Krs10 the Tomahawk.
Untitled Outtake from Sisley Campaign, 2002
Chromogenic print, 19 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches
So I thought I would take a moment to highlight my newest internet obsession: The Farmer’s Daughter blog. As I find myself steeped more and more strongly in my life here at New York, I am discovering this parallel yearning for my pastoral roots. The city is booming with this great, fresh appreciation for agriculture and locally grown foods that you don’t get when you’re actually living in the country, so I think my city life has ramped up this yearning a bit. Every time I step through a farmer’s market and take a deep breath I’m smelling basil, mint, fresh veggies and fresh-cut bouquets of wildflowers, and I’m reminded of my home amongst the corn rows and the soft kittens and the lazy cattle.
Caroline Olivia is the writer of a spectacular blog: The Farmer’s Daughter. Caroline grew up in my hometown: Red Hook, New York, and her family owns and runs Montgomery Place Orchards. Her blog posts, recipes and stories make me smile every time because they are of a true appreciation of pastoral simplicity and hard work.
Thank you for writing Caroline. And for everyone else: you should visit her blog.
I am on the computer taking the 5 love languages test—
the website is seamless with lilac and soft grey hues, it beckons
to potential love experts in soft script.
It asks me what my “Preferences” are. It says ‘sometimes,
you may not be able to choose between the two preferences.
In this case, just pick one.’ So I am seven questions in.
Preference 3: ’I prefer visible symbols love like gifts,’ or
‘I feel loved when people affirm me.’
Preference 7: ‘I like to sit close to people I enjoy being around,’ or
‘I like for people to tell me I am attractive.’
I have surpassed question 8 and for some reason the only thing
I can think of is caramel apples, and how one night you and I sat
and shared one between us, leftover from your brother’s wedding.
I wish this test would ask me if I knew
the difference between your computer smile and your baking smile,
or the difference between the multitude of scars you have accumulated
from your new job at a restaurant; it should ask me what to do
when I come home to a barrage of band-aids on the counter top, and you
lying in the bed with your hand bloodied and propped on the pillow.
Your face was white when you said you would go to the hospital yourself.
My face was a salt pillar when I let you. Sat on the couch and watched a documentary
about a man who made sushi every day for sixty five years.
If I could walk you to the hospital every day for sixty five years
I would do that.
Preference number 8: ‘do you prefer to hold Seth Wallin’s more skilled right hand,’
or ‘do you prefer the knife-scarred left.’
‘Do you feel guilty when he is too nice to refuse getting you water
from the cold kitchen while you lay in bed,’ or ‘does his voice
telling you that he only wants to make you happy cause you to
be selfish each of these times?’
Is your love language the delicate strut of a feminist who doesn’t recognize
that her significant other might be bringing more to this relationship than she is?
Is your love language written in gifts and ‘notes of affirmation’?
It is easy to be a theorist. It is harder to carry water and chop wood.
I imagine you chopping wood at the side of our house one day.
Perhaps we will have a stove in the kitchen. There will be a collection
of plants sitting atop it. Glasses of water will clutter the apartment—those
I have gotten for you because you were thirsty.
And each morning I will come out with you, holding my hands close in
flannel mittens. I will ask you for the wood. You will hand me the axe.
I will make heat for us.
This love language test is enabling me to be selfish. It asks me everything
I want, and nothing about you Seth. I prefer to eat caramel apples with you
in the living room. I prefer to get water for you when it is three in the morning
and we are both too tired to get out of bed. I prefer to dance with you rather than say
I am too tired tonight. I prefer to chop the wood and carry the water.
Our love does not exist in a language. It exists in the space between the scars
on your left hand. In the candle wax that drips when we watch a movie
too late in the living room and I fall asleep. In the water I spill on the pillow
on the way back to bed. In the band-aids. In the sidewalk blocks on the way
to the hospital. It is everything and nothing. It is casual and celebratory.
It is a celebration. It is you in a tuxedo at your brother’s wedding.
It is me paying for drinks. It is me holding the door for you
when we leave the reception—
a stowaway caramel apple in your pocket.
Written in two-line increments by the cast of Macbeth.
The water trembled as her toes bent into it. Her bathing suit was purple.
Silently, the ocean breeze enveloped her. Down the beach she heard a man
Playing fetch with his dog. The water gurgled and spit in front of her.
From the froth emerged a visage of her haunted dreams. As the foam lapped at her toes she shivered with ominous delight. White-blue eyes glared out at her from the churning sea, and her heart froze in her chest. The vision was wire thin, long fingers reaching for her, beckoning her into deeper water. The fingers formed a a spider not unlike God. I walked forward and absorbed the sea’s eggs.they didn’t smell as bad as I had expected, in fact, I said to myself, “I quite like these eggs.” Somehow I found myself hatching, as if I was becoming the ocean itself. And it was then, that I realized I knew nothing.
