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.
The Girl Who Was Winter
I don’t understand how a house is built, the piece-by-pieceness of it all.
And why is a hamburger called that–it’s made of beef. Around here
people say “hamburg” and bang their boots together before swinging
their feet into the driver’s seat. Around here the streets are named
after families who still live on them. This I understand. And how quick
it takes a ram to mount a doe—I get it now. The world’s laid out
on the ground and everywhere I step, I step on it. I’m naming
each new season: after winter, white spring. Then mud, then spring,
then storage, then sticks, then logs. Then winter in her new fur coat
lasts long enough to answer everything. She’s the sweet caesura–
not the roadside flare lit as a cry for help, but the help itself.
photo by Misha
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
I was given a fur coat for my birthday this year (by my mother-out-law, who gives amazing presents–raw silk scarves & notebooks & dark chocolates & the most pristine and gorgeous hand-me-downs). I’m not here to give my opinion on fur, mostly because I’m not sure of my opinion on fur. But this is what I do know. This coat is a beauty. This coat is so warm that when I walk outside in it, I feel like I’m still inside. It covers my entire body and it is both warm and beautiful and utterly deluxe. Here’s a picture of me the day I was given it, which was a very very snowy Saturday, a day I was not expecting to leave the house but then I did and wonderful things happened.
Today I wore the coat outside to let out the chickies. The chickies had no sense of my my unnecessary glamour, but they were pretty pumped to hop up and out of the coop. Tomorrow, I’ll wear it to a black tie Academy Awards party downtown, which I am attending mostly so that I can wear my new fur coat. Also for the company. Also for general deluxeness, which is scarce in February in Vermont.
And soon friends will arrive in Vermont & it will be my birthday & I will wear the fur coat again. And then spring will come & the snow will melt revealing the hidden garlic & I will be twenty-seven & eager to plant things & eat them. And the fur coat will hang graciously on its soft pink hanger, waiting until I need it again.
Photos by Misha, who else.
Today I bought blood oranges. Like the ones below painted by Emily Proud, an artist I discovered through another artist, Lisa Congdon. I don’t know either of them personally but maybe someday they’ll come over to the farm and eat citrus with me.
I bought them in preparation for The Storm. I also bought bacon, of course. And, as usual, kale. Also milk. And a knobby three-knuckle piece of fresh ginger.
Meanwhile, down at the coop, the chickens are all, “Where is the grass? Why can’t I have it? Why aren’t babies coming out of these eggs I’m sitting on? I’m cold!” They’re huddled on their roosts underneath their red-bulbed headlamps as I write this. If I make a ruckus the rooster Claude will crow & crow until he lets me know that he heard me do it. Having a rooster really gets one thinking about the term “cocky.” That dude walks around like he’s the king of something awesome. Because he is, I guess.
Winter makes fragments more appealing than ever.
A scarcity of warmth, a scarcity of words,
a surplus of books-in-waiting.
A surplus of poems
A surplus of time.
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.
Here’s a reindeer with bad spelling and holiday joy. Off I go to Austin, TX. Merry days to you!
First Snow Sonnet
And the world is sugared, softened
down & battened in. The snow a saucy
mistress touching every twig & every
trim. Nothing prim or proper to divulge—
staying in means fireheat & yokey eggs,
legs piled on each other’s legs. Aloe
plants abound indoors, spread
their prickled fingers wide, keep
their soothing goo inside themselves.
A chicken’s feet can freeze on ground
like this, she’ll lose her beak-picked
way. Inside the house, two lives can stay
preserved like bees in comb, can buzz
around each other in a home.