Foment ferment figment

You seek the places that ache, you want to find the spots when you put your thumb there it runs like voltage from skull to toes. You want to feel the pain so you can feel something, so you can know you’re real. I hurt therefore I am.

The only other connections real enough or close enough or telepathic enough are those made one dimensional connected with wires and electricity, some other soul you don’t know who can say his pain and you feel it too. This is more real than reality because reality consists of alienation of industrialization, souls partitioned, sectioned into boxes, caught inside paper cages. Eat sleep work shit and divorce the soul and heart and mind, you don’t need those anyway. Except that those are the parts that hurt.

You try to find it in a glowing blue box filled with nonsense, and the only way to find it here is if it’s elsewhere, too, a growing concern, an accumulating proof of disassociation. Grant us all some discord and dissent, unbeautiful, angular like a broken fence.

You seek the tender sore spots like you get using muscles you haven’t used all winter, aches like the day after you spent five sunny hours battling thornbushes and wormwood and dandelions with roots that go to the earth’s core and raking up all the dead grass from last year.

Old notions get torn from the soil and displayed in dusty shallow shadow boxes, pressed flowers faded to grey, and hope gets kindled but it never makes more than a few flint on stone sparks. You’re too busy looking at the symptoms to explain the cause of your pain. You seek the sore spots and the pain of others to validate your own, as the only way to know you’ve really created something.

New notions get torn from the soil and are left to rot, compost, you see it and smell it and maybe turn it as a neighborly favor, and maybe take some of the black rich soil beneath the rotting weeds for your own new ideas which will soon be torn out and left to rot. Your preoccupation with finding validation of your loneliness grants you no harvest.

Exit the cave.
On your birthday, my love, a bouquet of jasmine for you.
Like sunlight.
My spam inbox looks like a
William S. Burroughs
cut-up machine poem

check out this huge
it’s tamarind in tete on composite
opt out
of this campaign
and addle some before some
in ditch try inasmuch
some beguile chimney swifts
try would is your memory
bad just read it
enlargement by the time
Scarlett had undressed
the absorption or thence
presto testimonials that
says everything will this
blue pill get to me
dearest one in the lord
this is bliss add 3
inches mother was
cooking rabbit stew


The best carrot cake I ever had was in Katmandu.

Possibly my favorite, completely unexpected sentence I’ve ever heard, and he wasn’t trying to be poetic. B. tells the best world travel stories interspersed with comedic anecdotes about preparing his system for eating food in third world countries, stories of food poisoning, local medicine, mishaps, accidents, natural disasters, and fish, snakes, bugs, and birds.

We spent Easter with B. & Ve, recently returned from three years in North Dakota, which Ve said was like a drab dream about snow and ice skating and bowling that she can’t quite remember. The girls are getting so big, such beautiful and ferocious children, and they love to give hugs. Mae earnestly and with flourishes in her big little girl voice sang The Star Spangled Banner for us after we had our coats and shoes on and were all ready to leave.

One step back.

We worked in the yard Sunday morning, pulled weeds and trimmed berries and tossed snails. The sun made us exhale and blink, we could hear the ground drinking the water from the previous night’s deluge, muddy muck burble gurgle beneath the straw lining the paths in the garden. The tall canes of raspberries with all their fresh fleshy growth waved as the big clouds rolled shadowy and low over the land. The whole world reverberates with the green swell of grass, a wet rushing tide threatening to clog the blades of mowers. All the apple trees, gnarled and old twisted giants and slender smooth unproven saplings, have exploded with white and pink blossoms.

Another step back.

We had lunch with Shelle and talked about writing, and I’ll say that girl can write anything. Spelling and rules of grammar be damned, she could write circles on the floor and I’d want to read. It’s been almost 20 years since she has written anything; she’s up and out of the thick of it, she’s going places. She mentioned and it wasn’t even nonchalant, it was offhand because she had forgotten about it, that oh yeah she broke up with her guy the night before. She explained she was in dance class and another girl said, “I think I’ll break up with my boyfriend today,” and apparently that made Shelle go Huh. And she said it was the easiest breakup ever.

One step forward.

Saturday night Shelle came over to see a movie. We invited her to come see it because it had made us laugh like hyenas on nitrous oxide, but the funniest parts are also completely impossible to relate. I know, because I tried to tell a coworker all about it, and she looked at me like I had grown jackass ears. So just see it. Me and You and Everyone We Know. ((<>))


1865 1912 1935
O most ruinous of days, presidential assassination and the unsinkable's shipwreck and the Dust Bowl storm, I am not given to worry but I do. I didn't forget the date stamp I didn't forget the date stamp ca-chunk.

Corrections, for some reason I'm missing letters, they simply don't appear. Mostly vowels. Lazy fingers or because I'm writing with my mouth closed.
Down on the bottom of the world map, the part of Antarctica beneath the Atlantic Ocean is called New Schwabenland.
I've been walking around saying "New Schwabenland" under my breath for hours.

