Wednesday, April 8, 2020

corona 13.

corona 13.
finished with clocks my time stopped morning shook its gold fist at my sloth ticktock Rebecca now the parable of Night Nurse and Bitter Angel crawls sideways across the blue carpet howl yes make your god blasted noise at gravity’s sweet lack ticktock Rebecca where are your steady shoes opaque yellow stockings run now run Rebecca calla lily collided her thick rhizome through your mouth into your lung as you slept rise now now drink from the trumpet spathe the basal leaf cleaved against your whelp heart now is your time run Rebecca run across the sea salt meadow through the bullfrog palace the blown cattail the blackberry thicket the blackbird’s bright underwing wake up Rebecca wake up run against the world’s cold brass mouthpiece its last frozen spring

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

100% full

This is the Old Rodeo with an Illegal Smile  moon

RIP John Prine

I literally slept all day then woke to the news that John Prine died due to covid 19 which is heartbreaking on so many levels of deep fuckery a man I first heard in 1971 who has provided the sound track of my whole damn life a night of big emotions and tears

Angel from Montgomery

I am an old woman named after my mother
My old man is another child that's grown old
If dreams were lightning, thunder were desire
This old house would have burnt down a long time ago
Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go
When I was a young girl well, I had me a cowboy
He weren't much to look at, just free rambling man
But that was a long time and no matter how I try
The years just flow by like a broken down dam
Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go
There's flies in the kitchen I can hear 'em there buzzing
And I ain't done nothing since I woke up today
How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening and have nothing to say
Make me an angel that flies from Montgomery
Make me a poster of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is just a hard way to go

Monday, April 6, 2020

Pig and farm report

I made English muffins yesterday the first bread we’ve had since forever? two weeks? I’ve lost track then I made spinach and tomato Benedict with insane hollandaise that I literally have only made once a year up until today and it was every bit as delicious this morning as it is at Thanksgiving I just happened to have a lot of eggs Jack The Egg Man’s chickens have been busy

no filter on that picture the sauce was just that yellow on account of happy birds and a shit ton of butter after breakfast we drove around the island and I met a pig an actual gigantic pot bellied pig who stood in her driveway as if bolted there and chewed as she made eye contact with me her driveway was connected to a tiny house which made the pig look even bigger my son swears the pig was eating gravel but I told him that pigs are smarter than dogs and they are and you could see the intelligence in this pig’s eyes as she gave me a stare that told me trespassers are not welcome not that I would dare touch even a toe on that driveway she was glorious the kid spent the rest of the day working on his ‘57 Chevy a never ending pastime and I played in the garden because it’s 55 degrees out the warmest day of the year so far and my tomato babies are yearning to hop into their beds

I really just came here to tell you about the pig because she was so outstanding  and I think this is my first Pig and farm report with an actual pig

corona 12.

corona 12.

my son has the second apocalypse dream
he is going to the store when a chair
falls from the sky he turns
to run as an airplane wheels
down in flames around him
I ask him to remember
deer in the yard
the tender wild rabbits
a flatbed truck full of fresh
picked corn at the edge
of the Skagit River
he asks if school
is now extinct
will children ever be
children again
we watch the Queen
on television spectral and watery
as a World War II newsreel
telling us everything
every little thing
is going to be okay

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Pig and farm report :: whining edition

so far this shopping delivery system is bonkers first I had to wait all day you know like waiting for the cable guy and now BRIAN S WILL SHOP FOR YOU NOW started texting that they didn’t have this could they replace it with that on and on and on

and on

no offense BRIAN S but you are a crappy shopper still probably just a kid and he’s barely started on my list it will be much easier and cheaper and faster and more efficient for me to go during Elderly and Infirm hour and get the goddamn right canned tomatoes and take my chances against the plague ffs I wonder if BRIAN S has got to the ice cream portion of my list yet I wonder if he will get the right mayonnaise or try to substitute it with the olive oil mayonnaise or worse the eggless mayonnaise

it turned out to be a Sunday Sunday after all

I should probably apologize for sounding so pissy but I won’t

in other news Boris is hospitalized and why isn’t the insufferable ignorant pig in the White House there with him

corona 11.

corona 11.

on palm sunday I ask
crucified Jesus to bring
me a bag of flour and I know
the sins of my father
a sodden sorrow man
who stood in the rogue
river to die alone
who held christ like cake
in his drunken bloat heart
on palm sunday I ask
crucified jesus
to bring me a bag of flour
a girl carries a box of food
to my porch I tape
a twenty dollar bill
to the window and I know
the sins of my mother
who hoarded food
and sweaters
and television jewelry
and shoes
and budgies in cages
and filth and rot
and money
on palm sunday
I ask crucified jesus
to bring me a bag of flour
I eat the sins of my father
I eat the sins of my mother
frantic and afraid I ask
crucified jesus
to bring me
a bag of flour
a father who swims
a mother who loves
in the hour of my wealth

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Pig and farm report

today was gorgeous but nothing happened much I have felt sick but have been reluctant to write about it here because I am wary of people offering advice especially now during the plague I have a juicy cough the same damn juicy cough I get every year when the trees explode I am taking Mucinex which I had left over from the last damn time I had the juicy cough I wanted to walk down the hill to the new place where they’ve murdered some trees and are now burning the murdered trees in a giant bonfire but I knew that if I coughed even up here a half mile up the hill the tree murderers would hear and let slip the dogs of war and just walking around in my woods tasting and smelling the giant bonfire smoke made my throat dry so now I have a dry throat plus a juicy cough and I didn’t get to watch the giant bonfire and all of this makes me want to get naked and wrap myself in yellow police tape and stand out by the road as a kind of religious icon a triple pronged relic of the catholic church signaling Old Person + Cough + Dry Throat BEWARE!

