Almost two months ago there was a two-week period of nothing; just metaphorically dotting & crossing the last marks in an afterword, and closing a back cover. Then, spreading open new, aspirin-white pages, watching everything remaining rush to arrange and take places, like a show about to start. One last thought of gratitude, and then surveying across the clear new, and nebulous.
That very quiet period was a strangely still pocket, not totally unlike just after H- was born, when feeding 5-6 times per day and through the middle of the night left me with a lot of time of just having to sit, and be. During that time I cranked through a ton of viewing and this time, albeit a smaller window, was the following…Read More »
Weeks back, the osprey returned for a second year to the cell tower, viewable from the kitchen window. The nest is newly preened, the male flying low over, ripping branches and twigs, hauling them up and up for his mate to arrange, make. She beds the nest, awaits the chicks. And the river fish he brings to her, hooked on talons, dragged dripping, wiggling over our heads.
Last week, I found a fish on the lawn, dropped in the yard. It was fresh, silver scales, neatly pierced through like binder rings had impaled its back. The head was mostly eaten, but maybe distasteful and thus disposed of. That I found it before the ants was surprising. That I found it before Fred the dog, more surprising.
H- was shown and explained to about the talons, the head, the proximity to the nest. Now sometimes he will look up, cock his head and say: “…’member fish?”
Years ago I had wanted to plant something tall enough to obstruct the view of the cell tower. Now it’s valued, marking time by hosting a paramount symbol of seasonal change. There’s a lot that’s compelling about it, crowned with an immense nest, twigs and weavings sticking over in every direction, the contrast of it.
And later, in the late summer, the young will hop among the woven twigs, try out voicings, cry for days while the parents sit watchful in a nearby tree, coaxing them to hunt and fly by remaining away. And then they’ll all leave until spring again, when the mates return, embodying absolute fidelity and seamless harmony. The silence of the abandoned tower in the colder months entirely wipes clean the slate of previous seasons, like shaving too closely to the skin.
There’s been a bird feeder outside the kitchen window for years. Aside from winter, it rarely gets a visit and when it does, only from the sparrows. But suddenly it’s a sanctuary. The juncos chase away the song sparrows, the red winged blackbirds remove the house finches, the scrub jays flee the steller’s jay, and the single crow removes everyone…
Part II: Regarding my last post, two friends asked: “…what are the traits of those retrogrades, how do they matter to me…?” I don’t know how much justice I can do to this topic, but here goes, K- & C-!
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.
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)…
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.
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.