pants were unzipped and you held the length of it in your hand.

In the past month I have escaped a water cult after witnessing the torture of my friends and family. I have fled from a serial murderer of women, who kept me and a sister chained in a small room in a large house in the woods. We made it gasping to the trees but were running in circles. I have seen the house I thought I'd left looming before me, heard his laughter from behind the lit window late at night, and realized with ice-cold clarity that I did not know how to get away from that place. 

I have been chased through the woods and through the streets and through the hidden crawlspaces in so many darkened buildings. I have had sex with you and with him and have woken up flushed and blushing. I have pulled my pubic hair out in clumps til I was clean-shaven and smooth. I have grown long, glossy hair on either side of my belly button and combed its length with my fingers.

I have consulted the dream dictionaries online and it seems I have mother issues, repressed anger issues, untold power, and an awakening sexuality, and I am either going to be very rich or very poor, depending on what happens to my pubic hair.


I am bear.

My purpose is sitting at your kitchen table. You bring me dog chow and flowers from the porch, hoping this will appease me.

As a bear, my goal is to confront you with Power and Presence in the living room, astride these white couches and this beige Oriental rug.

As a bear, my biggest fear is that the salmon stop running.

As a bear, I love gooseberries in the peak of July.

As a bear, I hate small-minded people.

As a bear, I desire that you stop simpering before your own power as it rattles around your bruised rib cage, inside this remodeled home. I'll break in month after month until you stand your ground in the doorway or I rip the flesh from your bones. 


Friday, June 19, 2015

From "For My People" by Margaret Walker

Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a
    bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second
    generation full of courage issue forth; let a people
    loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full of
    healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing
    in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs
    be written, let the dirges disappear.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I have taken to cutting letters and words out of old magazine subscriptions and gluing them to my paintings.

In each case I find myself liking the painting more, even in those instances where I had been entirely unsatisfied with the painting prior. "Whatever my place in this garden, it was not to be the gardener."

Occasionally a fish jumps. 

Oh I have been so busy. I work to recall stooping by the fence in that backwoods garden, the sheep's eyes drooping, the telltale dirt and lanolin on my fingers. I rubbed its face for thirty minutes and then the bugles sounded.

Who knew about the Rockefellers. Who knew about the Scandinavian girls whose hair never saw sunlight. We walked cobbled streets in shoes that squished with rainwater, rain coats no match for it; umbrellas no match for it. The horses continued grazing. The sheep laid down beneath the trees and looked at me through their wet wooly locks.

Sitting on the bridge over the narrow canal I wasn't afraid of the ghost boy laughing. American wysteria wrapped itself around the governor's palace. The horticultural librarian stood beneath it, transfixed.

What can I say of the gardens. They were green, and everywhere.

When I return home Wilson is beside himself. Three whole days and a babysitter no match for his loneliness. I read today that cats see humans as inexplicably large, non-hostile cats. "Where is my inexplicably large, non-hostile cat," Wilson must have wondered while I was away.

from "Cabin Poem" by Jim Harrison

I’ve decided to make up my mind
about nothing, to assume the water mask,
to finish my life disguised as a creek,
an eddy, joining at night the full,
sweet flow, to absorb the sky,
to swallow the heat and the cold, the moon
and the stars, to swallow myself
in ceaseless flow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

from "If You Are Over Staying Woke" by Morgan Parker


Instead of
hyacinths pick
Water the hydrangeas
Wilt the news
White the hydrangeas
Drink the white
Waterfall the
cricket songs
Keep a song mind
Don't smile
Don't wilt

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"Visions at 74" by Frank Bidart

The planet turns there without you, beautiful.
Exiled by death you cannot
touch it. Weird joy to watch postulates

lived out and discarded, something crowded
inside us always craving to become something
glistening outside us, the relentless planet

showing itself the logic of what is
buried inside it. To love existence
is to love what is indifferent to you

you think, as you watch it turn there, beautiful.
World that can know itself only by
world, soon it must colonize and infect the stars.

You are an hypothesis made of flesh.
What you will teach the stars is constant
rage at the constant prospect of not-being.
Sometimes when I wake it's because I hear
a knock. Knock,
Knock. Two
knocks, quite clear.

I wake and listen. It's nothing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I need to remind myself
To live as I do
Not because it is safe
Not to avoid failure.

