accompanied by the crackling

amaranth bubbling/popping in a little silver pot
on the six-burner stove

_______

stan talks about southern missouri wild-harvesters:
there used to be so many people who would go out and wild-harvest
in that area – the plants for it are still there
but someone was recently telling me about the prisons that have
moved into the area
and how people who once wild-harvested now have steady jobs in them

_______

just tell me what to do joseph says
regarding the placement in the 40th anniversary schedule
of the sweat (before dinner? after dinner?)
while stretching on karma floor rug

_______

mica suggests the pythagorean theorem
(a squared plus b squared equals c squared)
in order to get the right length of fabric
for cutting maypole ribbons

_______

sam cooke
singin it to me while i
whisk peanut butter
chop onions
shake spices into the pot:
i was born by the river
in a little tent
oh and just like the river
i’ve been running ever since
it’s been a long
long time coming
but i know change is gonna come
oh yes it will

_______

today’s sky:
sun chasing clouds chasing sun
rain in patches
cool all day
and a rainbow spotted by a 5 and 3/4ths year old
on the ride home
_______

imported from iowa city i say
about the coconut milk in the african peanut soup
while announcing dinner
(soup, rice, soy sauced tofu, greenhouse salad, banana bread)
_______

josie, ashley, rachel and i
laugh our asses off
around the spread of banangram tiles
and the boggle grid
about made-up words that don’t exist
and words that sound made up but do exist

_______

11:50something pm
sound of the heat-powered fan perched atop
woodburning stove
(more like a clock whose second-hand is too fast
than the sound of a machine)
accompanied by the crackling of wood
in headlamp light
notebook flipped open

we make ourselves

two-egg omelet
fine-chopped wild garlic folded in

_______

the satisfaction of pulling an entire root
of dandelion (without it snapping)
out of damp soil
and the pop it makes as it
lets go

_______

nine lupine seeds
soaking in a shotglass
of warm water
a prepping for planting

_______

creme fraiche on the butcher block
spooned onto black beans/mashed potatoes/salsa
now i understand what the big deal is i say

_______

pecan pie shipped from texas
in celebration of sandhill’s 40th
we make ourselves sick with sweet

_______

one difference between gardening and farming:
we clean off our tools and find/do inside work
when it rains

_______

four scrappy kids (some with wild hair)
pushing each other around on top of the newly-arrived woodchip pile
under a steely gray sky

_______

sara and i laugh at chain-reaction blushing at
how the joke i made about my responsibility at the farm
is to keep everyone in line
brought her to saying
this thing about the picture in her head
which lead her to: you look good in that dominatrix outfit

_______

hank finally did it trish says
he killed a chiken today

_______

from the water world:

40460901-4440-4B7E-B951-341E398D392D_w974_n_s
An Indian woman carries a container of drinking water on her head and holds her child’s hand as they walk on the hot sand of the Daya River in the heat on the outskirts of eastern Bhubaneswar. Many of the Indian cities faces severe water scarcity especially in the summer season as summer temperatures soar above the 40°C (104°F). – voice of america, day in photos

FA28035F-0893-4B7E-868E-B63B8D260CD0_w974_n_s
Rescue workers and volunteers search through debris in a lake a day after nearby homes were destroyed by a tornado near Vilonia, Arkansas. – voice of america, day in photos

Screen shot 2014-04-30 at 7.58.02 AM
Police use a water cannon on “Bayan Muna” (My Country First) activists who tried to march to the U.S. embassy as they protest a state visit by President Barack Obama in Manila, Philippines. Hundreds of activists gathered near the U.S. embassy, protesting a new defence agreement which they say underscores unequal relations between the Philippines and the United States.
– voice of america, day in photos

B835799F-D9C8-4296-9150-A9B7E0F87B82_w974_n_s
An aerial view shows a boat making its way on the Scharmuetzelsee near Bad Sarow, eastern Germany.
– voice of america, day in photos

potd-golf_2896438k
Many motorists were caught out by the spring tide on the River Thames. This chap at Putney, south west London, ties his stricken Golf to a lamppost to prevent it floating away.Picture: REX FEATURES
– the telegraph

 

 

 

 

you would know this

between brassica-weeding and lunch bell,
twenty minutes of yoga with jason
neglected mat rolled out
body uncoiling

