Category Archives: Uncategorized

First haircut after quarantine

(for Susan Stewart) Feels like the first time, as the old song goes. Foreigner’s first album dropped in 1977, me a freshman in college, equal parts curiosity, intimidation and hormones, hiking the university to which I commuted daily—my parents entrusting … Continue reading

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Digression: Teaching at home

For my students at Sacramento City College, who survived the spring 2020 semester Thank God, for the social media post written by some teacher as despairing as I who said, It’s not teaching; it’s damage control. To which I hollered … Continue reading

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Everything I know about being afraid*

For my students of color on the front lines, June 2020 It’s not the fear itself I fear. I’m afraid that I won’t listen well enough to hear your hearts, to have patience as you tell me what is it … Continue reading

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Liftoff

For Dr. Steve Simmons Sept. 14, 1941–June 1, 2020 You have been trying to depart for days, propped up in a strange bed in the living room that no longer looks like home, except for loved ones, both two- and … Continue reading

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Annie’s 11th birthday

Every time I see this kid, she’s taller. All of 4-feet-8, her mother says, as Annie outgrows another wheelchair. On her 11th birthday, Annie is a picture of a healthy, happy kid, with snazzy nails painted in alternating colors of … Continue reading

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Clifford

This guy would’ve been 68 years old today, and I can’t quite wrap my head around that… nor the fact that he died 19 years ago. I’m still grateful to you, Clifford Ernest Polland, “my photographer,” for following me around … Continue reading

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Graduation 2020

It was my next door neighbor Christine Cross’s idea. She called to me a few days ago from as she was hand watering the proliferation of foliage that is her front yard, “Jan! The Man will host graduation on Friday.” … Continue reading

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The record player

This week a surprise gift arrived from myself. This may be one of the great things about forgetfulness—sometimes I order things online and when they show up, I’m pleasantly surprised. Oh, look, vitamins! What’s in that soft bag? Oh, a … Continue reading

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Trader Joe’s, store #175, Sacramento, Monday, April 13, 8:35 a.m.

Wearing the new, cute mask a local writing friend made—deep violet pansies on a black background—my glasses were already steaming up before I hit the produce aisle. I was almost able to walk right in to my favorite grocery store, … Continue reading

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The hidden emerges: Coyotes return to San Francisco

Our four slender legs walk this place now that the two-leggeds have disappeared. Where have they gone? Their long faces peer through clear squares in their dens. What is keeping them in? Occasionally one of them ventures outside, looking furtively … Continue reading

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