jan 15/RUN

run 1: 2.5 miles
river road, south/north
21 degrees
50% snow-covered

Such a beautiful morning for a run! Not too cold or too windy. A few flurries in the air. I’m planning to go to stadium running tonight with Scott, but I couldn’t resist getting out by the gorge this morning. It’s supposed to be ridiculously cold tomorrow morning and then lots of snow on Friday. I need to enjoy the clear path while I can. Running south today, I was able to admire the oak savanna from above. Don’t remember the trees, just the bare white stretching out. Oh–and the sound of a kid laughing and an empty stroller parked at the top of the trail that leads down into the savanna. Looked down at the river and noticed the variation in color–a pale blue then brown. Realized the blue was a thin layer of ice, the brown open water. Is that right? I’m pretty sure, but I debated it for a minute in my head. I was too far away and moving too fast to be sure. Admired the beautiful curve of the retaining wall above the ravine near the 44th street parking lot. Thought about trying out a bit of the Winchell Trail but wimped out. Too much snow. Heard groups of kids out on the playgrounds of the 2 schools I passed, out for recess.

run 2: 3.25 miles
us bank stadium

Ran at the stadium with Scott. Again, not together, but at the same time and in the same place. Encountered a wonderful human in the elevator on the way upstairs. Long white hair, a ice skating/ roller skating skirt, cool rollerblades, a mustache maybe? Scott said he’s seen them roller blading by the river a lot in green tights. Not sure if I have. They got off the elevator before us, planning to roller blade instead of run. My younger self would have loved to roller blade (or roller skate) there. In 4th grade, way back in 1984, I was the roller skating queen of Salem, VA (at least in my own head). Went to the rink as many Saturdays as I could.

They were playing much better music today–“rock and roll ain’t noise pollution” RUSH, the Police–but I still ran with my headphones. Made sure to look down at the field, which was being prepared for an upcoming monster truck rally, and out the window at downtown. Realized why I hadn’t looked out these windows on Monday. It’s at the narrowest part of the route and I was too busy paying attention to not running into carts or other runners.

Not sure what the floor of the concourse is made of–concrete?–but it’s harder on the legs. The first mile felt awkward as I tried to adjust to the increased pounding my calves were experiencing.

Yesterday, I was skimming through Theodore Roethke’s book on poetry and craft and found these:

To day there’s no time for the
mistakes of a long and slow
development: dazzle or die.

Dazzle or die.

Are there dangers? Of course.
There are dangers every time I
open my mouth, hence at
times when I keep it shut, I try
to teach by grunts, sights,
shrugs.

jan 13/RUN

3.3 miles
U.S. Bank Stadium

Did another stadium run with Scott. We didn’t run together, but ran at the same time, in the same place. There weren’t too many people there. Mostly groups of runners. What do I remember? At the start, it felt awkward, like my legs weren’t moving quite right. Slowly it got better. There is a beautiful view of downtown Minneapolis from all of the big windows. Pretty sure I didn’t look at it even once. Also didn’t look down at the field while I was running. Didn’t really look at anything. I do remember feeling strange and dreamy, running around an almost empty stadium. And like I was running a bit too fast around mile 2. Following (20ft behind) a woman in gray who was running slightly faster than me. Passing another woman in gray multiple times who was running way slower than me.

This weekend I got some great recommendations from twitter about vision loss, including Eye Trouble by Alice Mattison. She has macular dystrophy, while I have cone dystrophy. I appreciate how she writes concretely about her specific vision quirks and her feelings around them. I’d like to do this too.

Also, randomly on twitter:

A tweet about the relationship between wonder and urgency in socially conscious art. Does it have too much wonder, no urgency, no bite? Does it have too much urgency and no wonder?

And a recommendation for a podcast about noise called Field Noise: “Field Noise is a show about the role of sound in our everyday lives. It’s a show about people who make sounds and people who listen to them. It’s a show about music and noise and silence and the politics of those categories. It’s a show about how disability, gender, race, and class are central to what we think about as “technology.” And it’s a show that is very much still finding its voice.”

