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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Little moving poem (mine).

(Written before we moved. & now that we’re settled, whew. I feel good.)

***

Today, Thank Heavens, I Have Hands

 

I think less of people who think

little creatures are stupider than big ones.

 

I try not to think about how heavy

and tedious moving is,

 

though there’s some fleck of comfort

in the known physical difficulty of it

 

and the general commonness

of packing stuff in boxes. Watch

 

as I move to a new home: what I can lift

I am touching with my hands.

 

And on the days when  I have no hands,

I lift all the invisible things.

 

 

On the move!

Dear friends & family,

We are moving, and it’s all boxes and car rides and hefting and hauling for the next week or so. If I don’t return your calls and emails right away, I Really Apologize! We’ll have internet as fast as we’re able at the new place. In the meantime, I recommend you go check out these farmy blogs: longest acres (who will soon be our neighbors), Oliver & Abrahams, and Cinnamon Girl.  Also Rough Draft Farmstead.

And I will leave you with this parting gift: man of the (new) house. Before it had our stuff in it and before it got cold (it’s been snowing this morning).

 

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See you on the other side!

 

 

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

 

“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.

“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?

 

Landscapes (little farmy poem) (mine).

Landscapes

Last year I met garlic scapes

and I loved them on impact

and incorrectly called them snapes

for almost a year. Then I learned

their name and learned their twisting

goose-necked beauty and cut them

thinly into dishes. Now they grow

in rows outside our kitchen

and they grow in rows at the farm

where I work in the kitchen

and they’re filling the crisper drawer

and they’re all over our salads

and they’re harvested in baskets

and they’re not a food to sustain a nation

or even a main meal ingredient

but they’re one of our first little harvests

and for that I am grateful.

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(Photo by my partner & co-farmer & longtime love Misha, whose blog is titled Microcosmic DreamSCAPES. Coincidence? I think yes.)

(For more of Misha’s farm photos, click here.)

(We are Free Verse Farm!)