monday, august 19, 2019

it was damn near a hundred again today
over at the airport where they measure
a little cooler here on the edge of things
the river is running low, like it's august in fact
as well as by date

so like you expect,
the grass turns gray-brown and gold in the sun
but all told it's been a green year in colorado
the way the locals seem to remember their childhoods:
thunderstorms in the summer afternoon,
big rains and little ones

the orb weavers, growing fat now, build outsized
webs on what will hold still long enough — my bike,
the trashcan by the corner of the house,
the bucket hanging on my garden fence

bees hum where i've let the herbs go to flower
i wonder if some of them fly home to the hive
in the cracked brick walls
of the first house i lived in here
it's fourteen years this month
or a couple of lifetimes depending on how you count

in the mountains, my niece is learning to crawl

while out on the plains my family waits to bury
my great aunt, gone at 95, who had already seen
i can't begin to guess how many lifetimes
by the year i was born

everything is always happening
all at once

and i'm not sure i can tell any more
all the joy from the grief
or the longing from the gratitude

p1k3 / 2019 / 8 / 19
tags: topics/colorado, topics/poem

Monday, August 12, 2019

I’m sitting in a Barnes & Noble Starbucks, a class of institution I don’t really expect to exist a few years hence. Heavily sweetened coffee drinks aren’t going anywhere, of course, but chain bookstores feel pretty doomed and it’s not really clear to me that this one can manage a transition to selling random toys and board game crap instead of books.

I love independent bookstores, and spend most of my book money at several, but I’m going to have some feelings when B&N kicks the bucket. I grew up in the country, and the mall bookstore chains in the nearest city big enough to have a mall were my primary option for anything I couldn’t get at our small-time library. Those first trips to a big, well-stocked Barnes & Noble were revelatory. The SF&F section alone felt bigger and more expansive than the entirety of a B. Dalton / Waldenbooks.

It’s strange to think of that sense of things opening up as a side effect of the end stages of an entire economy and medium, but I suppose that’s more or less what it was.

p1k3 / 2019 / 8 / 12