Crane fly

“I feel as if I’ve said pretty much all I have to say,” I said, & then felt the opposite.

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Why I like being a writer: every morning it’s back to square one, just as if you’ve never written a single line.

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An enormous crane fly is sitting in the middle of the ceiling above my writing table, as if it weren’t the middle of winter & the so-called law of gravity didn’t apply.

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For a really good starter, my friend told me, use nothing but wild yeast & feed it only on the most refined flour.

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From going too long without talking, I had grown contentious. Evolution and progress have nothing in common, I said as the new subdivisions sped by.

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Are children still allowed to go off in the woods by themselves & play with old bones?

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“Night soil” is such an evocative euphemism! It was, of course, neither soil nor the exclusive product of nighttime visits to the outhouse. But people liked to think of it in a kind of future perfect tense, with the carts already having made their nocturnal rounds, the composting over, the fields heavy with the harvest.

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The absence of leaves in the winter woods is felt most keenly by a boy walking home from school with a runny nose who is tired of being made fun of all the time for using the sleeve of his coat.

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Jello never stays still – the nine-year-old girl explains to her little sister – because it’s made from wild horses that they catch out west.

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Every creature follows its own route to dissolution; to generalize is to bludgeon it with a gray & implacable Death.

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I would like to tempt Fate, but first I have to figure out just what she finds most tempting.

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All day yesterday the noise from the interstate came over the ridge so loudly that I didn’t want to leave the house. In any case, it was raining. The patches of bare ground grew & merged. Little clouds of mist kept rising off the remaining patches of snow & hurrying away toward the quiet farm valley to the east.

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The picturesque village survived the 20th Century with everything intact except for its link to bygone days, which were never as picturesque as they seem to be now.

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Post-traumatic stress is not a disorder, I’m thinking; it is the working heart’s response to the profoundest kind of disorder. We drive ourselves as if we were horses, but our bodies are more like camels, or stubborn donkeys. The rider sits facing the tail & berates the poor beast for running in the wrong direction.

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My stomach mutters breakfast, breakfast, breakfast until it begins to sound like the purest poem.

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I am that man in the little crooked house that you heard all about when you were small.

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I am attached to this half-broken plastic wall clock in the same way that a hair might persist in sprouting from the tip of a beautiful woman’s otherwise perfect nipple.

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When she was sick & couldn’t get out of bed, I remember holding a tissue to her nose & telling her to blow.

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If I saw them again, those flowers with their unknown names would doubtless prompt the same mysterious yearnings.

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In the blues, they used to talk about working from sun to sun, as if the sharecropper’s day were just another, larger portion of darkness.

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Even with the Andes, even with the Himalayas, this world would be smoother than the youngest lover’s cheek to any humungous deity’s figurative touch.

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Suppose the morning star hadn’t been there to return his suddenly penetrating gaze – would the Buddha’s right hand simply have kept sinking deeper & deeper into the earth?

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When I stepped out into the cold fog at dawn, a bluebird was singing.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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