Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Wait of Avocado

Friendly advice: if you have two avocado pits sitting on the windowsill propped up on toothpicks in jelly glasses full of water, hoping they will sprout, do not, just because it got sunny and nice out, put them out on the picnic table on the patio to get some sun. The squirrels will grab them, toss out the toothpicks, and bury them.

On the other hand, if this turns out to be a long, hot summer and/or if a combination of climate change and, alas, global warming turn the Midwest tropical, I might have a couple of avocado trees growing in my yard.

Thanks to Mark Hofstetter and Wikipedia for the avocado seedling.

In other news, I received The Wait of Atom, by Jessie Carty, in the mail the other morning, as I was a winner in one of the Big Poetry Giveway blog celebrations this year during National Poetry Month. What a charming chapbook!

Here is a picture of the green cover, but it appears that I have #51 of an edition of 75 handmade copies. Mine has a black cover folded over the green cover--it's Folded Word  press!--with the title and author handwritten in gold!

Inside are 19 poems in two voices, exploring the periodic table of the elements in fascinating and funny ways. She wears high heels and wants to live in the city. He wants to live in the country and shop for fertilizer. I won't give away any more of the domestic secrets of these two endearing speakers, but I do want to quote from the poem "Ars Poetica," that's like the avocado pit heart of the book:

On the walls of my work room, I hung a
framed, poster-sized copy of the periodic
table...
                                        ...When I feel
unfocussed, I try to name a random element...

***
Chemists took time to name elements with
such little purpose or quantity like number
75, Rhenium. I had to look it up. A rare
item extracted from other materials to make
super alloys primarily used in jet engine
parts. Someone took the time to find
Rhenium, to name it, measure it, to find
some purpose for it. Then I can begin.

I love the patience and focus here, the way the speaker can center herself with a kind of compassion for the rare, unsung element, and then apply this to her own work.

You can explore more of her work here at her website and blog, and at the marvelous "nesting site" of Referential Magazine, where I get joyfully lost for a while each time I visit!

8 comments:

Pearl said...

ah, squirrels. they went along in the evening after I put out the cucumber and tomato seedlings and dug out half. a Victorian country garden, I guess, provided more than the family could eat, designing in losses to squirrels and birds.

Kathleen said...

Oh, dear, Pearl! I was just talking to someone today who puts chicken wire around her vegetable garden. (That doesn't keep raccoons away, though. They just climb over!)

Jessie Carty said...

Thanks for the shout out! I just had some guacamole for lunch :) I'd love to have an avocado tree!

Emily said...

There's a picture on the internet that says this:

"Who runs the world? SQUIRRELS!"

Kim said...

Our new cat Boo scares away all sorts of little garden-thieving critters! Makes me less cranky about letting him in and out at all hours of the night.

The Beans said...

I'll be sure to inform my mother about the woes of avocado seedlings. Although in my neighborhood, the squirrels are actually ducks. :P

-Barb the French Bean

Collagemama said...

Just wondering how many avocado pits I've stuck toothpicks into over the years and suspended. Those jelly glasses with the permanent hard water deposits as evaporation shrugged its shoulders about the uncooperative pits. How much guac could those avocados make if a woodchuck could chuck nacho chips?

Hannah Stephenson said...

Sounds like a great book! Go Jessie.

Cute little squirrel-gardeners.

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