A quick run just after noon. Warmer than I realized, harder to move my legs too. Ran past 7 Oaks to the dirt path next to Edmund, past Minnehaha Academy, around Cooper school then back home. Construction trucks everywhere. They’re still working on the sewers, busting up the pavement, digging deep hole. Started in late May. Can’t wait until they’re done!
Today, instead of listening to the gorge or the neighborhood birds, I put in Olivia Rodrigo’s new album, GUTS. I like it. At the end of the run, “Making the Bed” came on. I liked how the whole song was about her regrets and taking responsibility for them and that she referenced the idiom you made your bed, now you must lie in it without ever explicitly singing those words, instead only singing, Me whose been making the bed. I’d like to play around with some idioms in a poem, experimenting with how to point to them without ever using them. I’d also love to find some examples from other poets.
Even as I listened to GUTS, I couldn’t block out all of the construction noise. So many construction things forcing me to notice them!
10 Construction Things
- the flash of bright yellow vests and hard hats
- a low constant rumble a few blocks away
- the loud roar of the big wheels of a dump truck rushing by
- the only slightly quieter roar of the smaller wheels of a bobcat following behind
- beep beep beep a truck backing up
- loose gravel and sand piled up to cover the pipes spread across the street, crunching under car wheels
- orange construction cones
- temporary stop signs
- big, city buses taking alternative routes on too narrow streets
- dusty, smoky clouds low in the air, breathed in through lungs
Yesterday I mentioned my discovery of some wonderful poems by Luisa A. Igloria. Here’s another. Wow!
Hog Island/ Luisa A. Igloria
The sun dips beneath a horizon of barrier
islands, marshes filled with traces
of the winged and wild-footed.
Skimmers in spring, migrants
wheeling toward the salt of other seasons.
On one side, the water; on the other,
the land—acres that yielded corn, tobacco,
barley, cotton. And where
are the quail that loved
fields of castor bean, that thrashed
in the wake of rifle fire? This
time of year, everything in the landscape tints
to the color of bronze and rust, registry pages
inked in sepia with names and weights;
the worth of indentured bodies. Palimpsest
means the canvas we see
floats on a geology of other layers—
sedimenting until the sea works loose
what it petrifies in salts and lye, what it
preserves for an afterhistory with no guarantee.
added a few hours later: Catching up on old New Yorker issues, I read this delightfully gross and somewhat horrifying opening paragraph from a section in talk of the town titled, “In the Water A Staten Island Lap”:
A swimmer freestyling through a shipping lane is a bit like a snail crossing the freeway. The situation is just as glamorous, and there tend to be few spectators. But when Leslie Hamilton, a thirty-one-year-old accountant swan a record-breaking clockwise lap around Staten Island last month, the biggest challenge wasn’t dodging garbage barges or intractable tankers with staunch, Soviet names like Salacgriva and Yasa Madur. It was lice. And she was saved by her bikini.
Sea lice. And her skin was crawling with them the entire time. The lice, which come from thimble jellyfish, lay tiny stinging cells on swimming suits. So Hamilton switched out her one piece for a bikini bottom and swam topless through the night. Wow.
Why did she do this? Here’s one reason she gave, as paraphrased by Daniel Shailer: Being uncomfortable makes everyday comforts exceptional.