finding my way

the man who helps me open the door that i thought was locked
to the mercado on cherokee street and
the makings for guacamole i find inside and
the independence i feel pedaling the loaner bike around in the morning sun
finding my way through unknown city
kim handing the paper gift bag
over the fence of the art studio/yoga class space that was hard to find
several overdue chapsticks and a bonus offering wrapped inside
the rising liquid nitrogen vapors
lifting from metal mixmaster bowl while we
wait and watch the birthday salted caramel
made-to-order ice cream
being mixed into existence  
sounds of a singing crystal bowl that reach us as we
make our way to the top of the mound
(the largest mound of the largest prehistoric earthen construction in the americas north of mexico)
that  was built basket by basket

which we later find out is part of a new moon meditation
which involves ringing the bowl for a half hour straight

i like how there are still things to see/notice in the sky i say 
while sunset-watching on a cloudy night
from our perch atop monk’s mound at cahokia
where i see patches of light – subtle hintings, and the pink glow coming through
in the thin-clouded spots
the escapade of a missing address and
locked gate and a foot landing in the
just-laid cement and the smell of dog shit on our shoes and
how i need the meditation we land in at the end of the day
at the kitchen table
we name our envies 
and how our questioning of institutions
is part of what got us there

strutting through

walking down the gated road
a costume parade with my kingdom (me dressed as the king of wishful thinking,
mel as the most fabulous fish,
honna as a magpie and
darkhorse as a samhein witch)
strutting through
the magic of a cover band show:
getting to see the breeders and pattie smith
and cheer amongst friends
when sara nails every single note
every gesture
every nuance
when she sings pissing in a river
and every single other patti smith song

the splash of gold glitter
across stoph’s face plus
some big hoop earings clipped
to his ears
the witch that none of us know
joining us at a back table in the dark corner
and we all hold hands in a circle/trance
casting spellwork
and if this is an omen for my new year
i’ll take it
long live the king!!!!! honna and mel get some of the folks gathered outside cbgb
to chant at me in the post-midnight (29th turning into 30th which happens to be my birthday) moment


ellena and i laughing/joking on the phone
about how she called to update/give me play-by-plays
about her cup of tea as it steeps and cools

removing layer by layer as cynthia and i
quick-walk down the back road
in the unbelievable balmyness of
the gray that is today
until i’m carrying my hoodie, my thermal and my flannel in my arms
kitchen warm with scent and sample tastes of
garlic biscuits
‘ashram’ lentil soup
chimichurri and squash dinner


em and i working out
our camera conundrum
like two adults in a way
that impresses me especially given
he is 8 years old

alyssa peeling garlic while i chop carrots
and we talk about the complexities of polyamory
in the mood lit (read: i refuse to turn on the overhead light) kitchen

the tiniest tiny

the day begins as it often does,
with the reading of the poem-a-day poem
in my inbox
only this time it slams me so hard and just right
that i email the poet and offer
to carry the weight of
her mother’s corpse for today

the bitterness of the mugwort
michael chopped into the morning hash
that he shares with me

the few drops of almond extract
in the small batch of pancakes
i flip in the medium cast iron

guitar and mandolin drifting
down from slater’s hill
(where dottie and ellena play
by the newly hewn old oak stump)
to me walking up/down the kale beds
where i pluck leaves and toss the
unusable ones into the wheelbarrow and
the sellable ones into the bucket on the scale
which i made sure this time
was weighing in pounds, not the kilograms dottie leaves it on
for weighing out flour for breadmaking

i know how you like it alyssa says
about the mulch while
pulling cart with pitchforks
and thick
ellena, trish and i
in the car on the way to frisbee
laughing about taking the open road
(insert thick ridiculous trying-t0-speak-spanish accent here)
to las montaƱas
break in the sky
along the horizon
where the single mass of grey cloud gives way
to orange yellow glow
of sunset

ellena pouring the tiniest tiny
of jacob-made black currant wine
into my cup
which is the most wine-wine-like wine
i have ever tasted
the fierce purr of birdie
as i stand outside karma holding her
as a slow-approaching car casts
crisp leaf shadows on bike-shed exterior
and what i think is lightning but
might be emory’s flash going off
blazes above in the lake-dark sky

carrying each other

tossing mulch down
on the just planted garlic
on this windy day
which means straw
airborne around us
moonstar perched on granola’s gravestone
how i cannot think of nine lives
and wonder
to my bones
take this fire
fan your flames
in me
to my bones
take this air
blow your wind
through me
to my bones
take this water
rain down
onto me
to my bones
take this earth
grow your roots
in me

our voices carrying each other as we sing sound
into this flame-lit space
the midnight madness coven
sending song to the clear star-punched sky above

tossing mulch down
on the just planted garlic
on this windy day
which means straw
airborne around us
moonstar perched on granola’s gravestone
how i cannot think of nine lives
and wonder
to my bones
take this fire
fan your flames
in me
to my bones
take this air
blow your wind
through me
to my bones
take this water
rain down
onto me
to my bones
take this earth
grow your roots
in me

our voices carrying each other as we sing sound
into this flame-lit space
the midnight madness coven
sending song to the clear star-punched sky above

to apologize for being

on lookfar porch in the sun
while emory assembles robots
out of hand-made wood screws/bolts/planks
i arrange the mini markers
in rainbow order and then
make a swatch
of their lines
down a narrow page
emory’s body tossed about

