Thursday, October 28, 2010


Is it strange that this video reminds me too much of Penelope? Of course, the level of wonder and sweetness is so very different here, and with my deep, wily pregnancy-hormones, I've gone and gotten myself all bleary-eyed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sometimes events converge: my book is due 12/15; my baby 1/6.

This week: edits of the proofs, so many other little details related to the chapbook, as well as a new draft of my thesis. And commenting on student poems. For tomorrow.

One of my duties was to scan and send photographs of my grandfather, in case the publisher wants to insert a few on the extra blank pages in the back. I made a little set pertaining to the chapbook, cleverly titled The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake, which is mostly photos of him, but some of the book, some that illustrate a few of the poems themselves, such as these dahlia bulbs and my grandmother at her sink, both from poems that appear in this anthology, and the silty feet from "Uniform Urn."

Here's the front and back of the book my sister designed and executed, or one variation thereof. I'm really floored with how talented she is; I think, if you need any graphic design work done, you should send her a little note, or send me one, and I'll pass it along. (She doesn't have a portfolio up online just now, but I'm sure she will some day soon, and for now, you can glance through her flickr page. You can see other amazing things she's done, like this save the date for her wedding next summer, which is two days from our wedding anniversary, so sweet).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The Body

has its little hobbies. The lung
likes its air best after supper,
goes deeper there to trade up
for oxygen, give everything else
away. (And before supper, yes,
during too, but there’s
something about evening, that
slow breath of the day noticed: oh good,
still coming, still going ... ) As for
bones—femur, spine,
the tribe of them in there—they harden
with use. The body would like
a small mile or two. Thank you.
It would like it on a bike
or a run. Or in the water. Blue.
And food. A habit that involves
a larger circumference where a garden’s
involved, beer is brewed, cows
wake the farmer with their fullness,
a field surrenders its wheat, and wheat
understands I will be crushed
into flour and starry-dust
the whole room, the baker
sweating, opening a window
to acknowledge such remarkable
confetti. And the brain,
locked in its strange
dual citizenship, idles there in the body,
neatly terraced and landscaped.
Or left to ruin, such a brain,
wild roses growing
next to the sea. The body is
gracious about that. Oh, their
scent sometimes. Their
tangle. In truth, in secret,
the first thing
in morning the eye longs to see.

by Marianne Boruch

Monday, October 25, 2010


I've had so many wonderful poetry-adventures in the past two weeks; I have scribbled notes in my notebook to compose here, and photos and joy, but here's another form of joy: eeking out just before the first snow is set to filter in, several juicy sweet peppers (along with enough hot peppers to last this winter and next, a few eggplants) appeared in our garden. We've had chicken enchiladas and tofu fajitas, using our store of CSA onions in the mix.

In these parts, it's drizzling, and tomorrow, we're set for a high wind warning, which will make the commute across the farmlands a bit precarious, and tonight, we took the pups to Hay Creek, which fills my heart to the brim. Those two are so beautiful when they fling themselves, free, chasing after sticks (indeed, we may not have learned our lesson, though Ryan is careful to trim any sharp edges) and pawing slender holes in the sand. The mosquitoes are still lingering, the leaves are flittering down, and I imagined the cows lowing were moose instead.

Monday, October 18, 2010

513: with new book, comes new webpage

The above image is what my webpage looked like, the not oft-updated space that listed a few humble poems, was built from scratch, whatnot.

There's not so much new to tell, a few extra poems, a chapbook. We used a template, and Ryan sat down and banged out a new set of pages for me this weekend, and I do love it so.

We'll likely already update it some time after this weekend; I have a few more blurbs for the chapbook coming and I'd like to add links to Alchemy: Poetry and Yoga as well as Hedgebrook, a place I one day hopehopehope to have a residency.

And the below image. A new welcome.

Friday, October 15, 2010

512: mud creek

Last weekend we made the trip to Hay Creek, a generally sandy-banked spot, but since we had those Zumbro-flooding storms two weeks ago, the Mississippi and all small expanses of water have kept banks high and swampy. As one can see in that first image, I lost my sneakers in the quagmire, one step, then the other, sunk to my ankles. Ryan fetched them, replete with worms, and scraped them as best he could, but I kept myself stocking-footed for the rest of our journey. We headed home just as sandy and damp as our pups, who actually romped.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

511: revisiting a prior post (news)

I finally was able to re-publish 500. The announcement is up: My humble chapbook, The Recent History of Middle Sand Lake, won the Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Award, which means it will be published. In about two months, in fact, if all goes well.

The above is the cover my sister designed.

My ISBN is 978-0-9788931-7-0.

The publisher's website is here, where you will eventually be able to order copies online. I'll also have my own set to sell at readings and through local bookstores and whatnot.

