Been cleaning out paper this weekend. Redecorating a space or two, keeping my hand in and my eye alive, saying hello to the books. I found this poem copied on the back of a handbill for a New Year’s show at the Grand Ave Ale House that the High, Wide, and Handsome Band did a few years back. The quote on the front of the handbill, superimposed on a photo of a man dressed in marching band regalia and wearing a clown nose, reads:

“the barwalker was the type of drunk who was not happy unless he was up on a sagging     bar, arms akimbo, dancing a cossack dance and kicking over glasses of beer.”

– Joseph Mitchell

The poem on the back, which I cannot remember copying down, is by a woman I’ve not heard of, and untitled:

I will not live an unlived life./ I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire./ I choose to inhabit my days,/ to allow my living to open me,

to make me less afraid, more accessible,/ to loosen my heart/ until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise./ I choose to risk my significance;

to live,/ so that which came to me as a seed/goes to the next as a blossom,/ and that which came to me as blossom,/ goes on as fruit.

– Dawna Markova

Take Light

Some mornings, the ducks are swimming in thin mirrored slivers of liquid sky and my legs are engines of true progress as the road flies by beneath the rhythm of my feet, moving land, and my lungs, moving air.

Some mornings, the duck are barely floating in field mud and I can’t make it out the door. Early February looks so dark from here. Even my dreams are dim, the force and place obscured by the weight of a cloud wall that lurks behind Blanchard mountain and makes frenetic forays of wind and lashes of rain on the flat valley ground.

In this light, everything – the tree bare the grass clumped the pavement dark and soaking – looks flat and forlorn. When the warm light returns this same tree will beam munificently with fresh green on its limbs and the grass will wave lengthy in the light breeze.

The world the same the world separated by vast differences in perspective. I don’t love it equally, I don’t. I want to – but more I want to be running, always, with the bright glow of something rising. And the ducks in their puddled field, they’ll never say how it seems to them, though we want to believe that it all just rolls off of their downy backs.