(she) bang(s) the drum

I went off about bees and pollinators… again. I feel like all of these quotes should wind up with me saying: “…and get off my lawn!”

It seems I said: “And finally,” twice… the ol’ bait & switch. You think I’m going to make my final point and then bam, one more point for your face! Thanks to Avital for… well… so much, but especially for including me here; really good company to be in.

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written items

A day of: We-really-loved-these-poems-but-we-are-passing;-please-send-us-more-of-your-work-soon-though, rejections from much admired journals somehow feels like a win?Especially since all writing takes place usually pulled over on the road shoulder and tapping in Google Keep. If my earnest, (if inconsistent) efforts submitting work yield positive feedback instead of the standard: hey NO WAY, I have to find actual discipline around submitting, a process that for whatever reason feels akin to ripping off my skin in long strips.

There’s an old theologian whose name escapes me and he kept journals for decades and every year said the same thing: I’m focused on becoming more disciplined around my work and goals. I think of that a lot. And that guy probably wasn’t primary parent to a young child, a business owner, and managing being a woman in this eye-rollingly frustrating and threatening culture. So if he couldn’t even manage it and all he had to do was spend time contemplating God and faith, I’m going elect being kinder to myself and remain doing it as I’m able, with continuous intent to do more and better.

I feel a small internal thrill that the Richard poems are doing well for themselves and being understood. I was concerned they would be written off as poetic fan fiction (which, technically they are) and thus have sat on them, in some cases, for four years. But there’s a lot of them now and I so much want for them to become their own chapbook.

My goal this year was one complete manuscript (done), and a stretch goal of three manuscripts, the two others being chapbook sized. But the Richard poems need loads more work. About five are in really good shape. Eight are in the middle, and then it gets really rough. And, I don’t know when to stop writing them? The narrative is so loose I can justify a lot falling thematically in line. So I wonder if the device is just turning into a crutch and detracting from otherwise strong poems by utilizing the apostrophe? The one thing those poems do for me is generally force me to write succinct, one or two breath poems (on the side of the road), which is something my dearly loved Stephanie Adams-Santos has been urging me toward for a long while. I feel sorta nude without a lot of movements stringing.

I’ve been trying to write outside of the Richard poems and I have, but if I add: Richard, at the top, they all still work, just differently. Like, this I drafted last weekend (it’s rough, so, so rough)…

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It works, in his one time paramour’s speaking voice that I’ve created,

but it also works this way, if very differently and with different implications.

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So, idk. It’s very fitting if in Richard, I’ve created a monster that’s out of my control… sort of like the country did in his narrative, by sending him to war. JUST SAYING.


previously the end of a poem about worsening pneumonia, fever hallucinating, and existing in the inbetween. this doesn’t belong to that poem. i’m not sure where it belongs so it’s staying here for now. 

i was born on a pile of needles,

all fir green and mountain balm

i was born above fresh earth,

outside a town, a sleuth of bears

circling, i was born, and the bears

did raise me after


julianna swaney. ❤︎


notes for a poem, and all the feathers i’ve found at my feet within the last month.



a clutch of thick / lilac at the entrance, woven / silver bowl, stone / fruits. water poured runs / it through. two / webbed coals glow. / from them: sturdy white / hyacinths. a breath in; / call back your own iron / fillings. an exhale mutates / them: gems drop piling. / ribbons wind back the spine’s / spool. all walls anointed hyssop, myrrh.



How something can be that’s not yet

Wait each new moon,

make burn lists. Bury after

light; barefoot push the shovel.


Pull earth up, skies down in self

and recall — make minerals of you;

an iron in clouds yields the site.



^  A trifle for the new moon & crooked-mouthed realizing it’s no-joke-too-late for a convent.

Jacaszek playing, and Richter’s Iconography; the latter always the black drive to high desert in snow storm; the only car on the pass and sensation of leaving the Earth.