I live as I do
Because life is mysterious and precious
Fast or slow, day by day
In a wonderful way.

At the end of my journey I want to say
I lived close to the beauty and quiet of wild nature.
I contributed to the lives of others with my work.

           - Roderick MacIver

Saturday, April 4, 2015


do you remember that blueberry farm in ohio and the peacock wandering silk-feathered through it, the round wooden house filled with sunshine and all of those windows? we picked blueberries and covered bushes tenderly with protective netting. it was hot and sticky work.

then we drove into the woods, thank goodness that ultramarathoner was there because she knew about these woods this creek-- have you ever taken off your clothes with people you met only that morning, right before driving to the blueberry farm, and stepped topless into the cold water of a creek in rural ohio?

what i remember most is that none of us were ashamed. other women standing there in the water with their hips shaped exactly as they were gave me courage, my hip bones poking out as they do and all of our nipples standing up, how many pairs of wet cotton underwear, who cares i plunged from the rock into the water again, again.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


The earth has music for those who listen. 
 -William Shakespeare 

Need is not quite belief.
-Anne Sexton

Ten years later
and here we are. 

I drive over the bridge and back again.

I can picture the house I will build,
and live in, and the gardens below it.
There will be goats, chickens, a couple of horses,
happy panting dogs. Barn cats stretched out in sunshine.

I am a writer there,
a teacher, a farmer

All I've wanted to be and already am.

Do you remember the West Manchester Mall?
All the goth girls and teenagers smoking cigarettes
and the middle-school kids dancing for the revolution.

I want you to know that I care.
I am in need of a new pair of hiking boots.

I feel lapis lazuli,
hand-knit gnomes and colorful scarves.
I feel twine, and twine, and twine, and twine.

There's a dead skunk in the nest or maybe a mink, or a cat, or
another angry internet commenter.
I combed the trolls' hair.
I used the brush for the porcelain horses' manes.

If you don't see me again it's because I ran away.
I miss singing and do it best when I'm alone.

With one exception in the shower of my D.C. home, or my little closet bedroom
with green table-nose drawings on the walls.

In Guatemala the walls of my room were concrete.
I pushed pins into the grout and begged the sun to hold on.

I'm a weird woman
Odd bird me

Speaking of sunsets
Do you remember Iowa? 
Love Ridge in Kentucky?
Tobacco fields lining Sheep Lane?

That night in Columbia I knew with absolute certainty that everything is happening all of the time. 

"The birthday of the world" by Marge Piercy

On the birthday of the world
I begin to contemplate
what I have done and left
undone, but this year
not so much rebuilding
of my perennially damaged
psyche, shoring up eroding
friendships, digging out
stumps of old resentments
that refuse to rot on their own.
No, this year I want to call
myself to task for what
I have done and not done
for peace. How much have
I dared in opposition?
How much have I put
on the line for freedom?
For mine and others?
As these freedoms are pared,
sliced and diced, where
have I spoken out? Who
have I tried to move? In
this holy season, I stand
self-convicted of sloth
in a time when lies choke
the mind and rhetoric
bends reason to slithering
choking pythons. Here
I stand before the gates
opening, the fire dazzling
my eyes, and as I approach
what judges me, I judge
myself. Give me weapons
of minute destruction. Let
my words turn into sparks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

the poem i will read at my funeral*

Death, whoever and whatever you are, tallest king of tall kings, grant me these wishes: unstring my bones; let me be not one thing but all things


Goodbye to the swaying trees. 
Goodbye to the black triangles of the winter sea. 
Goodbye to oranges, the prick of their fragrance. 
Goodbye to the fox sparrow, 
goodbye to the blue-winged teal. 
Goodbye to lettuce, and the pale turnip,
and the gatherings of the rice fields. 
Goodbye to the wavering light. 
Goodbye to the goldfinches
                 and their wavering songs. 


Listen, I don't think we're going to rise
in gauze and halos. 
Maybe as grass, and slowly. 
Maybe as the long-leaved, beautiful grass

I have known, and you have known--
or the pine trees--
or the dark rocks of the zigzag creek
     hastening along--

or the silver rain-- 

or the hummingbird. 


I look up
into the faces of the stars, 
into their deep silence. 


This is the poem of goodbye. 
And this is the poem of don't know. 

