Fell off the blogging wagon, but actually I have written a couple of poems in the last couple weeks. I’m mostly logging onto the blog to let it be known that I saw 20 minutes of The Royal Tenenbaums last night and basically haven’t stopped crying since. I’m 31, which helps that makes sense, and also removes all sense from it. The supplementary note to this note is that I also took a “Which Tenenbaum Are You?” buzzquiz and it confirmed my belief that Richie is my fictional self. The end!

 

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  1. Go ahead and make that thing for dinner, even though everything’s just going to hell-n-a-handbasket regardless of whether good food is made or not. It’s now an hour later, and it smells and looks amazing, and you have been hungry all day without actually *feeling* hungry. What the hell is that.
  2. Since the husband has finally got his sorry ass home, and is wrestling the Terrible Child on the couch, go ahead and do the dishes because this pig sty of a house is ridiculous and a shame to your mother and a blight on the face of America.
  3. Since the dishes are done and the thing is bubbling and smellicious and almost done, go ahead and have the dregs of malbec from the old box of wine in the Liquor Cabinet (now that I have one I’m sure as hell capitalizing it because do you have one? I thought not. *sniff*). Turns out there’s no sediment or sand or gravel or bad flavors. Some things still work in this broken-down excuse for a fancy rich country.
  4. Since you made chicken broth today for the express purpose of making chicken pot pie and it all turned out well, shocker, just turn your gaze upon those quart jars of brown liquid and toasted-herby-marrowish sediment. Good job on that. Ok. That was good.
  5. Since you’re beginning to believe that your life has some goodness to it and that not everything you did today was shite and pointless and swallowed by the vast monster of Thankless Child-Rearing, go a little further. Think about how most writers and artists etc. who were mothers got their work done somehow but at an older age than 31. Don’t think about how most writers are men who either abandon their families or don’t have them.
  6. Since you’re easing onto a park-bench-of-the-mind with a cigarette and watching the kids skate on the iced-over pond, bring yourself back to reality, end the weird thing you’re writing, and eat food.

Title are literally the worst.

So I felt 1. proud that I’ve somehow been able to follow through on this vow to do a Saturday poetry series here, but 2. irritated that now my blog just looks like a string of poims that are not even that good. So here’s some large blocks of text to break up the monotony.

Life continues to be garbage and pretty good at the same time (like always). Since Mary’s due to wake at any moment, this will actually take the form of a list instead of the aforementioned large blocks of text.

  • I’m seeing a therapist, and it feels v. v. excellent. Partly, this guy is clearly just good at what he does, and it’s been productive, considering that I’ve only been twice. But partly, it just feels good to be doing something proactive for my own health. After trying and failing multiple times to help people I love, I’m finally learning that I’m the only one I can truly help, in a real and uncomplicated way. So, let’s get TF on that.
  • Organizing the house and the house’s numerous and complex projects is overwhelming, even though we have slogged and argued through initial first steps, including but not limited to ordering and receiving $3K’s worth of cabinets.
  • It’s fall, and somehow still super hot.
  • The garden is a bright spot: I still have to weigh (and finish harvesting) the winter squash and the dent corn, but it’s gorgeous and exciting. Peppers and cherry tomatoes are still coming in.
  • Mary is still refusing to toilet-train, which is fine with me, because I can afford pull-ups and so far no-one has suggested that I should be getting on it. I mean, I suggest to Mary that she should be getting on it, but so far that has only resulted in her trying to sit on her baby potty *after* she has already pooped in her pull-up and getting poop smeared on stuff. That was ONE GARBAGE DAY. And I probably shamed her and I’m … still trying to deal with that
  • I don’t have anything to say about politics at this time.
  • Back to Mary: I had a few hours of work to make up on Friday and couldn’t find a babysitter, so, she came to work with me. I feel like I’ve joined some ranks. So many ranks to join. So many of them are garbage. However, this day turned out to not be garbage—it was actually really, really fun and wonderful—due to the fact that my bosses are laid-back and I think they really love and care about me. They didn’t mind me bringing my toddler to work, and my co-worker Jessica got pretty excited about it and at one point put Mary in the truck and drove her across a field to go see the chicks. I can’t describe the cuteness of Mary’s tiny red head barely showing at the bottom of the front passenger window as they drove away. (Very safe, if you were wondering. As you were, if you were a mom.) Mary helped pick green beans, and stepped on several bugs as I weighed and bagged greens.
  • Also, Mary has somehow weaseled her way from her bed (napping) to the couch next to papa (watching sportsingball on TV) to my lap with my arms around her as I type on this laptop. Pretty cute man. She likes what she likes. And I do encourage that, no matter how much I vent about it on social media.
  • We went to Kyle Carver Orchards this a.m. so I could get some fall frenzy going on. I wanted a bushel of apples, but Marshall talked me out of it. Possibly he was right. So we just got 1.5 pecks of Arkansas Black, Mountain York, and Carousel, and a pint each of the apple butter and sorghum they make. Yeah I instagrammed it. The fact that I just spent 30 seconds trying to figure out if I should be defensive about that or just straight apologize should remind you that I’m in therapy. But it was a most excellent morning.
  • Pizza for dinner, dough is rising while I daydream about food. God I love food. This should be its own bullet:
  • God I love food. Since I seem to have grown 50-70 lbs of winter squash, I am going to have to get creative about eating it, and these are my thoughts so far: pumpkin streusel crumbcake; pumpkin-ricotta ravioli (huge batch, freeze half) ; enormous vats of butternut soup for dinner party; vegetarian pumpkin chili; pumpkin cheesecake; cauliflower-pumpkin enchiladas; pumpkin layer cake with cardamom-cream cheese icing. AAAAA. I love food so much.

