Monday, August 28, 2023

notes & things | 8/28/2023

While the middle of the week was apocalyptically hot and humid, the last couple days I have been alternately turning down the fans and pulling the quilt up over the bed and hiding underneath. Fall is close enough to taste and by the end of the week, it will be September. I am in no way ready for fall, literally and metaphorically, but I have been longing for the cooler weather and spooky things, including some decor pieces I will likely leave up long past Halloween. 

Earlier in the week, a facebook friend asked everyone if they could think of a time they wanted to stop writing, and what made them carry on regardless.  How did they work through it? I was thinking of responding, but then realized the answer was way too complex and convoluted to deal with in a comments section. There are days when I feel this way about poetry specifically, not really writing in general, of which I have done many different types and genres at various points.  I love that I get to make a living writing other kinds of things now, but poetry sometimes feels like something I could easily drop from my life like a napkin from a table and I'm not sure anyone would notice. It certainly doesn't contribute financially to my life, nor does the pursuit of it necessarily all the time contribute to my mental well-being. It is a lot of time and effort invested with steadily diminishing returns, something that took me a long time to realize.  That working harder or more or better wouldn't necessarily show any kind of difference at all. And by returns, I don't necessarily just mean po-biz things, many of which I have let go of in the past several years.  But more so the sense of purpose that I sometimes lose the thread of at times. Would I not spend my time better by writing things that allow me to make a living rather than dropping poems into what usually feels like a void. Would not these energies be more productive leveled elsewhere?

And yet, I don't know how I would live without it. Or where I would channel those same storytelling energies. Fiction, sure, but I am not really very good at it.  Essays, maybe. Writing poems, good or bad, have been part of my life since I was a stupid teenager who did a little too well on an English assignment and somehow locked in hard on a genre that most people don't seem to care about at all. I used to dismiss that Rilke quote about HAVING to write, of dying if you were forbidden to do it,  as pretension and dramatics, but maybe he was right. Sometimes I am not certain how I could ever consider stopping. Sometimes I am not certain how I can keep going.

But there are still poems to be written. Projects to be executed.  I am digging in on the video poems that I will be releasing in September--the villains series--armed with a fancy new microphone for recording (well as fancy as has good reviews on Amazon for under $100.)  I've been fiddling with the visuals, so all that's needed is audio on the first couple pieces. My plans to have everything done by September was not exactly realistic. Some of it is just late summer stalling, some of it just a busier non-writing life of late. Some of it is taking on more decor and lifestyle assignments on some days of the week that eat up some time I may have been messing with creative things.  These offer solid, tangible fruits of labor in the form of more discretionary income. Meanwhile, the poetry fruits are few and far between-- a couple acceptances from journals, some nice comments on the newest book, an unusual flurry of likes on a IG post. Tiny things that one could starve from waiting for, and perhaps we all do just a little. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

bombs and dolls and american-made tragedies

In a tactic to beat the heat of my apartment yesterday in its A/C-less state, we decided to go spend as long as we could at the movies, which meant we went to see Oppenheimer, the longest run-time film we could find.  While I am always game for a biopic, this one probably would have been something I just waited to come in streaming were it not for all the #BARBENHEIMER summer madness. On one hand, the length would normally have worked against it under theater-going normal circumstances. It also seemed really sad and depressing, which seemed unnecessary in a world where if you really want sad and depressing, just turn on the news or look around. But since we'd already seen everything currently in theaters horror-wise we wanted these last few weeks, Oppenheimer it was. 

So we found ourselves, after a leisurely burger and cocktails at the bowling alley that shares space with the theatre, settling in for the 3-hour mid-century jaunt in the dark. What first struck me is that it's a rather moody beautiful movie, which like much of Nolan's other work, maximizes color and shadow to its best advantage.  The performances are commendable and the storytelling was, while confusing in a couple spots, innovative. 

I say confusing largely too because of the men. So many of them. With similar looks and names and all wearing suits and cool mid-century eyewear and making the most irresponsible decisions with deadly human tolls. When Florence Pugh's character is nakedly prompting RO to read the famous Bhagavad Vita line RO is famous for, it crossed my mind that this may be the nerdiest bit of porn I've seen. It's a movie that relishes its theme of brilliant people making brilliant discoveries and inventions that they know only as evidence of their brilliant egos and nothing of their impact.  Not knowing a lot of the history and names specifically, it was hard to keep the men straight beyond RO himself and the women, while well cast with A-list actresses, not as fleshed out as I would have liked. (and an exact example of what the film's bright pink-clad sibling was making a statement against. The women were kind of set in scenes like dolls or, worse, like Kens. 

