Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lippi's Lunar Lunacy

And so Lippi paid homage to the lunar eclipse by burying twelve chicken bones and one split wish bone [making it fourteen bones] in the back yard. And from the bottom of each hole he removed exactly one spoonful of dirt and mixed it with rainwater to make the mud to smear on his face so he too could be eclipsed like the moon. With the mask on his face, he walked sideways down the sidewalk until he came to the streetlamp, where he begged the mighty light to move on, to pass by so he could wash his face and return to bed before the sun spoiled his celebration.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 1945

And so the world was
soft orange when the letter arrived from Jed
on a day in late summer with only the wind around for companionship
flatness was out and wavey auroras of the spent day hovered on the horizon were in
side of the mind recalled how long it had been
since the last communiqué coming from over there, yonder where I yearned to go
what is left to tell of his scribbled ink
of the orange day when hearts were knitted, before the dawn of sorrow
when the world was unblemished by sun spots
never the same, shadows
growing, dispelling, dismissing the light— as before
for he will not be home
but three days hence,
before the post makes the rounds again
beyond the withered willow, down the road from Ms. Snow
Jed shall finally behold what he held so dear.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Yard Sale

There is a reason why we haven’t had a yard sale in ten years. I hate putting together and holding a yard sale. So why did I decide to have one last Saturday? Because there really isn’t ever a really good and justifiable reason for having one, I’ll just say that the devil made me do it and the fires of his domain were extra toasty that day— so toasty that I could feel it. I sweated in it. I was burned by it…extra crispy.

My kids were so excited to have a yard sale. Our oldest was only a baby when we had the last one. To make things more exciting, we gave up our home court advantage to set up shop in front of a friend’s house [who happens to live on a much busier street…and to our surprise had two other homes hosting a yard sale] and we invited or suckered another friend to join us for a fun filled day in the sun.

Anyone who has ever had a yard sale [I think I can safely say that everyone reading this post has held at least one…I mean it’s like trying to find someone who hasn’t at least once, touched a 9V battery to their tongue to see if it still had any juice left] can attest to the fact that finding stuff to sell in a yard sale is about as much fun as pulling thistle with your bare hands. To de-junk is one thing, to gather junk and place a pathetically priced price tag on it another story.

7:30 am I set up shop. One of the weird things about Lubbock, is that people hold yard sales 365 days a year, weather permitting. Having two other people on the street hosting yard sales only makes the garbage pile bigger, thus attracting more scavengerous beasts. I met some of the strangest people…perhaps they watch Antique Road Show too often. I sold a few items to a lady who even asked me “Why do people buy stuff like this when they don’t need it?” as she continued to add junk to the growing pile in her arms. Because I was shallow enough to want her $3.50, I refrained from honestly answering that question.

Another couple pulled up in their van, the wife toting a small plastic baggy of loose change. I dubbed her Queen Haggle. $1.00 was the only number she knew and for her, nothing at a yard sale should ever be priced higher than a dollar. In fact, she gathered up several items together and insisted that she get all of them for a $1.00. Now with each passing moment, her husband’s face was getting redder and redder, the veins were bulging… “Honey, give me a dollar.” “The ATM has run out of dollar bills!” “Oh, pipe down and give me the bag.” She proceeded to count out her loose change. Why was I so willing to give in to her powers of persuasion? I mean it was pocket change! I was hot. I was tired. I was burned. I was miserable. Did her jingle of coins offer any relief to what I was enduring?

I closed up shop sometime after 5:00, a few dollars richer, none the wiser, but in a last ditch effort to rid myself of my wares, I put up a sign that said FREE. Three ladies hopped out of a car, looked through everything that was left, loaded up their arms with stuff and left with smiles on their faces. What didn’t sell, was taken to United Way.

I think I'm good for another 20 years.