Monthly Archives: September 2015

our lives are extraordinary

unweaving/uncoiling/detangling
overzealous loofah vines
from hoophouse sidewall ropes
this is where, hoodie-wrapped
and stomping down tall grass in galoshes,
at age almost-40 i learn to breathe
myself back into my body
_______
i love my job i say
on the aluminum ladder
in that light (meaning the
particular glow of late-september’s
sun angle) in the novelty of layers
(fleece tights and purple skirt
and hoodie with hood up)
while i reach to pluck dried lima beans
from their vines
which is a funny thing to say because
this work is not a job
and trish, who’s prying apart the
old hoophouse door frame with a crowbar
says yeah, growing food can sometimes feel
mundane in the day-to-day, but our
lives here are extraordinary
_______

monarch on blade of tall grass
then on my finger then
delivered to the perch of a
peach-colored zinnia
_______
did the tomatoes ever tomato i ask
cross-legged on a raincoat for a blanket
phone held up to face
satellites linking us from a time zone apart

and later observe: i guess your love
is way less angsty than mine
_______placing sharpie markers
in front of those of us gathered
around the popcorn we dig out with
improv paper cones
for a round of exquisite knucks
resulting in:

tiny hoot
zany stud
blue past
tuff dirt
high toad
_______

it is unanimous amongst the circle of us
that these (variety unknown)
blemished light green skinned apples
are the crispest, balanced sweet/tangy -est
juicy but not too juicy
deliciousest ever
_______

how we pluck hot pink glitter-cards
from the pile in the middle and
laughing at what they reveal and
offering multiple interpretations

_______

sun dipping down
gold orange yellow
to our left as emory, trish and i
pedal south / home
_______

chen daddy classic:
pot-stickers and stirfry
how we eat on the front porch
and the conversation continues
into post-sunset dark
_______

ty and i laughing about
the rookie hats we’re going to wear
to the best of missouri festival
where we’ll sit with our
outdated non-perfectionistic
display

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nothing between me and sky

in the dream
there were houses and apartment buildings
on flimsy-looking hydraulics
that shouldn’t have been on hydraulics
we were in the bay (joolie and i)
and walked past a body that was receiving
some attention because
the body was no longer a living one
we look through the crew of people
tending to this body to see a face
turned to leather
i am so upset about emory
(2 or 3 or 4 years old)
throwing things at people
with disregard and unawareness
that i lose it
crying and howling
at my limit with frustration
at not being able to get through
_______
nothing between me and sky
i wake up in the orchard
to birds that look like arrows
flinging themselves across
sunrise cloudscape panorama in handfuls
some so close i hear the
swiff swiff of their wings
cutting through air
as the talcum powder moon
(full)
lowers itself into lightening horizon
_______
smell of espresso and
trish’s venga venga
transporting us both back to

south america
while i sip my frothed coffee milk
minus the sweet
(which really is the thing that makes it coffee milk)
_______

like being pregnant trish says
of what it’s like to
strut around with that
apple harvest bag
brimming
_______

the particular feeling of
apple tree branchlings
grabbing hold of
my hair
as i pluck fruits under the trees and
climb ladders and their limbs
to reach those dangling above
_______

we apple pick hard and
lunch/snack hard and
almost-nap hard
under a golden delicious tree
using harvest bags flattened out
as blankets
_______

cloud scraps that
look like sanskrit
float-drifting
into tadpole turning serpent turning
dragon/dinosaur
saying something about
ferociousness

_______

if you can fillet a fish
you can stuff a bag into a bag
trish, flabergasted, insists
(in reference to packing up
a sleeping bag)
while trish and i dissasemble tents
in the middle of the orchard
where emory howls and
cole rolls up her sleeping pad
_______

we wave goodbye
to the faded apple sign
tacked to a utility pole

_______

the way trish and i laugh about me
laying down the law from the front seat
about turning down the voice volume
not long after i engage the
window-lock not long after i say
i can’t have this about the
fishing poles hovering
above my head
_______
dreams where i’m driving and i can’t open my eyes
dreams where i’m driving but i can’t reach the
wheel or the pedals because i’m stuck in the back seat
dreams where i’m driving and... i share the variations
from the driver’s seat while heading west
with a dirty windshield
into the blaze of not-yet-setting sun
_______

one deer
galloping across county highway
then later a pair
darting across gravel road then
a bit later a trio