_______

lunch on the porch
emory leaning into my knee asks
how many cookies
(tylers GF nut butter w/ chocolate chips)
i took and then whispers
with raised eyebrows i ate three

_______

paper pot tutorial in upstairs karma
as the onslaught of rain
blurs window-vision
(nothing but green [grass, tree buds] and gray [wall of rain])
augmented by hail and
leaks spouting along the central beam

_______

those are gerunds trish says
computer print-outs before us
we decipher past from present
for the final pages of her
st. louis zine

_______

between brassica reading and dinner bell
ten minutes of reading
loft-perched
angela davis’s autobiography in my hands

_______

if you could see the view from here
you would know this:
late light (almost setting but not quite)
illuminating the rolling-hill valley (branch of the fabius river)
how water glints back (field puddles, perhaps creeks)
and all that light passing through spring growth
in rays from the edge of a stormcloud
as if someone plugged the trees in
their green illuminated

_______

down along the rock road curves
hank hunts two prizes:
1: a deer skull from the goode’s land, antlers intact
2: a flat/leathered/rotted raccoon

_______

darien, mica and i reach down and do the chigger rub
to squash any tiny bugs that might have
crawled up onto our ankles/calves
after exploring the fallen in root cellar/bomb shelter
and checking out the shed-stored combine

_______

the goode’s cows
moving with us along the fenceline
as sun sinks
something about the thunder they make
when they pick up speed moving as a group
(mob mentality)

for a while it’s just us and them standing staring
(us: three humans, two dogs – one which looks like a mini cow
and is especially captivating to the herd
them: at least 300 cows, not full grown but not baby-babys
perhaps a half a year old
perhaps two years old)
us, greeted with the sound of their breathing
after bounding alongside us
soft and steady magic/soothing

we notice the boldness of the one ear-tagged #253
(how she follows close to the fence)
she should have a name i say about her
#253, sounds like an ayn rand character
says darien
ayn rand it is

_______

mica on ground level (bed)
while i perch in the loft (makeshift bed)
head hanging over
we talk this way for a while
granola the cat migrates up/down
the stairs between us

we depend on the earthworms

the day starts with stirring:
steel cut oats on low heat
packed later to go with
bananas sliced in
_______

on our way just outside of town
in a borrowed truck
in the bed:
v-posts
screenprinted and paper-wrapped plexiglass
level
mallet
bolts/nuts

what we borrow:
a 38-pound (estimated) post-driver
and medium sized aluminum ladder

_______

jodean, director of the raptor center
drops some habitat-loss stats/perspective:
iowa is the leading state in habitat loss
(much of that loss is due to corn production)
99.9% prairie loss
75% forest loss – it takes 80 years
for woodland areas to return
to natural growth).

we depend on the earthworms to build our soil
we depend on songbirds to spread plants (via seed)

is the habitat lost gone forever?
i’d like to think not
but as long as ethanol prices go up and legislators
are in cahoots with agribusiness
we have a battle to fight

_______

mary, rhetoric professor at university of iowa tells us
i grew up on a farm in northeast iowa
used to right up front on the tractor with my dad
and the fields used to be full of birds
now corn is grown from fence to fence
and there are no more birds
meadowlarks, gone
bobolinks, gone
this disappearance invisible to the students who live here
for 3 or 4 years at a time

_______

climate refugees vanessa says
similar to what you see with war,
hundreds of thousands of people forced
to relocate

_______

and counting
today’s afternoon tick toll update
(from a morning-into-afternoon installation
at the macbride raptor center outside iowa city)
: three
one on mid-low back
one on forearm
one on ankle-calf
_______

corinne’s sun-pinked neck and shoulders
under 3pm still bright sky

______

tyler and i pause at ped-mall directory
deciphering restaurant names
weighing options
while the wind whips down the streets
and through us

_______

sunburn is a form of dehydration (of the skin)
i tell corinne
who breaks a leaf of aloe from the plant
and rubs it into her shoulders
her neck
her chest

the space of gazes

pan of mica’s blueberry peach cobbler
on the butcher block next to a
gallon jar of raw/organic milk
and a pitcher of coffee

_______

2 1/4 hour travel east and north
animal count:
two wild pheasants
two dead cats
one dead deer
several smashed possums/raccoons

_______

release party, i call it
a listening to tyler’s 36 minute demo
which includes a shirelle’s cover
and a dylan cover
heading north on i-27
he calls them a rough cut

