The trees are running with scissors, snipping off their motley: leaves, spiraling down around ghost maypoles, a centripetal dance. I kick them up and back into the sharp wind. You may think it’s gusts that make these dry palmate mudras fall, but they grow to break—abscission in their cells, and mine.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
I toss, roll over, sit up, and find the gifts I’ve been given even more inexplicable than what’s usual for me: the dog-whistle of tinnitus, a dream in which I was generous with a stranger and still afraid, a chaotic origami made of candy wrappers.
My ears are full of distant crickets chirring as I think about that dream, its almost-familiar highways ending in run-down neighborhoods. It’s as if Kurt Schwitters was Mr. Sandman, snipping bits from every place I’ve ever been and pasting them
together catawampus across my forehead as I slept so they’d infuse my dreaming soul. There’s a rustle at the edge of the bed. The wrapper from a hard candy I sucked on overnight has become wedged under my hip, crumpling nothing like a folded crane.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
It’s the “almost home” part of the journey for this prodigal: I spent what I had to spend, not quite every last bit but near enough to feel the air moving through my bones. Hard to stop myself—sometimes it takes running to the edge of a horizon, to where I can’t tell whether that one thin coin I tossed was a dime or the moon. I can see in my mind’s eye the doorstep: I’m so weak from this fading illness, from the relief of return. I steady myself with a hand on the entryway. The porch light’s on.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Adam Jackson, "Tall Grass at Night"
I’m too close to the ground to see where this all landed, but still I’m pushing through sharp tall grass, sniffing the air for a trace of burnt metal in the dark. Was it a bottle rocket or a meteorite? Smoke rises dark against dark, then an even deeper dark, a hole arms-width into which my shadow drops. I flatten, belly down on bent sedge, and pull towards the edge: look in, look down, where a disc the size of the moon shines back, black as obsidian, reflecting stars.
Friday, October 17, 2014
So many purpose-filled creatures here clustered together along the stalled line of their own stories, shuffling, not quite touching each other. And then above, alongside, a cabbage white butterfly spirals up next to me, lifting my eyes and heart skyward.
Friday, October 10, 2014
A red-spotted toad, from The Western Ecological Research Center
A small velvet beanbag lands on my ankle: it’s a toad, tiny delicate thing, who promptly hops off and into the grass. Another evening, it’s a house gecko who falls on my arm as I walk into the house with a load
of groceries. Those touches give such unlikely gifts. They weave my frayed attention into a single strand of webbing on which I slackline, wobble, slowly stand and balance beneath the moon, hold still until it drifts.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
It’s stuck in my throat, this choking howl, these rales rasping on what I’ve swallowed: bezoar of boiled wool from a too-tight jacket I gnawed off, three fingernails that broke ragged as I scratched under a fence. Fool, me, trying to pass as “company.” Semi-feral, wilding under the thinnest crust of a dinnertime smile: load me up, I’ll spit out this hairball of restraint, upchuck all ties. Which fork to use now? The one in the road.