Thursday, May 24, 2012

School of the Arts

I'll be teaching 2 writing workshops at School of the Arts in Rhinelander July 22-27th. You should go! I'll also be taking an art class (if I can ever decide which to take...). Tell people!

                                                                            Rhinelander is in the northwoods. See:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do over.

Like the moment the puppy is dropped from the grip of a hawk, no: like the moment he lands after falling and finally shakes off the shock and looks around. And like the red barn he sees, smoke rising from the hayloft, the air around him still smoldering with the ash of cattle. Mostly, though, like the hawk perched in the tree considering what comes next.

Do over? Yes. I've been eating crackers in bed at my own discretion.  All of the ads I see are for shoes I want. If this is America, why am I so tired?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Some days, I feel like Cindarella, but only because I am surrounded by animals.

For the past month I've heard the most ridiculous bird call and have been running around the neighborhood (sometimes barefoot or in pajamas) trying to find the bird responsible. Luckily, last week, I decided to buy more bird food, and I lured the bugger in!  Turns out the bird I originally thought to be a red-headed woodpecker (when I saw it in trees) was actually a red-bellied woodpecker. Want to hear it? It's a pretty cool sound (the kwirr, but with no drumming, which was why I didn't assume it was a woodpecker noise).

I spent the whole day outside, which is silly, because I'm terribly allergic to outside right now. But, I've taken a medicine just to hang out with all of the animals in my yard, including a few bunnies, some chipmunks and squirrels, 2 cats, 2 pairs of Cardinals, some sparrows & house finches, the Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Downy Woodpecker, a Blue Jay... never a dull moment.

Carter & Matthew left for the weekend, so I've been busy enjoying life in a very quiet way.  I woke up this morning and revised some poems, then went to Lazy Jane's for breakfast and wrote there and read the Isthmus for the first time in a very long time.  Then, I stopped by the Children's Benefit plant sale and bought all of these plants!: 2 Peonies, 4 Cherry Tomatoes, 8 Romas, 1 Brandywine Red (heirloom), 1 Lady's Mantle, 1 spider plant, 1 large quantity of some kind of vine-like succulent, 1 Iris, and 1 Wild Geranium (pink).

So for Mother's Day?  I will get dirt and pots and gardening gloves and a small shovel. Perfectly domestic. Best Mother's Day ever. Also, we're going out for dinner or lunch, but I haven't decided where.

Last weekend, I visited my mom and she gave me this lovely columbine and some other pretty things to plant. Side note: We went out for dinner, and I had the most brilliant drink, the Octopus Margarita: sangria topped off with frozen margarita. When the Margarita hit the Sangria, it started to form tentacles. Funny and delicious.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

An abundance of bunnies (and other things that scare me)

Don't get me wrong-- I love bunnies. But last night, I passed a yard with 2 bunnies chewing  dandelion greens on one side of the sidewalk and 3 more on the other side of me. I was outnumbered by bunnies in a frightening way. They all looked at me with their large eyes and kept chewing... I get nervous when animals who should fear people keep eating when people approach them.

I also get nervous about large quantities of little things: minnows swimming in the bait shop tub, a swarm of ants around a small mound of dirt, a tangle of snakes mating in a giant ball of love...

On their own, of course, I'm not afraid of these things. A bunny? Cute. A snake? Fascinating? An ant? Also cute (think "Anty" on Honey I Shrunk the Kids). What is not cute and fascinating? Lots of those things at once. Also, centipede/s. Singular and plural. Not cute. Terrifying and upsetting.  I just can't deal with that many legs.

Upon waking yesterday morning, I turned the bathroom light on, and in the sink: a centipede. I let out a small shriek/scream and considered whether there was enough pressure in the faucet to wash the thing down without it running at me or disappearing (their ability to disappear is also disconcerting). And whilst considering, I noticed that my sink was littered with dirt and hair. Dirt and hair? No. Centipede legs. I had a mostly-legless centipede in my sink and a very proud kitty (who slept all day after his intense night of hunting). Needless to say, the centipede went down without a fight.

(Well. I had to pull the drain stopper out to get him down.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The End of Poem-a-Day and Other Complicated Systems of Time Measurement

As you may recall, I was writing a poem each day for the month of April.  How long did I last?  I made it about halfway through again.  What happened then on May 1st?  I wrote 3 poems. It's good.

Matthew planted grass last week, and now we have more grass!  And we have a pretty little patch of lilies of the valley, which are friendly to look at.   It's nice out today, so I'm sitting on the back porch collecting fruit flies in my wine and letting the mosquitoes chew on me a little. Yesterday, it was not so nice, and I watched a black-striped cat army-crawl through my yard toward a bunny.  The bunny decided to approach it, then sniffed the cat's face a bit.  I didn't want to know what happens next in that kind of situation, so I went outside to intervene and they took off in opposite directions. Now I may never know what happens in that kind of situation.

Today is Wednesday.  Each day toward the end of a semester, I say to myself "Today is _____, that means tomorrow is ________" so I can remember what needs to get done.  How is this still a problem if I have no semester?  I'm not sure.  But tonight, I told Matthew, "After May 15th, everything will be settling down again, and I'll go back to yoga regularly, and I'll cook nice things, and we can plant chard and beans and basil.." And I realized that I've said the exact same each May for 7 years.  (Well, the vegetables have changed over the years...)

I need to learn about moon-time-- something more reliable than poem-a-day and semesters to track my days.