zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
2017-09-09 07:16 pm
Entry tags:

getting the whirlwind settled

There is a mental metric ton of paperwork I must plow through tonight, and I don't wanna, plus the US Open women's singles final was this afternoon, which means the garbage bins are significantly cleaner (and I even went at some of the grodier corners with q-tips), some ancient dog shmutz has been scrubbed off a kitchen window, some recent hackberry shmutz has been wiped off the car windows and handles, leftover tiles from our 2009 bathroom renovation delivered to Turnip Green, and assorted leftovers incorporated into tastier hodgepodges (the last of the white wine from the freak bottle that sent glass into my cleavage has been blended with bargain-bin oranges and fruit salad dregs; the asparagus I defrosted and then forgot about has been scrambled into some eggs), and while I shall desist from dealing with the nearly-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-compost-bowl potatoes until tomorrow (possibly putting them into a lazy woman's version of potato nik), there is bread dough rising on the other end of the kitchen counter.

This morning I volunteered for the dragon boat festival, a fundraiser for the Cumberland River Compact. I ended up helping one of the Buddhist temples set up their tent, distributing oars, helping rowers in and out of boats and (un)tying said boats from the docks, and ferrying lifejackets to and fro. It was a good fit for what my brain and body needed after this week (which included one editing push that went past 4 a.m. and another work-thru-lunch-and-dinner haul yesterday), especially since I'm still coughing too much to dance or go to shows. After my shift, I played cornhole with one of the "Best Little Oarhouse in Tennessee" paddlers and a mother-daughter pair, and watched some of the dance-offs. One emcee was beside himself when a temple team busted into a rehearsed version of The Wobble. Next year I'll try to plan the day so that I have time to fly a kite.

It was likewise tempting to continue avoiding the paperwork put in much more time on the yard, but I confined myself to adding water where needed and clearing enough of a bed to plant the "whirlwind" anemone into its new spot (as well as putting the rosemary and thyme into proper pots):



When I checked on planting distance and depth, I had to look up the word "friable." Which was enough to get a new poem going as well.
zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
2017-08-26 09:50 pm
Entry tags:

whirlwinds in and out of pots

On my way home from this morning's workout, I stopped at Bates Nursery, mainly because I have a large Christmas cactus frond, one tomato cutting, and one geranium-from-Desire offshoot waiting to be established in fresh soil. I was not planning to acquire any plants, since I could easily occupy myself for several years with the weeding and trimming that needs to be done, but their English thyme looked great and as long as I was buying herbs, why not some golden lemon thyme and rosemary as well? But it was the "Whirlwind" Japanese anemone that I picked up, put down, walked past, and then came back to claim:

Japanese anemone

Japanese anemone

[I am out of practice with both blogging and taking photographs, not to mention a great many other things. Please to bear with me...]

[ETA: FFS, the images looked fine in preview mode. I'll get the hang of the sizing specs someday...]

What is growing again or anew with/for you?
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
2017-05-20 02:41 am

No lovelier spot in the dale

The subject line is from "The Church in the Wildwood," a hymn Ann Green apparently used to sing whenever she went back to Mississippi. Made a cheese ball with pickled peppers for her service (because, by the time I got around to figuring out what to pull together on a school night, it was too late to get started on benne wafers, and I have in fact lived long enough to recognize that), and brought sweet potato crackers to go with it.

Lawd, this week.

Transplanted the geranium from Desire to my front yard a week ago. Three days later, every leaf but the smallest one looked infected. Can't tell if that corner is fungally cursed -- last year's results were wildly, weirdly mixed -- or if said geranium just doesn't like Tennessee clay, even though I aerated the hole and mixed in some compost and tried not to get its feet too wet. The French hollyhock a few feet away survived the winter and now looks glorious. Perhaps it's yet another chapter in the universe's attempt to school me in not trying so damn hard that I get in my own way. (Which, not incidentally, is what a waltz partner told me at the Orange Peel a couple of months ago.)

Lawd, this week.

Anyway, I binned all the leaves except for that sweet little leaf at the tip of one stalk, and we'll see if what emerges -- if anything -- looks better. My car reeks of pine chips because I've been too busy to unload eight cubic feet of mulch from it. I would probably do best to compost the mallow seedlings in my sunroom because I waited too long to transplant those, but it's nice to know that the dozens more in the pet food tub are likely still viable.

