tiny things, bursting. molecular studies of grapefruit, clandestine affairs awash in moonlight. you feel me good. i’m not what you used to think i was, i think…

albuquerque. in the glare of a new mexico sun, caballeros with itchy b*lls. red leather fringe suits santa well in the southwest; woolen muffs for venturing into maine or northern minnesota.

door to door vacuum salesman wearies of ringing yet another bell. hey. it’s five o’clock somewhere…

Today is the first of October, the very best, the most beautiful, the most inspiring and exhilarating month of the year. I adore the color, the scent, the pageantry, the crispness, the whole vibe of this month punctuated at the end with the fun of Halloween, a time when kids of all ages can act out their fantasies. It’s a time to indulge our imaginations!

What’s not to love?

Spinach souffle left to gel on the counter

fizzy purple soda gone flat next to an unmade bed

pepperoni pizza, napkins from Kum N Go, soppy plates

& fly shit in the soup, crumbling spider carcasses

lining every window sill.

You promised me Paris in June,

Bangkok for our 25th.

Apparently, you forgot

how I longed for Istanbul.

Ragged mesh, gaping holes—

casements cranked wide to the right,

back door propped open with last year’s hiking boots—

grant entry to a horde of tiny, 6-legged, winged arthropods,

come on in with those compound eyes.

We’d yearned to summit Ypsilon,

settled for Emerald Lake.

I traded Mackinac for the Ring of Kerry,

my Townie Electra for Norwegian fjords.

That old, tired cliche has merit, indeed. When it rains, it certainly does pour.

A few weeks ago, our oven went all kablooey on us and we made the decision to upgrade our microwave, original to the house circa 2004, as well. We love the sleek look of a stainless-steel finish. When we needed to replace our refrigerator six years ago, we bought one in stainless-steel with the intention of updating the other appliances in a similar fashion when they, too, breathed their last.

That time is now and with the exception of the dishwasher – stubbornly holding on to provide us with clean dishes and silverware, bless her faded white-paneled exterior finish – every major kitchen appliance will be stainless-steel. Fair enough.

Except that now, our refrigerator has quit working. Frozen pizzas, not so frozen. Ice cube tray, a liquid, watery mess. Milk, juice, other perishables – yuck. A repair service is scheduled to arrive today to gauge the damage. Will we be presented with an uber-expensive repair diagnosis? Or will we be confronted with having to purchase our third refrigerator since moving into our present abode nearly seventeen years ago?

Oh. And that new oven-range unit we acquired two weeks ago? A third one (that’s the charmed one, right?) is scheduled to be delivered on Saturday. Seems the ‘Quick Pre-Heat’ functionality, which didn’t work on the first one doesn’t work on this one either. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Select Quick Pre-Heat to, say, 350 degrees. When the oven reaches that temperature, chime / beep / ring the bell / sound the alarm to notify its human ‘masters’ when baking can begin. However, without fail, both units indicate ‘all done; I’ve preheated your oven’ when the temperature hits 176 degrees (or thereabouts).

Ahem.

Um.

That will not suffice. In practical terms, using the old-fashioned method of just starting the oven and waiting until it beeps when it hits the selected temperature is just fine. I can live with that. But when you buy a brand-spanking-new anything, well, you expect everything to work as advertised. At least, I do. It’s the principle of the thing.

Sigh.

We shall see…

It’s one of those drizzly, soggy September mornings. A bit more chill in the air than we’ve experienced thus far this season. Perfect weather for diving back beneath the sheets or, if you’re a tad more ambitious, getting out of bed at 4:45 AM and spending an hour sewing blocks together for a new quilt I’m working on. I’m tired now, four hours later although a short twenty-minute nap seems to have revived me somewhat. A hot cup of tea at hand – love me some Harney & Sons’s Hot Cinnamon Spice! – and I’m almost ready to tackle that hamper full of dirty laundry.

Happy Friday everyone!

I’m ready to walk away, to separate myself from those who have never – really – had my back, to ease away from those who now shun me. For a short while, I thought I’d gained acceptance into their tight little circle, that of my five sisters, each of us so glaringly different from each other. But I’ve felt the sting of their indifference for far too long, a discomfort gelling now into something that feels far more ominous with a potential for permanence.

Covid, coupled with a suppressed immune system that requires special care and precautions, necessitates that I avoid large gatherings, particularly those indoors. This has meant no weddings, no graduations, no birthday parties or bridal showers, no spending time getting to know new additions to our extended family. An outdoor gathering? Great! Otherwise, no. I’ll have to pass.

But it’s always there. That look of passing judgment. I sense eyes that gloss over my concerns, smug faces that ridicule and mock me – and not always behind my back. The President tells us the pandemic is over. The country can move on. All well and good for the majority of Americans but not quite yet for the likes of me. I must still exercise caution.

A niece’s wedding approaches, my youngest sister’s daughter is planning a small event, primarily held at a local park. I’ll be there unless the weather doesn’t allow guests to congregate outdoors. And there, it seems, the shun begins. Yet another continuation of disregard for the safeguards I feel are in the best interests of my remaining healthy.

Our life – my husband’s and mine – in this time of covid, is just fine. We’re happy and content. We never feel deprived. I don’t complain about not being able to go places or take part in the activities others now enjoy in this post-pandemic world. We keep busy and occupied with our own projects, interests and passions. It’s all good. And yet, there seems to be no compassion for my immunocompromised situation, no attempts to understand. Certainly, there is not a shred of empathy. Instead, I’m criticized and sometimes confronted for not taking part in family gatherings. This is my choice. It’s my health. It’s my life, one I wish to remain healthy, thank you very much.

And so, to coin a phrase, today is the first day of the rest of my life. If that means moving on without my family, so be it.

Surrounding oneself with the skin, the aura, the flesh & bone of others…

Spoken words, laughter, curious glances, remembrances of days spent together when we scarcely knew ourselves, let alone each other. Life as we knew it then is not what we remember now, the hodge-podge haze of youth, our recollections colored, perhaps, by how we ache for those days to have played out, to have transpired.

That is, for what might have been.

Happy Friday, bloggers!  Hope you’re having a stellar week.  Can you believe we’re now on the downward slide of September already?  The weather has been pretty darn awesome so far and we still have glorious October to look forward to!!

I’ve been writing more poetry lately.  Some of it is just a mish-mash but still very satisfying. Every now and then, I’m able to pull something together that just might have some potential!  I enjoy revising old pieces too.  Does this ever happen to you?  I’ll go through my archives, especially stuff tucked away in laptop folders I’d all but forgotten about and when I read what’s in there I am occasionally stunned a) as in what a bunch of garbage.  What was I thinking?!?! or b) Wow. Did I write this?  It’s not too bad at all!

Earlier this summer I joined the Science Fiction Poetry Association and my membership includes the Rhysling Anthology, the Dwarf Stars anthology and a yearly subscription to Star*Line, all of which contain geeky, sci-fi / fantasy / speculative / dark and/or quirky / horror poetry.  The kind of stuff I like to write!  Anyway, one of the poems I encountered today in my readings referenced it as being a paradelle.  Are you familiar with this form?  I wasn’t so I Googled it and came up with this:  Poetic Form: Paradelle – Writer’s Digest (writersdigest.com).  I thought you might be interested.  I’m certainly willing to give it a try!

A year or so ago I bought a collection of Louise Gluck poems (from 1962 – 2012).  I’d read about 25% of it and wasn’t really into it so I set it aside.  Recently I’ve picked it back up and I’m really digging her poetry.  Another collection I’m enjoying right now is the poetry of James Wright.  You may be familiar with this one of his poems, which I love:  Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in… | Poetry Foundation

Who are some of your favorites, old and/or new?

Hope the muse is treating you well!  Take care and Happy Autumn!