Sunday, April 27, 2014

Poetry Binge

Yesterday, I devoured poetry.  Two of my favorite things:

This Poetry Foundation podcast about this iPad commercial from January.  I'd seen the commercial originally on TV when it aired in January, but I'd forgotten about it, and the conversation about the poem and Walt Whitman in this podcast is kind of great.

Carrie Fountain's poems in Better blew my mind.  You can read them here.  I think writing about children, and babies maybe particularly, is super-challenging, so I'm impressed when poets pull it off in a way that is surprising and real.  I bought Burn Lake and am looking forward to reading her new book in September.

Today was the first "hot" day of the year. I use quotes, because it didn't get to 70,  but I went for walk, and the sun burned my skin a bit and my face was red when I got in from my walk.  Where I live now, my backyard faces a bike path and community garden.  There's so much going on today: people on bikes and with wheelbarrows and with wagons-- a bunny!  I'm watching from my tiny third floor balcony and am completely unnoticed.  Part of me wants to be down there, too, walking and planting and with people, but I'm excited for the moment to be so completely alone-- hidden away up here with the hum of traffic and airplanes and strangers.  It's so rare to have a chance to be alone lately.

Soon enough, there will be leaves on the trees, and I will only be able to see green and the backs of other houses when I'm up here.  Below, the bulbs are sprouting green all over our yard.  Roger is crying at the door to come out (we don't let him out, because he'd fall asleep under the hood of someone's car, I'm sure of it-- he's such a sweet, dumb creature.).  Tomorrow, we'll go to the Farmer's Market and look for rhubarb.  The beet and chard seeds are snug in our wee little beds.  Yes.  Spring.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sunshine and a Few Birds

The ice fishing folks have finally abandoned the slushy lake, and even though it's still cold, the air smells alive and green and damp.  I want to roll in it.

I work in the middle of a marsh, which, although kind of depressing (there are a bunch of tall buildings invading this lovely land), is one of my favorite things about work.  I'm on the third floor, and yesterday, a pair of Sandhill Cranes flew right by the window.  It was like being at the zoo, but backwards.  Red-Winged Blackbirds are singing from the tops of naked bushes and the street lights.  There are ladybugs!  And no snow!  And pavement. (I wish there was an opposite of an exclamation point...)

In addition to the sheer joy of being alive to see everything coming to life, I've been overwhelmed by dust and work and no-sleep and the strong desire to write and the strong desire to have enough energy to think, let alone write.  But, the days are shifting: it is lighter, and warmer, and I can feel my whole self respond to the shift.  I spent one full day cleaning last week.  Floors, ceilings, packing things away, washing sheets.  A clean slate.  A do-over.  Time to pretend winter never existed.  Time to wash the salt from the floors and dress the house in flowers.  A deep sigh.

It is almost my birthday-- it really snuck up on me this year!  Every year on my birthday, I think of Lucie Brock-Broido's "October Seventh, Nineteen Eighty-Three," and I start reading EB White's essays.  There is maybe a relationship between these two readings, but I'm not sure. Mostly, the weather makes me read them. But, as I was saying, it's almost my birthday, which is fantastic.  This year, I'm getting together with a bunch of friends for dinner and drinks, and the next day I will go to the Half-Pint Resale half-price day and eat brunch at El Dorado Grill, which is the best place to eat brunch.  It'll be such a happy weekend!  Hooray!  Sunshine!  Food!  Etc.!