the tiniest tiny

the day begins as it often does,
with the reading of the poem-a-day poem
in my inbox
only this time it slams me so hard and just right
that i email the poet and offer
to carry the weight of
her mother’s corpse for today

the bitterness of the mugwort
michael chopped into the morning hash
that he shares with me

the few drops of almond extract
in the small batch of pancakes
i flip in the medium cast iron

guitar and mandolin drifting
down from slater’s hill
(where dottie and ellena play
by the newly hewn old oak stump)
to me walking up/down the kale beds
where i pluck leaves and toss the
unusable ones into the wheelbarrow and
the sellable ones into the bucket on the scale
which i made sure this time
was weighing in pounds, not the kilograms dottie leaves it on
for weighing out flour for breadmaking

i know how you like it alyssa says
about the mulch while
pulling cart with pitchforks
and thick
ellena, trish and i
in the car on the way to frisbee
laughing about taking the open road
(insert thick ridiculous trying-t0-speak-spanish accent here)
to las montañas
break in the sky
along the horizon
where the single mass of grey cloud gives way
to orange yellow glow
of sunset

ellena pouring the tiniest tiny
of jacob-made black currant wine
into my cup
which is the most wine-wine-like wine
i have ever tasted
the fierce purr of birdie
as i stand outside karma holding her
as a slow-approaching car casts
crisp leaf shadows on bike-shed exterior
and what i think is lightning but
might be emory’s flash going off
blazes above in the lake-dark sky

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to apologize for being

on lookfar porch in the sun
while emory assembles robots
out of hand-made wood screws/bolts/planks
i arrange the mini markers
in rainbow order and then
make a swatch
of their lines
down a narrow page
emory’s body tossed about

and catching air
as he lies in the middle of the trampoline,
first, we play the dead man game where we
count to five and ask
are you dead or alive and then
we are on calm waters
the great
(big bounce jumps)
comes crashing in
how we take turns holding
the ladder for each other and asking
you got a good grip on it
as we descend from the
pondside treehouse platform

pointing to the cloud of butterflies
(small and orange, not monarch but just as bright)
swirling around the garden shed
where emory and i pause to take it in
(my pause long outlasting his
as he moves towards the pink panther segment
he wants us to watch because of its hilarity)

in the fortsythia
we take turns choosing
which shel silverstein poem
to read next and i begin
with one featuring a dog in the drawing
because jack is with us
(held captive in emory’s lap)
the plink plunk of red ripper beans as trish
shells them on the couch next to me as
i clip brown petals
from dead/dry zinnia heads
and pluck their seeds
into a metal bowl
the huge metal pot
i swirl a small batch of laundry in
before wringing the kindof clean water
out of shirts/socks/underwear
before hanging them too late in the day (due to forgotten meeting) to dry
how dean and i and others
make head-of-lettuce jokes
(for the vegetarians – including myself)
around the butcher block covered
in the cookout feast of
substantial burgers
deviled eggs
two pies (one peach, one cherry)
arugula salad
sliced tomato and
condiments galore
you’re not allowed to apologize
i tell r. katz for being human
the bright green of fresh cut
(and chopped) pandan leaves floating
in stainless steel cup of filtered water

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regarding the sortof future

half-pint quilted mason jar filled
with tyler’s special morning smoothie drink
left on butcher block with a note alongside it
that reads frankie danger
rolling out joseph’s tortilla dough
as close to thin-as-paper as possible
on butcher block while
one raises its bubble spots
in the cast iron over medium flame

what’s your truest truth i ask
of tyler on the couch regarding the sortof future
while i wash lunch dishes
at the sink

ty joking so – wanna play
secret ballot and
cynthia and i laughing
a chapter-length pause
in patch of sun
there is no other word for this light and
the way it lands on my reclined limbs
except for pouring
what are your dreams for your birthday,
how do you want to celebrate
she asks while i fill the cat bowl with food
dried kibble clinking in porcelain
the warmth of today
(not hot, just sun-warm, somewhere in the 70s)
soaking in through my layers
as i clip dried zinnia flower heads
for seed
free one some sites on the internet
tell me the name franciszka means

