the small white moth
fluttering against the windowscreen
(on the other side of which i sit and write this)
in the drizzle
drawn to the yellow-gold light
that glows above this hot pink desk

chicken diapers

veda tells me
about making diapers out of socks for the chicken
that they are tending to tenderly
who suffered frostbite on ki’s feet
(and now is missing toes and healing)
diapers, so the chicken can spend nights indoors

how unexpected it is
to walk out from the darkenss
in which we watched minari (highly recommend)
to a dusking but not-yet-dark sky
through which i drive with windows down
and roll slow when i get to the gravel road
to take in as many spring peeper sounds as possible
before i make my way up the hill

knocked to the ground

the slight squeakish sound
of great blue heron wings
as a pair of them flies low overhead
against the dusking sky
seen from just outside the trailer
where i step out to catch a view of the
rising full moon that
knocks me to the ground
once i step around the corner
and see ki hovering huge and gold
over the horizon

if the killer was winter

the faint migraine-ish headache i wake up with
that makes me wonder if the aura i experienced
in my sleepdreams
was an actual aura kaleidoscoping
under my closed eyelids as i slept
first the hunks of deer fur
(mostly the white belly fur)
and then the deer carcass itself
on the leaf-littered ground
in the woods below the pasture –
how i stand looking for a long time to see
if what i was looking at was
the scraps of some hunter’s kill
or if the killer was winter
or some other animal

the hair i tug out of my scalp
as an offering
to the once-animated deer,
now spine and hooves and skin

it feels scandalous i say
about us choosing here for our gelato orders
(butterfinger for me, chocolate covered pretzel and vanilla for juniper)
instead of to-go
and plunking down on the blue chairs
in the very spacious
and mostly deserted gelato place


telling the american bittersweet

on the zoom call, ernesto and i joke
about the mandatory ratio of poets
to other humans on a zoom call
people who are hungry for life ernesto says
about who he’s got time for

juniper telling the american bittersweet
that she’s moving and that she wrote a book
about ki

a tenderoni moment
while we walk up the gravel hill
acknowledging the loss of
instant access to wildness –
all the things we have seen/heard/met along the road
or from the window of the trailer
or down at the pond
or the creek:
the turkeys
the deer
the muskrats
the beavers
the red-bellied woodpeckers
the owls in flight and their who cooks for you calls
the sandhill cranes
the great blue herons
the groundhogs
the raccoons
the coyote song
the ridgetop sky
the rose-breasted grosbeaks
the eagles
the chickadees
the titmice
the orioles
the red-tailed hawks
the pheasants
(and on and on)
the season’s first worm
seen in on of the rootballs
as I pull up last year’s annual flowers
and how i wince
when pulling put the snapdragons
that i notice too late
have new green growth at their bases
lisi perched in the moonlight
in the back bathroom windowsill
perhaps asleep, even,  in the bask of it all

singing spiritedly from the songbook

juniper helping me button the square buttons
and zara and i laughing where we stand
outside the post office
it’s like i’m wearing a hug from you! i say to zara
about the freehand knit sweater
she crafted and unbelievably generously bestows upon me

beet stains on my fingers/on the cutting board/on the counter
while the quinoa cooks and the seeds toast
though i have yet to cut the sweet potatoes into matchsticky spears

juniper and i singing spiritedly from my songbook
while lisi the cat yells at us to stop:
respect one another
support one another
bring your gifts to the world and receive the gifts of others
and there will be enough for all
(a laurence cole song crafted with words of robin wall kimmerer)
a quick glimpse of a teenager sized
grayish copperish cat
out the office window in the sideyard
but when i go out to meet ki,
slow and quiet,
ki darts instantly away

it’s like a round, but slightly off i laugh with apple
about trying to sing together
from cell phone to cell phone
navigating my phone’s terrible terrible delay
juniper and i drive past three times
(the house called marigold)
and i get squeaky with excitement
the marigold playlist that i play the first two songs of
and dance in the bedroom while juniper
is lulled slowly into sleep
by the book open in her lap
(song one
song two)

sung awake

the first snowdrops, white-petaled
and upright in the mist in someone’s yard
at the base of a tree
while the screech and tumble of the garbage truck
rumbles on
martha’s meow with all the comings and goings
at the front door,
how easy it is to love a cat –
how easy it is to love
pretty much almost every cat
the pressure of the wind against the panes
a press and a whistle
while the faucet in the kitchen
drip drip drip drop drips
and a crow caws somewhere out there
these mornings i am sung awake
by jays, by cardinals, by red bellied woodpeckers
i am hummed awake by the wind/rain
moving through the trees on the hill
behind the trailer

gray kitty
relentless on the porch
for shelter
for scratches and snuggles
for snacks
one of the prompts i give the students:
crazy shit that love made me do
based on an excerpt of an alan watts talk
that erik brought in for us to read

the kinship of queer

in the dream crow and i talk
about the collective shitshow of a house
that i once lived in and that they currently
(only in the dreamworld) livee in
and how it is something that we dearly love
but also fervidly hate
and there is friction and promise
and maybe it is 2008
because no one lives in places like that anymore
in portland oregon
at affordable prices
(also note: this is a house i never lived in in waking life
but have lived in/visited multiple times in dreams)

in the other dream
a stranger and i signal each other
in a wide hallway
that people traverse
going to and from the club
how we read
with a single glance
the kinship of queer
in a hetero sea

hauling buckets of compost
collected since before the first frost –
how it feels good to do the physical work
in the misty rain
(and how i want more of it –
physical work – in my life)
the rain-smelling night air
balmy enough to leave
the back window open a bit
so we can fall asleep
to the fresh air of the mellow night

sister eagle

sister eagles ami says

as we stand outside of kp and sabrina’s place

looking skywards

at the sap dripping from the tree in the parking strip

and at the two, then three eagles airgliding over us


hi friend!!!!!!!!!!! i yell with enthusiasm

to the huge huge cottonwood trees

(some with openings

that we can step inside)

at fort snelling park


the bright white of two trumpeter swans

as they cruise low enough overhead

for me to see their orange and black

as they cruise past us

at the edge of the mississippi

weaving through the cottonwoods

how i call out to the startle of white as they pass

and then apologize for harassing them in my enthusiasm


well the mississippi’s mighty

it starts in minnesota

at a place that you can walk across

that’s five steps wide

maybe i’m getting the words wrong, but the indigo girls version of this song plays in my head

while we hunt for thin flat rocks to skip

across the river water


someone on the path across the way

on their fat tired bike

explaining to some others across the way

about riverbottom biking

and the sound moves so clearly across the river’s water

that i can hear clearly him talking

about all the trails and the unique opportunity


while we benchsit overlooking the mississippi

with our spring rolls and curry and noodles

the sound of electric guitar drifts in the air

soon followed by the sound of scales played by a trumpet or some other horn

we must be near the music building i say

as we are at the edge of some campus


theo the cat

springing out from under the bed covers

as we arrange the blankets for sleep

tell me more

that’s my practice for 2021
cynthia says
about using the phrase tell me more
when it would be easier to dismiss and step away,
to use it like Dr. Edith Eger, holocaust survivor,
talks about using it in her book the choice
in the morning
lisi and i walked up the hill with
last summer’s leaves underfoot
in the evening, the hill is covered
in snow

the female cardinal
on the thin branch of a small tree
out the back window
that i momentarily mistake
for a grosbeak

the chirping and flapping and flitting
of the winged ones
a wild flurrying
a scurried scavenging
in the beginning hours
of the snowfall