Thursday, May 18, 2017

"All You Do Is Perceive" by Joy Katz



I was given a city, with coffee and sunlight. “The coin-purse smell of the subway,” I wrote. In the mornings policemen would stand, lightstruck and pleasured, over trays of danish. Mornings I wrote and workmen raised up their nets. Hallelujah the brick, the debris! I was given a city. The city got between me and God.
 
I was given a house. The curtains breathed over wide sills. There was a leaf in the middle of the floor, I loved the crispness of the leaf. I loved the privacy of sills. The sills sailed, I fell into the sills. The sills got between me and God.
 
I was given a mud hut. The walls curved to meet the ceiling like a tongue curves to make a word.
 
I was given God, with salt and sweet together. I was given a piece of meat. I loved the flesh. I was given bread only. I was given only water. I loved the coolness of the water. The water got between me and the feast.
 
I had an empty plate and there was the color of it. I cannot even describe the color of it.
 
I was given a cell with a window. There was a certain light at evening.
 
I was given nothing but the air, and the air dazzled.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Love Song" by William Carlos Williams



I lie here thinking of you:—
 
the stain of love
is upon the world!
Yellow, yellow, yellow
it eats into the leaves,
smears with saffron
the horned branches that lean
heavily
against a smooth purple sky!
There is no light
only a honey-thick stain
that drips from leaf to leaf
and limb to limb
spoiling the colors
of the whole world—
 
you far off there under
the wine-red selvage of the west!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

take it easy (Saturday)




I am so tired that we decide to drive home after watching the women's superpipe finals live on the side of the mountain.

Still, it is so warm out. I must do something.

I tell myself that I will go out for an easy 35 minutes, no big. I pump up the tires and climb astride my bike for the first time since when--November? It feels like it's always been winter. It feels hard to remember those days riding my bike in shorts. Today I am wearing skintight blue yoga tights, wool socks pulled up over my calves, an undershirt, a long-sleeved thermal, and a golden fanny pack. Within five minutes I'm having the time of my life. I take the biggest hill--20 long minutes of straining quads so I can spend three minutes flying down. Then downtown, then away from it, around the perimeter of the next town over, ducking onto the golf course paths that I skied not four weeks ago, up and down over the rollers until I hit another big hill and this one, seeing as it is lined with trees, is still covered in snow. I dismount and hoist the bike over my shoulder, carry it up to the top of the hill, climb astride again and fly down. I hit a few more snowy patches but they're passable so long as I go slow and use my abs to keep the bike from shooting out from under me when slush gives way beneath the tires. I pass neighbors and friends and so many happy dogs. I shoot up into my neighborhood an hour later calling hellos over my shoulder. I skid to a stop outside the apartment, panting. Above me a flock of birds glides like jazz.




Thursday, March 2, 2017

kyle



I'll admit I was startled. I haven't seen a bug in so long.

Because I was gone all day at the Master Gardener training Wilson has ziplocked himself to my chest. Pets and kisses are nice but the important thing is that our bodies remain in as much contact as possible. He has gained a little weight, what with turning eight years old and living in a smaller space (where there are fewer opportunities for mad dashes across rooms or up stairs), and his ten pounds press into me like one of those weighted security blankets, only this one is warm and it purrs.


Today I brought home seeds of calendula, jojoba, mini hollyhocks, lemonbalm, self-heal. I will plant them along with the rosemary, lettuces, hardy greens. I will learn how to harvest them into salves and tinctures and facial scrubs. I am still waiting to hear back from the community garden but in the meantime my neighbor has offered to build me my own garden bed in her backyard.

In exchange, I taught her about vermicomposting.



We have fought again and I have cried again and I have felt mistrustful again and so it goes.



 I am realizing that I don't have my shit together as much as I thought.

I am realizing that I need to feel cared for more than I thought.

I am realizing that I do not know how to let myself feel cared for.



 Realization is worth a pound of cure.

Her face is aged but only because an artist spent hours applying the makeup, adjusting the wig, outfitting her with glasses. What a weird world.

Friend I miss you so much I'm sorry I haven't been in touch. I remember telling you to go for it after watching you in that play, seeing you grow and honor yourself. I care about you so much and I am sorry my actions have not made that clear.


Can you believe I've lived in Colorado for nearly a year.


 I am going to focus on myself, being all I can be, and let the chips fall where they may.