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about the breadbox

in the dream,
i meet a refugee couple on their first day
free in the u.s.
they are a man and a woman
in their mid 50s
and they are exhausted but their eyes
are filled with so much light
i first meet them in the morning and then
later encounter them
at the end of the day
at which point one of them is literally walking on the sides of his feet,
which means the rest of his body is alos
sliding along on the sidewalk
perhaps we are in portland, or
someone is interviewing the two of them
on their landing
and i’m there
continuing to stay with the sidewalk-laying man
until i know he’s going to be ok
he reaches a palm to my ankle
for connection/gratitude
and then the dream turns third person
and i’m watching it on a film
and in the film,
this young woman is super excited about
her dream crush (young immigrant/refugee)
and how she invited him to homecoming
and she’s pretty sure she’ll get a yes and she can barely
stand the anticipation
and then the scene switches to him
(dream crush)
suiting up in his work clothes
(heading out to hoe and endless field or
descend into the mine)
deleting texts from her
not because he isn’t interested but
because his reality
doesn’t allow room for it

the green of the parsley patch
the red pink lemon yellow white deep maroon
of the dahlia petals/snapdragon blooms
the bright orange of cosmos petals
all despite the light frost
coating this morning’s ground
stand in the sun the medicine
ellena suggests
for healing the wickedness of this cold
amy and i laughing
two time zones apart
about the breadbox
that shall remain untouched
leggings pulled up above my knees
as i wade into the pond to
float/soak the willow branch bundles
so that we may weave them
two weeks from now
and the consequent walking barefoot
from lookfar to whitehouse
pulling the empty cart behind me

emory and i on the living room couch before dinner
where the sidewalk ends opened on y lap
true story he requests by title
superhero halloween costumes
have finally surpassed princess costumes
for girls an npr reporter states


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cooking in quiet and in conversation

field crew
layer-wrapped in the chill
after a 40ish degree night
as we walk toward field four
but not long into
stripping and deheading (sorghum)
we shed layers
at ends of rows or
near the cart that carries
the workgloves and water and sometimes apple snacks
the shing shing shiiing! of baigz’s machete blade
as he works his way
jumping up w/ ninja poses
up/down the sorghum field slicing off the seed heads
sending them and their flag leaves flying
in all directions
and how he apologizes
when a seedhead lands at my feet

how two of my paces
fit inside tomcat’s one
as we walk up underpass
towards the next field
not knowing each other well but
answering best we can
in the short walk
how things in our worlds have been

a name for the feeling of looking up and being surprised by
a view i didn’t expect to see
(the western horizon appearing
-something about how this field and me in it
are oriented, contrary to how i thought we’d be oriented –
how the floodplain spreads out before it
as seen through stripped-bare stalks
of sorghum)

gloves wet with
morning dew and
yesterdays rain
tossed onto sun-spilled ground so that
they might dry a little during lunch
how i thank earthpig
for cooking in quiet and in conversation
as we circle around the butcher block featuring
a feast of:
massaged kale salad
tomato salad
brown rice
chana masala
sweet potato fries and garbanzo gravy
plus a desert on the side table
of chocolate pudding pie
thank you she writes for giving me a new name,
for taking the chance to ask me to walk up A mountain,
for teaching me how to make cheese and crackers –
for hoeing and singing and reading me poems

cynthia and ty and i
gathered to check out the
dave chapelle prince skit
where prince and his crew
challenge charlie murphy and his crew
to a game of basketball which
murphy declared shirts versus blouses

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now this

the edge on today’s cool crisp air
enough to warrant the annual bringing
of tropical potted plants (pandan and lemon tree)
indoors for the cold season
the little irritant
that lodges itself in the throats
of those in the living room/kitchen
resulting from the indoor processing
of hot peppers

now this i say
about the cool wet
while a drizzle rain sprinkles down
is your kind of weather
to the kale plants i break off leaves from
for this weeks csa

no way she says about
monsanto’s potential plans
to make a move to tucson
on my way to a rising tide meeting
from the water world:


People get their picture taken in front of the foam-covered, polluted Yamuna river in New Delhi, India. – voice of america, day in photos

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pulling at the root

rattle of tepary beans
in their dried pods
as i wrestle the vines from the ground –
pulling at the root

the pink swollenness of trish’s
stung hand as she spoons dinner
from the potluck spread
onto her plate
andre the swiss carpenter talking about
the view from the towering lookout in winter
and asks the word for the white stuff in the air
to which i first respond snow
and then fog
(to which he says yes)
i say we are family here
and then also use the word unattached
which is a word i’m pretty sure i’ve
never used to describe myself
(in terms of relationships)
and i don’t know why i’m
using it now
but perhaps because i don’t care
to go into the technicalities/details

how it seems we can’t
stop laughing in mica’s living room
during some moments of the ridiculous movie called
all while i see with my fingers
the tepary beans i collect from their pods
in the darkness
vein after vein
of hot white light
scraggling down from sky
appearing to touch ground
as seen from the rise of red earth


from the water world:

A driver education vehicle is seen submerged in floodwaters following Hurricane Matthew in Lumberton, North Carolina.

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