Monday, December 31, 2018

31 december

we had other ideas at other points but then something else happened instead and it was this and it was good although yes true sometimes there are splinters and often I go off script as if I can revise it better but then anyway there's a twist that fixes the line the diagram the triangle of plot although roller coaster is the trite term it's somewhat earned although we'll say mountain range instead because it's a bumpy stretch sometimes but oh the view indeed

Sunday, December 30, 2018

30 december

making space to invite in something else -- sometime somewhen somewhere with no leaky ceilings or dust coats no excuses and no guessing -- no eating to fill the empty no dark that cannot face light -- it is a different genre entirely, or so I've heard and drafted

Saturday, December 29, 2018

29 december

It is on the way home from what feels like it might be the week's 27th grocery run -- not bad for a lazy holiday -- and what is definitely the week's last grocery run -- having already managed thirty minnutes out of the house once the sun went down, errands and quick retreat on this hot times! last Saturday night of the year -- that I was struck. It was at the red light and reached for the unopened half gallon of one percent chocolate milk, which was just before a total stranger pulled up in the next lane and I knew --even in the dark -- he would glance over at me in shocked judgement (can't she at least wait to get home first?) and I would spill all over myself as honking behind jerked me into the shortlived reality of the left-turn lane.

Friday, December 28, 2018

28 december

more of the same to drain the rest with to pass the test with failing colors and a cup of soup of tea of quiet understated platings with slices of ratherward fading in confusion --

Thursday, December 27, 2018

27 december

I spent a dollar fifty on optimism today and that's exactly all I got. Six quarters worth in plastic digital chip form, underwarmed by the second dryer -- trying but not very hard, umpteenth time and more. And yet, somehow, felt better for the purchase, although despair is cheaper and pessimism free.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

26 december

as if a switch off or on and it's hard to tell which way until your eyes adjust to what's new and it's true what they say but just can't remember how it goes

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

25 december

in a short story it would be seen as magic or a plot device, as if setting -- talking time, not just place here -- can impact the outcome, and we know it can -- but in real life just two characters trying to make a go of it and not sure where they're getting --  

Monday, December 24, 2018

24 december

a year in this notebook and won't look back too closely over the dips and trips -- slipping up and sliding down like an underground animal cracker housed like a foundation of devastation and also hollowness the way best described as down and also the certainty that someone else deserves better -- the missing weather when the climate fell off and the cough that never quite went away -- play and rewind a dozen times to the same scene and we've seen it all before like a door shutting on your finger but still you linger as it happens -- never fast enough or trying much to pull it back -- harm's way and home again, stranded by hope and cast off like disappointment coming around the bend

Sunday, December 23, 2018

23 december

a small step slipping shipshape into slipshod slapdash excuses -- the caboose is rolling in but the passengers have no time to get onboard to step aside to simply ride on to the next destination -- the stretched imagination of those blurred by rain and wonder -- torn and turn and misunderstood by design -- a fine unpaid and a string that's afraid not all can be solved -- hard going with no knowing what's next -- 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

22 december

to recycle metaphors the score was unsettled so the lights went out and the tables turned like clockwork disregard unwashed and lazyoiled for the creaking hand that feeds the mouth that cannot shut like a ridge unridden and a path forked by knives alive and sharp as goodbye

Friday, December 21, 2018

21 december

and somehow then there was nothing else to do and so the dark instead and also wind although what was blowing in or out was nowhere to be seen nohow anyway -- 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

20 december

definitely the end of something but nobody knows which switch is on and which one's gone already with the holiday scene and the tangerine dreams already overcooked and underlooked beyond the point of many happy returns unearned and overserved -- 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

19 december

and we are coming to the end and yet unsure if there's any more in the cupboard or if it's bare or if a lucky spare is lurking just beyond the horizon of imagination, which, frankly, must be very far away indeed

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

18 december

as if there is some forgiveness to be found in seeking despair when there ought to be something else entirely instead -- said backward and convincingly the nature changed once the calendar cleared and there's no dates for anyone now

Monday, December 17, 2018

17 december

something to apologize for but more the way the waste places blame and the want knots like the have gots and the lesser wants more than a full score of decks to collect the aces that chase the hands around like ground cover and ducks in the night

Sunday, December 16, 2018

16 december

no doubt there is another way but it's hard to see from here and no path is clear enough to travel with closed eyes and no surprise but some other sort of ramble turns tangled and high tails but failing again to form the edges and lost in hedges I planted myself I toast the health of those ahead and wish the best to all those beyond the door -- 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

15 december

breaking down and also we apart but within bounds around the corners and under siege like a league of untying nations in consternation and deep steep to stew the truth free of metrics and also beyond abandon -- a stand-in for sensibility and a filled cheese danish worn out with the effort of socialized delivery -- sniveling with the unlikeliness of it all -- 

Friday, December 14, 2018

14 december

I want to see better hear feel know better but in the way there are cloudy headlights and passive passing passing on and out and up without the thought stepping in or up or beyond the expectations -- the collections of disappointed out of jointment jangled by confusion lend illusions to the constellations -- the dots that don't quite connect

