nov 14/RUN

3 miles
under ford bridge and back
55 degrees
wind: 20mph

Almost too warm and definitely too windy. The wind doesn’t bother me like it used to, but this wind was tough. I ran straight into it heading south. One nice thing: it pushed me along in the second half. I wore shorts and by the end of my run I had taken off my sweatshirt and pushed up my short sleeves. Bare legs and bare arms in the middle of November. Strange and disorienting.

10 Wind Things

  1. leaf shards in my eyes
  2. holding onto my hat so it wouldn’t blow away
  3. being pushed to the edge of the trail
  4. a roar in my ears
  5. swirling leaves above me, below me, to the side of me
  6. squaring my shoulders, leaning in as the wind pushed me back
  7. a sudden gust from the side
  8. knocking my ankles together
  9. shaking, swaying trees
  10. more sizzle than howl

I didn’t hear any geese or notice what the wind was doing to the river. I might have seen my shadow; I almost remember. Encountered some other runners, bikers, and a roller skier.

I listened to the wind until I reached the ford bridge, then I stopped and put in an old playlist: “Landslide,” “Cheap Thrills,” “Sorry,” and “Love is a Battlefield.”

I came across Wendy Xu’s “Absolute Variations” today and I wanted to make note of the first few lines. What a way to start a poem!

The first time I read a line by John Ashbery
was in a little café in Massachusetts, from left to right
There it was written across my friend’s collarbone
It felt right to be there with someone
who would show me something like that
when we had never met before

I appreciate how she never explicitly names the Ashbery lines. I suppose if you know a lot of Ashbery’s poems, it’s obvious, but I don’t, so it isn’t to me. But that’s okay; it could be fun trying to find them, and it’s not necessary to know them to enjoy the poem. I think her refusal to be explicit here is an example of trusting the reader to figure it out. I like that.