At the beginning of the Minneapolis summer (qualified as “Minneapolis” summer because this year it began about three weeks ago), I decided to re-read my favorite and most influential books from childhood. The ones I hadn’t already re-read more than once, that is, including: 1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. 2. My … Continue reading Andes Mint #29: "This that I see now."
“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,” says poet Mary Oliver, “the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting. . .” I was 18 when my parents drove me over from the Adirondacks and delivered me and my belongings to college. I remember watching them drive … Continue reading Andes Mint #24: The World Offers Itself to You
This mint is adapted from one in the archives, because at around one last night I realized that it was no longer dark-gray Monday but mustardy-chamois Tuesday, and I started thinking about synethesia all over again. From a question in Padgett Powell’s book of questions: “If you could assign colors to the days of the … Continue reading Andes Mint #23: Synesthesia
You’re the keeper of a tiny house on a hill in the woods in Vermont. The house is one room, 11′ x 19′, with a tiny sleeping loft and a tiny porch. At first there was just land. Over the years –quite a few them at this point– you added electricity, tunneled up in a … Continue reading Andes Mint #22: Off the grid dabblement
Your friend Absalom vows Haiku Friday! Feeling lazy, so do you. Did you manage to write your chapters? Yes. Good girl. Now you can go hike. Tromp up the mountain, tromp back down. Same mountain, same tromp. Never gets old. Stay back, rocks. Don’t roar down just as I’m climbing up. I don’t want to … Continue reading Andes Mint #20: Haiku Friday!
Sixth grade math class. Miss Hughes stood at the front of the classroom. She was short, young and powerfully built, with a sarcastic sense of humor that you and most of the class appreciated. You didn’t much like math, but you hadn’t yet come to loathe it, with “having skipped eighth grade math and therefore … Continue reading Andes Mint #17: What I learned from my buddy John Klossner in sixth-grade math class
Michiko Dead – Jack Gilbert He manages like somebody carrying a box that is too heavy, first with his arms underneath. When their strength gives out, he moves the hands forward, hooking them on the corners, pulling the weight against his chest. He moves his thumbs slightly when the fingers begin to tire, and it … Continue reading Andes Mint #15: Poem of the Week, by Jack Gilbert
Your mother woke you when you were a child, took your hand and pulled you from that little bed in that little room, led you downstairs and onto the cool cement porch. “Look,” she said, and pointed to the heavens, pulsing green and blue and yellow. “It’s the northern lights.” Tired, you leaned against the … Continue reading Andes Mint #12: Mother of Stars
You were a small girl and the state fair concessionaire stands sold pink puffs of spun sugar in paper cones, mesh bags of tiny boiled red potatoes salted and buttered, paper containers filled with fried fat-bellied clams glistening with oil. Paper cups filled with lemonade made from a squeezed lemon stirred up with sugar and … Continue reading Andes Mint #10: Steamed clams and boiled new potatoes
You and your girls and their friend were in London, staying in a sunny room with four twin beds at the top of four long, narrow flights of carpeted stairs that one of you always stumbled on at least once. You strolled Kensington Garden and had afternoon tea. You admired Princess Di’s dresses, still and … Continue reading Andes Mint #9: Show me a girl who's not afraid