I wonder if there are frogs there.

Today is Good Friday. Once upon a tide, good meant holy. It's the crux of the matter, today.
He came home Tuesday in the rain and so much to my delight, we tumbled and fell against eachother while he still held bags and dropped them one by one except for the small to-go box he held in his hand. For you, he said when we had come up for air, a sweet roll. Direct from Tootsie's.

We mashed together again once he set the box on the table, and I had forgotten how strong and wide and handsome he is with his wild hair and bright eyes and that smile just for me.

We mugged and entangled and tumbled and giggled and sighed amidst the I love yous and the Oh I missed yous. Six days? Is that all? It felt much longer, and I only noticed once he came home again that I was missing all the little sweetnesses we bestow on eachother, all the gestures and winks and brushing touches as we pass eachother, doing dishes or cooking dinner or folding laundry.

He was away in the wild north, high in the mountains, working on survey. This summer he'll be there again, as camp cook for the field school. He showed me photographs he had taken, and it's incredibly wild and remote, amazing forests and snow-capped mountain peaks.

He said they hiked in the snow two miles up the mountains to a cabin that had previously lost its roof during an avalanche, and as they were hiking they heard three different avalanches. He said it was the most terrifying thing he'd ever heard.

From the photos I can see how big and wide open, how steep, how uninhabitable, but the sense of scale is absent. Without people it's not possible to estimate how enormous and vast the sweep of the valley and the plunge of the mountain's flanks.

I'm glad he's home safe. He's the one with whom I can have conversations about things I'd only think to myself.

We stayed up last night much too late, looking at cookbooks.


I could not sleep in the early awakened dawn with buff-colored birds singing for having survived the night. Sleep evaporated steamy in the bright rise and I ran down the sun headed east, noticing the wild vetch not yet bloomed, everything hoary and wet beneath last night’s deluge.

He’s gone awhile, north hundreds of miles and across the mountains into the wilderness and I wish I could walk with him where he walks. We talked yesterday on the phone longer than we’ve talked on the phone in years, a real conversation about the past few days instead of simple contact involving what’s for dinner. We shared as well as possible the observations and inclinations and pontifications, but after we ended the call I recalled all the things I had wanted to tell him.

All day long I think of things I’d normally mention, simple asides, but when I look for him the house hushes itself, and the dogs cast reproachful glances, and the plants droop their leaves like disappointed anticipation. Even my cat, not given to worry, has come to sit beside me and regard me with those green luminescent crescent eyes. And it has only been five days. I don’t know why it’s so hard this time, except that it’s spring and I miss him.

Yesterday I had breakfast with Shelle and she let me hold her snake, a lovely boa, which she cuddles and coos to like it is a baby. She is so happy lately, a long way from where she was when I met her, when she found herself constricted. We spent the whole morning talking and showing and laughing about dance and motion and serpentine undulations and love, and I thought of the connections there, just on the tip of my tongue, and I felt the tip of my tongue tingling with the thick hot brew she made of jasmine tea.


There I went. This is why I try not to drink too much of a Monday.


Blackberry bramble battle, small woody pinpricks and the scent of crushed sweet leaves. They don't suspect me when I come quietly, working diligently, and they forget to snag my clothes or skin in retribution even once they've been cut. They fall stiff and stunned to the pile on the ground. I hum to them under my breath.

The weekend came sluggish as the keys on this keyboard, old and reminded me of the mud squelching and suctioning under my boots. The caps lock light doesn't work, and it doesn't bother me except in places where it should be all capitals. The lowercase sounds like a hushed muffled little voice, and I want to shout.

I forgot about the time change until we went to the store and realized Oh, it's noon.

It is currently indigestible.
Hi, it's me. Hush, hush. Please have patience, please don't twist the tired blade.

Those dreams keep me awake. All these posts that begin with last night and tomorrow and yesterday and next week, all of them don’t mean anything. As with all writing it feels necessary to set the events in temporal context. When I’m awake I’m not interested in writing. It pleases me to know there always will be questions.

I hum to myself under my breath, some forgotten melody or harmony maybe and that's why I can't recall. How does that song go? Years before I was where I didn't want to be and worked at a music store, people would say Hey do you know that song that goes da-da-daaa, da-da-daaa-da-da? And sometimes I knew it but now I don't.

My parents came to visit and it was bittersweet, I love them and love to see them. Our house is very, very small, and spring break after a more-than-full-load of grad student classes is far too short. And the idiosyncrasies I never would notice if there was more room or if it hadn't been raining became irritants. He chafed. Theirs was an infringement, an intrusion. I cried because I noticed all the ways in which they're getting old. Not older, but old.

The songbirds are arriving with triumphant declaration, an exaltation, impertinent in the grey and wet days. Bare branches of spent blossoms become alive with feathery songs.

There is disquiet in my heart, and my boots are stuck in the muck. But I'll still hum something under my breath. If you lean closely maybe you'll hear, and hum with me.