Thursday, December 13, 2018

13 december

but by then the sun had set and we didn't know if it would be back -- tracking the path and turning the corners with onerous twists and mournful considerations -- the nations untied and fried their own eggs halfway through the scramble they couldn't see past -- 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12 december

never mind the find and the additional subtraction -- we've lacked an easy strategy but the time has -- still not come -- let us hum, let us pray --

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

11 december

coming apart and the seams but the scene is still steady enough to ready the setgo while the yet low tide takes its high time and side turns to earn rusty trust in a roadside canoe gone flat from the damp and let loose from the map -- 

Monday, December 10, 2018

10 december

up and down but also somewhere in the middle the idea that we feel better with less is tested and the rest seems historically inaccurate though the jacket fruits and the maple poles like a trolley unforeseen and undeserved like the swerving between lanes in the backwoods dark or the park we used to meet in like defeating some other future like the sutures we can't see from here or the lima beans we'll never see in the same way again -- 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

9 december

and sometimes if you just keep going you may end up closer after all although it's hard to tell where and to know quite why and further answers to key questions but the odd dimensions surely soon must measure up although still quite hard to see what color the blueprint will turn in the end -- 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

8 december

as it breaks down we shake down the feathers and ups the pillows -- the will of the winds and the turn of the tides with nowhere sure but the hidden beach combovers and lawnotes a float with expectation -- the situation unstoned overturned hightailed and neverfail alarm clocks the stock of renegades and B-roll tolling not for bells and waiting much too long for tea -- 

Friday, December 7, 2018

7 november

For the past thirty hours or so -- although who’s counting? -- the idea of jelly donuts has appeared recurringly in my mind’s eye. It’s better than actual jelly donuts appearing over and over again in my hand -- and then, most likely in my stomach… although jelly donuts are more messy than tasty, given the choice… although, handed a jelly donut, it’s probably a natural choice to eat it. Who am I kidding?


When someone tries to deliver bad news, they have to be really really skilled not to let the cat out of the bag too soon. Only metaphors and cliches will do in this case, and -- in this case -- I’m using a meta-mataphor to set it up. Mindblowing, really.

So your back… so your discs… like jelly donuts… and between these, the jelly has been drying out… with age (Q: What age do you call 38? A: Exactly.)... and if it was just those two spots we could… but down here… this donut is completely flattened… all the jelly is squeezed out on this side… 1.5 cm… which is actually a lot… nerves… compression… etc.

So: jelly donuts as an exercise in compassion.

Except I’m pretty sure I’ll never eat another jelly donut again.

7 december

and then i woke from a dream of being asleep and it was hard to figure what else I could possibly dream of instead and to a better effect but it soon became clear the blank stayed empty and i laylie in it to curl up but i didn't quite fit in the short space and so i placed my faith in some other structure and sutured together the present with the past while the last common denominators between now and later multiplied their variables and subdivided their times -- 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

6 december

quiet down and lielay low in expectation of space of quiet of wandering toward or away with no difference in betweeen -- seeming to say and staying away out of the sorts 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

5 december

and it turned out that was all there was -- to reflect on without doing any new or right or good -- to carry on with a path collapsed into pixels and reformatted with a stradivarius intention but a nickeldime tune -- a night of mourning and a circle we can't square -- not sure if this is my stop here -- 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

4 december

brown butter undertaker
sugar sliced ham
all the weakened rutabagas
slipping through beyond expansion
let the turnips sing
keep out the alabaster
nobody sleeps the soup on
fearful final roots
turn up the sky
underwrite the breakapart
add another inch of dark

Monday, December 3, 2018

3 december

a two potato more evening as the dark shovels up and the mouth goes dry -- try and find the way out of dark and up the river down the creek around around around

Sunday, December 2, 2018

2 december

although the logic is not there a strong sense of overwhelm bans against the common sense and batters ramparts already unsteady with overuse and disabused notions of strength -- a tent in a storm keeping warm by candlelight on a rainy night split by frightening sadness and also the fear that nothing is clear but the end which is always with us and the stars that miss us in the dark -- 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

1 december

but now it will be dark to rights well enough to be left alone like an unstone overearned turned from pencil to pretzel like twisted words unheard and seldom said again -- I planned this all differently but that's not how it goes -- we show ourselves to be lacking in tracking all the guesses for the mess is more than the blueprints worth and rehearsals never went like this

Friday, November 30, 2018

30 november

Speaking of which. Grilled cheese for lunch today. It’s a Friday special treat lunch. I almost considered describing it as the grown-up equivalent of Friday lunch special treat chocolate milk, but I’m not too sure if grilled cheese is much higher up the food maturity totem pole. I guess if you call it “special treat lunch” in the first place, you’re probably already looking at a fairly low-level portion of the aforementioned and totally not imaginary measuring standard.

Compromise? Kind of. It’s the last day of the month. I’ve been overdoing it a bit, but it’s probably one of the most accessible options for pleasure available to me at this time. This is not to say that I have a limited imagination, but it is true that I have some standards. In addition to food maturity totem poles, I mean.

I know!!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

29 november

During a meeting, I got a voicemail from a complete stranger, unknown number and name: Alvarez. Due to the miracles of voice-to-text transcription, I got an
email with both the recording and the text: Them call me again reached.
Powerful strange.

So I listened to the recording.

Don’t call me again, bitch.

