filing away at the edges

emory perched on wood shop work bench
filing away at the edges of a found machete
that he is transforming into a double edged sword
_______
estan aqui – cuddle me the hanky
once worn around a wrist then wrapped
around a hot pink stuffed unicorn
reads in sharpied marker
how it flutters in the wind – a grand finale
after the sparkle letters that spell PLEZ,
the ring which matches 3 others,
and the magic black-brown swirled shiny beans
sometimes bridges are made just for
tossing things off of onto the tracks below
_______
trish’s sneeze heard from
across the yard while i hang laundry
from the great mildew roundup of 2016
which isn’t as bad as the great mildew roundup
of 2015 was

_______
in the absences
common space table becomes desk
across from which mo sits with a bucket of green geans
awaiting her phone call
_______
tear drop shaped alyson says
of the patch of red around the mysterious bug bites
appearing on her limbs

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because of all the becauses

how i gasp/laugh
at the feeling of a tree frog (mottled gray)
jumping out of the water sheath for the scythe blade and
landing on my hand (between thumb knuckle and
pointer finger knuckle)
and how it stays there
rotating around on its grabby fingers/toes
while i weed the chicken yard garden along the fence
with one hand
_______
i find myself running from people these days
not towards them i tell stan in his bright tie-dye
while i arrange strawflowers and globe amaranth
in a wide mouth mason jar
at the kitchen table
_______
smiling to myself at the over-the-topness
of the kesha lyrics landing in my ears via headphones
and how the music makes me miss
some queer ass dance nights
and all the antics that go with them
and how it also reminds me of
when life/relationships
feel like the same feeling as a pop song
and how i want that reeling, that rush
(though i know where it will eventually get me)
(and let’s not talk about
how i didn’t get on my bike today
to ride 50 miles to canton
because of all the becauses)
_______
7something p.m. sun
that’s making its way horizonwards
glowing through the hot and light pink petals
of exquisite wild cleome
that has sprouted up
over by the west end of the black currant patch
and this i think to myself while harvesting broccoli
from raggedy plants (but good broccoli, especially
considering its late purple-leafed stunted beginning)
is what it is all about
a momentary locating of
contentment
_______
they’re cooling mo calls out
across the backyard
about the chocolate no bake cookies
on wax paper on a pan
in the freezer

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into the weave

just for frankie emory says
of the box of cinnamon toast crunch
brought back from the suburbs/city-land
from which he offers me a bowl
for breakfast
_______
how we dig the riverways
with the claws of our fingers
and pour the currents in
from tupperware
and toss our fleet of boats
(some of which are leaves
some of which are dried and ripped cattail stalks)
in to see which will make it
to the open waters
of lookfar pond
_______
reading aloud the first chapter
of a pippi book while emory
fiddles with the new lego ninja situation
as we each help ourselves now and then
to an animal cracker or two
_______
a sortof exchange:
we sort through emory’s whitehouse shoes
choosing what stays and what goes
(putting what goes in plastic bucket
i carry to lookfar while he carries legos)
and later he catches grasshoppers
sometimes rips off their legs
so they won’t escape and then
we chase down the distressed chicks
who will stand on our hands or shoulders or heads
and feed them the crunchy-shelled insects
_______
approaching south garden tomatoes
with empty buckets,
fleck of red (cardinal)
taking flight
tomato hornworm
(juicy/lime green/rotund)
dangling from its mouth
_______
the sonic-sounding boom
(which reminds me of when sometimes a pan
changes shape in the oven
as it takes on the heat)
that mo and i both hear
from whitehouse kitchen
as we pause all other noise (tea kettle)
to make sure everyone is alright
_______

how the smoke from the burnpile
travels a little east and a little north
curling into open kitchen windows,
into the weave of laundry on the line
_______

thermal mass:
slipping into still-warm hoodie pulled from pile of clothes
that, two or three hours earlier,
plucked from the line where it hungunder the sun
and heaped, unfolded, into basket
_______
from the water world:
E32D1BF5-B670-4B9C-8DDA-C76FE35BD1FC_w987_s_s
A boy climbs a partially submerged electric pole as he plays with others on the flooded banks of Ganga river, in Allahabad, India. – voice of america, day in photos

