Goethe at 12:50 A.M.

“We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I suppose each of us on some level make a deal with the devil, like Goethe's Dr. Faustus. Sometimes, the devil is a person, a job, a belief, or situation. Sometimes, it's a lie we tell ourselves until we believe it. Until the deception is the truth and we believe it, completely, regardless of personal harm or unhappiness. Many times we resign ourselves to our fate and continue on with the devil we know, rather than gather our courage and head to the edge of the world where cartographers warned, "there be dragons here" and the Vikings believed the Valkyries lurked.

The end is right there in the beginning. We know the truth, even if we chose to deceive ourselves.

At this moment, at 12:59 am in the morning, while my dogs sleep peacefully in thier dreams of utter veracity, I declare I saw the end that first day, and every day since, and that I have seen, and I will see, and at this moment, I see, the end, the beginning, and the finale.

I see, and can no longer deceive myself.

Poem Therapy at 7:24 P.M. - Walt Whitman & Charles Wright

A Noiseless Patient Spider
Walt Whitman

A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to
connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

Spider Crystal Ascension
Charles Wright

The spider, juiced crystal and Milky Way, drifts on his web through the night sky
And looks down, waiting for us to ascend ...

At dawn he is still there, invisible, short of breath, mending his net.

All morning we look for the white face to rise from the lake like a tiny star.
And when it does, we lie back in our watery hair and rock.

Poets & Writers - Weird Deer

This just in from the July 2010 Poets & Writers print issue, News and Trends, 3 for Free article on pg. 16.

Weird Deer no doubt qualifies as one of those incredibly simple ideas that never cease to be intriguing. Here's what you do: Call(206)569-5451, wait for the beep, read your poem or story or thought or essay or what have you in three minutes or less, hang up, email the title of the aforementioned work and your name to nichols.travis@gmail.com, and wait to see if your mp3 file is posted on the Web site. In the meantime, listen for free to those that have been. (weirddeermedia.com)

Poem Therapy at 8:32 P.M.- Afzal Ahmed Syed

If My Voice Is Not Reaching You
Afzal Ahmed Syed

If my voice is not reaching you
add to it the echo—
echo of ancient epics

And to that—
a princess

And to the princess—your beauty

And to your beauty—
a lover's heart

And in the lover's heart
a dagger

There always has to be a dagger, doesn't there? Tragedy sells far better than bliss. Happiness is awesome, don't get me wrong, but it's the rough patches that show you, and the entire world, if anyone is watching, who you really are.

Think about the people you know, or think you know, like celebrities, who appear to have it all, who appear to be really, really happy. Now look at the legions of resentful people surrounding them, just waiting, hoping beyond hope, for tragedy to strike, and strike hard.

We humans love incredible success stories, romances, tales of heroism, but oh man, do we love to see it all go south, for the riches to turn to rags, love to fester like a cancer, heroes to disappoint and betray.

Why? Ask Aristotle. We love blood-soaked tragedy. Somebody else's, of course, so we can live vicariously, wallow in virtual muck, offer righteous platitudes, prurient insights,and be seriously relieved that we dodged yet another bullet.

Gone With the Wind wouldn't have been the emotional TKO if Rhett had forgiven Scarlett and taken her into his arms, instead of telling the narcissistic little brat he'd had enough of her fiddle-de-deeing b.s. by declaring, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." That damn was pretty big expletive news in 1939,definitely pre-Trarintino effing, effing, effing, effing f-bomb era.

Back to the dagger in the heart: not all love stories have to end in tragedy, contempt, or apathy. Some love stories can be boring, as in gentle, loving, unselfish, genuine.

Hmmm, I suppose I'm a glass half full kinda' gal, after all. But, don't expect me to start watching romantic comedies any time soon.

Utah Arts Festival 2010 - Big Mouth Cafe Poetry Reading

I received a request to forward a poem from a very hip local poet who will be reading at the Utah Arts Festival. I assume, (and we all know what a slippery slope assuming anything can be), that he will be reading one of my poems as part of a community poetry reading. He will be reading his poems, perhaps one of mine, I just don't know for certain, Sat 06/26 05:30pm - 06:00pm at the Big Mouth Café Stage in Salt Lake City. Check it out. Actually, if you're anywhere near Utah, this is the place! (and I even provided an inside joke for all you locals...this is the place... get it!) psst, if you don't, in addition to being a heritage/theme park, it's what Brigham Young, (second Mormon prophet who spearheaded the Mormom Pioneer move West), is reported to have said when he looked out over the Salt Lake valley the very first time.