today’s mood:  WE’RE ALL DOOMED

I ordered some groceries from town things my darling son thought I didn’t need like stinky cheese and ice cream and potato chips and pickles and mayonnaise I also ordered some bread flour which their site seems to have but I don’t know for sure if they have any of it or if they’ll just bring what’s there a big red flashing sign near blinded me when I typed toilet paper the sign read WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TRYING TO FOOL WE KNOW YOU STILL HAVE FOUR ROLLS LEFT IN YOUR BATHROOM CLOSET so apparently no toilet paper yet the groceries are  supposed to be delivered tomorrow it was stressful as fuck because I’m not used to ordering by brand and I felt new and weirdly disconnected and discombobulated trying to get my order in before the site crashed (again) and angry at the thought of how lucky I am to be able to throw good money after bad as my dad or someone posing as my dad or someone who maybe played my dad in a movie used to say what with the delivery fee and the tip then I thought about the people without internet access who really need this service who can’t get it not even at the library because of the cost and lack of internet then I thought if I actually do get flour I’ll make English muffins because the kid likes them and they make good sandwiches so I spent the rest of the day searching for my English muffin rings to no avail they have gone missing along with the table runner I wanted to embroider the house has suddenly developed a random appetite for whatever I need at the moment and haha the potato salad item I forgot to put on the list?


I did manage to remember that tomorrow is the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide though

I’m exhausted

Friday, April 3, 2020

corona 10.

cornmeal into the blue bowl
flour into the blue bowl
my son stands in the kitchen
to tell me the news
no no not now I say the last
of the baking powder
sifts into the blue bowl people
are dying he says no no
I say salt and sugar
into the blue bowl he tells
me about a ship in New York
I stir with my fingers he
keeps talking I add buttermilk
into the blue bowl he says
there is no room for the bodies
I crack two brown eggs
on the blue bowl’s rim
then I pour in honey
my son describes body bags
lining the harbor worse
than war honey rises to the bowl’s
blue lip I keep pouring honey
oozes out of the blue bowl
onto the counter then the floor
I keep at the honey pouring
pouring the floor thick
with it I can barely move
my feet soon my calves
are covered I pour honey
until it shimmers golden heavy
around my waist fills the kitchen
above my shoulders pressed
to my sides the most intense
perfume I pour in enough honey
to flood the yard now I see the sun
right out that window the sun
stupid and round as any
discarded toy
Page doing the shopping as per the CDC

Pig and farm report

my son braved the store again today he wore a mask and left early enough not to run in to anyone else except for one woman who mistook him for her husband because of the mask and he reached up for the vinegar for her anyway because that’s what tall people do he did find one roll of paper towels and a bottle of olive oil but not half the items on my list I tried to sign up for the store’s delivery service but I think their website must have crashed because of so many people doing the same

I made us good old fashioned fried potatoes and onions and scrambled bright orange yoked eggs then we went for a random drive all over the island and found a strange mad hatter artist bit of property with goats and a gorgeously built goat house (it’s in the second picture I didn’t want to get too close no closer than the eggs) and yard art and an abandoned Greyhound bus and several pitched tents in which people appear to be living and an honest to bog circus tent

this is not my egg man but I did buy eggs from the new egg man who seems way more I Am The Walrus than Jack this place is very close to the Free Little Library in a Ma Bell phone booth I found last fall and now that makes more sense when the plague is gone I aim on making the acquaintance of The Walrus of learning his goats’ names and scritching between their goaty horns and taking a closer look around

I also saw a horse rolling on her back in the spring grass with complete joy and abandon

today has been an excellent day taken as it must be apart from all other days before and after

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pig and farm report

tonight I felt a tiny hole open in me and I realized that if I relax my bearing for one split second if I stop cleaning and cooking and doing laundry and watching the sky or looking at the television or looking at twitter for even a breath the hole will rip open and I won’t be able to stop crying

today for the first time ever I thought I am going to die alone

because this is what is happening no visitors in hospitals people are dying alone

this is the first time I’ve ever wanted to speak to a psychiatrist and now I don’t have one but I still have hope that tomorrow will be different because each tomorrow every single tomorrow will be different

it’s almost Palm Sunday then the palms will be burnt and the ashes used to draw crosses on the foreheads of believers

I wonder if I can draw a cross on my own forehead if it will count if I will be forgiven or redeemed

I wonder if I have everything I need to make potato salad

The owl’s nest in my tree

I went to the beach but didn’t get out of the car we are all wearing masks now when we go anywhere everyone though I haven’t been anywhere I planted some wild flower seeds in a planter on my deck this morning and stared at the sky then it started to rain

I have watched no news today but my son just asked me to watch Rachel Maddow with him so I will the other day he asked me to watch something with him and I said no then he said please I’m so lonely and it broke me

we are all lonely together in this brave new
corona 9.

I float and hover near the light
in the hall where moth wings
separate from their bodies
shed weird powders
the doctor in my head is House
floats the perimeter stoned
excellent in space along my doom
edge hello doctor gimme gimme
I beg from the red kitchen
I beg from the empty bathroom
I beg from my softest bed
hear me House I am fire
on this tinny known terrain
fire on the needle deck
fire in the hemlock root
my beautiful perfect brain is broke
I need an edge I’m fucked
edge the song for Easter
edge the rise and risen
edge the rabbit the egg
the dress the shoe
edge the outrageous hat
outrageous blood of Christ
the church sings woo woo woo
and all the ladies fall ill

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

corona 8.

a man in the stone house
sews a dress for his wedding
I paint his upper room
turquoise pale and orange
to prepare the apostles

Laika flies over his roof
the third time today steadfast
pup stitched in her silver tube
nose pressed against space

the christ room opens
its magnet its giant O

I roam the forest wearing
a meat hat and there appears
unto me a cloven tongue of fire

Laika counts the planet’s rings
her wet sorrow eyes
witness in deep heaven
as we all witness the third hour
of the dog

we are full of new wine
and women dream dreams
and break bread from house to house
and eat meat with gladness

Laika witnesses the sun turned
into dark the moon into blood
and fire and vapor and smoke

she remembers her first boy
his kind hands and treats
a beloved chew toy tucked into the capsule
such exquisite tenderness

Monday, March 30, 2020

Sick and Tired Brownie Square with Vulgar Buttermilk Frosting

This made morning I went to the beach then I came home and made brownies and that’s it panic all the way through

