zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
I lugged a contractor bag to the bin earlier today, having detected two kinds of infection among a half-dozen pepper plants. A plant we hauled home from New Orleans in December is doing fine, though. I call it "my geranium from Desire," since it was dug from a flourishing patch on Rampart that had been started with a cranesbill clump from a few streets over, on Desire.

a geranium from Desire

Some days I rock the "It was _______, but it had to be done, and she did it" roll, and once in a while I stay up binge-reading Grace Burrowes novels, which last time induced several rounds of ugly-crying-on-the-way-to-enjoying-a-happy-ending, which happened to be what I needed to get past the out-of-sortedness I can get mired in when too many things are out of order.

Broadsided Press just published a series of downloadable poem-posters about Standing Rock, with my "Snake Dance" among them. The link: http://www.broadsidedpress.org/responses/2016dapl/
zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
My big sister will be matching my St. Stephen's Day donation. That means your purchase of a $5 book (or posting/tweeting about this poem) will send $4 to the Flint Water Fund. More details in the previous entry, and heartfelt thanks to everyone who's participated so far!
zirconium: the word "SANGUINE" engraved in stone (sanguine)
My offer: buy my book for yourself or someone else you're fond enough of to spend 5 USD on (at Amazon or elsewhere), send me some indication of the purchase (order #, screencap, whatever...) by 12:01 a.m. CST on December 26, and I will donate $2 per copy to The Flint Water Fund.

Alternatively: mention my poem "Look at that, you son of a bitch" on one of your social media platforms by 12:01 a.m. CST on December 26, and I will likewise donate $2 per mention.

ETA: My big sister is going to match my donation!

What's the cap? $200.

Why the offer? A sudden urge to goose up my royalty/readership figures.

Why $2? Because "useful, oddly very crisp," and categorically queer (for certain iterations of "categorically" and "queer") could well be used to describe me.

Why December 26? It's the Feast of Stephen. The first Christmas carol I ever learned to play on the piano was "Good King Wenceslas," which is but one of the reasons it's deeply embedded in my blood and bones -- if there's a carol I can sing in my sleep, it's that one. And as my friend M'ris might could tell you, there are a multitude of ways to sing and hear about the snow so deep and crisp and even. (And about what we know to tell, for that matter. Hence the subject line.)
zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
["Under the oak leaves" - a line from "Au clair de la fontaine" (By the clear fountain)]

The senior minister at my church is on sabbatical, and Rabbi Rami Shapiro is visiting monthly as a guest preacher. On September 11, he brought with him a shruti, which he played as the congregation learned a new round:

I am a fountain

Longtime readers/friends may recall that I do have a thing about fountains... though this past month my scant spare time has been more on lake and river. My Labor Day getaway plans having fallen through twice, I decided to get on a paddleboard four out of my five days off, and last Friday I watched the full moon from my lantern-lit plank on the Cumberland.

Elsewhere and elsewhen: Paying work. Housework. Homework. Paperwork. Footwork. Speaking of--
Dancing: hip-hop, flamenco, Afro-Cuban (orishas), English country.
Friends: Visiting from France and elsewhere. Running for office.. Organizing campferences. Selling taco + lesbian farmer buttons (coupon code here, btw). Preparing for High Holy Days. Coding. Cajoling. Caretaking. I could go on ... in short, inspiring me.
Harvesting: peppers.
Deadheading: zinnias.

Recently published:

  • At unFold: "Spacing for Sky," with typography by J. S. Graustein


  • At Folded Word: "O Margaret, Here We Are Again"


  • At 7x20, a weekful of polished micro-poems: 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5


  • There is more to say and write, much of it off-blog, but a guest arrives tomorrow, so for now it's back to cleaning. Onward!
    zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
    The subject line is from a letter Elizabeth Bishop wrote to Robert Lowell on November 1, 1974. As is this:


    (For a poet, I am sometimes amazingly practical--as John M. Brinnin remarked the other day, when, after a night's consideration, I turned down taking over the late Anne Sexton's job at B.U.--Once a week; 4 or 6 people; but I figured out how little I'd actually earn, what with more taxes, remembered how tired I get with the two classes I have; and then began wondering how I'd ever get along with the students that had been attracted to Anne, and decided I wouldn't . . .) Then I attended a memorial service fro her in the BU chapel--it was well-meant, but rather awful--and after hearing a few of her students reminisce, I knew I'd been absolutely right--especially as to the last reason. It is very sad--and deplorable pieces are appearing everywhere, about her.