I am sipping Hild Elbling Sekt and snacking on Milano salami at this hour, because a gal's gottta unwind. Some good dancing tonight. I was tempted to road-trip to Blue Moon later today, especially since there is a waltz workshop on the schedule, and because Jed-who-drives-up-from-Huntsville is a favorite partner, but there is too damn much to do right here at my kitchen counter (so much that I'm going to have to skip a choir thing already on my calendar). Maybe next year...

A singing thing that did happen this week: singing backing vocals on a video, at Jeff Coffin's studio, and chatting with him about his upcoming trips to Tuva and Myanmar. And he's the second person I talked to in person in Nashville this week about Tuvan singers. I do like my life.

My Garden & Gun subscription has kicked in (read, frequent flyer miles from an airline I don't fly that frequently on), and Roy Blount Jr.'s column has beautifully paired opening and closing sentences. The opening sentence: "I'm walking up Dauphine Street in New Orlenas when a man turns the corner carrying a tuba and walking an enormous hairy dog, simultaneously."

A message I sent to a friend in Asheville yesterday: "PUT THE PHONE DOWN and go ogle art at Blue Spiral or eat a marshmallow at French Broad Chocolates or pet the crocheted coats on the cats near Laughing Seed Café."

Wall Street, Asheville
zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
2017-02-11 09:24 pm

a geranium from Desire

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: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
2017-01-01 09:34 pm

on the rails

Hullo-ullo-ullo! We are starting out slow, 2017 and I, with cleaning and cooking and tugging at weeds between light spatter-downs of rain. It is a good way to get going -- the pedal will have to hit the metal soon enough. Today's subject line alludes to an article in the Holiday 2016 issue of Edible Asheville, about Carolina Ground, where grain is milled.


[Tara Jensen's] baking practice is influenced by her desire to keep a relaxed attitude, even when the fire is hot and her soul is weary. "What makes a baker exceptional is the ability to recover from mistakes without going off the rails," Jensen says.


The BYM peered into the oven as I was cleaning or prepping something else.

He: Whacha makin'?
Me: Cornbread.
He: Oooh... but, tell me this isn't some superstition thing.
Me: No. Although it does contain black-eyed peas.
He: DAMMIT.
Me: ... because I don't have to use as much milk.

I was actually thinking of a spoonbread recipe I'd looked at earlier when I said that; the bean variation of Bittman's cornbread recipe involves 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, and no white flour -- not a significant savings in the milk department, variation-wise. But my main goal was to try something new that would go with the beef burgundy from the freezer. I also made lemon-garlic kale salad, albeit with pecans and gorgonzola instead of almonds and parmesan.

It is true that I picked up the can of black-eyed peas yesterday at the store, because hey, there it was on the endcap, and then I put kale and kielbasa into the basket as well, thinking the three would make a good combination for lunch. But what I actually craved this morning was I grew up calling "mee whun" -- a simpler version of this rice noodle recipe. The version I prepared today contained just bean threads, cabbage, carrots, garlic, and pork.

bean thread package

first lunch of 2017

Other stirrings: one rejection reached me yesterday; I sent two submissions to editors today.

Closing the day with the good kind of hot water: a mug of Li Shan Pear Mountain tea and a hot bath. I'm pondering what to replace tired tulips with, in the shade beds in my front yard, but the truth is also that I might be best off tending to just the soil itself for a long while. I had the old gonna-fail-two-classes-because-I-didn't-go-to-them nightmare this morning -- my subconscious hasn't developed any subtlety over the years. Basics first, you imbecile. Right. Got it. On with the hoe.
zirconium: Photo of cat snoozing on motorcycle on a sunny day in Jersualem's Old City. (cat on moto)
2016-12-24 05:32 pm

though the frost was cruel

Today's mailman asked about the dog, having not seen her for a while. He said she was one of the few who didn't bark at him. I might be snuffling as I type. Read more... )
Finally: I started this entry some hours ago. Night has fallen, so let there be light.

first night
zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
2016-08-26 12:11 am
Entry tags:

I am a breeze in the still August air

The subject line's from "Brooklyn Blurs," a song by/in The Paper Raincoat. I heard Alex Wong perform it with Megan Slankard in a house concert back in March, and he mentioned at an Angelhouse Family Dinner that he would probably play it during his Basement gig last Saturday.

I'd hoped to go to that show, but Other Things Happened. I'd hope to see tonight's ASL-interpreted performance of the Scottish play, but Other Things Had To Get Done. I have a suspiciously sore throat that I'm hoping won't get in the way of Things I Gotta Get To and Through within the next week. Mann traoch, Gott lauch.