Often I watch him from the rim of a glass—
his hands plunged to the wrists in a belly of dough.
I joke with him that he has a computer face and a baking face.
His baking face is what I imagine an eleven-year old Michelangelo
looked like when it rained: sitting at the sill of an open window,
just waiting for the clay to form in the dirt-filled gutter.
The footprints of harried dogs foreshadowed the delicate chisel,
just as his hand prints on a ball of dough rising in the bowl
foreshadow the places on my hips he touches through the seam of my shirt.
We discuss the term “fleshy parts,” and he says they are his favorite.
On sunny mornings I look at my naked self in the full-length mirror—
measure my body in units of sloshing coffee. Rising bread. My perfume
is the slow drift of the butter melting in the oven.
His hands are careful. His laugh is so sweet, like dropping sugar cubes into
a mug of coffee. When we have people over, he bakes three loaves of bread—
slaps them down on the wooden table with an oversized knife and a tub of butter.
I wait to partake in the steaming slices—pausing to watch his face as he backs away
from his bounty, wiping his hands on the dish towel at his shoulder.
His cheeks are smeared with flour. His eyes rise with smile.
I take a slice of bread. Butter it. Bring it to him to eat before it’s gone,
because oftentimes he forgets himself, his soul rising and falling with the dough.
1997. Rhinebeck, New York.
The stroke of dads coming home after work was like
waning popcorn in the microwave by 7pm. Slowing down.
So we had just eaten grilled cheese sandwiches and the one
for my dad was sitting on the grated ceramic next to the sink
with some saran wrap clinging to the grease.
The bread hung in my throat along with the grape juice flavor
on my tongue. It was hot and August. The sky was turning colors
as I heard dad’s Buick backing into the driveway and our Dachshund,
Mandy, barked at the engine growl.
My mother’s heavy, careful step in the kitchen played out a contrasting tempo
to my barefooted lunges towards the front door. That night, he didn’t come
in from the garage because the oil needed to be changed in the Honda,
but I went out there with a glass of iced tea.
He always had calendars hanging from the metal tool shelves
from years past. 1993. 1987. 1995. Women with matte lipstick
and dark nipples watched over his gasoline stenched domain.
I always liked to flip through the pages, looking at the swimsuits
and their awkward poses,
wondering why he kept these calendars that were so out of date.
Wrench. He croaked. I would shuffle in the toolbox.
Wrench. Sometimes he would get impatient with my shuffling,
suddenly roll out from beneath the belly of the car,
and snatch the toolbox from my grip.
And we were like that together.
Communicating with iced tea in greasy tumblers and
heavy iron tools hidden in rusted toolboxes, while the 1993
swimsuit models yellowed on the pages of the calendars
my father never threw out.
I haven’t been on Tumblr very much lately. I couldn’t really tell you why either. Yes, I am busy, and yes, I am focusing a lot more on acting and teaching this semester than I ever have in the past, but I don’t really think my busy schedule is the reason for neglecting the blog world. I find myself being more of a reader than a writer lately. I find myself frequenting blogs that are about DIY home improvement, or cooking, or lifestyle, or travel. It’s interesting to experience yourself going through phases like that. I’ve been busy like this before, and my interest in Tumblr didn’t wane. Now that I am in my last semester of grad school, however, I think I am trying to find a new center. I’m focusing on reorganizing my priorities—trying on the different hats that are available to me as I move on this May into really, truly becoming an adult with a job and no student loans to cushion my success. I’m a poet, but I’ve only really completed one 30/30 challenge, and that was in 2009 when my collective did it as a group based upon a full moon cycle. I am so busy these days. I am playing Macbeth in a gender-reversed production of Macbeth. I am student teaching. I am graduating. I have a full courseload of grad classes. So I’m scared of committing to a full 30 day poetry challenge on Tumblr, but I want to do it. One of my final projects this semester is to work with a group of students at the school where I teach to compose a chapbook. I think that I need to be a working artist in order to teach them this art. I need to be writing and going through this messiness myself, or how can I possibly judge it and teach it?
So that’s why I am going to try this. I am growing up. I am moving forward. There are things I need to cut loose in my life. Unfortunately, lately poetry has been one of those things, but that was never intentional, it was consequential. I want to get it back. My work this semester is going to influence my pieces greatly. Whether they be about teaching, about Macbeth, about graduating, or about transitioning in general. I hope they are honest. And I hope you enjoy them.
lavender fields on We Heart It - http://weheartit.com/entry/55514607/via/Muffin_Cake
There are times when I feel the need to pack up and go home. There are times when the field needs me more than the street. Who am I to deny what my grandfather has always told me—“farming is in your blood.”
These are my favorite people in the world and myself(the bespectacled dude).
They are my family. They are my brothers and sister. They are my home.
i just saw this and the world needs to know that i wholly agree. i wholly agree.