Yesterday’s morning poem (mine).

Just your average morning shoving

 

three goatbutts into a bright blue Kia

then heading off to work. I drive

along the first branch of a river,

past brandnew calves, sideways barns,

and the sign that reads FROST HEAVE

AHEAD which no one’s taken down

because just seeing it makes the green

of the pastures an even sweeter sight.

The silos this morning are brimming

with the years they’ve seen, the guineas

bold enough to eat the grass that runs

along the road, and the local library

has its OPEN flag highfiving the wind.

On days like this, it feels like everyone

and their mother is pushing a wellworn

wheelbarrow in the direction of joy.

 

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(That image is a poemjoke. Do you get it?)

 

Poem for Caity in Haiti (mine).

Poem for Caity in Haiti

 

Yo girl not all of us get to go

to a country that rhymes

with our name! And here

you are, going twice!

All I’m saying is:

you’re lucky.

 

 

West Coast Poetry Project: Portland poem.

Stumptown Poem

 

You can see a bit

of every woman’s

back here in hot

summer Portland.

Mine, too. This dress

not stolen, stitched

on Saturdays, blue

buttons down front,

I sewed them on.

I could never buy

a cup of coffee

every morning,

can’t start my day

with paying for it.

I brew my own bad

habits, good stove

coffee, plans for beds

of flowers. Foxgloves

finished with their bells

drip the streets, black

-eyed Susans stare

and stare at sky. Too

hot to hate, names

of authors occur to me

too slowly, Larkin or

Levine, the faces

hidden from me

stay in hiding,

the thieves who took

our precious gems

are out there holding

books I chose

in San Francisco,

spending time

with photographs

of trees so tall

they split in two,

their faces painted

gaudy in my blush,

toes  white with toothpaste

intended for my teeth.

 

 

*Our car was robbed in Portland, all our good stuff stolen.

 

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.

 

 

The West Coast Poetry Project, Part 1.

Wore a headlamp in Hollywood, walked to see
my only cousin in a one-room apartment
with blue carpet and a Yankees cap
hung on the heater
One parking ticket and four apples later
we got “the hell outta dodge”
as my father would say
or as my mother would say
They both say what the other says now
so it’s hard to know who started what
And now I say what they say too
and I say “bellicious” and “Why I outta” with a little shaking fist
because Ellie says it
And she says it because her mom said it
and a kid said it and it sounds
good to hear your mouth say what your family
and your friends have said
Just like it feels good to obsess
over a spider building its own home
anew every day
There’s a reason poets are in love with spiders
There’s a reason we’re not driving straight back east
There’s a web wet with rain that’s threaded north
We must wreck what we’ve built
so we may build the home again