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rodeoing our way up

how we start with a strip of paper
fold-tied into a knot
and follow with the layering and then pinching
to make our paper stars
_______

our canoe-on-pond travels
take emory and i to california
where we go to the whale watcher’s cove
and point out the
great blues and megalodon
_______

i’m like the impossibly unpleasable parent
i say in the passenger seat while we
roll under cloudy sky
on county highway v
_______

rodeoing our way up
the steep steep gravel road
signified by an apple-shaped sign
across the highway that fades
a little more each year
_______

at the long dinner table cherie and i
laughing only the way wisconsonites can
about our pronunciations
of the word b-a-g
_______

you dweebs dan kelly addresses
the two seven year olds
and talks to the dogs in pig latin and
calls/screeches out his barred out call/screech
while walking into the light in the barn
to turn it off
to improve the eclipse-viewing experience
_______

a telescope that resembles a small cannon
or a huge firework
trained on the harvest moon
being slowly obscured by
blood veil and we
lean in to look
_______

moon busters dk calls the packs of
black cat firecrackers he hands us
to toss into the bonfire
so that the sound might scare the clouds
out of the blood moon eclipse sky
we need seven people he calls out
seven people for the blood moon summoning ritual

_______

trish reading harry potter outloud
in the big dome tent
in the bright of her headlamp
set on red
_______

when one sleeps out in an apple orchard
in the midst of harvest season
one is woken by the occasional thud-sound
of an apple now and then
falling from branch to ground
_______

sky my ceiling
clouds slow-scatter revealing
the blood veil slowly lifting
itself off moon surface before i
deepdive into fresh-air sleep

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the light that hurt

dear dazzling humans,

believe it or not, this is my two-thousanth post!!!!!! (at roughly ten details a day, this means – oh – just a small collection of twenty thousand details!!!! what!?!?!!?)  though i often think the details are not really even about being the details, and though i also think numbers can be insignificant, this does seem like a bit of a milestone, no?

(when i say the details are not really even about being the details, i mean i have come to understand that the things we make aren’t even really about being the things we make. for instance, building a timber frame for an outdoor kitchen recently wasn’t really about the structure that resulted. it was about how i gouged away at heartache when i was taking that mallet and chisel to the logs. it was about how we all had to carry and lift those logs together because none of us could have done it by ourselves. it was about how the structure, as long as it stands, will hold all that we carried into its making [some of us were navigating the turbulent seas of heart tumult, some of us were falling in love, some of us were being broken open so that all we were was the light that hurt and the light that balmed bursting out of our ribcages , some of us were leaving home and some of us were returning home, some of us didn’t want to be some of us right then and some of us flexed muscles we didn’t even know we had]).

i digress. the first year of collecting (and writing) details was illuminating – the way the first year of a daily practice can be. such daily showings-up can reveal us to ourselves. but by year three, i considered quitting (when the illuminations and revealings became more subtle and quiet). at year five, i really really considered quitting. now i’m partway through year seven, and i do sometimes get caught up in wondering what the point is – especially the times i find myself dragging my feet to put another post up at the end of the day. but then, sometimes i’ll give an-over-the-shoulder glance back at the details (a year ago today or what comes up when i search ‘death’) and i am astounded at the glintings and gleamings of the trail of word-jewels i have been leaving behind me. i can be dismissive of and mean to the details:  i tell them they are not poems (they’re not). but i can also love them (like when i just called them jewels up there).

i recently put a tip jar up on the detail collector (see that cute thing in the upper right hand corner?). i figured the two-thousandth post might be a great occasion to officially unveil it. it is a small way of attempting to love/validate the details harder. i don’t really think money can provide love or validation, but i do think that attaching a certain kind of value on something someone makes (whether it’s monetary or not) gives it… well, value. i say this while also saying: money is the most confabulated thing to ever exist on this planet and i can think of no force other than money responsible for generating the most dehumanizing and damaging (to all life) conditions in the universe. i am also someone who finds conflict in everything. so here i am, conflictedly directing your attention to my little tip jar while also acknowledging my complicated feelings about having such a thing sullying my space of daily practice and your space of detail collecting enjoyment while also saying here’s a little gesture for me to value my ‘work’ (while putting the word work in parentheses) and offering a possibility for you to ‘value’ my ‘work’ too, should you feel so moved and behooved and have the financial resources and emotional desires to do so. imagine the detail collector is me busking with words instead of music. should you feel inspired/moved/changed and have the dollars to do so, go ahead and drop some in my hat.

