Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New York Times Crossword Puzzle Draft 8/26/08

Ahead of us the chorus of meows
echoes alleys, I make the Theda
face, you cross your eyes, not sad
nor sheik. We have trampled atria
like grapes our toes digging dunes
our tongues flaming. Ah, you cry,
but I don't know what you mean.
What we knew has turned to chant
and we're not the ones chanting.


Back and forth from Seattle to Chelan I wake and don't know where I am, though I am forever cleaning wherever I am. How many millions of women have lived like that? Comet whiff perpetually under their nails. Hillary Clinton gave the best possible get with the program and support Barack Obama speech last night. She was more directly powerful than I've heard her for awhile - the "I work harder than anyone, can't you see it? SEE IT SEE IT" stridency gone from her voice. I hate to use that word along with shrill and the grab bag of anti woman words. I don't think Barack's victory means we as a nation are more sexist than racist, though that may be true. It feels true, as Rosie O'Donnell's character said in "Sleepless in Seattle".

There are people I don't know in my Seattle house, and Jim and I are the only ones here in Chelan. A young man emerging from the silver Prius with his relatives in my carport asked me how it felt to rent out my house. I can't come down entirely on one or the other side of that bed. We have a new sink in the powder room, one that isn't in a giant box to smoosh the powder room user into feeling the room is tiny and cramped. The little pedestal sink is perky and cute and the rolls of toilet paper and the basket of shoe shine stuff now live in the pantry. The wall behind the sink, where the box was and where the little rectangular tiles were I pasted to the wall with silicon caulk, is freshly textured but unpainted, the oak floor unfinished where the box was, though I am not entirely sure it is unfinished. Jim is certain it is unfinished, "I'll tell you that much," he said. But I scrubbed the floor and it sure seemed the same color as the finished floor. Defer, defer, that is my non-confrontational fall back position. As is reaction rather than action. What do you want? What do you want? Jim's brother took out the old box/sink and put in the new sink over the last day and a half, as we drove back from Chelan, then as I cleaned the house readying it for the renters. This is the part of renting I like: we make decisions for the house we haven't made for the house for us. We say, "renters would like ..." and we do it. This is better than saying, "the people we sell the house to would like ..." since we go back home and enjoy what the renters have or have not liked because of course that sentence really told us what we would like, and it turns out we like what we thought we would, veiling it as what others would prefer so we don't feel selfish or like we're doing something frivolous replacing a brownish ugly sink in an ugly box we've hated since we moved in nine years ago for glaring example.

Friday, August 22, 2008

American lady of perpetual worry, Sara
Bernhardt on this Euro sea. I lean to the bar
come so far for windswept awe hand hold crag
precipitous enough to whip away illness echo
I cringe from your stranger-face, creepy
crepey neck, yearn to be spun enraptured
forty days to change a habit we have fourteen
Cyclades, Persephone, no more am I Penelope
for whoever you are, you're home. Eruption
disrupted saffron gatherers, Akrotiri, sea
filled caldera below snowy summit wall
to take your breath away. I throw my mind
at history my hubby my razer my dog that loves
to fetch oh fetch me white wash blue door
more and more to read to burrow, sleepy
forgetful remembering everything. Nervous
Nellie, I remember everything.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Plucking blackberries from stick bushes
before sun flames the hill across the lake
browse is best, the feint to find behind
prickled leaf sweet burst bee fat and
luscious, trick to plunk more into bucket
than you though August means to wander,
paw and breathe like sated bear
among the busy buzz and whir.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'll get to the point soon enough, Tim,
so get your fingers off your Apple
Davy Crockett downed in Alamo
John Lennon offed in front of Ono
your eyes glazed like I'm a rerun
you naked but no marble David
all this as cunning as quicksand
not what we wanted when we arose
and though there's sun there's ursa,
dippers falling through star forests
you can't see through your stink eye
hair glint tribute to bleaching agents
I'm mean, you say, my tongue is acid
you one unsung hung sharpshooter
oh feet oh legs oh thighs of clay
finger flash across yon abacus
and all the world at bay. Say
what you must say, the gander
and the goose, and I will stare
my stare. We've passed our prime
and tit for tat for far too little time

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We dreamed of Paris as we drove over the dam --
Eastern Washington August gold, "Jean, Jean,"
over the radio, her prime long ago and over,
ours too. Shadows move the round hills furled
then moving forward as cottonwoods stir
above the Wenatchee River entering Cashmere.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sturdy red harvest bins line the roadway --
August and almost apple picking time --
these are filled with gnarled trunks, unbudded boughs --
behind them up their hill, lines of waist-high
grape vines fattening blood-purple clusters.
8/11/08 August Postcard Poetry Fest

I've signed up for another every-day poetry writing event. Offhand, in-the-moment, what-the-hay, let it fly, let 'er rip poems or poem-like utterances off into the mailbox to someone I've never met, one poem to one person each August day. Complicated for me by being out of town most of the month, far from mailboxes to send poem and a mailbox of my own to receive poems. I imagine a passel waits for me at the East Union Post Office in Seattle. A PASSEL!

I hope you are well and writing and manufacturing vitamin D on the skin of your bare arms, miracle that you are. We talked books my neighbors on the long long lake and I the other night. She reads throwaway tomes thick with historical reference - I don't feel guilty, she says, when I'm learning something. She pushes the books towards me and I pretend to forget them at evening's end. I like her, and I like that she and her family - husband and their grown son, have spent two weeks lying about reading books. I went home and plucked one of the beach reads someone left here off the shelf. I am a bad snob and I want to scold the author and publisher over the phone, red pencil the pages, but I also want to loll here and let my eyes breeze through to the end.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Along Bluett Pass Highway we see elk not beef
though buffalo gather beside the "meat for sale"
sign where the road ribbons Swauk Prairie, air
sweet with ripening wheat. Car tows boat hull
to Lake Chelan, Entiat or Roosevelt, hefty
hitch, lurch into our lane, frisson of fear. Aria
from the back seat, another disappearing era
in the American west though summer hordes
mob overlooks and fist fruit leather at stands
as though they never saw it at Safeway. Oven
outside our air conditioned bubble, we're bent
on home and not farm houses gone wineries,
apple stumps along their margins, imported
French oak barrels beside their drives. As gas
dwindles, we strategize, agonize over refills,
huddle close upon our fate like lounging buffalo.