I love twitter for recommendations on essays, poems, documentaries. I dislike it for almost everything else–well, I also like the random threads when people share stories about their childhood. 10 years ago, I taught students how to use twitter and wrote/taught about its ethical possibilities. Now, I mostly think it’s broken and confusing. Why is it no longer in real time? Why does responding to a thread seem so difficult? Why is it the word count gone? And, of course, why is Trump not banned yet?

jan 8/ RUN

3.75 miles
us bank stadium

Ran with Scott downtown at the stadium. Listened to my playlist because the music they play there is annoying. What do I remember from the run? It felt effortless, like I was flying for the first few laps. Got a little harder towards the end. Lots of runners and walkers. Some person working there who kept adjusting the posts they had up to separate the lanes. Dim lights, difficult to see. Successfully did not run into anyone. No interesting thoughts or encounters.

Really appreciate this discussion of metaphors and the political from Heather Christle’s discussion of her writing/revising process on Guernica’s Back Draft.

on metaphors and the political

Heather Christle: It’s dangerous. It can be fantastic to see the illumination of one thing in another, but it can be misleading as well. There are times when the metaphors that I’m thinking about aren’t coming from a strangeness but are coming from systems that take strict limits to the imagination. They might present themselves as acts of imagination, but they’re strict and limited. I’m trying to learn to see them for what they are. Writing this crying book has taught me, again, the joy of the connection between things, but also the danger of always seeing one thing in terms of another.

Guernica: It sounds like your answer is gesturing toward the political.

Heather Christle: Well, I think that metaphor and politics are deeply intertwined, and I think that the most dangerous metaphors are the ones that are invisible for us—the ones that people do constant political work to make visible. And I think that part of the work that I’ve been trying to do recently is to see where the imaginative life and the political life intersect, and how they might provide a way for us to live other than as we are.

august 11/RUN

1.3 miles
longfellow neighborhood

Still keeping my filling all 3 rings streak going. Now at 76 (or is it 77?) days. Went out for a quick run with Scott to earn the last 11 exercise minutes. I rarely ever run this late in the day (6:30 pm). It’s later in the summer so the light isn’t lingering as long in the evening. Soft, beautiful.

Encountered this poem in a book about line breaks, discussing the effect of breaking the line “they taste good to her” in 3 different ways.

To a Poor Old Woman
William Carlos Williams – 1883-1963

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

Comforted
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

june 20/RUN

1.7 miles
mississippi river road, north/33rd/Edmond/35th
65 degrees
humidity: 84%

Was supposed to have open swim today but it rained and there was a threat of more severe weather so it was cancelled. Big bummer. Decided to do a quick run instead. Listened to my playlist and had fun running faster–or at least feeling like I was running faster. It was darker in the tunnel of trees below the road and dripping with the soft, steady drizzle that had just stopped. Can’t remember if I saw anyone else while I was running. I think I did, or am I remembering another run? I know for sure that I got bit by a few mosquitoes. It’s that buggy time of year.

Speaking of mosquitoes, here are two poems I found on the subject:

[mosquito at my ear]
BY KOBAYASHI ISSA
TRANSLATED BY ROBERT HASS

Mosquito at my ear—
does he think
I’m deaf?

Mosquito
Myronn Hardy

She visits me when the lights are out,
when the sun is loving another
part of the world.

She passes through the net I sleep under like
a cloud its holes are easily navigable.

Her buzzing tells me that
she doesn’t want my legs arms cheeks
or chest.

No.

She craves adventure wanting to travel through
the dark canal the spiraling cave
where earthquakes are wind.

Her prize is in sight the gelatinous mass controlling this machine.
How beautiful she thinks it is her needle mouth
filling with water.

Her children will know physics geometry will understand
English Spanish perhaps Portuguese. They will be
haunted their whole lives by trees guns
and a boom that won’t cease.

She cries before drinking the fluid is
salty-sweet. Oh if my mother had
done this for me I would have lived.

may 24/RUN

3.1 miles
downtown loop
71 degrees

Writing this log entry several days later so I’m not sure I remember much. Warm. With my lingering cold, it was hard to breathe. Ran with Scott up the river road, over the plymouth bridge, through boom island park–the paved path, recently restored wooden bridge, the dirt trail–on nicollet island. Took a walk break under the third avenue bridge in st. anthony main, started running again through father hennepin park and ended on stone arch bridge. Lots of people, mostly walkers. A few runners and bikers. At least one rollerblader. Everything was green and looked like spring. No bugs yet. The thing I remember most is: running over the plymouth bridge. The railing was just at the right height to be constantly in my peripheral vision. It was a bit disorienting as my right eye noticed each pole (or slat or whatever you want to call it) as it flew by.