    On a more cheerful note, the Frist Center is holding its member and media previews for Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise today, and the exhibition opens to the general public tomorrow. The "people I want to read yet more about when time permits" list includes Harriet Coulter Joor and several other women featured in the show. It'll be in Nashville through the start of November.
    zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
    The subject line's from Marianne Moore's Baseball and Writing. The two quotes below are from Elizabeth Bishop to Lowell. July 10, 1967:


    Well -- the Village will rejuvenate me, no doubt. I never appear without earrings down to my bosom, skirts almost up to it, and a guitar over my shoulder. I am afraid I am going to start writing FREE VERSE next . . .


    July 27, 1967:


    Just as I came in now Bob G called inviting me to lunch next week to meet R Straus (whom I've met, but no one, including me, remembers the meeting at all) and the famous Miss Sontag . . . This is almost too much for one day, particularly as I have to be bright and energetic for idnner with Anny that same night. I thought in the SUMMER in N.Y. one could avoid this kind of thing, but apparently not. I do think that was marvellous -- Marianne demanding a "house call" and almost unable to speak at 12 noon, yesterday, and then refusing all help and going to a baseball game. I don't think I can bear to tell on her . . . I always thought she'd die one day on the Brooklyn Express; now I think she'll die in the bleachers.
    zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle rear)
    (First set of notes here)

    Second-half standouts:

    Ruth Madievsky, "Paragard": "I was in a lecture hall, explaining how the copper IUD works..."

    Brendan Constantine's conversation with Alan Fox. Among BC's provocative statements:


    I just had a conversation with a poet I can't name, who was very angry because they felt that the internet was flooded with lots of mediocre poetry. Now anyone can put a badge on their shirt that says "Poet" and communicate with ohter poets and have all this great access, the world, the media, the "readers" are overwhelmed with bad work, and thus can't find or recognize where the "good" work is. That is a paranoia I don't share. It's an argument I've heard, over and over, that bad poetry somehow diminishes our joy and plight. That if the "bad" poets are allowed to publish, it destroys connoisseurship. I don't see that to be the case. I think that every great artist, like every great art critic, will die ignorant of most of the good art in their time. That's been true of virtually every generation. I mean, why else does it seem that half the work that ultimately "comes to define a generation" is discovered posthumously.


    And also:


    If you're lucky enough to live a good long life, you're going to see most of your cherished profundities reduced to trivia, and virtually every banality celebrated.
    zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)

    River Arts District
    Asheville River Arts District - White Duck Taco parking lot


    I have been dipping into the Summer 2016 issue of Rattle during breaks. The highlights so far:

  • Christopher Citro - "The Mutual Building" ("When is someone going / to come clean this up? ... // No one needs the wrong time in the sky / when we're just trying to cross the street...")

  • Jennifer Givhan - "The Cheerleaders" ("What's not feminist / about this, how the sport could send us -- / most of whom had ever been on a plane / since there was no airport in our town / besides barns for crop dusters -- to New York City....")

  • Felicia Krol - "Between Funerals" ("One by one / the white letters...")

  • S. H. Lohmann - "Survival English" ("What I know are just facts: / which vowels gave them trouble...")

  • Peter J. Curry's contributor note: "When I think about the poems I've written, I see they come mostly from that impulse -- to mend something, or to bring some kind of order to an obviously broken world."


  • Now I am off to scrub the shower walls with lemon water (left over from scrubbing the inside of the microwave). Ars longa, housework vincit, vita brevis, laborare est orare, etc.
    zirconium: tulip in my front yard, April 2014 (tulip)
    [Today's subject line comes from Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind."]

    Earlier this evening, my department head and I stood at my office window, watching a strong wind bend the trees and menace the panels of the Gala tent. It appeared to peel a sheet of metal from its moorings, knocked over stanchions in the parking lot and, at home, flipped open all the lids of the giant roller-bins. But the rain also eventually lightened up enough for me to don a wide-brimmed hat and scrape at some of the weeds attempting to strangle my mint patch.

