what you’re moving towards

how i debate about whether or not i even want to re-speak it
but here it is (with the agreement that i won’t take up anymore airspace repeating anything else i’ve heard
from the aggro neighbor
at 8am
yelling into the phone
which he seems to do most mornings):
she’s an absolute looney tunes bitch

on a completely different spectrum,
the voice coming in over my phone says this:
you have agency

and you have more than one choice.

who do you want your days to be full of?

and who do you want ot be learnign from?

what kind of politics do you want to be surrounded by?

who do you want to be creating family with?

what do you want in your life right now?

you can still take up space even though you don’t know what you’re moving towards.
inspired by a.m.’s free-association list of words on motherhood
i take a moment to put together my own list of not the free-est association but close enough
of words on lone-wolfism:
free agent
solo rider
lone star
lone rider
me first
come close but not too
deep breaths
down time
do it yourself
alone but not lonely
friends as family
on the prowl
infinite possibilities
opposite of a slow and quite terror
scaredy cat
i got this

like a deep breath out

vortex i say
of just how it is that a 10am brunch turned
into a six hour hangout
with friends who carry the shared memories
of a different era
of queer portland
i’ve got the cute-goggles on gina says
about her and shiz’s 1-week old baby
whose face i’m staring down into
and whose swaddled seven pounds i cradle
turns out that’s just what i needed shiz says
as she nurses birdie who has finally calmed down and latched
after i reach last page of the kids book all in a day
with images by nikki mcclure
that i read aloud
which feels like a deep breath in
and a deep breath out

this is a kind of siblingship

country mouse in the city i joke
while taking photos of trash that has collected itself
along the concrete block of a parking spot
to send along to simona 

maybe we are in andersonville or maybe we are somewhere else at this point
when a watch a small bird (sparrow?)
take flight with the plastic/cellophane cigarette wrapper
clamped tight in its beak
bring me a higher love  drifting out of the van of a delivery person
as isa and i walk towards the lake and how
i can’t help but belt it out
again and again and how isa thinks it (The song) is one of the most terrible things that has ever happened
which makes me want to belt it out more
which means later we can’t help but hum the lines which means
we are giggling just like we have been known to giggle ever since 1995
which means this is a kind of siblingship
this familiarity is a kind of home
the briliant blues (some patches on the tealish side and some more on the crayola midnight blue side
and oh how all of it shines
off lake michigan
the body of water that birthed me and
whose only end i can see
is the shore we sit along
what i’m pretty sure is polish
(which i recognize because it is the tongue
my mom and grandmother used to speak in)
spoken in the two seats next to me
well into 11pm
in aisle 6
as we follow the sunset for what seems like hours
heading west at 35 thousand feet
the impulse i have to say i live here
while talking with jimmy and james in a living room in portland
after jimmy asks now where is it that you live, again
and how strange the true answer sounds coming out of my mouth northeast missouri

all the me me me of being

the tiniest vole (about 2″ long) in the palm of my hand
the sheer softness of their fur
after i scoop them away from the toss-about game by mama cat’s paws
and set them hopefully in a safer place

replaying the thing that an interviewee said
on the broken boxes padcast a few days ago
about our gifts coming from creator
and how we honor creator when we share them
and how key this seems
and how if i take this concept to heart it might help me shift away from any discomfort of
all the me me me of being a maker
the sadness and overwhelm and i don’t even know the word
for this country mouse to walk through the long aisle of a grocery store
and something like astoundment or onslaught or impact
of shelf after shelf 
of chip bag after chip bag
all that plastic
all that dead food
all that capitalism
lined up
shiny pouch after shiny air-puffed pouch

i’m going to mom out just a little longer cynthia says
at the train station where she lingers long enough
for me to look over my shoulder and wave as i board
the chicago-bound train
joolie’s hazey purpley pinkish photo
of the double rainbow as seen from the hospice 
in which her mom began the great crossing over
must be something going on astrologically i keep saying
about my dear dears and one of them welcoming their first baby
from the other world into this one
and one of them sending a mother off
from this one to the next
and one of them fielding the raw heart-ness of a sudden breakup 
after four years

from the water world: 

Swimmers wait for the start of the “Monte-Cristo challenge” (“Le Defi Monte-Cristo”) swim event at the Chateau d’If off Marseille, southern France.

the unbelievable

cheyenne pheonix, a dine’ young woman answering the question (on the broken boxes podcast) what would she tell young peoplewho are looking to get activated:
look to your elders, the ones who pray and the ones who honor a sober life without drinking or smoking and doing drugs – 
those on the ‘red path’ as we call it
tyler, eric, cynthia, jeauxseph and i
gathered around the computer screen to watch the best ever
dressage (horse dancing, essentially) to edited-in hip hop
(a lil kim remix, nonetheless)
the black cat ciurled on my bed
who i try to tell in english and then also
in heart language that in a couple of days
i will be gone for two weeks but
i will be back, yes
i will be back
The unbelievable whine/buzz at my windoow screens as i write this
and the count of the number of lightning bugs i see
residing in my room at the moment: four

already dangling

the handful of sweet potato slips
i lower into the reverse-nests in the mulck
in the chicken yard beds
of north garden
you have to add an extra syllable to everything
and say it with a smile
cynthya says
about the language sounds
of south carolina
that she came up in
i forget her name but she is the mama of oliver
and we call them the little family because they are all little
and on her way out the door she says
that she just has to say thank you again for the poem you wrote my son
the one about the dog
we actually just got a puppy last week
and your poem is framed on a table next to his bed
to which i have to say:
yes, this is why i do this 
and also, take that, submission rejections!
like childhood caroline says
of the caramel she made for yesterday’s potluck
the rest of which she brings over
to share alongside dinner tonight
the very light green fruits
already dangling
from the branches of some of the tomato plants
which will most likely
arrive at ripe
in my absence
despair and ecstasy  i say about this moment in the space time contiuum which currently features:
a best friend’s mother going into hospice with the remaining time alive is put at weeks not months,
the news of a sudden break up of the four year relationship of another best friend
and a birth, of a third best friend’s baby
which all makes me think something
must be going on astroligcally
from the water world:

