Friday, June 17, 2016

From "How to Be Perfect" by Ron Padgett

Know that the desire to be perfect is probably the veiled expression
of another desire—to be loved, perhaps, or not to die.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

eve of June

i have conquered windows, the affordable care act, and the local dry cleaners, so it's fair to say i can accomplish anything

whereas dogs are pack oriented, cats are territory oriented, that's what they say. which is why my heart swells when wilson leaps onto the bed and curls up on my chest at six in the morning, even here in this place that is not his home

as i listen to gone the bells i am reminded of helping you move out of that upstairs room in your group house in D.C., down to the basement where we had sex on the couch until your blood sugar got low and then we went up to the kitchen for some snacks

i am working to remember that this is my life.

i am working to remember that i am the One who loves. 

i am working to sing again. i am oiling the cutting boards and re-attaching words to my paintings. i am hosing down big plastic tubs in the grass before it rains. i will fill them with hiking boots and ski boots and rain boots and trail running shoes and the pair of snowshoes i bought for 50% off from the store that's going out of business, and then i will press the lid down firmly over the handles and slide the tub into my car and I will drive to Colorado

i am working to mind less that i sometimes go away from myself for so long. i am working to remember that this leaving is what allows me to experience the gratitude of returning.

every birthday to date I've felt older, but as i sit here 28 minutes away from this birthday i feel younger than i have in some time. not less mature, not less able, but more aware of the fact that i still have a lot of living to do. i have sent an email inquiring about membership in the local community garden.

i am becoming increasingly aware of who is a friend, and who is not. i am investing less and less in those who are not. not the removal of compassion, but the enactment of it. if we are not friends, then it is best for both of us if we avoid becoming too intertwined

he reads dry intellectual tomes and twists his mind around and around what it means to be king. i've been there. but lately i am less interested in nietzche and more interested in pulling weeds from the earth so that herbs and flowers and fruit trees and vegetables can grow. the question of whether or not it is necessary to pull the weeds in the first place is as deep as i feel inclined to go. after that i'll go for a run with music in my ears.

i have begun keeping a list of kindnesses. i will not live a life directed by fear and hate. even if no one remembers my name, i will dedicate myself to love in this world.

the forests require occasionally burning everything to the ground.

i am the One who loves.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Quiet Grass, Green Stone" by Dean Young

I love when out of nowhere

I love when out of nowhere
my cat jumps on me
and my body isn’t even surprised.

Me who wants to be surprised by everything

like a dandelion

like a bottle cap

cricket cricket.

I keep waiting for the god under the anthill to speak up.
I keep waiting for the part of the myth
where everyone turns into a different bird
or the reeds start talking
or horses come out of the ocean
in their parliamentary regalia
and cities grow from their hoofprints.
I keep waiting for the bugle
and the jackal-headed god to weigh my heart across the river.

All this daylight in just a few moments
pours itself into darkness. More and more
I’m satisfied with partial explanations
like a fly with one wing, walking.

"Famous" by Naomi Shihab Nye


The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,   
which knew it would inherit the earth   
before anybody said so.   

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds   
watching him from the birdhouse.   

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.   

The idea you carry close to your bosom   
is famous to your bosom.   

The boot is famous to the earth,   
more famous than the dress shoe,   
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it   
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.   

I want to be famous to shuffling men   
who smile while crossing streets,   
sticky children in grocery lines,   
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,   
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,   
but because it never forgot what it could do.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The mind I love must still have wild places, a tangled orchard where the dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little woods, the chance of a snake or two (real snakes), a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of—and paths threaded with those little flowers planted by the mind.

    - Katherine Mansfield