june 12/WALK

1 mile with Scott
82 degrees

Was planning to bike to the lake and swim today, but it rained. On and off all day. So I read about Lorine Niedecker and took notes. Then, a quick walk with Scott.

Here are some observations from my deck, the yard, the window at my desk, and the walk:

10+ Things

  1. deck: the sky heavy, gray, expectant — but it’s not supposed to rain today! — it did and then did again
  2. deck: under the lime green umbrella, hearing the first drops, soft and slight
  3. deck: the service-berry bush at the edge of the deck did a better job of keeping the deck dry than the umbrella!
  4. front yard: after rain today, and the wind the past few days, the yard was almost as much twig as grass. Our neighbor’s tall tree with the wandering limbs offers unwanted gifts all year
  5. desk/window: in the left window, a blob stretches above the other hydrangea leaves — dark, diseased — what is it?
  6. side yard: not sure what this blob is even up close — could it be army worms? or is it just a failed unfurling?
  7. side yard: near the gate, a rogue tree is growing outside of our neighbor’s window. Will they cut it down before it gets too big and becomes a problem for us?
  8. desk/window: rain, pouring down, missing the gutter and sliding straight off the roof in sheets — too much debris/dirt in the gutter?
  9. no lightening but far off thunder rumbles
  10. green green green green green green green green
  11. cabbage or lettuce or something else green growing in a neighbor’s planter
  12. the sweet snell of pine after the rain
  13. convinced I was seeing a giant fish sculpture until Scott told me it was wrapping over a tree
  14. workers re-roofing a sharply angled roof with no harnesses

Here ares some thoughts to remember from Niedecker:


LN’s life by/with/on water involves saturation not transcendence.


Thru birdstart
of the soft and serious
(from “My Life on Water”/ LN)


Reading is a bodily act — within the body, not transcending the body. The physical act of reading words with diseased eyes.


Time to challenge the myth that not being able to see “naturally” makes your hearing improve — That visual impairment improves hearing, taste, touch, smell, is mostly myth — Halos. Ed Bok Lee — LN used sound in remarkable ways, and also explored seeing differently.


One of the traditions LN draws from, Objectivism, believed in the clear, straight-seeing eye. In later work, like “Wintergreen Ridge,” she challenged the possibility of this straight-seeing.

Tell all the truth but tell it Slant — ED
Alice Oswald and the slow, oblique, slight squinting of the Old Women in the Illiad


Imagists (Ezra Pound, HD): to see the world as it is, the IS, the this, scrubbing away to the essence

Objectivists (Zukofsky, Williams Carlos Williams): to look with clear eyes, pay attention, as is in context

Oh my scouring eye/that scrubs clean the sky — “perhaps you tire of birds”/ Donika Kelly


I used to think I was goofing off unless I held only to the hard, clean image, the think you could put your hand on. But now I dare do this reflection.



Video, My Life By Water