Fire on the mountain.
Fire in the forest,
in Elfin forest, a place
once I had heard of
but now I have seen.
Prepositional week.
I photograph:
worm in fennel,
mint in basket
and something else
I forget,
and title the series
A Study in Prepositions.
All week I am titling.
Mint drying on counter.
Butterfly in bougainvillea.

I arrange photographs
in albums.
Photos all over the house,
we cannot eat anywhere.
I brew chaos as though it
were a pot of tea.
I am talking to the cat
and talking to the cat
about the fact that
I am talking to the cat.
I am becoming one of those women
I never meant to be,
crazy women their houses
in wild piles,
which they could never
pretend to know
the purpose of.

Mint drying on trays.

The fullness of my flesh
keeps me awake at night.
I take time out from household chores
to try again to accept
this home where I live,
saying out loud,
it’s the same body
it’s always been,
only fuller, spreading out
as nature does.
I wonder to myself how much
I could photograph of who
I am, without having
to send the film
out of town.

Queen Anne’s in a galvanized can.

I photograph mushrooms
in the quivering flesh of trees
and decide to explore
mushrooms for dinner
with the sense of tracking
across new continents.
He thinks the mushroom
is too large.
But that is the size it is.
He thinks my photos are too green.
As though anything could be.

Sex is everything,
I think as I water
my herbs,
but what I really mean is
everything is sex.

I study my energy
like reading seismographic
awake in the night
to tell myself
how turned off I feel.

I am trying to teach myself
that a negative mood
is just that,
a balance in the red.

I drive down the road
and sing out loud:
I can be sweet,
I can be good.
I can do everything
I should.
I can be dark,
I can be mean.
I can be the
antithesis of green.

Fire on the mountain.
The men next door leave
in trucks,
“Don’t worry, we’ll put
it out,” he says
in a pleasant masculine way,
and I answer with
a celebrative gesture
of my arm.

Fire on the mountain.
Nature burns.
Butterfly in bougainvillea.
I study my nature
before my eyes
and promise my Virgo moon
her time of day,
but not just now –
I am sucking the sweet nectar
from every red bloom
in sight.

A flat of strawberries for jam.

It’s a crazy way to be
but it’s mine.
I am making a book
and making mushrooms
for dinner.
I am making photo albums
and I am making photos.
I am making a photographic show
and photographic postcards.
I am making wildflower bouquets
and strawberry freezer jam.
I am making grocery lists
and sorcery lists
and lists to do.

I am making mail,
I am making baths
and beds,
performances and plans.
I am making plane reservations
for him,
and trip agendas for myself.

I am making herb gardens
and vegetable gardens,
and piles of weeds in the yard.
I am making compost
and ceremonies,
and celebrations.

I am making commitments
and files labeled Calendar
and baskets of corn husks drying.
I am making a woman of
the green girl I used to be.
I am shaping her from the earth.
I call her weed woman,
sod woman and self-watering woman.
I call her herb woman
and woman with flowers blooming.

She is more than mere metaphor,
she is an actual fact,
as all women are,
as all female life is,
despite the abstractions
they have tried to make
of our lives.

Fire on the mountain,
but I am not afraid
because the men in trucks
are putting it out,
the sweet ones
my life is a celebration of.

I dance around the kitchen,
Allons dancer.

Someone phones to ask
how I am.
Fine, I say, everything
is in chaos –
but I am riding it out,
like a red convertible
with the top down.

It’s true I complain
of long gestations,
but fast tumultuous births
they’re a problem too.
It is creation’s right
to express herself.

Fire on the mountain,
in the quivering flesh
of female life.
Avocados ripening in bowl.
Cut kolrabi in colander.
Round Round
Butterfly in bougainvillea
Red Red Red

Fire on mountain.

5/96 or 5/6/96