October 10 by Wendell Berry

Now constantly there is the sound,
quieter than rain,
of the leaves falling.

Under their loosening bright
gold, the sycamore limbs
bleach whiter.

Now the only flowers
are beeweed and aster, spray
of their white and lavender
over the brown leaves.

The calling of a crow sounds
loud—a landmark—now
that the life of summer falls
silent, and the nights grow.


New England Aster Misha M. Johnson
New England Aster by Misha M. Johnson

Fake Wedding Ceremony.


I’m an ordained minster, and I love doing weddings.

For this wedding, I got to have some fun with the ceremony, as the wedding was…fake. It was an event meant to showcase a handful of small Vermont businesses, and so although the photos depict real people having a REAL GOOD TIME, the whole thing was designed as a promotional shoot.

I didn’t need to write a fake ceremony in order for the ceremony to be photographed, but I wanted to. Because when you’re going to wear neutral colors and drink wine and eat fabulous food with your friends, you might as well take the opportunity to make them laugh while standing on a rock outcropping in a pond. As I always say.



We are gathered here today to celebrate the union of Ortenzia Caviglia and Jasper Ankle. Theirs is a love so perfect—so well-designed—that it almost appears to have been manufactured by an agrarian creative studio. Their love extends beyond the physical world, beyond simplistic ideas of “reality” and “real people,” and enters into the realm of the sublime.

Do these two people truly exist? Is this a real marriage? Does anyone have cell phone service? Is Kanye West a “good person”?

The answer to these questions, my friends, is no. Does that make this party any less fun or this love any less worth remembering? Of course not.

This day shall be remembered as a day when two people pretended to be two other people, and other people in attendance also pretended to be other people, and photographs were taken, and food was eaten, and beverages imbibed, and later on, when other other people viewed the photos, they sighed to themselves, and they swooned, and they purchased things for sale in the photos.

May the love between Jasper and Ortenzia fortify our convictions that love is real, that parties are delicious, and that yes, we can all have successful businesses in rural Vermont. As Jasper once said to Ortenzia, quoting the rapper 50 Cent in his hit song “21 Questions” featuring Nate Dogg: “I love you like a fat kid loves cake.” And Ortenzia replied, “Samesies.” And the whole world sighed in contentment.

And now, without further ado, I will turn to these two people, people, who, in another life, perhaps, were already married to each other and already had a baby and congratulations on that by the way, and say:

By the power vested in me by Two of Us Photography, Longest Acres Farm, Big Picture Farm, Stitchdown Farm, Farmrun, Free Verse Farm, Woodbelly Pizza, Ardelia Farm, La garagista, Vermont Tent Company, and Who is Sylvia,

I now pronounce you: HUSBAND AND WIFE.

You may now kiss the bride.

(“21 Questions” by 50 Cent plays in the background)

Categories Uncategorized

Book Jokes.

These are the type of quips I occasionally come up with, while twirling around in front of the fire (winter), or while on my second glass of wine before dinner, outside/barefoot/laughing (summer).

If you subscribe to Read Literately, you’ll get this type of stuff in your inbox. No presh, but you know, get on it.

Books I May Write

COPYRIGHT TAYLOR MARDIS KATZ. Please don’t steal these jokes. They’re all I’ve got. (Joking.)

Freelance poem (mine).

I work from home now

and I’m jamming to this song today

because Margot recommended it

and Margot knows what to pay

attention to. No, I don’t know Margot

but I know other women

who create television and funny mugs

plus my cousin-in-law

is the dude in the vest.

I’ve written a lot about vests;

haikus mostly, and desperate texts.

A vest is like a hug

for your chest, I’ve been known

to sigh, my core warm, my style fly.


Springtime poem (mine).

It’s springtime,

fling yourself
into the green
time, in the
while there’s still
time, it’s clean
time, out with
what we don’t need
time, you know
what I mean:
let’s deem ourselves
better than fine,
let’s drink the last
sip of winter’s

gossamer dandelion

photo by Misha M. Johnson

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.