Saturday (Spring Cleaning) Musings

Our apartment has been in state of disrepair since we returned from Cabo, so today I’m going to do something about it. I don’t mind organized clutter but this place is just out of control. I also purchased a new elliptical machine for my birthday. I was not a planned purchase but the deal was too good to pass up, so I ordered it Wednesday, canceled my gym membership Thursday, and it arrived on Friday. I’m looking forward to powering it up.

These were taken outside our apartment building this morning.


Elegy for Sol LeWitt

The weather map today is pale. The lines on the map
are like the casts of fishing lines
looping and curved briefly across air.
The sky now, also, toward evening, is pale.
On Sunday, in Beacon, there were lines
drawn on walls and also lines
drawn across the canvases of the last paintings
of Agnes Martin. One of them has two pale squares
on a blackened field.

The lines on your walls
follows directions
as if

as if there were a kind of logic
charged with motion
at the end of winter: the pale blue northern cold
almost merged with the pale green
at Hartford, and then the blank newsprint of the sea.

Anne Lauterbach

*Courtesy of the Academy of American Poetry and their poem a day project for National Poetry Month.

Sunday (Taxes) Musings

It is that time of year. As per usual, I put off taking my taxes to H&R Block. The month of March always gets away from me. Between Spring Break and birthdays and research papers it’s been a busy month.


I read Atlas by Katrina Vandenberg while I was in Mexico. I bought the book while I was at AWP on the recommendation of a friend. The book is amazing. I copied several poems into my journal, because when I transcribe a poem, I feel like I understand it more. The language and content of these poems are fascinating. This is the blurb on the back of the book:

In the seventeenth century in the Netherlands, a virus fueled through the tulip trade, making the flowers’ veined petals so beautiful the price of bulbs soared. In the twentieth century in America, blood tainted with the AIDS virus was inadvertently transfused into the veins of hemophiliacs, eclipsing “the purpose that briefly lit their brilliant veins.”

Here are some of my favorite poems:

Jack O’ Lantern

My sister amd I grew pumpkins, cinderellas
by the vineful, until they nudged the feet
of Daddy’s sugar snow corn. She remembers waiting–waiting for their shells
to quicken with rain and each moon’s phase.
waiting for our father to carve the faces
we drew on the pumpkin with pencil, because
je saod girls could cut themselves with knives.

Here is what nobody seems to remember:
She was nineteen and pregnant and apologetic.
I was twelve and we were both aware that in fall
all things are round apples and raindrops,
harvest moons, squash. She asked him to carve
the smallest pumpkin in the parch for the baby
amd our father walked out, left us alone, two girls,
three pumpkins, slotted spoons, a butcher knife.

In the mirror the dark made of the kitchen window,
blushed by leaves, I asked her not to cry. Instead,
she cut into the pumpkins head and scraped
its wet insides from grainy walls, and then
abadoned her spoon. Her fingers wrestled
seeds from the pale gourd pulp until they slid,
separated from its skul through her hansd,
first as droplets, then as strings of pearls.

She said, we don’t need father anymore.
Wre can carve this ourselves. Watch me
slice out lips and eyes where non has been before.
When she hunched to light the votive,
it sputtered then it glowed. And after, when
we went outside to look at her finished lantern
from the road. I said I liked the way her light
shone through the face that flickered in the dark.

All Those Women on Fine September Afternoons
When she baked a pie, my mother’s hands were blackbirds;
they flecked butter at heaps of sugared
apples. Her hands were wings around the piecrusts edge,
and she fluttered it until it swooped around,
and down. Never worry your crust, she said.

You love crust like a child; roll it
and imagine it pretty and whole.

My grandmother could weigh flour
with her hands and measure vinegar with her eyes.
She rolled her crust with a rolling pin
cut by her father from a single apple limb.
My mother cut star cookies from what was left.

I think about my mother and her mother
and every mother before they came along
the days I roll out piecrust with the rolling pin
my grandmother gave me: the rolling pin
that was part of a tree, swelling apples

from blossoms, apples to swell and dimple
crurst. My God, think of it, all those women
on fine September afternoons like these,
rolling piecrust and not worrying,
seeing things whole.

The Floating

When he was dying, she stayed with him all night,
but one night, restless. she walked around a corner
and found a dim hall full of children’s breathing
rising from small white beds. She had drifted into
the flating, the children’s hospital boat
being rocked to sleep in the harbor again
the way it was a hundred summers ago.
The horizon of her life had vanished–traffic
lights, students with Chinese food takeout boxes
stories down. Now bustled dresses drooped
over the backs of chairs: now immigrant mothers
in flimsy shifts bent over beds and whispered,
tendrils of their hair escaping their tidy knots,
their feet unsteady on the pitch of breath.

Thursday (Magnolias) Musings

When I walked out the backdoor of my apartment complex today, I was pleasantly surprised to find the large Magnolia almost in bloom. I love spring, but until I moved to Indiana, I never really experienced it. Pennsylvania goes from frigid winters to blistering summers in about one week. In Erie, one you’ll look out your window and see snow drifts and the next day the forsythia and daffodils will be out in full bloom. Texas was even worse. We didn’t have winter, just a consistent state of gray followed by a busting out of color. Indy, however, has a true blue spring. It has been gradually warming and the flowering trees are almost ready to bloom. I plan on taking some time this weekend to snap some photographs.

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders of the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they would have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
But no one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet and walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use spell to make them balance:
Stay where you are until are backs are turned!”

Robert Frost

Each year poet bloggers throughout the country participate in NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). An adaptation of National Novel Writing Month, NaPoWriMo challenges participants to write and post a poem each day in April.

Monday (Welcome Spring!) Musings

While I enjoy traveling, I’m glad to be back at home. Our trip to Cabo was excellent but the flight back was a bit of a nightmare (7 hours in the Houston airport) but overall a great trip. We got home yesterday from the wedding, which was also enjoyable but as RJ put it, “I’m glad we’re not going anywhere for awhile.”

I’m going to post a separate photo collage of Mexico soon.

A Riddle

Where far in forest I am laid,
In a place ringed around by stones,
Look for no melancholy shade,
And have no thoughts of buried bones;
For I am bodiless and bright,
And fill this glade with sudden glow;
The leaves are washed in under-light;
Shade lies upon the boughs like snow.

Richard Wilbur