Monthly Archives: December 2014

like amateurs

is that going in the details?
trish asks about my breakfast desert dessert
(a small puddle of
sandhill maple syrup
on plastic flower-print plate
sopped up with
grandmother’s navajo bread
_______
cheese ration check in and the
who-knows-when-we’ll-get-a-ride
for our very definite dec 23rd train ticket departure
neverending joke
_______
keith jokes about me
tying my boots for
20 minutes
after i’ve slipped my feet into them
at 9 when grandmother announces
that we’ll go out at 9:30 instead

_______
what are you going to do
for new year’s keith asks
fly to another state
and herd sheep?
_______

we really looked like amateurs out there
i tell trish regarding our encounter with
alton (grandmother’s son)
who ran into us
and the crowd of
stubborn thirsty sheep milling about
_______
after that trying last hour
with sheep who found no water
and how refused to listen
i suggest a power-up
(which trish doesn’t really get / like)
and then we do the rocketship, the turkey, the snail
followed by a plain old hi-five
outside the sheep pen

_______

perched at grandmother’s side
near the stove i show her the pages
of the mesa mini
pointing to the drawings
and saying what they are
in english eventhough
she doesn’t understand
the colors/lines translate
_______
i’m really going to make
dessert quesadillas tonight
trish says gonna turn on that propane
and do it right

 

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frost-covered everything

finally a sunrise

(after cloudy mornings)
orange strip of horizon sky and
quarter moon bright in the
blue-blueing above

_______

frost-covered everything
while sparkling glow under
small moon and later
the frost remains
in patches
where juniper trees cast shadow
_______
i hand off a spangly horse-stickered letter
addressed to arroyo seco
as the trifecta take off for
their chapter meeting
in the still-frosty morning

_______

mesa spa i joke
me plucking eyebrows in morning sun
while trish washes her face
in the kitchen plastic basinet
_______

i think my hiking boots and i
i say are making peace with each other

_______

beard photoshoot (with real sheep wool)
on location (on the mesa)
_______
picking fluffy pup up
into my arms and discovering
he weighs as much as a cat
teaching him to lap-sit in the sun he
is a quick learner

_______

how i gasp when i find
the mountain (two striped triangles that look like peaks)
potshard

_______

trish laughing as i prod the sheep along
saying the buffet is closed!
and asks if we should
herd cattle next year
_______
when i offer to wash the dishes
grandmother shoos me away
and gestures to go rest/sit

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when we release ourselves

keith tells us that
hot mama and waylon jennings
slept together when waylon played tuba city
in 1975
which makes us laugh as much as
the first mention of hot mama did
_______

all-day wool-cleaning fest
fireside
which means when we
release ourselves into the canyons
on a getting-our-yaya’s out adventure
that’s exactly what we do
(bono and cypress-hill style)
_______

after sunset
trish takes desert dessert
to a new level
(rice hexx, grandmother’s nutella, triple spice mix,
peanut butter)
and we devour
the too sweet snack too quickly
laughing

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snow for sky

in the dream,
liana and meg day
are interchangeable
l/m is performing
in the san diego women’s (gay) chorus
at some sprawl of a church
that provides beds/recliners
so the elderly can attend and still
be comfortable
(fluffy white comforters
and bedside lamps
reminiscent of
an ikea flor)
and paula’s there too, only she’s
not drssed in the glittery showchoir numbers
because she’s not a paying member
of the chorus
and the landlord has hired out
a backhoe and is digging
an enormous trench around the premesis
and though we have to vacate (pack and move)
in 48 hours, when liana asks
if i want to slumber party
i say yes
giving myself a half-day to
pack all my stuff and get rid of
all my furniture
_______
a lightness
coating the ground
sun not yet casting light
from my just-awakening
couch perch
i guess snow
_______
instead of over
a propane stove burner this morning
grandmother cooks the frybread
on a mesh rack
over the open flame
in the woodstove
its glow on on the curve of her cheeks
_______
keith asks at breakfast
where we bought the vegenaise
due to everyone’s
delectable enjoyment
of the condiment
_______
fireside, grandmother lowering
poofs of hand-cleaned brown wool
into a bucket of stove-heated water
with soap
_______
in this low-visibility (snow for sky) we
take the sheep south
towards the edge of the mesa where
on a clear day
on can see san francisco’s
snow-covered peak
_______

the hum, something like a highway
we’ve never heard before
where the mesa ends
and the other great open space
begins
we”ll never know trish says
due to low visibility
_______
rest/shelter under
juniper bush/tree
which drips
snowmelt
on waterproof layers and
unfolded pages
________
the swish-swish of trish and i’s
rainpants all afternoon
zig-zagging
across the mesa
_______
sips of warm miso
from silver thermos
while snow flakes make
a slight sound landing on raincoat
_______
it’s the first time i swore out there i tell trish
pink-faced upon return
(goddamnit! in response to
my mud-collecting
ten-pound [each] boot feet)
_______
because we’re outlaws i say to trish
at the stove-side perch while
eating my desert quesadilla dessert
(frybread in coconut oil
chocolate chips and triple spice mix
melting inside)