So that didn’t help much.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

28 november

I live on the fourth floor of my apartment building. There are only two floors below me, and one is slightly below ground level at the entrance side, so I only walk up two short flights of stairs to get home. I never take the elevator, because there is no elevator.

I work on the third floor of my office building. There are two floors below me, as you might expect, so I walk up two long-ish flights of stairs to get to the office. I rarely take the elevator, because it’s only the third floor.

Now, though, my back issues -- but I don’t like the word ‘issues’. Let’s call it something else. First thought: BACKROBATICS! Then it sounds more exciting and less complainy. Backrobatics it is! They are! Will do!

My current round of backrobatics has encouraged me to take the elevator at work more often. It does not, however, encourage me to take the elevator at home more often, again, because there is no elevator at home. I believe there are five elevators at the office.

As a result, I end up in the elevator with complete strangers. Since I’m only going up to the third floor, I feel a little pathetic for availing myself of the lazy ride. Plus, since being uplifted to higher floors requires a badge scan in the elevator, I can’t even help fellow passengers to get higher than the third floor. Sorry, friends. Who I don’t know.

So, that’s an interesting way to start the day. While I’m moving on up, I’m feeling the letdown.

Sometimes I just take the stairs instead.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

27 november

Rodrigo appeared to be totally unphased by Harry’s rude thoughts. Imagine! “So this is a great one,” he said, holding up one of the books. The cover read We Are In a Book, by Mo Willems. “Are you familiar with Mo Willems? Elephant and Piggy?”

“Well, my guess is that this one’s Elephant and that one’s Piggy.” Harry pointed at the cartoony animals on the cover. Should he feel concerned that he knew nothing more than that? Probably not. He didn’t lose any life points by failing to be acquainted with a children’s book author or the characters under consideration. Right?

“Smart guy. My girls love them. And this one --” Rodrigo paused, gestured meaningfully with the book. “This one is, like, really meta.”

Harry had two immediate and conflicting thoughts:

  1. He was totally shocked that Rodrigo used words like ‘meta’.
  2. He was very distressed to find that he’d made this kind of judgement based on nothing at all. Disrespect, apparently.

Actually, there were three thoughts…

(3) He wondered about checking the book out the next time he was at the library.

Monday, November 26, 2018

26 november

Who decides who gets to be Harry and who's the nameless waiter and who isn't even mentioned?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

25 november

The song was a classic. What was the title again?

“I always end up listening to every song like it’s about me,” said the woman musingly, holding the coffee cup in both hands and staring into what must have been her reflection.

Had he said that out loud?

“Ah, you’re so vain,” he blurted out, then laughed. If you laugh it makes it clear that you’re intending to be funny, right?

She laughed. A relief. He found himself actively hoping she didn’t say “LOL”. That would be the end. (Of what? Of anything.)

“You’re so right.” She set down the mug on the counter, peeled open a new plastic thimblefull of half and half, then poured it into the coffee -- with affected artistry -- in a swirling pattern. Then she looked up at him, smiled, and lifted the mug to show him. “And here I am just checking out the clouds in my coffee… clouds in my coffee, yeah.”

Saturday, November 24, 2018

24 november

I had some dream last night. There was all kinds of stuff going on.

The only part I really remember is when someone looked up at me pointedly and said, “Meadowlark.”

I think it might have been a clue.


I guess that’s the thing about clues. If they explained themselves, they’d just be answers. Not the same at all.

Gotta keep piling them up.


Friday, November 23, 2018

23 november

He had ordered chocolate chip pancakes in a surprising last-minute decision. He didn’t care what anybody thought. The idea of that big creamy scoop of light yellow butter gently gliding into glorious greasiness. Melted chocolate smeared between the layers. Fork through a neat stack. A full mouth. A smile.

“That looks amazing,” said the woman.

He smiled back at her. Nodded. The perfect situation. Nothing to say, nothing required. Just chewing.

He swallowed. Glanced over. She was still looking at the menu. How long how she been looking at the menu? It seemed like it had been a long time. No worries. Should he say something?

He took a sip of coffee. Glanced again. Now would be the time. He cut a new stack. Picked it up on his fork. Posed. Glanced again.

She was looking the other way, waving down a waiter. A young, good-looking waiter, with slicked back dark hair. Pierced nose. Great skin. She caught his eye easily and he smiled, nodded, and headed over.

Never mind.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

22 november

So the omelet was pretty good. He’d considered scrambled eggs, but that seemed a bit childish. And really, at a moment like this on a day like today, he’d apparently made the decision that he didn’t want to be seen as childish.

Have you ever seen someone eating scrambled eggs and thought ‘Whoa, that person is totally immature and can’t seem to get it together!’? Of course not. That’s not how this works. It’s his perception that matters -- not your reality.

The southwest omelet, still halfway present on this plate -- that is, half was fully present, fractionally speaking -- included black beans, monterey jack cheese, salsa, sour cream, and unnecessary little spiky bits of tortilla for style, apparently. Partly healthy, at least, it seemed like a grown-up choice.

“That looks good,” said the woman beside him, glancing over at his plate.

He finished chewing as quickly as seemed appropriate, trying not to look too eager, and also trying not to choke.