_______

what does that look like tyler asks
to look far into the future with someone?
while we cut through the brown field stubble

on either side of the highway
grass greening around it

_______

i’ve done this before i say to corinne
about previous seamless farm-to-city transitions
but i wasn’t ready for this
(this being the milling around of spectators
the hello-how-are-yous, nice-to-meet-yous)
at a university art event
(gallery show/dance performances)

(from farm to highway to standing
with a square paper plate in my hand
(soda crackers, cheese slices, olives, strawberries, pineapple, one floret of broccoli with dip)
navigating the space of gazes

_______

we joke in the cab of a sputtering truck
while entering the bromosphere
i’m not sure i could identify one i say
perhaps you can teach me the ways of broification
wait – i say, upon witnessing a dude (long shorts, flip flops, tshirt) in the crosswalk
carrying a case of bush (metallic blue silver glinting in sun)
is that a sign of something bro-ish going down?

_______

corinne at the vandercook press
lavender ink rolling
under flourescent
she talks about how good haper and her are
to each other in this grad school thing

under thunder-gray

in the dream
you (wearing a purpled plaid button down
and your hair is salt/pepper) are working with youth
unloading boxes of produce
(organic, field fresh)
at a small receiving dock and i
(in this uncannily coincidental way
am down the alley
entering the store-room at my job (cafe/farm)
you see me see you and i jump into
the dusty store room (shelves of dry goods)
for quick invisibility
but then pop out again knowing i can’t really
disappear myself
and greet you with a hand-up wave, a hey
soft – something that sounds like arriving

at forgiveness

_______

in the dream, honna threw me
a birthday party and
tapped into her friend group
to fill the space out
so there i was showered in love/adorations
by people whose names i felt like i should have known
because they were approaching me as if
we’ve known each other all this time

_______

first tulip burst/bloom found
outside the privy/in the herb garden
pinkred and almost open

_______

mica looking out long window
oh she says the may apples are up

_______

under thunder-gray
wet green of sloping hills and woods-edge
(buds unfolding on branch tips)
almost glowing

_______

i’ll bring my earplugs and gloves i say
into the voicemail
in reference to the post driver and posts that await
in iowa city

_______

part gray, part red/pink/orange
small bird flying peachtreewards
against dim sky

_______

tyler and i look at fairfield on the map
planning a half-hour detour towards
organic raw milk soft serve mango ice cream

_______

we work with persimmon
what darien says is the hardest wood in
north america
various tools used:
vice
hatchet
sharpening stone
table saw
hand saw
gnarliest rasp
plane
level

when it comes to the handsawing
we take turns tagging in and out

_______

frankie!!!! look at my fan!!!!
emory’s dinner greeting to show me

hand built
with manual (hand crank) or electronic options
plastic (rubber? metal?) snapped together
i lean in to feel the breeze

_______

mica’s rainy day dinner menu:
grilled cheese sandwiches
tomato soup
peach/blueberry cobbler
snow peas

while eating we discuss
horror movies, drive-ins, and the finer
points of digital/analog recording

_______

the thwap of gibbus the cat against the window
as he night-hunts a small bird
and prowls away with it in his jowls

slicing night

emory and i on root cellar mound
8something am
harvesting wild garlic for our omelets
he points on the asparagus spears he’s in charge of harvesting
which look like plants in an elfin forest

_______

big wooden bowl
steam rising from
stack of joe-made pancakes
(oat, which doesn’t really tast like oat pancakes
more like bisquick)
and a jar of maple on the table
plastic white ladle buoyant on the shiny dark surface

_______

under coldgray sky:
reshaping mulch nests
around baby kales and cabbages
down south garden beds 8, 9 and 10

_______

these are really to make the pet-owners feel better (about their dying animal)
doctor wiggins’ (the vet) right-hand-man (his wife/assistant) says
funneling pink/red pills (antibiotics) and white tablets (steroids)
into little envelopes with granola’s name and dosage directions
on the front

what she said a little bit before that:
when the cat stops eating
it’s time to bring her in
(meaning ‘put her to sleep’)

_______

they didn’t even put any peanut butter cups in this
i say about 500 times
about the peanut-peanut butter snowball
(non-trademarked word for blizzard)

