hunger/comfort

how it is not quite ‘tricking’
but somehow, i get emory
(who often says
‘ill just sit and watch’
when we invite him to join us in the gardens
or other various things that one
might call work)
to help me as i kama the tall grass around karma down
and he transports the small piles
into the big pile
stationed near the potted lemon tree
that we drag inside every winter
and outside every spring
_______
emory and i walking the rows
of tomatoes both of us exclaiming
when we find a fat worm on a leaf/branch,
feasting, before we grab it and drop it in
the plastic container to hold his bait for fishing
near the fabius bridge off A later tonight
(we are hornworm hunting)
and, if emory makes a loud exclamation,
it’s one of two things:
1. he found a worm
2. he stepped on a rotten smashed tomato with his bare feet
_______
how i can hear munching
which i think is coming from under the mulch
of the tomato beds but then
when i call em over to listen
he points to the tupperware holding
the fat hornworms
that munch on the leaves and tomatoes
em and i put in there
for their hunger/comfort
_______
emory and zane practicing
on the drive to zim’s
ordering their cones
by each of them saying every other word:
two
        vanilla
small
        ice cream
cones
          with
sprinkles
                please
_______

joy is with me
in the two stainless steel bowls i carry back
to the whitehouse,
one filled with cherry tomatoes (mostly sungold select)
and one filled with parsley
_______
a bit foggy headed while cooking
partly because of the hives
and partly because of the new territory
which isn’t that complex but
i do believe i’ve never made a pasta bar here before
_______
on the butcher block as we circle for dinner:
penne pasta with chimichurri,
grated organic cheddar cheese,
corn cut off the cob with a knife,
sungold tomatoes oven roasted with onion,
steamed broccoli,
tamari seeds (pumpkin and sunflower),
bowl of edamame
cucumber tomato basil salad,
and the usual array of ferments
in mason jars
lined up
_______
thought i’d let you all know
that i’ve got a nice case of hives
in addition to the chiggers
i announce during dinner
on the front porch
_______
from the water world:
ED5979E7-3CD5-413C-99A0-9D7057003F6C_w987_s_s
A man steers a wooden boat through dead fish in a breeding pond at the Maninjau Lake in Agam regency, West Sumatra province, Indonesia. – voice of america, day in photos

after four days of awayness

the sweet slow steady sound
of light rain on roof/land/ground
_______
i read the poem with three post scripts aloud
in celebration of rachels upcoming 33rd (jesus year)
rotation around the sun
before she reads her
list of intentions
_______
powering up the new graveled road
with packed panniers
this is insistence
and will
_______
on the tellie with shiz as she walks
from walgreen zebra and i want to make a vow
that i will never have another
i-can-barely-hear-you phone convo
with shitty signal no matter how much i adore
the person on the other end
again
_______
emory catching a glimpse of
the black cat up on slater’s hill at the base
of one of the great oaks and how we
can’t tell if it’s moonstar or a cat bigger than moonstar
when she comes running towards,
her think squiggle-like movements reveal her
_______
the smoke that fills the kitchen
as trish roasts peppers in the wok
on the stovetop
_______
how twice i drop trou in the kitchen
to show my maybe horrible chiggers/maybe horrible rash
(regardless of which, it itches all over like hell)
pocking my white ass all kinds
of reds and pinks
_______
steroid delivery baigz calls out
from the other side of my
closed door
_______
the empty sill of my narrow window
where moonstar usually camps out
(it seems 4 days of my awayness
was enough to break her habit, temporarily,
of coming around)
_______

from the water world:
4af709a9-ef0c-4ff6-a89d-eb5a67dd6491_w987_s_s
An Iranian swimming in Urmia Lake near Urmia, northwestern Iran. – voice of america, day in photos

beyond the nightchorus

windmill whirring (squeak/squeal sound in there)
as i move through the cool water
in the morning of this already-warming day
_______

how i hang my head over the side of the dock
whose shade renders the water transparent
which means i can see the small school of fish
treading and moving
and when i snot rocket the allergy sinuses
into their waters they
dart towards it and suck it in
(silvery/clearish looking fish
with a black splotch where the fins
grow out of their bodies)
and in this shadow rectangle i also see
a black water snake
with brown markings
about 2 feet long
squiggling along the sandy bottom
and popping it’s head up through the surface
_______

