30 July 2012

19-25/100: A Week of Summer Sounds

Day 19: The cicadas' thrum lulls me into afternoon.

Day 20: Lawnmowers whine, incessant bee-buzz of summer shearing.

Day 21: An ice cream truck circles several streets over, a lonely calliope of sound.

Day 22: Ocean waves crash on wet sand, a dull roar; louder still, the boom of thunder.

Day 23: The thwup-thwup of thousands of tires traveling homeward over the bay Bridge.

Day 24: Pop! Fizz! Soda bubbles tickle my nose, rock my mouth with commotion.

Day 25: Quiet fills Sunday morning streets, everybody everywhere but here.

25 July 2012

18/100: Re-Cycle (Retread II)

Rubber shards litter the highway
more than I remember.
Perhaps it is the economy
driving truckers to a cheaper tire,
or maybe it is our green mentality
re-using a resource until it blows.

17/100: Outside Starbuck’s on the Way to Work (Retread I)

Every morning he’s there, his cart heaped with bags, staring at our coffees and scones. I always step around his mess, head to the hospital to crunch admissions, discharges, deaths, but today my iced caramel macchiato feels heavier, his eyes harder. I hand him my drink. He shuffles away, not even a thank you.

22 July 2012

16/100: Road Trip

The road beckons.
From Baltimore to DC, to visit with family 'in town' for a conference.
Hotel pool, free coffee and mini-Danish; children frolic, high on sugar and an empty pool.
The drizzle relents.
A stroll down 12th Avenue, skateboarders jumping stairs 8 at a time.
Lunch of salad, flat bread, cookies.
Dorothy's ruby reds at the American History Museum.
Lemon water ice.
Hugs at the top of 12th and K.
From DC to Baltimore.
The road beckons.

20 July 2012

14/100: How Do You Like YOURS?

Sliced and salted, white bread toasted, extra mayo?

Diced, dashed with balsamic and olive oil, extra virgin?

Pureed, a shot of icy vodka, crowned with a celery stick?

Tossed into a pie crust and baked with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil?

Eaten fresh off the vine, still warm from the sun?

Tomato. Summer is here.

17 July 2012

13/100: On the Corner on the Way to Work

Fifteen seconds.

Waiting for the light to flip.

Cars fly twenty over, a hospital zone. A lanky young man, pants hanging low hips like a magic trick, bops to his silent music, fingers clacking, knees bending.

"X-rated, x-rated," another man, this one silver templed, peddles boosted nips of high-octane booze.

Across the street, a woman wavers. Already you can fry sunny-side ups on asphalt. She crumples, implodes inward slow-mo.

Cars stop. The white walking man says walk.

I cross. A half-dozen attend the fallen woman. The pusher makes a sale, and the bopping dude vaults through the cross-walk, a gazelle on speed.

Fifteen seconds on my way to work.


15 July 2012

11/100: Pooped

We had us a shin-dig last night, a garden party complete with daylilies, a guitar-cello duo, antipasti (cheeses, prosciutto, fresh tomatoes with basil, tiramisu), vino, and, of course, fiori!

Much fun with friends, but now it is time to rest. Peace...

10/100: DAMN BUG



See that bug right there? On my Asian pear? That is the best thing China has sent us since the whoopee cushion--not! Stinkbugs. They ravage the garden in spring and summer, feasting on soft fruits and vegetables, leaving behind a taint of yeast that makes the produce ferment from the inside out. When the weather cools, they head indoors and nestle among wool sweater (they prefer cashmere and merino), leaving nasty stains.

Birds snap these critters up, and some say cats find them rather tasty, but there's more stinkbugs than birds, it seems.

Here's hoping we get at least one Asian pear out of this summer. Peace...