Sunday, March 29, 2020

corona 7.

corona 7.

a woman gives birth who shall be called
First Child I float in the tub apply
medicinal shampoo to my head try to wait
five minutes sing the Happy Birthday song
twenty seconds long but I have forgot
how many seconds in five minutes how many
twenty seconds how many birthday
songs a woman gives birth in a tub
the child is First Child I dream of blood
floating in a tub violin lessons children
swim in a wide open lake I float on my back
as a woman gives birth to First Child the door
to her bathroom opens Aphrodite and Harmonia
float in the tub sing the Happy Birthday song
First Child sits up astonished
and waves at the sky

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Pig and farm report

last night I dreamed I was teaching Whitman’s last lesson I left a jellyfish red blood bloom in his bathroom then tried to clean myself his mother’s friends were there getting ready for a party and when I finally got my violin out and he got his violin out and I managed to right the wire music stand which kept slipping out of my hands I played a few notes then apologized because I knew I would never see him again

the dream woke me at 2:30 then again at 4:30 then I finally woke at 7:30 feeling anxious and sad are we all dreaming through it I feel such a strong connection to everyone I’ve ever known right now it feels other worldly it feels like religious science fiction and what if we all start having the same dream or what if we already are having the same dream

my csa box arrived today bringing sweet blackberries and carrots and celery and radishes and scallions and leafy green lettuce and potatoes and a squash and oranges and kiwis and I was so grateful for it Page and I opened it like the first Christmas

I am going to be so lost when he travels east to tend to his father in two weeks if he even will be able to travel in two weeks this is a time when we all have to live in the now there is no future and the past is as faded as winter grass time is vast right now and at the same time urgent we are all in trauma we are all in fight or flight mode all the time and it skews every conversation

I get a sharp fierce headache once a day at random times that has me holding my head and yelping

I took this picture today at the seawall hello fellow travelers and sweet dreams

Day 24: island signs

Friday, March 27, 2020

Gas Station Flour Cheesy Bisciuts

Page found a two pound bag of flour at a gas station will I sneer at gas station flour no I will not I made biscuits here is my recipe in case you too have gas station flour any kind of cheese will do though cheddar alone might be a wee bit oily I used jarlsberg for these

Gas Station Flour Cheesy Biscuits

2 Cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (trust me)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 pinch of sugar
1 cup + 1/4 cup of buttermilk
1 pound of Gruyère cheese shredded
1 stick of cold butter (but not frozen) shredded

Preheat your oven to 450°. Combine the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Shred the cheese on a box grater and set aside. Take one VERY COLD BUT NOT FROZEN stick of butter and shred it on the box grater you need to know about pastry and butter and box graters you’ll never go back. Dump the butter into the dry ingredients and work it with your fingers until it is about pea sized and as uniform as you can get it. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t get warm. Sometimes if I’m working in a hot kitchen I run my fingers under cold water before I do this. Once the butter is incorporated add the shredded cheese. You don’t have to use an entire pound if you don’t want but you probably should want for maximum deliciousness. Incorporate the cheese with your fingers make a well in the center of the mix and add the cup of buttermilk. Bring the dry ingredients gently into the buttermilk. You’re not making bread here. Be gentle. DO NOT MAKE ME CRY. If the dough doesn’t hold together add a wee bit more buttermilk but don’t over do it. The dough isn’t supposed to be wet. Flour your counter and dump the dough out and quickly flatten it out to a half inch or so thickness. Just pat it don’t use a rolling pin. DO NOT ROLL THE DOUGH I WILL KNOW AND I WILL CRY. Work fast. I use my largest biscuit cutter but sometimes I use the rim of a cocktail shaker for these if I want to make sandwiches out of them the next day. Put them on an unbuttered baking dish. Bake them for 11 minutes or 12 depending on your oven. They will pop up tall and be just a little bit crispy on the bottoms and golden brown on the tops.

Bon Appétit!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 22

anxiety fear and cheese 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Day 21

The state park just minutes from my house is closed and I mean seriously closed not just closed to everyone but me which I magically thought would happen there are big iron gates over the road so I took myself to Iverson Spit which was beautiful at low tide

we had cheese quesadillas and homemade minestrone for lunch slash dinner we only eat two meals a day here at the house of uncertain light

this morning I drove past two women walking near our tiny marina on opposite sides of the road screaming a conversation at each other over the wind which seems always always present

my son went to the store this morning still no toilet paper or paper towels or flour or sugar or yeast he is doing all the shopping now which makes me bonkers because while he is a very competent cook he doesn’t shop like a cook so I have to make a complicated list for him and he sticks to it not thinking ’hmm this might be good tomorrow for dinner’ on one hand he saved me money because I toss stuff in my cart that looks interesting on the other hand we’ll be eating pretty much the same thing every night unless it’s cheese filled and baked which has suited me just fine lately there is a shopping time set aside for we elders at the store but being separated from the herd is how you get eaten by the lion I did go into the pot store for some magic candy and I felt the looks of horror shot at me by the people behind the counter OLD LADY! OLD LADY! GAHHHHHH! SAVE YOURSELVES!!!!! even though I stood on the blue x and didn’t cough or spit

I can’t concentrate to read right now so I’m scrolling through twitter ignoring the news and switching back and forth between the incredible documentary Crip Camp on Netflix and rewatching Mad Men life feels both pinched down and wildly flailing about hello

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

This is day 20 for my son and me

We were in lockdown quicker than the rest of the country because it hit here first

Every morning I wake then check my body for signs of disease none so far it is not far fetched to say I’ve been in training for this my entire life and except for not going to the store nothing drastic has changed for me it’s different for my son as he is a highly social animal

All my friends are accounted for Alice emailed me today to my great relief I’ve even been in contact with people I haven’t seen in years some more toxic than others still this all feels like a giant funeral phone tree