encountering vishnu schist (a type of rock
that i can’t believe hasn’t been turned into a band name yet,
tho maybe it has and i just don’t know)
in print twice in two days:
1st: in the national geographic
stacked in the magazine stack
in the gooseberry privy
in the article about the grand canyon
2nd: in rebecca solnit’s
faraway nearby
where she is also talking about the grand canyon
and rafting it
_______
stepping out into night
and beyond the nightchorus of insects,
the sounds of darien’s accordion
rising past the treeline
while the northeast sky
quickflashes with far away 
but still brilliant lightning
and there is something about
how this is the season of
night after night of lightning
glimmering
from distant storms
that never pass through
_______
two ice packs
on either side of my ass
while i read my way towards sleep
attempting to soothe this
very serious case of
chigger bitesplosion

_______
the pretty cute wheezy snoring
of the big black and white cat
whose name i don’t remember
crashed out at my side
as i write this

our own reasons for aloneness

6:40 am meg waking me with her
excitement/restlessness
which means i get to take in
the fog laid across the curves of the land
and toss the tough dog frisbee
while still in my
tank top and underwear pajamas combo
costume completed with muck boots two sizes too big
_______
taking a window-tour
of the homestead and shutting each one
to seal out the wall of insect sound
(crickets, katydids, grasshoppers, cicadas)
that, at this time of year, can do weird things to my
ears/hearing
_______
like michael jordan trish says
about the jump-up hi-five in
splits formation
post-game just before we
head pondwards
_______
you know how to tell a dog’s temperature
chad calls out already on his way
down the pond-side path
it’s how far a dog’s tongue sticks out
_______
it doesn’t make you want to run/go away
she asks about naming feelings

she’d rather not have
absolutely not
i say

from my perch in the pillowed rocking chair
behind which meg pants on the cool floor
_______
kim and i on backstep landing
taking in the pink smudge
across sky
sharing our own reasons
for aloneness
_______

is that just ducks doing their thing
i ask of all the squawking drifting over
from penn and laura’s  place
and kim says yes and also mentions
geese and guinea fowl
which makes more sense
_______

mica says you’re going to write all day tomorrow
and kick ass and i tell her she is going to kick ass
on her run
and there is lots of laughter in there because it becomes one of those
spiraling jokes
wound around itself
mobius strip-like meaning:
it could keep going and going

is this a kinship?

meg curled up on the sheepskin alongside cole’s bed
stirring at 6:3o a.m. and the light
coming in through the east window
is something sublime
_______
not short enough
i joke with trish

about the reason i didn’t get the wild-print
stretchy swim bottomy short shorts
at the thrift store
_______
something about the chairs in rows
all facing the guards behind the glass
where we have to take our licenses and say
the name of ‘the offender’ as they call it
we’re visiting
something about the fellow visitors sitting in them
and the warmth/welcoming on their faces
when we eye-contact upon
walking in
(as if they are almost made of light)
toting bags of food
(no more than four see-through containers
of certain dimensions that will soon go through
the xray)
is this a kinship?
_______

they treat me real good fran says
(which is not a naive ‘oh – i’m so grateful for what they give me here’
kind of statement, cuz she knows what they give her
(and everyone else here) is shit)

of her cleaning job which is a vast improvement
compared to what she had to say about
the groundskeeping job
the quality of life here
is largely deteremined by
1. who your roommates are
(i notice she says this and not cellmates)
2. your job
she says

_______
don’t want to seem greedy she says
about helping herself to more trish-made guacamole
while teaching us to play back alley bridge
which i’m pretty sure i mostly understand
by the final hand
no way i say we brought it all for you
_______
fran putting her hair forward
(down the front of her shoulders
instead of falling to the back)
to look like she has some (hair)
when we take the photo
with our hands clasped and raised
as if to say we won something or
we’ll never stop fighting
_______
my only two pairs of shorts trish says are leopard/animal print
explaining the procurement of black jeans to cut into plain shorts
and i joke insinuating i don’t understand the problem
with wild animal print in any situation
insinuating is there even anything else
besides animal print?
________
how i’m tentative/weirded out about going forward on the highway
because of the ominous/unidentifiable
is-it-clouds-or-is-it-a-weird-chemical-air-spill-or
is-it-smoke-from-a-nearby-fire
veil hanging in the early evening air
that we move
head-on into
________