“It is good,” he agreed. He gave her a huge smile.

Too huge? She was already looking back down at the menu.

He could feel his face flushing. Was it the salsa? No. It was the embarrassment of reality. The attempt to engage and the awkwardness of failing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

21 november

The moment I laid down my head, it became surprisingly difficult to pick back up. Was I really that tired moments ago? Was it really just the pillow that had this impact? I guess really it was my head that had the impact on the pillow, but let's not be that literal. This from the person who was just wondering whether she laid her head down or lay her head down. No bed of roses here. This is not a metaphor. There are literally no roses here in my bed. That's convenient, because otherwise it would be difficult to sleep. As it is I can't pick my head back up anyway. So I guess I'm in for the night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

20 november

The feeling of deflating.

Now I know I have the options of deflating like a jelly donut or deflating like a busted bike tire. Busted sounds way better. What’s a busted jelly donut called? Jammed? Funny funny. It doesn’t take much. When I started writing the question, I really didn’t know the answer. Language just works it out like that. Rather than writing to see what I think, probably I’m more often writing to find out how funny I am -- or how funny life is, or language, or some other jelly jam.

Diary of a busted donut. Not a bad title.

Monday, November 19, 2018

19 november

Here's a thing. Remember how I was saying that things fall apart when you're not well? Just last night the toilet in my half-bath decided that it just couldn't get enough flushing. Like that was the coolest thing it could be doing. And doing. And so on. Just this spinning gurgling sound that seemed to be nearly always on the verge of resolution. Of one final twirl and then a bow or a curtsey or something. Ta-DA! But no. No thrilling filling finale. Just filling but not up. A show that must go on. And on. Until I had to go back in, jiggle the handle, wait, and then eventually flush again. Repeat. But this time, resolution.

If I was a different person, I'd spin this into more of a metaphor. Maybe the sands of time, the currents of the ocean that is my soul, something like this. Instead, I'm this person, and I'm telling you about jiggling the toilet handle in my half-bath.

Or maybe that IS the metaphor!!


I know.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

18 november

The idea that if I watch enough mysteries I will solve everything. Not the problems on the shows -- murders and robberies and things going bump in the night -- but the problems off the shows. How to make enough time out of not enough time. Alchemy, I guess. How to say the right thing and do the right things. How to show you love someone. How to avoid being terrible. How to be kind when you don't feel kind. How to be in all places. How to get passports against the odds. How to conquer time zones. How to have enough space. How to be close enough. How to figure out what to do with all the empty time. How to have a balanced diet. How to exercise enough. How to attract the right kind of attention. How to be confident but not too cocky. How to make more money. How to know what you're worth. How to get what you deserve. How to stop your foot from falling off. How to stop crying. How to be more transparent. How to be less transparent. How to be a problem solver. How to imagine the best instead of the worst. How to cook something delicious even if you have the wrong ingredients. How to write a book someone would actually want to read.

How to sleep enough. How not to sleep too much. How to make the most. How to open up. How to keep it together. How to imagine any relationship can ever work.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

17 november

Buying the shareable size of M&Ms does not legally oblige you to share them. Likewise, it is acceptable to buy a family size box of Honey Nut Cheerios even if you don’t have a family. I mean, the odds are pretty good that you have a family, but maybe you don’t live with thim. And probably the box is not the same size as your family, anyway, wherever they may be, so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be able to manage it yourself after all. Pace yourself.

Friday, November 16, 2018

16 november

One day you can be on the internet looking up how to sleep with back pain and wondering what sciatica means and the next day it can be impossible to get out of bed and somehow the next day you are running a marathon. Okay, sure, not all of these things are happening on three successive days, but boy would that be success. I am not experiencing that kind of success. However at this time I have turned the heat on, and that has made all the difference. It's like I was on a road... That was in a yellow wood... It was a very traveled, as you might expect. So different. So cliche. To return to the heat. There's something very satisfying about turning the heat on and getting into bed at the end of a long week when your body has been falling apart your plans have been disintegrating before your very eyes and your metaphors have ceased to make sense. Correct that. It's not just something about that which is satisfying. It's every single thing. My muscles are waiting to unwind. Not exactly exhale, because that's an entirely different book. Plus let's not just be crazy. The wind is outside. I think I'll leave it there. I enjoy the sweet tiredness, the weariness of the windy winding week wrapping up. The office at night. The end of the list. The answered questions fading into who cares.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

15 november

My physical therapists want to know if they're in the book. Now they are.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

14 november

Today I have been speaking but my language skills have been lacking. This is happened during a training, a class, a meeting, a consultation... It is also happening now. Sometimes I can blame technology, like when I'm using voice to text like right now and end up with all kinds of weird words... For some reason that's the first time it's got every word right. Meta much?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

13 november

Life is really nothing but opportunity.

Based on recent experiences, I'm now considering a new career as a medical metaphorist. Maybe I mean a metaphorical medical specialist. No, that's off. It's not like the concept of a medical specialist. More like a medical metaphor specialist. Even medical metaphorical specialist makes it seem like the focus is on how unreal the specialist or specialism might be. But no. Way real.

First we had the jelly donuts.

Today, it was bike tires.

All this delivered to someone high on language and narcotics and anxiety and who's low on inhibition and sense and expectation.