There is a metal screwcap perched on my handbag. I am perplexed - none of the bottles in the cabinets or on the counters appear to be missing their stoppers or lids, nor is there an open bottle of wine - but not enough to feel like I have to figure it out before I head to bed. Though it's all too likely that my brain will seize on some aspect of this to turn into a tanka or triolet a couple of hours from now, and that will get me out of bed to type out the words before they evaporate.

IMG_1091

This week's Tarotscope urged me to embrace change. ... I broke in my new pair of swim goggles this week. I tried buti yoga last week. I'm looking at dance classes around town -- it's going to be a full day if I try to attend the Muslim hip hop doubleheader that's scheduled for the same Saturday as the Early Autumn Day of English country dancing, but it looks doable and is therefore tempting.

I am contemplating iron-on vines, to cover a stain on a gooseneck rocking chair I acquired last week at the Habitat ReStore for $25. My current tomato cutting + pepper cullings look sunburnt in their beakers and jars, so I'm thinking of throwing out the lot. I am thankful that I had limes on hand this morning, as I was again careless about gloving up before dealing with Prairie Fire seeds and ended up giving myself an invisible moustache of a burn. The zinnias are thriving:

IMG_1105
zirconium: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
2016-08-09 10:35 pm
Entry tags:

savoring heat

It took time to harvest the Christmas (aka Prairie Fire) peppers, some of which were hidden behind and below many leaves:

pepper at the heart of a bush

Read more... )
zirconium: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
2016-07-30 08:27 am
Entry tags:

cultivatin'

This week, y'all. (In)substantial pomp and circumstance on larger stages notwithstanding (the BYM: "Dude, you have got to watch Bill Clinton with the balloons. I want balloons!" Hee), there were deadlines and revelations galore.

Read more... )

peppers
this morning's harvest, which I'll be taking to a cousin and an aunt
zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
2016-07-04 01:22 am

sloshing through the sauerkraut

Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell, 18 July 1950:


Just had a visit from the Dutchman who works here & writes poetry incessantly. I hope he wasn't one of your problems too. One poem this time is about his soul fermenting in a barrel of sauerkraut. He's so grateful to God for sending him such marvelous ideas, but personally I'm afraid God is playing tricks on him.


There is no actual sauerkraut here, as I've despised the stuff all my life. What we do have on hand: kosher dill pickles, salted lemons, and capers. From generous colleagues, fire cider and dried pineapple. From the container garden, belatedly harvested radish greens and arugula, tempered on my stove with cream or bacon and wine vinegar, countered by a orange-skinned cherry tomato I popped into my mouth a day or three too soon. I cut down the rust-plagued hocks a few twilights ago, and in the morning shall steel myself to thin out the zinnias, if rain is not pelting down. The Christmas peppers run the gamut from stunted seedling to shriveling unharvested pod. So too my drafts. So too my sketches and lists.
zirconium: the word "SANGUINE" engraved in stone (sanguine)
2016-05-28 10:29 pm
Entry tags:

je me perds dans l'univers

[Today's subject line is from Christophe Willem's "Berlin," which is on the album advertised on posters at Lyons Part Deux seven years ago.]

090527 strasbourg 142


Seven years ago, I was staying in a (comparatively) cheap hotel in a slightly sketchy section of Strasbourg. From a 27 May 2009 e-mail to the BYM:

Slogging away on the [] manuscript and missing American ice machines (I literally pried four cubes out of the hotel tray yesterday afternoon so that my liter of Coke could remain drinkable), takeaway coffee, and clean glassware.

Minor nuisances: the shower's so small the water temp changes whenever I turn around (because my body keeps hitting the faucet), and some dude tried to hit on me by asking if I was from Japan, which is a lame pickup line in any language.

On the plus side, I do think I looked pretty good yesterday [], I bought strawberries and scallions at an open market near the Jewish quarter, and there was a fantastic countertenor busking in front of the Cathedral. Got in a half-day of sightseeing just from getting lost, so I will feel less lame about staying glued to the laptop/netbook all today.


Two mornings later, I took the train from Alsace...

French train station Strasbourg train station, I think

to Marseille, which included a transfer at Lyons Part Deux, where some passengers sit on a bank by the tracks between trains:

IMG_1489 IMG_1485

30 May 2009:


Marseille even noisier and rowdier than Strasbourg, but I was expecting that. I'm getting a good sense of what 65 EUR hotel neighborhoods are like, I guess. ;-)

Also, the further south the train station, the crazier it is. Well, not really, but Lyons Part Dieu was like JFK/O'Hare combined (in terms of sheer mass of humanity and chaos and I even first got on the wrong train, because somehow everyone is supposed to know that the TGV to Marseille will be on track I as opposed to the normal train on track G, and though I at least suspected something was wrong since the train I was supposed to catch had two levels and the Ter had only one). When I got on the right train, some dude was in my seat, so there was a moment of "Oh no!" -- and then another dude mistook it for his because *he* had gotten onto the wrong car.

