Small poem about places I’ve lived.

California

I can live so happily
here in Vermont
all I have to do
is not think
about figs

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Poem from over a year ago (melancholy, rambling, true).

Pizza Time

 

Sometimes I feel like I’m whispering

into a megaphone that’s turned off

says Sean, reading from a blue notebook

he made in art class last semester. He sits

 

down. I’m already sitting and I know

what he means though I ask the wrong question,

the one about the girlfriend. No, he isn’t sad

and missing her. He’s sad walking around.

 

I’m sad walking around, too. We sit and no one

walks past in the hallways because everyone

leaves our school as fast as they can. ]

Whole days go by and I see no one

 

that loves me, I say. He says, It wasn’t the same

at my other school. I say, Me neither. He’s

already closed that notebook he made.

But it’s not that there aren’t good people here,

 

I think, or say, we’re talking and not everything

from the brain exits the mouth. We have to go

to a poetry reading but we’re going together.

We get up. We pass by the side of the library

 

that’s covered in glass, the glass covered in blinds.

Is it us, or this place? one of us says and I say

This place, and mention New York and Kathryn

in the back of my car, nodding at how her city

 

gives back, makes wintertime worth it, all those

exhibits uptown and trombones in the park

and you can take the subway anywhere. Here

we get the sun, every day. And that’s nice, we say.

 

But that’s not anyone’s doing! We’re laughing

but it isn’t funny. And sleeping alone in a bed is lonely,

Sean says, I could wake up dead and nobody

would know it. I know what he means. I think

 

it has to do with bearing witness. About visiting

Klee hung on a wall. About loving a person

by cooking them tofu. Or something to do with

inertia. Or people with grit. Or an older

 

America. The reading takes place where

readings take place and waiting, we talk about

Jericho, being so smart, writing those poems, knowing

those songs. The poet in front says “fadder”

 

for father and it sounds more correct. Everything’s

over in about  forty minutes. I say the word pizza

because it’s Sean’s favorite word. Two slices with pesto

and two with ricotta. The game is on loud

 

in the kitchen; the kitchen is next to the booths.

Before dropping me off, Sean gives me a sticker

from a band he was in. It’s likely that I’ll save it

for seven years, then paste it to a letter  to him.

 

Dear Sean, I’ll write. The Holsteins here

are sick of their milk. The fruits on the trees

wage war by wielding juice. All the poems we wrote

in school are finally getting acted out.

“Ode to the First Peach” (poem) (Ellen Bass).

A San Diego friend emailed me this poem this week. How did she know this was the week I was missing peaches so badly? Also missing Annie of Sweet Tree Farms, the best & coolest fruit farmer in the Whole World. We do have a couple of peach trees on the property, but no fruits yet. Although there are huge, bodacious raspberries blooming. Also blueberries. And plums! So there is really nothing for me to complain about. But ooh. The joy of eating a peach. While standing over the sink. The juice dripping down my chin. And looking out the window as I bite. And taking the pit in my fingers. And throwing it outside. Just in case. It wants to grow. Into a peach tree of its own.

 

**

Ode to the First Peach

Only one insect has feasted here,
a clear stub of resin
plugs the scar. And the hollow
where the steam was severed
shines with juice.
The fur still silvered
like a caul. Even
in the next minute
the hairs will darken,
turn more golden in my palm.
Heavier, this flesh,
than you would imagine
like the sudden
weight of a newborn.
Oh what a marriage
of citron and blush!
It could be a planet
reflected through a hall
of mirrors. Or
what a swan becomes
when a fairy shoots it
from the sky at dawn.
At the beginning of the world,
when the first dense pith
was ravished and the stars
were not yet lustrous
coins fallen from the
pockets of night,
who could have dreamed
this would be curried
from the chaos.
Scent of morning and sugar,
bruise and hunger.
Silent, swollen, clefted life,
remnant always remaking itself
out of that first flaming ripeness.

Oh, the sideyard of San Diego!

Something that I miss about San Diego is the sideyard, that yard we had on the side of our house, where friends used to gather. So many great things happened there: poems under the streetlights, loud live music, deluxe beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), yoga mat washing by way of rare rain, hot pepper roasting (& peeling), yoga class by Britta, yard sales, the explorations of a young chicken named V’Nilla… That being said, we also experienced chair thievery with frequency. And people used to walk their dogs onto the lawn and let them shit and just leave it. Hummingbirds buzzed through there and friends visiting from the east came and sat in the sideyard with their faces facing the sun and said, “Aaaah.” People purchased Misha’s photos there and we parked our bikes there and we grilled fish out there and we sat with tea out there under the purple umbrella that Misha bought because he knows how much I love purple. We grew good mint out there and a kale plant that looked like a palm tree and a bush of African blue basil that the bees adored. And before we left, we invited everyone over to buy and take our stuff, and we made fancy popcorns, and we played bocci, and drank beer and lemonade from a cooler. It was our living room, carpeted with the spikiest grass I’d ever known, and Misha would turn off the sprinklers and then every week dudes would come and mow the grass and turn the sprinklers back on. And now that we’re not living there anymore I hope heartily that whoever is living there is loving that little square of green as much as we did, is using it as hard as we used it, and is calling it a sideyard.

 

Bocce11

 

 

(The sideyard was also where I discovered I could wear bocce balls as earrings, no big deal, just wearing these bocce balls as earrings next to my boyfriend. I’m assuming we lost that game of bocce based on the look on Misha’s face.) (Photo by Marilyn, a true friend who I met–you guessed it!–in the sideyard.)

Why not: a birthday collage.

Dear Scott,

I made you this internet collage comprised of (beautiful) images that remind me of you. I really hope you like it.

Love,

Taylor

 

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coffee and whiskey

 

 

 

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Happiest of days to you, friend. I hope your weekend is full of even better things than Ellie giving the sneaky middle finger to you in a photo, though it’s hard to imagine what’s better than that.

 

Joy in Mendocino (photos).

Here are my Mendo-feetsoes

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And here’s my Mendo-face-o

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I look so glad ’cause I’m with Misha and the sea is silver dramatics and we’re headed to dinner.

Also: I wanna drink a cappuccino in Mendocino. ‘Cause that’s too good of an off rhyme to miss.

West Coast Poetry Project, Part 2: San Luis Obispo!

 

San Luis Obispo Poem

 

for Rachel, who said I had to go to SLO

 

“Let’s just take in this purple

for a moment” and we do

as the line for meats grows

longer and the street fills

up. We thought we’d just stop

to café but we chatted to a stone

man who told us that the market

would be starting soon and here

we are. We types can’t miss

a farmers’ market. We gotta

see the squash and beans

for sale, we buy more apples

and some avocadoes and a pint

of Golden Kiwi raspberries.

A man named Rick asks to take

our picture and we say yes.

We eat our good brown bread

with cheese and talk to Rick

and watch the kids around

eat corn. Kindergarten gymnasts

do their flips and men in camo

are the band. A kid can bounce

in one of three inflated castles

and I want to. The jacarandas

haven’t finished blooming here.

We catch the purple petals

that fall and strew the ground

like rice after a wedding.

We keep our purple vows.