My hands touch the lilies
then withdraw;

my hands touch the blue iris
then withdraw;

and I say, not easily but carefully--
the words round in the mouth, crisp on the tongue-- 

dirt, mud, stars, water--
I know you as if you were myself. 

How could I be afraid? 


What is it I need to know? 

What is it I don't know that I need to know? 


Think of me
when you see the evening star. 
Think of me when you see the wren
    the flowing root of the creek beneath him, 
    dark,       silver        and cold

Remember me I am the one who told you
he sings for happiness. 
I am the one who told you 
that the grass is also alive, and listening. 

allelujah allelujah
sighs the pale green moth
on the screen door, 

alleluja allelujah
the red tongues of the white swans
shine out of their black beaks
as they shout
as their wings rise and fall

rise and fall

oh rise and fall

*All excerpted from "the leaf and the cloud" by Mary Oliver

Sunday, March 15, 2015

north-bound train

I eat the banana methodically.

The drier hedgehog sits under the coffee table.

This is my life, deliriously.

At my funeral, please play "I Know You Rider" by the Grateful Dead.


This is so hard. I am trying to trust you.

Or if not you, in something. 

In the meantime I listen to him play guitar,
Big headphones buffering me from everything outside of
This music and this brain that I am living in.

Reality is for me much more difficult than metaphor.
I'm not writing this well, in other words.
At the same time I think it's important not to draw too fine a line between
Metaphors, or reality. 

I want to look at a picture of you and ache like I do when looking at him.
That said I've ached in the past and look where it got me.
Still there's a difference between that and this.
Love is a verb. 

This isn't getting me anywhere.
Wilson pushes off of my chest when I start singing and goes to lie with Mr. Fish on the living room rug.
Wilson needs love, and he doesn't.

Let's put a pin in this. Let's pull out all the stops.
There must be more than polarization.
I mean just looking at that picture of a river and leaves falling made me cry. 
I mean remember the crows flying in.

My favorite birds are mallards,
Followed by sparrows. The first floats and the second is so hungry.

Friday, March 13, 2015

"Blackberrying" by Sylvia Plath

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,   
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks—
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.   
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,   
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me   
To the hills' northern face, and the face is orange rock   
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space   
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths   
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Ahoy matey big things are afoot.

Wilson sleeps on my chest with his head up and eyes pressed tightly closed. My fingers type so quickly in time with the music.

He sleeps with a scarf around his neck and slippers where his shoes would go. Earlier tonight I thought I was a snake. I do not want to come from Slytherin. I am grateful to know that I am already loved.

Lemon slices in a Nalgene bottle. Music fast and faster. Cat ears tickling my nose.

Additionally I went skiing today. Down the middle of the streets and people stared and one young woman went holy shit! but she meant it in a kind of excited way, like holy shit man that's way cool, and I smiled so maybe they wouldn't realize that I was slipping out of control. I made it to the bottom of the hill knees wobbling and skied on.

Run, run, run, run, run, run, run. run. run.

The bear roars over the ridge.

Nearly ten inches of snow today between the skiing and the shoveling let me tell you I am tired, I mean a deep kind of tired that goes beyond aching, it's not weary for once because I'm not sad, it's just that my body whimpers for a bath. Catch: I am too tired to run the bath.

I vividly remember stopping at that Wawa the rest feels distant and already slightly dubitable.

Wilson's head droops lower and lower. As I type these words he splays his chin across my shoulder. Earlier today I held him up to the window and we watched the crows fly in, one by one by the end there were nearly twenty of them, perched and looping round the trees out back. Wilson's little body stiffened, tail snapping, and he did that chirp that he reserves only for those times when he is hunting a squirrel or a bird or twenty of them. The birds kept swooping in from over our heads and looping the trees and landing black-beaked in the diamond snow on the neighbors' rooftop and I started crying because I was grateful, and I couldn't stop.

Friday, February 27, 2015

People often asked him which of all the creatures encountered in his many years as a hunter and dweller, in far-away places of Africa, he found most impressive. Always he answered that it would have to be a bird of some kind. This never failed to surprise them, because people are apt to be dazzled by physical power, size, frightfulness, and they expected him to say an elephant, lion, buffalo or some other imposing animal. But he stuck to his answer; there was nothing more wonderful in Africa than its birds. I asked why precisely. He paused and drew a circle with his finger in the red sand in front of him before saying that it was for many reasons, but in the first place because birds flew. He said it in such a way that I felt I had never before experienced fully the wonder of birds flying. 