The scenes of the meetings and the congressional hearings were juxtaposed in my head with the all-female leadership of Barbieland.  The lawyer who said that her logic and her feelings made her a better leader. The one woman scientist on the Manhattan Project who the men worried about her delicate lady parts and radiation. Men in identical rooms in identical suits making decisions that killed hundreds of thousands of people and may one day kill more. Or all. 

My favorite scene was the reckoning when RO himself at a podium horrifically imagines his cheering audience incinerated by the weapon he helped create.  Or when we discover his discussion near the pond with Einstein and the consequences of his quest for knowledge. It's interesting that they begin with the poison apple scene,  which I think is based on RO's own conflicting accounts later in life, records of therapy undergone as punishment at Cambridge, and a detail discounted as fully true by his grandchildren. A detail possibly wrong or inaccurate or less dire than it seems. However true in real life, in the film it sets a parallel between how jealousy and insecurity led him to do and make terrible things. 

Which is to say, he's a lot like Ken and his horse-loving patriarchy in that case, except the word is flipped and the men are in charge and making the decisions with no one else to set parameters and boundaries of compassion and good sense. By the end of the film, it was just a film full of Kens with silent Barbies who endured and drowned themselves in bathtubs with no real power or control. The same things that ultimately take down Ken's burgeoning empire, the warring of the men, and allow the Barbies to regain control, are the same circumstances that lead to weapons of mass destruction. Except this isn't Barbieland and no one can restore order. 

While at first, it seemed merely like a release-weekend coincidence and social media-inspired enthusiasm, these two movies seem to really go together somehow,. They are very much about America and the things we create. Good or bad. Symbolic and real.  Constructive or destructive. While Barbie was meant to be a symbol of feminism and womanhood, it came with the unsavory aftertaste of body image issues and commercialism. While the A-bomb was intended to be a brilliant scientific discovery that proved our global leadership in the scientific and military world, it turned out to be the key to mass extinction. The creators, whether it was tiny Ruth Handler or towering RO, were caught in the middle. While Barbie wants to make meaning--to not be the thing that is made. Oppenheimer's creation, the thing that is made, destroys it.  

Sunday, August 20, 2023

notes & things | 8/20/2023

Wisconsin, circa 2013

We have crested into the final third of August and the light is beginning to change, maybe not as noticeably as all at once, but that one morning it's startlingly obvious is coming, probably within the next week.  The past couple of weeks, I've been hearing the cicadas around sunset that signal late summer and the sunsets are earlier and swifter  We've had some cooler weather replaced by warmer again, so summer is still firmly summering, make no mistake, but already my social media/YouTube feeds and writing assignment queue's are littered with fall-ish things (like this fun thrift rehab project I wrote about this week.)

This week included not just one, but two movie dates, the first, the second go at Barbie I mentioned earlier, and a Korean action movie revival selected by J that was strange and weird and kind of gross with incest vibes, but a movie is still a movie, and with his new freer schedule, we will be getting to have more date nights like this on the regular--especially promising considering we will be in high spooky season for horror releases very soon. This week, we are taking in the aquarium on its free night, which I haven't been to since the late 90s despite my one-time marine biology enthusiasms.

This time of year always makes me think of the past somehow, which probably has something to do with the start of school and the bygone sense of blank pages. This morning, I was thinking about 10 years ago, a period of time that seems sort of muddy with a relationship that was well past its sell-by date, but also good things like the release of shared properties of water and stars and Pretty Little Liars marathons complete with a very tiny Zelda racing back and forth across the back of the sofa. Late in the summer, we visited my cousin who lived way up in northern Wisconsin, which already had a fall-ish tinge to trees even in late August. We drank overly elaborate Bloody Marys and went antiquing in a tiny town with many stores where I got my prized Roloflex camera for a steal at $10 and several pretty antique postcards. I'd wake up in the mornings on the sofa with my cousin's enormous golden lab sprawled across me. Smallish bears would ramble through their yard from the surrounding woods at dawn. The weekend was campfires and pontoon rides and, perhaps most importantly, both my parents were still very much alive and healthy.  

