So many boats in my dreams, this last while. Boats and boats and then again boats. I like boats, always have (particularly those powered by muscle not motor), maybe as the result of having for a father a man who in his youth was a sailor or maybe as the result of my Piscean nature.
After the Alphabets
I am trying to decipher the language of insects
they are the tongues of the future
It’s crazy-hot here now and it’s not even June yet.
When the big tree came down, I lost the sound of water.
If tomorrow I were to walk away to some other place, go live in a where that is not this where, the place I would go would have lots of snow and the house I would live in would be made of cold, a house of snow — or of-snow-adjacent.
I don’t know about your little piece of the planet but here where I am there’s been a lot of greyworld and I’m not really an appreciator of greyworld, unless it’s mitigated by storm. Which it hasn’t been, here and now. So what can be done? One can give in to the grey and be taken down by it — opt for bed or heavy drink for weeks on end, except those are roads to ruin and I prefer to remain unruined for just a little longer in life.
Humanity is bad and terrible and capable of the most horrific acts of cruelty and venality. But oh my god, when a beautiful brain does beautiful brain things, it makes me remember that some of us are not only unbad and unterrible, but really fucking wonderful. What I’m thinking of here is this thing I found on the webs that are inter, this fabulous wonderful thing. To be precise, this thing:
Sometimes I’m a romantic creature … okay, who’m I trying to fool here? … always I’m a romantic creature. Forever and ever I’ve been madly shivered up by the sweet gesture, small or large or somewhere in between. I have made those gestures and had them made for me and some of them have been over-the-top — whoa, Nelly, way up and way off the precipice of mad-for-you, with a celebratory shout of “For you are my beloved” — and some of them have been tiny and odd, discernible only to me and the person whose lips I wish to kiss.
I like the notion of the skin being breached so that change can be rendered to the organism. I like the idea very much, altho’ I fully recognize the malarial reality of the wrong kind of puncture, the bleedout reality of the wrong kind of slice. But here in my metaphorical LaLaLand, sharp things are pretty things that are also agents of change.
This year, watching the Tour de France on TV, I heard one of the announcers say, “There’s the beautiful sunflower field” and it made me happy that, given all the manful muscling in the pelotonic tumult, he thought to mention that quiet golden place. Since then the words”There is the beautiful sunflower” have lodged themselves in my imagination in the inexplicable way certain words and phrases do from time to time, becoming something like a prayer or an offering or a streamer of solace unfurled the way a strand of birch bark can be freed from the tree.
A couple of days ago when I was stopped at a street corner waiting for the light to change, a man walked up from behind me, stood beside me, looked at me, smiled, and said, “Nice legs, librarian.” Now, I’m really not a woman who enjoys strangers making commentary on her appearance but he didn’t have the stink of testosterone poisoning about him so I didn’t just default to my “Fuck you, you fucking fucker” setting. Plus? He called me “librarian”. And oh good lord, I do love me a librarian, so very very much I do, and am always so happy to meet a fellow member of that tribe, which obviously that man was.
Butcher’s charts take it all apart.
Sewing patterns put it all together.
The sundering and the reconciling … they interest me, both. I maybe love taxidermy because it requires both; I should maybe love the jigsaw puzzle more than I do, for the same reason.
Often I think of the poetry of objects
about the way a seam is resolved
or the way a spine grows
about the things we make with our bodies
and the bones from out of our bodies
I think I think too much about clothes — mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, whoever’s. Because really? I think an awful lot about them. Like, an AWRFUL lot. Thing is, when the world is being beautiful, I don’t want to be a blight on it and when the world is being unbeautiful, I don’t want to add to the ick, so I end up thinking a lot about my clothes. And in my thinking, I also think this: I think style is an act of generosity. I think fashion is just merchandising. I think one is qualitatively superior to the other, by a lot, and in my mind it’s clear that the superior one is style.
Yellow! I don’t really like it, most of the time, and yet my favourite shoes in the whole wide world are yellow and I love it when a cool-toned garden is warmed by splashes of yellow and I think lemons are not only delightfully delicious as foodstuffs but delightfully delectable in every aesthetic aspect and I like looking at my bookshelves and seeing the yellow spines of Upside Down and Cheap Chic and A Prick Up Your Ears and What It Is and maybe now that I think of it I do like yellow, not as the object or the subject, mostly, but in small illuminating punctuatory doses.
You know, I’m not really a big fan of birds (the Byrds, yes, birds, no). Okay, truth be told, I find them horrible and creepy, more than is strictly reasonable — if in fact there’s a degree of finding-birds-horrible-and-creepy that could be characterised as “reasonable”. Mostly, of course, my distaste for birds doesn’t matter, doesn’t have an impact on my life — except when preparing a whole chicken for consumption. Yow. Now that is the stuff nightmares are made of. Mostly, however, I don’t think about birds or worry about birds.
The world spins on its axis, on and on and on, no matter who comes here or leaves here, no matter how happy or sad you are, no matter, no matter.
If you’re a bling-averse ladyperson like me, then you don’t give a fiddler’s foxtrot about jewellery and have spent precisely zero time in your life thinking covetously about shiny, sparkly gems.
How to catch an octopus
by Patrick Widdess
Here’s a thing I just realised. Chet Baker had it right: let’s get lost. That’s what running is, for me: a getting lost, the way you can get lost in very few things, maybe only love and sex and music and physical exertion and the way the air smells in the woods in the fall or the way a cold lake feels on your body when you jump in naked and let all that cold swirl across all your bare skin to leave you gasping and shuddering in a strange beautiful release that’s almost like the moment of orgasm, in the pleasure/pain aspect of it and also in the being completely present in your body aspect of it.
When I grow up, I want to be a people. A people with antlers.
The carapace is a wonderful thing in its own right and I can celebrate its utility and its beauty — I can, I honestly can. But I never really forget that for all its protective value, it’s also a small, confined place, like a pedestal … or a prison.