from this distance

morning south america quiz
on the small map where, perfectly, the shapes
of countries are distinct and the names
printed on them are illegible
from this distance i work my way
up from the south starting
with chile

emory offering a pastry from the box
(baklava and other filo dough and sweet and nut combos)
that joseph brought back form chicago
on his jaunt near union station

cluster of ladybugs (at least 25) huddled
on a panel of an empty flat that i pull
out from under greenhouse shelf to fill
with fresh-pressed soil blocks

frankie flower-grower and sissy cynthia we laugh
at lunch about the herb gardener vs. the flower farmer
reality tv show

sound of plastic sheet lifting/falling in the wind
while i work the soilblock mix
like bread dough in the greenhouse

the dangle of roots as i
unearth the tomato starts (amish paste) from
their densely packed rows before lowering
them into the little fingertip-widened pits
in rows of compost-sand-coir blocks

tossing the ridiculous poncho
(huge pink flower design with bright green and yellow too)
on over my hoodie for a pre-dinner jaunt through the
cold front to take in the moody/complex
cold-hits-warm, gray-on-white parting
to spill out some blue sky

hot shot stan says about the surgeon
who i jokingly call toblerone and whose car name
we don’t know how to pronounce

it’s the new personality typing trish jokes
at the kitchen table about which tattoo
you’d get near/around your asshole

tulsi rose tea steeping
in bullet-shaped thermos,
one small serving poured into
lia-made cup (powdery-tealish glaze)
which she sent from encinitas for
my 39th birthday

while we race the rain

awake before light fills the
loft window i guess 6:40 and reach
for the watch and read 6:40 on its face
stripes on stripes i comment

to emory about his skinny striped (black and grey)
short sleeved shirt over his wide-striped salmon/pink and gray
long sleeved shirt
had to take the stripes on stripes off
he says later, bare barrel chested
after running around shooting hoops
cornflower-colored mini-moth/butterfly,
a shock of color against greening landscape
fly-floating along the roadside as i walk past
(after just proclaiming some affirmations,
it appears like an exclamation point), ducking
under the dome of a dried leaf when i lean in
for a closer look

baigz at the wheel slowing as he turns
the corner in the black car to hi-five me
out the open window,
emory in the back seat waving
in his neon/glitter feathers shirt

the kind of frog who
sounds like running one’s fingers along
the teeth of a comb
falling silent as i hiking-boots-on-gravel
speedwalk approach
small snake (10 inches long), how i stop
to touch its tail (is it ridiculous to call
a part of a snake the tail when snakes seem
to be all tail?) and it barely moves
i whisper to it to get out of the road
(where it was lounging in the flat
of the tire tracks in gravel) and it slowly
s’s off ditch-wards

platter of open-faced pb & j’s
set out on coffee table at rae’s place
where we draw goddess cards and pass around
a part of a new beehive that i’m sure has a name
which i can’t remember but sometimes
when the sweet smell of beeswax and all its
yellow gold color is all you remember/know,
it doesn’t even matter
from the swirl of goddess cards, i pull mother mary
which says:
expect a miracle
let go of worrisome thougths
keep your thoughts positive
notice and follow any divine guidance you may receive
engage in spiritual healing
take whatever steps necessary to keep your mind and heart filled with faith
keep the candle of faith burning within your soul
that light can eradicate the darkness of despair
be the light – as you make others stronger, it strengthens not only yourself, but the entire world
they’ve been breaking i say
of the cabbage starts as mica, trish and i
race the rain on our way home

pulses of lightning along the western/northern horizon
as seen from a curve in the gravel road
covered in the night-shawl of darkness

carrying the colors north

emory standing in the bright blaze
of spring sun on whitehouse porch
home-made pinwheel in his hand held up
to breeze
film-quality in mostly-stillness with spinning-of-pinwheel movement
film-quality in the way the light lays itself
over his bright hair and tender face
and this is the way the day hands its beginning to me
while the cats await their food bowls filled

arranging the sprig of flowering quince
in porcelain-ish vase saluting
two light daffodils
caught by cynthia quietly approaching up the road/path
the sound of some small crash drawing our attention
garden-shed-wards where ashby
sits framed in one of the six panes
of busted-out-glass window
and how something about this juxtaposition
(him framed perfectly
looking out at us at the picnic table
from his front row seat)
makes all eight of us laugh
not sure how to do anything gracefully i say
in regards to polyamory-slash-the rest of life
in combination with polyamory as afternoon sun

lays itself over the angles and curves
of my cheeks/nose/face
this i say pointing to the plastic handles
on the small saucepan where the
walking onions are frying when trish asks
about the (burning plastic) smell

she catches me
in the middle of my cookshift from her
one-hour-earlier time zone
and we trade reports of
external and internal weather
 ferocious southwest spring winds and
lots of different weather patterns
moving through she says
and it is not the first time i have been appreciated
for my uninhibited appreciation/love of pop music

doctors without borders world map
taped to wall in a place where i will gaze/
set eyes on often

kitten birdie and not-so-kitten ashby bounding
alongside/ahead/behind me
along the curve of the gravel backroad
where we catch a sunset
whose blues and deep red remind me
of the southwest whose winds
might have been blowing so hard that
they carried these colors north

twinkling/snapping to what chani says:
As soon as Venus is done finding her way through the south node’s vortex, she meets up with Chiron, the wounded healer. This is not a week to pretend that you aren’t human, tender, wounded, wonderful and vulnerable to your heart’s deepest longings.