Tomorrow morning, after yoga, I am getting a massage. Tomorrow evening I am participating in one of my favorite annual traditions.


There is still something to be said.

I wish I could try a bite of that.




Monday, February 27, 2017

It looks like a rough plasterer's job




Yesterday he was unsure. Today he let me dribble oregano oil on the pads of his feet.

I hope he feels better. 


Golden gnome hat on top of the coat rack.


We buy jumbo pillows made from organic cotton at Costco. We are hoping it will help me sleep better.


I go for a long run, walk the dog who's been at the shelter the longest, buy the pillows, take a bath and read nearly 100 pages from one of the eight new books I've checked out from the library. I am greedy for literature.


Wilson is attacking the fake mouse on the living room rug. 

I am feeling a bit worn out.


It is easy to make a basic sandwich cake. But we want them to go much further than that.


She has never curdled a custard before.

I have moved the rosemary plant away from the window and onto the counter by the sink, where it will be warmer. 


I needed to go away for a while.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

no-sulfur coconut chips



Today I went to an aromatherapy workshop, walked dogs at the shelter, and did 1.5 hours of Bhakti yoga. This is the good life.

Still I find myself wanting. Or is it loss.


I simultaneously crave late drunken nights filled with conversations we deem to be meaningful and marathoning home renovation shows on the laptop.

I simultaneously crave a half-pint of dairy-free ice cream and a cup of weak, tepid tea.

I simultaneously crave strumming the guitar until the tips of my fingers scream and lying prostrate on the couch for a while before padding into bed.

Do I want to shower or don't I.

Maybe it's the oils.


On my feet: oregano
On my solar plexus: sweet basil
On my ears: eucalyptus
On my forehead, at my third eye: mugwort and frankincense
On the concavity at the base of my abdomen: chamomile (mild)




With this I am remembering hiding behind the couch at all those house parties that got busted by the cops. Him feeding me mac 'n cheese and making out on the rooftop. That I thought I really liked him.

Each time thinking, now this is what liking is like.



The delicate silver leafprints hang from the stiffening tree. The rosemary plant is probably too cold by the window. Three days ago it was over 50 degrees.

Most mornings I wake to snow, cold seeping in through the cracks of the windows and doors.



I don't think I've ever said it first.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

(don't) burn bridges



Where is the hummus?
He spreads red sauce over the crust.

I wrote a haiku while I was in the bathtub. Now I forget it. It ended with the word "red".

He washes the kale.

I listen to a podcast about procreating agreements.

I have been thinking a lot that I am only just beginning to understand what it means to be friends.



He pats mozzarella onto the top.

I spent a lot of money on having the option to run away.



My god, that's why I thought of it.

Wilson scrambles onto the couch in a burst of speed.

That bag of bananas is still so very, very green.






Those look good. 

What? 

Your pizzas. 

They've got kale on 'em.  

 


I knew she was done and the radio silence confirms it.

Picture a whale with knuckles. 




Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sometimes I start with the last line first.





Sometimes I start with the last line first.

Her name was Norma and she had black hair.

I wonder what high school would be like with a name like Woody. 

It probably sucked, like it always does. 

I am choosing not to dwell in cynicism.



I can't believe she left him alone with her daughter. I sit tense on the other side of the door, ready to attack if I hear her scream.


Wilson does not like the sound or the vibration or the shape of the guitar. He sits grumpily on the loveseat in the other room while he plays.

This is my life.

That was not love,
in my imagination,
though I thought it was, or,
at least, I wanted it to be

It's like that movie that used to be one of my favorites and isn't really any more but still conveyed a lesson that I remember and appreciate today: The fantasy is not real love. 

The real thing is much more complicated.

When it's on, there's nothing like it.


Don't react. Create. 



Last night I swear to god I stood in the bloody bathroom with my psyche and we had a good chat. She is younger than I expected, but no less powerful or wise.



Today I was so tired. But the warmth and the light called to me, so I put on my running tights and I went back outside. I ran for miles with my face turned up toward the sun.




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

will you miss me



Woody Guthrie keeping me going.

Here's one thing I have learned: Being married doesn't mean shit about one's ability to love. That comes from somewhere else.

Wilkum wilkum falconswan long-necked waterfowl red-cheeked hummingbirds red-topped woodpeckers chillypenguins pelicans goldfinchesinpinkflowers blackestravens dancer-leggedplovers bluebirdssharingworms

The irises have been in water inside the glass jar for just about five hours now and a few of them are starting to open.

mottled gold bowl from Vietnam

One thing that is different is that when I am feeling it I know he's feeling it too.