The drama at Marseille St. Charles was seeing a dozen people pelt through the station, trying to catch their connections.

Dinner was pasta from Chicken World, where I also threw back two espressos (at 11:30 pm).


Today, I ended up discarding plans A, B, and C in favor of housework, yardwork, and time with the dog. Lots of tugging at stubborn vines, stubborn roots, and occasionally stubborn canine. (Me to the BYM: She was chomping on some of ivy. Do you suppose it has hallucinogens in it, and would that explain why she ate half of my poodle-print scarf earlier this week?) I transplanted a hollyhock seedling (which didn't look happy about its new location, but it was one too many further down the row), a cactus cutting, and a bunch of pepper seedlings. I harvested a handful of radishes. I am planning to sow zinnias and maybe marigolds.

We are worried about the dog. Some days she gallops from one end to the house like a puppy; some nights, like tonight, her hind legs intermittently give out on her. It may be time to revisit medication options; it is certainly time to steal more time for her, as it were. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon pruning branches and yanking at stems in a corner of the yard she likes to disappear into, the better to let passersby know that they're on her street. I can't save her from tripping over herself, let alone most of the wide, ever-beckoning universe, but I can at least clean up some of the corners. Digging at the roots unearthed an old shard of glass, some blue-green netting, and the usual jumble of rocks and clumps.

Some of the branches are now propping up parts of the fruit-heavy mama pepper plant, whose pot I also tidied up today, adding soil to cover roots that our spring weather (or the dog) had disturbed. I am resisting the urge to stock up on sale mulch; given the music I need to have in my bones by mid-week (on deck: a recording session [touching up some spots on the forthcoming Heritage OP album], a workshop with Ysaye Barnwell, and two Music Sunday services [also featuring Dr. Barnwell]), I'm unlikely to get through the bags already on hand. As it happens, the dog is now napping in the room with the piano. When I practice tomorrow, she'll probably jog my left elbow before I'm ten minutes in, because (planting snout firmly in my lap) don't I already spend enough time not paying attention to her?
zirconium: photo of cupcake from Sweet 16th, Nashville (crackacino cupcake)
2016-04-28 09:15 pm
Entry tags:

we're all like frail boats on the sea

[Subject line from Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Jubilee"]

I took the cookies to work, labeling the bin "oatmeal-flax cookies" so as to warn for allergies. The container was empty by the end of the day, and two colleagues told me that the biscuits tasted good for something that looked so healthy. ;)

The lemon tart is really, really good.

The dawg is delighted with the steak drippings and potato salad dregs from tonight's supper.

The rogue rosebush produced three blooms this round. A relief to know my ill-fated attempts to propagate it (by taking cuttings that then didn't take) didn't kill it.

IMG_9807
zirconium: medical instruments @High Point Doll Museum (medical instruments (miniature))
2016-04-23 11:02 pm
Entry tags:

One more sun comes sliding down the sky

[Subject line from Counting Crows' "Einstein on the Beach"]

A reputation I enjoy is that of being left-brained to a fault. I like coaxing bibliographies into consistency, and I've demonstrated a knack for devising and refining chronologies, schedules, and itineraries. I am sometimes inordinately amused when friends and associates find my pragmatism maddening: watching me add commas and conjunctions to her draft, one author muttered, "You have no poetry in your soul, do you," which cracks me up every time I think back to that session.

This trait likely plays into why I am rarely captivated by artist statements, which are often too lofty, wifty, theoretical, and/or all-encompassing for my taste. Today, however, Heidi Ross's Flickr summary got me off the fence about going downtown to see her show at Third Man Records. The description in the Scene had me adding it to my calendar, but then I put in more than ten hours at the office yesterday, subsequently falling dead asleep in the tub with my eyeliner on, and there are SO MANY WEEDS still in the beds, plus stacks of receipts, plus a manuscript, plus lemons to slice, etc., etc., yadda yadda ishkabbible.