Monday, November 12, 2018

12 november

News flash: It is a common belief, among those who believe it, that you can get conjunctivitis by looking at someone who has it.


I tried to explain that makes no sense. What, do germs travel on ether? Which either doesn't exist or will eventually be proven to be the same as dark matter or anti-matter or some other semi-similar matter?

My argument didn't seem to hold as much weight as the fact that this very transmission through vision question was found, at the same instant of the discussion, on an online FAQ of the American Society of something. I think it was opthamologists. Maybe I didn't listen that closely because I was saying something like OH YEAH BECAUSE IT'S ON THE INTERNET IT MUST BE TRUE! Although in reality the A was that it wasn't true. I'm not even sure how F the Q was really being posed there, but the fact that it was posted… just proves we're all looking for a SO THERE. Luckily I happened to agree with this one. Germs don't travel by rays of light, informed the society's scribes. Basically what I said.


Aren't you glad that's where it ended? Science is so crazy. Anything seems like it could start being possible at just about any moment. Hopefully I won't catch conjunctivitis by passing glance tomorrow. Hopefully we won't be treating pain and illness with dark matter or leeches or anything else of the medieval variety tomorrow. Otherwise, tomorrow might not end up being the best day to visit the neurosurgeon.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

11 november

The greatest thing about the day so far is that he’s realized there is sour cream in his refrigerator. While he does, indeed, live alone, yes, anyone with a fridge knows this kind of magic. There are no laws of conservation of anything. You put something in, and it’s not necessarily coming back out. Or, you haven’t put something in, and there it is, ready to come out. It’s not science. It’s fridgetastic. Fridgemagic? Fridgerriffic? Hard to tell where to put in the d and where to take it out in all of these made-up words, but that’s part of the charm, isn’t it?

So! Sour cream! Based on a smart decision sometime within the last week or two -- judging from the smell, because sell-by dates are hardly tell-by dates, what with all the chemicals and all the -- stop. It smelled good. It’ll taste good. Good enough.

Isn’t it miraculous how you can set yourself up like that? In a story it would be foreshadowing, but in the kitchen it’s just stocking your cupboards. Otherwise they’re bare and there are no ingredients for your next adventure. Instead you have oatmeal and rice and cans of beets. Which are all lovely things, too, but not necessarily the grounds for adventure and Saturday morning delight.

Sour cream is. No doubt.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

10 november

Not to brag but i've just had a pretty good shower. By myself. With no help. Hooray! Good for me! Sounds pathetic! Two months ago, six months ago, a year ago, I would have said that this was a ridiculous thing to be proud of. Actually two weeks ago, I would have been proud, and today I'm also proud. It's all relative, as my relatives would say. So yes, I took a shower, with hot water and everything, and manage not to fall over the entire time. I washed my hair, shaved my legs a little bit at least while avoiding bending over, and stepped out onto a towel that did not move. Most of the time I was thinking ‘Wow my legs are shaky I hope I don't fall I hope I don't fall I hope I don't fall.’ I know the idea of positive thinking is to focus on something good happening rather than the absence of something negative, because we have this thought that thinking about the negative makes it happen. As if talking about suicide to people will somehow suggest the idea to them. This is not the case. It's always better to talk about it if you think the need is there. I'm just saying. So I'm still alive and I did not fall in the shower. Is that because his medication is so effective? Is that because I thought continuously about not falling? Is that because nobody understands psychology? Is that because I ask so many questions? There are no answers.

I feel a bit like I’ve been put on ice. Like those long and slimy fish waiting in a market for someone to catch their eye and sling them along home, plus or minus guts, onto some sort of board with big knives and flashing scales and blades and a plating that leaves taste to be desired. Waiting for the bones to be snatched out at just the right moment. Or accidentally crunched to spark some whodunit. Says someone who doesn’t eat fish. And loves mysteries.

And yet. Even those unfortunate fish flung about Pike’s Place and other markets through rough hands and lingo and oily rank air land on crushed ice beds to gleam those dead eyes in a challenge at all comers. Graceful in their arcs. Waiting in the artificial light to be taken home to one final dark delivery. Caught and catching.

Which is to say: At some moments I feel the fish have it better. They don’t need to worry about false moves. They’re not concerned about which bones are connected to which others. They’re not wondering over the short- and long-term effects of the chemicals seeping through their systems. The short- and long-term future. The effect on others. The loss of independence. The death of stubbornness. The freeze of winter sidewalks and the need to be a grown-up. The fear of needing help.

Lucky fish.

Friday, November 9, 2018

9 november

Now, breakfast.

It would be okay to out and pick up something to eat, but he didn’t really fancy the idea of dining out on his own. Fancy? Come on now. That British influence that had twisted into his morning seemed to be lingering. Malingering? Probably not. Fancy that. Nothing fancy, just a baked potato.

That’s what he thought when he opened his fridge, anyway. There was not, in fact, a baked potato in his fridge, let alone a fancy one, but there was a potato. Indeed there were four potatoes -- and no small potatoes, either. These were the robust and no doubt chemically generated mega-sized potatoes that were used in giant photos spread across the sides of grocery delivery trucks. The kind that appeared on spoofy magnets in Idaho that weren’t so much spoofy as both stereotypical and accurate. The models that starred in commercials paired with a golden and gleaming slab of butter that used to be a pat but got carried away.