My ex company is shutting down operations on the factory side only for two weeks which is not as dreadful for the company as it sounds as they shut down for two weeks every xmess and know how to work a skeleton crew still I’d be a liar if I didn’t tell you that I’m goddamned worried about my pension and what might happen but I am for the most part living in the now

and  breathing through it
and  breathing through
and breathing

my son was outside getting the mail and I heard someone firing a handgun and saw him standing there looking and I ran outside screaming at him to get back in the house never just stand there when you hear gunfire I yelled sick and shaking

PTSD and a buck will get you dinner

anyone else finding themselves being hyper vigilante about now?


in other news I had to turn off the orange murderer show I cannot listen to him say one more word

Monday, March 23, 2020

Today we stuck post-it notes to the cat.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The end.

three things

1. I have to let my sourdough starter go dormant for the first time in two decades because there is no flour with which to feed it

2. Yesterday we put post-it notes on the cat to entertain ourselves

3. Today we opened a much valued and hoarded jar of my own marionberry jam and ate some of it with our spoons marionberries only grow for a week before they’re gone they are like a sweeter more delicate blackberry and they are my favorites one of the reasons I go to the Oregon coast every summer is because the marionberry was only grown there for years 

Happy Birthday Papa Bach

I was supposed to play Bach's B Minor Mass today but things being new the mass is canceled I am instead playing along to Paul McCartney's first solo album after the Beatles and before Linda to entertain my son and the various cats that live here and the outside critters too I love this album with my entire stupid heart and it seemed like the right thing to do today I put on pants for the first time in two weeks I think though I've lost track of time it felt good to get out of my pajamas even if it was just for a drive to the beach and back

since we seem to be temporarily out of flour and now bread in western Washington I decided to bake challah two loaves using the last of my ap flour which was exactly six cups I had to use bread flour to knead the dough on my marble slab I have two cups of bread flour left this recipe has honey and cardamom I will post the recipe below

I sent Page out to sweep the pine needles off the roof especially around the vents as I was mixing and kneading the bread and once I got the dough in the oven to rise I realized I hadn't heard him for a while and I became convinced that he had fallen off and broken something but he was just outside talking to his dad panic panic panic that seems to have disappeared I have heard that people are having problems with their plumbing in apartments and sinks busting and all manner of house ills in places where suddenly everyone is home all the time I will light a candle to the house gods to protect all of us

now I don't know what to do and everyday is Sunday and I miss my dad

what are you doing?


Challah with honey and cardamom

I would read this recipe all the way through if I were you and you know I am before you start or be a show off and plow ahead!

(makes two braided loaves you can do three braids or six braids for each loaf or none if you want it's a very soft dough that you can just plop in two bread pans just as easily but butter and flour the pan first)

1 1/2 cups warm water, divided (this tends to confuse me so it’s 1 cup then 1/2 cup sheesh)
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided 
2 tablespoons (powdered) yeast
6 cups flour either all white all purpose or half white whole wheat
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup mild honey, plus an extra tablespoon for egg wash, if desired
2/3 cup flavorless vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs, plus one yolk for egg wash, if desired (I actually use an entire egg plus honey for the egg wash)
1 pinch ground cardamom, optional (I use one honking big pinch almost a teaspoon)

Put 1 cup warm water in a small bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar, sprinkle the yeast over top, swirl the bowl just to combine, and leave it to proof for five minutes. 

While yeast is proofing, mix flour, salt, 1/4 cup of sugar and cardamom, if using, in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.) Stir to incorporate or blend on low speed.

In a medium bowl, mix remaining water, honey, oil, and eggs.

When yeast has finished proofing, add it to the flour, immediately followed by wet ingredients. Mix with a large wooden spoon or on medium-low speed in the mixer, just until combined, about 30 seconds.

Switch to dough hook and begin to knead on low speed, making sure to incorporate what's at the bottom of the bowl if the dough hook misses it. If kneading by hand, stir using spoon until dough becomes to thick to stir. 

Empty dough onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, adding flour with a light hand as needed, 7-10 minutes.

Split the dough into two equal pieces. Set each in a large oiled bowl, cover both bowls with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size. If using white flour, this should take about 2-2.5 hours. If using white whole wheat, it will take closer to 3.5 or 4. Feel free to let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight instead; if you do this, be sure to set out the dough in plenty of time before shaping, so it can come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375.

After the rise, the dough should be soft and pliable. Braid each ball. Separate each mound of dough into three equal balls, for a total of six. Roll each ball into a log almost 1-foot long. Braid the logs together to create your loaf. For the nicest-looking braid, do not pinch the top edges of your logs together before braiding; simply place one log over the next and braid until you reach the bottom, then pinch those edges together. Then, flip the unfinished loaf the long way, so that the unfinished edge is now at the bottom and the loaf has been flipped over and upside down. Finish braiding and pinch these edges together. This way, both ends look identical. Tuck the very tips beneath the loaf when braiding is finished. Repeat with second loaf.

this recipe came from Food52 and if you ask me the above paragraph is confusing as all get out PLUS the recipe doesn't say to let it rise a second time so I added that part also I posted a great youtube tutorial below below on how to do six braid loaves the first time I made this recipe I didn't understand that it was two loaves and made one giant toddler sized challot and ended up dropping that child sized loaf on the floor when I took it out of the oven and breaking its head! if you can work your way through those terrible directions go for it but I say ewww it's two loaves people two!

don't hurt children even dough children

this has been a Radish King public service announcement

Put each braided loaf on its own silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Let rise until doubled in bulk about 1 1/2 hours. 