20 years ago, I was 29 and on the verge of starting my MFA studies, going to overly bougie and posh several-course lunch orientations at the Union League Club back when Columbia was spending money like it had it.  Later, at the meet and greet with other students and faculty, I would feel like I didn't fit in--a feeling that would pervade me for the next four years of study. On my one day of full classes that fall, I kept returning to the Art Institute, which was pay-what-you-can in the afternoons to gaze at the Cornell boxes--still in their location in the old modern wing before the new one was built. A project that would also take four years to finish.  I would take my notes to the cafe across Michigan and turn them into poems that eventually became at the hotel andromeda. I was tentatively sending out the first version of what would eventually become the fever almanac, though it would change a lot before getting picked up two years later. I was still mulling the idea of starting a chapbook press that wouldn't bloom until the spring, but it was a tiny kernel of thought I'd turn over and over in my head while waiting for the bus or working nights at the library's circ desk.

30 years ago, somehow, I was just 19, starting my first year at RC--which was technically my second year of college after transferring, but it felt like I was starting over. I was in love with the tiny campus tucked among the woods and hills right in the middle of the city I'd known all my life, an oasis amid strip malls and parking lots that felt very quaint and un-midwestern. I happily enrolled in philosophy classes and Shakespeare seminars and would hide out in the library lunching on terrible fat-free sliced cheese sandwiches and pretzels because my high school eating issues still had their claws in me. I would dye my blonde hair a dark auburn and it would stay dark for 20 more years. I'd wear long hippie skirts, tapestry vests over t-shirts and bell anklets/bracelets as one did in the early 90s. Sometimes on Fridays, we would drive up to the greyhound track in Lake Geneva and my dad would fund me and my sister placing bets on races we'd never win, but would have endless fun looking at the dogs and picking which looked the fastest. 

I don't remember quite as distinctly the late summer of 40 years ago, though I am not sure if it's a failure to pay attention or just the ravages of time on my memory. In the fall of 1983, I was going into fourth grade but I remember only bits and pieces--tether ball and playing Barbies on the playground.  An ill-advised perm inflicted on me by my aunt that led to many more years of really unfortunate hair choices in photos. It was the one year I was in Girl Scouts before we moved, which was filled with badges and cookies and camps. Also, full renditions of Donna Summers' "She Works Hard for the Money" while dressed like a housekeeper for the talent show, in which at least three other groups of kids did "Thriller.".  I was trusted to walk alone the five blocks to school even though I was only 9 because it was the 80s and I was afraid of nothing. But also I was afraid of everything.

40 years and not much has changed... 


Saturday, August 19, 2023

scribblings and salvagings

With J spending more time here now that his evenings are freer and us eventually planning on sharing this space or another larger one potentially in the next year or so, I decided to purge and reorganize the dresser next to the little writing table for a move into the bedroom, where it will be a far more functional nightstand than the small trunk there currently (most of my supplies and files are in the dining room/ studio space anyway where I work pretty much all the time so I am figuring out how best to store them there.)  I have been going through the paper files in the dresser, most of which are just a lot of random mail and official paperwork for things I no longer need to keep, but also there are a huge number of files of poems--pretty much, barring my teenage diary--all written between 1989 and maybe 2007, when my archiving abilities became much sloppier and I started both drafting and storing poems electronically.

In this bunch, you will find bad poems about flamingoes and seagulls scribbled on lavender pen pal stationary and college-ruled notebook paper. Later, handwritten drafts and typewriter versions on thin delicate typing paper. College poems and poems written in grad school, the MA in Lit years, when I first started writing anything of note. The early 2000s brought a lot of computer-printed and e-mail saved poems, several book manuscript copies of the first three full-lengths.  I sorted through and collected the odd poems out, the ones that never made it into manuscripts, and kept everything pre-2002 when I started putting together projects that actually reached publication. There are also poems from my MFA, including a few that were just assignments and never saw much light of day.

A decade ago, I would have told you I was saving things for prosperity, maybe eventually being the fancy kind of poet who sells your early papers to university archives when you are old and gray and possibly dead.  Now I know I am not that kind of poet, nor do want these bad drafts and such out in the world (and if I do, they are already in various chapbooks and books.)  Today, I sorted through and separated what I want to keep and what can go. But I do get a weird nostalgia for the baby poet I once was who scribbled and fiddled with white-out on these drafts. Who for the first few years, printed out every electronic journal publication (these are actually in a binder tucked somewhere else, though since so many journals have gone kaput in the past two decades, I may hold on to those.)