    Last Saturday I danced for seven hours -- two two-hour workshops, plus the Playford Ball, of which there are videos, including this one. I am thinking of splurging on a blue + green +/- dark gray tartan sash for next year, which is the sort of thing that happens when I try to figure out what should happen during a Dunant House Waltz and somehow end up studying Viking's Sheepskin moves. (The Duthies are part of Clan Ross, but I'll likely go with one of the universal patterns, like Highland Granit, or maybe wear Montgomerie in honor of Alexander, seeing how "What Mightie Motion" haunted me on first hearing for the better part of several years (to the point that I wrote to the Scottish Poetry Library to obtain the full set of verses).

    Speaking of poetry, it is April, and thus there are goings-on. At Vary the Line, Mary, Joanne, and I have written and/or collected responses to the question "What is a poem?", with my friend Lisa Dordal starting the series. Over at Pretty Terrible, Natalie Luhrs analyzes and links to some of my poems as part of her own monthlong poetry project.

    It is still too soon to put out plants that cannot withstand frost. I am edgy and eager to get them resettled, even though there is plenty of prep that still needs to be done. I can hear and see my impatience reflected among my colleagues and acquaintances: Whennnnnnnnnn? one whimpered. Whennnnnnnnnn indeed.
    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    My week so far has included the rejection of eight poems (though one was a near-miss) and some aggravation (both of the near-to-firing-a-firm kind and the dammit-I-left-my-badge-on-the-piano variety), not to mention truly atrocious fantasy tennis results. But, I seem to be providing pleasure to assorted Kei Nishikori fans, there was plenty of butter and black pepper to mash into the neeps I boiled for supper, and I'm closing my evening with a glass of Beaujolais (slightly rough, but sanding down a bit of jag as I sip) and assorted phrases for pieces.

    Also, Rattle published a poem on Sunday, both in text and audio form: "Look at that, you son of a bitch"

    I also keep meaning to mention "Some Who Wander Become Lost," which the SFPA posted online a few months ago.

    My calendars contain crossouts and calculations. So, for that matter, do the cards and scraps of paper containing what I might write or shape next. In the meantime, there are roses everywhere -- I saw some near a curb on Valentine's Day, just as I was about to cross White Station Road:

    White Station Road, Memphis

    The back of the card I picked up was blank. It has me wondering about roses not sent. It brings back memories of roses I have sent, and thrown, and pressed, and attempted to propagate (not yet successfully). Not every Emily Dickinson poem pairs up well with "Yellow Rose of Texas" ("So much of Heaven has gone from earth"? No), but it's not as if the ghosts of Amherst or Austin ever insisted on that. Perhaps the roses really want to grow. Perhaps the mallows will survive this morning's freezing fog. There is more than snow between the glass and the huge roses. There is more to work than work. Earlier this week, a colleague and I talked about trading plants later this year -- succulents for peppers. The dog knocked over one of my pots while I was away, and happily hoovered up asparagus stubs two nights ago. Cleaning. Digging. Dreaming.


    A name for a new rose: Mozart.
    That's what I'd call the first rose on the moon,
    If I got there to grow it.

    -- Robert Nye, "Travelling to My Second Marriage on the Day of the First Moonshot"
    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    When Miss Dog nosed me off the couch this morning, my head was still aching and my throat still raw from the cold that hit me toward the end of last week, and I staggered back to the cushions thinking that I'd be flat on my back for another day and in no state even to watch videos (a library copy of The Crossing, is waiting for me; it may be of interest to some of you because, according to one YouTube commenter, "Alexander Hamilton [Steven McCarthy] never looked so sexy!" and I admittedly requested it because I'm still working through my Roger Rees fetish; he plays Hugh Mercer).

    At any rate, three more hours of sleep + meds + coffee somehow worked wonders, at least to the extent of me feeling up to light gardening. I pruned the mess around the rogue rosebush and rooted three cuttings from it, dipping them first in honey:

    Honey as a rooting compound

    "Honey" is also prompt 43 in Upper Rubber Boot's 100 Untimed Books photo challenge, so this passage from an Emily Dickinson letter (28 December 1880) caught my eye:


    The Honey reached us yesterday.

    Honey not born of Bee -- but Constancy -- which is "far better." I can scarcely tell you the sweetness it woke, nor the sweetness it stilled.