today’s bright brightness

swooping shadow
on green grass ground
where i walk along lookfar beds
and when i look up
the black of turkey vultures
skyswimming against today’s bright brightness

down to the neon sportsbra again,
hoodie, long sleeve shirt, tshirt and neckercheif
piled/spilling over the mulch
near the door of the hoophouse
while i bend down towards
dead nettle and more dead nettle


the rhythm of my hands
shifting/raking compost
across the screen frame draped across
the galvanized steel tub
balanced on two five gallon buckets
in the sun outside the greenhouse while inside
tyler plucks small pepper plants
just growing into their first true leaves
out of their rows in flats and into
their new soilblock homes

four krispy kreme doughnuts
imported from springfield
on a paper plate sealed inside
a gallon-size zip lock bag

unsure whether it’s an owl pellet or coyote scat
but i bring in the bones/claws/teeth we pass around and
a small puff of hair/fur from the pile
found on top of mulched north garden bed

not sure how it takes
forty years and todays news to hit me:
mom: uterine cancer
dad: cancerous moles
grandma voeltz: lung? cancer
uncle henry: somewhere in there cancer (maybe lung?)
great grandma voeltz: another some-where-in there cancer
dad’s dad: stomach cancer
so when you ask if there is a
family history of cancer i will now respond
yes while being clear that this
is not a permission my body is casting out
but rather an obersvation
out across bloodlines

that women are insubordinate to men
because eve sinned in the garden of eden
baigz says about the what-we-believe
sunday school session he went to
at trish’s parents’ baptist church

it is so like us to joke
about the apparentness of the
fictional brian disease after we’ve looked
quietly in at the suspicious mole news of
cancerousness (slow-growing and easy to eradicate)

dobronotz mom and i say
back and forth before we
say goodbye

the quiet array of glimmerings
(stars) in an inky sky
what a wonder to step out into
and move around under


how i have been simultaneously
feeding myself and busting my heart
by re-visiting emails of courtships and collaboration and
by re-reading all the details written in the
days of heartswellburstbreakcollapse
some sortof witchy power of being able
to be here while going back to that self there
to hold everything that is broken
so she doesn’t have to
from the water world:
Men throw water on a woman as part of traditional Easter celebrations in Szenna, Hungary. – voice of america, day in photos

about the future

the most researched french toast
flipped with the spatula in tyler’s hand
we feast in celebration
of bernie taking three states

while i pluck the tiniest weeds
from the flats of collards
in the greenhouse under the sound of
rain against roof rachel says
a magical thing about
being whole and present in herself
in connections/interactions with me
the word wonderful a buoy

it’s a labyrinth shiz says
about the future
and later: total pandemonium
in less than two minutes
about what happens with a room
full of third graders
a ya’ll gonna make me lose my mind
up in here moment

me leaning into the computer screen
doubled over with a laughter that keeps rolling
when shannon tells me about the bird
that landed on bernie sanders’ podium
in portland when he was giving a speech

form the water world:
Workers remove oil during a clean-up operation after oil leaked from a cargo ship owned by TS Lines Co (in background), off the shores of New Taipei City, Taiwan.
– voice of america, day in photos

wild violet sightings

and the day begins with
me on my mat yoga-ing in the recently inherited
cosmic burger & fries leggings

cynthia’s rice muffin recipe clipped
to fridge as i devour one and then
the half of another with my tomato soup
at lunch

with a glimmer in her eyes mica
reports wild violet sightings

bigass burgers we laugh/joke about
the bigass (veggie) burgers and bigass buns
tyler made for dinner

everyone gathering at window to glimpse huge
bird perched in garden shed peach tree
which turns out to be a robin

how when i close my eyes on the phone
with corinne i see a sea of dead nettle
(some with tiny purple flowers)
which i spent most of my hoophouse morning
honna’s name in sharpie on my
hand fading but not yet gone at
the end of the day

the bed-scuttling bug i squish
(which is what i never do with bugs)
thinking that it might be a cone-nosed bloodsucker
and how i say thank you and sorry
at the same time

the leaflessness

nix it and 86 it we laugh/joke about
the cat piss-smelling rug we roll up
just as quickly as we unrolled it
in the hoophouse

stripped down on top to
neon sports bra as i strip bark
from black locust timbers
laid out on the lawn

mica as seen from across the pond
standing in the apple tree in her
1980s color combo
(peach-ish shirt and light teal pants)
with loppers in her hands,
how the leaflessness of this
point in the season allows one to see
through the trees

palm-sized trish says of the cyst
with teeth and hair and bones

cynthia in the back seat next to me
as we head north and east
borrowing my orange chapstick
as balm for a popped blood blister
as the sun moltens the horizon
over our shoulders

spotting three deer out the right hand windows
on they way to kahoka and then
just beyond the small swell of a hill
twelve more appear
how we all ooh/ahh (which reminds me of
coming upon that megapod of dolphins
in that san diego whale watching ship)

i promise i won’t barf on your head if you
won’t barf on mine baigz says to em (who is sitting on
his lap) in response to his cracking open the window
in response to his tinge of car sickness

cole’s white-frostinged cake illuminated
by the flicker of 8 candles in roller rink snack bar
as we sing happy birthday to you
we’re so glad you’re alive
you’re a gift from the earth
bless the day of your birth

even though the ocean song is only
two lines (or four depending on how you
break it down) i can’t remember the words that
cynthia and i sang in the back seat as the moon
made a suggestion of itself via the orange glow
held in the clouds to the east