we take turns with
who’s on the beats and who’s on the lyrics –
trish and emory and i singing
as much of the eye of the tiger as we know
which is mostly the chorus
in the dark of the last leg of the drive home
_______

you’ve always liked my nose trish at the steering wheel
quotes joseph as she tells another
joe-refusing-to-go-to-the-hospital story
one of the things i like i say in the back seat
about being in the car with you for long distances
is that’s when your stories come out

to let a little glimmer through

harvesting the ground cherries
that haven’t been bored/eaten by worms
and cherry tomatoes that haven’t
been devoured boy another kind of worm
all in the morning rain
that moves in
gathering momentum/speed
as it showers down
but never tuns into a full downpour
and then moves out
______
new mexodus i say at lunch
about the recent exoduses to new mexico
and trish, the biggest not-fan of puns and word play,
looks up from her plate and says she likes that one
_______
“detail neglector” trish says
when i comment on my haphazard harness packaging
while we are gathered at the weekly meeting
_______
angie’s warm towel-wrapped bread in a basket
on the butcher block and how she uses the word sinful
about the chocolate-coconut-almond joy bar
she carries to the front porch on a plate
_______
carefully, sans gloves,
how i pick up a coil of rusty barbed wire
to move aside in angie’s truckbed
to make room for clyde
looked like a fall sunset i say
of the red/orange ripped
across the sky
_______
body draped across hammock which is draped
from rings hung on hooks by the woodpile,
night moving in on me and lightning
so far in the southern distance
on-and-offing
how i lie there long enough for the storm-sky
to clear the way to let a little glimmer
of stars through
________
the donkey/pony stuffed animal
with legs and ears and a tail and everything
hanging by its handles
from coles bedframe
i have never been a purse person
but this might be enough
to convert me
and let’s not even mention
the tiaras
the pink cape
the giant crystals/gemstones
the shiny purple boots
the star paper lamp
and the glow in the dark stars above it

generally what we long for is bigger than just survival

it’s those cleats mica calls out and
it feels good when people keep calling out
nice cut
nice throw
and general cheers for feats of speed
and agility
on the frisbee field
where some days i feel on and some days i don’t
and today is one of the on days
_______
we should take a video of this conversation and post it
i joke as mark, mica, meggie and i,
walking from field to pond,
try to get the facts clear on the hole in the ozone
(if there’s a hole, and the problem is things heating up,
wouldn’t the heat actually leak out of it?
what does the ozone do?
maybe the heat does escape, but it’s heating up so much
that not enough escapes for it)
yeah and link it to dancing rabbit/ask a rabbit mica says
and we are all laughing at the ridiculousness of our
ignorance/unable to answer our own questions
_______
snapping corn ears off and i’m listening to trish’s
getting loopy in the corn story
from the time she worked the harvest in the huge fields
and how at some point
her and her fellow workers would just start yelling out CORN
back and forth
hearing but not seeing each other (in all the tallness)
and even though trish isn’t actually telling this story
right here/right now,
it lives in these rows
in this harvest
and this is what i mean by
time doesn’t exist/is always collapsing
_______
toyota truck bed piled with the sweet corn
we pushed aside the 5-foot tall weeds to harvest
and of course, there are the requisite shuck you
shuck off
and getting the shuck outta here
and mothershucker jokes

to be had
_______

steam rising off
the bright yellow sweet kernels of
this year’s first taste
of butter-melted, salt-sprinkled
corn chomped off the cob
_______
the slimy sludgy stuff at the tips
of most ears as we shuck them
and the squirming worms that live inside
_______
the action
he says is in service of what you care about
and long for in life –
generally what we long for is
bigger than just survival

affirming and meeting yourself
exactly where you are it is
a radical act in a world of
pathology

_______
joseph thinking he overheard me sing/exclaim

the word coitus just before dinner circle
and how we get from there somehow
to beavis and butthead and i say something like
don’t even get me started
(meaning, if i utter even so much as a word
in one of their voices
it will take me hours
to stop )
_______
9:30 pm i turn out the lights

to watch the lightning
keep filling and leaving the room
moonstar the cat curled
in her small softness
on my chest
_______
from the water world:

7FC79EA0-7B44-4920-9126-7EF820B9D774_w987_s_s

A villager pushes a bicycle as he crosses a flooded road at Naraha on the outskirts of Allahabad, India. – voice of america, day in photos

