Right then

The iodized salt psychic has a framed certificate from the board of health mounted behind his rickety office desk. Why, I wonder, is my imagination cluttered with such useless things? Why do I remember that dead leaf on the driveway, turning over like the page of a well-thumbed volume perused by the wind? What does it mean – if anything – that a black cat not merely crosses my path day and night, but is raising three kittens in the barn, all as feral as she? Are all of them black? Yes, as black as the jack of diamonds – aside from the parts that are white, of course. Have you been missing any songbirds? How many should we have? How many do you hear? All of them, I think. But sometimes I sleep with my windows shut.

This morning it was chilly but beautiful. I woke late and sat out on the porch watching, well, everything there was to watch. It’s not as easy as it sounds, because my attention kept wandering back to an erotic dream I’d had. You know. It had me whispering sweet nothings in the morning’s ear: “All my life has been nothing but a preparation for this moment.” Which one? The sun works its way down the side of my house, but I keep my eyes on the woods. Dew drips from the eaves. Yesterday I went to an auction of old farm tools and was thrilled and mesmerized by the auctioneer’s cadence, but I’m not thinking about that right now. I’ve gone 180 degrees, in fact: I’m busy jotting down some haiku in my little reporter’s notebook, which all day long at the auction never left my pocket.

Cool morning.
Crystal-clear air carries
a whiff of sewage.

Indigo bunting,
yellow warbler trade songs –
same syllable count.

Chilly morning.
A chipmunk stops to scold
in a patch of sunlight.

One drums, the other yammers:
the pileateds agree
to disagree.

When the sun clears the top
of the tall maple
I’ll go get breakfast.

And I do. Inside, it’s just another morning. Are there really still these same four walls? How strange! But I have work to do. I need to stop thinking about what I’ve been thinking about and think about something else, I think, and at the very moment I’m thinking this, something goes bump in the crawl space under the floor. Bump, it goes. Gee, thanks, Doc! I’m glad you agree.

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