Sunday, September 19, 2021

Being Winterish, Aquarian

What is lightning to a blind horse? With what are we in relationship? What does it mean to say there is only one question and therefore only one answer?

Writing in the kitchen, second cup of coffee and the darkness deepening, grateful beyond measure that happiness is finally possible. 

A spiritual practice predicated in part on punctuation (e.g., what happens in the space created by an ellipsis, what energy is generated by a comma, what baroque fantasy does the semicolon evoke).

The waiting is actually not the hardest part, since everything is given all at once, but it's still a good song, one that my son understands musically in ways I do not.

At night, before sleep, I tuck my glasses into the arms of a teddy bear who sits on the low bureau Chrisoula painted blue. Lamb souvlaki with rice at Glendi, followed by a dozen or so loukoumades and an awkward conversation in the parking lot. Alone, not alone - what's the difference?

Puzzling over the apparently universal association of the quality of sex with temperature, i.e., the hotter the better.

Being winterish, Aquarian, given to summits and the way one sees the world when ascending great heights. Anticipating long drives and the visits and relationships created thereby. Unexpectedly bereft of a lifetime's worth of vinyl.

Can one be good at walking to the river? A poem is not just anything yet I'm reluctant to assert that it's this and not that. Fallen fences in the side yard signifying internal shifts with respect to what we can talk about with others.

And rippling clouds spitting rain passing leaving clear views of the blue depths in which we remember what we are in truth. A little after five a.m. the roosters begin, their calls echoing up the valley, a morning song, a this-is-a-new-day song.

Horses stepping through the last of the buttercups. Monarch butterflies, even in the city where we meet for lunch, finding ourselves on benches in the park, somehow farther apart than we'd expected.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Up from Syllables and Glances

And then it is afternoon, the sky full of light and soft folds. Crossing the road to say hi, then a conversation struggling up from syllables and glances, and staying with it because how else does the world get better? Women who appear in dreams but at a distance, dreams that appear in women even more distant. Sun setting over Springfield, the cathedral lit up in a pale red light, the wedding a thousand years ago still echoing in my skull, still rendering me disinclined to wander. Wind moves the ruined prayer flags, a shred of paper tumbles over the hardtop, comes to rest against a maple tree. You make contact with you - some essence, some purity - and you linger in it but there are other levels, next steps, and you are tired, so so tired. Mowing over the rotting apples, filling in abandoned groundhog holes, gathering deadfall for late fall fires. Something stirs in the underbrush, a couple bees drift across the overly-bright goldenrod, and somewhere on the other side of Route Nine a chainsaw rattles starting. Grateful these days, keeping it simple, coasting on a tide of joy attended by the last violets, et cetera. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Towards the Invisible Moon

Softening into people, all of them. Luminous tea cups and other leftovers. We who are happiest in the kitchen. Well-salted cast iron pans given away for free. Scrambled eggs with avocado on corn wraps, onions fried to a crisp in butter, maple syrup drizzled on breakfast sausage. Who lives in the Irish whistle that we never play? Cat fur on the zafu, a metaphor to which I return from time to time, ever bent on remembering what seems to require it never be forgotten. The mind has structure, its structure is not separate from its function, and its function is your joy, endlessly looping through the critter you are in the company of all the other critters. One day there will be a last apple ever, and it will fall or not fall, and it will not matter what I know in that moment, or do not know. Blossoming mosquitos. The patience our living requires, one step after another leading us slowly towards the invisible moon that is our shared heart, in the sky that is our shared body, the cosmos of our love.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

A Mountain Moving the Mountain

Little red candles. Candy hearts. Ego is me, my and mine - the deep yaw of it, mute but intent, like a river under a mountain moving the mountain. Peace, my child, peace.

Waking at midnight to cats yeowling in the yard, going out to check on the horses, shiving in early fall, moon gone and the sky a riot of stars and lost dreams.

Jerry explains to us the doctor has recommended "the can-a-beeze" for his insomnia. Plot lines, character development, setting - the outlines of the story inhere in your mind, are, in fact, your mind. 