Click on the This is The Place Heritage Park site's virtual tour and you can see my ancestor, Levi Robert's cabin, which incidentally, was so well built it didn't have to be dismantled for the move from the banks of Kayscreek to its new home at the This is The Place Heritage Park.

Levi Roberts was a basket weaver in case you're wondering. Weaver's Lane is named after him. You can still find some pretty fabulous reeds growing on the creekbank. Also, in case you like really useful trivia about obscure pioneer types, Levi was Joseph Smith's bodyguard, (Joseph Smith was the first Mormon prophet). FYI: Levi wasn't on the job when Joseph Smith was shot dead.

Supposedly, Levi buried a cache of gold on the property, but many a treasure seeker wielding a metal detecter has been utterly disappointed. The property is currently under development, so unless a construction worker unearths a bag of gold, it's a story left to local myth tellers.

Here's trivia a little more gruesome about the property, in the category of airing dirty family laundry. I happed upon this story by accident when my Grandmother let the family secret slip. Once I had its scent, I tracked down as much of it as possible from primary sources before they died, then went to the now defunct publication The Clipper, and gathered ordinary heresay,for the rest.

Here's the dish: My Uncle Snowden, (yes, that is his real name), found his Uncle Henry dead, face down near the cabin, stabbed to death. I can only imagine the long term emotional rammifications on Uncle Snowden.

From what I understand, Henry's murder didn't cause a public call to arms to avenge him, probably because he was known to be of a raw meat temperament, and mainly because, it was common knowledge that his long suffering wife had finally gotten fed up with being a punching bag, and she had a great many sympathizers. Long story short: the murder was pinned on a transient, who just happened to escape the law by jumping a nearby train to freedom. Win-win for everybody.

I'll find out and let you know if one of my poems will be read at the Festival. Until then, here are the three poems I submitted, and two I wish I had. Let me know what you think.

Karma Will Cut You to Ribbons

go back to that sightless fish swimming
inside the cave of the body
toward the dark-haired girl
her virgin skin shimmering
in the kitchen's ambient moonlight
metal ringing in her ears
knives falling from the rocking table
like reverberating echoes pinging
through the cave's recessess
to the waxed linoleum floor

go back to the girl looking to the doorway
her shadow self standing at the threshold
a slow hiss lifting in her coiling tresses

Shekel of Tyre

looking at a dead man's mouth,
what is the use of god
or money unspent?

give me hunger,
greed to be alive

give me silver,
the betrayer's coin,
holy and invoilable,
coin enough for a slave
or a life

Driving to Mercury

We shred ribbons of highway
stretching across the planet's surface
under the watchful eyes of the stars
the car's headlights illuminating our path

I am strapped into the driver seat
hands holding the steering wheel loosely
heading toward that dark horizon
pulled by its gleaming iron core

My dog is curled in the passenger seat
whimpering in his dreams
He is unaware the smallest planet
of the solar system
is expecting our arrival

We must hurry into the distance
to win the race with the swift-
footed messenger's flight across the heavens
before he disappears
once again in the morning light

Wish You Were Here

Dear Siobhan.,

I wish you were here beside me,
alternating between holding
your breath and screaming curses
into the swirling chaos. The sky
is a threatening lapis blue,
and the trees are bent in a sideways
prayer beneath the wind's finger.
You always loved to be scared,
always loved knowing that the whirlwind
was out on the horizon waiting for you,
sharpening its scythe on its leather strop.

What Goes Around

the burdens of the dead
float inside him
like a boat made of sharp bones

his own death is coming
a shadow out on the dark water

What I Made Today - Collage #4

Jupiter's Butterfly

This is my reward for working hard all day. I am almost done. Just one more hoop to jump through, and then it's summer vacation!

What I Made Today - Three Collages

Our Lady of the Rubies and Starlings #2

Our Lady of Rubies and Starlings

Halo Goddess

I'm supposed to be finishing a very important letter, but instead I'm playing around on Photoshop reworking a few of my collages. I generally use my collages as sketches for paintings, but recently instead of painting, I'm making digital art. It's a lot of fun!

You're So Heavy Baby!

The Queen's Arrival at Marseilles, on the 3rd November, 1600 - Peter Paul Rubens (my digital reimagining of the oil painting)

If you've been reading this blog, you know I've been looking at the heavy things, the clutter, I'm carrying around. This also includes extra weight. In Ruben's time, extra weight was a sign of wealth, fertility, even sex appeal. Now, it's a sign that there's been far too many late night snacks. So, in addition to clearing house, literally and figuratively, I've started on a serious exercise program. I'm determined I am not going to carry any excess weight, on any level, into the next decade.

I have two years to meet my goal. Ample time.

If you haven't seen Dreamgirls, check it out. You might not prefer musicals, but I think you'll like it. Jennifer Hudson rocks this film based on the real life Supremes. She literally stole the show. One beef: from all firsthand, secondhand, into infinity accounts, plethora of articles, sources, etc., the Beyonce character is far too nice and undivaish to be an accurate representation of the Supreme Diana. Let a bitch be a bitch.

HEAVY - Dreamgirls

Heavy, Heavy
You got so heavy, baby
Heavy, Heavy
You got so heavy on me

You used to be so light and free
You used to smile just looking at me
Now all you give is jealous hate
Come on bab better lose some weight

Heavy, Heavy
You got so heavy, baby
Heavy, Heavy
You got so heavy on me

You used to want nothing from me
You used to say "Let's both be free"
You used to dance instead of walk
You never had to talk, talk, talk

Heavy, Heavy
You got so heavy, baby
Heavy, Heavy
You got so heavy on me

I Hear It's Your Birthday

So while all the pagans are whooping it up all over the planet, how about you join me in wishing that old fireball in the sky, responsible for the longest day of the year, and for ushering in the most vacationing season of all, a very Happy Birthday Summer! with this odd little finger puppet youtube video.

This Moment - 6:50 P.M. June 21, 2010 Summer Solstice

The evening is filled with images of crowds circling the ancient post and lintel stone observatory, pressing flesh into flesh, heralding the summer sun at Stonehenge. Here, on another continent, the chimes rock gently and dappled light flits across my window. The sun crested the Rockies this morning and came unannounced, unheralded, and yet it came and made its slow journey across the sky, and now warms my face as I watch it slowly make its descent into the horizon.

The Things We Carry

Heavy Things - Angie Pickman aka Rural Pearl

He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him. Spanish proverb

Ever noticed how our possessions, possess us, even to the point that we'll stay in an untenable situation just to keep from losing something we value?

I've held on to things I really don't need, merely because the thought of losing them sends me reeling. Why? I don't know. Maybe I'm afraid of change. Maybe I define myself by my stuff. Maybe, without all the stuff, I'll allow myself a different course of action, a new way of seeing my world.

I met a man in Lincoln, Oregon, who had a small knapsack and a bike. He said he'd spent the last year traveling the world. He also said he carried all his possessions with him. I envied him almost to the point of hatred. Could I be like him? Realistically? No. But, I can and will divest myself of clutter, anything that does not serve. And, instead of holding on to possessions, I can get my world down to a few treasured pieces.

At this stage in my life, it's time to fly rather than nest.

Of late, I've been thinking of all the things, ideas, beliefs, people, stuff, I need to lose. Just the thought seems mean-spirited, but in reality, it's healthy to let things, ideas, beliefs, people, stuff, move on once they no longer serve. Yes, that word "serve" sounds mean, but think of it this way, your first love taught you about yourself, set the tone for future relationships, and at some point one of you learned all there was to learn and needed to move on, or one of you had serious committment issues, or one of you was seriously annoying and just had to be dumped. Is it mean to move on? Heartbreaking perhaps, but all relationships change or they have to end.

So, I'm going to break up with most of the stuff in my closet, dining room hutch, all the cupboards, and most certainly, every box in the attic. I am going to give the majority of my books a second chance, though.

I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project and it's making me freaking wretched. Of course I realize it is me using the book to batter myself with, but even so, my closet is insanely stuffed with clothes too small that I'm saving for that future date when the heavens will part, heavenly light will shine, and that little black dress will fit. I'm tossing all of it. Anyone out there that is a size 8 and wants some serious designer clothes, send me a note and we'll talk. Otherwise, it's all going to the goodwill. The shoes still fit, so don't ask.

Pickman's "Heavy Things" made me think of all the "stuff" I'm carrying that I really don't need to carry anymore, that I really just don't need at all.

Angie Pickman cut paper art info:
"I enjoy most things visual but am particularly interested in cut-paper art and photography. My life philosophy revolves around achieving simplicity, winnowing away at all the things that are not needed so that the individual can be, dare I say, reduced, to the rawest, purest being possible. I think at this level, one is more readily able to truly observe and take in the natural beauty that exists around us. Cutting paper is metaphorical for this." from ruralpearl.com profile

To see more of Pickman's cut paper art, visit her etsy site, website, and blog: ruralpearl.etsy.com & www.ruralpearl.com & http://ruralpearl.com/blog/?page_id=1035.

Poem Therapy at 11:40 P.M. - Narcissus by Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz


The mind is a city like London,
Smoky and populous: it is a capital
Like Rome, ruined and eternal,
Marked by the monuments which no one
Now remembers. For the mind, like Rome, contains
Catacombs, aqueducts, amphitheatres, palaces,
Churches and equestrian statues, fallen, broken or soiled.
The mind possesses and is possessed by all the ruins
Of every haunted, hunted generation’s celebration.

“Call us what you will: we are made such by love.”
We are such studs as dreams are made on, and
Our little lives are ruled by the gods, by Pan,
Piping of all, seeking to grasp or grasping
All of the grapes; and by the bow-and-arrow god,
Cupid, piercing the heart through, suddenly and forever.

Dusk we are, to dusk returning, after the burbing,
After the gold fall, the fallen ash, the bronze,
Scattered and rotten, after the white null statues which
Are winter, sleep, and nothingness: when
Will the houselights of the universe
Light up and blaze?
For it is not the sea
Which murmurs in a shell,
And it is not only heart, at harp o’clock,
It is the dread terror of the uncontrollable
Horses of the apocalypse, running in wild dread
Toward Arcturus—and returning as suddenly ...


—The others were the despots of despair—

The river’s freshness sailed from unknown sources—

... They snickered giggled, laughed aloud at last,
They mocked and marvelled at the statue which was
A caricature, as strained and stiff, and yet
A statue of self-love!—since self-love was
To them, truly my true love, how, then, was I a stillness of nervousness
So nervous a caricature: did they suppose
Self-love was unrequited, or betrayed?
They thought I had fallen in love with my own face,
And this belief became the night-like obstacle
To understanding all my unbroken suffering,
My studious self-regard, the pain of hope,
The torment of possibility:
How then could I have expected them to see me
As I saw myself, within my gaze, or see
That being thus seemed as a toad, a frog, a wen, a mole.
Knowing their certainty that I was only
A monument, a monster who had fallen in love
With himself alone, how could I have
Told them what was in me, within my heart, trembling and passionate
Within the labyrinth and caves of my mind, which is
Like every mind partly or wholly hidden from itself?
The words for what is in my heart and in my mind
Do not exist. But I must seek and search to find
Amid the vines and orchards of the vivid world of day
Approximate images, imaginary parallels
For what is my heart and dark within my mind:
Comparisons and mere metaphors: for all
Of them are substitutes, both counterfeit and vague:
They are, at most, deceptive resemblances,
False in their very likeness, like the sons
Who are alike and kin and more unlike and false
Because they seem the father’s very self: but each one is
—Although begotten by the same forbears—himself,
The unique self, each one is unique, like every other one,
And everything, older or younger, nevertheless
A passionate nonesuch who has before has been.
Do you hear, do you see? Do you understand me now, and how
The words for what is my heart do not exist?

The river was the abundant belly of beauty itself
The river was the dream space where I walked,
The river was itself and yet it was—flowing and freshening—
A self anew, another self, or self renewed
At every tick of eternity, and by each glint of light
Mounting or sparkling, descending to shade and black
—Had I but told them my heart, told how it was
Taunted at noon and pacified at dusk, at starfall midnight
Strong in hope once more, ever in eagerness
Jumping like joy, would they have heard? How could they?
How, when what they knew was, like the grass,
Simple and certain, known through the truth of touch, another form and fountain of falsehood’s fecundity—
Gazing upon their faces as they gazed
Could they have seen my faces as whores who are
Holy and deified as priestesses of hope
—the sacred virgins of futurity—
Promising dear divinity precisely because
They were disfigured ducks who might become
And be, and ever beloved, white swans, noble and beautiful.
Could they have seen how my faces were
Bonfires of worship and vigil, blazes of adoration and hope
—Surely they would have laughed again, renewed their scorn,
Giggled and snickered, cruel. Surely have said
This is the puerile mania of the obsessed,
The living logic of the lunatic:
I was the statue of their merriment,
Dead and a death, Pharoah and monster forsaken and lost.
My faces were my apes: my apes became
Performers in the Sundays of their parks,
Buffoons or clowns in the farce or comedy
When they took pleasure in knowing that they were not like me.
I waited like obsession in solitude:
The sun’s white terror tore and roared at me,
The moonlight, almond white, at night,
Whether awake or sleeping, arrested me
And sang, softly, haunted, unlike the sun
But as the sun. Withheld from me or took away
Despair or peace, making me once more
With thought of what had never been before——

