Friday, February 26, 2021


At this join, I think to say who 
I am, but have--in soft rot

in clusters of contrapuntal 
pleasure--urgent, charmed

until I'm arriving like a light
rippling rings of experience,

not now, not enough--so gaudy 
and greedy and ekphrastic from

(Baker Woods, MSU with L)

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Robins in the hood

Although we're still wintering, we have a lot of robins. We had a pretty mild winter up until that snowstorm, so I imagined they had overstayed. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

hard scrabble

I see the river has flatlined

I did not intend, I did not

think to do it on my own

to on my own

run: around, out, away

As if the sun floats belly up 

and if I can do it, my darlings

if I can do it, why can't I?

Why can't I 

check: list, mate, out 

(Red Cedar, MSU Riverwalk) 


I looked up from my desk to this glorious sunlit sky in my sliver of office window. Being here physically was relief and sustenance after the torture of trying to make things go right with Nu yesterday.

Reading students encountering Laura Mulvey, Hanif Kureishi, and Shauna Singh Baldwin, introducing a new class to invitational rhetoric, referencing an old student's lesson plan involving the 'Red Rover' game... everything felt like a fresh spring--at least in my soul.

By the time I got home to little Nu, the 'sad' part persisted, but the 'mad' part had melted away.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Regression redux

I am the most gullible jackass in the history of parenting; the resident 13-year-old scam artist has been faking schoolwork again. I don't get it, it seems like it takes more work to fake it than to actually do it? They seem quite blithe about it and completely oblivious to how vile this behavior is. I feel bad for them and their teachers, and my whole body just hurts. 😞

I've managed to limp through my to-do lists: grades, student updates, and class prep are done. I even got outside, and it was chilly and windy enough that it numbed my pain about Nu for a bit.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Weekend Magic

Three long, snowy hikes (with LB and BS), one long-ish run (5 mi), two short yoga sessions. I can't remember when I've had a weekend so full of physical activity before. Two raucous and movie-heavy sleepovers with Nu and Scout and Huck; sadly, not much contact with At--I mean, a picture of a nice omelette he made himself on family chat--but he seems to be mostly ok.

Finished Oona Out of Order--which was meh at best, and frequently irritating--but I grew to care about the characters after all although I didn't care for their idea of gentrification as a beneficial development. Started Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings. Again. I couldn't get into it when it first came out and I remember being roundly castigated for it by world lit friends. I've been humming and channeling a lot of Bob Marley (because I MISS my mom so much) recently, so I'm giving Seven Killings another go. It's intense. 

Also intense, Judas and the Black Messiah, which I watched with Big A. Fred Hampton--especially how much he did at so young an age and how much he could have gone on to do had he not been assassinated has been a trigger for me--but the film was oddly heartening. Especially as Akua Njeri and Fred Hampton Jr. seem to have been such a central part of the film's making.

I disengaged from most work all weekend. And something that helped was that I didn't get a single work email! Is this everyone deciding to institute strong boundaries since we work from home so much these days? On Friday, which was a "Reading Day," I sent out an inquiry on behalf of an advisee and my senior colleague reminded me to "take the day off." Knowing everyone is doing it, and that it would be rude and interruptive not to, makes it so much easier for me. I still have some grading to catch up on, but hope to get it done by Tuesday when I will have to face people in real time again. That's not magical thinking, although I did wish on the beautiful and magical wishing tree BS gave me this weekend. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Wrecking Crew


you talk like therapy                    I aim like an arrow

slipping sleeping pills                   then crash like a bomb

in between sentences                  like a stupid mecha god


buried in the fizz                          we're hard to imagine

of far-off messages                      but echoes keep finding us--

from baby monitors                      like they're rescue dogs


       I still don't know if          I should forgive you

        I still don't know if         I need to be forgiven

Friday, February 19, 2021


Everything feels too much all the time. Right now, staring down three classes worth of grading, fresh off yesterday's QPR training, the inexorable weather, the continuing pandemic, etc. etc. etc. make me worry about all the things and I wonder if every little thing will ever be alright. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The main message of my chart?

Pandemic lockdown is such a trip that when JL shared this horoscope, I was happy to acquiesce with whatever it said about me. I mean it's not like I have much insight about how I'm doing or feeling from day to day, so why not let someone else summarize it for me? 

It's a good thing, I suppose, that JL is Pisces like me and I couldn't read the other horoscopes too... agreeing with every horoscopic thumbnail might be too absurd.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

"Bloom! Bloom! Bloom where you're planted"

Meetings started at 8 am and ended after 7:30 pm today. Such a FULL non-teaching day with everything from curriculum planning and faculty training, to new protocols for CASA from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  

Lots of support from Nu and Big A who told me they were proud of me. That was unexpected and felt SO NICE! Also, when I was being hugged by those two, I was surprised anew by how much taller than me Nu is now--their face is still such a Baby Nu face!

We liked the vegan dinner I made today (a nicely-sauced stir-fry of Impossible meat and rice noodles topped with mint, julienned peppers, and shredded cucumber) a new-ish, Vietnamese-ish palate with our usual ingredients. We watched a bit more of Korra, (which is sad, neoliberal apologia compared to ATLA) and will probably finish the series this weekend. What's next for us? Perhaps Schitt's Creek, which we've tried twice but can't seem to get beyond episode 4 or 5. A colleague-friend said maybe we should just start from season two, and perhaps that's just what we'll do.

I don't remember going outside today; it's still freezing with snow up to my knees. I did spend some time in the tea garden where we have everything from floppy paperwhites and ratty poinsettias from Christmas to the cyclamen showing up to say, Spring, suckas. The cyclamen gave me such a pang of nostalgic yearning for Greece where it would grow even in the rockiest niches. And apropos of that tiny synaptic nudge, that super-insistent song the sisters taught us in school, "Bloom! Bloom! Bloom where you're planted" started playing in my head. I think I'm trying.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


shifting from kind sleep 

to the louder comfort 

of that old loneliness

 the bright, uneven burn 

of acceptable syllables,

premonitions of escape