After the braids have risen (like Jesus!) brush gently with egg wash, mix egg with 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon honey. Add sesame seeds and poppy seeds to the loaf after the egg wash if you want.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, until challot are golden and baked through.

my notes:
you can find easy tutorials on how to braid challah online three strand challot is just like braiding hair this is my favorite ever tutorial on how to braid six braided challot when I first started making challah I watched this over and over and tried it on ribbons then I watched the video in my kitchen as I made my first challot and once I got the rhythm it became sort of easy and it's a good project if you're stuck in the house and the bread tastes fantastic no matter how you shape it and kids can get into this if they want even grown kids she also shows you how to add sesame seeds and poppy seeds either or both at the end to make it pretty

in fact my son just came in the house and said is it bread yet how long will it be and I told him hours and he said a curse word

Saturday, March 21, 2020

corona 6.

on the 6th or 60th day of plague
all the men in my neighborhood
stood outside building fires
stared into smoke
one fire for every yard
one fire for every family
the men divined answers in burnt brush
and plumes rising

on the 6th or 60th day of plague
our planet jostled and shifted
blared its weird televised noise
panic lived in my stomach
my son built a fire

on the 6th or 60th day of plague
I stood on my porch and smoked
half a joint while the woman
at the end of my road
propped an Infant Jesus of Prague
statuette against a fat yellow candle

Friday, March 20, 2020

Pig and farm report

I had a panic attack at Iverson Spit this morning fogged in slimy and desolate I was sure I wasn’t going to be able to refill my temazapam which I use for sleep and my trazodone which I use for sleep for reasons vague and not so vague (instructions from the government to have two weeks worth of meds stashed away for instance) I was worried that my pharmacy might not have any in stock which has happened this vague and not so vague worry kept the dogs gnawing my feet for a while so there I was at deserted spooky Iverson Spit right before I slipped in the slime and seagull shit and landed on my right buttock which is screaming at me now my steadfast and intrepid son fetched my meds for me this afternoon and thinks he has quarantined me from outside I think the lack of supplies out here have me twitchy now dish soap laundry soap mayonnaise and pickles have disappeared from our shelves along with everything else I read there might be a food shortage in the US in the NYT and I’m certainly witnessing it from here the original epicenter of the virus I took a shower washed all my clothes and my hair and spent the rest of the day in bed binge watching Patrick Melrose and all I really want to do is bake some bread

how are you?

Thursday, March 19, 2020

corona 5.

in this version of America
a girl in a yellow sweater bee bright
against black hair stands on a stage
the first day of spring
as photographers adjust lights
and microphones waiting
for the turgid man to squat bellow
thick tongued and vile
and attack the press corps

in this version of America
my son and I eat Sunday breakfast
every morning at the kitchen table
and the first day of spring streams
in cold sun and roses open
and cherry trees carry on unperturbed

in this version of America
we are all grieving each day a funeral
as every sparkling proud city closes its ears
puts on blindfolds holds its breath
and descends to its maximum depth

in this version of America
my son and I eat with only the ticking
of the wind up clock
the stunning sense of Equinox
against our voices as we plan the hours
place cloth napkins on our laps
his sky sky blue
mine zinnia orange

Social distancing with Rosemarie’s book

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Pig and farm report

this morning Page and I went to three different stores looking for toilet paper and flour and yeast there was one four roll pack of toilet paper left paper towels are gone and all the sanitary napkins and tampons gone too yes I get obsessive about having toilet paper sure people went without it in the good old days and had a lot of diseases too

there are no more trucks delivering to the island at least for now

the bread has been gone for a while I’ve had to give up panic baking because the flour is gone which I don’t understand because not many people around here bake their own bread I still have masa though plenty of it and corn tortillas are the easiest thing to make all the masa needs is warm water and a pinch of salt and a fire

I am so glad my son is here and being careful

I was going to write a poem today but after my gloomy shopping excursion and a good trip to the beach I came home and watched Mad Men and tried to numb my brain I can feel mania creeping in my bipolar 1 dark angel allowing anxious to settle hovering around all over the house all over and inside me crankiness and insomnia ramping up to go go go

tomorrow I want to take a picture of the madrona in which the pileated woodpecker has drilled tiny holes did you know that the woodpecker pecks small holes in trees and then waits for the tree to develop a wound and waits for the wound to soften and grow as larger and larger animals burrow into it then the woodpecker comes back to claim his food from the tree did you know that the surrounding trees feel the pain in these wounds?

there is so much to do here and so much space in which to do it and I am glad

this morning I drove past two children jumping on a trampoline and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen

Alice are you okay? Missing you hard.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Pig and farm report

this heron flew right past me this morning at the beach

corona 4.

my fortune reads YOU NEED SOLITUDE
my hair smells like wood smoke
I shiver and shiver collapse in on myself
a star a sad biscuit a white fox

this is a day like any other
the tortilla spoke in tongues
the onion revealed an oily Jesus
the neighbor flew her baby like a kite

what happens if I can’t go outside

          1. Disease of the blood
          2. Disease of the skin
          3. Disease of the eye
          4. Disease of the foot
          5. Disease of the tongue

I have business with alien forces

Oh Monte Christo can we skip the ballet
and sit on the sidewalk near Pike and 1st to watch the parade
the cars have bonnets the size of galleons
stand up straight

try the fried bread
try the pinkish gum
try the paradiddle
try not to puke on your shoes
try to be more tender

my entire state is out of toilet paper this is not hyperbole 

Monday, March 16, 2020

corona 3.

The goat traveled around the planet a round
Twinkle Twinkle Little Goat
an old French folk tune
how the goat traveled
one person at a time going sick in the lung
like playing kindergarten piano
or blowing out candles on a damp cake
my goat has not fled my body
very still until horns and hooves clatter away
I have water I can force my body for six hours
go from knock-knock-knocking at death
to cheerful and radiant
it's not that we heal
it’s that we are liars and fakes

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Pig and farm report

the neighborhood gathered at the beach last night to watch the sun drop into Possession Sound we kept our distance in fact everyone but me stayed in their cars two cars with people my age one car with a couple of young people smoking weed no dogs no fires the largest group of people I have seen other than the stores which are contagion nightmares and the college aged kids who have formed a circle with their tents in the woods they have a sweet setup there and I am glad to see them every day I wave and they wave back I got two dozen eggs from Jack the Egg Man brown blue and pale green with some little banty eggs mixed in I think I’ll use some of them to bake challah today

yesterday my son thanked me for my panic baking for the first time ever

Beware the tides of March

corona 2.