and catching air
as he lies in the middle of the trampoline,
first, we play the dead man game where we
count to five and ask
are you dead or alive and then
we are on calm waters
the great
(big bounce jumps)
comes crashing in
how we take turns holding
the ladder for each other and asking
you got a good grip on it
as we descend from the
pondside treehouse platform

pointing to the cloud of butterflies
(small and orange, not monarch but just as bright)
swirling around the garden shed
where emory and i pause to take it in
(my pause long outlasting his
as he moves towards the pink panther segment
he wants us to watch because of its hilarity)

in the fortsythia
we take turns choosing
which shel silverstein poem
to read next and i begin
with one featuring a dog in the drawing
because jack is with us
(held captive in emory’s lap)
the plink plunk of red ripper beans as trish
shells them on the couch next to me as
i clip brown petals
from dead/dry zinnia heads
and pluck their seeds
into a metal bowl
the huge metal pot
i swirl a small batch of laundry in
before wringing the kindof clean water
out of shirts/socks/underwear
before hanging them too late in the day (due to forgotten meeting) to dry
how dean and i and others
make head-of-lettuce jokes
(for the vegetarians – including myself)
around the butcher block covered
in the cookout feast of
substantial burgers
deviled eggs
two pies (one peach, one cherry)
arugula salad
sliced tomato and
condiments galore
you’re not allowed to apologize
i tell r. katz for being human
the bright green of fresh cut
(and chopped) pandan leaves floating
in stainless steel cup of filtered water

regarding the sortof future

half-pint quilted mason jar filled
with tyler’s special morning smoothie drink
left on butcher block with a note alongside it
that reads frankie danger
rolling out joseph’s tortilla dough
as close to thin-as-paper as possible
on butcher block while
one raises its bubble spots
in the cast iron over medium flame

what’s your truest truth i ask
of tyler on the couch regarding the sortof future
while i wash lunch dishes
at the sink

ty joking so – wanna play
secret ballot and
cynthia and i laughing
a chapter-length pause
in patch of sun
there is no other word for this light and
the way it lands on my reclined limbs
except for pouring
what are your dreams for your birthday,
how do you want to celebrate
she asks while i fill the cat bowl with food
dried kibble clinking in porcelain
the warmth of today
(not hot, just sun-warm, somewhere in the 70s)
soaking in through my layers
as i clip dried zinnia flower heads
for seed
free one some sites on the internet
tell me the name franciszka means

about the breadbox

in the dream,
i meet a refugee couple on their first day
free in the u.s.
they are a man and a woman
in their mid 50s
and they are exhausted but their eyes
are filled with so much light
i first meet them in the morning and then
later encounter them
at the end of the day
at which point one of them is literally walking on the sides of his feet,
which means the rest of his body is alos
sliding along on the sidewalk
perhaps we are in portland, or
someone is interviewing the two of them
on their landing
and i’m there
continuing to stay with the sidewalk-laying man
until i know he’s going to be ok
he reaches a palm to my ankle
for connection/gratitude
and then the dream turns third person
and i’m watching it on a film
and in the film,
this young woman is super excited about
her dream crush (young immigrant/refugee)
and how she invited him to homecoming
and she’s pretty sure she’ll get a yes and she can barely
stand the anticipation
and then the scene switches to him
(dream crush)
suiting up in his work clothes
(heading out to hoe and endless field or
descend into the mine)
deleting texts from her
not because he isn’t interested but
because his reality
doesn’t allow room for it

the green of the parsley patch
the red pink lemon yellow white deep maroon
of the dahlia petals/snapdragon blooms
the bright orange of cosmos petals
all despite the light frost
coating this morning’s ground
stand in the sun the medicine
ellena suggests
for healing the wickedness of this cold
amy and i laughing
two time zones apart
about the breadbox
that shall remain untouched
leggings pulled up above my knees
as i wade into the pond to
float/soak the willow branch bundles
so that we may weave them
two weeks from now
and the consequent walking barefoot
from lookfar to whitehouse
pulling the empty cart behind me

emory and i on the living room couch before dinner
where the sidewalk ends opened on y lap
true story he requests by title
superhero halloween costumes
have finally surpassed princess costumes
for girls an npr reporter states


will resound

i call bullshit on your not having
any requests or needs
bruin says
on the other end of the line and this phrase
will resound through the rest of the day
if not the week
cynthia at the butcher block and in front of the kitchen sink
stirring, mixing, baking says
you’re making a really bad decision in regards to
my away dinner plans

the globe amaranth (in purple and light pink) placed
around the photo of cynthia’s uncle
propped on the whitehouse kitchen woodstove

emory in a fleece hoodie
(yellow with black)
printed with cassette tapes and skulls/crossbones 
and when i’m all nah ah – where’d you get that!? he responds
my grandma

the last pint jar of
gloriously fuschia kraut
packed in my bag of things to bring to mica’s 
and ellena, mica and i, despite the fartsmell (the taste is delicious) work our way to the bottom

trish’s skillet blondies
cooling on the kitchen table while someone
grabs the ice cream from the walk in
to scoop on top

blue glow of faces in the
tv screen light through the merc front window
while the debate (debacle?) plays on