    100 untimed books - honey

    In introducing the letter, the recipient's granddaughter notes that "death was again uppermost in [Emily's] mind" at this time, "two more persons were gone who had meant much to her in different ways" -- the novelist George Eliot and the physician David P. Smith. I am not grieving, exactly, but I did hear of two deaths last week that have me perhaps clinging a touch tighter to the connections that have persisted across time and distance. Both women died of cancer -- one last November, one this past March -- and I am not surprised that I was not in the loop about either passing, as it's been more than fifteen years since I saw either of them and I am no longer close to the people who would have known to let me know. But I am also immensely grateful to the connections deep enough to transmit both news and warmth every few years, which is how I found out about the former colleague, and to the internet's obituary archives for providing me closure on Marilyn, whose paintings hang in my living room and library. My copy of E. E. Cummings's collected poems was already pretty beat-up when I impulsively gave it to her during a workshop we were taking together; I wonder if it survived her own moves since 1995, or if a family member chucked it into a dumpster during the final cleaning-out, or if maybe she handed it on to another penny-pinched artist to enjoy.

    I am not really fretting over what happened to the book, of course; it is merely somewhere for the sadness to go until I regain the drive to channel it into poems. In the meantime: honey and dirt. For perhaps the roses really want to grow...

    rose propagation
    zirconium: snapshot of oysters enjoyed in Charleston (oysters)
    So much happening in Nashville today. Assorted friends and colleagues were at either the Southern Festival of Books or Frist Center events, especially in relation to the Shinique Smith show. My Twitter timeline seemed to be checking in from either Oktoberfest or the Grace Potter concert. I was tempted to walk to the trunk show hosted by my yoga studio (especially on hearing that hot whiskey cider would be served), and equally tempted to stay home and nap, since I'd stayed up longer than I should've rereading a Lee Bros. cookbook.

    But I had reserved a spot in the free 9 a.m. screenprinting workshop at Plaza's Hands On Creativity day, so that's where I went after breakfast. The hands-on part of that session involved applying glow-in-the-dark ink to a t-shirt, which is now on my ironing board upstairs, awaiting the heat-before-wearing/washing step. (Note to locals: there are workshops and demos on various topics through Sunday, too.) To my relief, the group opted for the skull-with-flowers design rather than the four-leaf clover pattern. The rep warned that the blue ink we selected would not glow as intensely as the original practically-invisible-in-daylight formula, but I was willing to make that tradeoff, especially since it sounded like the latter might register as yellow (which, no thanks. I have plenty of dingy-looking shirts already).

    While at the store, I also picked up a copy of Huis Clos, a new paper I'd heard some buzz about. The "What's It Like to Bike That Pike (Volume VII: Murfreesboro Pike)" column was both fun and informative enough read for me to see if the earlier installments were online, but I've come across only an abridged version of the feature on Hillsboro.

    After a stretch of housework, I went back out to Charlotte Pike, dropping off dry cleaning and picking up twenty pounds of rice at K&S, along with a sack of snow pea leaves. Chinatown and Lucky Bamboo have both been out of those greens the past few times I've attempted to order them, so spotting them was today's winning-the-shopping-lottery moment. On the way home, I stopped at Sweet 16th for kung pao quinoa and an Elvis mini-bundt cake.

    After lunch, it was back to Plaza for the Gamblin workshop, which involved 2- and 3-D color wheels as well as extended discussions about layering and opacity/transparency:

    Gamblin oil demo

    The take-home samples included a bottle of Galkyd Lite, a bottle of Gamsol, and a tube of Torrit Grey. A new pair of products of particular interest: solvent-free gel and fluid, which are sufficiently non-flammable that artists can bring them onto planes.

    On my way out, I spent a couple of minutes at the Winsor and Newton table, where there were markers and blenders to play with. On my way home, I stopped at Woodland Wine Merchant, where today's tasting was from their barrel of Eagle Rare. Its smell? Glorious.




    Upper Rubber Boot's prompt 27 for 100 Untimed Books is "dog-eared." That entry is over at Vary the Line.

    Prompt 28 is "water":

    28 - water
    zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
    Upper Rubber Boot prompt 20: travel
    21: black and white
    22: can't wait to see

    I have fond memories of a morning I spent in Jacksonville almost three years ago. There were beautifully bedecked lions...