     – Laurens Van Der Post, from The Heart of the Hunter

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

lunch at the Wawa/jerk off

Welcome to the rip tide. Welcome to the bruise on your ribs. Gums bleeding?

Try this.

Pretend yourself an antelope.

A casually knotted sweatshirt adds a breezy touch to a dramatic gown. 

I can't leave what would become of the bookshelf.

Start with a primer, which evens texture and contains golden micropigments. 

What's for dinner?

And just like that, the wall falls down.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

from "Little Song" by Rowan Ricardo Phillips

...Who doesn't love it when the bass
Doesn't hide? When you can feel the trumpet peel
Old oil and spit from deep down the empty
Pit of a note or none or few? So don't
Give up on it yet: the scenario.
You know that it's just as tired of you
As you are of it. Still, there's much more to it
Than that. It does not not get you quite wrong.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Requiem for the Open Tab

Feb 16, 2003 piper
You've gone incognito.

x                       x                           x                    x                 x                                         X

Monarch butterfly endang
When the marginalized are sa

Restore Session                  x

  •  1939- Frida Kahlo and baby deer
  • Why Pharma Payouts to Doctors Were So Hard to Parse -
  • 2015 World Press Freedom Index
  • Every day for more than a year my friend Mandy sends m
  • "Fifty Shades of Grey" Review -- The New Yorker

You can try:

  • Starting an entirely new browsing session

Monday, February 16, 2015

highly sensitive people

I mean come the fuck on. 

"Make a pact to better our planet and we'll give you a free eco-tote."

In other news, war is peace.

In other news, all signs no signifieds.

In other news, your kindness will cost you your job.

Baudrillard you dog.

It tells me I'm silly to care about being a good person. 
What a relief. I'll just sit here laughing at the person paid to pretend that caring is lame.

At least cowgirl horse camp starts soon.


Oh great, we're back to the crying again.

On occasion I've failed to acknowledge this.

I'm not sure if sleeping in the same bed is something that roommates do then again on occasion I myself have done it. I suppose just like any other word roommate is what you make it.

If I stare at him long enough maybe he'll give me a bite of that coconut yogurt.

I won't count them if you will.

I see your gaslight shining from up here behind the lamp on the third floor. I see its ashen pall, the putridity of Green #40. I pull the cord.


I want a revolutionary kind of love.
By that I mean I don't want to put cages around each other.

I want to say how was your weekend and I hope you have a great night. On occasion I want to be comfortable using exclamation points.

I want to take your fingers into my mouth and suck them.


There is a 90 percent chance of snow tonight.

Here's the thing: I am all upturned.

I refuse to let the kindness run out of me.

The Wilson Chronicles Part III

Nearly every time I lie down Wilson finds me, all 9.6 pounds of him, ready for cuddles. He has no qualms of rejection. He climbs aboard and waits to be kissed.

Here are a few of Wilson's middle names:

His Highliness III
Wild Man

Wilson isn't concerned with the weather, or disrespectful coworkers, or having a lousy job. He has his needs: canned chicken, cod & tuna, water dripping from the bathroom sink. Play time. Cuddles.

On occasion he'll also spend time in the closet. Or crouched on the porch, practicing his hunting, if squirrels or birds are around. If you're not a chicken or a cod or a tuna or water dripping or one of his favorite toys (there's Birdy, Red Fuzzy Thingy, That String, Catnip Everdeen, Mr. Fish...), if you're not cuddling or an accessory to squirrel hunting or closet exploration, then Wilson may not have need for you. He is a cat who knows what he wants. No dawdling.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

ham, peanut butter, sandwich

If you come for me right now I'd stand naked in the shower with you. I don't think I'd be so nervous this time, except for the small red spots on my stomach; it is winter and my skin is dry.

Or drive across the country listening to music. Or both in that order. I miss Wyoming and the way the mountains make my chest fill up.

Suddenly and inexplicably I am remembering that time when two people sank a blue paddleboat in a lake in Pennsylvania. They held onto a tree limb just above the water and we hauled ass in the emergency motorboat. Well once we got the lock to the storage shed open.

I promise you right now I'm going to write more this year, fucking almighty I am tired of using up all of my energy fulfilling other people's needs. I don't mean loving. That's a different thing entirely and I'm happy to do it.

