Tuesday, April 25, 2023

wall installation


found m


Dear All,

Did I show you this great letter m I found in the field?  What great luck!  It's grown over now; I meant to send it sooner- it's a sea of windwolves today.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

a diminished thing


Ovenbird, detail, by John James Audubon. 

Dear Poetry,

You know how it is; somethings just really grab you, haunt you; dig you, explain you, get you, keep you.  I have been kept by this little phrase for nearly a year now:

"...what to make of a diminished thing."

This phrase is often misquoted in my mind as "what to do with a diminished thing," which is, my friends, the essence of poetry:  'to do' is very like 'to make,' but it is also planets, galaxies, apart.  Let me expand like these galaxies:  you 'make' both a sandwich and sense.  To 'make' is to interpret in some cases and senses.  To 'do' is nearly any action under the sun.  You do not really 'do' sense or sandwiches, even though you 'do' lunch.  Hmm, yes, you are right;  in the UK, they do say, let me 'do' you a bun or a pastie or something or other, but generally, doing is kind of a more active feeling.  Would that behemoth shoe & culture making(!?) machine have advertised "Just Make it?"

Well, now that I have you halfway down the shoe aisle of the big box store, forget all that, turn around and join me here again, while we do this Robert Frost poem together; it's called 

The Oven Bird.

There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

Your song of the day, the Ovenbird.  And, did you catch all that 'mid' and how it relates to 'dim?'  Very lovely!

Monday, April 17, 2023

little star, PS


Red asterisk, in Toronto.

Dear Reader,

You know, don't you?  Why I love the little star?  The asterisk?  And the PS, and the footnote?  I know it is extra work for you, dear reader, but, the page is a maze of thoughts, words, ideas, and it can run on simultaneous and parallel roads!  The text, the subtext, the many threads of narrative.  I am saying to you, with my asterisks and PS's:  see this, and feel this, too!  Hear this, but also look at that!  Simultaneously!  Kinda.  Sorta.  In as much as we can experience a page in its fullness and multiplicity.

Thursday, April 13, 2023



Dear Toast,

You are the best:  with cheese, you are dinner; with jam, you are dessert!  Of course, without butter, you aren't much; but you lead a double life under olive oil that is just as wonderful.

I begin today with bread, because I decided to begin my day that way, with bread.  If consequences were cosmos, I'd eat bread every day, at all meals, and I would have a room full of flowers!* 

I am all fired up on bread and words, because I am reading a lovely little book, a memoir that ignites my passion for the messy life we lead:  Cary Grant's Suit.

Yes, I did say no more OWMW (ow-mao), but, this guy!  I tell you, he's worth the transgression.  But, I am not here today, to tell you to eat bread with all its charms, or to read old white men, with all their charms, I am here today, to say to all and sundry, that I feel very sad when I think of all the Things I Have Done in the Name of Self Loathing.  

But, yes, this is all in the past; except, it isn't it, is it?  I don't know that you could have convinced me that my actions were motivated by self-hatred.  Because, you see, people that are terrible (like me) deserve all their punishment, and they don't ever get enough, and so they give it to themselves.  Yes, this reasoning and sentence are head-ache inducing, certainly, but that is all part of the verdict, sentence, punishment.  Which means, probably that my current self-loathing is extra clever and totally invisible to me, just like the old kludgy stuff was.  Which means, that I will ask you, I will beg you not to do as I have done, but that I also understand, accept, and love you anyway, even if you can't stop doing the things you do to hate yourself.

Or pink martinis!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

new blue


Woman with Bangs, 1902, Pablo Picasso.

Dear Camera,

Ooo!  This is the kind of thing I love to find and send to you!  The instant camera is marvelous, beloved, and holy; for proof, just check out Patti Smith's Polaroids..  I expect you already have your own camera, so get snapping and clicking in blue; it's easier than waiting around to die.