* personal seasons via rae armantrout

* Corspoot Christi Bay *
* Corspoot Christi Bay *

Above is a photo of our beluga friend, Spoot, who came along with us on our trip to Texas at the end of last month. This image came to mind as I reflect on all that’s happened this past month. And what happened? I started teaching a new class, begun reading into the a hundred and twenty plus books I need to get through for my exams year, worked out a book review and a few reflective essays as well as wrapped up a new manuscript. I have also done much this month alongside Diane Kistner of FutureCycle Press in term of preparing for the release of my newest chapbook Reasons (not) to Dance, which will be coming out next month (more news on this shortly).

All this activity has been echoed in my early mornings by birds. Tons of them. By the sound of it from our nook in Cincinnati, the birds are up to more than I am. This week’s poem – “Errands” by Rae Armantrout – charmed me for the action (physical/metaphorical) and danger evoked in short, clipped lines. There’s a nuance in each short section, a sort of lyric suggestiveness that moves me. The birds in the last section, I’ve always pictured as yellow. These days, we spot goldfinches here and there, busy with their “To, To.”

* to wit, to whit *
* to wit, to whit *

Errands – Rae Armantrout

The old
to-and-fro

is newly cloaked
in purpose.

There’s a jumble
of hair and teeth

under the bedclothes
in the forest.

“The better to eat you with,”
it says

and nibbles us
until we laugh.

*

An ax-man
comes to help.

*

“To, To,”
birds cheep

to greet
whatever has come up.

“To, To.”

***

Happy to-ing!

Jose

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