may 22/RUN

4.2 miles
minnehaha falls and back
57 degrees
wind: 14 mph / gusts: 31 mph

New shoes! The Brooks Ghost, black. I’ve been wearing Saucony shoes for 13 years, but after 3 disappointing pairs, it’s time to move on. I like the Ghost — the name and the feel of them. Even so, this run was hard. I feel drained, like I hit a wall. By the end, it felt harder lifting my left leg.

Listened to the wind and the cars and rushing falls for the first half. Put in “Billie Eilish” Essentials for the second half. At the very end of the run, listening to “Chihiro” off of her album that dropped last Friday, I noticed her rhyming:

[verse] I was waitin’ in the garden
Contemplatin’, beg your pardon
But there’s a part of me that recognizes you
Do you feel it too?

[chorus] Open up the door, can you open up the door?
I know you said before you can’t cope with any more
You told me it was war, said you’d show me what’s in store
I hope it’s not for sure, can you open up the door?

Often, I don’t like a lot of rhyming. It can feel forced. But not here, especially with the interesting music underneath and Eilish’s voice. Still, I noticed the rhymes in a way that took me out of the song a little. But not as much as the overdone, forced rhymes in Taylor Swift’s “Peter,” also from her latest album:

Forgive me Peter
My lost fearless leader
In closets like cedar
Preserved from when we were just kids
Is it something I did
The goddess of timing
Once found us beguiling
She said she was trying
Peter was she lying
My ribs get the feeling she did
And I didn’t want to come down
I thought it was just goodbye for now

In closets like cedar? Ugh. I like Taylor Swift, and I like her new album, but I don’t like this song (which means I probably will after giving it more of a chance) and I think Billie Eilish’s music is more exciting and interesting and rich in complexity and complicated emotions.

10 Things

  1. burning silver sliver of river noticed through a gap in the green
  2. no puddles, but stretches of deep brown mud on the path
  3. repaired split rail fence — such a contrast between the weathered wood and the pale new boards — how long will it take for these boards to blend in?
  4. a glance to my left into the savanna: thick green
  5. lime green scooters everywhere — none on the path but parked on the side, down in the ditches
  6. little robins hopping on the grass
  7. 2 kids biking on the walking side of the double bridge
  8. at my favorite view of the falls: I used to be able to see the little bridge below and part of the trail, now it’s all green with only the white foam of the falls cuting through
  9. I was wrong in #2, there was one big puddle near the locks and dam no 1 parking lot
  10. no bugs . . . yet

currently reading in support of shadows: Casting Deep Shade/ C.D. Wright

shade: shelter from direct light; the cooling effect and darkness that that shelter causes; darkening (with a pencil); when black had been added to a hue to make it darker (as opposed to tint, when white was added to make the hue lighter), and:

Reading came first. Reading is the real art form of insult. You get in a smart crack and everyone laughs and kikis because you found a flaw and exaggerated it then you got a good read going. When you are all of the same thing then you have to go to the fine point. In other words if I’m a black queer and you’re a black queer we can’t call each other black queers because we’re both black queers. That’s not a read, that’s just a fact. So then we talk about your ridiculous shape your saggy face your tacky clothes. Then reading became a developed form where it became shade. Shade is, I don’t tell you you’re ugly. I don’t have to tell you because you know you’re ugly. And that’s shade.

Dorien Corey/ Paris is Burning

I remember teaching Paris is Burning in my Intro to Women’s Studies and Feminist Theory courses, when we talked about gender performativity and Judith Butler. That’s when I first learned about shade, I think: 2001. Anyway, this last version of shade seems to loosely (?) fit with C.D. Wright’s title, at least as one reviewer for the New York Times Book Review reads it:

C.D. Wright, renowned poet and essayist, completed ”Casting Deep Shade” just before her sudden death in January of 2016. This posthumous book might have been read strictly as elegy, yet Wright, as if presciently marking a trail through the woods for future readers, came up with a sly signpost of a title as ”pre-amble” to her work, briskly excluding melancholy even while taking stock of crimes against nature. The title is a trick or a kind of riddle. The gerund points to a ”Macbeth”-like conspiracy of tree and human, each ”throwing shade.” Here, for example, is Wright on privacy in an all-witnessing age: ”For the moment, I can locate you, whosoever you are, or re-imagine you in a keystroke. I can see the tree that cast your lawn in deep shade when you were wearing a linen dress, a string of seed pearls, and no underpants.” You get her drift?

Roots / Carole Muske-Dukes (referenced here)

Here’s another definition of “throwing shade” from Merriam-Webster:

to express contempt or disrespect for someone publicly especially by subtle or indirect insults or criticisms

“throwing shade” / Merriam- Webster

I can’t quite express it yet, but there’s something about throwing shade that involves connection and accountability and being implicated in something. It’s more than “expressing contempt or disrespect for someone publicly”. It’s rooted (rooted!) in communities, and the shade is being thrown by people who are deeply connected to each other.

Speaking of implication, can I fit this paragraph for another reviewer in here?

One of the gifts of her imagination is the insight of implication. In a passage where she acknowledges she had not been able yet to read Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction, Wright notes “I sit here eating ‘carefully watched over’ cashews grown in India, from one of the 102 billion plastic bags used annually in the US, wearing a linen shirt (albeit secondhand) made in China, jeans fabrique en Haiti, Delta Blues Museum T-shirt made in Honduras . . . a walking, talking profligate.” If she was, as we all are, profligate, she was also prophet. She spoke to and for trees, and the creatures that owe their well being to arboreal health. She refers to “my standing brothers and sisters, the hardwoods.” Her work documents “the buds of tree consciousness.” Like so much of her language, that phrase operates in multiple planes, conjuring both human awareness of trees, and the fact that trees themselves are conscious, as well as the concrete responsibility of a poet: to cast an image, as a tree casts shade through its limbs and buds. Though any book written about trees in our modern era will necessarily be rife with dire predictions and realities, Casting Deep Shade is hardly dour. Subtitled “An Amble Inscribed to Beech Trees & Co.,” it has the charm and healing properties of a walk in the woods.

Some Trees

Fun with Acrostics: Bring Ya Ass

The Timberwolves have made it to the third round of the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. People here are excited. During an interview with Timberwolves star, Anthony Edwards, Charles Barkley said, “I have not been to Minneapois in 20 years.” To which Ant replied: Bring Ya Ass. Bring Ya Ass is now a meme and state officials and organizations are into it. Today, Governor Walz issued a proclamation that has fun with acrostics — the first letter of each Whereas paragraph spells out, Bring Ya Ass: