“Pregnancy is hands-free” (poem) (mine)

Pregnancy is hands-free

I’m growing a child while I sleep
I’m growing a child while I weed the lavender
I’m growing a child while I fill the ice cube trays
I’m growing a child while I wipe down the toilet
I’m growing a child while I organize headbands I never wear
I’m growing a child while I edit Spotify playlists
I’m growing a child while I throw out all my underwear with holes
I’m growing a child while I water the geraniums
I’m growing a child while I add more salt to the pesto
I’m growing a child while I bobby-pin my hair
I’m growing a child while I remove dirt from my fingernails

I’m growing a child while the maples slip into their best red outfits, while the mornings dampen with mist, while I pack cucumbers and hot peppers into jars, while I bag corn and blackberries and peppers for the freezer, while I simmer plum compote and pick the last batch of cosmos, while the cows enjoy their last spin around the paddocks, while I braid the garlic and wrap the yarrow in string, while summer unzips her skirt and throws it atop the yellowing milkweed, the New England asters, the spent blossoms of Queen Anne—

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A marriage poem for abundance (mine).

Abundance

for Scott & Josh

 

There will be days of singing & days of silent throats

There will be days of bouquets & days of empty vases

There will be days of thirst & nights of drinking

There will be raspberry days & days of stale crusts of bread

There will be days of nails in the wall & artless days

There will be harvest days & long nights of winter

There will days to gather & days to await the gathering

May the thin days make the days of fullness all the sweeter

May your fruits be many and your backs be strong

as you launch together

into your days

of abundance

 

July 5, 2014

 

scott and josh first step

(photo of the couple’s first steps toward marriage by Misha M. Johnson)

“My Life as a Minister” (wedding poem) (mine).

My Life as a Minister

(for Kathryn & Andy)

 

To say “You may now kiss the bride”

is a treasure far beyond

most treasures I’ve known.

A treasure of love (my bests,

 

my only kind of treasures),

a treasure built of words (my tools),

a treasure said in public

in the presence of a trove

 

of dearest friends—

a treasure known by all, the words

learned early on, the script, that scripture,

holy words of matrimony, most of which

 

I banished from the ceremony. But not

those words, and not the kiss

which with light within me

I gave permission for.

 

You may now and you may always

and may you for all the days

kiss and kiss and kiss

the bride.

***

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The past month or so in photographs.

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This is one of the farms that will not be our home.

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This was at the farmers’ market in Montpelier, when Ellie was visiting, and we met up with Kenzie, who is also a Suzie’s Farm Person, and she had those long fabulous dreadlocks.

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This was when Ellie and Scott and Josh were staying over. I made Misha wear my happy wreath because he was happy, too. And we drank that whole bottle of bourbon. And life was sweet and Scott jumped in the pond and Josh ended up getting a free Suzie’s Farm hat.

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This is my favorite photo of my friend Andrew, because the sun is all up in his face.

IMG_0122Those ladies? Oh those are my ladies.

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These are some bodacious poppies and some pretty Unidentified Other Flowers that grow beneath the grapes in front of our house.

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This is another farm which we won’t live on. But boy, was it pretty.

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This is my pen pal, Shannon. She’s even better in person than written. Plus, she’s married! Also, a poet!

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This was the fourth of July. Misha didn’t even mean to wear red white and blue and we had sausages for dinner.

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This is Misha with flowering mullein on Cape Cod. He really loves that plant. And in this photograph, he even matches it!

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This is my family in the early 90s. I don’t think I’ll ever be as baller as I was that day on Cape Cod, with that stance and that minnow net and that belly-bearing bathing suit. Also: how cute is my sister. Also also: notice how all our bathing suits match!

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This was leaving the Cape just today, admiring the font of the Sagamore Bridge, admiring structure.

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.

 

A literary recap and also some beautiful things.

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I went to AWP last week, for what felt like a week. For you nonwriters, AWP is the biggest literary conference of the year. Workshops, lectures, readings, a bookfair big enough to kill any sane person’s love of books, famous writers all around, lots of glasses, lots of beards, lots of notebook scribbling, lots of beers. I schlepped apricots, trail mix, water, my phone, notebooks, and about ten pounds of books around the city of Boston for three days straight. Other things that occurred: lattes, reunions, inspiration, Anne Carson, free chocolate, free pens, free buttons, literary journals, poet swoons (see: Anne Carson), and I met my pen pal for the first time, with whom I have been corresponding for a year. Magic! Below are some tidbits from the weekend too good (read: weird &/or awesome) not to share.

 

“I believe that the future of poetry belongs to dead poets.” -Valzhyna Mort (poet)

*

“I prefer myself to Charles Simic.” -James Meetze (poet)

*

“You’re some kind of something and I like it.” -Dara Wier (poet)

*

“They will try to make you choose between the things you love but you do not have to choose.” Muriel Rukeyser, as quoted by another passionate woman

THEY WILL TRY TO MAKE YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN THE THINGS YOU LOVE BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE. 

*

“For nonconformity, the world whips you with displeasure.” -Emerson, as quoted by a college professor dude

*

“I am just another person in all normal regards except for my love of lemurs.” -James Tate (poet), as quoted by another poet

*

“Lanyards are a great way to humble people.” -Jacob Otting (poet & comedian)

*

“This wig is terrific.” -Terrance Hayes, reading one of his poems (SWOON)

*

And here are some patterns I am loving this week, by Phoebe Wahl.

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And that is all for now. Besides for the joy of another friend engaged, the speed of a new (old) car, the sound of the rain (rain! not snow! woah!), the crunch of breadcrust littered with seeds, and the feel of a hot mug in my hands.

 

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?

 

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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!