2020.06

Sunday, 06.07:

A quick thank you to Raymond Luczak, who has accepted three of my poems for his new journal, Mollyhouse. One of the poems, “Marriage Decoder Ring,” is very new: I just wrote it in mid-May and have tinkered on it since. I’m very thankful.


Thursday, 06.11:

Chatting online with Daniel Barnum, whose brilliant chapbook, Names for Animals, has sold through its first printing in just three months, and the discussion ranges from defunding the police to institutional racism to gatekeeping to editorial exotification of the queer and/or othered body. All this before coffee!

I can think of a dozen times in my life that I would love to go back to and NOT say the horribly awful naiive basically racist or insensitive thing that came out of my mouth before I contemplated my language or its implications. Who am I kidding, a dozen? A hundred? Including some that still haunt me 40 years later when I was an angry twentysomething gay activist who really needed a mentor. There’s so much exhaustion after taking the position of teaching and showing and leading others to expand their thinking. I don’t know. Sometimes all I can arrive at it that old Southernism, “bless their hearts.”

I love that phrase. Such a sugar dagger.


Sunday, 06.14:

Mark Ward has just accepted my poem “Memo to Sis” for publication in Issue #8 of Impossible Archetype. I’m so pleased. It’s a newer poem, a pantoum, about my eighty-something mother dropping the F bomb. You need this poem in your life.


Tuesday, 06.16:

As someone who generally prefers the company of plants over that of humans, you might imagine my happiness at discovering the peperomia leaf cuttings not only rooted in water but actually sent out new growth. (You don’t know the willpower it takes to avoid using exclamation points right now.)

15 years ago I snipped a terminal cutting (tip of growing stem with maybe three leaves on it) from a gargantuan peperomia plant in an unnamed office at an unnamed university. (Call it green theft; I call it pruning.) Said peperomia rooted and grew happily, and I placed it in a small terrarium where it of course tried to outgrow its space and had to be repeatedly cut back.

When you cut back a plant like this, the leaves get progressively smaller. So when I cut it back again this spring, I ended up with four very small leaves, each about the diameter of a nickel. Wasn’t sure there was enough genetic material in there for them to do more than root (some plants require at least a little bit of stem as well in order to generate new growth).

Progress photos to follow. Oh, you can count on that, nerds.

Peperomia cuttings 061620