Farm March 2017—Outhouse Edition.

I.      Wood for which the flames to lick...

Farmhouse fajitas, nachos, Helm at the helm, old time music, fiddles, a nearly full moon, clean cool air.  Chucking my banana peel toward the brushline, cabbage shards.  My nose is cold and runny.  Hat on, hoody, vest, thermal, two pair sox, crox.  Hot dog on the stove in foil this morning, baked potato on and then in the stove last night.  Splitting wood, getting wood, arranging wood, burning wood.  Excursion to Iberia via Brays Church Road, church there at 42, Mount Gilead, cemetery too.  Pastures, cows, farm dogs just chillin not chasin.  I cut up a fallen ash that wasn't nearly as dead as I thought, somehow still going at a forty-five degree angle and living on and through the v-trunk of another tree, maybe the second hickory species here, without shaggy bark and difficult to split—pignut?  The four horses are still here, two white, one black, one...Appaloosa?  I thought that word and then Helm said that word so it must be so.  A sparse, low fog rolled in.  I spoke of Misty at Chincoteague, we talked about wild horses...

Full account here...


Someone had to help her
start her car.
Someone showed up
with jumper cables
but no car.
And no insurance.
Cell phones
didn’t work out there.
Out where?
Oh, out where
the tracks still run,
where I’ll bet cowboys
in dusty leather
ride mean-hungry horses
waitin' for the next call,
the next big thing.

They aren’t internet cowboys.
They don’t believe in
price tags, or
interest rates.
Not even belt buckles
or smiled ruined
by chew.
At the end of the day,
it’s all about stew
and cornbread:
a sauce for everything
poured on wounds
makes them whole.

Let’s see, is it
red on black
or black on black,
and why won’t this thing go?

My Father on an Elevator With George Steinbrenner

Outside, in the slop,
horses run, glistening
with rain and sweat.


My father knows a guy
who has horses, a trainer,
and seats at club level.

Dad presses a button to go up,
and enters the car with three others.
Two who are bodyguards soon get off.
Now it’s just them inside, where
matter comes together with other matter.

Did Dad make bad wardrobe choices that morning?
No. Both wear sport coats, collared shirts, no ties.
Dad has on navy blue Ballys,
from his Puerto Rican honeymoon.
Got them shined at Lambert Airport,
tipped the guy a $2 bill.

But what does a Sox fan
say to The Boss in intimate quarters?


“I said nothing about baseball
and talked only about horses,
where he and his sister went to college—
Williams, Skidmore, etc.”
(My father a Dartmouth man himself.)
“He was very cordial.”


“I met a man who had
a horse running in the next race,”
he said, once home, as we played guess who.

“I asked him how his horses
were doing, but not about the failings
of his Japanese pitcher!”