jan 2/RUN

5 miles
franklin hill turn around
36 degrees
95% snow-covered

Oh, I needed this run! Started out rough, walking to the river, slipping on the sidewalk. The path was covered in slick, unsettled snow. But somewhere after the lake street bridge something happened and I started to feel that joy of being outside and breathing in the cold air and feeling my muscles working. Was it around the time I noticed the river? Not white, but brownish gray, free of ice and snow. Or after I passed the unleashed dog and its human near the trestle? While I was running down the franklin hill, my arms swinging rhythmically? Or after I turned on my running playlist as I started running up the hill? Now I remember. It was when ACDC’s Back in Black came on and I picked up the pace between franklin and the trestle. Today I got to fly and it was amazing.

Listened to the Current yesterday for their end of the year/decade (or as Mark Wheat liked to pronounce it: duhCade) wrap-up and discovered Nur-D and “Black Wizard Wave.” Favorite lines: “I’m currently feeling myself” and “I’m so high. Levio Levio Leviosa”

This is the first poem I read in 2020. I found it yesterday morning while scrolling through twitter. Beautiful.

Abstract/ Todd Dillard

A hummingbird has died in my driveway.
My neighbor, mowing his lawn, glimpsed it falling,

and now he holds the body careful as a soap bubble
in the chalice of his broad hands. The summer 

this year is sending our street hate mail: FUCK YOUs and
I HOPE YOU DIEs written in sidewalk worms and mosquito bites,

every shirt darkened by Pangaea damp, every kiss salt
lick and dog pant. And it’s ridiculous, really, how no one

has researched why every body gets smaller when held,
how a pocket-sized grief can become a particular tininess: lost

picture, forgotten phone number, memory of an old coworker
who would sing as he mopped the bookstore café, his tenor

rolling through air like rainwater down subway stairs. We hang,
my neighbor and I, suspended in June’s sewer breath,

inventing the kind of time travel where our minds age
backward, turning us into children again, asking:

What should we do? What happens next? Our dead
mothers call from porch steps—dinner’s ready, come

eat these decades while they’re still fresh! And then—
pop—we’re our old selves again, we head to our houses,

him to toss the bird into his garbage bin, then maybe do the dishes,
me to get dinner started, to stand before the open fridge

and wonder what it is I am hungry for
listening to the hum of its engine.

Favorite lines right now: we hang,/ my neighbor and I, suspended in June’s sewer breath,/ and Our dead/mothers call from porch steps

This poem was published in the journal, BOOTH. I looked at their submission policy and found these scary statistics:

  • Our acceptance rate is typically around 1% or lower.
  • From September to March, we typically receive around 3,500 submissions, or between 15-20 per day.

Wow. I imagine this is pretty typical for most journals. I’m glad I don’t write poetry to get published.