i think what a lot of this is getting at is you: i want to offer the glimmeringest gratitudes to all/any of those who have witnessed my witnessing along the way (any part of the way), and to those who have also shared their own details. it feels gargantuan to be known/seen by you knowing/seeing me. i appreciate your youness and your kindness more than you know.

enormous love,
frankie

_______
lulu on trumpet

yours truly on drum
and bagels on bike – dancing
while we morning-send0ff him from the porch
for the five-hour ride ahead
_______
i point to the scritch scratching
of a trapped chimney swift
and joseph dissasembles the old stovepipe
soot flies out and a section of
pipe tumbles down on feathered body
and everything is
wild chaos for a moment
(bird behind stereo
bird colliding with window screen
bird caught swiftly and squawking
in joe’s hands)
but the bird is finally free
_______
smell of lemon balm
its dried leaves crackling
as i pull them from stems
both kitties stationed at either side
while breeze lifts/falls around us
at the outdoor kitchen table
_______
i call to emory
and point to the gigantor hornworm
which turns out to be the biggest

any of us (em, me, trish, joseph)
have ever seen in our lives
(5 inches long and roly poly fat)
undulating/worming its way across gravel drive
_______

somewhere between telling emory
(who walks  his bike painstakingly slow
up the just-graded gravel hills)
to hurry and
singing at his side while we pedal

(it’s the knowing not the going that will bring your body home
teach your bones how to stay) on blacktop
i shed the thing nagging me
to get a move on so we won’t be late for dinner
(because dinner will always be there.
and so will home.)
_______

i’ll be your wingman anytime joesph says
in the already-goldening light
at dinner circle where a pan of
just-fried (and battered) okra awaits

_______

how the pink-on-seagreen/blue
sucks me out the back door
(it’s one of those moments where
the quality of light demands that
i put my body under its radiance)
and only when i turn to glimpse the garden behind me
am i struck by the luminous
moon swollen and rising
_______
small cat parade down the back road
trotting in my wake
we settle/nestle
within view of the oak trees
where i sing down
the sunset sky
_______

i’d glitterbomb her shiz says
if she was into it

 

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desire to shed

in the dream
i have arrived at the wurlitzer
for this year’s fall session

and (in typical dream style)
it is the same but different
the most different is: michael losing his patience and
pitching an angry fit over the phone for the
better part of an hour in the next room
while the rest of us fellows gather
around a table of welcome-goodies
i exchange cheek kisses w/ violeta
and i hug natascha and howl out after her
at the end of the day when everyone
heads back to their casita
and i am in hysterics because
even though there is a key most likely waiting for me
under the mat, i am also furious about
not being granted the residency
off the waiting list when they both were
and there is magnificent light
across a magnificent sky
_______

go out there and get ’em cowboy
i sign off my morning phone moment
with corinne while finishing up
a one-egg omelet accompanied
by a slice of nic’s bread
_______

baigz dancing around in gravel road
under the swirling of yellowed leaves
proclaiming it’s fall
_______

my nose deep in a
mason jar bouquet
of just-cut snapdragons
call it one of the deepest senses
of contentment
_______

take it to the dentist i joke with trish
about the teeth of our once-exceptional saw
as i assist on chopping the legs off of
the cube-frame which will become part of
the table that holds the rocket stoves
_______

9×12 glass pan of golden
brownies on kitchen table
whose secret ingredient (an herb)
it takes us a while to taste/guess
(coriander)
_______

sibling rivalry trish and i joke
across the couch about
the years we each first got here

_______

emory in safety glasses
taking hammer to gigantic geodes
harvested at the river today
(how utterly happy/pumped that
bucket of rocks makes him)
he offers me the other half
of one of the tiny’s
whose portable size is perfect for my
desire to shed and be portable myself
_______

thin lines of sunset light
falling through the spaces
between outdoor kitchen siding
_______
something serious about this
desert homesickness how
the sunset here could resemble the
sunset there and for one reason
or another the way it
unfurls across sky
(red as a neon sign
layered with dusty purple and
the deep dark of green trees/land below)
draws up an ache the way
a bucket draws up water
from a well

