Tag Archives: Robert Duvall

Bits and Scrumbles

In Milwaukee this weekend, for my friend Katie’s wedding [her beautiful, perfect-tastic, dance-rific wedding. Lo, the dancing! There was some toe-tapping, and I don’t mean maybe].

On Friday afternoon, a group of us are seated in the lobby of the Pfister Hotel, eating lunch and drinking drinks, feeling like real ladies and gentlemen.

Long story short, Robert Duvall walks in.

No: I don’t know, either.


Descending back to earth after three days of the perfect wedding, and bright fall trees, and love, and also small, delicious, pesto-based sandwiches is difficult, even under the most benevolent of circumstances; for instance, if I had been traveling to the Carribean directly after the wedding, I might still have heaved a stony sigh at the hardness of my lot in life. “The Carribean,” I might have said, “what’s so great about the Carribean? Wait, how many degrees is it in Aruba? Well.”

Small things, however, can save you.  As I walked to work this morning, 7:25ish, I approached a cross-section of sidewalk that was bounded on all sides by tape and signage and et cetera. I slowed my steps as I approached. A grizzled workman, standing nearby, caught my eye.

GRIZZLED WORKMAN: It’s all right, miss.
ME: Okay.
GRIZZLED WORKMAN: [Moving his hands towards the ground, with the gesture of a man soothing a spirited horse.] Three days dry.

Hell yeah.


Did you know that Aruba is part of the Netherlands? Isn’t that weird? I think that’s awfully weird.  I didn’t know that.

It must be said, however, that what I don’t know on a given day could span the Andromeda Galaxy.

That’s about right!


It was seventy-something degrees in Chicago today. It was pleasant, but ultimately, days like this knock me off my rocker, come autumn. I’d gotten used to the slow fall of the temperature, the birdsong slipping away. I was starting to settle in. I don’t like to be reminded of the long haul waiting before spring comes again. Sometimes, you don’t want to remember what was.


On a lighter note, this peppermint tea is delicious.

PEPPERMINT TEA: Aren’t I just?


I was trammeled, I thought, by tragedy,
oh what, something long ago, some travail
of my soul or my body, or of both.

The “little tragedies of daily life”
tremoring through me–tremor wasn’t a verb,
tra-la-la wasn’t either, or trial,

though they trailed through my life, didn’t they,
a tracery of tears, a track of woes.
Woes, woes, ten little fingers and toes,

decades of them, this deed, that distortion,
a tort against the treasured harmony.
A twist or a twirl, a tic, a tic-tac-toe,

thrumming on the synapses, drumming out
a threnody of threats and tears, a thought-
torture, love, love, a tiny tortured heart.

My heart, my own little tap-tapping heart,
my tapped-out heart, their testament to me,
a test of wills, or a test of my will,

my willingness, my wish to weather on.
Oh waves, waves, all the ripples and rhythms,
the rituals of walking and reaching,

the verbiage, the verb-thoughts, try this, try that;
the rites of therapy and talking trash,
the tapestry of tears, the truth-trapeze.

But did I want the truth? Try me, I said.
This is, this was, this should never have been;
reason, thought-treason and some truisms.

Sarah Arvio


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Filed under Beginning Brand New Things, Poetry, Sarah Arvio