Saturday, February 17

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It comes out in less than two weeks (!). I'm leaving today for a trip to England with school, and then I'll be staying there to visit a college friend; then I'm going to spend some time in Paris. And then I'll be back in Dole.

My editor mailed me a copy and it came yesterday. So beautiful. And so real! Until now it's seemed like the sort of conceptual exercise I did in grad school: here's my fancy (fake) manuscript, here are the fake mock-ups of the cover, rights page, etc. But it is real. How strange it feels. What I made is going out in the world to be talked about or not, loved or disliked, maybe forgotten, touched, known by people I will never meet.

If you like poetry or you need something nice to read or you're just nosey, you can find it at your local library (or ask them to get it for you), you can preorder it here or you can (please) support your local independent bookseller!

Thank you for your support and your kindness all along.

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Two poems (not from the book; from the daily exercises with my friend):


I myself am hell/ Nobody’s here
Robert Lowell, “Skunk Hour”

What search goes on goes on across distances;
you say the word selectman
as if it is nothing, Atlantic’s far side
crashing into your history: I’ve left
all that behind now. Body
being what it is, frantic, knowing
cellular breakdown, basis of all things,
I am still longing spread
across tarmac and railroad. Today
the train had no heat, I hunched
in jacket and corner and drew
faces from memory. Hands trill
like birds, motors, how after drought
earth almost shakes to take in all it can
of rain. Not knowing
breaks all into pieces, I gather half-hours
one by one to pass the day. Will there ever
be another hand touching
me? No could be, glass
splintering on tile floor, bones
without song in them. I want
black hair curling by a wry face; fear
I have left second place behind
in vain, an anxious wind hurrying me every wrong direction.


Tape-record footsteps leading
from one end of town, sound
two hands make stopped
in air, in speech; one gesture
equals more, whether covering the face
or the palm and fingers
meaning seven. The reporter
keeps everything, steno-bound
and silent, even past ending.
In another evening
we could wind cats’-cradles of wool
yarn, pass hours between cups
and kettle, squares
of chocolate on a white plate
and not answer the doorbell,
compound everything from type
case to sewing machine to miles
doubled into kilometers and horizon
that only ends with ocean.
There will always be someone
with a knife raised to ear’s
finely haired edge; rarer: receiver
holding a gauze envelope,
two people surrounded by a wreath of bees.

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See you soon!

Wednesday, February 14

this is how it works

On voudrait, on regarde, on sait qu'on ne peut en faire plus, et qu'il suffit de rester là, debout dans la lumière, dépourvu de gestes et de mots, avec ce désir d'amour un peu bête dont la paysage n'a que faire, mais dont on croit savoir qu'il ne s'enfièvre pas pour rien, puisque l'amour précisément est notre tâche, notre devoir, quand bien même serait-il aussi frêle que ces gouttes d'eau d'après l'averse tombant dans l'herbe du jardin.

(...because love, precisely, is our task, our duty; even (especially!) when it's as frail as drops of water fallen to the grass in the garden after a storm.)

--Jean-Michel MAULPOIX, de "Convalescence du bleu après l'averse," trouvé dans Une histoire de bleu.

Monday, February 12

whew!'s finally here!

I didn't get all the things I wanted to do done, so I'll be updating the shop again in two weeks (once I'm back from a long-awaited trip to England!) with lots of other things. But for now, there are travel wallets, mercerie packets, and a certain someone just waiting for you! Happy Monday!

Friday, February 9

change of plans

I will still be updating the shop, but it will happen on Monday; I've decided to go out of town for the weekend. So, Monday evening my time. There will be at least 5 travel wallets, maybe a 6th, if I can get to it, three tea cosies, probably a zakka bunny, some other little things. I'll post about it here, of course.

Monday, February 5

la vie en rose

What happened to me? Something has changed in my brain, in my body: I can feel the roots I am putting down in this place, where I was so unhappy at first. It is the language, it is friendships I've found, it is the rhythm I've finally established, it is a certain comfort, the tint of roses everywhere I walk.
This is a map of my region and state that I drew and my students filled out from memory. It's a perfect mixture of two places I love. I will always be Minneapolitan, Minnesotan, American: I love my city, my state; I am grateful to have been born in my country. But there are strong claims on my heart here, too: the landscape, my students, the language, the way of living, which was so different and so hard at first. I don't understand everything, I don't love everything, but I do love it here now.

Love is what it comes down to, in just about every case, for me. Love, gratitude, and compassion. Larry Levis: "Love is an immigrant: it shows itself in its work. It works for almost nothing." My heart is migrating all over the world, changing me in ways I could not have anticipated. So lucky.

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I'm sewing a ton. Shop update tentatively scheduled for this Saturday afternoon, my time.

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