He often kept potatoes in his fridge, despite a vague awareness that they didn’t really need to be in there. He liked the idea of a cold cellar, but he didn’t have one, so the fridge generally made do. He’d found, though, that keeping potatoes -- or anything else, for that matter -- in the lower drawers of the fridge more or less made them invisible. Someone more organized would keep an inventory of some kind on the fridge itself to ensure that nothing ended up lost, stolen, or strayed (like James James Morrison’s mother, who seemed to have been mislaid (A. A. Milne citation along there somewhere better worked in than a parenthetical (or not))). Or, someone more sensible might just remember what he put in the fridge in the first place and, therefore, what had not yet come out. Being neither of these seemingly fine fellows of the organized or sensible variety, though, he put nothing in the drawers anymore. Which is how these potatoes ended up on the top shelf, clear and prominent and available.

Those are some top shelf potatoes! he told himself.

You’re a top shelf potato! he told himself

Eat me! said a potato.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

8 november

When you live alone there’s nobody to turn to when you hear creaking in the night. You’re laying lying low, your face catches the light from the window, and your seen-by-nobody-expression shows that you know: there’s someone in the house.

Alone, you realize that the phone is too far away. The bedroom door is open. Nobody could hear you through the window even if you did scream. Nobody wants to interfere. And anyway, it’s not even the first floor. No way out. The light fades.

If you’re not alone, you simply nudge the person next to you. A tap. A shake. A shush. There’s someone in the house. Somehow, through bravery and luck, it works out. Someone else legit knocks on the door and surprises the bad guy. Or the alien. Or the ghost. Or the darling companion turns on the light and picks up a bat. Or a cricket bat. Which is also a bat. The ghost / alien / bad guy disappears. The light fades.

Too many movies? Too many dark nights. There’s a joke there.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

7 november

It’s not uncommon to end up writing something other than what you’d planned on. It’s actually quite common. Writing is a discovery process. How many times have I used this quote? Let’s add one more to the total: “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” And how many times will I have to look it up to be sure I’m writing the citing insightfully and also accurately? Once more into the breach that is the internet. And on return: E. M. Forster. Didn’t see for the trees.

This time I have a good idea. This time I will keep writing about it. This time life will not interfere.

And yet.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

6 november

I asked her if she had been able to see my face -- if that small circle of glass just above my head was a camera. Apparently not. I wasn’t sold, though. It seemed like the right thing to tell a patient so they wouldn’t freak out about being stared at so closely, or filmed, or anything like that. The perfect punishment for the insecure. As if there’s any privacy there in the first place -- wearing just a gapingly awkward cotton gown over underwear, no jewelry or tattoos or metal in your eyes -- so many things to worry about -- and you’re getting your entire body scanned from every angle, inside and out. And I’m asking about a camera. Face it: It’s all in your head.

Monday, November 5, 2018

5 november

Getting somewhere earlier is generally advisable. It also generally means waiting a lot longer in a location not entirely of your choosing. I knew where I was going. I didn't really want to go. I didn't really have a choice. But. Of course. We always have choices. This is my adventure. That's the way to see it. I didn't present the choices, but I get to decide. Maybe I created the choices through some earlier series of actions. But. Not that I know of, in this case.

It's like the phone ringing, really. It's almost always sudden. Even if you're expecting a call, there's nearly always -- speaking for myself, sure -- a little jump when the phone actually rings. Whoa! There it is! The same thing's true -- yes, maybe just me --  for outgoing calls. Whoa! Someone answered!

The phone never kinda rings. It just does. The phone never gradually rings. It's all or nothing. What to do?? Make a decision. Now!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

4 november

When the phone rang, he struggled to figure out whether to answer it. Why not? He did, but in a pretty tentative way. “Hello?”

When he was invited out, he struggled to figure out whether to go. Why not? He agreed, but in fairly tentative way. “Sure, probably.”

By the time he hung up, in fact, he wasn't entirely sure whether he would go or not. In fact, he was pretty sure he wasn't sure.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

3 november

When he awoke, it was to a sound he did not know. Not a surprise or a shock - a Saturday sound, the background of someone else’s industry or entertainment. He lay still -- wondering if he was supposed to be lying still instead -- but could make little of the noise. Ultimately -- filling an extended investigation span of about three minutes -- he concluded that it was a sound he did not know. Some investigation! Some conclusion! You don’t need to tell him. Well aware of the pathetic nature of his assessment, he next struggled to decide whether to get out of bed and look out of the window -- perhaps instantly solving the mystery -- or to stay firmly ensconced and wish the wonder away.

Two minutes later, according to a log not kept, he was pulling back the top layers of his sleep sandwich and stepping onto cool linoleum. The linoleum always felt almost wet, but that wasn’t an important detail in this description, nor in the investigation -- at least thus far.

Five steps and two shuffles later, he pulled back the nondescript curtains and revealed the answer. Despite the early morning -- was it? -- success -- was it? --  he was strangely disappointed. Deflated, he shuffled backward. Enough for now, he told himself, lying and laying down.

