destination: treehouse

my dear fellow human,

today i am in a truck headed south.
destination: treehouse
destination: campfire
destination: oil lamp glowing in the night
destination: self
destination: a convergence of documentary poets lined up on a bookshelf in a second-floor studio along with a typewriter
destination: california redwoods
destination: analogue
destination: coolblue riverwaters 

i will be off the grid until september 15th or so, which means i will not be updating my blog during that time (though hopefully i will be catching up when i return to the land of electricity.) 

i hope in my absence you find a way to carve out some time to unplug for yourself. find a star or two in the sky. fish language up from the sandy bottom of some body of water. put your hand to the bark of a tree. fall in love with the sky that connects us night after night. 



water braiding itself back

1. we catch the sun on the sideporch
sometime around 9:45 am
a plate of fruit you have sliced
and arranged that glistens
sugarsweet in morning light
i cannot stop
reaching for the speckle-skinned pluots 
while a chorus of hammers meeting nailheads swells
at the habitat for humanity site across the street

2. six colors of ink
including yellow
in one pen
on impulse
we buy 

3. manual windows cranked
all the way down
summer heatwind tugging tendrils from my
bobbypinned pileup
it feels good to be on the road with you
i say

sideglancing your sticky-uppy hair
skeleton keys and bells strung from cab ceiling
chiming when we get to the gravel 

4. led zeppelin and steve miller band in the cassette player 
katrina puts a whole new spin/perspective on this song
i say as i 
sing along

5. sunscreen sheen on the water
you say
about the washougal river’s milemarker 7
while slow and steady hugging the curves of county sheriff’s favorite speed trap
you meaning tyler
and washougal meaning ritual 

6. the convergence of four unlikely rivers
(clackamas, washougal, sandy, illinois) 
and one ocean
we empty bottles
water braiding itself back into a live and whirling current

7. the red candle
is for crossroads
rock-perched and flickering
tucked in among the mossy trickle 

8. sandalwood, frankincense and cedar
on the throwing blade
we anoint our necks, backs of knees, temples, wrists

9. glitter for the brass boat and cheekbones
flame for the 14-year-old incense
coal for the palo santo shavings
a nest for the needles
i think i see otis redding perched across the river
i say

when i release the ocean

10. baby kangaroo mouse
shuffling through half-sleep out of its leaf-nest
eyes unopened
we have only known it
half a minute and already
we want it to survive
which is why
i turn my head and gesture towards leaving when
it fumbles towards the shore

11. this
i say
pointing with my travel fork
to the tupperware of shredded salad
is all i need 
and the dressing
two tablespoons each of:
red miso
sesame oil
olive or vegetable oil
rice vinegar
brown rice syrup


12. we lounge and curl
our towels unfurled beneath us
shuffling decks until we arrive at
the priestess
art (temperance)
the ace of swords
and the sun


13. isn’t it a shame how we
break each other’s hearts
sings nina simone on cassette
while we wind south
the sun a disk of orange candy slipping into the blue columbia to our right
mount hood wrapped in haze
peak stained pink
to our left 

14. for all the bones that have never been mentioned
my palm along the lines of your collarbones
your jawline
your work-strong body

fiction in flashes

1. black yoga mat rolled out onto black hardwood
it is difficult to not want to look at everything
horse photos
a book of hand painted birds
various lamps circa 1960 
flexing hike-tight calves
one at a time 

2. when the shit goes down
raki says
a triangle of a veggie sandwich
good enough that one might fantasize about it
held in her hand
i wanna go down with it

3. raki reads fiction in flashes from her laptop while i
my fingers under the chin of a purrmachine
short gray fur with white sox
sometimes referred to as tunces
it is summer and you could charge 15 dollars and hour
and call this secondfloor bedroom a sauna

4. i take off my tights at the corner of 
14th and alberta
pretending this is the beach and i am just changing into/out of
my swimsuit 

5. dyanne and i
kick our feet up onto milk crates on the sideporch
iced green jasmine tea sweating
in mason jars on the tabletop

6. i have never seen anything red
in felice’s kitchen
you say about  
beet juice bits and the ways they stain 

7. chronology of water
by lidia yuknavitch
a.m. tells me
i should read this book 

8. you hold the pink plastic elephant-shaped watering can
under the kitchen sink
collecting cold water until it turns warm

9. 100 miles away
is an arbitrary distance
but it is equivalent to far 

10. night air like water
cool and spilling in opened windows and doors
austra in rotation while we
stars poked into sky above us
lawnchair perched
i tuck my bare feet into the backs of my knees


wraparound balcony

feet sticky with
banana flower tree sap
on the sun-side of a wraparound balcony
still wanna go to paris in october?
you ask

not long after the word chandelabra
comes out of your mouth

and we are both laughing

_____ finds its way back to _____

1. if it’s true, what that instructor said about yoga
being about what we’re doing with our breath
and not what we’re doing with our bodies 
then i am doing yoga in the front seat of this white
airport-bound minivan
rolling  south on highway 55

2. overheard from seat 42f:
my dad used to tell me there were 100 birds
pulling this plane along
and i believed that for a very long time 

3. farewell tree lines that follow rivers
farewell mock duck and bike boulevards
farewell forever sky and the lightning that slices it in half like a beveled edge

4. airport worker in safety orange tshirt
tapping together the two plastic guiding/steering sticks
in a rhythm i can almost hear through the
pressure-sealed cabin walls

5. flying under a thundergray sky
sun presses through its frays/rips

6. how following the columbia river
has often meant arriving home
though usually it involves rolling in on that strip of  205
rather than hovering above it
how the water
loses life
at such distances 

7. when the virginian next to me
asks about which mountain is which
i tell her
her geography might be better than mine
though i can point out the columbia
and mt. st. helens 

8. shannon, tyler, corinne and i clink plastic icewater cups together in celebration of
dance bruises and

9. breadbox-perched 1950’s kitchen radio tuned to npr
heard in the 5 minute span i tune in for:
it’s clear that muammar al-qaddafi is essentially
not running this country anymore
news of cheers when the rebel forces broke into tripoli

10. head under bathtub faucet
coldriver breaking over my skull
i lay my dripping curls down
inhaling your essential oils and laundry detergent  
in a toasteroven of a seconstory balconied room
knowing i will want to take this smell with me
knowing that this is impossible 

11. we watch it drop from sky
something like a shooting star in slow dripping motion
except for the part where it was first headed towards us
across sky
and for the part where it spiraled
and then dropped

12. balconyperched
and i think of bones
how i carry you in them
and how this is one thing
(two things) i can be sure of in the face of
every other unkown

13. stepping in from a walk around the block
i wanted to bring the huge (coniferous) trees back for you but
they were a little bit unmanageable

14. my bare summershoulder aching
in ghostpain 
next to yours in its
faceplant and bikebruise  aftermath

we saran wrap circuits in our brain

1. breakfast
a fridgecold plum
shout out to
william carlos williams

2. amber and i side by side ride
helmeted and pedaling minneapolis streets this
is me in one of my
natural states

3. how the spiral on my arm
makes madix laugh and when asked
he will point to the center swirl

4. number of languages heard spoken in hyland park reserve today:
at least 4 or 5

5. me in bare feet on black top while we talk about your
ten-years-ago trip to mexico

6. something like synapses
you talk about how we saran wrap circuits in our brain
carving paths
how the mug conditions us for the coffee to come
how the lit candle
the special chair
can condition us for the work

7. this song

8. hardwood floor
where my bare  feet stood

9. whale sounds
i swear
sometime around midnight
outside bedroom window
or the sound of a train backing up slow into a curve
minus the screeching