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of sun and more sun

what i guess to be the sound of a combine
is some yellow earth-moving machine
which comes into view as i round
the corner of underpass and wave
to the jeansed sweatshirted sunglasseed driver
as i run into his focus and out again
_______

how is it your voice seems to be made
of sun and more sun i write/ask
across great distances and up elevations
that haven’t been traversed in this month of
cocooning
your light astounds me

_______

tromboning out the lunch call
on front porch
the sound of most of us who
don’t know how to play
these horns
(take your choice: trumpet
trombone
or bugle)
a daily hilarity

_______

dwindling harvests
i collect:
sungolds
tomatilloes
the last of the cucumbers that
never really took off
on the same day i put seeds
(bok choy) in the ground

_______

the comedy of kitten birdie catwell
hunting a grasshopper in the greenhouse
where i un-wind baling twine trellises
and untangle dried plants that tried
so hard for so many weeks

_______

pair of wings found
folded in raised bed i
splay them on dry soil
orange brown black
becoming brittle

_______

unknown how many times
i come around to re-discovering
how song can reset the loop
but i arrived there again this afternoon
singing the song (from james’s mountain mix)
whose every word
i committed to learning last year

it begins:
hang me oh hang me
i’ll be dead and gone
i wouldn’t mind the hanging
it’s the layin in the grave so long
oh boy i been
all around this world
_______

filling a glass of water at the kitchen faucet
(thank you cistern! thank you rain! thank you cistern builders!)
as joseph principessa‘s me on his and trish’s
way out to bbq with dean
_______

how this season
with its mighty moon and
days of shortening sun
have their ways of making me
homesick for casita #3

_______

stitching paper to paper
while parul sehgal
breaks jealousy down like this:

jealousy is a hungry emotion,
it needs to be fed.
what does jealousy like?
jealousy likes information
likes details
likes photos – that’s why instagram is such a hit

jealousy feels intolerable and looks absurd
but at its crux, it’s a quest for knowledge
a quest for truth – painful truth

jealousy reveals us to ourselves

jealousy trains us to look with intensity, but not accuracy
the more intensely jealous we are, the more we become residents of fantasy

jealousy muddles our minds
and once we’re in that sphere, that realm of jealousy
the membrane between what is and what could be can be pierced in an instant

what if jealousy is a matter of geometry
just a matter of where we allow ourselves to stand
in relation to another
then maybe we wouldn’t have to resent somebody’s excellence
then maybe we could align ourselves with it

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a certain kind of close

white flutter of
cabbage moths everywhere around me
as i harvest leaves
turned to lace
_______
arriving in the collards
with cyclical thoughts whirring
then halfway through the harvest
feeling the repetitions flit off
lifting out and away from me
like another cabbage moth
_______
and then we are
standing on my bed as if
in a boxing ring
drop-kicking misogyny
out of the arena
_______
like a gnarled knotted up root ball
clumped and gripped tight to my guts,
like a dandelion plant or a kind of wild dock
in which you cut the leaves off
but the tap root keeps growing
and sprouting new green growth
i say about
the demons/patterns/things that get in the way
and love to surface when i get a certain kind of close to another human
(demons/patterns/things i never want to see/feel/play out again)
_______
emory and i kitchendancing
with our hands up
like the ceiling can’t hold us
like the ceiling can’t hold us
where dinner sits/cooks in various stages
(roasted potatoes
chimichurri sauce
leafy salad and lemon tahini dressing
rice and
garbanzo salad)
_______
alyson appreciating, in laughter form,
the starboard joke of
the star tattoos happening to
be on my right arm
_______
every time she uses the word discernment
a chime reverberates within
_______
snacking on peanuts and tomatoes and chocolate
we take turns talking about
the areas of balance and imbalance
in our lives
_______
trish’s arm wrapped around my shoulders as i
start us too low on the song
when i fly
let me fly
like a bird
with no regrets
joyfully
_______
rush of cats through tall grass as
ashby and gibbous chase/race each other
under equinox moon down
the slater’s hill
_______
coyote howls followed
by barred owl calls
all fantastically audible
now that the incredible walls of
insect sound have significantly diminished
in the oncoming of cool nights

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