But traffic was lighter than I'd feared, and parking was not a problem, and I hadn't really registered on my previous visit to Third Man (a packed-to-the-gills poetry reading that became too overwhelming for my group, which fled to a Jeni's to recover) just how beautiful its spaces are. I wished I'd brought my own camera as I walked toward the Blue Room. Within the show, I was drawn especially to the trio of Eat the Fruit (Mennonite), Good News, Bad News, Good News, and First Service, Second Service; the third image is that of a Kentucky Theater marquee, listing both a church meeting and a screening of Thriller. The pairing reproduced at the top of the Nashville Arts profile (Rip It Up and Start Again with Nine Knives) also beckoned to me.

When I ventured into the store, the two young women inside were on the floor, shrieking with uncontrollable laughter. They were still in its grip when I slipped out a minute or two later. I couldn't make out what had happened, nor did I particularly want to. I'd bet that the trigger was not only a "you had to be there" thing but also a I'd-have-to-be-them. Better to continue on to Woodland Wine Merchant's weekly tasting, which today featured three wines that go well with grilled food. (Lately, I've been enjoying how good the wines smell -- more so than how they taste. A rabbit hole to explore some other time...) And then to the supermarket, and then back to the house, to make up stories about disconcerting mysteries while yanking at half-matted speedwell.
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
2016-04-22 06:25 am
Entry tags:

Comment la traverser


La problème de la nuit reste entier. Comment la traverser, chaque fois la traverser tout entière?

Que mes secondes sont lourdes! Jamais je ne les aurais crues si lourdes. Instants éléphatiasiques.

The problem of the night remains total. How to cross it, cross it completely each time?

How heavy my seconds are! I never would have thought them so heavy. Elephantasiac moments.


-- Henri Michaux, "Après l'accident / After the Accident," translated by Dori Katz

NC Arboretum

This variety of tulip is called "Blue Wow," but it looked decidedly purple to me.

I am salivating, so to speak, over the Julia Child rose in my White Flower catalog. I am also tempted to attend tonight's Plants + Pints event, in search of begonias. At the moment, though, the urge to go back to bed is warring with the urge to sneak in an hour of weeding. And maybe to sow a new crop of radishes.

Speaking of radishes...

best crop yet
zirconium: tulip in my front yard, April 2014 (tulip)
2016-04-06 07:59 pm
Entry tags:

tameless, and swift, and proud

[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: tulip in my front yard, April 2014 (tulip)
2016-03-28 01:08 am

running out of bras before knives

Some months, the spreadsheets and social commitments and sundry other obligations outstrip one's ability to answer the call of laundry and le laver la vaisselle. One resorts to the strapless stick-ons and thanks Providence for the quick-sale Anaheim peppers staying fresh for several weeks, plodding on and picking one's way through mud and cement slicks...

IMG_9553

I am not thrilled about PDF-wrangling and number-crunching cutting into time for sleeping. It'll likely hoover up swimming and dancing and socializing time as well, and I might be kicking myself right now for choosing to spend most of Saturday away from my laptop. But part of that day was spent riding around Lewis State Forest on a quarter horse named Question Mark, with a shepherd mix named Zeba happily galloping along, with the sky bright blue above pines and saplings and sprinklers, and then there were turnip cakes and bubble tea back in Nashville, and then I scraped and snipped and lugged and tugged thises and thatses around the yard, and that was a pleasure too.

IMG_9554
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (star)
2016-03-14 01:24 am
Entry tags:

space

An ongoing challenge here -- both with plants and with people -- is gauging how much space is in order. The pepper plants are particularly perplexing this year: in the past, they have flourished only when I got around to transplanting them into larger pots, but this year some of them seem happier and healthier in tight quarters. There are, of course, numerous other variables I haven't tracked -- soil, light, tea and coffee dregs, floor vs. table -- but that hasn't stopped me from marveling and dithering over the if-whens and what-nexts.

This batch seems happy crowded together:
Christmas pepper plants

This batch, not so much:
Christmas pepper plants

An upstairs daughter plant is doing really well right now:
Christmas pepper plant Christmas pepper plant

Over at Vary the Line, I dwell on light and astronomers. As I was closing windows after posting that entry, I clicked on a link to John Brashear's obituary. This sentence stood out:

Often, in the evening after his mill labors were over, Mrs. Brashear held a lantern, giving light to her husband while he sawed and hammered on their house.


So many possible directions one could pursue with that. Some other night.
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
2016-02-18 02:41 am

what to glean, what to save, what to send

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: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
2015-11-27 03:19 pm
Entry tags:

unseasonal

Black Friday dandelion

November dandelion
smirking at the myrtles--
I ponder pickling
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
2015-10-25 09:09 pm

roses with honey

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