Sunday wears a beaky mask
stuffed with sweet herbs and flowers
meant to hide the smell of sickness
my son has the first apocalypse dream
we drive to the beach at dusk
and talk about ghosts
until I cry but I keep the tears
inside my eyelids
I dream a conga line of men
in my yard dancing their way into the ocean
dropping one by one
I am ripe and my blood is high

Saturday, March 14, 2020

corona 1.

pass me the screwdriver
even your snow is selfish and wrong headed
an unmanageable stain a kind of hoarding
I abandoned my clothes
break me
I’ll swallow whatever you put in my mouth
stage a fake suicide
guttural momentum
Rocco Peacock
clean boys and roasted hog
the jungle drapes its skin long and wet across my feet
a woman suckles a piglet
oh plague oh Mena

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

You know how when you’re supposed to have a thunder storm this afternoon and also tonight and you watch the big black thunderheads drifting by and everything feels tight in its skin about to bust right out if you don’t get some kind of sign from the sky and your head burns waiting and you want to eat hot curry to tamp the burn but you’re stuck in a tall building and the clouds keep piling up and there’s a feeling in the air the sky is ionized so good it could iron your white shirts in 3 seconds flat if only it would let loose so you start praying to whatever god is handy the god of Tuesday the god of Tuesday Weld the god of Narnia the god of bad art the god of unread books the god of your goddamn too small server the god of the broken printer the god of if only I didn’t have a boss the god of I wish I made enough money the god of bad cafeteria smells the god of loose change the god of one hour martinizing and of course Beethoven that the whole mess would just pop but it doesn’t it’s a balloon in your stomach and it’s full of helium it’s filling with helium and there’s a lot of space on account of you had one strawberry for breakfast but it’s filling quick but none of it does any good because the damned sky won’t open and everything and everyone is waiting?

Monday, March 9, 2020

I am reading Spaulding Gray's journals and while they are beautiful as he was beautiful they are difficult because his trajectory was so clear even as a young man when his mother had a "nervous breakdown" and killed herself I read a line this morning that he wrote when he was in San Francisco

I want to live out the rest of my years as this, wander, wander, wander but afraid to be alone

I am grateful that I have never been afraid to be alone that I can manage that part of life and have done so forever yesterday I was telling my son about my very first grown up apartment near the airport how much I loved living there walking to the nursing home to work getting a ride from Ted Bundy swimming in the aqua pool at night trying to enter the wrong apartment while drunk and now I am stuck in my own timeline

is anyone really clear on their timelines? The Johnny Cash Psychiatrist used to really push me on this but some things the bad things the bad years are hopelessly muddled in my brain as though my timelines are jellyfish tentacles that wave here then there pushed by the tide in one timeline I am in my own apartment and I have decorated it just so and I burn coconut incense in there and the apartment is full of plants that I tend and I want a cat but know I can't yet care for one and the people who live upstairs have become my friends and we visit all the time we play GO and take LSD and I fall in love with their huge dog and they have just given me a 1946 Buick Special my first car and I drive down First Avenue to downtown Seattle and get a tattoo way before girls I know before anyone I know except sailors are getting tattoos and in another timeline very close to the apartment timeline I live in a house near my apartment with the bad man and there are airplanes constantly overhead we are under the flight path of the airport and he finds out I fucked his brother and I have a miscarriage and the 12 year old boy in the house next door comes home from school one day knocks on my door asks to use my bathroom then goes home and blows his brains out with a rifle and I don't know how I get out of that timeline either except I end up in Coeur d'Alene with my brother and his friends and his friend's sister whose brother becomes my husband

then the jellyfish scoots off after that things are pretty clear


100% full

This is the Deck Splat Deersoap   moon

errata: Elizabeth correctly named this moon in my comments as “ The Giant Communion Our Dear Lord Jesus Christ's Body Moon“

I’m baking today my stress level off the charts even though physically I feel fine even though I landed on my side on my deck yesterday and my right shoulder feels achy and sharp coded for the first time ever in my life I smothered myself in Tiger Balm which still resides in almost any store and cleared off the top of one of my bookshelves moving the plants that winter there to the front porch I ate breakfast with Jupiter at my side lolling about in the sun on my brand spanking clean tablecloth because she is a cat who parks where she wants and I let her because it would be folly to believe she isn’t on the table when I leave I heard a story once on This American Life about an elderly woman whose garden and yard grew wild and there was a mouse problem the neighbors all met up and decided to help her but she didn’t want their help she just wanted them to leave I am becoming that woman except I have three cats who are fierce mousers especially Jupiter She Who Lolls on the Tablecloth

the corona virus is now in Stanwood the next town over the governor of Washington said today that we might have to quarantine ourselves something for which I’ve been practicing my entire life

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Pig and farm report

this morning there was a blue cold sky with pink streaks in the east I walked out to the frozen deck in my plastic flip flops to film the two deer who were having breakfast at the buffet and my feet flew out from under me my iridescent wings are iced someone pried the identification numbers off my right shoulder and left hip and put a dent in my right knee with a forklift and a bird flew smack into my engine I made plans for overthrowing the empire but first I stopped at the bakery to tend my savage heart I shave bits of it away at a time so I can become the fearless giant robot I was meant to be except I wore a white blouse with black stripes and cheap gold rimmed buttons which looked good at the store and also looked good in my dark closet this morning but now I look like Satan’s candy striper there is something weird about March it’s not winter even though it is goddamn fog and goddamned ice all over my car and now all over my person I ache for a warm beach

Possession Sound the body of water upon which I float is full of fishermen not because it’s salmon season or crabbing season but because that’s what fishermen do when it gets weird a woman just came to my door to canvass for Bernie she was religious in her passion I countered by talking about my grief over Elizabeth Warren the woman at my door said she saw the Beethoven poster through my window and figured I’d be okay which I think means she figured I wouldn’t chase after her with a gun or plaster her with t stickers or answer the door in a red hat I guess those people don’t listen to Beethoven and I am okay though she talked for too long and I won’t answer the door again for five years at least but I saluted her as she walked away my gold buttons gleaming
Happy Birthday to my weirdo brother my twin-not-twin the stitcher of my secrets holder of my reins heel of my boot my dark star


