dec 20/RUN

4.3 miles
top of franklin hill turn around
31 degrees
75% snow-covered

Great weather, (still) rotten path. Lots of loose, ankle twisting snow. At least it’s a little better than Tuesday–a bare strip of pavement for most of the way! Even with the rough path, felt good and strong and happy. Looked down at the river and thought about how un-riverlike it looks right now. Just a broad, flat plain of white. As usual, don’t remember much from the run. One thing: the squirrel that darted across traffic and then the path ahead of me. Not sure why it seemed strange–maybe I thought the squirrel was a leaf blowing in the wind? Put my headphones in on the trip back south and felt great. Greeted the Dave, the Daily Walker and then charged up the final hill–the biking path near the road on the other side of the split rail fence, retaining wall, and the walking path that winds through the tunnel of trees. Maybe I should write about this part of the path?

note: For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been reading through and summarizing the last year on this blog. First, I put all the poems I’ve posted on one page (in year 3). Then I started systematically reading through each month online and in my physical notebook and picking out bits I want to keep–I’m on July right now–and creating pages for each month. Yesterday, I finalized a redesign of the site inspired by how I’ve been using lots of colored pencils in my notebook. It’s good coding practice–I customized it myself with my basic css knowledge.

What Big Eyes You Have
Heather Christle

Only today did I notice the abyss
in abysmal and only because my mind
was generating rhymes for dismal,
and it made of the two a pair,
to which much later it joined
baptismal, as—I think—a joke.
I decided to do nothing with
the rhymes, treating them as one does
the unfortunately frequent appearance
of the “crafts” adults require children
to fashion from pipe cleaners
and plastic beads. One is not permitted
to simply throw them away,
but can designate a drawer
that serves as a kind of trash can
never emptied. I suppose one day
it will be full, and then I will know
it is time to set my child free.
The difficulty is my mind leaks
and so it will never fill, despite
the clumps of language I drop in,
and this means my mind can never
be abandoned in the woods
with a kiss and a wave
and a little red kerchief
tied under its chin.

Wow. I can’t decide which I love more, this poem–with its trash can drawer half filled with clumps of language–or her explanation of it on .

This is one of many poems I wrote in a short period of time early last year, when I stepped away from writing The Crying Book-—my first work of nonfiction—to return to my home form. I was seeking all sorts of wisdom from Merriam-Webster, trying to understand what layers there are to the words I think and speak, finding shiny edges I hadn’t known before: new to me, but long-known to the words themselves. Then, as one does, I followed the words into a figurative space, where they invited me to get lost. I’m never able to get quite as lost as I want to, but with each poem I get a little closer.

what layers there are to the words, what shiny new edges
words leading to a figurative space, inviting her to get lost