 

filing away at the edges

emory perched on wood shop work bench
filing away at the edges of a found machete
that he is transforming into a double edged sword
_______
estan aqui – cuddle me the hanky
once worn around a wrist then wrapped
around a hot pink stuffed unicorn
reads in sharpied marker
how it flutters in the wind – a grand finale
after the sparkle letters that spell PLEZ,
the ring which matches 3 others,
and the magic black-brown swirled shiny beans
sometimes bridges are made just for
tossing things off of onto the tracks below
_______
trish’s sneeze heard from
across the yard while i hang laundry
from the great mildew roundup of 2016
which isn’t as bad as the great mildew roundup
of 2015 was

_______
in the absences
common space table becomes desk
across from which mo sits with a bucket of green geans
awaiting her phone call
_______
tear drop shaped alyson says
of the patch of red around the mysterious bug bites
appearing on her limbs

because of all the becauses

how i gasp/laugh

at the feeling of a tree frog (mottled gray)

jumping out of the water sheath for the scythe blade and

landing on my hand (between thumb knuckle and

pointer finger knuckle)

and how it stays there

rotating around on its grabby fingers/toes

while i weed the chicken yard garden along the fence

with one hand

_______

i find myself running from people these days

not towards them i tell stan in his bright tie-dye

while i arrange strawflowers and globe amaranth

in a wide mouth mason jar

at the kitchen table

_______

smiling to myself at the over-the-topness

of the kesha lyrics landing in my ears via headphones

and how the music makes me miss

some queer ass dance nights

and all the antics that go with them

and how it also reminds me of

when life/relationships

feel like the same feeling as a pop song

and how i want that reeling, that rush

(though i know where it will eventually get me)

(and let’s not talk about

how i didn’t get on my bike today

to ride 50 miles to canton

because of all the becauses)

_______

7something p.m. sun

that’s making its way horizonwards

glowing through the hot and light pink petals

of exquisite wild cleome

that has sprouted up

over by the west end of the black currant patch

and this i think to myself while harvesting broccoli

from raggedy plants (but good broccoli, especially

considering its late purple-leafed stunted beginning)

is what it is all about

a momentary locating of

contentment

_______

they’re cooling mo calls out

across the backyard

about the chocolate no bake cookies

on wax paper on a pan

in the freezer

into the weave

just for frankie emory says
of the box of cinnamon toast crunch
brought back from the suburbs/city-land
from which he offers me a bowl
for breakfast
_______
how we dig the riverways
with the claws of our fingers
and pour the currents in
from tupperware
and toss our fleet of boats
(some of which are leaves
some of which are dried and ripped cattail stalks)
in to see which will make it
to the open waters
of lookfar pond
_______
reading aloud the first chapter
of a pippi book while emory
fiddles with the new lego ninja situation
as we each help ourselves now and then
to an animal cracker or two
_______
a sortof exchange:
we sort through emory’s whitehouse shoes
choosing what stays and what goes
(putting what goes in plastic bucket
i carry to lookfar while he carries legos)
and later he catches grasshoppers
sometimes rips off their legs
so they won’t escape and then
we chase down the distressed chicks
who will stand on our hands or shoulders or heads
and feed them the crunchy-shelled insects
_______
approaching south garden tomatoes
with empty buckets,
fleck of red (cardinal)
taking flight
tomato hornworm
(juicy/lime green/rotund)
dangling from its mouth
_______
the sonic-sounding boom
(which reminds me of when sometimes a pan
changes shape in the oven
as it takes on the heat)
that mo and i both hear
from whitehouse kitchen
as we pause all other noise (tea kettle)
to make sure everyone is alright
_______

how the smoke from the burnpile
travels a little east and a little north
curling into open kitchen windows,
into the weave of laundry on the line
_______

thermal mass:
slipping into still-warm hoodie pulled from pile of clothes
that, two or three hours earlier,
plucked from the line where it hungunder the sun
and heaped, unfolded, into basket
_______
from the water world:
E32D1BF5-B670-4B9C-8DDA-C76FE35BD1FC_w987_s_s
A boy climbs a partially submerged electric pole as he plays with others on the flooded banks of Ganga river, in Allahabad, India. – voice of america, day in photos