Dear heart, it’s time. I’ve felt it for weeks,
and just this morning the barn swallows
returned to build their nest in the eaves,
flew 600 miles in a single day to find me
wading the reeds in Tadpole Pond.
Their split tails cut the air, orange throats
sucking up insects spring intended
for my garden. This is how we line
the nest; feather, horse hair, cotton.
This is how we catch with our mouths
in midair. This is how we return time
after time, voices cracking winter's
scab, voices humming, pitched
like warmed paraffin. I’m not afraid
to say it. I never wanted this great
distance, all those miles ringing out.
Darling, my desire sings from mudslide,
bees frozen in the comb, magnolia lifting
her stingy pink fingers to heaven. I am
the clubfoot colt, the crooked lamb,
the cleft and bloody whelp, the spoon-
full of mice stillborn in the kitchen drawer.
I am the buck-toothed girl who waits
at the fence, watching for spring’s
terrible thaw.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Pig and farm report

my eyebulbs are on fire and now a tree has got up my nose because it is spring in spite of everything so I am sneezing which means I am 100% DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! to the meat world so I sent my son with my card to fetch my library books for me and I will be sequestered (so much better than quarantined eww) until the tree climbs out of my nose my eyebulbs were on fire last night because I cried for an entire hour watching Elizabeth Warren with Rachel Maddow I just


It is Friday and March and I read yesterday in like a lion and out like a lion eating another lion. I thought it was March a week before it was March and now that it’s March I’d like to meet my heroes and have dinner with them instead of being stupid and weepy. In March I am too dumb to light a match I am too dumb to decide which is greater Bach’s music or god’s orchids or the fabric of exotic cushions or the sky blue of a new coat or the curve of a cabriole leg or the scrape of my nails against my scalp. March brings decisions and change as I climb naked into spring’s well. This is my brother’s birth month and Bach’s and the composer’s. One hot summer I shaved my legs too quickly before going to his house I shaved deep on the outer bone of my left ankle and the bleeding stopped soon enough and then I was sitting at his table eating pieces of frozen mango wearing a white dress like the bride I wanted to be when my ankle started bleeding again profusely bleeding a votive flame in a ceramic bowl and the composer ran to the bathroom for bandages and he knelt and put my foot in his lap and he trembled as he touched my smooth leg and plastered me with adhesives and this moment is the one I remember this moment the bright budgie bouncing in its cage and sun careening into the yellow kitchen and I burst out laughing.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Pig and farm report

lawfull devastation

colt foal chick pup whelp kit cub hatchling poult fingerling tadpole whelp cygnet flapper spiderling snakelet neonate hatchling lamb lambkin cosset kitten larva pluteus urchin calf bunny kitten fawn puggle squab squeaker piglet shoat farrow peachick cub spat stote owlet fledgling pinkie wriggler tumbler nymph duckling cria ephyna toddler foal filly farroat shoat girl leveret billy kid larva froglet polliwog maggot fry duckling squab fawn codling hake sprag sprat cockrell chrysalis

I want to close my eyes and for true not be here even though I have to be here. I told her I would send her the book about Paris and I never did. I told her I sent the book but I never did nor did I ever intend to send it. I didn’t want her to have it or even know about it. She would have hated it would have hated reading about Adrienne Monnier and Janet Flanner and the photos of Gertrude all of it. She hates everything. I lie through my teeth every time I speak to her I turn off my phone in the middle of the conversation so she assumes I’m driving through a tunnel or my battery has gone dead one of the golden [cell] phone ways of stopping a conversation when I am finished with it. There are unpleasantries. My cheeks burn with it. My cheeks are so rosy I look like Heidi even though I can barely move even though it is swimming in mud with the bowfin Amia calva. All the women looked like clay those beautiful dresses and clay skin. Who are you? Your faces swim in and out of focus. All I have to do is wait it out.

Richard Avedon’s Beekeeper

I took ativan with water for my forward toppling battle today I will strike like a mongoose quick and sleek and awful it’s that or fall asleep someplace hidden I don't have a firm plan waiting for news waiting for summer  waiting for the wind to wind down shaking my house and perhaps under unsettling the momentum of my privacy my cats my son my pipes and the mud and maculate cave that serves as home for the cured and broken my hands weirdly ache like I was kneading bread in my sleep or scrubbing or pulling weeds go away pain little friend it is good to know your fire has finally gone out in me

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Wolfie prepares to flee at the first sneeze

Okay I lied maybe she is ready to flee because I gave Jupiter and Hal and her flea medicine last night or maybe she’s just a strange cat who sat like that for an hour this morning for no apparent reason  Jupiter doesn’t seem to care about the medicine Hal is acting like I stabbed him even today he hasn’t forgiven me and refuses me with his whole heart

I have been gone for a long time from here it seems but I am recovering from being depressed for three months it’s weird I never used to have a recovery from depression period but here I am gingerly walking around my own damned disease cleaning what didn’t get cleaned watering what didn’t get watered mopping what didn’t get mopped etcetera I have taken care of my no shrink problem for the time being I went back to my old clinic and Dr. Jack agreed to okay me for a year’s worth of my psychiatric meds as I search for a new head doctor I really really liked New Nurse but I feel like she left me twisting in the wind as far as my care goes she was good at shrinking and bad at business and also

she hurt my feelings by disappearing 

I know how dumb that sounds but it’s true

I suppose y’all know Snohomish aka the next town over is where patient zero in the US popped up with the coronavirus I went to that town yesterday to buy Easter candy for myself and goddamn but Easter candy was the only thing left it was eerie and frightening here are the shelves that were literally empty

