I hear the satisfying plop of wet clay and then the wheel spins and spins. Each hand curves, pushes, and smooths, lifts new life from a formless muck. The past cakes underneath my fingernails; the future, slick with glaze, blazes in the kiln. I wait to greet the freshest phoenix.
Open the rusty screen door
Follow my voice through the center
of the forest with no trees
Float atop the escaping river
like a weekday problem on a Saturday afternoon
Watch the cardinals glide above
this mess of a city, careless, self-absorbed,
The drivers in their compact cars, too,
accelerating behind you to dates and games
the scattered possibilities of something better
Take solace in the abandoned
take-out bags and six-pack rings
like embedded buttons to press
along the speckled shore of Lake Michigan
Lives are being lived here—mine, yours too—
Fill your lungs with ivy
Feel each of your toes slicken with grease
and pulverized stone, the natural aftermath
of ten million people using up this world
a paragraph at a time, a paragraph
at a time when each of us yearns to write
A burnished tome
I never thought I was descended from saints or anything. Still it’s difficult to see proof that your forebearers were abusive, racist, or felonious. My two-times great-grandfather, Nathaniel Lewis, turned out to be all three. I’ll post more about this story soon.
Click here for source info.
While my great-grandfather was getting married on Christmas day 1906, his father’s barn was burning to the ground.
Click here for source.
A couple years ago after researching as thoroughly as possible, I had decided my family was not related to the infamous outlaw, Jesse James. But, after finding this newspaper article recently, I’ve brought out all of my research again.
To be clear, the man interviewed happens to also be named Jesse James. He is not the outlaw, but he is definitely my grandfather’s cousin.
Click here for source.
I’m writing to ask you to my wedding on the 15th. Her name is Roslyn. You don’t know her.
I don’t wish for you to receive this news as a rebuff. It is possible to be two things at once. Like you. What was that name you insist your mother gave you in that bleak time before we met? “Herve”? And yet will the Lord God judge me as a liar for calling you Harvey all these years?
Two things at once.
We dine on fresh emotion with each day
a fork, red salad plates of grief or joy
then rest on beds of flashing opal-fear
a docile pillow lost upon a plain
too late, too sure, to realize comfort won
sweet hours lost avoiding stroboscopes
by hoarding little stones in mattresses
by lording over rooms gone dim with light