Edits are coming along, blurbs are being written, and I'm thinking about author photos and short bios. Thinking about these things and impending due dates and the thumps of the minnow and writing a thesis and keeping up with grading and getting a full night's sleep. It's a fantastically busy time. I feel calm and quiet and good.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

510: book club

Two nights ago I hosted book club at our home, a little mussed, quite humble, but always so good. After they left, I confessed to Ryan that even after the minnow is born, I certainly want to continue on with the monthly tradition of book club--I need it, in fact--because even though I am having a little girl, she will not be able to provide that estrogen-time I will so direly need.

We read the eerie We Have Always Lived in the Castle, which is incredibly heavy on the development of an unstable narrator. I read it long ago, as an undergraduate, in a class called Weird Books by Women, and I adored it then. I still skated through my reading, though I think one thing that has ruined my reading since then is the seeking of a "twist," which clearly wasn't the point of this slim novel. (I forget things, including book plots, very easily, so reading this again was as if reading it for the first time. This can make for awkward conversation if someone asks if I've read something and I say yes, because I cannot carry on an accurate review with that recently-read companion as all has leaked from my brain, love it or not. And pregnant? Forget it. I can barely remember if I shampooed and conditioned my hair halfway through the shower.)

Another quirk of mine is that I tend to vacillate in interests and sometimes, something I love more than anything in the world, must remain dormant. (Love for friends and family and pets and home and whatnot somehow escapes this categorization; perhaps what I mean is what-I-do-with-my-spare-time that can come and go in strong pulses.) I had been knitting myself into a wrist brace and frustrated with graduate school, but upon settling into the sofa, a deadline for reading my book club book, the hunger for devouring books like some great Godzilla rose up within me again. I suppose those fiber projects will collect a bit of dust while I read myself into a coma. I managed to finish Dave Eggers' Zeitoun after the ladies departed, which is a narrative of one family surviving Hurricane Katrina, told very much in a New Yorker piece style. I also started a 42-disc book on CD (My Life by Bill Clinton) yesterday and managed to not flip between The Current and the book as I had with the last two, in true ADD-style.

Our dinner--
Vegan Butternut Squash Soup:


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 small or one large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large soup pot, sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil until onions turn soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the squash and stir just to coat, then add the vegetable broth and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Allow to cook for at least 25 minutes, or until squash is soft.

Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the squash until smooth, or, alternatively, you can puree the soup in a food processor or blender.

Stir in the soy milk and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

509: autumn brew review

The last beer festival was so cold, so the relative warmth, the sun drifting between cloud-clumps, would have made this festival a bit more comfortable at my repeat performance as designated driver. The only difference between now and late January, specific to me, was that bulbous obviousness that is my pregnancy. Standing for four hours at a high-top table, followed by later sitting on a backless bar stool, left me a bit paralyzed in the seat of my car, a pained mold to the cushioned seat.

This year we had more company, more friends, more conversation. Less chattering. And I still tasted a few ciders, a few beers, including a cracked pepper beer that was delicious. The boys would often disappear for a period of time, and I would continue moving those harmony wood needles against one another, that amazingly slow progress of sock yarn, the intricacies of delicate needles. And these tasters would come back, Chris with her list of ports, Angie setting her alarm for a fresh Crisipin that ran out within ten minutes of tapping, the boys discussing the merits of whole breweries and various seasonals. Sitting back on the lawn, there was less of the oppressive crowd, the music low enough for comfortable conversation, the sun pinking up my cheeks.

I'm glad for afternoons like this, and only a small part of me fantasizes for next year, when we can coax a set of grandparents to come and baby-sit, when I can cautiously enjoy the tastes offered as well.

Ryan was sweet and bumbling at the end of the night, after a trip to a bar with old friend Mike and his new girlfriend Shannon. Unfortunately, despite the water I plied him with, he woke aching and spent his own time molded to the sofa, the dogs occasionally clamoring up on top, nosing into his chest for a good snuggle. He alternated between water and juice and chicken noodle soup, and my hope is that he will wake tomorrow with the difficulties of too much tasting behind him.

We're getting old, us. Growing old together.

Friday, October 1, 2010

508: a little making for a lot of love

I almost kept him, which would have been naughty, and the first time I felt compelled to keep one of my own fiber creations. There's a twist along his nose, and it makes me think of my husband, who bumped into too many goal posts or heads while playing soccer when he was younger and never bothered to straighten it out (it would require re-breaking, you see). I opted for no adornments: no tail, no embroidered eyes, no fabric inner ears, no embroidered tree-tattoos (this last was my husband's suggestion). Perhaps the simple reflects more the maker than the receiver, my best friend of so many years. My heart is full of adornments when I think of her. xo, Kelly

Yarn: pink tweed kitchen cotton by Lily's Sugar n Cream
Needles: size 7, Clover bamboo
Pattern: Piggies at Play from Knitted Toy Tales by Laura Long