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maybe it is my ancient self

waking on mica’s couch following the
storm of last night and i’m all cozed up
while the new edge of cool swirls in
the open windows
_______
the howling dog whose howls get louder
as i bike past
(the lonesome/painful sounds rising
from what seems to be a field of corn
to my right off highway M)
so loud and close-sounding that i turn and pedal back
and call out in the general direction of the distress sounds
to no avail
_______
anna’s handwriting on an envelope
sent from the farrrm and how grounding/
contentifying it is to read her
in between sorting and slicing sungolds
to arrange sliced side up
on dehydrator trays
_______
alline and i looking down d.r. drive
into sky and discovering we are both
members of the cloud appreciation society
and though we can’t name the type
of the magnificent white/grey/purpley thing
we can (and will always) appreciate it
_______
maybe it is my ancient self
feeling the pull to get shelter and food
together for the cold season
but there is something in this new coolness
energizing me through my tasks and to-dos
like the shock of aliveness of jumping into
a snowmelt river
_______
the pinkpurpley color of the glass of bubbly water
(with lemon juice and elderberry) that
baigz hands me
_______
describing the taste of dehydrated ground cherries
which range in flavors to
watermelon
strawberry
peach
_______
the quickening and slowing of moonstar’s
lift/fall ribcage rhythm
sensation on my stomach/chest
where she lays
and under my palm draped over her
_______
this is a shoutout to danny in ridgefield
who i hope has a moment
while the twins are asleep
so he can read how he is written into:
the sorting and cleaning and clipping of garlic,
the overtold story of the halloween of formalwear in the field,
the harvesting of red rubies (tomatoes) from the vines,
etc.

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it’s always good to hear about hummingbirds

the one bean in its velcro-ey way
stuck to mo’s blue (denim-looking but not actually denim)
smock/dress
_______
mo in her underwear under the arc and spray
of hose water post-mulching and
pre bean harvest under full sun
on perhaps what might be the last hot day of the season
and then baigz and i take turns
under the waterfalling
with our clothes on which doesn’t matter much because
our shirts are threadbare (mine light blue
his yellow) and will dry quickly
_______
mo on a large day
(named that for the large soft serve zim’s
ice cream
that her and baigz decided they would make a field trip of and order
the day before)
standing with 6inch tall swirl of dairy and sugar
with a grin/smile across her face
_______
swizzle is the word i use
to describe to myself the tiny sliver of a thin snake
squiggling its way across blacktop
in the pathway of my bike
where the magic/motion of movement – even just these two miles
is enough to welcome in the joy
_______
the burst/sheen of brilliant color
of a single indigo bunting against
the white rock road
where it perches feasting
on a small butterfly, perhaps yellow,
but hard to tell because i am paying too much attention
to the lapis lazuli (gemstone) – colored bird
as i pedal up the last hill
towards red earth
_______
you’re not like a dudely dude i say
to avi over what mica calls too-salty beans
which i think are just perfect
and gazpacho which is more like
a tomato-cuc salad
with yogurt cheese and yesterday’s
crackers and carrot butter
before we walk our mental d.r. map
in order to write a list of of its members
to try to discern the current
gender balance/ratio
_______

it’s always good to hear about hummingbirds
avi says as mica reveals the facts/details
(during which i tell her to stop yelling at her phone
even though really, she is just talking at it
very calmly):
50 times/second wing beat rate
15 meters/second, 34 miles/hour flying rate
highest metabolism of al lanimals
average heart rate during flight: 1,200 beats per minute
_______
lightning filling northern sky in pulses
as seen through yarrow windows
for a good handful of hours before the rain comes
_______
maybe it is the time of year –
the waves of friends who live far away
and are alive in me,
how i feel us reaching for each other
(letters sent/received, voicemails left/listened to,
their presences arising in the garden beds as i
pull weeds or at the butcher block as i chop carrots or while
the wind riffles through my hair as i pedal forward)
this impulse to connect/reconnect
perhaps carried over from a long time ago
or perhaps it is lunar
_______
from the water world:

