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Day 818, September 28, 2022

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The Longing Days It is the season of wearing dogs on one’s lap for warmth.  It is the time of errant fire alarms in the middle of the night. It is the time of riding a bicycle home in the dark. A couple of freestanding turkeys proclaimed the side of the road as a place to mill about. I am still wary about reading the news too closely. Protect one’s self by only consuming headlines and first paragraphs. My fortune reads, Belief is nothing, believe in something. Did you know that on the third day, the remaining chili becomes a sacred thing? I was expecting a greeting, something other than a concentrated frown. But, I will take what I can get. The joy of sitting beside my son and hearing him laugh,  the two day old guacamole, a little gray all around, a glass of juice that tastes only a little like drinking someone’s sweat. This is what longing tastes like.

Day 817, September 27, 2022

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  like riding a bicycle Eating a soft serve ice cream cone.  Riding a boogie board in the Atlantic.  Digging a post hole.  Burying a chicken.  Making scrambled eggs.  Hanging an air conditioner out a second floor window.  Singing along to Paul Simon’s “The Boxer.”  Tying a shoe lace.  The face one makes trying to express congeniality while wearing a mask.  The hand motions for rock, paper, scissors.  The swishing motion of washing rice.  Jiggling the gear shift while dancing to Michael Jackson.  Playing guitar behind your back.  Falling in love. 

Day 816, September 26, 2022

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Headphones Sometimes when I listen to music, it is like a record album rotating around the same handful of songs, the same artists, a rut of composers, an era of sounds. Back when I had a CD changer in the shop, certain CDs never left the carousel. Every day they would make the rounds, every five hours or so. It became a way of tracking time. There is A Love Supreme again, the Grant Green compilation. And then one day, I closed up the shop, and that CD player, and those albums disappeared. An era passed before I returned to them on entirely different media. Some time in middle school, my father returned from a tour of Japan with one of the first Sony Walkman cassette players. It was big and bulky by mid-eighties standards, but at the time it was svelte. There was a built in speaker and microphone, and it came with a snap on leather case with cutouts for the buttons. Suddenly, it was possible to carry around your music without relying on the spindly antenna and finicky reception of the

Day 811, September 21, 2022

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Restore I am taller than I am short,  more tired when I am awake,  dreaming of cool summer evenings  and the dew dampening my shoes in the morning.  In the morning  when it is still mostly dark,  I say little  and exercise will power,  habit,  and routine.  When my grandfather first arrived in this country,  he did his morning stretches  while watching Sesame Street  to practice his English.  I imagine his body as a thing of momentum,  rather than a thing to be used up.  He was a man of maintenance.  I eat too much and stay up too late  to covet my body as well as he did,  the lithe dancer.  Today,  I nearly napped  even as synapses crackled and popped around me.  How many dreams were extinguished  even as I waited for a question to be answered.  Perhaps a simple life  means one where I have no aspiration,  no lust,  no linger.  I touch finger to nose  and feel a face that is becoming less familiar.  When I was born  my mother had a sleeve of Oreo cookies on the bedside table.  As a ba

Day 809, Sept. 19, 2022

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Lost Letters Sometimes it is impossible to remember words someone has written,  a letter composed,  a letter found,  a lost person,  a series of indelible envelopes,  stamps licked by tongue,  flaps folded shut,  the bundling with brittle rubber bands. I knew you once well enough that you wrote me a letter,  and presumably I wrote one back.  I was prolific with my love,  with my letters,  with my envelopes.  Each letter was a fantasy,  an entire music video,  a tattoo on a sensitive part.  I dare not read too closely,  lest I remember all that yearning,  the dreams of a young man.  Who knew I could be an epistolary dreamer?  On the underside of stamps,  it was rumored were blots of acid.  Letter writers were as possessed as soothsayers,  chicken bone readers,  the shaman dancing on the upturned blades of knives.  I didn’t wish for anyone to get hurt.  The frenzy of ink and paper is intoxicating,  even now I can smell its swagger,  the dizzying sway of stumbling down a flight of stairs.

Day 798, September 8, 2022

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Kerning How many times does one say good bye,  at the gate at a small rural airport,  in the parking lot of an adopted home town,  after dinner in a deserted shopping mall.  Between utterances,  entire human beings are brought into existence,  certain lives cease to exist,  careers end,  and others evolve.  I eat my cod and broccoli,  poke at the yellow rice.  There is a subtle saffron flavoring  as if the chef were afraid of their spices.  I remember a time when he taught me  how to cook sausages,  how he boiled them first,  before placing them on the grill.  My favorite sausages were from the trailer  at the Route 47 flea market,  garnished with peppers and onions,  fingertips stained with yellow mustard,  the smell of moldy records and rusty tools still on my hands.  There was a horse in the corral across the parking lot  that nipped at little children’s fingers,  but feeding a horse long fistfuls of grass is hard to resist,  and eventually tears dry.  Sometimes there are places we

Day 796, September 6, 2022

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Things Sold on the Streets of New York Nutcrackers out of styrofoam coolers,  weed in little single serving plastic bags  and single cigarillos,  baby turtles swimming in clear plastic containers  for ten dollars,  Mexican corn wrapped in foil,  Louis Vuitton handbags spread on a tarp,  spray paint portraits of pop stars,  seven dollar hotdogs  and hot nuts. Barbara Kruger at MoMA