Hanging with friends beneath lightbulbs (& other details).

Kenneth Koch! Why didn’t anyone ever tell me to read him before?! He makes me laugh! Here’s the only poem of his I knew of before the other night when I got really into reading him. It’s his perfect joke on William Carlos Williams:

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

2
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

3
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the
next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

4
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!

4-2-13_BerskonJohn Ashberry, Frank O’Hara, Patsy Southgate, Bill Berkson, Kenneth Koch., 1964 (photo by Mario Schifano)

 

In other news, I should not be allowed to use eBay. eBay is not a conversation. It’s not, You want this item? Cool! What do you like about it? Wanna think about buying it? eBay is YOU BOUGHT IT.  (I may have just bought two purses by accident. I definitely bought one by accident.) Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing. 

In other other news, it’s a good thing I have two bathtubs, because one of them is filled with 15 peeping baby chicks. Photos to follow. Kate suggested we dress them up and take pictures of them and give them names and personalities. Yeah….probably gonna do that.

So spring is here because of little yellow chicks, and also because of this beautiful, good-smelling, blooming hyacinth that I was given for my birthday. Otherwise, spring is still hibernating.

 

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Poem written at dusk, written right this minute (mine).

I am making plum jam and it smells divine

because of that vanilla bean steeping in it

grown by an orchid in another county’s humidity

 

Misha is outside snipping grapes off the vine

to bring to his parents

because we can’t make all the jam

 

It’s sunny now after  a day of bluster and greys

and there’s a catbird screeching near the chickens

and the rooster’s screeching back at her

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been injured

because it would sound unimpressive

and I like to impress people with quantities

 

Multiplication has never come easy to me

not even after years of memorization

I wish numbers were something I could intuit like moods

 

Being an adult means being able to eat an entire box of macaroni & cheese

And I can do that

But only every once and a while

 

Perhaps I’m still not quite fully grown

That would be really great news for me

Because I check my upper back daily for wings

 

On the day when I finally grow my wings

I will act as nonchalant as a teenager

And fly away for a daytrip but return home at dusk

 

Because dusk is the best part about autumn

And the best part about summer too

And the best part about right this minute

 

So I’m off to enjoy this current set of minutes

Because as you know they are already flying away from me

At a pace that not even the wingful can achieve

 

A day in the life of someone else’s farm (photos).

In which I spend time with superb ladies, learn about “nature names,” drink beer for dinner, watch the last nub of sun hit a land I may someday live on, stare into the red red eyes of a rabbit, play with chicks with good hairstyles, sleep three to a bed, wake up just past dawn to milk a cow and a goat for the first time, drink muchly-creamed coffee, eat purple potatoes for every meal, meet three stout sheep…and enjoy myself outrageously.

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(All photos taken  by me at Kate & Nick’s beautifulheavenlyanimalfilled farm.)

“The Robin World Series” (poem) (mine).

The Robin World Series

 

What if this evening on the porch

I witnessed the Robin World Series

in which all Robins in the world

surrounding my home split into two teams

with mascots named after berries and seeds

and played each other in order to win

not only the bushiest and best-hidden nest

but also a cup crafted from the cap

of an acorn brimming with nectar

collected by hummingbirds?

And what if in the ninth inning

the Robins boycotted the whole event

because it had gotten too long and too late

and their children were starving at home?

 

Poem of today (poem with friends in it) (mine).

Double Double

 

Today a couple of honeymooners came over

to sit on the porch for hours and eat

lunch and coffee cake. The clouds cleared

 

for them and the frogs burped their hellos

and later poems will be written

with scythes in them and we will all approve

 

or not. After they left I stirred honey

into my tea (like always) and hoped

the clouds would clear again for them later

 

so that the moon could shine on their sweet

little cabin as they read their magazines

and sipped their tea. My honey and I

 

sat on the porch after they drove away,

in different chairs, reading our books

as storms rolled over, the scythed-down

 

grass flattening against the rest, birds flitting

back to nests. To be honest I can’t tell

a bird’s nest from a bat box but I am

 

gosh-darned over-the-moon about

homes in general, about porches and the moon

and frogs that celebrate a thunderstorm.

 

“Eggs and a Song” (poem out loud) (mine!).

Eggs and a Song

The chickens are just heading in

through their chicken-sized door

 

as I challenge spring in the car,

tires hugged in mud in the bend

 

where the fast-driving neighbor

does his fast-driving damages

 

of ruts in the road. I am not yet

thirty and wearing the remains

 

of red lipstick as I walk through

the door of my home. My man’s

 

on the floor with his toes to the sky

in a stretch and the teapot is still

 

breathing steam. Imagining other

couples is like imagining history:

 

I can’t do it at all without the help

of a movie. In the film of my days,

 

my man is healing himself

with patience and I am healing

 

my self with something like hope.

On a bad day I can’t even fight

 

off my rooster; on most days

I’m pocketing eggs with a song.

 

Snowstorm chitchat (plus images).

Today I bought blood oranges. Like the ones below painted by Emily Proud, an artist I discovered through another artist, Lisa Congdon. I don’t know either of them personally but maybe someday they’ll come over to the farm and eat citrus with me.

 

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I bought them in preparation for The Storm. I also bought bacon, of course. And, as usual, kale. Also milk. And a knobby three-knuckle piece of fresh ginger.

Meanwhile, down at the coop, the chickens are all, “Where is the grass? Why can’t I have it? Why aren’t babies coming out of these eggs I’m sitting on? I’m cold!” They’re huddled on their roosts underneath their red-bulbed headlamps as I write this. If I make a ruckus the rooster Claude will crow & crow until he lets me know that he heard me do it. Having a rooster really gets one thinking about the term “cocky.” That dude walks around like he’s the king of something awesome. Because he is, I guess.

 

wickies roosting