_______

the price we pay for a truck and trailer full of city woodchips:
a scrap of wood-shred in tyler’s eye
waiting as light light rain dribbles down

_______

stupid songs we sing/laugh at
on the ride back
(three deep in the cab):
mr. Jones and me look into the future
stare at the beautiful women
she’s looking at you.
i don’t think so. she’s looking at me.and something about
i just want you to know who i am

_______

pile of plastic red netted onions
on kitchen counter
rescued from an edina dumpster

_______

words we plot against each other on the Ngram
while polishing off ashley’s stirfry with seitan and eggplant:
global warming and climate change
twerk and twerking

_______

it’s only something that happens in your presence
i say to rachel
after guessing the time as 10:57
and checking a time-piece (10:56)

_______
11something pm
sound of a wind turbine
hoisted high
slicing night air

 

about the molten glow

a little like a biodynamic pyramid
i press the blacksmithed dragon
into the head of the flower bed

_______

trish and i
post-lunch
standing where east garden meets south garden
she offers me some bites of nutella toast
fig newtons closed into her fist

_______

let’s all work on one row at a time
i say about the kale and cabbage beds
i’d like to get them (starts) in as quick as possible
darien carving away at the holes
trish sitting in path with leg extended so as to avoid beesting-to-the-foot swelling
tyler and robin down the row, planting, adding compost and pressing down

_______

it’s like that first piece of pie trish says
about lifting the crumbling soil blocks
up and out of the wooden flats

_______

cocorosie on the speakers
windows cracked open
in shorts and sandals and button up cotton shirt
scrub-brush for sandy beets
peeler/carving knife for moldy beets
in hand
picture worthy: beet-pinked water in stainless steel bowl
rhythm: potato chopping
my body knows these moves
(once upon a greasy vegan comfort food kitchen and 50 pound sacks of red round)

_______

darien in the kitchen with a bowl of nixtamlized dough
(something about ittexture/underlying flavor – he says is like cookie dough)

_______

ashley and i laughing in our
potluck couch position
now and then sharing a kid chair to put our feet up on

_______

anyone want to see a great sun right now
you just gotta step out the back door and look
i announce to the kitchen and couch dwellers
about the molten glow
sinking horizonward

________

i like to support people in their name changes
mica says
i’ve always loved the name leroy
says trish
do you get confused with there being two kims
kim asks

_______

this is not water
but this is work:

0BE7512C-AC6C-4AC1-B3A8-9399DDFA7949_w974_n_s
Afghan day laborers work at a brick factory on the outskirts of Kabul. – voice of america, day in photos

_______

from the water world:

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 8.16.18 AM
An altar with prayer offerings for missing passengers on board the South Korean ferry that capsized last week stands near the water’s edge. The confirmed death toll has reached 108, as divers recovered more bodies from the sunken hull. – bbc, day in photos

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 8.14.45 AM
Sri Lankan farmers prepare a paddy field for sowing, in Piliyandala, on the outskirts of Colombo. – bbc, day in photos

gettin brooday

too eager to wait til last frost date
(backups in the greenhouse)
i lower cosmos, sunflowers, bachelor’s buttons, calendula starts
into the rain-moist soil of east garden bed #2

_______

this is part of why i was interested in your popcorn
i tell mica
dropping a kernel to the floor
and signaling to listen
as granola crunch crunch crunches it

_______

dinner under a darkening sky
following 20 minutes of distant but moving-closer thunder from the west
we fill the picnic table and
pull over the wagon as makeshift kidseats
NOing hank away from our plates

_______

sheltered on screened in porch
we watch/feel the storm roll in
and can’t stop laughing at emory naked
running/jumping/dancing
under his humbrella

_______

he’s gone broody! is the newest headline about emory
tucking a chicken egg into his underwear
to keep it warm

sandhill’s gettin brooodayyy we chorus
from the couches while
emory sings on repeat
dancing sans clothes
on the safe side of the porch
(the side the carving knives making spoons are not on)

_______

one blue-pen ink tattoo per bicep:
i draw a shark that looks like a whale with sharp teeth (right)and an emory-approved turtle (left)
in trade for the forearm t-rex
bicep shark and
inside-of-elbow white pine

_______

it was hard to cover her face trish and joe say
about tamar’s burial
and the shovelfuls of soil
(her body shrouded in muslin)
nobody wanted to do it
but we did
slowly
let it fall as gently as we could
bit by bit