april 29/RUN

3.2 miles
mississippi river road path, north/south
56 degrees

An early evening run (or late afternoon, depending on when you think the afternoon ends and the evening begins). Really helped my mood and energy level. Wonderful to get some fresh air and move around. I’ve always been restless, needing to move, starting to pace if I stayed in the same spot too long, but now my body is revolting even more. Sitting in a chair for an hour or more, I get stiff and sore and my kneecap shifts slightly out of place. Boo. An aging body is no fun….Ran without headphones. Didn’t hear much, even though the river road was busy. Lots of cars commuting home. Runners, bikers, dogs and their humans. I felt overdressed in shorts and a jacket, but many walkers were wearing winter coats–one lady had on ear muffs. Ear muffs?! It was 56 degrees. By the end of my run, I had unzipped my jacket and had stripped down to a tank top. I noticed a lot of green, but not much of the river. Saw a bunch of people heading down to the road to the rowing club. A rowing class? I’ve been thinking that that might be fun to do. When I reached the turn around point at the greenway, I heard some loud bellowing just below the railroad trestle. What was going on? I didn’t stick around to find out.

What a poem:

Anti-Elegy/cameron awkward-rich

She was:

33, bullet.
35, bullet.
20, bullet.
25, stabbed to death & run over by a car.
66 blade.
22 bullet.
17 fist.
36 blade.
blade.
blade.
bullet.
bullet.
bullet
stone
found dead in a field
overdose
bullet
unknown
rope
stone
stone
bullet
oncoming traffic
his own good hands…

& it becomes a kind of music, doesn’t it?
Senseless litany, field of roses, blood red
upturned skirts. I open my mouth & here,
the pith of me. Here, a flock of names, a girl
spilling out onto the street.

The trouble with elegy
is that it asks the dead

to live, it calls them back.
& who am I to say rise?

Walk again among those
who could not bear

the sight of you? Your body.
Your one good dress.

Today, someone will walk into the night
& then become it. Someone’s heart

will crowd with beloved ghosts
& who am I to say, dance

with me here a little longer? Never mind
the bloodshed darling, never mind.

Never mind.

Once, a man said mine
& a woman became an empty room.

Once, a man said mine
& the ocean split & the endless passage.

Once, a man said mine
& there’s a genocide –

how strange. To make the world
with language. To wield desire

as a weapon. To watch one nation burn
& another rise up at your feet.

Once, a girl looked in the mirror
& called herself, said my name is

said I am / I am & a man said
mine / mine / mine

I have so many questions:

Who are

What does

Why

How does it feel to

I’m sorry, I just think

I

And, define

I’m sorry

Your anger

You’re afraid of

Can fear be

Define

knife

Define

Fear is

Please

Forgive

me

Wow. This whole poem, and especially these lines: the trouble with elegy/is that it asks the dead/to live, it calls them back./who am I to say rise?

jan 16/RUN

4 miles
us bank stadium

Ran again with Scott indoors. It was great. Did an abbreviated version of my warm-up before we started, which helped, I think. Usually they play bad pop music very loudly. Today, it was quieter and they had turned it off in certain sections of the loop, which was nice. We could clearly hear our feet striking the concrete. In unison. What do I remember from the run? The bright orange shoes one runner was wearing. The loping gait of another. Three runners: 2 burly, loud guys and 1 very petite, quiet woman, running effortlessly on her toes. Two women running in matching bright pink shorts. A young kid running with their mom. Voices far behind us, some attached to runners slowly creeping up on us, some to runners who were staying far back but were just loud.

jan 9/RUN

3 miles
us bank stadium

Ran inside at the stadium with Scott. On the drive there, I noticed how big the franklin bridge looked from below, near the flats. The bright blue lights under the 94 bridge. The buildings downtown silhouetted in the twilight. The harsh white, stark, and sharp letters of the Gold Medal Park sign. Walking to the stadium, I saw a sliver of moon in the middle of the sky, framed by the window in the skyway. Then running, I heard a strange song lyric playing on the radio station at the stadium: “coming up daisies” instead of roses–were they talking about death? A loud crash as feet stepped on the metal threshold on the floor. Voices behind me approaching–or were they just hovering?