sing the storm on

rachel and dan on their
farm bike from winona tour
bent over in lookfar with us
tugging at tomato and pumpkin weeds
we joke about evangelical christian
jello wrestling and other
sexy-so-you-can-feel-guilty teenage arrangements

like a long dark wave
rolling across the length of sky i
describe standing under storm
in look-far watching it come in
from the west
how the air forms a cool edge
just before the winds pick up
then the downpour

under cover of plastic where
rain slams and runs down
hoophouse curve i perch
and howl/sing the storm on

baby bunny body
rigor mortisy
in trish’s cupped palm
on front porch

applause and cheering sounds of
rounds of the game affirmation
unfolding on front porch while
lulu, baigz and i
strategize with our
fundraising prowess
the story of a
passive aggressive prayer bell


forerunners i say in the
bag of nouns world
while we make up and execute a
fifth round of
making sound under a sheet

sharpies uncapped we
knuckle-tatt the fists
to our left and right
revealing the following:
riot life
wyld lyon
dark trip
butt dusk
tent bone
glam neon

how we just had
to talk about / storytell
the prairie burn again
moon haze hnaging in sky
glow diffused over hill
down gravel
across limbs of trees and me

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not yet yellowing

wherein i wake to rain
(sound blended by window fan on low)
and one itchy bug bite
on each ankle
the clicking of poles as we assemble
rachel’s giveaway tent
on a rainy morning
in karma living room


silvery discovery out the window
spotted by emory
zooming up into the air and
back down again
turns out to be my headlamp
(handy for viewing mildew)
house and club-house emory distinguishes
the indoor tent from the blanket fort
(the latter inside which we
chomp just-popped kettle corn
while playing the game-that-never-ends
of spiderman uno)

how the huge butterfly i stopped to watch in
the zinnias the other day: giant swallowtail
now has a name found on the pages of the bug identification book

broken up with her four times
but she doesn’t know it
joseph laughs as i decant
the next batch of berry-colored
(red/purple) kombucha
greenhouse dirt floor under bare feet
in my hand the first and perhaps only
lemon cuc plucked from vine
rounded out and not yet yellowing

already disadvantaged by swamp conditions
i growl/curse each time a tomato branch snaps
as i gently wrestle/rearrange the strayers
to be held up by baling twine t-post trellising

buildings and bridges
are made to bend in the wind
to withstand the world that’s what it takes
all that steel and stone
is no match for the air my friend
whatever bends breaks
whatever bends breaks
i hum/sing

german though i cannot discern the german-ness
of nena’s sunflower/onion bread but has
something to do with the heartiness and texture
kombeercha i suggest
the name of the booch/beer cocktail
baigz and joesph sip from
san francisco mission early evening light
bright in joolie’s eyes and on her white/gold wall
sliced up only the way
communication-by-satellite can slice

end-of-day skin scent mix of
tomato plant residue
and sun/heat/humidity-induced saltsweat

not throwing rainbows but still
the things the moonlight does
through the facets of the loft window-dangling prism

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but the zinnias

hey! must be the money! song
comes up over lunch
and we chorus in
joking about aluminum can pyramids on
front porch and letting the dishes pile
up in the racks and then buying
twelve more racks just so
we never have to put the dishes away
and then there’s also the riverboat casino vision
which would be more like a single slot machine
on a canoe (casinoe – trish didn’t think this was funny)
and emory fishing off the end and tookie
playing somber piano music and the two
vacationers on the casinoe exchanging glances
to each other that say

this is NOT what we expected!
meager haul of seed cucumbers
(zingy yellow gold skinned)
filling perhaps half of a 5 gallon bucket

