Been going through a Roy Orbison phase,

and letting it happen. Orbison sang

on KVWC in Vernon,

TX, as a teen. He grew up in Wink,

and I think how he hid his eyes behind

sunglasses most of his career. This record

I’m listening to is Orbison playing

someone else’s songs: Don Gibson,

a friend of Roy’s in Nashville, in 1967.

A killdeer is threatening Ottawa’s

Bluesfest: four speckled eggs laid on a patch

of cobblestone, where the main stage would be

if Canada had not designated

the bird a protected species. A cop

guards the eggs 24/7. The letter

of the day is … K! sings Abby Cadabby.

The guy who tattooed Erin in Jerome

is named Johnny Knuckles. He owns the joint

and also fights fires and with his wife rents

out the first floor of their bordello-themed

home on Airbnb. He drew and tattooed

a Steller’s Jay on Erin’s left shoulder,

opposite the swallow on her right. Now

she looks half-rockabilly/half-hippie,

which I guess she kind of is. David Lynch

has—thank God—clarified his quick comments

about Trump. Suffering and division,

he said Trump is causing. Much worse than that,

but I’ll take it. Erin and I got through

ep 3 / season 3 of Twin Peaks

last night—we’re rewatching it all. Dougie

pulled 29 jackpots in Vegas, yelling

Helloooooooo! each time. Season 3 feels less vintage—

in that ‘50s/’60s rockabilly

way—than the first two seasons. Exception

being the crowd at the Bang Bang Bar

and sexy-as-hell Chrysta Bell. I’ve never

kissed anyone with black Betty Page bangs,

arms inked with fuzzy dice and pin-up girls.

People who caution that tattoos—Before

you get one, listen!—are forever, kill

me every time. Listening to The Cramps

now—real ghoulish rockabilly bizness.

They took a genre they loved and fucked it

in the mouth—I salute them. Can one pickle

kohlrabi? Certainly, just ask Sandor

Katz, pickling guru who says Brassica

vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts,

cauliflower, broccoli, and kohlrabi—

even the stalks of chard—ferment beautifully.

In the Himalayan Mountains, fermenting

is begun by wilting the vegetables

in the sun. For our pot luck this Friday,

I’m debating between making kofta

from garbanzos, almonds, zucchini, bread

crumbs, cumin, garlic, and cilantro—or

kabocha squash in pipian verde.

When cooking squash, I always leave the skin

on.  Still thinking of the death of Koko

the gorilla. Coco is finishing

her new book in Nashville. The innermost

wrapping of a silkworm cocoon is called

the knub—and, too bad, the k is silent.

19 million acres of kelp forest

float in the ocean, providing shelter

and food to snails, limpets, sea urchins, wolf

eels, barnacles, and starfish. Today, Mars

stations retrograde at 9° of

Aquarius. Justice Sotomayor

dissents, comparing 5-4 ruling

upholding travel ban to ‘44

Korematsu v. United States,

in which the Supreme Court decided

it was right and lawful to imprison

Japanese Americans during WW2.

Rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson

sang a song called “Fujiyama Mama,”

comparing her overpowering passion

for a lover to the atomic bombs

that killed over 200,000 people

in Japan. But she didn’t write the song.





Flagstaff, Cave Creek, and Williams have canceled

their July 4th fireworks. 5,000

red-winged blackbirds were killed by illegal

fireworks in Arkansas in 2011,

early New Year’s Day. Last 4th of July

68 horses crashed into fences

and stables in Bagdad, KY—one

horse died. We don’t do body counts, declared

US Gen Tommy Franks at Bagram

Air Base in 2002. The Silk Road

passed through Bagram, westward through the mountains

toward Bamyan, The Place of Shining Light,

where the world’s tallest statue of Buddha

stood at 175 feet.

The Taliban destroyed it in 2001,

claiming an affront to Islam. Under

an almost unbearably blue sky,

I sit and read Fady Joudah: It’s not

the hell one enters // but the hell one

enters others into / & also enters





If something is small, Thalia calls it

a baby. Baby pine cone, baby

cat, baby cup, baby dino[saurus].

These phrases float in waves of aqueous

syntax and I ache with love for her

and for language that is ours and somehow hers

alone. I don’t believe in miracles

but I believe in this: baby pine cone,

she says, holding it toward me, then rubbing

it between her fingers—its downy scales

and seed disappearing on the wind.





A brush fire 40 miles east of Holbrook

has closed I-40 in both directions.

On my map, that looks between Chambers

and the eastern edge of the Petrified

National Forest. And, more precisely,

where the Navajo Travel Center is—

of which one Yelp reviewer wrote, a good,

clean rest stop with a nice Subway. The news

outlets don’t mention any of this, though;

just 40 miles east of Holbrook, as if

no one would recognize or care what’s in

between Holbrook and the fire. Petrified

Forest looks like where forest used to be—

and is, in fact, deposited with wood

petrified (petro: Greek, stone) for millions

of years. It’s on Navajo and Apache

land and last year was visited by six-

hundred-twenty-seven-thousand, seven-

hundred-fifty-seven tourists. Thousands

of logs litter a stretch of [its] grassland,

wrote National Geographic Kids

about the petrified wood. Logs. Litter.

The magazine is majority-owned

by 21st Century Fox; CEO

Gary Krell was CEO previously

at Sesame Workshop (Sesame Street)

and is a member of the think tank

the Council on Foreign Relations.

I’ve found a photo of him online:

standing at a podium emblazoned

with the DoD logo; beside him,

Elmo, Thalia’s favorite muppet.

I can’t will myself to read the caption.

Instead, I clean up what’s left of last night’s

patio pot luck. Not much except bubble

wands, a sippy cup, some whiskey- and beer-

soaked coasters already drying in the sun.

Today, Becky is leaving for two weeks

in Oaxaca, Mexico. Pretty sure

she and Erin shared a private goodbye

in the kitchen or guest room. Double-

header roller derby later: Starlets

v.  the Bad News Beaters; Chain Gang

v.  the Supernovas. Bitsui

may or may not come. Leftover

chilled summer Polish beet soup for dinner.

80° F; zero chance of rain.



Justin Bigos is author of the poetry collection Mad River (Gold Wake, 2017), which was a finalist for the Emily Dickinson/Poetry Foundation First Book Award. He co-founded and co-edits Waxwing, and currently lives in central Vermont, where he teaches in the MFA Program in Writing & Publishing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.