Category Archives: poetry

sidewalk rewilding

4:25am and we are driving into the moon
which is an orangegold sickle slicing the inkdark sky
on the edge of late night/early morning
and then there is also the toss of star-gems tumbled across all the darkness
_______
the gratitude i have for a driver
who slows down appropriately
(way way way down)
when the shine of deer eyes roadside
reflect back at us
_______
i know nothing about this woman
cleaning this bathroom at union station (chicago)
except for the absolute absence
i encounter in her eyes, her body
(husk, shell)
when i ask if the stall she was just cleaning in
is now open
and how she responds with the emptiest emptiness
_______
the bee who, even here, just across the way from the tallest building
in the western hemisphere
lands near the tip of my pen as i write this
among the jackhammering,
the pfffffffft of busses releasing air from their hydraulics,
and the two men just down the block who shake
the change at the bottom of tall empty cups asking
_______
pumpkin crumpet i laugh with isa who i call from along the river,
 voice to voice not face to face though we are in the same city
_______
what says yes to me and how i say yes back
as the train roll-rocks north and west
from near madison:
the birch/poplar trees – their skinny trunks singing bright white against all the other treeness
and the conifers dotting the scape
and the way the land curves and folds and
the rock/cliff formations rising alongside rivers and creeks
_______

how it is good that there is a bench
for our bodies to land on
so our cells can say the things back and forth
that our words have been saying for weeks now
_______
the sidewalk rewilding itself
on the stretch we walk
between train station and pho
a river of night traffic on our left and
the water and beaver homes
on our right
_______
robbie in the room down the way
a typewriter on the desk in the room we inhabit (a royal)
sometimes we have to keep quiet
though the floorcreakas might give us away and i want to know
if there is a name for the sound i can hear
inside the un-made noise
(how that unmade noise is a presence, a kind of cave, tunneling down through opened mouth and length of larynx and root of guts and)
_______
from the water world:

A boy collects recyclable plastic bottles drifting with garbage along the coast of Manila Bay at the slum area in the Baseco Compound in metro Manila, Philippines.

Dead fish float in the Confuso river near Villa Hayes, Paraguay, 30 kilometers north of the capital Asuncion.

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it’s due to a different kind of savoring

overheard in the  kitchen while i
zig zag stitch and zig zag some more:
baigz: do you mind if I blend deer brains in the blender
Jeaux: not only do i not mind, i encourage it
and later, baigz says something about how it looks like a strawberry smoothie

he is building/making a drum
he saw in a vision 

_______
the styrofoam (luxury) box i construct and cut a door out of
(upon hearing the predicted 38degree high for tonight)
that mama cat, despite my placement of her bedding from her old nonluxury box
into her new luxury box, refuses to enter
perhaps because the styrafoam weirds her eout or perhaps because she’s punk as fuck and is committed to resisting anything that resembles urban development every step of the way
_______

the taste of some of the season’s last tomatoes
and how i don’t know how to name it but
the quality of its flavor is so much different
than the season’s first
perhaps it is due to a different kind of savoring
(the difference between the it’s been too long since kind of savoring and the wistful enjoyment of what will soon be gone kind of savoring)

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just to listen to the sound of something wild

the thing
that makes my day is the pinnies/mesh jerseys
that christina ordered
and how i joked about hot pink and low and behold
there we are, javi, baigz and i
donning the hot pink with black trim pinnies
chasing that disc and
cheering each other on
_______

post-frisbee and ted and i are the only two
at the pond’s edge
so quiet i can hear the sound
of water in to water
drizzle drops hitting pond surface
_______
how every time i get on a bike out here
i tell myself it’s been too long
including today
pedaling through the little spits of rain
and all that fall color coming in
_______
the squash kachina
arriving early (as birthdays go)
from chimayo
and how i can almost smell
the pinon smoke and certainly hear
debbie and liz’s voices and
laddie’s bark and the sound of water
dripping
from the sacred spring
reminding me
how it is something fierce
the ways i carry land and people in me
________
the view from stephen’s storage storage shed/office
behind the house
(trees, shrubbery, grasses)
while we talk rhythm and line breaks and
storytelling
_______
what is dust? somehow 
the way eric asks the question in the back seat as the four of us ride home
through the wet wet rain
on the wet wet gravelroads
plus all the dust-induced sneezes and wheezes
(post-clothing swap
where shirts and skirts and scarfs and socks all sailed overhead
as the auctioners tossed them to the bidders
[though there was no money involved
just eager hands signaling])
makes me laugh the kind of laugh which spirals into more laugh which means other people spiral into it too and then there are tears and then even more of the kind of laughlaugh that i often get the feeling i should suppress when it gets like this but why – when it feels so ridiculosu and good and other people are in the boat too?

_______
electricity flickering off for 30 seconds
here and there as we dine on front porch perch
while rain goes torrential
and the lightning shocks loose
________
i don’t know what kind of rule book it is
but in my book that contains the rule
for silence curing coyote calls – just to listen to the sound
and its sacredness of something wild
still alive out there,
there is another rule about turning out all the lights
just to watch the scraggles and illuminations
of lighting while a storm pounds and passes

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so sustenance-ful

the sun
that finally shows itself
through treehouse window
glowing on the morning thoughts
of free spirits
_______
the organics inspector
handing me a piece of paper
with the name of a nebraska poet
(whose last name might have one t 
or might have two)
written on it
_______
the tiny black bugs
that land and bite
on forearms, on calves
as i collect cosmos seed
in the heat of the low sun
_______
cynthia and i snacking
on the ‘cheese’ pretzel chex-like
snack mix
on the drive back along these great expanses
of bright bright risen (like a bowl of dough) green
plus autumnal treeglow on top
_______
under the upside down bowl
tyler reveals, boiled,
the first chestnut harvest
at sandhill
and the tasture (taste and texture)
so sustenance-ful
in my mouth
_______
one moth bumping
against the pane of a window
because that’s where all the light is
makes a remarkable amount of sound
(to the point of audio-ly resembling raindrop)
i turn off the light
 _______
from the water world:

Farmers paddle in a boat at a flooded village after a tropical depression in Hanoi, Vietnam. – voice of america, day in photos

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in all this quiet

the soft plunk of persimmons falling
one after another after another
into the already laid carpet of yellow orange brown leaves and every now and then a red one
on the ground around the sugar shack
a gatherer’s paradise
a scavenger’s sweet gold
_______

the first fall fire
a small one,
first one log then two
and later a third
in the cleared-off stove
of my mess-piled room
_______
sandhill doing what sandhill does well,
dressing up for the red carpet
of the kid-made movie debut:
tyler in his tyeliner (ty’s eyeliner) and his press pass and his camera with the flash and paparazzi looks,
cynthia in sequins of gold and red and black, plus blue makeup and silver wig
and emory and jeauxseph in suitcoats
and myself in fishnets and heels and that fucked up kids dress (altered into an adult’s dress nearly ten years ago now) plus prosthetic hairs and always the F bling necklace
and trish in the velvety tight red plus the luxurious rabbit fur coat
and eric, simply in a drape of sheepskin- stiff and still smelling of sheep

how we line up along the red carpet (that isn’t a red or a carpet at all, but the ramp leading to the double doors of la casa)
and whoop and cheer and holler for the kid movie stars as they parade their way up the ramp
_______

not sure how to explain the sound
except it has a rhythm
and i can hear it in all this quiet
on the other side of the door
a repeating medium to high pitch
but soft in volume:
mama cat snoring 
in the swirl of fleece
of her warmbox
on cool ranch porch
_______
i like how we kept finding each eather i say
that’s because i was LOOKING for you, sweet magnet she replies
_______
a bedtime story of lightning and meteors and lioning and the quest for everyday magic
told from two perspectivs
i wanna keep retelling the stories i say 
so i can hear and see all sides

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this is a muscle

bruin reflecting back to me that right now
i’m seeking enthusiasm and encouragement; that’s the kind of listening i’m most excited for
this is a muscle he says about making
this clear of a direct request
_______
Real Writers™ have lots of different work to do she says:
emerging, accepting, grounding, flying, sharing, breaking hearts and taking names
_______
in the nearly-dusk, those of us that gather do so around the red hot coals
of the darth-vadering steam boiler
_______

the second time in a week: a softball team pose for a photo
(the group in the sugar shack gathered while the sweet steam of sugaring rises behind us
_______
my rainwet cold hand in zeke’s at dinner circle
and how he helps warm it
_______
emory bumblebee and i emailing bitmojis back and forth from the same room
where we sit five feet apart
_______
stoking the internal fire
i move on a yoga mat
in a 55degree room
The rainwet cool air slowly slipping in
as i vinyasa
to the top 40 radio station
whose ads are so annoying that everytime i tune in
i eventually have to tune out

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gale/gust: a defiant and humble cry

8am sips of just-pressed sweet sweet sorghum juice 
swilled while gloved and earmuffed
ready to feed cane to the clacking mill
this rhythym
this making
this feeling connected to the fall harvest humming out everywhere around us
this coming together
this tradition of literal sweetness
this heartcore of sandhill farm

oh, and the sun
lsying its light
across everything

(and how good this work feels
in my spirit and limbs
and how tyler letting out a whoop! upon my arrival at the mill to feed cane through the pressers/rollers is so much history,
is kinship,
is all of these beautiful weird wild years
in these handbuilt gorgeous and mildewy spaces
and on the breaking and broken tractors and in the weedy/wonderful gardens/fields
and around the heat of fires glimmering in stoves
and all of these things stacked on top of each other and 
distilled into the sweetest sips of squeezed cane 

that whoop! is every joke we’ve ever made about dingleberries and furries and putting a ring on it and haunted hayless rides and greens on the side of a salad meal and lord knows what else
that whoop! is the heartbreak of knowing what it is to love a place while coming to understand that one can no longer live there
that whoop! is the yelp-yowl of a high school senior walking out on the last day after the last class
that whoop! is a word for all the other words we haven’t learned yet or don’t know how to say about leaving, about trying, about how becoming family is beautiful and about how family is perhaps the most difficult thing on the planet
that whoop! is a nod to all the celebratory twist cones ever consumed at the mennonite store down the road and that whoop! is also a word for how we, believe it or not, might be weird and nostalgic enough to feel sentimental even about the weekly sunday meetings which most of us typically drag our feet to
that whoop! is for the butcher block – one could do the math to estimate the number of meals lovingly or annoyedly or celebratorily chopped and set out there – but the real sense of it is countlessness – that butcher block that has stood there in one single place longer than any of us (sandhillians)  have lived in a single place in our lives – and that butcher block will remain as the sun seems to – a thing to orbit around – regardless of who does or doesn’t plant the sorghum or who stays and who goes or what thrives and what is given back to the land or who the land is given back to
that whoop! is a defiant and humble cry – for having believed enough to try and for still believing and for deciding/knowing that we will try again/another
it is a defiant and humble cry admitting that we are just putting one foot in front of the other, best we know how – not always graceful, but committed to the learning – the lifework, the lessons that come through unlikely teachers
that whoop! is a call up to the occasional Vs of geese, migrating overhead at an altitude too high to hear us, but still, we whoop! to all the wild wonder of here, of what got us here, and of what will take us – like a gale or a gust – away)

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