may 11/RUN

5.25 miles
ford loop
60 degrees

Shorts, tank top, sun! Only one rower on the river. Under the bridge the water was sparkling — was it because of the sandbar? There was some sort of informal running event — no signs, but a stream of people, adults and kids, running and people on the edge of the trail cheering.

I ran on the soft dirt trail beside the pave path a lot. Gritty and fun to slide on — not slide as in slip but as in glide.

Encountered other runners, walkers, one rollerblader who kindly said, on your left, as he passed me. I could hear the metallic clunking of his wheels before and after he passed.

Birds, of course. The run began with the haunting coo of a mourning dove. I don’t hear mourning doves that often. I didn’t know, or if I did I forgot, that they are also called turtle doves. Also heard some black-capped chickadees. At the end of the run as I walked back home through the neighborhood, I heard a little kid call out, bird!, and the adult with him say, sparrow.

Lots of shadows: tree trunks, leaves, fence railings, birds, me, beside rocks, under benches. My favorite shadow was mine — running close to the railing, overlooking the gorge and the river on the east bank, my shadow was way down in the trees, near the water. I kept moving closer to the railing, trying to get my shadow in the water. I never got close enough for her to swim.

Another memorable shadow: the sidewalk was almost all gray shade, with just a little light, where the leaves hadn’t filled in it. I imagined doing an erasure poem that mimicked this form. Most of the text shaded out with just a few words sprinkled around — dappled? I want to try it! Speaking of dappled, the other day I was describing all of the shadows in my plague notebook (vol 20!). I noticed the speckled light under the crabapple tree and wrote: crabapple dapple. Told Scott about it and he responded, ugh!

Almost 4 miles in, on the ford bridge, I stopped to put in my “I’m Shadowing You” playlist. Put it on shuffle: “The Shadow Knows,” “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “We Will Become Silhouettes,” and then a song I haven’t heard yet while running: “Shadows and Light”/ Joni Mitchell. I’ll have to think about her lyrics some more.

Here’s a poem that mentions shadow, and is about questions! Last year, I listened to a wonderful podcast with Alabi: Kemi Alabi vs. Divinity. It’s not available right now; is it because the hosts are protesting Poetry Foundation’s refusal to make a statement against the genocide in Palestine?

44 Questions to Ask While Bingeing/ Kemi Alabi

After Benji Hart

  1. How many hands have touched this food?
  2. What were their intentions?
  3. How vast is the range?
  4. What makes them hands at all?
  5. How many seeds survived their birth for this?
  6. Did you count yourself?
  7. From sprout to pluck, how many breaths old was the oldest?
  8. What’s become of its homeland?
  9. How many breaths will it add to yours?
  10. Or is this a thing that takes?
  11. Which things were born dead for this?
  12. Did you count yourself?
  13. Which born free?
  14. Which born food?
  15. Is there a state in-between?
  16. How old was the well of that answer?
  17. If governments and their signed scrolls are Plato’s cave wall shadows, where is the real sun?
  18. What’s become of its homeland?
  19. How many generations removed from the land are you?
  20. What floor takes its place?
  21. What is it built on top of?
  22. Are the people who tended that place still alive?
  23. Are there any living descendants?
  24. Is their language still spoken on earth?
  25. If you heard it, would your feet twitch?
  26. Or does dead mean gone?
  27. How many gone things in your place?
  28. Did you count yourself?
  29. What does your body and the day it makes cost?
  30. What is its price, in gone things?
  31. Is this sustainable? Better—regenerative?
  32. Or will this make you the most gone thing alive?
  33. Is god or the human the cave wall shadow?
  34. Who says the shadow is nothing at all?
  35. Are you still eating?
  36. Who?
  37. What for?
  38. What have you grown in its place?
  39. How much is enough?
  40. Is enough a place or a count?
  41. Is there a state in-between?
  42. Or does enough mean gone?
  43. Did you enough yourself?
  44. In the language of the oldest gone thing, how do you say devour?

Who says the shadow is nothing at all?
Did you enough yourself?

So good!