It is fitting that Narcissus, and all of his eponym descendants, ultimately turn to stone gazing at thier own reflection. Thank the gods of mythology and psychology!

Poem Therapy at 9:14 P. M. - Edward Hirsch

Lay Back the Darkness
Edward Hirsch

My father in the night shuffling from room to room
on an obscure mission through the hallway.

Help me, spirits, to penetrate his dream
and ease his restless passage.

Lay back the darkness for a salesman
who could charm everything but the shadows,

an immigrant who stands on the threshold
of a vast night

without his walker or his cane
and cannot remember what he meant to say,

though his right arm is raised, as if in prophecy,
while his left shakes uselessly in warning.

My father in the night shuffling from room to room
is no longer a father or a husband or a son,

but a boy standing on the edge of a forest
listening to the distant cry of wolves,

to wild dogs,
to primitive wingbeats shuddering in the treetops.

I suppose it's true that age transforms us into the wild spirits we were before we became tame. I don't know the origins of "once a man, twice a boy", but my father is becoming a boy again. My father is growing older. His spirit is young, but he stumbles like a toddler now. It's Father's Day this weekend and I've been thinking of how many more I will have with him. There's no way of knowing.

Poem Therapy at 12:39 P.M. - Paul Hoover

God’s Promises
Paul Hoover

I, the Lord, will make barren
your fields and your fairways.
Your refrigerators will be empty,
no steaks and no leg bones,
no butter and no cornbread.
And I will remove your screen doors,
force the mosquitoes indoors
where you lie on the bed undead.
For my house you have not readied,
no flat screen and no broadband.
My habitation is a wasteland
of furniture from motel rooms.
I will send the ostrich and badger
in herds through your wrecked rooms;
your beds will be entered by turnstile;
the floor will seethe with bees.
For my house is but a prefab;
its roof lets in my rain.
Woe is the Lord of Heaven
who has no mansion on earth.
Cries are heard from my fish traps,
crows flap on my hat rack,
pandemonium at the threshold
as the owls and bats flit in.
Silence reigns in the last place
and the first place has no sway.
For my knife-edge is impatient,
my ledge crumbles like cake.
I have warned you to beware.
You await a handsome savior,
but the plain man draws near...


Well, be careful what you wish for, or what you wish for others is all I have to say today.

(I googled Zephaniah and found that it's a book from the Hebrew Bible, in case you were wondering).

On the Road with Restlessness

New Orleans at Night - Matte Stephens

To find more of Matte Stephens art, check out: matteart.etsy.com www.matteart.blogspot.com

I've been studying 8/7,(a realistic variation of 24/7) for an art history exam, well, a test in which art history comprises a significant percentage of the questions. I have no idea how I'll do, but ask me about contropposto pose, architrave, repousse, Baroque, Ingres vs. Nadar, etc., and prepare yourself for a totally fascinating one-sided regurgitation of facts and trivia.

I would like to thank my father's side of the family for my remarkable memory, and before I am accused of suffering from an acute case of hubris, I will say in all humility, my memory gets me in a lot of trouble, because I rarely forget anything, and that can cause much trouble in a relationship, and more to the topic du jour, I really have no idea if I will pass this test. A lot rides on my passing it, like my job, my pride, my ability to withstand the humiliation of being an asshat if I don't pass it. In fact, if I don't, I will purchase a hat for my behind, and, I will wear it.

So, what does the painting have to do with my test preparation dilemma? Here's my variation on a multiple choice test. You choose the answer that best answers the question. Okay!

