Saturday, January 13, 2007


That's my name for what fell on Columbia last night, this pattery snow that nipped at my scalp as I hiked over its crust, frozen to foamboard, through the neighborhoods to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the glowing company of marvellous Mizzou poets. It ticked and whispered onto its own surface, and made a mystery in its merging there, since it wasn't feathery snow, but was too soft to ricochet off of the pavement like hail. Hence, snail. Maybe, in the course of this degree, I'll learn more beautiful ways to describe weather, and be able to apply for poet laureate at the Weather Channel. The fact that they don't have a position like that might be a problem, but they wouldn't have to pay me much. If they could make it sunny out, that would be payment enough. That's what the weather channel does, right? Or is that God?

This hint of winter has been sweet, though. This morning, the white of the snow and the sky seemed to make this mutual reflection, like each magnified the other's gleaming, and in between the pedestrians looked stark and bright like mobile trees, and the trees themselves, encased in ice, glistened like an inner light had finally found its way out. There's one tree a couple of streets from me, with dark berries, the color of the inside of a mouth, and the ice freezes in drops at the bottom of each, making them tiny, globular lanterns whose ultimate shining will be falling to grow into new trees.

In my snaildom, late at night, curled into my thoughts, I think of Buffy, how her lipstick never smears in the snapkicking of vampires, and how we viewers live out the love stories never quite reached by them on the screen, and sleep comes in, seems to come with the kicking on of the giant gas heater next to my futon, with its little window you can see the blue flame through, and it brings weird dreams these days--Jason Koo (cool poet and homey) giving me instructions on the keeping of a pet tiger; my dad (awesome guy and former flier of fighter planes) taking me up in a Harrier, the kind of plane that can hover, telling me not to be afraid; tons of other friends and loved ones in surreal montages. Maybe it's that last midnight snack that does it.

Rodney Jones has a great poem in Salvation Blues, his new and selected, about dreams in which he's playing basketball, among other things. I may be getting my poems confused, but I think it's "Common Law Cundalini," that starts with the sublime line "A sudden loving settles into your own weight." Since I generally try to live out the poems of Rodney Jones, I've been feeling that love lately, of being here. Since I try to live out his dreams, I was overjoyed to hit the court with some of the other doctoral students (or just "studs", for short), and hope to again soon.

This has been my long way of saying Happy New Year to you.


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