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Jason Crane Posts

POEM: Possibly Sparrows

Possibly Sparrows

I sit on a Saturday morning,
sipping tea that is rapidly cooling.
(There used to be a name for that;
a sound that these days is returning.)

There are little brown birds in the leafy bush.
They’re hopping and chittering and, as a human,
it is easy to imagine they’re friends,
gallivanting among the branches.

It is quiet on this Saturday morning,
with the tea cooling on the borrowed desk
and a soft-voiced parliamentarian
intoning the words of a long-dead poet.

The dog paces again past the closed door,
nails clicking on the linoleum,
as I sit at this borrowed desk,
carefully tracing my feelings

with a cup of tea cooling at my elbow
and the sound of the poet’s words in my ears
and a slight discomfort under my left leg
where the cushion has lost its spring.

I, though, have regained my spring;
have found myself dancing around rooms
when no one else is at home as the kettle whistles
from the kitchen to say it’s time for tea.

/ / /

18 February 2023
State College PA

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POEM: Eternal


He sent a song to this friend,
a book recommendation to that one.
To another he suggested a blend of tea,
and to another, a movie he’d cried over.
Little by little these seed packets
traveled out into his universe,
occasionally taking root in the soul
of a loved one, who years later
would put on an album on an autumn day
and be cheered by the music and
would remember him, and in this way,
he became eternal.

/ / /

13 February 2023
State College PA

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Tarot reading: “Creating Space For You”


1. Why am I not making myself a priority in my life? (The Tower) This ties in with something I was thinking about yesterday, which is that I am too focused on the end of this phase of my life and the beginning of the next one, and not focused enough on the person who is actually going through the ending and the beginning.

2. Why do certain situations and/or people supersede my self-care? (Page of Swords) I have a tendency to look outside myself for solutions. To new people, new situations, new jobs. It’s not that those things and people can’t be valuable parts of my life, but I still need to do the major internal work of looking after myself and creating healthier habits.

3. What is truly at the heart of me neglecting my needs? (The Devil) I have conflicting attachments: a real desire not to take part in the rat race, and a need to be safer and more comfortable than I am. It’s hard to know how to serve both masters.

4. How can I create the spaciousness that I need to just be? (Death) Rather than the various interpretations traditionally suggested by this card, I think it’s equally useful to instead take it as a reminder that time is both limited and of unknown duration. If not now, when? This does sometimes lead to me being open in a way that can be painful, but that’s better than the alternative. I think.

5. Are there any boundaries that need to be reexamined or asserted? (Page of Pentacles) I would like to make my next life decision with the knowledge of my own worth, not as an act of desperation.

6. Once I hold space for myself to breathe, what will root? (Ten of Wands) I feel that I’m close to some healthier way of being. But there is definitely hard work to be done to get there.

7. How can I continue to nourish myself, so I don’t fall into unhealthy patterns and habits, and which I am not a priority? (Wheel of Fortune) It would be helpful to put myself in a place of safety, where my basic needs are met. From there, other things can grow and thrive.

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POEM: Play Ball

Play Ball

It hasn’t been my favorite day.
So it’s a Red Sox podcast in bed.
My eyes are burning from overuse
& lack of sleep, but for some reason
I’m still awake, fielding a few
nighttime texts & thinking of
the day pitchers & catchers report.
I thought this would be the year
I’d take a break from baseball,
having seen one too many favorites
decamp for greener pastures.
But it hasn’t been my favorite day
& the days ahead are hard to see,
so instead I’ll turn this coal
into a diamond in my mind,
imagining the heroic young men
squinting into the Boston sun.
It’s a math problem, a Bach piece,
a well-loved album playing
softly as I search for sleep.
It hasn’t been my favorite day.
Play ball.

/ / /

10 February 2023
State College PA

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POEM: Iceberg


James sings “Laid”
on repeat.
Ten minutes, twenty,
half an hour, more.
Searching a dark room
for the sole source of light:
encased in a glistening iceberg,
the carpet wet from melting.
I press my heart to the ice,
feel the cold seep past
my rib cage, hear the cracking.
That snare drum again and again,
the falsetto, his sensuous hands.
Finally an opening;
it fits my arm.
I push in
to the elbow,
the shoulder,
my skin sliding along the ice.
My fingers close
around a tongue of flame.
Still the sound of the guitar.
Still the sound of the guitar.
“This bed is on fire…”
The flames spread up my legs,
to my hips, my chest.
I dance, bare feet
on the ice-cooled carpet.
“This bed is on fire…”
The falsetto, the hands,
the hips, the drums,
the melting of the ice,
the fire.

/ / /

5 February 2023
State College PA

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POEM: Exposure


An Instagram astrologer
says Virgos are hard to love,
reluctant to open up,
guarded & managerial.
Not one word of this
applies to me,
born on September 10
with my heart uncovered.
I am not a manager.
There are no bosses here.
Only that same heart
scarred & older.
I gave it as a gift
under a late-summer sky.
It was returned to me,
If I sit quietly I can hear
the rush of blood
like a subway train
under a sidewalk.
Mind the gap.

/ / /

2 February 2023
State College PA

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POEM: By Calvin Klein, Almost

By Calvin Klein, Almost

he is writing his little words
thinking his little thoughts
obsessed! says Gen Z
or whomever
or is it whoever
whomever, almost certainly
“Furry Sings The Blues”
is playing on the turntable
or it would be
if he owned a turntable
or a copy of the album
instead he sips a hot cup
of imported green tea
actually that’s not true either
& so he writes his little words
& thinks his little thoughts

/ / /

2 February 2023
State College PA

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POEM: Birthday


today we’ll have
no cake
no candles
no balloons
no party hats
no presents
no wrapping paper
no singing
no silent wishes
no paper plates
no plastic forks
no noise makers
no confetti
no jolly good fellows
no and many mores
no laughter
no tears

and yet
and yet
and yet

/ / /

31 January 2023
State College PA

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Write something

I started the year without any writing goals.

I had stopped my daily haiku practice in the fall of 2022 after 600 consecutive days. I had no intention of resuming it in the new year, or of replacing it with anything else.

Then my friend Carolee Bennett, whose blog you should read, sent me an article on New Year’s Day about people with a daily haiku practice. Since it was the first day of the year, a day that fit nicely into my desire for projects to begin and end at obvious times, I decided to write a haiku. I also set a task on my to-do list that read simply: “haiku.”

I continued to write a daily haiku until January 18, when I didn’t. Then I wrote one on January 19. Then nothing until January 23. And so on. During the month I also wrote some longer poems when the inspiration visited me.

A few days ago, realizing that the daily haiku practice was reminding me of why I stopped last year, I changed the task on my daily to-do list from “haiku” to “write something.” That’s what I’m trying to do each day. It doesn’t need to be a haiku or a poem or a story or any specific thing. I just need to write something. I guess I mean something more than a photo caption or a tweet. Something that exists for its own sake, if that makes any sense.

Most days I’ve written something. As time passes, I’ll probably come up with a stronger feeling about what “write something” means to me. For now, though, I like that it’s nebulous. The idea is to just keep using my brain and heart via the medium of words. The rest will work itself out.

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