A man jumps from a bridge into the Limmat river during hot temperatures in Zurich, Switzerland. – voice of america, day in photos

the unbelievable amount of light

the crunch of the bronze insect eggs
(squash bugs) as we smoosh them
between fintertips or fingertip and nail or nail and nail or fingertips and palms
in north garden where we work our way along the
three sisters patches
the coolness on me
under thin button up shirt as i 
walk away from completing the weeding of the cosmos patch
in perhaps the hottest part of the day
(91 degrees the thermometer reads)
drips of sweat dropping
off my brows into my eyes
yeah, because words can sometimes fuck everything up
i say to chad
in defense/as explanation
for connecting
with animals
the unbelievable amount of light
a single bug can give off
each firefly flicker
illuminating what they land on:
the neck fur of mama cat,
the small white watering can,
the door handle,
my arm
aurelia and nina and cole
as if they were waiting tables asking
person after person
around the fire if they would like a smore
and i place
two orders and then mention
how i’m going to yelp about this  place – the best restaurant
in northeast missouri
mae and i both agreeing
that this is the best firefly season
since either of us have been here
(in northeast missouri)
that we’ve ever witnessed
although it’s difficult to tell in the moment
because of the great light
of the bonfire before us
sheila guiding us
in her headlamp light
up the path
in the post-fire dark
how i try to catch (from cool ranch porch)
animal sounds somewhere between here and the chicken yard
some of which sound like
a creature having hairballs (but 10 times the size/sound of a domesticated cat),
and almost grunting growling that reminds me of wild boars,
snapping of twigs/brush underfoot (i’m assuming these creatures are on the ground, not in the trees),
a kind of sparring and this is where the dog-like growls come in
there are definitely at least two of them

from the water world:

Two men play in the Duinrell amusement park in Wassenaar as Europe sizzled in a continent-wide heatwave. – voice of america, day in photos

Girls stand in monsoon rains beside an open laundry in New Delhi, India. – voice of america, day in photos

called by the clouds

the slight sweat gathering
under pant legs and sleeves whilel i
wrestly poison ivy
along the down-sloping path

the staggered ding! of the wind-up kitchen timer and the beep beep beep of my watch timer
while i stand in front of the two mighty pots
of water boiling before me
and the mountains of kale and collard leaves
that i drop in and then scoop out
called by the clouds
i walk up on slaters hill and through clearings then woods then clearings
all the grass that was once there yellowing
in bales scattered
the jingle jang of jack’s collar sometimes alongside me sometimes up ahead but rarely behind
and the thunderclouds looming
clearer into view
and later when corinne tells me it’s solstice, i feel bad for not realizing/knowing
and then i don’t feel bad because i celebrated it
in my own small way
by being called
and heeding it
and walking even when the day was long
and celebrating: the deer prints in the wet earth, the black eyed susans coming up, the white tail of a deer scrambling off after my human presence rattles them, all the ornaments hung and flickering on night trees and sky (lightning bugs), the bat that seems to have taken up residence on the exterior eastern wall of my room
the cat who is called ashby
curled up on my loft bed as i write
how most nights
the sound of so many bugs
colliding with screen over and over again
sound something
like rain

a sheen

the way the heat of the large skillet brings out
the greenest-of-green-things green
of the rare / few-times-a-season
treat of twice shelled fava beans
and the way that greenest green
seems to sweat from the inside out
on the heat showing a sheen

encounters with the wild lives

never, until this morning, have i stepped out onto my porch to stand within three feet of a bat
as the bat cleans themselves
the quick flicks of their tiny pink-red tongue
and the bathing movements similar to that of a cat and bird

we’re on a mission! emory says as we paddle our way
around the pond searching for tangled fishing line
that we pull out of the willows

no real exact words
for the pom pom burst of milkweed blooms – sturdy purple-white flowers
and their powdery lilac-ish-but-not smell
filling the room in which i dwell
where they are tucked in a small clear bottle
next to photos of some of the dearest
who have passed on


i learned them as potty shots i say to emory who calls them granny shots
which i, in response, call them grampy shots
and we sometimes count from one to three and then say shoot while we simultaneiously each hurl a ball towards the net

the small bouquet i arrange including day lilies
for a father whose first father’s day in 40-some or 50-some years
goes on without his daughter alive

like a surgeon and their assistant  i say of emory, the lego assembler, and i, the piece-gatherer
as we follow our way through the instruction booklet
for the blue car with monster-ish wheels that, once assembled, one can pull back and then release
to set the vehicle in motion
like going to church i say of my encounters
with the wild lives
that come into close range of my woodsy-edged dwelling
not the kind of church i am forced/expected to go to
but the kind of weird church i make 
and choose


tropical  say of the sunset, which is this florida beach spring break neon pink orange kinds of colors
all under an arrangement of purple gray clouds
against powder blue sky