Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My day and "the like"

At Kaleidoscope today with my mom, niece, and two nephews, ages 65 to 3, I made a mask, a crown, and a necklace. I ran from room to room, like the White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass, terrified a child would go lost. Later, I escaped to the bathroom to pose and make exasperated faces at myself in the mirror. I stayed longer than was seemly. Going home, my four-year-old niece told me that my g's don't turn up enough at the ends; my a's and e's are "crunched." At dinner, I ate a half a slab of ribs, threw my shoe at a crow with a broken wing, and banged on the fence with stick. Kaleidoscope = "a continually shifting pattern, scene, or the like." I am unexpectedly pleased by this phrase, "the like," and the possibility of being like something that is itself unfixed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Backyard Desmesne

I mowed down the violets in mid-April, and
Cut a swath through the daffodils as well—the blooms
Crisply brown—I pronounced their season finished.
I roared with ruinous glee over dandelions and sent clover
Flying, a burst of wet green, the smell of Neighborhood.
I was machined up, a disaster on legs, the lady and the law,
Ruler of all my backyard desmesne.

June 7, 2010


I sought attics and closets as a child and could often be found under a covered table or tucked behind a door. I hid in corners, under beds, and behind recliners—anywhere dark, snug, quiet, and out of view, as if. As if forgotten places could hold off the loud fading of Adult. As if I were looking for a maximum closeness, some limit or boundary that would batten me up, put a brake on the pulling apart and scattering of self into the world. And now, in rare minutes, in a quiet room at low light, I can still find some solid calm of lonely, a steady holding-it-together in my skin.

June 7, 2010