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wash your hair

there’s a lot of names in tuba city
keith says, listing a few:
stewpot
black widow
airplane
navajo jesus
20dollar woman
hot mama grandmother of sparse english chimes in
and trish and i and grandmother
laugh so hard
our eyes shine
_______
orange flameglow on
grandmother’s face while she
slides the top of the living room stove
over and drops
a hunk of coal in
_______
lightning keith says the people
who do the lightning ceremony
don’t eat chicken
just like you
_______
trish’s wild rice pilaf and
grandmother’s frybread for lunch
and grandmother’s frybread
for second lunch
warm and puffysoft in our hands
_______
heard through the window
from inside to out
radiosound: have a holly jolly christmas
it’s the best time of the year
pasted into the expanse of
all that desert wind and silence
_______
two tutorials
in water siphoning
from the 55gallon blue barrels
into 5gallon buckets
first under the dusty dawn sky
with grandmother
second with grandfather
and a 2″ diameter hose
from barrel in truckbed to barrel alongside the house
each time a matter of trial
_______
trish and i laughing at each
wash your hair demand/request
first from keith
then from grandmother
pointing at me
across the table
_______
we grab handfulls of wool
while seated along woodstove
plucking burrs, thorns and other deserty dried vegetation
from scraggly strands
shaking sand into the garbage
_______
first stop-by in the days i’ve been here:
white pick-up, dogs barking and the red-hatted
man anouncing himself from
the hopi land comission
and the word relocation is
discernable (because there is no word
for this in diné)
_______
chomping a bite off
juniper tree just like
the sheep do
for a texture (surprisingly tender)
and taste (expectedly strong) experience
to see what it might be like
for the sheep

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near/far foreverness

6:40something a.m.
the moon is small
but still bright enough to cast a shadow
(as evidenced by my
first journey of the day
to the outhouse)

_______

horse-hobble is today’s word
in diné on morning radio
through fm crackle
_______
morning sun filling quart jars
(of missouri corn relish and sauerkraut)
on breakfast table
with desert light

_______
oh where oh where can my
baby be keith starts singing
the lord took her away from me
trish and i reply

_______

paused on desert dust/dirt
plucking cactus spine
from puppy paw
something about this
gesture
iconic
_______

all the space
this canyon is made of
expanse enough
to hold presence/stories/histories
of a new us
sweeping stretch of what was once sea
(and still resembles it = without water)
how it allows for sitting
and taking in light, texture, sound, sand, wind, sky, near/far foreverness

_______

winter sport trish names
the cologne-like smell
of the chemical cleaner
emanating from the dust-cleared house
so strongly that i can smell it
outside when one simply opens the door
to enter

_______

they were kindof in lines trish says
of the sheep, once they’ve returned to their pen
making them easy to count
________

left to our lunch/dinner preparations ourselves
trish prepares frybread quesadillas
(with onions and garlic that are not cooked softly enough
for those without upper teeth to eat)
we soak in the glory of
sauteed vegetable flavor

_______

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mud/sand foreverland

lumbersome trish asks
if that’s a word as we
make our way on the
curve-smooth stones
around the canyon
towards a view of
the snow-capped
san francisco peak
_______

trish on the couch next to mine
giggling out loud
to the book lamb – the gospel
according to biff, christ’s childhood pal
while keith chews on frybread and
teases: you two could live in that trailer
as he gestures out the
west-facing window

_______

today we head south
through mud/sand foreverland
along boulder/rock formation lined canyons
that one looks like a muffin
i say pointing westish to the brown/gold/red poof
rising off the ridge

_______

moving out of sight on
swift hooves
what are they doing
trish asks about the
herd of 38 who’ve broken
into a run towards the patches
of water
(yesterday’s snow
sunmelted in blonde canyon-rock divits)

_______
these dogs i say of the
red fox-looking one and the
five sheepdog creatures
make me like dogs
_______

since i already have two i say
i think each day (we’re out sheep-herding)
i’ll take selfies with a new dog
_______

baking soda trish asks grandmother
about the poofiest frybread yet
baking soda shi mahsahnah responds

_______
in the last lick of light
keith and i at the
blue water barrels
(55 gallon, plastic)
where he shows me
his siphoning technique as we
fill the 5-gallon buckets
that serve as the kitchen faucet
_______

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