Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Weiser River Pillow Book #9
[Here's the August installment in Eberle's Weiser River Pillow Book series; enjoy!]
AT THE LADIES’ LUNCHEON
Edible half-masks with chocolate eyebrows baked in.
Poetry, and stories of thefts that the ladies had committed in earlier years, including a P.A. system and a Canadian flag.
Columbine boutonnieres from the garden.
The idea emerged for Women’s Fantasy Performance night at the local theatre.
Joan wore: shorts and tennis shoes, and carried an evening purse of shiny red leather.
THINGS THAT DEPEND ON SUMMER FOREST FIRES
Next year’s mushrooms.
Fire-fighters—whether or not they will be able to buy prom dresses, new truck tires.
Victory for softball teams with older players when the smoke-jumper team has to forfeit.
THE WEIGHTIEST DECISIONS
Deciding never to have another job where stockings would ever have to be worn.
Deciding to write every morning.
Deciding to love my beloved.
AT A HOUSE UP NORTH
A single tomato plant in a small greenhouse.
Buttons, handles, and furniture made of antlers.
A pair of emu feet.
THINGS THIS WEEK THAT COULD NOT BE DONE WITHOUT A CAR
Cover an archeological dig in a mining town up in the mountains for the newspaper.
Meet a friend for drumming practice.
Sell concessions at the theatre two towns away.
Get materials for mending the garden hose.
THINGS THIS WEEK THAT COULD BE DONE WITHOUT A CAR
Buy herbal tea over the internet.
Make green plum chutney.
Go to the courthouse restoration meeting.
Mail a book to a friend in California.
A bullfrog’s bright green head resting on duckweed in matching green.
The smell of apples fallen into the spring from the wild apple tree in the draw.
Filling the swamp cooler at night by starlight, and the thick swathe of the Milky Way.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU REALIZE LIFE IS GOOD
The berry-picking buckets hanging inside the pantry door.
One yellow leaf on the front porch.
Cats lying on the sunny walkway.
Your darling’s crossword book lying open next to the bed.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU REALIZE LIFE IS PERFECT
Light falling on the open doorway to the music room.
Rain falling on the tin roof of the garden shed.
A wind so gentle it would be unnoticeable except for the rattling it makes among the dry cornstalks.
THINGS YOU KNOW THAT GIVE YOU A SENSE OF BELONGING
The difference between chokecherry leaves and serviceberry leaves.
Where to buy the best mouse-traps.
That the tiny pond-dragons are actually dragonfly nymphs.
No longer being afraid of leeches, black widows, or the long fat black slugs that drape their wrinkled lengths along the mown path to the draw when twilight comes.
ON THE WAY TO VISIT MY FAMILY
I imagine the living room, the beautifully upholstered furnishings, everyone very polite around the coffee table with the glass top that makes everything directly under it wavery and murky in an underwater way, and, sticking out from under one end of it, a pair of human feet. They are never discussed.
BALLET OF CHICKS IN THEIR SHELLS
Twenty years ago I choreographed a dance to this piece. Yesterday I saw, for the first time, an actual chick pecking its way out of its eggshell.
How strange to have images that are abstractions, that miss the point so completely. The struggle of the chick to peck its way out is way more horrifying than playful, its peeping from within, a sound that is desperate with exhaustion.
Typically, the eggshell is the dominant image, in the abstract-- the hard shape cracking cleanly. What’s left out is the elastic membrane, flexible as the shell falls away, the opening slits in it that swell and widen as the being within moves.
© Eberle Umbach 2001-2009