_______

buddy holly sounds drifting onto front porch from kitchen speakers
while tyler mixes up a batch of nut butter cookies
while the whippoorwill whippoorwills in the post-dusk distance
reminding joseph with its once a day call
of homesickness at his first summer camp

_______

we are living inside the detail collector joseph says
from his swinging chair
creeking where it hang from the ceiling

_______
how a writer should be loved/honored:

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 8.10.02 AM Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 8.09.48 AM Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 8.09.37 AM

_______

from the water world:

Screen shot 2014-04-22 at 8.18.27 AM
Police in Delhi use water cannon against Sikh protesters outside the Congress party’s headquarters. The protesters were angry about comments made by a Congress leader in Punjab about the 1984 riots in which at least 3,000 Sikhs were killed. – bbc, day in photos

9CD1C7CD-061B-423F-A1D1-70B25EA7101E_w974_n_s
Women in traditional costumes are sprayed with water as members of the Marghareta Dance Group perform Easter folk traditions of the region in the Museum Village in Nyiregyhaza, northeast of Budapest, Hungary. – voice of america, day in photos

 

-1
A man throws water on a woman as part of traditional Easter celebrations in Holloko, Hungary, April 21, 2014. Locals from the World Heritage village of Holloko celebrate Easter with the tradition “watering of the girls”, a Hungarian tribal fertility ritual rooted in the area’s pre-Christian past.
REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

69B764A6-6A4A-4C88-BE3E-EC2FE3CCE669_w974_n_s
A boy wades through a creek while collecting reusable materials after a fire razed a residential slum area in Caloocan City, Metro Manila in the Philippines. – voice of america, day in photos

doublesnack

emory morning hangout triptych:
1. all abooooard! ! ! i call out to emory
in the whitehouse backyard
before the moth train (red kid wagon)
rolls out of the station
we make our travels along the greenhouse,
orchard, and south garden beds
stopping whenever emory rings the brass bell
signaling he sees a cabbage moth to chase and tackle
with net in hand
2. instead of a picnic on a blanket
we drape in the hammock
what we bring with:
three books (one of which we partway read and
partway make up the rest of the story based on
the pictures: josephine’s imagination)
one bottle of bubbles (sent to em in an easter package)
one bag of monster cookies
one bottle of water (mine: scratched light greenblue clean canteen
with wide open studios sticker on it sideways)
3. because we are spying
we talk in barely-whispers and
attempt a stillness from our perches
in the white pine tree
i’ll take footage emory says
(meaning videos)
you take the notes
do you think they saw/noticed us? is the question
whenever anybody passes/walks nearby

_______

picnic table to massage table conversion
(unroll foam across the top
drape a sheet over)
relocate to shade of juniper tree
take off shirt and store it in the place where
branch meets trunk

_______

not sure if it was the massage
or the peanut butter/jam snack on fresh baked bread
or the slight cloud cover moving in plus breeze
but my energy (in north garden
heaping and carting hay)
feels clean and strong

_______

mennonites make a good swing
tyler says while he, darien and i
sit on the wide wood boards
and clasp the chains
on the gigantic swingset (9ish swings)
at the white mennonite schoolhouse
darien pumping high into sky

the walk there an back
filled on both sides
with the curve of missouri hills (green now)
cows (some calves)
round bales of hay
the canine antics of hank and cricket
and in the west: sun dipping behind thin swaths of cloud
so its setting is sublime
a gilded edge glowing
and below us: rock road throwing off our balance
and pressing into thin soles

_______

upon the return from our trek:
darien grabs bananas and milk from the walk in
i dump them (plus strawberries, banana, a ladle of maple, peanut butter)into the blender
emory, naked and getting detangled
(brush + california baby detangler in mica’s hands)
keeps asking did you add the peanut butter
almost like ice cream i say
eating from the ridiculously large portion
i served up for myself

followed by tyler’s
doubled popped corn
(no kernel shall go unpopped he says
the resurrection i reply)

doublesnack night

_______

an aging cat
(who still moves quick and spry
if you happen to catch her at a moment
when she’s not sleeping)
whose cancer is enlarging
along her nose and into her eye
asleep on a cloud of blankets in my lap
(which almost never happens.
she comes to me/others when she is sick
is fine being on her own when not)