still humming

patti smith sound song snippet
as heard from the corner cabin (#8)
as the vehicle whose sound system its playing on
(sound moving through closed car doors and windows
past cabin closed doors and windows)
glides past and turns from 38th place
onto J place
the maintenance person cruising back and forth in front
of the windows, pedaling solo in his flannel and jeans
dull against the sheen shine of the royal/teal blue frame
the black and sheen of the crow perched
on top of the beach speed limit sign
in the gray light of a gray day with all the green and gold
of grass and dried grass in the background
how the creature uses its whole body to caw

what ensues when a spider wrangler and a word tester
meet each other across a table
at which is served too expensive food
and then walk 450 feet back
down the post-rain street,
ocean roar still humming
in the background



back over the wave

gigantic windchimes sending soft sound
on the winds that knock through them
on a porch across the way
alongside the sway of multicolored bouys hanging
on thick rope in a tree

how the wind picks up the spray of surf and sends it
backwards back over the waves
as they crash forwards
and then ther’s the way that the morning light lands
and moves through it all
the hint of purplepink on the tips and edges
of thin and tiny petals of some small daisies
i pluck from a sideyard on my return
from the ocean hello and morning run
one thing i want to bring with
but am unable to:
the entire swaths of dark sand
and all the glimmers dotted across them

in various stages of unfurling

birdie’s 7month gurgle and babble
her feet dangling and bouncing from the carrier strapped
to shiz’s chest as we walk the woodchipped path
that wraps around the golf course
where doug firs tower over
goodbye… adios! me imitating
the toy cell phone that birdie palmed and dialed
on the drive over to the park path we walk
the storms stored in all the grays smudging their way
across the great grand tops of trees
and over/into mountainy edges that meet
with sky
the dark and pastel purples of crocus flower petals
in various stages of unfurling but mostly closed as seen
from the sidwalk on the way
through the hush of side streets to what is
for now
how the heat from the dryer fills
the downstairs bathroom and how i could stay there
warming my bones
the spit-spatter of tofu slices
frying in marinade on medium
as soba noodles boil and kale steams and
the mommas take turns tending
to birdie full of restlessness and tears

the clink of two spoons at the end of the day
celebrating each other and the mint
chocolate chip ice cream in our cups


to a quieter place

how i scold isabel
for the detonation of the perfume bomb
that has landed on the innocent bystanders
of my coat and backpacks
what are the chances that it is 43 degrees both where i am
(in chicago) and where i’m going (in portland, or)
tho one is sunny and bright and one is cloud-swaddled
the three twenty-somethings
talking food (how one like almonds in their ice cream
in little bits, not in big chunks,
how the coconut cake at this one place is to die for)
with attitude
on the brown line headed to the loop
the mini carton of eggs (fair trade, chocolate)
that set the security thing off
and how the man swabs them
same as he does my typewriter
how i carry olga, the exchange student from Kyrgyzstan
(which i embarrassingly confuse for Kazakhstan )’s cup of water
as she and jennifer and i walk
to a quieter place
the neon sign on the wall of an airport restaurant we walk past
at 9something pm
that reads you look radishing accompanied by an image
of a radish
how i smile to myself
plane lowering for landing
at the red glow of the unmistakeable
montgomery park sign
on the west side of the willamette


the icy everything

a sheen of ice on our road and the comic relief
that birdie-the-cat brings
as she slips around on the icy logs on the path
the icy path
the icy grass
the icy everything
the babiest baby lamb
(black and white)
in the arms of an approximately twelve or thirteen year old human
in the waiting room
at the vet clinic
i make reference to a bumpy slide
while explaining how the other day i said i made it over a hump and i thought that was it
but turns out today had its own to offer too
shit’s getting real i say
(T-minus 7 [days] and counting)

raw is a word i use saying
it seems hardest to ask for help
at the times we need it most


sliced with precision

the halloween butterfinger skull
sliced with precision in half
right through the forehead scar
and eric and i split it like we split the mini whitman sampler
with kris as our witness
at the potluck the racket
of kids and a wasabi contest
the joys of foodpantry sushi
the crackle of rained-on-all-day branches
as the temperatures drop and turn what’s wet
into what’s frozen slick
lenix laughing about me talking to the jack the jack russell like one talks to a human
saying that he won’t respond in words
and me saying “are you sure? what do you think jackie – will you talk to us with words?”
and also his excitement/finidng it funny – the notion that just like we are neighbors,
dogs can also have and be neighbors to each other
headlamp light beam landing
in wheelbarrow filled with the day’s rain
whose surface is clear in its slow icing over


this mighty movement

called by the honking to witness
a sky filled with the great migration
of hundreds upon hundreds of geese
how this mighty movement moves me
to tears every year
there are too many things
to love about this place including
maple magic: the steam rising from the sugar shack as seen from a distance,
the red of the fire stoked underneath the pan,
the warmth of the bricks as we stand next to them peering in
on the sap that has not yet started turning brown
a round of five crowns and rummy up to 250
emory and i lay the blanket out in the hoophouse
where it is warm enough to lounge and card-play and where
despite the gray we are surrounded with
so much light and the sounds
of rain on the plastic roof, the plastic walls,
the doors banging in the wind gusts
emory on the garden shed roof
calling out in his new zealand/english accent
in which i call back to him as we
toss the yellow frisbee
up and down
back and forth
slow and low rumbles
and the quick flashes of light
the season’s first thunder
and lightning
how i turn out the lights
and strike a match to turn the candle on
to watch nightsky flicker