Let us pry.

She looks up laughing, the veins in her throat soft blue. Joan Jett songs. Leaves fall, sifting through moist light, making one think of the soul.

The calves were wrapped in burlap, then unceremoniously lowered into holes we'd dug by the grape arbor, or did I tell you this already.

Losses, longitudes, lateral career moves. 

Chrisoula and I sit drinking coffee on the porch, happy in ways that require attention to remember. How we walk with those with whom we walk. Decision-making.

Clouds of Easter. Interior sailors making marks in me to remember where they've been and where they're headed next. Roaring falls in Vermont.

Jerusalem is psychological.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Heart is Plural

Metaphors. Croquet mallets.

Money animus.

Starlit hills along which monsters stride, their dark arms swinging, their seven-fingered hands full of fire and steel.

No more sex in pick-ups. Trade-ins. References to rain as liquid sunshine impossible to disallow.

The freedom to name things the only freedom there is. Distracted fathers ambling up Main Street, gazing skyward while talking to their kids. Let nothing pass unnoticed is what level of allowed?

Pumpkins ripening in tangled skeins of rotting vine. Something passes into the light, something remains that insists on saying "something passes into the light."

Stone Buddhas resting in hollowed-out tree trunks, Jesus passing on the secret to eternal life. Can you ever really say what anybody else sees with their own eyes? 

Horse shoe tournaments. Free ice cream.

Antiquated chairs in which our asses settle. Fields of cattle is not the next sentence but this one is. Shall we be grateful, shall we sell nothing, shall we love one another wrapped in blankets outside, starlit and dew-filled?

Heart is plural is all you need to know and all you can know. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Suddenly All These Aunts

Feeling the mess. Tag sale culture. Voices at a distance, resolving to gender. We who stand while eating, while doing the dishes, but later sit to write, this.

Suddenly there are all these siblings, suddenly all these aunts suggesting this or that tradition be up-ended. First star, slivered moon, empty hands through which ghost trout glide, finally free.

Atop the mountain a body of water.

At what are you looking? The mail boxes are knocked over, drunks weaving up Main Street at 1 a.m., last call at this or that bar. Poetry is a form of magic, which is to say, technology, which is to say, are you giving attention to the effect you are creating with your wordiness?

Geese pass, pulling behind them an invisible thread to which winter is attached, a white sheet that sparkles when the moonlight reaches it just so. 

Hymns, heart shapes, hand grenades, holiness. 


Soviet-era percussion patterns. Apologies. Pink flowers - like floating gauze - I rename "Dad's Anxiety."

Everything is faster now. The tide we anticipate is a consequence of the tide we remember, there is no other way to be. Fundamental disconnects leaving us like sailors with no means of calculating latitude.

These luminous moons, these lavender hills.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Finding an Old Trap

What the pigs went through. 

First star, quarter moon.

Mallard arrowing up the river alone.

Growing up in a haunted house, never leaving it, nor being left by it.

Corn stalks, sunflowers. The marigolds this year.

Visiting the cathedral in which we were married, reflecting on an emerging understanding of what love is, entails, et cetera.

The tag sale. Come cries stifled at dusk.

Rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream.

Leaves circling the sky, higher and higher, then settling in apparently random ways on the earth, as if there is no getting away, only leaving, this leaving.

One can be aware of bias, one can tell fewer lies, to themselves and others both.

Tossing hay to the blind horse, another summer over, all of us coasting now through asters and chrysanthemums.

Cleaning the attic, finding an old trap with a mouse skeleton in it. Gold ornaments hanging from rafters. What we find funny is less helpful than why we find it funny.

Denise Levertov's patience with my questions thirty some odd years ago.

All in now but on what.

Waking early with no desire to do anything but lie in the warm nest of the blankets and explore the range of this happiness I am late but not too late gifted with.

Life a study of pronouns, line endings, how a sentence is tidal, which is to say, contingent, and learning how to be okay with the way certain fairy tales don't end but go on in us, like breathing or psychology.