A.I promised myself that once I finished ingesting the Impressionists and Post Impressionists, I could mess around, surf a bit. Matte Stephens gouache painting is what I found browsing etsy.com. (I used to paint with gouache a lot about fifteen years ago. I like the medium. It's a lot like watercolor, but thicker, and it dries much lighter, so the end result is always a bit of a surprise).

B. I've been watching the HBO's original series Treme, and along with an interesting cast, New Orleans is the main character, and I've been feeling incredibly restless and wanting to take a road trip, and Louisiana would be one serious road trip, considering where I live. (Confession: I've never been to New Orleans, although I do possess beads, and no, I didn't earn them in the traditional manner. I've been close, in Alabama's Gulf Shores, but close really doesn't cut it, now does it. It's really time I get there and explore this beautiful city!).

C. The Symbolists are up next and I just don't have it in me to begin.

D. All of the above.

Poem Therapy at 7:56 A.M. -

For What Binds Us
Jane Hirshfield

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

It is our scars that make us who we are. I wore my scars like trophies when I was a child. Although I don't look at my scars quite the same as I did when I as seven, when scars were proof I was tough, I still like my scars. They are reminders that my flesh has engaged the world and won, and lost, also.

My c-section scar is a shiny and thin smile. The mottled scar under my chin reminds me of the days when I believed I could fly and pushed an iron swing set too far. The scar that runs the length of my pinkie finger is still tight, it will be a year still before it softens it military stance. There are other scars, psychic as well as physical, too many to document, but it is the jagged scar below my knee which remains a lone sentinel to the end of childhood, made when nail tore flesh.

What I Made Today - Metamorphosis Collage Painting


This is a mixed-media piece that started as a collage image, then I reworked it as a painting, added torn paper, then Prisma pencil.

Poem Therapy at 10:01 P.M. - Tony Hoagland

I Have News for You
Tony Hoagland

There are people who do not see a broken playground swing
as a symbol of ruined childhood

and there are people who don't interpret the behavior
of a fly in a motel room as a mocking representation of their thought process.

There are people who don't walk past an empty swimming pool
and think about past pleasures unrecoverable

and then stand there blocking the sidewalk for other pedestrians.
I have read about a town somewhere in California where human beings

do not send their sinuous feeder roots
deep into the potting soil of others' emotional lives

as if they were greedy six-year-olds
sucking the last half-inch of milkshake up through a noisy straw;

and other persons in the Midwest who can kiss without
debating the imperialist baggage of heterosexuality.

Do you see that creamy, lemon-yellow moon?
There are some people, unlike me and you,
who do not yearn after fame or love or quantities of money as
unattainable as that moon;
thus, they do not later
have to waste more time
defaming the object of their former ardor.

Or consequently run and crucify themselves
in some solitary midnight Starbucks Golgotha.

I have news for you—
there are people who get up in the morning and cross a room

and open a window to let the sweet breeze in
and let it touch them all over their faces and bodies.

I love this poem. Love the in-your-face speaker making me turn my eyes inward and then outward again to see the breathing world.

You know what? I have news for you, (and by you, I mean me and anybody who cares to indulge me on yet another one of my soapbox litanies): In the very near future I plan on becoming the kind of person who is satisfied just to feel the warm summer air limn my face like breath on a window. I plan on seeing the natural world for what it is, a living organism, rather than as a backdrop for my petty dramas and projections.

Well okay, the reality is, I'm in year forty-eight of The Danna Show, so making a transition this huge is going to be hard. Very hard. I'll be patient if you will.

In the meantime, I have plans:
1. Sit under my corkscrew willow tree and stay focused on the present moment, no matter what, (I will not think of a six-cheese bagel covered in spicy tomato pinenut cream cheese once).
2. Get in the car, turn down all the windows and drive to Antelope Island just to smell the briny air, (I will not anticipate annoying brine flies on the beach, or three-deep pedal bikers hogging the road and pedalling like snails on tiny trikes).
3. Drink a Bloody Mary and take great interest making a mini whirlpool in my glass by swirling the celery swizel, (I will not allude to the Tudors, in my thoughts or conversation once, and will most certainly not feel sympathy for Mary Tudor or indulge in postmodern thoughts about her bleak childhood under the tyrannical rule of her father, Henry VIII).
4. Allow the puppy to lick me on the neck, on the temple, near my left elbow, and my left shoulder, (I will only focus on the present moment of his joy with leaching the salt out of my body, rather than remembering what I have witnessed him eat in the past, especially what he has eaten out in the yard).