A cigarette hangs from her lips; the burnt ash refuses to drop and she squints to protect her pale cornflower blue eyes from the smoke that rises behind her large frame plastic glasses. Wearing polyester pants with a button-up floral print shirt in a coordinating color, her shoulders slightly stooped, she moves with purpose and crosses the narrow kitchen. Feet encased in practical slip-on loafers complete the ensemble and are a required part of being dressed for the day. Read more
these snow-sumptuous and barren vegetable beds
remind me of the coming heat, the gritty sun beat
the fruit flower, green leaves, the canning steam
and i wonder how much we will need by summer’s end
of soil, seeds, sprouts, sweat
as spring gets on, i know it’s not just heat
but light and dark that conduct the spark of leaves
the sustained note of the open bud that murmurs the arrival
of long-light, the firefly-lit, slip of night Read more
“Politics is an organized, publically sanctioned amplification of the infantile itch to always have one’s own way.”
— Tom Robbins, “What Is Art and If We Know What Art Is, What Is Politics?”
DNA tends to hold sway,
in spite of goodness, Thomas J.
Alex Hamilton redressed his vows
through dallies with a lady’s wows.
A miracle dwelt in Grover C.
admitting extra paternity. Read more
Excerpted from: “717 Hemlock Street: The Empiricist Conversation from Locke to Gödel,” a novel by Tommy Saxophone
John and I sat on the porch on attached movie theater seats John had rescued from an old East Bay movie theater just prior to its demolition. From tall glasses we drank hot coffee sweetened with condensed milk. John pointed west, towards a hilltop in the distance. Read more
Pick up a newspaper, turn on the t.v.,
look at the mirror of our lives:
another newborn thrown in a garbage can,
another bomb blown by the terrorist hand,
listen to the radio, listen to the streets
of humanity trapped in rush hour, choking
on the fumes of violence, choking on fear,
gagging on racial tensions, gagging on hate,
reeling from war to war, staggering ever closer
to our own destruction,
there seems to be no way out, and yet... Read more
I’m talking about Dirt.
Dirt you smell,
Loving the aroma.
Dirt you get under your fingernails,
And don’t mind going to bed with.
I’m talking about farm Dirt.
Unadulterated, unprocessed, Unfiltered Dirt.
Dirt that is a home for
Worms, insects, roots and vegetables.
Dirt that makes me,
I am not a gardener but every spring when I lived in suburbia
I purchased flats of pansies, marigolds and impatiens.
Impatiens thrived through the entire season,
had little luck with pansies, but I loved
how they twisted and turned toward the sun.
I was good about picking off dead blooms,
enjoyed the gold and orange marigolds long into fall. Read more
Grandpa knew dirt. The son of feudal farmers, he was born into it and was one with it. He knew its language and listened to what it asked for. He didn’t have words like carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, but he could tell if the soil was healthy from its scent or how it felt in his hands. As a little girl I watched Grandpa in his garden gently turning the dirt so that it would loosen and breathe and graciously accept the seeds he left in its care. Grandpa knew when it was thirsty and the best time to let it drink, always before the sun or after the sun. Read more
Although I’m in recovery now, I was glad I was still drinking the Thanksgiving Day after my parent’s divorce. My brother and I decided to invite them to a celebration at his house. We only did this because they swore to us that they would remain friends. Then our father walked in with a date. We know him well enough to see that this was meant as an intentional act to hurt our mother. Read more
It would be nice to say that I began gardening as a little girl, pushing sunflower seeds into the dirt under the tutelage of a sun-weathered grandmother who’d been practicing the garden arts passed down from her mother, and her mother. But, this is not the case. I was raised in suburban New Jersey, just across Sandy Hook Bay from New York City, where it was against code to hang clothing on an outdoor line, much less roto-till your lawn for food. Read more