Friday, November 2, 2018

2 november

While there's nothing to talk about until something happens -- someone speaks, an apple falls from the sky -- we're frozen with wonder. Or indecision. Or that vacancy when you're not sure if the medicine is working or you've just briefly lost consciousness. Or when you should get up from the chair but it seems like the chair is the perfect shape perfectly primed to keep you happy and where else would you go anywhere anyway?

This is what happens while we're waiting for the action.

There can be beautiful descriptive text about The Nature. It's lovely, it's fresh, it's wild. When we're lucky, it's ripe with metaphor and foreshadowing we can come back to later when we have to write that paper and include key evidence from multiple literary elements. Just saying: If you have to do this kind of assignment, John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is probably a pretty solid choice. It's a super short book, actually. Perfect for high school sophomores early in the year. You can do it! But all that nature up front gets buzzed over. Why bother? It's all there for a purpose, people! There's so much going on, but as you explain it, you get a lot more zoned out stares than thoughtful pondering. Choices. Engage or not?

Thursday, November 1, 2018

1 november

But now there will be something fresh -- something unexpected -- what do you think of that? Or would you rather stick to the safely sticky structure of the five-paragraph essay -- as they say: Here is what it's all about and here are three things I'm telling you about it and hey yes that's what I just told you rolled through a finely designed outing and shiny smooth transitions to listen to what's about to be said then to have read exactly as expected -- neglecting nothing but originality and also the hope of surprise -- 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

31 october

it shook us up and drained us out and it added all up to less than we started with but the hardest thing was the ending kept coming up too soon -- 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

30 october

before the sun comes up we'll bring it down again to town and then around the next block the corner the tackle that tickles ivories -- the tramping through the livery and all the feet ahead that stretch instead to miles and more

Monday, October 29, 2018

29 october

chances that dance backward with an undone clock blocking its own time while the wind was blowing and the sky was turning for a better view of stars

Sunday, October 28, 2018

28 october

teamed up to let go to say so and still and all the call has no answer no chance for resolution and creamy truths in lemon spotlights bright enough to zest the best of the old school with new cool alarm clocks that wake the socks off the overdue creampuff grocers too roasted to deliver fresh shivers of flavor unweighed for the pound or the gallon with challenges aplenty and answers meant the truth was still in transit

Saturday, October 27, 2018

27 october

caught between apology and truth -- like a useless ingredient in somebody else's layercake -- a rough mistake of temperament and consequential certainty that someone else is right

Friday, October 26, 2018

26 october

and it melted like a pain chilled and also heated in defeating itself its health and its take on redemption beyond all mention and out into the dark before the parking lots too much many more

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

24 october

there is nothing beyond the pale the scale the whale of the teacup the style of the peacoat -- over the waterfall and under the wire -- miles of the yard on the acre

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

23 october

registering as if awareness the case less a token of understanding and more a picture of delivery -- a check mailed, an engine failed once more -- scoring fewer points of the lesser sort than the court may be pleased to see: we hold these trees to be self-rooted and look toward a future when we'll all branch out --

Monday, October 22, 2018

22 october

over and around fine but the inbetween times that crush what must be a solution into dissolution like a powdered version of what ought to be though the recipe seems incomplete and hard to eat mos def like a leftover candycane hidden in an easter basket for tisking taskets when the creek don't rise -- pain in the twist in the turn in the end when it's time to start again -- still and then there must be something that's gone off -- 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

21 october

not a solution really but a useful use of utility once it's prepped having leapt over indecision - a schism between space and time aligned physics and other marvels - the wonder of understanding beyond reason and the treason of abandoning miracles and coincidence that dances like raindrops backward into evaporated wonder - the dream of fading in beyond doubt and out into truth --

Saturday, October 20, 2018

20 october

and after some time it becomes clear that's all there was after all and anyway nothing much ahead to see if what's passed didn't last enough for notice but the joke is the time is the only number now though the scripts and the scenes are reruns reeking like wallpaper in perpetual syndication

19 october

thank you for the pillow i say and the bed doesn't respond probably because it's not sure what to say like maybe a joke about the gravity of the situation keeping it in check or that i should rest assured etc etc and maybe something else funnier but the indecision sounds like silence

Thursday, October 18, 2018

18 october

and afterward it was quiet and hard to tell what all the fuss had been about really when it came right down to it -- which now it had and never would again

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

17 october

from the last minute it would seem to be easier to see the end only you  can never tell exactly where and when that will

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

16 october

forward upward onward sideways overjoyed and undervalued thoroughly cooked and unduly noted like a saran wrap misfit too tight to tangle with and a wax hand that always spells grief

Monday, October 15, 2018

15 october

but the time still passes anyway no matter which dog or which name or the same again sam like a trombone upkeep paid from each the pockets of the paraders like fading into a horizon is more than worth the price on the march and in step with nothing kept for later for the pendings for the shelf

Sunday, October 14, 2018

14 october

some other knife like a slice of life halfeaten and recycled in a hurdygurdy daydream with whipped cream and yellow walls with art and all the biscuits of the misfit understatements and the shifty way spent shells overflow ricotta and burratta and chia pudding beets in discreet side certainty that all this could never be mine

