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Day 680 May 13, 2022

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Precognition In case I want to remember, today was the first 80 degree day of the year. I pulled a pair of shorts out of the plastic bin that serves as the dual purpose of Junebug’s throne and storage for swimming trunks, low cut socks, reserve t-shirts, short sleeve button down shirts, and shorts. I did wear biking shorts on the ride home yesterday, so it is not my first bare legged day, but even so, it felt languid and sleepy and I spent more time resting than I meant to before doing a little work. Campus was closed for graduation so I got to watch the chickens through the bedroom window, do a load of laundry, iron, and eat a casual breakfast. On social media, you can see the memories of men and it is strange. Photographs from before someone died. The ritual a dog once brought to someone’s life. I am cautious about my own. Fearful of who might appear, or the extended story of a day that did not end well, or a day that ended so well that it fills the sky with yearning. It is early in

Day 679 May 12, 2022

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Things I Have Lost A boom box circa 1985 at a party outside by Cat Rock. A yellow Schwinn that was returned to me broken. A nickname that was smoking related. A nickname that was temperament related. A nickname that never really fit. My first nice guitar. A leather jacket with an ink stain on one breast. A first love because all I would do is hug. A car with 300,000 miles and no passenger seat. A second childhood. My mother’s tongue. All the lines of poetry I memorized. A freestyle wrestling tournament. A white jazz bass. The key to the roof carrier. The leather bound Shakespeare plays. Ms. Busse’s Faulkner novels. The ability to drink more than one glass of alcohol. The words to most Grateful Dead songs. Several lovers, a spouse. Two dogs in particular. A fantastic house. Most of my old band t-shirts. A skateboard. Countless kites strung up in trees, or flung into the horizon. Four dreams, each more and more ephemeral and nearly forgotten with each waking day. A chicken that vanished

Day 678 May 11, 2022

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Counting the Days I pass the time  by counting how many ponds  I pass in my days.  The black birds  with red shoulders  flit along the already tall reeds.  I am speckled with bugs.  I am a bug eater.  There is a dead animal  that reminds me of other dead animals,  a pregnant opossum’s teats.  I carry heavy things,  which is why I eat so much,  because I need to carry heavy things.  I covered her with sawdust to hide the smell.  It was a shallow grave on the side of the road  near where I once found a broken guitar pedal,  like a fractured manna from heaven.  I could not lift her in the shovel.  Not easily.  A shovel is an awkward tool with a heavy object.  Ducks hiding their heads under water like ostriches.  They are making faces at the mud and tree roots.  A pond is like a relic,  something that remains after everything else is gone.  A glacial footprint.  A logger’s impasse.  That is one day.  Day one of many. Leverett Pond

Day 677 May 10, 2022

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Annunciation I have never really felt like I had a home town, which I suppose is false, but I guess I mean a place where I felt I fit in and felt comfortable. This weekend, for my daughter’s graduation, I was able to return to my alma mater and in between celebrating her achievements, I swooned in the nostalgia of memories from thirty or more years ago. My cynicism has melted away into the sentimentalism of an aging man who is now the age of many of my professors from that time.  I wonder how many places on this Earth are so imbued with memory, where I can touch my hand to stone and know that I once touched my hand to that stone in that very same place. Not so many, I think. And even fewer that carry the transformation that happens as a child tries to figure out how to become a man, mistakes and all. I loved the contradictions of my own being, how I was at once a bad mischief maker, but also a good person who tried to do good things. Sewanee is imbued with those same contradictions for

Day 671 May 4, 2022

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No Time Like the Now time compresses like an iron lung  the pleural space embracing hours and days  deadlines careening like a pleurisic cough  through the air  a man sunk in a barrel  there is no time  there is only now  a foundation begins to crumble  from underneath  an undelivered delivery

Day 670 May 3, 2022

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How Reading Changes Reading Oliver Sacks  now elicits equal parts  awe at the human mind,  and fear of the frailties of our bodies and brains.  How can one write but not read,  reimagine letters on the pages,  street signs in New York as Cyrillic or Korean.  It makes one wonder  how much of our perception is imagined,  falsified,  a glitch in the system? As a child, my imagination was as vivid  as yesterday’s memory.  I could imagine tragedy befalling our family,  the absence of a phone call  after a burglar alarm at the store,  the late arrival home.  Imagination thrives in the absence of agency.  In the absence of ability to do anything,  the mind creates everything.  In the twilight,  I spy the neighbors trees composed entirely of flowers.  I remember the poet’s tree festooned with blue bottles.  I remember Uncle Sam’s dogwood split by a bolt of lightning  at the tail end of a dinner party.  Sometimes the mind is like sorting porcupine needles by size,  satisfying and intricate,  sh

Day 669 May 2, 2022

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Auditory Memories I grew up surrounded by music. Before I could walk, my father would strap me on his back while he practiced violin. My father had a tall spindled turntable where you could stack multiple records to drop down on the platter like a personal juke box. And, of course he had reel to reel tapes, which I famously became ensnared in, always being curious and easily excited. When my father had guests, he would proudly show off his stereo with music that was never the background, it was always the thing to be doing, listening to music. He would play an album or song almost uncomfortably loud so that it was impossible to hold a conversation, so we could all hear the thing he wanted us to witness.  My father taught me to be a listener. I can hear landscapes, valleys in the distance, a storm, a conversation, a playfulness. When I play music with my friends, we talk to one another in this language, an improvised language and syntax that we learn simultaneously. We may, in fact, und