I let the cat in
or out, or both
the air was cold outside
and warm inside
and the moon was bright
the door locked with a loud click
because it’s just a little
out of alignment due to
decades of settling
and i thought
god i haven’t written mom in ages
i should tell her how nice
life is and how great
the kids are and
everything that’s going on
this new place with great breakfasts
how well my scones turned out
but she’s dead
i had forgotten momentarily
i opened the door back up
and took another look at the moon

I just want to say

I just want to say
that it doesn’t hurt much
when a crow pecks you
trying to get the doggie treat
you are holding out for it
while sitting on the park bench
surrounded by crows
regarding you like acolytes
waiting for words of enlightenment.
It is scarier feeding a bagel to a juvenile seagull
than a snack to a crow.
This is especially true if you grew up
getting pecked by chickens all the time.
I just want to say
my thing with the crows
is not going unnoticed at the park,
a young family walked by
and referred to me
as “Professor Rabe”.
I just want to say
that I am still sadder
and more broken up by
my mother’s death
than I had expected.
But the crows help.
If someone asks me about them
I will say, “I have to come and feed them,
they know where I work and
come and shit on my balcony otherwise,”
but that is not the reason.
I know it’s just crows and doggie treats,
but it’s a comfort.

Notes on the proper selection of an appropriate amulet

Ask the sun, when you fell upon me, reflected off the orange garbage truck my streetcar was stuck behind on the way to work this morning, filling the streetcar with bright amber light and turning the interior into mysterious silhouettes, was it a judgement or a blessing? Or do you not perceive any of us at all?
Ask the crows, what say the slain? And listen to their answer: they are waiting for you to delineate your sadness over your mom dying, to put a name on it, for you to find a balance for it between heart and head but for that to happen it has to come out of the dark. They are waiting for you to understand something ununderstandable.
Ask the bear, do you feel like I do when I am walking down the stairs at the subway station and faster descenders pass me right and left when you stand in the river and running salmon crowd past you on their way to spawn, or is there a difference bc you are eating them and I am not? And are people right who say a fish does not perceive the water surrounding it, or are fish as aware of it as we are of air and ground, do they even hold swimming contests and do they maybe, crowding into the mouth of a river on their way to spawn, arrange dates when they hit it off, baby that shady spot under the alder tree, lay your eggs there, I have so much milt for you.
Walk in a circle while reading the instructions on the can of blue insulation foam, especially the bit that says ‘only fill the space 1/3 of the way with foam, as it continues to expand after application’ because if not the foam will expand uncontrolled and drip onto the floor and onto the attic ladder/steps, the bookcase, two books, your slippers, your shirt, your glasses and your hair, and if that happens do not try to wash it out of your hair because the instructions also say, For better adhesion dampen target area prior to application, and if you read that after making your hair wet you will feel like a moron, justifiably, and the insulation foam remover you rush to the hardware store for won’t work for you either, although if you make an emergency appointment with your hair stylist she will, together with two colleagues, in the emergency hair salon operating room you didn’t realize they had, using the foam remover and some stuff they use to remove hair extensions, in a dramatic and slightly painful medical-drama-style operation not only successfully remove every last bit of foam (which is, chemically, a close relative of super glue) from your hair, which you had expected would have to be shaved off, they will also laugh while working on you and say, “This is a first, this is one for the books, we have never had anything like this,” and ultimately style your hair and leave you looking nicer than ever, and charge you such a paltry sum you give everyone big tips.
Ask the crows, what say the dead, to which they will answer, nothing today.
Then wander into the junk shop with your eyes closed and hold your hands over the amulets and feel the vibes.

I vaguely remember flowers

I pinched my penis in the woods yesterday, by accident, climbing through a wooden fence to look at a grave.
The fence was made of horizontal slats attached to wooden fence posts. Normally there would have been plenty of space for me to squeeze through, but I was wearing a pack that made it a tighter fit.
I groaned, and my wife asked what the matter was, and I told her.
My pack held a few apples, a thermos full of cold water, and a rain jacket I bought last summer (2019) at REI.
I started out with three apples, then ate one, then fed another to some goats.
The grave stone seemed to be granite. There was a bronze (?) plaque on it with five names, two with one surname, the other three with another. There was a space in front of it the size of a couple shoeboxes, covered with a flat rectangle of metal or stone (I forget), so I assumed they were putting urns in there and not whole bodies.
There was a bench beside the stone where you could sit and look into the distance.
I vaguely remember flowers.

Now what?

Mr. Cordyceps is all WTF?

In other words, I suppose, he is at a loss. It’s like, when he was 40 he was all, oh no, I’m getting old and so on, but he got over it and life went on. And then people close to him died and he got sad about that and unbeknownst to him sadness, or grief, became what sustained him.

He was a big drag to be around, to those who loved him.

He just sat around and moped and had no friends and was comfy behind this shell of grief.

Then a friend gave him an old accordeon and he played it and you know what? He realized he was out of grief.

He wasn’t sad anymore. He was still old, and tired, and overwhelmed by reality and bitter that no one had implemented his utopian visions, but he wasn’t sad.

He walked down the street thinking, gee the light is beautiful today.

He took a music lesson thinking, this is going very well, I’m glad I didn’t quit.

Reality continued to teach him lesson after lesson, but at least his ears were open now, and eyes.

He got on the bathroom scales and saw he’d lost a kilo. Then he noticed it was set to -1 instead of 0. Well, at least I didn’t gain a kilo, he thought.

He had a strong feeling that his life was over. And yet it continued. So maybe it wasn’t over.

Careers in Science: Noetical Hydrology

Does the tear absorb the ocean or does the ocean absorb the tear? This question is the domain of the noetical hydrologist. Taking a walk along the creek with his younger daughter, the noetical hydrologist finds himself discussing death and grief with her. “I watched you when grandpa died,” she says. “I read in a magazine how long it takes to get over the deaths of various people – friend, parent, spouse, grandparent, and we were both right on the money. I needed about four months. Eight months for you, I think. You always used to be funny. Then you were so sad. Then, afterwards, you were funny again, just not quite as funny as before.”

The noetical hydrologist’s daughter says this to him. The sun has set and the sky is glowing above the cornfield while clouds gather for a rainy night. The noetical hydrologist wonders, is she wise beyond her years or am I just dull? Neither, he decides. She’s the way she belongs, as is he.

Does the tear absorb the ocean or does the ocean absorb the tear?