BF6FDEC8-994C-427C-8F70-B44351D22116_w987_s_s
Mike Wroten (L) and Matt Wroten throw a waterlogged couch out of the house as they clear Mike’s home out after floodwaters inundated it in St. Amant, Louisiana. Last week the southern U.S. state was overwhelmed with floodwater causing at least 13 deaths and damage to thousands of homes.
– voice of america, day in photos

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the morningness

i don’t have to go out i call out
making my way back to the end zone
but i already have given up
and i think about how sometimes
when someone is hard to keep up with on the field
i think of their age (they usually are the young ones)
take meggie, for instance, in her 20s and
a track/field runner
which may or may not have anything to do with it
but it’s where my brain goes
similar to when i name the size of my tires/gears
when it comes to my bike which maxes out on downhills
around 20 mph
_______
how mica asks if i am/was mad at her this morning
while i massage my peroneal tendons on a styrofoam
water noodle on the pond dock as i explain
the morningness and the having-to-use-the-privy-ness
say/ask/joke  no – should i be?
_______
the meatyness and strong grip
of the three or four hornworms
i find while harvesting
whom i simultaneously
thank and apologize to as i drop them
into the bucket of soapy water
_______
the tomatoes are on!
i call out to mo and baigz
(from the trellised/vining mass of green)
who are scanning the pepper beds for ripeness
where i have filled the 3 gallon bucket with cherry tomatoes
and 2 and 1/2 5-gallon buckets with slicers
_______

the fuschia pink of the experimental kraut
next to the salmon color of the
dollop of carrot butter
plus the green of just cooked edamame pods
_______
see, what does this mean i ask about jack
nuzzling and being all hyper etc.
and mica (dog whisperer) translates
it means he’s got his friend cricket here and
all these other great people
and he’s just so excited
he can barely stand it
_______
mica and i reiterating to each other
some of the reasons why here:
1. the depressingness of packaging
(granola bars, for instance – but not limited to)
2. the depressing/ridiculousness of spending
$3-6 on a jar of salsa
when one can grow and make their own
_______

the crinkling of the fruit bar snack
that ami unwraps as we begin our
late night phone meetup
with laughter and i can imagine her
on the stool at the counter in the kitchen

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tell the windsock i say hi

not quite orange but i don’t know what other color to call it –
the sky in the morning that unexpected thunder
cracks out of
and then the kindof downpour that makes me wonder
if the jar along the chimney has been emptied
and if the door to the downstairs privvy
is slammed shut as much as it can be
(and then, the unnamed phenomenon of
looking at the weather the day
which is telling me it’s sunny and clear out
with 0 % chance of rain
while it pours and showers and pours)
_______
orange orbs of sungolds
sliced in half and laid in rows
on the plastic mesh of dehydrator trays
where they will shrivel into
a storable state
_______
the clack of typewriter
pressing keys that lift arms/hammers
that punch words into paper
in the semi-dark of upstairs karma shrouded
against the heat of mid day
(which, these days, is in the mid 80s)
_______
tell the windsock i say hi i say on the phone

to trish who’s calling from her grandpa’s car port
under the spinning red white and blue sock
_______
over dinner talking tobacco
i remember the ouch band aid bubble gum tin
perfectly sized to carry my camel special lights (soft pack) in
which makes me think of wauwatosa streets
lit orange in the night and
the lake front – even when it was too cold
to walk out on the pier jutting into the wavy water
we still did
and the red canvas backpack that lasted me
at least 15 years_______

full (or almost?) moon rising through treeline
as i harvest broccoli
in the last last light of day
how i cannot help but oooh/ahh at its
antique light and hugeness
aloft

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