NEAR PROVIDENCE 16.2.21

The end of the road.

At low tide, in midwinter,

mist covering the

cove, just visible

gulls perch on small dark stones in

silence. They sleep, stretch,

spread their long white wings.

The mist hides the opposite

shore, at least to me.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 15.2.21

February. Peace

to dull ice and shining snow.

I’ve made my peace with

falling: the loss of

dignity, the brainless jolt

stripping the self of

flesh in the moment.

O happy fall, a stranger

pulls me to my feet.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 14.2.21

Valentine’s Day. The

place loud with local voices—

manly men, retired.

I read Saiguo,

so passionate (for a monk),

always on the road,

torn between beliefs

and his love for cherry blos-

soms. As I love ducks.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 13.2.21

Wide pants, heavy gray-

blue coats, the postal workers

take a lunch break. I

watch them and listen

to their low voices. Angels

to our loneliness,

and awesome. Snow drips

from their boots and glitters on

the tiled floor we share.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 12.2.21

In soft winter light

my selfies do justice to

the man I’ve become,

wrinkles and fat lips,

a brow unclouded by thought.

Life is brutal and

I’ve been pampered. Words

would say more but these selfies

capture the moment.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 11.2.21

My shadow on the

snow. I was focusing on

the birds in the Bay.

Art is the practice

of dying. My shadow on

the snow, a dark fore-

ground. The white birds in

the water hold a meeting

before flying off.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 10.2.21

Cabbage whites in the

rubble, burnt out black Portland,

me photographing

crows. Transtromer loved

cabbage whites, fluttering cor-

ners of truth itself.

Crows and cabbage whites,

those butterflies almost no-

thing—daylit moonlight.

Cat Wang on Nothingness

Master just sits there.

I wander under his chair,

brush by his legs, jump

up on his lap, and

so we pass a winter’s night.

When he wakes I’m gone.

He’s normal the next

day. People deal with Nothing

by doing nothing.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 7.2.21

Throughout the snow day

I keep going to the wind-

ow. The snow has made

the wind incontro-

vertible. My eyes get tired

of watching it work.

It’s all that matters.

Backed by wind, snow defaces

each familiar thing.

And yet the wind dies.

Its rage to cancel gives way

to still possibles.

NEAR PROVIDENCE 6.2.21

Surprised by a sky

of tender blue. We are told

to expect a foot

of snow by morning.

But “we are never prepared

for the soul” (Burnside)

in this edited

life. We second guess the STET

of the once again.