Poem on the last day of the year, 2018

I resolve to stop wanting what I don’t have
or work towards getting it
but not doing the first without the second
(because that hasn’t gotten me anywhere).

I will be ambitious and believe
that I deserve to be paid well
and ask for a price for my work
that will allow me to support my family
and still have time to take care of my child.

When I start worrying
about why certain people
don’t seem to like me
(or at least don’t invite me to their parties)
I will instead focus on the people
who I know do like me
who in fact love me
and whom I love.

I will get rid of the things
that I keep in my life
out of a sense of duty
instead of a sense of joy.

It’s okay to look tired.

I vow to value moving my body
as highly as I value
cleaning the house
getting work done for clients
grocery shopping.

I am a spigot
and like a spigot
I can be shut off
and when I am off
that is called conserving water
and when I am on
all the poems will come flowing out.

Do I call my friends enough?
Do I call my family members enough?
I try to write letters, send texts,
send emails, stay in touch.
But I could do more.

Cobwebs appear out of nowhere.
No. False.
Cobwebs are the abandoned homes
of spiders.
If I ignore them, they will go away.
False again.
Resolution: I will clear out the cobwebs.

If a poet sings a poem
to the woods, are the trees
strengthened by her words?
Of course they are.
Just as the poet is strengthened
by the soundless stature of trees.

I clench my jaw and I furrow my brow
but there are ways to help myself unclench
and I will focus on them next year
especially before falling asleep.

Revelation of 2018:
lattes
are overpriced coffees
made with shitty milk.

I am now more prepared
to have a goat one day
since having a baby
because he bleats for his breakfast
and so will she.
(And because I too
have produced milk
& so will never take hers
for granted.)

Making the bed takes two seconds
and makes me feel better about my day.

Instead of anxiously haranguing people
in my head
regarding their purchases of
bottled water
body wash with blue micro scrubbers
out-of-season raspberries
since all of these things are killing the earth
in their own special and hideous ways
I will instead work to make my own life more sustainable
and brainstorm ways to speak
calmly
about my climate change fears
to the people I love.

I will stop caring
about whether people judge me
for what I buy at the grocery store.

I will do the hard thing first
(the thing I least want to do)
because then the rest will be gravy.

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Poems: now available!

People always ask me if they can buy my book, and I’m always like, “Oh yeah, I have these beautiful books I made, I should definitely make them available online somewhere so you can get one.” But then I never do it!

Well, I did it.

Handmade chapbooks of poems are here.

Poetry broadsides are here.

(Email me if you want to barter for either. US dollars are nice to have, but so is other people’s art.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be going. I’m going to have a baby in about one minute, and there are a few more things that I should tend to before that arrival.

POEMS by Taylor Mardis Katz

Solstice Morning Poem (mine).

Monday morning. Lipstick, dirty hair. Reading articles about books
I already love and want to return to disguised as another woman.

Glowy gray winter sky glinting off the car parked outside, giant
spools of electric cord hidden behind. Christmas songs on the radio,

the rape-y ones (“I really can’t stay” “But baby it’s cold outside”)
interspersed with the others. Yellow coffee cup with one cold sip

remaining and the impending refill. Holiday cards taped to the wall
in a collage of those who love us for our purchasing patterns. Ten AM

on the winter solstice and the postal service workers are hustling
to make it in time for Christmas. I’ve been wearing this blue shirtdress

for three days and it’s time for a wash. All astrological signs pointed
to career success this month but where’s the proof. Holiday treats

thrust at me from everywhere; I accept. Flip my greasy hair
to the other side of my head; I let it lie where it lands.

February collage (illustration; photography; Frank Ocean).

Some people feel negatively about February, including, possibly, Maira Kalman. Or maybe she just picks up on everybody’s February blues. It’s hard to love February in the city, this I understand.

Maira Kallman's Feburary

 

 

This February, I’m all about Patti Smith (again). Maybe I’ll make February my Patti Smith month. Why not?

 

patti smith 7

 

 

But guys….remember those other times, those other seasons? Remember flowers?

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Remember how it’s going to be Valentine’s day soon? Let’s not bring up our consumer culture rants again, we do that every year & even the truth gets stale. This year, lets just do some good lovin’. Let’s share what we got, or give ourselves a little bit more. I mean, Phoebe Wahl is doing it! And why not.

 

beyourownvalentine

 

 

ILoveYouvalentine

 

If you’re still not feeling good about February yet, then, here! Have this gift! It’s a free Frank Ocean mixtape! Also did you know he has a tumblr?! Fuck yeah, America! You know?

 

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Alright February!! Allllllllright!

Merry Christmas & Happy Gilmore!

Gilmore is a holiday celebrated by my family. It involves my sister and I watching Adam Sandler’s “Happy Gilmore,” and then we take a nap. Sometimes we skip the movie altogether and go straight to the nap. It’s a great holiday!

 

Here’s me cutting down our Christmas tree in Vermont.

 

cutting the tree

 

Here’s a reindeer with bad spelling and holiday joy. Off I go to Austin, TX. Merry days to you!

 

funny little reindeer

 

 

Thankful for bacon pancakes & so much more (poemthing) (mine).

On the night before Thanksgiving, I am thankful for friends. Thankful for the emails I get from friends like Chase, with this enclosed:

because I’M LAUGHING and because that video is so much like my life, my life is so much of making up songs about loving the things I’m cooking, picking, making, seeing. Thankful for friends who have and will come visit, and thankful for new friends in the making, thankful to be back east nearby closefriends I felt so far away from and thankful for the busestrainsandautomobiles which transport me and them to and from the country where I live. I’m thankful for my family members who are my friends in the deepest sense, the friends I haven’t picked but who have made me and it continues:

Thankful for

winter sun and

a grownup rooster fluffed with feathers (his name is Claude!) and

the shoes on my feet and

good soup and a fire and

the ever-discovery of poems and

the way lighting a candle makes me feel sacred no matter the time of day I do it and thankful

and apologetic to the mice we’ve killed in the basement who did not deserve to die and

thankful for free health insurance from the state of Vermont!

and emoticons and

thankful for sage and sweetgrass and cedar incense and

for the pond that I hopehopehope will turn to ice and hopeful

for finding ice skates at the thrift store for our pond and

thankful for nice thick socks

thankful for nice coworkers and kind customers and a wall of windows

thankful for how cheap a stamp remains and

for letters and packages and our big box from “fungi perfecti”

which means we’ll grow mushrooms underneath the sink throughout the winter and

thankful for the boldness of 2012 and all the good change it’s wrought and brought and

thankful for mittens

and a yellow hat from my sister

and a red hat from the country store which makes me look like a hipster which I am a little bit I guess but mostly I’m just a farmer who likes clothes and colors and thankful for

a grey hat from amsterdam

and thankful for all the things that weren’t stolen from our truck

like eachother and my gorgeous blue rounded piece of sodalite

which a woman at the stone store told me to select

because she said the purple of my aura was sagging that day

and it was

I was sagging that day

I’m thankful for people who help me unsag

like that cosmic lady who made me buy a very dark sodalite and also for my family and friends and

now I’m back to where I began which is thankfulness and

yayness and love and thankful and giving

this tinysmall poemthing in thanks and

in preparation for a bigmeal tomorrow, amen.

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.