    San Marco Square

    ...and a spice shop, where I purchased some presents, and the San Marco Bookstore, where I picked up three more gifts. (This was the road trip where I picked up Christmas stamps for that year's holiday mailing and then couldn't remember where I'd stashed them until January. This year I'm sticking with roses.) The store was having a Buy 1 Get 1 free sale, so I treated myself to Samuel Chamberlain's Bouquet de France (sixth printing August 1960), which includes both black-and-white photographs and line drawings:

    Prompt 21 - black and white 21 - black and white28 - water

    A painting I can't wait to see again (and unsuccessfully searched for online a few nights ago) is Irwin Hoffman's Portrait of Dorothea G. Hoffman, which hangs in the Boston Public Library's Fine Arts/Music Reading Room. It's a marvelous record of a beautiful woman, and it's been almost a decade since I last visited her (and the danger is, of course, that the painting may be rotated out by the time I next get myself to Suffolk County. Not too long ago, Cheekwood put back into a storage a painting I'd just started writing about but hadn't taken complete notes on, thinking it would be there the next time...). I keep my precious copy of the BPL reading room art list tucked inside a guidebook from Cambridge's Globe Corner store:

    22 - can't wait to see

    At the moment, though, I'm abandoning all my grand plans for the afternoon in favor of a nap. (Current rule of thumb: if I'm too tired to wash the dishes, I'm too tired to go out again. Plus there are mushroom bao to make...) I did sing in two services this morning, and I write about how the Gospel of Luke got me thinking about Jack Gilbert over at Vary the Line, which Mary is reviving, with contributions from me and Joanne at least once a month.
    zirconium: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
    The subject line is from Diane Ackerman's "I Praise My Destroyer," which also contains these lines:

    it was grace to live
    among the fruits of summer, to love by design,
    and walk the startling Earth



    cigarette machine
    Cigarette machine, Jerusalem, 2009

    Paper Hound Bookshop
    Poetry machine, The Paper Hound Bookshop, Vancouver, 2013

    every stationery store should have a sleepy doggie
    Stationery shop, Wilmington (NC), 2012

    fishing
    Madison County Public Library, 2008

    Paris
    Paris, 2009
    zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
    Prompt: poems

    11. poems

    In the photo:
    If I Had Wheels or Love - Vassar Miller
    Collected Poems - Lynda Hull
    In Advance of All Parting - Ansie Baird
    A Year in Poetry - edited by Thomas E. Foster and Elizabeth C. Guthrie
    Staying Alive - edited by Neil Astley

    I'll probably spend part of tonight with one of these books. But first I will be finishing up the assembling of tonight's dinner (a variation of Bittman's chickpea tagine with chicken and apricots), and looking at other chicken recipes for tomorrow night. It will likely be pot pie if I feel I have time; if not, chicken salad sandwiches with leftover mashed potatoes on the side. The focus on chicken is thanks to a manager's special Saturday that resulted in me stewing a crockpot full of thighs; some of the chicken jelly was ladled onto the dog's kibble tonight, and oh, such rejoicing and gobbling there was by the auld girl.
    zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle rear)
    On the last day of June, I read some pages in Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times during lunch, and one with the phrase "Remember June's long days" caught my eye.

    It's titled "Try to Praise the Mutilated World," and you can read/hear it at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/247934.


    May 2010 - trying to salvage a friend's photos after their drenching by Nashville's biggest flood:
    attempting to salvage photos

    November 2011 - Paris laundromat door:
    Paris laundromat door, 2011

    June 2015 - mushrooms in my front yard:
    mushrooms in my yard
    zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
    The subject line's from Rilke's "Turning Point," from the June 20 entry of A Year In Poetry (ed. Foster and Guthrie). The poem does nothing for me, actually, but years ago the anthology introduced me to C. H. Sisson's "Letter to John Donne," which I felt like reading aloud, to myself last night and into my microphone earlier today:


    I am grateful particularly that you were not a saint
    But extravagant whether in bed or in your shroud.
    You would understand that in the presence of folly
    I am not sanctified but angry.