Saturday, October 13, 2018

13 october

as if new music would seep in like under the door while the lights are out with a thin waft of cool air from elsewhere lifted by trends ending in the west caressed by beams of big screen smiles and a style that we thought we'd do without

Friday, October 12, 2018

12 october

something else for you, i think, and i will have the mud -- over hard and also scrambled in the coldpressed dark with no socks to be found and an unfortunate quantity but also frost at the cost of a moist allowance overspent and sent overseas with a freeze on returns and an import consort pledged to turn it all away but something else for you

Thursday, October 11, 2018

11 october

is there a question i can answer that will fancy chance in the making with a risk taking underground wallop -- a pace unmistakably charged for free with a laundry list of needs exceeding the righteous allowance allotted but garroted instead like an uncertain pumpkin trying out for braces

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

10 october

square the deal and rope the raw hope into a halfway heartattack the ache of mistakes in progress and the worry of wondering when -- seeking an out but crowded by doubt and inconvenience like a mean sense of penance before the door is even closed and it's my hand on the doorknob and it's my face to the floor -- 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

9 october

and still moving backward instead -- away instead of toward, no instead of yes -- and still knowing there is no turnaround plan, no catalytic scanning to convert a miracle of madeup engineering and humanpowered marvels -- the startling truth of the usefulness gone awry -- no try to claim otherwise with the dull surprise of familiar self-defeat beating down the path down the door out the back and gone away

Monday, October 8, 2018

8 october

never mind the times i meant to turn tides to upcreek and downturn -- there are questions but no answers and a turkey leg to jog or trot or stumble past with glasses too big and a car too parked to make it downhill but still and all i see the sun slipping out the door

Sunday, October 7, 2018

7 october

like a refill maybe but hard to read the angle the untangled roots shooting too straight for belief like relief unasked for and a task more in keeping with some other goal -- wholly out of place and unmade grace to weave out of yesterday's blank

Saturday, October 6, 2018

6 october

and we run out of room out of the room out of attention for the proper dimension of space and time and well-framed end rhymes with room left for enjambment -- the grand sense of possibility blooming from the cupboards as if we kept back just enough supplies for one more batch

Friday, October 5, 2018

5 october

and then the dark comes up again -- here as it has always been all along -- strung songtight and wordblank through the melodied days -- playing false chords in uncertain time and haphazardly shuffling the decks with no cause for belief in a coming relief or at least some sort of sense in which everything will be sorted

Thursday, October 4, 2018

4 october

even as the expected words rush out like scouting parties too hardy to handle the nudge there's a budget to stick to and a hassle to sift through like so many cantaloupe living on the edge -- pulling through the dredge of elegance shaped like a plow and raised like a sow's ear full of silk choins purloined from the wrong tale -- too curly to pull through -- 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

3 october

enough to swallow the rest and want more but surely no use for the energy but synergy and paradigms -- the open sea to course the rhymes fantastic with enthusiastic comeuppance worth its weight in nevermind with one foot extra on the scale

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

2 october

not your fault the gestalt view prevailed, sailing through parking locks and city blots on the landscape we can't scrape from memory though the plain sea we view from the east has at last as many steps as they take in the west although no one can tell where they'll meet

Monday, October 1, 2018

1 october

as if there are any right turns as if we are not all left behind some mistake taken like a turn for the worse unrehearsed and shattered like a scattered dial of seconds lost like minutes tossed in the hourglass face and chased away from reason like a seasoned map collapsing in on itself its borrowed health and stolen breaths too close to call and too shaken to stir but still deferring to apologetic pleasantries and the aim to do right when all that's left is wrong -- 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

30 september

imagine i caught up and thought through all these truths i meant to own rather loaning them out to doubts unhinged by time and rusted through the line charts like lonely hearts on a sitcom romp with time left for the ads

Saturday, September 29, 2018

29 september

counting back and down and up like timezones unhinged and binging on unrequited digits like the fidget between calm and queasy too easy for a simple explanation so ongoing conversation must be halted til we've salted the earth and roasted the sky to dry out its disregard and flood again with light

Friday, September 28, 2018

28 september

as if with crayons and i am undone by the hope of all and such though much the same remains once it's all swept away and i play with a reflection only a collection of free radicals bent on resolution  and no solution much the wiser than a dull incisor and apologies for tea

Thursday, September 27, 2018

27 september

rephrase the ways the means have an end in mind undefined and rewound like a crown rounded at the edges and shiny on top cropped and blended and unpretending to know the answers like champion dancers out for a trot and caught up in the weather or not

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

26 september

turning the page rearranges changes from the topdown the merry-go-round of heartache mistakes for a toothbrush in the dumb rush of self-improvement like the truth meant to go free but unbelieving in escape remade into an accidental martyr of romance and vegetable matters -- the scattered recollections of a once and future sweeper-up -- 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

25 september

and on and more like time like a halfeaten baked potato and an appetite for more more ignoring all the sense exchanged on the wrong market so we park it down the road to load more onto and one flew over the river and threw us off the scent and i meant to follow after but by then the night was up

Monday, September 24, 2018

24 september

remember the day before as if no other memory could follow because now is the end of all the time we knew and anything else is pushing your luck like a truck full of leftovers arriving before the party like favors we wait for long after the fact as we track those completion rates and dinner dates and spaces in between