13 July 2012

9/100: DRIP

Every day you Mama flirts with Constantine in this goddamn market, maybe he you daddy. But you lick you ice cream, little pink tongue like a cat’s, flick, flick. Lick fast, girl, the heat’s gonna melt it. Like summer’s melting me. I ‘member when I ate ice cream with my mama. Ten years? Twenty? Dunno how old I am, but I ‘member how the cold creamy freeze my brain. What? You holding that cone out for me? Spit rushes, my fingers twitch close, and you jump, drop the damn thing, laughing at me scooping the mess off the sidewalk, all greedy.


Friday. Payday. Everyone out at Lexington Market, chomping on peanuts, drinking malt liquor wrapped in brown paper bags, kids in strollers licking ice cream. Originally Published in Dog Days of Summer, an anthology of 100 word stories pulled together by Michael Solender. Read on for more summer heat. Peace...

8/100: Butterfly Bush

The butterfly bush
persists through summer
swelter, surpassing
lilies blooming but
for a day;
the garden peaks,
a memorial.

12 July 2012

7/100: Joy

Baltimore feels 10 degrees warmer than my home on the outskirts. All that asphalt, the tall buildings of glass reflecting sun and heat, the lack of shaded green.

But Baltimore has coffee shops, and nothing beats summer's swelter better than iced coffee.

Today, I went to my regular Starbuck's and ordered a venti iced with milk, unsweetened. The cashier waved her hand when I presented my gold card.

"On the house," she says. "Rather, on the anonymous customer who paid for your coffee."

Turns out the gentleman who produces the Grand Prix in our city drops a hundred when he visits this particular Starbucks. Thank you sir, whoever you are--you made my day, mine and quite a few others who received complimentary drinks. Peace...

10 July 2012

6/100: Moon

I captured this image last October. Fog rolled in, the moon tangled in branches, and I remember thinking of a good friend of mine, living over the Atlantic, and wondering if the moon he had seen seven hours earlier was the same. Peace...

5/100: Down the Highway

We spent the day in the car, my family and I. We passed fields of rain-soaked Golden Burley and acres of soy, replaced by stands of loblolly pine and creeping kudzu. Further north, truck stops and strip malls, half-empty, replaced nature. Outside of Emporia, Virginia, the sulphur smell of a dead swamp filled the car, with each occupant pointing fingers at the party guilty of imparting such stench. Chicago filled the speakers, good things in life take a lot of time, and the car flew under cloud-studded blue, the temperature never cracked 90, and it seemed we could drive forever.


09 July 2012

4/100: OASIS

By nine in the morning, the temperature hit 96 degrees. The small breeze felt earlier sucked into the vortex of heat. Sprinklers whish-whished the canna lillies and other plants sweltering in perlite-packed pots. In the fields, daylilies, thousands of them, their leaves withered yellow, mustered another step towards life and offered up their blooms.


08 July 2012

3/100: SWELTER

We barrel down washed-out asphalt. The mile ahead shimmers and buckles. A white humid haze covers baked fields, the red dust lofts behind plows churning up futility. Our passing whips the leaves of trees, their silvered undersides turned up as if in prayer. At the exit ramp, crepe myrtles drip red.

July 7, Day 3 of 100 Days of Summer.
Paint the town red.
We travel south, in one of the hottest days of the summer. Peace...  

06 July 2012

2/100: LONGING

Night. Cold as ash, cold as ocean deep, come, collect me: cells, bone, teeth.

Creep beneath moon snarled
in shade of night, primrose,
jasmine, sickly scent seep
under borders brambled
vigilant heart keeper:
through garden bare
of heliopsis, daylily,
glory of morning
prostate to light.


Collect me.

July 6. Day 2 of 100 Days of Summer.
Out like a light.
My imaginings of a night garden; fragments of living in a night world.

05 July 2012

1/100: Currants

Currants. Tart bomblets burst on your tongue, juiced into jelly, chiffon pie, sorbet to reset your tastebuds. Eat them--quick--before the catbird makes his feast. 

July 5. Day 1 of 100 Days of Summer. 
Paint the town red.
Indeed. Let's start in the garden. Peace...