Kim-Joy, Malfoy, forget-me-not. Is it poinsettia time?
How near then are we to the holidays again, this time of year?
A study shows that leaving up your Christmas lights, year-
round, leads to a 19% rise in overall happiness. A higher electric
Hotel lobby, the comings and goings of guests. I emailed a PDF of the house building plans to the front desk with a request that they print it for me. Information continues to trickle in, about what we will be doing. According to the itinerary Dan sent out to all of the participants by email, "This mission trip is an intergenerational trip" where we will be "building houses in a depressed area of Tijuana."
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Last night Graham informed me he and I are in charge of Van 7. I thought that had an eponymous ring to it. "Van 7", like it's a movie, or at least there's a trailer for a putative thriller called "Van 7" where a couple of guys—brothers-in-law: one a pastor, the other an underachieving blogger—are part of a church group that goes into Mexico except their particular part of the group ends up getting lost, drives into a bad part of Tijuana, has to use their fledgling Spanish, a little bit of luck, and the grace of God to get out alive, et cetera. It's actually not a bad idea...
I think about our conversation. Our conversations. They're like a river. One river, different river, it doesn't matter. What we say—it's important to say it. I'd like to remember everything but once you say something it's in the river, the river takes it on down the stream, we can't look at the river to remember whether we said something. Did we say it, didn't we? If it's important enough we can say it again, and it can go into the river again, and it's not wasteful, it's not pollution if we mean what we say when we say it...
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It is broken. Does it require of me that I buy a new spacer kit? What if I counter-offer with a brand new ball assembly?
The right answer ran between the left guard and the left tackle, to the house.
I am from Illinois but I live in Missouri. This does not make me anxious. I do not spend an hour a day imagining the explanations I will offer as justification when someone asks me, "What are you doing here?" Or says, in the pejorative, "Go back to your Land of Lincoln..."
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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...
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I wrote nothing the whole time at Meramec. We camped, we floated, we sweated. Friday I camped with one of my five cousins, Lyle. He picked me up in his Sierra. I gave him a quick tour of the house. His brother had been here, a few years ago at holiday time. We crawled along Hanley and I regretted having suggested we go that way. Big Bend, Jack—quit forgetting about Big Bend.
Just getting my camp gear loaded into the truck I was sweating. He was sweating at work and never stopped. He must've hauled ass to get to my place when he did—left the mill at 3:50, down 70 to Soulard, fight the good fight along 64/170 to College City—I expected him at 5:30 but he got here at ten after. I was only a third of the way through a manhattan solidarity said I shouldn't have. But solidarity lost its good fight.
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(for J. Smith)
These thoughts I have. I'm just gonna write them down. Why is she...?
"What are you doing?"
She moves away, sighs. I'm scrawling.
"Are you... What are your code names for J and T?"
"Pretty sure J is Brett."
"I think I referred to both in Jamaica '09, so they would be whatever they were in there."
The humidifier gargles. This is the most I've written in this putative dream journal since I don't know when. I'm up there. B asks me if I'm writing in the dark.
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First Full Day — morning
I am attending to a sunrise in Jamaica. Rightly I am not awake yet. Waves, waves, dolorous waves. Peltering shores at dayfall.
Why is it getting light in the west before it gets light in the east? The east is dark, blue. A tiny boat out ripping the water is black.
Last night a jumbo airliner flew in from Costa Rica, I’m sure of it.
Brett got a taste, Pat a tree. I put a tiny leaf in my pocket & smiled at the smell.
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When I closed my eyes
The sun went behind a cloud,
And it was Friday
I can remember
When I didn’t even know
What Lowe’s was
On a branch silhouetted
By my neighbor’s window,
A cardinal braces
In the midst
Of a roaring party,
An old coffee cup, broken
As I wonder
At a light bulb —
It bursts in my face
It seemed a sky
free of commercials,
blue and cloudless.
But he could sense,
swimming in all directions,
waves of banded frequency,
like hungry carp
fighting for food pellets
in a tiny pool
at the Botanical Garden.
With his rifle raised,
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