nina and i discovering/comparing chin scars
the two questions i ask she says
bicycle? alcohol?
7 stitches for hers this year
6 stitches each for me both times (1985 and 2000)
befuddled/astounded and wishing i had a name for it:
how my view/understanding/context of this land/geography/area
has remained steady and similar (and having to do with
a simple, somewhat isolated, hands-in-earth, dirt-on-clothes,
but then, seeing the view through a just built loomy house
window featuring pond and firepit and tree line
(akin to a martha or better homes photo)
shifts the entire perspective/feel of placeness
use my hand i say
and offer my reach

for emory to haul himself up onto the
high-tech floaty upon which trish and i lounge
on the neese’s duck-weed-free pond water

emory’s face when being offered
more dinner rolls
his body/gut already stuffed with three
and wanting to simultaneously fish/fall asleep
but still wanting to eat more
tiny pewter spoons in
tiny glass salt dishes
returned to their home in the hutch
before angela serves monstrous (delicious) portions
of fresh fruit and tres leches cake
makes me nostalgic
tyler says

of old footage – in particular at this moment,
the old footage of nina simone performing_______

i think it’s good she says
for a farmer to lose some crops sometimes
because it’s a reminder that
what we have is enough
which might be a great and humble notion

but not to a farmer who is losing some of their crops
(exhibit a: wilty un-robust blighty tomatoes in lookfar
exhibit b: the same description applied to cucumbers
in greenhouse and lookfar
exhibit c: the edamame that never came up. twice.
exhibit d: the empty soil blocks
which 5 seeds each of fall cabbage
were dropped into
that never sprouted
exhibit e: but the zinnias are beautiful)

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the dusty hedgehog

a mishearing of the thrift shop
turns into dusty hedgehog
which becomes a name
for the dreamhouse
(a building which actually exists-
a 3-story with turret-like constructions
and special-shaped windows
on a corner lot

in memphis missouri)
and as dinner winds down
we take turns sharing/joking about
what we want this dreamhouse to be
[unnamed phenomenon: how open/empty space
(a room, a building, a field) invites the impulse
to dream/create/invent – possibility] :

emory’s fishing championship room where
one can cast off from the loft into
waters below plus a tube where one
can walk through (see through) water

trish’s special request: a room filled just with bear pelts
plus, the bear pelt cape she will wear
because the dusty hedgehog will be a bear hospice
(and peacock sanctuary and cabbage hospice)
no bears will be harmed in the process

a fox who absolutely adores cooking will
prepare our dinners every night and
join us at the table

an in-house (super small scale) cookie/candy factory

a drive-through window where
people come to get knuckle tattoos
(temporary or permanent) and bring us
shakes in exchange/payment

me wearing a cupcape (a cape made of cupcakes)
in my treehouse (exterior coated in sequins that are
leave-no-trace compliant) where i host tea parties
and offer my cape for feasting

a gigantic wind turbine
resembling a flower sprouting
out of the top of the house
and powering our electronic endeavors

on the bottomest floor, a roller rink with a
forge/blacksmith/glassblowing shop
in the middle where folks can make
intricate sculptures/inventions that the
dusty hedgehog will be filled with and surrounded by

the entire sprawl of yard a swirl of gardens
epicentering around the house

a theater/gallery where we
host readings and performances and
various extraordinary events

passenger pigeon house on rooftop

a hall of herbs that one
can walk through and inhale
(and be besprinkled by sprites with the
scents of lavender, peppermint, etc)

and storks will fly overhead delivering babies
who will be taken care of in the nursery
by pelicans

and baigz will have googly eyes for eyes and
will grow his mustache huge and curlique-like

with a bird roosting on each swirly end

and there will be a marching band

and a room of seasons
where on can select on the dial outside the room
a season and then inside the room
it will be come that season

plus a sauna/ steamroom/hot tub combo to boot


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becoming blister

we wrestle foxtail, smart weed, clover, nutsedge
amongst cauliflower, beets and strawberry plants

flock of flies twice
the standard size circling
in loft window

tookie and i imitating emory and friends
by leaning out window and sunroof
of the sedan waving our arms and
shouting while tyler lays on
the horn up the gravel drive
and how trish says we’re doing it
we’re going to make that video which
leads to nina and i watching this video

