Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Rider

In the mountains of Tennessee, elevation unknown, the winter clouds and rain were indistinguishable, the air itself the icy vapor it released. In-between peaks long ago cleaved by decisive blasts to make way for travelers such as myself, the mist settled on rock in gauzy drapes, slowing the less adventuresome in right and left lanes alike. Behind the cautious, I played at patience, and looked for opportunities.

Passing the exit for Rarity Mountain Rd. I spied three cyclists, each with wind-breaking outer shells to protect them from the storms they could weather, though this tumult proved to be too much and lodged them beneath an overpass. It was somewhere between there and Hyslop Cemetery I saw him. A lone rider, worn and sinewy, head long cleaving the clouds as an upholsterer's scissors slicing layered cotton batting, steadfast and certain. He donned no gear against the elements save a leather jacket, and he bore no sign of discomfort. I wondered at how many times he might have traveled this road. How often had he encountered this weather? I had a sense that later, as his chapped skin brushed a yellowed pillowcase, alone in a room rented hourly, his last fading thought would take him back to the stinging kiss of slicing cloud become rain. And he would sleep deeply.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Things That Stick

I wrote this on March 6, 2006 when I still lived in the house my now ex-husband and I shared.

Tomorrow is trash day, and the trash men come early. This means tonight all trash items must be placed at the curb (to the right of the drive and not on the neighbors grass; which, since I've granted them easement, is actually my grass, but I won't go into that bit of nightmare now.) Therefore, on Sunday nights I collect the trash, the garbage, change the kitty litter, and remove fuzzy things from the fridge. All fine and good.

Until dark. That's when the local beasts come out, with their bandit masks and their human like digits (minus two opposable thumbs - and thank you for that). No variety of canister, no elaborate network of twisty tie, no man made plastic can deter them. They are problem solvers. And they are smarter than me.

If you can't beat 'em, feed 'em.

This morning I decided to employ a new tactic: diversion. If they have easy access to food over *here* they will let sit the garbage pile over *there*. Though there are clear holes in this plan (who's to say they won't get into the garbage regardless of easy access to food), I made the executive decision to give it a go. If the plan is unsuccessful, I've only lost one day.

In the fridge sat a chicken carcass. Perfect. I took the carcass (originally a herb roasted whole chicken; lovely) and set to my task. I chose a spot half way down the drive; equally distant from the house at one end and the garbage at the other. I turned to the woods, held the cold carcass in my right hand, and flung it towards the woods with all my might...

There is a row of evergreens that line my drive. And now, in the third evergreen from the left, about three-quarters of the way up, is lodged a chicken carcass.

Not entirely convinced that a raccoon can or will climb an evergreen, even for some chicken, I thought it would be best to attempt to dislodge the carcass from the tree. In the shed was the broken rake handle, the remains of an unfortunate day last fall. I stood before the third evergreen from the left, hoisted the broken rake handle like a javelin, and pitched it toward the carcass...

Now, stuck in the third evergreen from the left, is a chicken carcass and a broken rake handle. And they are going to stay there until a good rainstorm or tenacious raccoon get them down.

Friday, September 21, 2007


for my love...

Millennial cool water
Rolling my stone
Smoothing rough edges
Tumble me home

Monday, July 16, 2007


He's left his thumbprint
Loop, swirl, and circle
Etched in seam and oil
Marked to be found
Unique and indelible
In unexpected places
At inconvenient times
Stirring the dust
And showing the brand
Seeming made for this
Skin, to press upon me
And hold there firm
The matter of his truth
And the pattern of his life

In my fondest places

bruce with his baby mia:
click to view larger