cutting through the dark

shoveling out the garbage/recycling bins
and the car in the night
lightweight snow sparkling
like a good fake theater snow would
under stage lights
the quiet of snow plusĀ  night
stretching out around me
while the cat slinks under the car
and paws at snow edges
and in the distance, a clip-clopping
of what sounds like an amish buggy
cutting through the dark

purple pearlescent

purple pearlescent haze
is the name we come to
for the color of the pre-sunset clouds
in the distance on the walk back
from the mailbox
looking west-ish

the camp chair
still warm from a human body in it
not so long ago and now
the cat curls in it
a kind of sideways tent
to sleep

remembering how i said weeks ago
but never put it in the details:
this is the poorest i’ve felt
in my life

not because of how much money i have
or don’t have but because
i don’t live on land
that i care for/that cares for me

too cold to use words

based on our blanket-wrapping styles
juniper is a taco
and i am a burrito
and we start the morning laughing
about a splootch of salsa
or a blurp of beans
squeezing out from one
and landing on the face
of the other
the double white lines
drawing themselves diagonally
across the blue rectangle of sky
as seen through the partially snow-obscured kitchen skylight

our friend i exclaim
about larry meiller
whose name is mentioned on public radio
just before another episode of his show
garden talk


too cold to use my words,
my mittened hand shoots out
to point to the pheasants
taking off into the cornfield
from alongside the gravel road
we briskly walk down

i like your hair i call out
to the dark reddish brown cows
with light tufts of hair
poking out from atop their heads
who snow-amble over to the fence
as we walk past

thanks to a man on youtube

tossing valentines
at ann and kevin in the library
gradeschool style
as i walk past

the windswept snowdrifts
on the ridges
as seen from the road
on the way
from library to home

epic icicles (eight feet at least)
dangling down from an orange building
in the alleyway
shining in the first sun
for what seems like weeks
chatting with laura outside the bakery
while the icicles drip
only a polar vortex
can make 35 feel springy
and tropical

sipping the heart libreration tea
at jess’s pop-up herb shop
we joke about many things
including securing our hearts in a way
that won’t make them fly off
while sipping the tea

headlight lightbulb change #2
i’m no mechanic
but, thanks to a man on youtube, i have gotten good at this

feet moving like windshield wipers

noa and i doing a
funny slidey dance
(feet moving like windshield wipers)
shuffling up/down the driveway
during a heartbox chocolate for kiddo delivery

could play king of the mountain david hough says
(as we walk the writing center supplies to his car)
about the ginormous plow-piles of snow
gathered in the corners of the health center parking lot
the three-foot multi-faceted drift
between HQ and ron and millie’s trailer
all the accumulation of snow


these words were written
in the middle of
twenty four hours of snowing

juniper disappearing down the back hall
scurrying with a package that just arrived
and reappearing with a tissue paper wrapped heartshape
so we take the opportunity
to lounge on the living room floorbed
and eat bon bons
still hard from the cold
juniper and i laughing
about the nervous breakdown i had
in the chips aisle at the minneapolis co-op
which is different than the nervous breakdown
i had in the library
which is different than the nervous breakdown
i had at choir practice
which is ridiculously hilarious
probably due to the fact that none of them
were actual nervous breakdowns


out the front window
watching the glittering
and swirlings of snow in the wind
after dark
while an oak leaf skitters and tumbles across the
wind-sculpted surface
from the water world:

Syrian displaced people carry water canisters in the flooded Deir al-Ballut refugee camp in Afrin’s countryside, along Syria’s northern border with Turkey – the telegraph, Credit: Rami Al Sayed/AFP/Getty Images

glittering down

following our director’s lead
as he slides us down and up on the notes
of the harmonies and melodies of operator
(that jazzy thing performed by manhattan transfer)
while the snow outside
has already begun
its glittering down