Most of the paper, especially from the 1990s, is discolored and fragile and may disintegrate in the next decade entirely, not being that archival. Somewhere, I have a stack of mead composition books comprising about a decade of journaling, which I eventually plan to reread one more time and then maybe burn, mostly because the girl there annoys the hell out of me. I feel like there was a split in the mid-200s, probably around the time I started blogging and using the earliest means of social media when my hoarding/archiving of every single detail trailed off. I didn't have a lot of time for one thing, in the throes of working full-time, getting an MFA, and starting a fledgling press. By the time I graduated, I was deep in the weeds of Etsy and would stay amid that craziness for awhile.  Then later came more book releases, more day job obligations, and soon socials and here were where you could find the things that used to be physical. 

I was a huge scrapbooker in high school, not particularly decorative, but functional, throughout my academic career, and early in my writing exploits.  In my school spirit red high school scrapbook you'll find photos of friends and awards and ribbons from football games I went to but never really paid attention to. There is UNCW volume with various paper ephemera that encapsulates the semester I spent there, another for college, with two additional ones sorted out into writing and theater related memorabilia (I told you I was thorough.) The writing scrapbook also includes my early writing awards and clippings from my high school paper and pretty much every lit thing I did for more than a decade--readings, programs from events, etc.  

These things I will keep since they are stored elsewhere in the apartment, but I feel like tossing some of these old drafts is a necessary letting go from someone who hoards way too much paper in general. The poems exist online and in books and chapbooks in final versions I actually want people to see, not the sloppy and crossed-out beginnings. The terribleness of those early poems I am keeping for now, mostly for me and my occasional nostalgia of who I used to be, but will likely toss them eventually. I don't foresee some future grad student pouring over my choices in word use or punctuation and that all actually sounds vaguely terrifying, so good riddance...

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

in the pink

I've been formulating a few more thoughts on the summer of Barbie after seeing the film a couple weeks back and then again yesterday, when our plans to catch the remastered version of Coraline were sold out and we opted for another Barbie screening, which was I suppose inevitable since I've had a hard time stopping thinking about it since we walked out of theater. It's a move that had me alternating giggles and tears and by the end, both times, nursing a knot in my throat that was both sad but also hopeful. So rare do we get something that is both hilarious satire--of patriarchy, of pop culture, of girldom, and such a heartfelt dealing with these things at the same time. 

People are still marvelling at little at the success, probably in an effort to reproduce it for future films, and I'm not sure that's possible, with nothing being as worshipped and divisive as the blonde doll that every female (and many males) from Boomers to Zoomers at least experienced to some degree. Something both loved and reviled as a symbol of everything wrong with consumerism and body images. But also something overwhelmingly under many a girl's tree come Christmas morning. Her essence a complicated knot of feminism and anti-feminism, where you can be everything you want to be, as long as you are statuesque and thin and unbelievably perfect. 

There is a line where Barbie says something about wanting to be the creator, not the product, right before she decides that the gloss and glitter of the Barbie world is not for her. A montage of shots of women backed by that Billie Eilish song that makes me a little teary everytime I listen to it, something I do quite often. Wanting to be the inventor, not the idea. The artist, not the muse. 

I have to admit, it's also a strong feminist movie somehow strangely stolen by Ryan Gosling's Ken, who provides much of the humor along with Margot Robbie, but also presents a character that is both ridiculous and sympathetic at the same time by turning the mirror around and showing men, at least in Barbieland, as characters defined by their relationship to the women. Much like the role most women actresses play in male-centric Hollywood in every damned mainstream movie and summer blockbuster. Apparently, this has left bros and aggro dudes fuming and big mad, but I don't think they quite get the irony. 

In many ways, the movie felt like a layering with bits of tatters and thread from my own life. Playing with Barbie, dressing Barbie and undressing Barbie and cutting off all her hair when I ruined her in the tub. Playing with Barbie in the plastic and cardboard townhouse that eventually warped and leaned and was unsalvageable.  The kind of media warping of the female body, of which Babrbie is just a product, not so much a cause. Matchbox 20's "Push" cover by Ryan Gosling that is hilarious and reminds me of the summer that song was everywhere the summer before I started grad school here in Chicago.  Various bits and echos of living as a female in a male-dominated world.  

Even despite catching it a second time in the theater, I feel like I need to watch it again when it hits streaming so I can mull over its gifts a little more. 

Monday, August 14, 2023

of poems and pictures


I was making up some poetry postcard graphics for Instagram this morning and a path out of the current quagmire of poems appeared. Maybe not so much of a path, but an untangling of branches, a clearing through the trees.  I had been stuck, with about a dozen poems in the hopper that were loosely thematically related, but I was unsure of where to go with them. Or maybe more where they were trying to take me.  Not one to blindly follow along (the Taurus in me), I froze up and refused to work on them or even really think about them. Instead, I devoted time to making more collages.

The irony of course, is that those collages, at least some of them, may have offered up my solution, though I scarcely knew it when I was making them, coming off the heels of the Persephone collages and fiddling with extra images I had saved in a folder. The wild things series, which felt really random and just for kicks when I made them, may be something I can use to guide the focus of this particular text series and help propel me toward actually finishing them.

The dynamics between visual and written work have shifted over time in my work and practice.  I always say I came to visual art much later, spurred by press-related graphic design exploits and making collages and stuff for library art exhibits. They were actually related in the very early days--through the installations spawned by poems, or visual poem projects for classes, one-off book projects for exhibitions and collabs with other artists.  A couple years in, however, they were wholly separate, particularly in the couple years, post-MFA, where I was writing very little at all and making a whole lot of art for the etsy shop.  The first zines I made were completely visual, and only around 2012, did writing and art start to marry up with each other again, though not always created in tandem.  The first visual/text project I released was shipwrecks of lake michigan, for which the poems had been written before the collages added. Others followed, but usually one medium came before the other.  ghost landscapes, for example, was a huge batch of postcard watercolors before there were poems to go with them. Ditto radio oclularia.  The opposite with taurus and exquisite damage / the terrible place, with the poems created to accompany the collagesI flip-flopped back and forth, with one or the other guiding the process. 

Very rarely did they occur at the same time, writing as I was working on the visuals, which has always felt like a better, more intentional way to work. But I can only remember it occurring with a couple different projects, usually because there were firm deadlines for one reason or another for a zine project (usually for library-related exhibits.)  I have numerous art exploits with no text component, though less and less text without some sort of visual accompaniment--collages, prints, and now, video. I worked on GRANATA all last summer thinking it would just be a written thing, but only as I started making collages this summer did it feel complete. 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Saturday, August 12, 2023

notes & things | 8/12/2023

It's been another week of planetarium and movie outings, the first largely because we got caught up in snarled traffic the previous week and didn't really get to look around before the Pink Floyd sky show (and after which the whole thing was closing up shop.) This week, we wandered downtown for some amazing beachside tacos, free general admission, and another show dedicated entirely to the moon on one of those perfectly moderate summer evenings. Last night, The Last Voyage of the Demeter, which turned out to be a suitably dark and gothic period piece, even though, in the last showing of the night, there were only like 5 people in the theater, so I doubt it's doing well amid the Barbieheimer summer. 

Otherwise, I have been at my usual business. This past week, a couple of journal acceptances after a longish drought, of the home improvements poems, which will of course have to push the zine release I'd been loosely planning back into winter to accommodate those publications. I will likely still be occupied with the villains poem videos that debut next month and still promoting COLLAPSOLOGIES a bit, so I'm cool with it. Plus, there is all that I have planned for October and my #31daysofhalloween shenanigans to keep me busy. I will also be sharing some of the home improvements pieces on Instagram that have come back to me anyway over the next few weeks. 

My planetarium visits with J  have no doubt been influencing my visual experiments, or vice versa, but just when I thought I was done with the star collages, there were somehow more. I've been moving in some other directions, but I feel like I may still return, so am hesitant to call that particular series done. I will be focusing more on video in the coming weeks, so we'll see if I have as much time for daily artmaking as I do currently.  

With J's new flexible job and more freedom, we've been doing the tourist-in-our-own-city thing and hitting up many of the activities we haven't been able to do the past 8 years due to his schedule or mine, including all the museums. Next up is the aquarium at the end of the month, which I haven't been to since the late 90s, so expect lots of sea poems and collages from this once dolphin-loving teen afterward. One of the last poems I wrote this summer was about horse girls vs. dolphin girls and how you were probably one or the other.  We plan on hitting up the Field and the Art Institute in August. 

This week's writing assignments have been devoted to more artsy Halloween shenanigans, whether you should buy vintage linens and various design-related trivia.  I am enjoying the extra hours writing for HD since they are a little less rigorous than the research-intensive lessons, which I have been working on less with fewer must-haves in the queue the past couple of months, with only one of two things catching my eye. The cooking and restaurant articles have been filling in the gaps. 

As for new projects, I have been musing over the eventual final form of granata for next year, which is too long to be a simple zine project, so I may be working it into some sort of art/text hybrid book..maybe coffee table bookish and square, possibly with a hardcover, though that can get expensive, though creating the journals have helped me to figure out how much, though will color interior, it will be quite a bit more. Currently, there are still a dozen or more pieces out in submission, so we'll see if those land anywhere. The RUINPORN manuscript is also basically finished and in need of a few tweaks, so there is that as well. The two current longer manuscripts are still missing parts, but up until my short hiatus the past few weeks, were still churning along nicely and at least one may be finished by the year's end if I actually get back to my daily writing habit.  

I've been working on getting out author copies and initial orders for the slew of dgp books released in June and July, with another crest of the first new titles due soon and a couple stragglers from 2022. Submissions are coming in briskly, but I have barely been able to dip my toes in the pool, so that will come as soon as August closes out. 

Sunday, August 06, 2023

notes & things | 8/7/2023

Yesterday we drove out of the city to visit some friends in the burbs amid some sticky heat and sputtery rain, only to arrive back last night to more rain and some decidedly autumnal feeling windiness. We haven't yet hit the day, mid-month usually, when the light feels like fall. These longings for spooky, cooler days and nights is very bittersweet, since the parts of fall that I love are usually over by Halloween and all that's left is the bare branches of November, more mentally treacherous now than ever, and the span of winter that seems to swallow most of the year. 

Still, it is August, that time of year when everything seems a little overgrown and overly buggy. The time of year when the gardens my dad used to keep would be overflowing with things, including a gazillion tomatoes my mother both loved and hated. August and September still feel like a preparation for something, though now I am not sure exactly what. I have writing plans and art plans, and we have some leisure-time plans now that J has successfully untangled himself from the boundaryless nonsense of his previous job, which has meant some more adventures and excursions while he's free and digging up some other kinds of work. 

As for my work, I've been digging in on some increased hours for decor/design./diy assignments I added after stepping away from GameRant last month, which has been keeping me busy along with an increased load from a couple other places. So I spent this afternoon making up for work I skipped on Weds..articles on how to make faux plants look real and the benefits of kitchen islands. Another cooking substitution piece for Cozymeal. I am looking forward to some more fall-appropriate things coming my way in the next few weeks. 

I am still waiting for a bolt of inspiration on the newest series of poems, but may have to dip back in sooner or later since not writing poetry at all these past few weeks feels itchy in a way I can't explain. I am enjoying my collage exploits, and have been editing and sharing the Persephone poems and making plans for that project for next year, but when I deviate from my daily writing there is always relief for about a week and then a feeling that I should be doing it, even if I've given myself permission to take a break.  

Thursday, August 03, 2023

cold and planetary


Yesterday, we took in a movie, dinner, and a quick evening visit at the Planetarium to see a Pink Floyd-inspired sky show in their enormous dome theater for J's birthday celebration. It inspired me to make even more space-focused collages, as if I had not been indulging that urge already the past couple of weeks with the latest series (see below). There is something about those black expanses of stars that have been drawing me to put them in art experiments particularly.

As we waited in the theater for the sky show to start, a huge image of the moon was on the wall, rendered amid rainbow colors that shifted and receded along the domed edges of the room. I couldn't help but think of how the moon is basically just this rocky satellite that orbits the earth and yet we've written countless lovesongs and poems and prayers to the moon since the beginning. Dare I say more than the sun, which is the thing that keeps this whole solar system spinning. And yet the moon is what we fall in love with the most, even though it offers neither light nor warmth.

Sylvia's moon and its "bald and wild" presence. This month's double full moons. The Sturgeon moon that means fish are more easily caught and snared in this month more than others. I once write a whole series of epistolary poems to the moon and tucked them into tiny vellum envelopes. Boxed them with old paper moon images and maps and transparency overlays of the moon. Despite this tribute, I've still managed to never get a really good and true shot of the moon with a camera--at last not the image I see with my eye--huge and looming over the lake sometimes as it rises. 

I've been reading about moon gardens after working on a decor piece about gardens in Savanannah. About planting things that will be equally beautiful and luminescent in the moonlight. About moon doors, which seem to be a cross between a garden gate and a fairy ring. But then again, all night owls must love the moon. Poets too. While I've never been a beach day kind of person (pale, pale skin and a tendency to get really drained by heat and sun) I am an avid fan of beach nights, especially when the moon is over the water and its clear enough to see a few brighter stars out over the lake.