If you give a moose crab apples

When my son was young one of his favorite books was “If You Give a Moose a Muffin,” probably because moose often wandered into our yard. It’s a common occurrence here in Anchorage and sometimes I forget that most people don’t experience such things, that what we perceive as ordinary, people in other parts of the country perceive as wondrous.

Of course, moose in the yard are wondrous. And thrilling. Sometimes it feels as if they’ve come to visit us, when in reality they’ve come to chew the hell out of our bushes and trees. Around this time of year, they’re madly eyeing the crab apples ripening on our tree.

Why our yard is so popular among the moose.

This cow and calf have been hanging around the neighborhood for a few days. The cow is pretty chill and I was able to get close enough that I could see her belly move as she breathed. It was pretty awesome. (I wasn’t as close as it looks, that’s all thanks to the wonder of the zoom lens.)

Mama moose–isn’t she lovely?
Baby moose trying to reach the crab apples.
See the leaves in her mouth? I don’t know why that thrills me, but it does.
Mama moose moving a little too close for comfort.
Baby moose staring at me.
Isn’t it the cutest thing?
Isn’t this cool? Look at the baby moose’s mouth. It’s like it’s talking to me, “Goodbye, Cinthia, thanks for the apples.”

I’ve spent the week spicing up poems and essays to send off for publication rejection. It’s odd, isn’t it. You can think that a poem is finished, that it rocks, that it resonates, and then the mere idea of an editor reading it brings out all types of insecurities: Is the opening as strong as it could be? Does it flow? Is the rhythm off in the third section, and blah, blah, blah …

I often spend hours fighting not with my poems but with my own uncertainties. Sometimes I hurl my submissions out, fast and without thinking too much about them. Later, I agonize. I’ve actually started emails to editors apologizing for my submissions and asking for them back. I’ve never actually sent these emails but it just goes to show how desperately insecure one can become when immersed in the whole trying-to-get-work-published hell process.

While researching literary magazines, I found the most remarkable piece of creative nonfiction hybrid writing in “Masque & Spectacle” by H.V. Cramond titled 12 pairs of underwear, one bathing suit, no socks. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s formatted like a restaurant receipt in one section and as a poem in the next, and it has the greatest footnotes included. The first one says, “Oh, by the way, I’m going to footnote the shit out of this.” Isn’t that just too wonderful?

So of course I had to do a little sleuthing and find how who, exactly, H.V. Cramond is. She was easy to find. (**Note to all writers reading this: Always, always have a website so that other writers can stalk you.)

And here she is. I was excited, and jealous, to read that one of her poems was chosen as a contest finalist by Mark Doty. You go, H.V.

Hi, H.V. Cramond. I’ll bet you never thought you’d end up on a blog posts with moose, did you?

Anyways, read 12 pairs of underwear, one bathing suit, no socks here, okay? It is totally odd and wonderful, and that’s one of the biggest compliments I can give a piece of work.



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