Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Zinnia Buffet

The straight row of thumbelina zinnias
is zig-zaggy and not very thumbelina
unless thumbelina means tall and taller
and over there as high as the fence
it wouldn't make a cover shot for
The English Garden magazine

But two swallowtails
a monarch
and a bumblebee as big as a big man's thumb
are tasting one flower and then the next
a little zig-zagginess no impediment
to moving methodically through
what's on offer at the zinnia buffet






x-posted to my poetry blog at http://redspork.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rolled into a pit on August 11, and haven't climbed out of it yet.

It was something to do with the 40-some Rubbermaid totes and the umpteen blue IKEA bags, everywhere, unpacked, full of things I've packed and unpacked a dozen times over the last several years. The chaos. The inability to make order out of chaos. I used to be such a take-charge person. A move was nothing. That was -- how many? -- moves ago. I've barely made a dent in the unpacking. I found a fork a few days ago. Last night I was eating yogurt with this fork and it occurred to me that I moved in on July 31st and it's August 18th and I really should have unpacked the utensils by now.

Okay, and yes, the rolling into the pit was something to do with the suicide of Robin Williams. He was never a favorite performer of mine. In fact, I never could get through an entire Tonight Show appearance, stand-up, or movie he was in. I had to turn him off. Too much. Manic. Funny at first, and then just too much. But when I heard on Twitter about his suicide -- at that point the sheriff's department spokesperson was saying "by asphyxiation" and people were thinking plastic bag -- I started thinking "If someone like that, with family, successful in his career, all the money in the world, all the help in the world, can afford repeat visits to Hazelden, can kill himself, what about me?" It just somehow seemed like the giant black dog who is always there got bigger all of a sudden. Bigger than the sky.

The giant black dog will get me one day, I know. It's inevitable. When restorative sleep became only a memory, it was another move in the game. The plan is to last long enough to outlive my dog, so that he isn't abandoned to a cage at a humane society. He wouldn't understand.

He's only 8 now. So I have to crawl out of this latest pit. I've been walking the dog at the Oakdale Nature Preserve, but the giant black dog follows us. Exercise, nature, sunlight. All sorts of things are available, except people. There are no people in my world. I am for some reason prohibited people. I have to figure out how to get out of this current pit, even though there are no people on the surface to welcome me. The dog is only 8. I have several years to get through.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The joy of a tidy little furnace room

My new townhouse has a little furnace room accessed through the downstairs powder room. It has a neat bifold door -- you'd think it was a closet. It's small but not cramped. I can walk right into it and I don't have to duck my head or stand sideways awkwardly. It's a tidy little furnace room. No stains of the ages and cobwebs. The water heater lives there, too. 

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm in love with this little furnace room. So nice to be away from that basement on Sherwood with its wet and cobwebs and odors and wet and cobwebs and odors. And that tan viscous stuff that dropped all over my stored stuff...eww! It came from the ceiling or the pipes or an enormous hovering insect-beast...I'll never know which and now I don't have to care.

I love my little furnace room.

Today I checked in the furnace room to see if there is an extra filter, and there is. How nice. I don't have to buy one right away. Also it's nice to have the wrapper of the new one when you go to stock up at the winter season sales. I always think I can remember the size I need until I get to the store and find I'm not sure of my own name.

The previous owner was very organized and left me all the manuals for the range, dishwasher, washer, and dryer, etc. In hanging file folders, no less. So it made me smile when I turned around in the furnace room this morning and saw this:


I found myself laughing. It's lovely to have all the manuals in hanging file folders. And it's great to snap copies of receipts with Evernote and archive emails in the cloud. But to make sure a piece of information is known, nothing beats scrawling it on the wall. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First, the cutting of and the swearing at the shelf paper, then the unpacking

Voting: this year's rant

There's a primary on August 12. As usual, my voting decisions will be made according to one of two thoughts: Better the devil you know than the devil you don't OR Go with the lesser of two evils.

I know many people around the world only dream about free and democratic elections. I know I'm lucky that no one will spit on me as I enter my polling place (and if anyone did, one scream from me and that person would find himself in the back of a squad car). I know in another country an election as close as the one between Bush and Kerry would have  sparked mass rioting and a coup in which some guy in a military uniform he hadn't earned would declare himself dictator for life. I know I'm fortunate masses of people that year didn't take to the streets with Molotov cocktails (we just just shook our heads and bought A village in Texas is missing an idiot bumper stickers).

I know all this. I also know that it doesn't seem to make any difference who gets into office. The potholes don't get fixed, the schools say they don't have enough money, Lake Erie is polluted, Lake Michigan is polluted, the Mississippi looks like charcoal fudge, we're always spending billions of dollars to save some group of people in some place halfway across the world who always end up hating us for it, and OPEC sneezes and we say gesundheit. 

I always vote. I was raised to vote. But I don't really think it makes a difference whether I do or not. There's a horrible sameness about the candidates, whichever party they espouse. They all quote Abraham Lincoln. They all begin every other sentence with The American people deserve.... And whichever of them gets in, nothing ever changes. According to their campaign literature, they all plan -- if elected -- to roll back anything their predecessors accomplished. That's a hell of a platform. Tell me about what you will make, build, start, set in motion, inspire, create...tell me what you're going to plant, not what you're going to dig up and throw in the trash.

Ah, I'll vote on August 12 and I'll wear my little red sticker all day. I always do. I just wish I believed my vote made a damned bit of difference towards a better world. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday

Since yesterday afternoon I've been experiencing a howling loneliness I have no idea what to do with. 

"Does this picture look good here?"
"But where does the detergent go?" 
and 
"I own this; this is my house."

These and other things are all things I've wanted to say to someone over the last couple of days, but there's no one to say, "No, you need a larger picture there."

Good or bad news--it's all the same--iit results in me telling the dog because there's no one else and the dog looking at me with slightly wrinkled forehead and not answering because he understands about 250 words of English but speaks none.

It's a nice house. And no gunfire as yet. I would like someone to be here to see the nice house and to hear the lack of gunfire. 

Started the unpacking process with making sure dog is comfortable

Thursday, July 31, 2014

First things first on moving day


It's going a little better. Crisis with movers, but hoping they will show up as planned. Closing is at 8 am.