Would you like any ham with your peanut butter sandwich?

This fucking album. I lost the mixed CD you made me. I haven't followed you back because I'm all unsorted on the inside. I'm glad you took the hint after I ignored 800 of your calls. I didn't know you loved me like that or I wouldn't have kissed you, just two friends who like each other enough to kiss by the hedgerow, I thought, evergreens prickling my back. Was I wearing a hunter green fall-weight jacket that day? Have I ever owned a jacket like that?

Thank you so much for going to that poetry open mic night with me. That was really swell and I had a giant crush on you. I wish I hadn't been drunk that one time we had sex. I'm much better at it now.

Meanwhile in Boston. I can't believe how childish you got once I said I wasn't in the mood, pouting the entire bus ride to the museum. What an asshole. I'm glad you showed me around the park but I should have ditched you by that Planned Parenthood downtown, or while I was tight-roping the concrete edge of the memorial fountain. Your trombone is weak and your wooden bowls pretty, though I wouldn't pay $700 for one of them.

I sat on the swing inside the fenced-in playground and though I was near community gardens on an elite college campus I felt like I was sitting in prison, and just as vulnerable, and it was my birthday and I told you that I liked you even though he wouldn't stop kissing me. I don't think of you very often and for that I am grateful in its own right. We loved. We are no longer in love.

Imagine yourself a turtle

Imagine yourself a turtle.

This morning I woke up dead. I got deader as the day went on.

I went to sleep and I was dead.

An error occurred. Welcome to the Gulag orchestra.

The horse's mane is blood.

Oh, inverted world. 

Look at you. You're so broken. 

*With thanks and condolences to the Shins, to Neutral Milk Hotel, and to the Silver Jews

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood. 

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you. 

     – Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself"

Saturday, February 7, 2015

You're a pumpkin in the creek

Bad dirt. I syncopate syncopations.

You suffer. Tiny rabbits in rainbow colors. Everybody knows. 

Don't rescue me with sea salt. I cried and have been answered.

When the stars go, remember me:

Teacher. Writer. Farmer. More protein than an egg.

Thank You Sybil Ludington

"Sybil Ludington (April 5, 1761 – February 26, 1839) was a heroine of the American Revolutionary War who is famous for her night ride on April 26, 1777, to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British. Her action was similar to that performed by Paul Revere,[1][2][3][4][5] though she rode more than twice the distance of Revere, rode alone, and was only 16 years old at the time of her action. She was an aunt of Harrison Ludington, the Governor of Wisconsin (1876–78)."


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now—
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

mustard seeds

In my dream I had had enough.

Three white middle-aged men stood just inside the rear entrance to the rural supermarket harassing me. Instead of walking by I stopped beside them. "Please don't speak to me that way." I said. Their heckling grew louder, their laughter too, and I repeated myself, at least four times. Please don't speak to me that way. As I spoke I straightened my spine, pushing from my heels up toward the ceiling, teeth gritted, willing myself to project confidence, strength, poise. To emphasize, through my physicality, that I am also human. Please don't speak to me that way. Then one of the men picked up a ketchup bottle from a table behind him, one of those label-less, all-red entities sitting unwashed-for-years-probably on pizza parlors' grimy tabletops. Without warning he squirted me with it, sticky red ketchup shooting all over my face, its viscosity dripping from my hair onto my chest while the other men laughed. Like some low-budget attempt at a re-gendering of the Passion of the Christ.

I can't really describe how awful it was, standing there as this man evacuated a bottle of ketchup onto me, and instead of coming to my aid the other shoppers laughed. I don't think I said anything after that, just walked away, lurching my way past dimly lit aisles of seltzer and canned goods, still trying to look composed. I sat myself in the passenger seat of the black Honda CR-V, touched a hand to my matted red hair, mostly numb but thinking, listlessly, if anything I might have done or said would have made any kind of difference.

Earlier we were at his grandparents' house, of course they weren't really his grandparents nor was it really their house, but you know how dreams work. We kneeled in the flattened earth where a garden could be, fantasized about a barn, some chickens, pigs, a few goats--our little dream farmette. I looked worriedly at the development already encroaching on the fields around the cabin. There's a good chance, I pointed out, that it will all be gone before we have a chance to inherit it.