Category Archives: writing

reverse snow

how i fill the morning with the smell of boiling/steeping cardamom, star anise, cinnamon, fennel, burdock, chicory and dandelion

the rattle of mason jars in boxes
as we jostle the collection of reminders
from porch and living room to larry’s car
from which we watch the fall colors and risefall of farmland unfolding as we roll up the long and gradual hill out of town towards the most beautiful trailer park on the planet

sunlight moving through the milkweed that climbs/floats up around us (reverse snow says either jennnifer or larry)
as we pluck the soft feathery poofs from their pods
release them in the general direction
of texas

the smell  she says standing against the kitchen island in the light seeping in through sliding door in the kitchen and i can’t recall if this is before or after the incident involving a hand carved spoon (lines and whorls in blueblack and blondish)
that can’t be washed away

the way emma on the sidewalk where we three stand in sun and under trees says the word progress a dead giveaway of her
canadian roots

eggshell, illuminated
jesus’s aura
mary’s aura
light through lace curtains
this evening’s names
for colors in the sunset sky
the smell of garden-plucked basil (gathered before another damaging frost)
drfting up the back porch stairs and into the kitchen


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naming sky

the way one of the windows pefectly frames the tall conifers scraping sky
in the neighbor’s yard as seen from the couch
where i peruse the national geographic issue on gender
she hands me a clump of bright pink succulent-like blossoms
fallen to the sidewalk and i pin them
into my updo swirls
lemon ice, new copper, blue vein, grayberry, and rose cantaloupe/cantaloupe rose

we practice the whole naming-sky-at-sunset-colors thing again

a name for the meals that get picked at and go cold
or are slowly effortfully eaten (moving food around in mouth as if it were a ball of clay)
because of these things in us called hearts layered with all the complexities of being human
and how there are words and not words
for all of it

sacred assignment she says when i name my work as to trust and hers as honesty

sticking around she says with a question mark and i feign arm-to-arm, side-to-side
glued-togetherness, joking
that we might need to go down to the hardware store
in order to remedy the situation

for tradition’s sake  she says
eating a spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream from my bowl

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the bruisedness

the shine of the mississippi
as seen from this bluff lookout –
how the land rises up around its banks
an echo of the columbia river gorge
only on a smaller scale and with 
different plants
including trees whose leaves turn 
the scarletest and the pumpkinest at the same time
because i know you like to get up high she says about our climb to the blufftop
referring to the dream of a crow’s nest
(like in the mast of a tall ship)
at the next place i live

sweet subtle pine needle in-the-sun scent
carried on air
from the edge of the golf course
on bliss road
over the underlying smell
of fertilizer spray on the
green green grass
the bruisedness (feeling, not appearance) on hips and collarbones
when strap the backpack
whose weight i carried some miles last night
back on
to walk the rest of the entire length
of lacrosse
in the bright sun and swirling leaves

the rattleclatter of the bus moving us eastward
while the sun lands in all the corn
not yet harvested
verna on the hospital steps
black bonneted and reaching
past one layer of skirt
into a deep rectangular pocket sewed into another layer
for an index card wtih handwriting on it


how on the walk down,
i tug jennifer behind me
as the oncoming traffic approaches
as we walk the road made more for cars and a little for bikes but not very much for humans walking.
water that could be warmer
coming out of the spout
and tumbling over my shoulder
filling the 5thousand dollar bathtub that came with the house
which looks a little like an oval ginormous soup bowl
and we talk about power

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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
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
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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