Calluses

I cut my calluses

slice through them with
clippers, knives, scissors

sometimes down to the meat
past the dead unfeeling part
to the part that bleeds

It bubbles right up
like crude,
pressurized

It’s surprising every time
when it hurts
when it bleeds and won’t stop

I wrap tissue after tissue
paper towels if that’s all I’ve got
and pull them away to gauge the flow

Once it’s down to a red dot

I dig deeper

‘This is it’

_MG_9919bw

“What the Living Do” by Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.

‘My instinct, a poor Polaris’

I heard Jennifer Chang read her poem “Again A Solstice” on the radio this morning. It’s wonderful. Listen here. Read here.

Noli timere

I love this:

His voice quavering, the son of Seamus Heaney has told mourners of his father’s final words, minutes before his death.

At a requiem mass in Dublin, crowded with mourners, Michael Heaney described how the poet and Nobel laureate, who died last week at the age of 74, had chosen Latin for the message to his wife, Marie. His last words were “in a text message he wrote to my mother just minutes before he passed away, in his beloved Latin and they read: ‘Noli timere’ – ‘don’t be afraid.'”

I love the message, I love that it sounds so beautiful in Latin, and I love that it came in a text message. RIP Mr. Heaney. I’ll do my best to heed your advice.

Madness in the spring

spring5

spring3 spring2

spring4

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own!

“1333,” Emily Dickinson

An overused quote, but one I think of often

27june9

Risk

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
it took
to Blossom.

— Anaïs Nin