Tuesday, October 30, 2012




Dear Attention Span,

I have a pumpkin. I have a small glass of bourbon with an ice cube. Michael Jackson's Thriller. So many knives, not enough hands. So many trumpets, not enough patience.  I've heard the piper calling.  I'm no smooth criminal, but I've smooth hands. That's a lie: they're very dry. It's seasonal. It's all this hot water I've gotten myself into. From Canada, a woman intercepts my words.  She teaches me to eat everything with peanuts.  I soak cashews to grind into cheese.  I polish the clay, twist the silver, check the flyers for the cheapest canvas.  Someday soon, I will need to write this list. After a while, all of the monster voices sound the same.

















Friday, October 26, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

There hasn't been a bat in the house for weeks

The heat has been on for a while now, but only because sunshine doesn't reach all of the house's insides. Last night, in the woods, three Barred Owls bantered. If you haven't heard such a a thing, you should: listen to it here.  It's haunting.  And in real-life, it echoes deep in your lungs and makes you feel hollow.

Until today, I haven't really considered fall.  I was reluctant, perhaps, to acknowledge that I hadn't really considered summer.  But now we're in full swing.  My pockets are full of acorns.  For weeks I've come home to find the cat curled and tucked into himself on the back of the couch. My sewing machine has replaced my computer on the desktop. There are fabric scraps everywhere.

Yesterday, the starlings started kicking up leaves in the backyard. I will fill the bird feeder again.  I am still afraid of the possum I saw near the compost bin at dusk.  My fridge is stocked with whipping cream and smoked gouda. I've preserved nothing.






Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dear Husband, I promise never to brag to people that you've watched our children while I went out to eat, shopped, or watched a movie

I'm all sorts of upset about mothers lately.  As the big gold letters at the top of this blog suggest, I'm all about being a person. I think personhood is the greatest personal success that anybody can achieve. And it's somehow more difficult to do than you'd imagine!  This is why I was so excited yesterday to read "I'm Not a 'Mother-First'" in  The Nation and consequently so disgusted to see a facebook post from someone thanking her husband, aka her baby's father, for being so wonderful and taking care of their child while she went shopping. Apparently, it just takes a few hours of baby-minding to be husband of the year?

Anyway, what makes me most cranky is that the article in The Nation, though wonderful in its honesty, fails to mention any of the less-political consequences of a world of "mother-firsts."  What happens to these ladies when their children grow up and move out?  If you haven't had a life of your own in 18 years, if you haven't been a person, what in the hell will you do with yourself?  This is dangerous. This is when ladies have affairs or run away to read some books and meditate.

I work in student services, so I know what the other mothers do: they continue to mother their should-be adult children. I talk to so many mothers of people over 20 on a regular basis...  "My son, Johnny, forgot his password." "My son, Brandon needs to know his professor's name..." I want to shake them and scream: WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! TELL JOHNNY TO CALL ME! "But he's a full-time student." Of course he is, and you have nothing better to do than call me, right? These women turn out to be the mother-in-laws that the next generation of mother-firsts dread. These women try to nurse their grandkids.

You'll notice here that "Johnny" and "Brandon" are boys' names.  When we live in a "mother-first" society, we praise our fathers for giving up 10 of their precious man-minutes to take care of their own children. We expect women to be "mothers-first," but we also expect them to clean the house, have a job, take care of their husbands...  Why can't we all just be people?  Why should this be so difficult?


Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This is not true. It's in the 70's and lovely outside. Half-Price Books, however, would like me to think Christmas is approaching-- I walked into the store and found myself surrounded by snowmen and Santa cards.  I don't doubt that if I went to any other store today, I'd also find Christmas trees and ornaments, stockings, etc. With Christmas 4 months away, I guess it's never too early to start buying things to prepare?  It's like the Christmas-pocolypse: Stock up today on cards or you might not survive! 

In the past, I've typically scorned those who start thinking about Christmas as soon as the leaves change color. This year, though I'm crazy-lady-excited for the holidays. Heaven help me. It might be my new cubicle lifestyle or my new passion for pinning DIY projects... I won't pretend I'm not looking forward to Christmas carols.

In the meantime, to keep myself busy, I plan to make all of the things I've pinned. Ok, probably not all of them, but lots. And I'm starting with a trip to the thrift shop tonight. There are also a few wonderful events going down soon to keep my holiday excitement at a reasonable (for those around me, hopefully tolerable) level. I'm especially looking forward to:

Kathy Park Hong reading (Oct. 4)
Literary Network Run/Walk (Oct. 14)
Wisconsin Fellowship of Poet's Conference (Nov. 2-4)
Lorine Niedecker Festival (Nov. 2-4)
Wisconsin Book Festival (Nov. 7-11)

Then, on to Thanksgiving! Then it's Christmas! Then Boston & AWP!

Speaking of October-- why is Vegan for a Month in October? October is the time of year I most want to eat cheese and warm, baked things. Why not in August, when I can just eat tomatoes all day long? I don't know, I might try it anyway. In the name of solidarity or good health or environmental happiness...