    The rest of my day has been more mellow. The Abbygator was delighted that I prepared baby bok choy for brunch, as she enjoys hoovering up the stubs. I followed the instructions at i am a food blog for preparing and baking the tofu, but instead of the honey garlic sauce, I stir-fried the bok choy with garlic, mirin, soy sauce, and scallions, to end up with this:

    tofu with bok choy

    The crepe myrtles burst into bloom a few days ago. Some of the tomato vines were nosing near my French books for a couple of nights. Many of the other plantings have not panned out, but there is at last a French marigold blossom in sight (grown from seeds harvested last fall):

    French marigold

    And blooms are emerging from the second generation of Christmas peppers (also from seeds I saved) as well:

    Christmas pepper

    And I'm hoping the cornflowers in the front yard do the self-seeding thing:

    cornflower
    zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
    ...Why He Put Off the Bus and Fired a Good Lead Guitar in West Texas

    That's the title of a James Whitehead poem reprinted in the Spring 2000 issue of Shenandoah, where I encountered it, and in Leon Stokesbury's The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry, which is on the shelves of Nashville's public library (811.5408097 M1811) and elsewhere.

    Someday I might request permission to do something with it -- and I won't be unhappy if someone with stronger lettering + illustration +/- typesetting chops gets to it first, to get it to more of its people. People who have endured gigs with someone who will not shut up. People stab-inching their way through this year's CMApocalypse. People who might want a persona poem for teaching or performing. "The day I put him off the sun outside..."

    In the meantime, it's 1:15 a.m. and I'm finishing a late second supper of tuna + bok choy + mayo + mustard, followed with some handfuls of Spanish peanuts and a glass of Nortico Alvarinho. Music studied, poem drafted, dishes washed, tomato tasted ...
    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    The subject line is from a March 1958 letter written by Henry Rago, then editor of Poetry, to Aileen G. Melchior, who had asked him to give her "an honest appraisal" of her twelve-year-old daughter's poems. Her letter opens with "I don't understand traditional poetry very well and modern not at all. I am not familiar with your magazine however I have been told that you are one of the most astute judges of modern poetry in America," adding that "it would a tragedy indeed if the child had talent which I failed to recognize."

    In his reply, Rago repeatedly cautions Mrs. Melchior against "over-encouraging": "I was a child-poet myself, and I know that she can do justice to her talent and at the same time have all the fun that any child should have. She shouldn't be deprived of this -- even poetry isn't a good enough reason."

    The daughter, Julia Anne, replied to this with a thank-you note:


    ... as for writing poetry, I don't write, I just put words together and they come out poems.

    I don't know if I'll be a poet though, Mama says there's no money in it and I do want to eat. I really do love words, especially adjectives. They seem to know how to describe exactly what you're feeling.


    [quotations from Dear Editor: A History of Poetry in Letters]

    emerging tulip
    zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
    [Subject line from Swinburne's "March: An Ode," via Dawn Potter]

    [Speaking of Ms. Potter, I read Galway Kinnell's "For Robert Frost" during lunch two days ago. It begins, "Why do you talk so much / Robert Frost?"]

    There is paperwork that must be conquered, but the sun was shining, so there was snipping and lugging and sowing. Four cubic feet of garden soil (plus maybe another half-foot left over from the fall) doesn't go all that far, but it made for a solid start. I transplanted my mama Christmas pepper plant (the one that spawned these) and spice-jar tomato seedling into larger planters, and sowed the following:

  • Evergreen scallions (seeds from Hudson Valley Seed Library, via All Seasons)

  • Hungarian breadseed poppies (Renee's Garden, via [I think] the now-shuttered Worm's Way Nashville) -- I've never gotten these past seedling stage, but maybe third time + larger pot will translate into success

  • chives (Plantation Products quarter packet, via Nashville Public Library Seed Exchange)

  • Jade Gem lettuce (Renee's Garden, via Worm's Way St. Louis, source of the terrific tomato plants)

  • petite marigolds (Ferry-Morse, via NPL Seed Exchange)

  • Grand Rapids lettuce (Bean Acres Seeds, eBay)

  • Rainbow radishes (Seeds of Change, Turnip Truck)

  • arugula (Seeds of Change)

  • Dainty Marietta French marigolds (seeds harvested from last fall's blooms, which were from a 2013 eBay purchase)


  • Now I am chilling out with a tumbler of Pisco Capel and a library copy of Soul Food Love. I am boiling rice in chicken broth for the dog (who was trying her darnedest earlier to hoover up the soil that didn't make it into the pots), and later I will cook shrimp grits for the BYM.

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