Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michigan. Show all posts

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. 

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. 

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

Monday, February 15, 2021

Basement Biker*

There were triathlons in the old days and there may be outdoor bike races again someday, perhaps even as soon as the Ides of March...

But for now I get to see Big A do his thing in the basement--and it's a way more accessible spectatorship. (And not just for me, he has quite the fan club globally and at work.)

* I've been calling him "Basement Biker" and the song version is basically just "Paperback Writer" plagiarized for my own snarky purposes.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Friday, February 12, 2021

in carnations

Yes, I am almost lost in

this small, intimate forest 

from the supermarket florist

(carnations I bought myself).

I embrace their candy beauty

how gracefully their economy

aligns ( just so you know--

they must have cost <$7.99).

I address their bodies with 

eye caresses, knowing the dears 

may last for weeks--or for ever 

(if you're counting in flower years).

Thursday, February 11, 2021


The view from my "classroom" (previously the yoga/zumba room) in the rec center. There's something mesmerizing about that speckled sky and the in-between-classes emptiness of the walkways. 

I sat in a pool of sunshine during group discussions as I didn't know if the sunshine would last until I was out of class. (Reader, it did not.)

But... I'm all caught up in class, fit in about seven different student meetings (everything from honor societies, to MacCurdy, DEI, and Honors Day), got in a quick visit and hugs with At, drove home listening to the impeachment case, ate the egg sammies Big A made for me (the rest got Culvers per Nu's Boss Day request), celebrated Nu, hung out with Scout and Huck, ate a ton of chocolate... all of it satisfying different points of my soul. 

A full day of meetings tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2021


I didn't meet the health-check requirements at work, so I declared today a WFH day. I had to. 

Pre-pandemic, it would have been a day where I talked myself into showing up, because canceling three classes over flu-like symptoms would be "weak." But in the pandemic, it was the responsible thing to do, and I talked myself into assigning asynchronous work and emailing an FYI to my chairs in ENG and WGS. 

I'm likely experiencing side effects from the first Moderna shot I received yesterday. But what if it isn't? What if that doofus, with his mask worn as a chinstrap who came up to talk to me at the store this weekend and was so upset I told him to back off, gave me Covid already?

I ended up monitoring the important stuff and sleeping a significant amount. But up until about 4:00 pm, I felt a fair amount of anxiety from knowing I wasn't where I was supposed to be. Then I peeped Big A and Nu taking a walk in the backyard with Scout and Huck, and the day shifted into home-mode. 


*Everyone uses "WFH" to mean "work from home," but it'll never not look like an abbreviation for swear words to me.

Monday, February 08, 2021

now you see it / then you won't

cradle this role

of an unnamed 

creature in our

unreal world

dead branches 

offer backbone

roots open into


in snowy filaments

of tired memory

you tried to believe

in figments I know 

Sunday, February 07, 2021

cozy and kind

I stayed cozy today. The temporary wallpaper in the little alcove is new... I'm still inordinately pleased with the fake stove-space heater and fake sheepskins.

Long run (for me, i.e. 5 mi.), Challah from L, marveling about Fred Hampton with At, sleepover with Nu and the puppies last night--those are some of the highlights. The rest was work--finally got acceptance letters and contracts out to the poets we'd picked last week. 

Big A is at the end of a longish break (12 days) from work in the ER. He's been working--on papers and paperwork--but he's been home and it has been extra cozy. We were reminiscing about how "when we were younger" and he worked in the ER so much more, a break like this would invariably start with a giant fight about something inconsequential. We seem to have gotten better about managing hopes and expectations and overall, we're just... kinder to each other.

Saturday, February 06, 2021


The rest of the Red Cedar River is frozen and people and other beings have been skiing, playing hockey, walking across, etc. But this one patch in the woods behind L's house is like a little hot spring. 

I loved seeing all these robins vacationing chirpily--for a few moments it took me out of subzero temps and deadlines. 

(Then my fingertips began to freeze in my flip-top mittens, so I decided to stop taking pics and honor my South Indian heritage by hurrying home and staying in for the rest of the day.)

Friday, February 05, 2021

A Date!

Courtesy my CASA director and the child advocacy program.
I got into child advocacy because the work soothed my soul--
who knew it would save my life in this most visceral way...

Thursday, February 04, 2021


our arc bends 

from the brutality 

of everything we

carry, when only 

fragments of story

are ours to control 

We know we are every

-one, belong every


place, matter some

-times in epilogue

Wednesday, February 03, 2021


I still thoughts 

by will alone

I carry sadness

into February

sky stays blue 

as I grieve you