Octopus' Garden

Monday, August 14, 2006


1. Pulse and Grind

The Dog Day Cicadas in full swing now, their rotating cycles of singing like bright insistent blades of sound slicing into the quiet and blending the air all around me. Soon, the students will be back, unloading their trucks of stuff onto the sidewalks and waking this small town out of its summer sleepiness, and soon, these easy quiet days of writing, reading, thinking, walking, and just simply being will need to be relinquished. The cicadas are a reminder. They make the work that happens during the Dog Days just little bit more urgent. They saw and puree and imprint themselves and they will not be ignored: their exhausted, world-weary tone is cynical, but their need to make themselves heard is shyly earnest.

2. Suet and Seeds: What Brings You Here

rainy planet and sci fi and rubber trees
glamorous swim caps
stomach system of polar bear
I want you to notice when I’m not around
flowered octopus
animal totem albino squirrel
courier font heart
ancient griots
scritti politti north America
pig licker
octopus drowning humans
how to make paper asters
tornados shaped like a heart
ferret habitrail
nun belly button
hive, sunlight
proxy dog
katoni aster
I want an octopus
dreaming of ferrets what does it mean
tiny bubbles swim school
lee aster
garden coffee grinds cats
why do I have no tolerance for humidity
octopus proxy
accidents, she said  but she lied
haldol ephemera
open the lights portugese
silk kite song
moths with crumpled wings
ice caps made me sick
imagine an octopus, imagine one without any arms
are artichokes dangerous?

3. Apertures and Pinholes

Once I had an opportunity to purchase a fleece hat in the shape of an eggplant. I happen to be exceedingly fond of eggplant. I realize now, in retrospect, that this was somewhat of a missed opportunity.

Currently, I am in the grip of a gustatory obsession with Paul Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard Salad Dressing. To the point where I can, and often do  indeed, I often must  eat it several times a day. I make a huge salad of mixed greens, add a lot of fresh green sugar snap peas, and then put thin-sliced deli turkey on top, drizzle on the PNOLHMSD and voila!. (Nota bene (or do I really mean Nota banal?):The cats are very rude about providing their assistance in eating up all that pesky deli turkey.)

I think that wine makes me a little bit crazy. I think that I really need to keep this in mind.

Last night I put on a pair of brand new jeans (the jeans were, I must confess, somewhat suspect in my mind all along, which is why they’d been sitting around unworn for so long) and I took one of my long, rambling night walks. When I came back, I discovered that my uneasy suspicion that these pants were, in some vague way, slightly hinky, was not mere paranoia on my part but entirely justifiable, because these suspect jeans had turned my legs a weird shade of blue! Even after taking a shower, my legs are still, to be perfectly honest, a little on the bluish side. I am really, really hoping that this condition is not permanent.

At this very moment, I am sitting on my futon, in front of my laptop. I am simultaneously writing this blog post, taking notes for new short stories, and working on a new poem. Her Terribly Important Catness, Miss Yuki, is snoozing on my lap and snoring a little bit. I am taking turns reading out of four books: Nina Auerbach’s Our Vampires, Ourselves, Camille Norton’s volume of poetry Corruption, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated, and Reading the Vampire Slayer: ASn Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel, edited by Roz Kaveny. I’m drinking coffee out of my favorite, handmade frog mug, and listening to The Bad Plus. I am, for the record, at this very moment, Happy as a Clam.

Readers, what are you doing/drinking/reading/thinking at this very moment?
posted by Artichoke Heart at 5:40 PM


I am drinking lemonade, reading your blog on a break from reading "Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-Biological Lesbian Moms Tell All" and sitting on my breezy sun porch listening to the dog bark next door and a little Chopin. Brilliant.
Blogger mopsa, at 9:48 PM  
I am drinking Vanilla Macadamia Nut iced decaf coffee, reading your blog on the laptop whilst playing hookey (sp) from work. My CD has ended and all I hear is the sound of rain hitting my deck and the workmen downstairs working on ... something in my neighbor's apartment involving rhythmic bumping and an occasional electric saw. And I'm thinking how happy you make me when you write in your blog.
Blogger Shelley, at 11:51 AM  

1. Semistalking you via your blog in a loving/nonthreatening/admiring/affectionate way
2. Costco coffee
3. Under the Banner of Heaven
4. Menopause is a challenge
Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 PM  
Just be happy the jeans weren't stone-washed.
Anonymous Plurp, at 7:32 PM  
I am sitting on the loveseat in my living room, in front of my very own laptop, reading/avoiding writing on Ultima Thule, and wondering why your futon looks so familiar. I look down. We are upholstery twins!

Great post/poem. Thanks for sharing it.
Blogger Pamela, at 8:03 PM  
Doing: Unwinding from a Board meeting

Drinking: Budweiser (for shame)

Reading: Listening, actually to the audiobook of "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (Foer, too) for the third time.

Thinking: That I might start another blog.

Thanks for being there still. Great as always. And always making me miss Vermillion.
Blogger Eric, at 10:57 PM  
Waking up at work.
Ice water.
Your blog in between technical documents.
Wondering where the stains on my new white shirt came from.
Blogger Radish King, at 9:37 AM  
Sitting at my desk at home, reading blogs and being blown away by the cicada piece that begins this post (and now printing it out and sticking it on corkboard next to Chase Twichell's "Word Silence"), drinking coffee from the paint-splattered "Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History" mug my family gave me for Christmas, and thinking how much I truly enjoy your blog.
Blogger Dr. Medusa, at 9:58 AM  
Doing: Rubbing lotion on my beat-up summer feet.
Drinking: Nothing, but I just got home after going out to Lennie's with some colleagues and drinking an extremely large mug (really, I almost couldn't lift it) of the Bloomington Brewing Company's Freestone Blonde Ale.
Reading: Too many blogs. :) After that, if I don't accidentally fall asleep, this guidebook about MFA programs. Because I've apparently completely lost my mind.
Thinking: The world needs more clams.
Blogger Anne, at 9:03 PM  
Hi everyone! Thank you for sharing your apertures and pinholes.

Anne: Yes, clams are good.

Pamela: I've never had an Upholstery Doppelganger before. This is very exciting!

Eric: I think a new blog is a splendid idea. And Vermillion can, at times, be unexpectedly missable, can't it?

Plurp: Perhaps I got off lightly, then, with a measly case of mere Blue Leggedness considering the full gamut of possibilities . . . acid-washed jeans, for example.
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 2:22 PM  
It is sunday morning, I have a computer at my disposal, so here I am. My friend and I are nursing hangovers with toast, coffee from Bob's Java Hut and reading the Star Tribune. I am thinking about leaving the city for the day. Later my friend and I will read books-she's reading the Kite Runner and I am sluggishly engaged in Infinite Jest. We listened to the new Sufjan Stevens album last night, I highly reccommend it. I miss Vermillion, at least the one you describe, terribly. Then again, every fall I miss it and usually because you write about it.
Blogger Shannon, at 12:06 PM  
Hey, Shannon. Vermillion misses you right back!
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 9:17 PM  

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