nov 3/RUN

3.1 miles
2 trails
41 degrees

A little warmer today. Another beautiful run. What a view! Clear and through the trees to the river and the other side. I love November and its blues, grays, browns, and golds from a few trees still holding onto their leaves. I felt relaxed and strong — lungs and legs.

Listened to rustling leaves, striking feet, dripping ravines for the first 2 miles of the run. Put in Taylor Swift’s new version of 1989 for the last mile.

10 Things

  1. a single leaf floating through the air, then down to the ground — was it brown or gold or green?
  2. the steady dripping of water out of the sewer pipe
  3. the smell of something burnt — toast? coffee? — but from a house or the gorge and not longfellow grill
  4. a runner in a bright yellow shirt, running across the road, then through the grass below edmund, then onto the dirt trail in front of me
  5. the steps down to the winchell trail are closed, with a chain across the railings, but I went around on the dirt path
  6. the winchell trails was covered in yellow leaves
  7. the roar of a chainsaw from across the gorge
  8. kids’ voices from the playground at Minnehaha Academy
  9. a biker on the walking trail where it dips below the road and hangs above the floodplain forest
  10. a bright headlight from a bike, glowing in the grayish gloom

Found this wonderful little poem the other day:

Injury Room / Katie Ford

Through my
little window, I
see one day
the entire bird,
the next just
a leeward wing,
the next
only a painful
call, which, without
the body, makes
beautiful attachments
by even
attaching at

This poem reminds me of my own experiments in trying to determine how little information (especially visual data) I need in order to recognize or identify or be aware of the presence of some thing.

Poetry is not a Project

Two days ago, at the end of my entry, I posted about a pamphlet I was reading, Poetry is not a Project. I offered some notes from the first section, Habitus, and promised to do the rest in later entries. Here’s the rest. Instead of a lot of notes, I decided to condense it into a key passage from each section.

Poetry is Not a Project / Dorothy Lasky


Poems are living things that grow from the earth into the brain, rather than things that are planted within the earth by the brain.

This discussion of dirt/the ground reminds me of Mary Ruefle’s Observations on the Ground and April, 2022, when I spent the month studying dirt.

An Example

To write a poem is to be a maker. And to be a maker is to be down in the muck of making and not always to fly so high above the muck.

This passage reminded me of an essay I posted about in September and finally read yesterday: En Plein Air Poetics: Notes Towards Writing in the Anthropocene / Brian Teare

What is Really Not Intentions, but Life

The road through a poem is a series of lines, like a constellation, all interconnected. Poems take place in the realm of chance, where the self and the universal combine, where life exists.

On the same site, Ugly Duckling Press, where I found Lasky’s pamphlet, I also found this chapbook, Almost Perfect Forms, in which the author creates the constellations out of ands and ors found in Dreams and Stones by Magdalena Tulli.

How We Write and What We Write For

Because poets make language and make language beautiful. Because beautiful language makes a new and beautiful world. Because poets live and make a new world, which beautiful language itself creates.