Toilet paper
Paper towels
Bottled water
Cleaning supplies
Peanut butter
Canned soup
Canned vegetables
Canned beans
Cake and brownie mix
Pancake mix
Hand sanitizer (but not strangely hand soap)

and that’s just the shelves I passed I didn’t make it through the whole store thank bog the Easter candy was still there I guess the run on toilet paper is because people think all of China is going to die and no more will be shipped ever? I can’t even imagine why the bottled water is gone we all have water and electricity people are weird and jumpy and I think the political noise is feeding into the panic now that everyone else is finally realizing that White House daddy is incapable of making a single leaderly type decision there has been no such run on groceries out here on the island and I suspect it’s because most of the people who live here believe that this brand spanking new pathogen is a democratic hoax

the white patriarchy marches on

I was so sad to watch the Super Tuesday numbers roll in realizing that Elizabeth Warren was getting left in the dust stupid fucking Americans will this country ever let a woman be powerful

yesterday I washed my hands and ate half a bag of Dove milk chocolate eggs and baked a giant ziti that I just parceled out for Page to take to his friends in the city let me know what’s happening in your city and keep your head down


Monday, February 24, 2020

On the anniversary of my mother’s birth

     Doesn't she miss that house? the young woman asks, that big, beautiful house in Uxbridge? For a moment Lol doesn't answer, all eyes are upon her, something, a sort of shudder, passes across her eyes. She freezes because of something going on inside her, what? unknown, savage leitmotifs, wild birds in her life--how can we tell?--which wing through her from side to side, and are swallowed up? and then, after they are gone, the wind caused by their passage subsides. She says she doesn't remember ever having lived there. The sentence remains unfinished.
~Marguerite Duras, The Ravishing of Lol Stein

I woke up early and went outside in my white skirt and boots to watch the sun rise to give the seagulls and ravens my left over bread and angry raisins and hair I gathered from my brush. The sound of no rain and bird song woke me. Good hot coffee blue sky tuna for the cats.

I dreamed I watered my cactus. I dreamed a long scrolled piece of paper upon which my sins and good deeds were being accounted for were being shaded in by a lead pencil. The sins were shaded over and over until they were a black ribbon and the good deeds were erasing the black.

It's so quiet this morning I hear the train whistle all the way from Mount Vernon. Sometimes sound carries weirdly over the water. There is something comforting about a train whistle. Something old fashioned and ghostly and solid and forsaken. I once rode a train from Spokane to Montana. It took several days. I was a girl. I read and rocked and read and rocked. I lived for a little while on Flathead Lake. I lived for a little while on a reservation in Havre where I chewed resin from the trees until it turned to gum and ate rosehips and sang church songs.

Mahler sings Kindertotenlieder tends the forest keeps an eye on the magnolias which is how I keep going forward. I don't even touch them (only once forgive me) I just watch and keep track and wonder at all of it. It's a still day. I listened to birdsong and the train and I am forgiven my sins. My trees lift up their hands.

from the kindertotenlieder

Now the sun prepares to rise as brightly,
As though no misfortune had befallen in the night!
The misfortune befell me alone! 
The sun, it shines on all mankind!
You must not enclose the night within you, 
You must immerse it in eternal light.
A little lamp went out in my firmament,
Hail to the joyful light of the world!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Movie review revue


Almost as weird as The Oregon Country Fair.


The Oregon Country Fair:

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

I went out

I drove to the pharmacy then I drove to the organic store in Mt. Vernon where I bought a pile of bright green tomatillos and some baby turnips and rainbow carrots and beets and cheese then I came home made a couple pints of salsa verde with serrano chilies and popped the beets in the oven and I was rolling along quite happy then I had or caught or came down with maybe a rager panic attack that knocked my breath out now I’m on my soft gray couch with Jupiter on my lap trying to watch Press and my back muscles are tightening and I wonder as I always do if my happiness has been a wee bit manic because of nothing and also because I really should be worried about my situation which is that remember when my psychiatrist New Nurse moved and I changed doctors to continue to see her it turns out my new clinic’s “behavioral health” department doesn’t take Medicare!

OH, FUN!!!    she screeched

that’s right! Now I have to hunt for a new psychiatrist again and go through all that intake nightmare again and it’s been almost four months now since I last saw New Nurse who dumped me on Christmas Day and I’m almost out of bipolar etc meds so I picked a new new psychiatrist at random out of google a psychiatrist near me and I got a referral from my new regulation doctor and I’m waiting for old New Nurse to forward my records because she apparently can’t fax them to new New Nurse so she said she’d mail them to me and I have hurt feelers and I am angry that she has had two months to figure out that her new place of employment does not accept Medicare and I wonder how many other patients of hers who have Medicare who thought they would follow her are going to be surprised and it’s just a big shit show and why is behavioral health only for those who can afford insurance?

here is some of my delicious hot hot hot salsa verde and Jupiter sunning herself in this gorgeous early spring yes I know it’s 30 degrees but I say it’s spring

Also I have eaten an obscene amount of brie 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Pig and farm report

they’re having this week long hoodoo on the island called Glass Quest in which people hunt for clear plastic balls which are hidden around the island like Easter eggs which are then exchanged for some crap art glass balls with swirly paint on them I call this week BaubleFest and when I find people randomly digging around in my forest and on my beach I snarl and yell at them to go away because they tend to leave a mess behind them including empty starfucks cups and piles of dog shit not to mention young children and dogs wobbling out onto the road untended this year they’ve torn the yellow caution tape off the trail beginning where the bridge washed out it’s easy enough for an adult to jump the bridge but the woods up there right now are muddy with trees tipping over right and left and big chunks of the mountain sloughing off and it’s very dangerous

last night I dreamed there were bus loads of people leaving the forest waving their arms out the windows and I was yelling at them to go away so basically my waking life seeped into my dream life which left me exhausted when I woke this morning still I managed to bake a pretty loaf of sourdough bread because I started it two days ago and it needed to be addressed:

Miss Sourdough
Camano Island WA

it was delicious I figured out that my sourdough starter is now 21 years old and can have a glass of champagne if it wants

something terrible happened to me yesterday that had nothing to do with my trip to the dermatologist and nothing to do with my darling son and everything to do with me being freaked out enough to drive in the almost dark to the state park last night to yell at the baublehunters but I can’t write about it until it resolves itself

it looks like spring around here the camellias are blooming and there are yellow buds on the rhododendrons and all the fields are chock full of snow geese just in time for The Snow Goose Festival next week which is a real thing also it was sunny and hailing today