Somewhere on this too-cold and still-ever-warming planet from a land cheerfully teetering on the brink of  fascism, I write to tell you I'm still alive, and I hope you are too.

Say your goodbyes to Europe / Our history dies with Europe

That hope isn't hypothetical, there's been a lot of loss lately. On departure I kept drawing Death, the Devil and the Nine of Swords even as the future looked to resolve well. On arrival I lost another mentor, had dinner with a widow, was haunted by a host of childhood ghosts, discovered again the lesson I insist on never learning: you can't ever go back to anything. Moving forward often feels a lot like running away.

The worst is all the lovely weather
I'm stunned, it's not raining
The coffee isn't even bitter
Because, what's the difference?
There's all the work that needs to be done
It's late, for revision
There's all the time and all the planning
And songs, to be finished

Exile from the place that never wanted me anyway isn't so bad. Most of my time not working has been spent on working on the house: renovating, installing, building. It feels both nice and also self-indulgent to spend so much time on just staying in one place.

Coyotes Say Hello

We live in the woods, it's very pretty and peaceful and I enjoy sharing the space with the feral inspiration for Feral Research: urban wildlife in spades.

Owls close the day, coyotes lope down the middle of the road. The surrounding wildlife refuge contains the ruins of several wars from the revolutionary to the cold. There are stone walls and foundations for mysterious military installations rusted out now, and the leftover fantasies of megalomaniacal billionaries long-dead remind me of what pretty ruins they leave us.

the foundation of something

all the untidy activity continues / awful but cheerful

Anindita is the Bishop scholar, but I can't help feel a thread of  solidarity with the author through the landscape and across the years. I grew up here, it feels closest to home as any place. We closed out the end of last summer of epic transition with a visit to Jonathan Ellis' exhibit on the Postcards of Elizabeth Bishop. On the return we visited Bishop's grave.

Bishop is buried with her parents in the family plot in Worcester. Something about that feels both inevitable and not quite right. All around and back again. We spin our queer universe in postcards and songs, swim our length in bourbon and words and find ourselves in the end under the same rock with our parents.

I left her a pile of the brightest leaves I could find.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Some notes:

A friend of mine who runs a trans letterpress studio (among other things) and I had a wonderful dinner together and tried to catch up 20+ years in a few hours. My dear friend Deb has gifted us all a book for the ages. Happy to say that Drum and Bass Night still exists at the Phoenix Landing (as it has for 25 years), and DJ Ripley killed it as usual. I returned briefly to Europe to attend Ragnarök at Nordic Fuzzcon and teach another workshop at HKB where, as usual, my students showed me how to live. I've made new friends, reconnected with some old ones, survived another winter.

There are bright spots but in many ways so much everything feels threadbare, stretched out like post-pandemic gauze, far too thin to support all this weight, but it holds (for now).

I'm not sure if I newsletter anymore.

I'm not sure where I exist anymore.

I miss you.

I look very old and I don't know what happened.

I feel unwilling to let things go.

So much unfinished business.