the arrival of the
new wonder mill and
tookie’s interpretive dance
and the resulting oven-warm loaf
of nina bread cooling in the kitchen
after dinner
hum of mowers
zipping east west
across the slaters hill
as i snip sparingly the
young parsley
just for presenting
tonight’s dinner
(cole slaw, lentil loaf, roasted summer squash with chimichurri sauce)
i don the sequinny pink shoes
at the butcher block

the most doily-like hot pad i say
(as a hot pad) my
tiny thumb burn becoming blister

the soft crumple in
dagny’s almost-stutter voice when
she says she
misses her mom

rachel’s illustrative charade moves
(gestures of arms and postures) in
bay-area light on the other
end of the video chat after
tony pretend spatula-offers me
the remaining cake batter and
after rachel names
it as a case of distance
and the necessity for either
zooming in hyper close or
stepping way back
note left on butcher block
in trish’s handwriting:
i appreciate your friendship and
i’m glad you’re back
summer-campy sounds of

tyler and tookie trading songs
(guitar and voice) on front porch back
and forth
from the water world:

Pakistani women sit in a trolley crossing a flooded stream due to heavy rains in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.  – voice of america, day in photos

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while we unravel

double-imported mango
(most likely shipped from somewhere
in mexicoish, landing at
new mexico co-op and
then traveling via amtrak
to northeast missour)
devoured like a medieval feaster
portrayed in a movie would
devour a game hen
(this comparison has been made before,
only, substitute orange for mango
and add a sunspilled front porch stoop)
nina and i side by side at
greenhouse worktable dropping
brassica seeds (fall kale and collards)
into soilblock divits while we
unravel our respective
farm/garden histories
squash/stinkbug nymph
with black and white striped limbs/antennae
trapped gently by the leg
between my fingers as i
attempt to identify
shuffling along slightly slippery
south garden mud path
harvest knife slicing through
broccoli stems
one bucket in tow for harvest
and one for discard/compost

throat-sting side effect
of mildew remediation potion
(vinegar, lavender and water)
wiped across the table before we
sit and scrawl prison-bound letters


dagny squeezes onto couch
between tookie and i whispering
(in reference to kale’s hat)
that she knows who
framed roger rabbit before
she reads the heart-and-lilac scrawl
on my leg

gibbous and ashby
tumbling over each other
on straw-mulehed garden bed
as i backpack-spray the
cauliflower jungle
sun picking up speed
on its descent
how we can feed/nourish/boost/bolster
each other i say illustrating
the difference between
fixation and flourishing

i think of you lulu says
as so independent
on the couch in
light so dusky we
are barely
how silence is a distance
wider with each accumulation
from the water world:


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music helps

mold/mildew prevention/remediation
pillows placed on
loft window ledge
_______discovered under the cover
of leaning tomatillo branches:
vacated snakeskin
thin and opaque

never seen before i say
of the iridescent earthworms
squiggling in north garden soil
as we dig up big purple-skinned potatoes


what was once bird body
now flat-pressed to
gravel tire tracks
re-sparking the internal debate about
whether to leave the body where it is or
to have followed the instinct to shift
it off to the grassy side
of the road
a tuft of flowers placed on top
of its worm-eaten body


carried all the way from colorado
from at least a week or more ago
sand dune grains
sifting out of hair

the pop of paper shell-burst
tomatillos as i
pluck them (first harvest) from stem
music helps izzi says
sweet and true advice from
a 14-year old
several states away

backroad run to
mennonite school and back
cough/gasp upon inhaling
cowshit vapors near the
fenced mudpatch where
haybale feasts are had

cut-paste clouds
the way they illuminate
same texture/quality
but different color in each
cardinal direction

when the night has come
and the land is dark
i sing in the tomatillos then
echo later on the backroad
upon sunset glimpse return



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