an ode to parts of speech (and parts of myself) I don’t understand

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Unmaking,

unmasking,

retasking,

retaking,

rethinking this business of being an adult.

Undoing,

regluing,

refining,

undermining what came before this part of the book.

A chapter, a page, or a poorly constructed sentence,

tossed with only a few words remaining.

Revoking the small,

redeeming the bold,

waiting impatiently for me to do the work.

Unnerving,

uncomfortable,

unintentionally tripping over the past,

including what may have happened

yesterday afternoon.

Finding my place to stand,

steady,

ready,

resolved.

I am more than the story that arrived

on my doorstep,

without my permission, or a place to sit.

I am a mess, but damn it, a beautiful mess

in a shimmering universe of

glorious messiness.

Forgiving,

forgetting,

listening,

loving,

learning,

cultivating myself through life worth living,

with words, not whispers.

 

 

Words and photo by Kim Tackett, Wicker Park, Chicago.

gathering good :: 16 march 2017

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A day early this time (or three weeks late, depending on how you’re counting), but lots of links for the easily distractable. Have fun, but don’t forget to go outside.

After seeing the movie Hidden Figures, I think we’re ready for this all female NASA Lego team, don’t you?

Cement factory magic castle is a thing. Kind of breathtaking.

Here’s a lovely longish read: What writers really do when they write.

I have several friends on Facebook who have passed away, yet FB reminds me of their birthdays every year. Is your digital life ready for your death?

I love this…book reviews in 3 paragraphs or less. The Brief Book Reviews blog.

Nope, we didn’t just make it up. The Science of Hangry.

This cracks me up (and yes, it would probably work on me). Repackaging junk food for the hipster crowd.  Heh.

34 books by women of color to read this year. Time to stop talking and start supporting.

These are beautiful. Designer turns Arabic letters into illustrations of their literal meaning (you have to see it to get it).

Finally, we have something new on This is Plan Be, Be the Change postcards. They’re free. Come visit and get a pack of your own for sending or just some inspiration for creative resistance.

See you on the flip side.

 

Photo by Kim Tackett. Almond orchard in Yolo County.

always short and almost true stories :: winter

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My latest set of 35-word stories, sponsored by the longest of seasons, winter.

 

She blames gravity.

Winter rains.

The election.

Guilt for what, she can’t recall.

The death of Princess Leia.

Melted glaciers, never known.

She doesn’t realize

caring is for the strongest.

And spring will eventually come.

 


 

Leo,

alone by the fountain,

greets all who pass by.

He’s not at the retirement resort,

but the Italian Riviera,

60 years younger,

and his wheelchair

is a shiny red Vespa,

with room for two.

 


 

Her smile doesn’t move,

encased by plastic surgery.

It seemed a good idea, but now

without her laugh lines, how do we know

where she’s been, what happiness she’s lived

and how she really feels?

 


 

Storm’s coming.

I gather rainy day provisions:

Red wine, truffle popcorn, fancy cheese

and chocolate.

Meanwhile, under the freeway

shopping cart forts

built of cardboard, tarp,

rope and defeat,

shelter others.

Two roofs, different storms.

 


 

They sat until they ran out of nothing to say.

Staring without seeing each other.

Tense, anxious,

afraid of what comes next.

She spoke first.

Your move.

Yes.

King me.

Checkmate.

Damn you.

Another game?

 

I began writing 35-word (or shorter, never longer) stories by accident, a result of my failed attempts at a decent six-word story. I couldn’t be that concise and not feel some regret for the leftover words. The short-short-short story kept at me, until I found a format that gave me enough, but not too much. The stories reveal themselves almost every day. I can’t make this stuff up, or at least not all of it.  More stories live here.

Photo by Kim Tackett, Barcelona.

gathering good :: 24 february 2017

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Hi there, it’s been a long while since I have done one of these round ups of internet wonderfulness. We might have to look a little harder these days, but artists are still making, writers are still creating and the rest of us are imagining with all our might. Want to know what I found?

33 new books for 2017.  My books-in-waiting are stacked around my chair like little towers.

And here are 70 books to make you feel hopeful. (If you’re counting, that’s 103 books for my reading towers, which might make getting to my chair without spilling my coffee a little trickier.)

Jamming with the Boston Typewriter Orchestra!

Tee shirts for the feminist in your life.

The wheelchair, reinvented (wow!).

The one breakfast habit you should break...oh, my life would be so much easier if I didn’t require milk in my coffee. Honestly.

These Earl Grey Tea Truffles…is it past chocolate season yet?

Winter may have felt more beautiful last November, but if you need a reminder, these photos are breathtaking.

Do you follow Emily McDowell? I love her products, especially her empathy cards.

Productivity is about what you don’t do. A new way to look at an old issue, yes?

Norman Seef B+W portraits of celebrities in the 70’s and 80’s. So cool.

My daughter Alex would love this. Now that I think of it, it’s not so different from my stack of books surrounding my chair.

There, don’t you feel better than if you’d spent the last 15 minutes on news sites? I sure do.

See you on the flip side.

 

Photo by Kim Tackett, Barcelona.

 

it’s complicated

He’s right outside my window,
right now, right here.
In the rain, looking for dry spot, under the eaves,
or so I presume.

Wrestling with a blanket, tucking it into his torn jeans
It’s awkward, trying to work and watching him
just trying to be warm.
I wish I had a tarp, or a blanket, or something
more.

I can’t see his face, but I can see
he’s wearing a
leopard skin bra.

It’s complicated.

But it’s cold and wet
and I don’t know
how to reconcile the
community growing
under the freeway with
the life I get to live,

where I ponder
creativity and travel and wine and
if I need a new sofa, or if chairs and better lighting

are good enough.