Gingerly

Hello, mister. Hello, miss. Hello, sister. Hello, sis. Hello, helicopter. Hello, cat. Hello, canary. Hello, bat. Hello, mama. Hello, broom. Hello, waterslide. Hello, tomb. Hello, happiness. Hello, shock. Hello, Saturn ring. Hello, shoe. Hello, Saturday. Hello, dad. Hello, Fahrenheit. Hello, bad piece of fruit. Hello, peach pie. Hello, unicorn bunny. Hello, cow. Hello, glass of milk. Hello, wary dog. Hello, sweetness. Hello, powder puff. Hello, charm bracelet. Hello, sky. Hello, savory herbs. Hello, rosemary. Hello, reasoning. Hello, insatiable void. Hello, breakfast. Hello, rainstorm. Hello, umbrella. Hello, chunk of granite. Hello, star. Hello, airplane. Hello, leaves in the wind. Hello, uncle. Hello, old pair of socks. Hello, challenge. Hello, abstract thought. Hello, language. Hello, noise. Hello, raspberry. Hello, saliva. Hello, sanctuary. Hello, screen. Hello, bullet. Hello, subject. Hello, investigation. Hello, fatigue. Hello, symptom. Hello, flood. Hello, rubber band. Hello, vein of ore. Hello, explosion. Hello, friend.

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ANNOUNCE  ::  I’m pleased as Pantagruel to have pieces in not one but two recent online journals. Full of Crow is featuring my short story “The Svelte Stilletos of a Frozen Stillicide” in their Winter 2017 Fiction issue (yay). And Pedestrian Press has chosen my poem that’s in the recent Oakland Review #4 (their pub, of course) for their Poem of the Week page on their website (yay). (It’ll be up for more than a week, but click on through to check it out soon.) Full deets on the Anthologies & Journals page. As a final note, I assume y’all know never to say, “I’m pleased as Punch,” which refers not to the pleasant if oversweet drink, but to Punch, the popular icon of British puppetry infamous for gleefully beating his wife (and pretty much everyone who comes along).

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Tired of starting new again and again, I find a familiar rock and perch. Is this age or sanity? No. Time to look through trees into the sheer pulse of breeze, of the carotid gushing blood to brain. So intimate that gush, seafoam forming sense and wit and math. The building of the next city. The phantasy of I. The skittering of light across the mind, no not your mind or mine but all mind planing its way through space and time, through gushing blood, through trees. So here I sit, on a rock in trees, riding the mind again because I don’t want to tell it where to go, because it can smell the rain around the corner, because a new world is hard to catch, slips through fingers, slips through rocks, finds its way in rivulets and chime, rolls clouds through atmosphere and darts into space, sneaking past galaxies and into your eyes, your breath, your full clean field.

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UPDATE  ::  For those unfamiliar, my dad passed on January 16, and you’ll find my last month’s page dedicated to him. A family death is always tough, and at this point, after a month and a half of breathing, everyone is doing fairly well, moving forward, or at least moving. After the initial blow I spent several very quiet weeks, mostly at home, introspective, not working much, organizing or sitting. The last couple weeks of February I cried very easily, over tiny things, old songs, you know. But that seems to be passing. I’m writing again. The bf Victor continues to be awesome. Getting my business back up and running (really need to). Enjoying the start of spring. Cleaning and listening to music. And the lavender in the kitchen window has more than twenty-five blooms. Thank you.

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Is every landlord evil? Is every Capitalist insane? Do we need to eat cupcakes with Karl Marx in order to even discuss this? Let’s pretend there’s a giant duck in the room, and talk about it until everybody believes it’s there. Why? So that they’ll give us their cupcakes. It’ll be fun. It’ll be just between us. Let’s pretend there’s a room. Let’s pretend there’s a table. Let’s pretend there are cupcakes. Let’s pretend there’s a giant syndicalist system that works for everybody, in which no one ever becomes corrupt. Let’s pretend there’s free trade. Let’s pretend there’s truth. Let’s pretend prosperity comes to those who work. Let’s pretend everyone has an equal chance. Let’s pretend you have an equal chance. Let’s pretend there’s you.

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REFLECT  ::  On the day of the International Women’s March in January, I was in Cape May, New Jersey, greeting incoming visitors and relatives and preparing for my father’s viewing and service the following morning. When I sat down that evening to read about the event, and saw the numbers of people who’d marched in various cities and globally, I cried. I rarely cry when people die (did for Dad, though this wasn’t part of that), but I often cry when people come together for a cause. It doesn’t always matter how big or small. I cry every time I see the barn-raising scene in Witness, Harrison Ford’s 80’s Amish thriller. I cried through most of Selma. I cried to see the Occupy movement, socially so necessary however problematic it became and however disappointed I was to see so many of its participants supporting the ultra right-wing tobacco industry. Funny enough, the act of coming together is one of the main reasons that we now have Drumph in the White Nationalist House – because we also have a large, scared, exhausted middle class who are afraid of losing what little they have. It’s almost shocking how much Plato foresaw in his Republic. The difference between the outcome of the recent election and the ensuing protests seem to be mainly one of motive. The voters who unexpectedly came together did so greatly out of fear, and when people come together in fear, they are mainly self-focused, concerned with saving their own skins. Whereas when people come together from a sense of social justice, and sure there might be fear and outrage in that engine, they are doing so for a broader good, they are doing so for the benefit of all people and not just themselves or the small social subset they wish to support. And yes, I know I’m being horribly reductionist here, all right, but all this just to say:  Come together, yes, come together right now and keep coming together, just please don’t let fear be your driving force. Don’t let that snake loose in your brain. Don’t let fear rule you, which is hard to do sometimes, believe me I know, especially in days like these. And if you find it trying to do so, at the very least tell it, Hey, wait over there a while. I’m busy right now.

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Gingerly we set the bone. Gingerly we make our way home. Gingerly we make the bed. Gingerly we walk again. Gingerly we come into life, though some are yanked or torn, the world is not always so delicate. Some are thrust into a silent place. Some are tossed into a field full of children maddened and trained to hit. Some are torn apart by wolves or bullets. Gingerly we step, to find the most effective stance, to sense the manner of the day, to keep stepping. Gingerly we say hello. Or blast brash – which is best? Do we follow our nature? Do we slide? Do we let the world tell us how to greet, to step, to trample, or do we tell it to fuck off and sing whatever song we want? Part of the world informs us either way, some part of the world forms us, and only gingerly can we choose which. Be brash, be delicate, be smart, be beautiful, be quiet, be quick, be querulous, be what you choose, and be, and be, but if you do choose, if you choose to choose, choose gingerly, and gingerly the world may choose you.

Good March to You,
Richard

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