bas relief of home

I find it impossible to title posts before I’ve written them (titling poems is even harder– thinking up lines that might serve for titling is a doomed venture, viable poems seldom proceeding, yielding virtual drawers full of unused lines too singular to incorporate organically). typically I stumble over possible title words like gravel while drafting, tumbling handfuls to good-feeling combinations in the process of editing.

I’ve been thinking lately about the many possible places, instants, and details that define “home,” having just visited one of them– and having even more recently returned to another. homes that were and homes that are. I return to snow and blackened streets, brown-black trees, things standing out in the cold as outlines of themselves, palimpsest of footprints ringing the park.

I sit beside the front window of my third floor apartment and reacquaint myself after days away with the sensory details of daily life in these parts– pedestrian traffic, street traffic, train bell clanging. suburbia was and is another world, both different from and the same as it once was: new shiny stores, parking lots, municipal library; eternal mothers with coiffed greying hair, christmas-themed sweaters of primary colors, ankle length fur coats tip-tapping across the street in the village; tailgating drivers, deserted streetscapes dotted with for sale or lease signs, christmas light festooned front lawns and orderly facades.

my mother in perpetual powder blue robe and quilted slippers; my mother seeking me out around midnight with a flashlight through the dark back hallway to where I lie in bed after tiptoeing in from visiting with my sister; my mother laughing off losing her train of thought, apologizing for eating slowly, backseat driving turn by turn by turn, my mother’s running commentary; my mother gone to bed early, sleeping late, talking from the other room; my mother’s saved gift boxes and cereal boxes, magazines and clothing, my mother’s plenty drifting spare rooms and closets, sediment of intention burying itself– my mother, my self.

my father sitting reading enormous tomes in his barrel-backed library chair, my father typing away at the computer in my old bedroom for hours, finishing the times sunday crossword puzzle at the breakfast table in minutes; my father cooking farm-delivered bacon for breakfast, four slices each, hunks of meat roasted to succulence, damned roast beef hash; my dad scowling and false-laughing and real(I think) laughing, telling tales at the dinner table; my father looking down, taking his time to answer, not hearing, my father enduring.

last night I dreamed of a prep school reunion set at huron mountain– convergence of anxieties and identities and situational drama. the details are sketchy at best, eroded to the vaguest feeling.


I miss vox. today I deleted the contact for vox blog posts off my cell phone. been awhile since I used it– still the residue of habitude was there.

I’ve been spinning in my solitude and transitional semi-idleness. it’s true, I’m semi-idle. it’s embarrassing to be not-busy– my work ethic throbs– but I am busy honoring an inner compulsion to lie fallow and let something sprout.

tonight I was drooling over letterpress accoutrements on ebay, getting starry-eyed over lead typefaces and the idea of building a shop, working in it all the live long day.

I’ve been spinning, unreconciled to the viability of any vehicle, uncertain of my desired destination– writing or drawing or collage or whatever I trip across seems less than a substantive means of occupation. I imagine what it would take to bump it up to a level that rendered the feeling of viability– and then I throw jacks under my own bare feet, object that I haven’t the nuts to manage it, frankly. stick-to-it-tiveness they used to call it, those field hockey coaches and math dinosaurs, outliving their due extinction long enough to sling final lethal commentaries.

in other news– my single argument thus far against the civil wedding ceremony as an ideal vehicle for accomplishing official bliss: one really shouldn’t have to have bureaucrats handing one any additional necessary paperwork, apart from one’s marriage license of course. I’m the type of bride who feels that’s enough to ask. as it was the groom’s brother spirited that away for safekeeping, and it was conveyed to me securely after the fact in a sturdy plastic bag. when the scolding lady handed me a tiny slip of paper amidst all the chaos, the fact that I happened to be carrying an outfit-matching pink handbag I could slip into this itsy smidgeon of printed matter outlining steps one should take to obtain a legal copy of the marriage certificate– well, suffice to say: I’ve lost it. onto the labyrinth of poorly-designed and -architected civil bureaucracy web pages I go to track down the answer.