I miss Mona.



fingerless mauve gloves is that right, mauve?

the owner of the local music shop the next town over wanted to charge me $450 for the used Martin, but due to the negligible crack in the solid wood top I talked him down, down, down and now I am the owner of the most beautiful guitar out of Nazareth (and this time I'm going to learn how to play.)

I know that I can because I'm gliding down icy downhills on my cross-country skis now and a month ago I side-stepped down the edge of them.

What a bowl!



As expected, the stand-up veterinarian was pretty entertaining.

I made the green clay cup on the pottery wheel--my first project in that class nearly a decade ago--and it has been a source of some embarrassment but also a functional change jar or rinse water cup for painting ever since, and that is why I brought it with me (along with an extremely limited assortment of possessions) to Colorado. now it sits on the little ledge behind the door and spiders have turned it into a mansion. I will not use it as a change jar or a rinse water cup for painting because they have covered it in such beautiful webbing; it is their home, and I'm happy to have provided it, all the way from pennsylvania.

watersheds soils entomology tree and shrub pruning landscaping vegetables

I do not know him that well but I think we love each other in some way and today when we met unexpectedly in the coffee shop he was so genuinely happy to see me that he put his hand on my back in my copper wool sweater and it felt good

When I start to feel like I made a huge mistake I remind myself that love is still real even when it's temporary.




Friday, January 13, 2017

the second word from every book title on the brown wooden shelves in my apartment


And
Garcia
Dangerously
Manifesto
Fat
Next
Stories
Esme
Work
by
to
Sunrises
and
Way
Power
Rumi
No
About
Work
Stone
Virgin's
Shoes
Horse
Poems
The
of
American
Master
Beloved
crazy
Sinister
Tao
Open
After
Behavior
Wood
Cloud
children
Nutrition
Bride
Cooked
Poems
Healing
Bums
air
laughing
County
Maps
With
in
Birds
free
Leap
Genius
Economics
Solitaire
Walls
handbook
Rain
Angler
Pleasure
House
Book
Work
Introduction
Building
Reasons
Revolution
Earth
Blues
Nature
Haven
Caretaking
Poetry
Fourteeners
Nothing


the first word from every book title on the brown wooden shelves in my apartment



Neurosis
How
Create
Organic
Gifts
Transfer
Fire
Collected
Homeland
For
Field
Standing
Room
Three
can't
Artist's
Introvert
Essential
Wisdom
Questions
Dream
Teaching
Kissing
Red
skin
Selected
For
End
Best
Junior
Cry
poem
Bend
365
Solace
Week
Flight
Chop
Leaf
Midnight's
Doing
Robber
Who
Two-headed
Poetry
Touch
Dharma
actual
away
Sand
Graphs
Negotiating
Speak
Floating
Field
Feel
Taking
You're
Home
Desert
Memory
Thirst
Earthsteward's
Waiting
Complete
Beyond
Wood-Frame
Sewing
Home
Geosystems
Natural
Good
Kombucha
This
Rock
Lifguarding
Meditations
Creative
Stop
New
Colorado's
There
Enchanted


those sixteen measures


"It is not surprising that in his later years variations became the favorite form for Beethoven, who knew all too well (as Tamina and I know) that there is nothing more unbearable than lacking the being we loved, those sixteen measures and the interior world of their infinitude of possibilities."

(Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)



I still believe in love but I am not sure about romantic love.


I laughed and replied, I've become less whimsical over the years.

Still in the past six months I have returned to flesh and blood. I have returned to being a person who is, at the very least, receptive to whimsy.

Even better, I can receive whimsy and decide whether to act on it, and how.


I have returned to being a person.



I do not miss you all the time, any more, which seems significant. Which is not to say that I do not miss you.


When I tell him about the dog at the shelter who stands up on her back legs and hugs me halfway through our walks, I see that it affects him. It makes me feel hope.



I am imagining two become three,
temporarily,
four pairs of hands and two tongues


To be able to lay down the guitar and step to the marimba lumina. To be able to walk softly aross the stage while your bandmates play around you, pick up your guitar again, and start to play.



On Sunday I road a lift to the top of the mountain and snowshoed three miles into the backcountry. Oh such a wide white expanse, snow above and below. Such quiet, such godliness. The entire time I was completely alone.