When our daughter was new we slept apart,
he on the couch and I on the bed
with her, bouncing her to sleep on a spring and I
awake again with every chirp and squeak and cry.
Then, god, honestly I don’t want to
remember. But his Meniere’s Disease was progressing
and he had 3 hours of vertigo and vomiting
and loud moaning with his head perfectly still
over the toilet, retching after moaning,
moaning after retching, small times of quiet groaning
but then I could hear the waves ratcheting up again and here
is the retching again and I was pacing the house
with my 2 month old baby. I couldn’t believe
that I, who had driven myself to morning
every day with cozy dreams of helping those I loved,
couldn’t help any of us and the waves broke
over us all over and over. I left him in the bathroom
to breastfeed my daughter and I did not believe
that even milk was coming out of me.
I wished, dry-mouthed, for her
not to starve at my breast.

1.

What have I learned about love.
The following. It is a coat hook
to hang your skinsuit on;
look how thin that skin is, and
how pale. It is not
enough. It fails.
It is a light-sensitive night light
that flickers ghoulishly
at dusk and dawn.

 

Megan_SheaShea_Eila
Jessica got photos of Eila Lucia, born on the farm a few weeks ago. Jessica is our super fab intern who is also a great photographer.

CareoftheEarth_Fall_AnnaLaura_beans
And of me tossing some bean pods onto the compost pile.

 

I wait for signs,
as I have always waited for signs, leaning
out of windows
or walking.

As the mystics said, as they did,
waiting for the present moment
to reveal itself, for
the ever-present God.

And so,
I am walking a field of grass,
ironweed, and goldenrod,
a cloud of signs wrapping my head—

great bees and dragonflies,
barn and tree swallows, martins,
the sound of weight
moving through lightness,

my baby heavy in my long body.
She waits for signs, or not;
I wake her one night
with my crying.

She turns in me one morning
like someone drying a glass,
dishtowel stuffed inside
and twisting.

pp2

Last night a feely music came on,
husband wanted me to listen with him
with lights off. (Stillness and listening
can only happen with toddler in deep sleep.)
And it was the only thing
to which I’d given undivided attention
all day, and as luck would have it
it was poetry and suddenly
grief battered the great wood doors
till I sat up, apologized,
cried hard for 4 minutes.

But I started this story to say
that I had started to get the feels
just 1 minute into the dark
and the music
and I decided it was ok to imagine
how angry I was at God
and I imagined punching him with my strong
hard fists a-blur, adrenaline fury,
not hate, just anger.
I felt the release of being honest
and of burning up and of knowing
that my anger couldn’t hurt
the light at the center of the cosmos.

And husband held me as I cried
and I thought, How is it that I want to hurt
God for all the grief and the terror and lost years
but here I am in the arms
of my friend? I’m not fine.

I know what opening myself to beauty
and paradox can do—it is a balm—
but I need to know why
every human ever born
can be so helpless,
can be strangled during birth
can be abused as a toddler
or beaten while pregnant
or controlled and gaslighted into psychosis
or tortured and killed in any armed conflict, you pick,
and be healed,
after. I have this feeling
that trauma should just end us.
Exposure to the amoral knives of the dark
destroys goodness, warps us,
mutates us, and I have not seen
Jesus risen from the dead.
I won’t believe in his risenness
till I can touch the holes in his wrists
and feet.

It’s going to be some real shit for a while, maybe I’ll get good again…we’ll see. I was going to make a comment about “baby steps,” but it just struck me that babies and young kids are the ones taking really huge developmental leaps. We adults tend to regress or barely hold our ground or make progress against headwinds at a rate of two-steps-forward-one-step-back. Small steps, small victories, belong to adults. Kids are whizzing forward. In a sense I can cling to my daughter’s coattails.