Fifty Things


Photograph by Aleix Cabarrocas Garcia

by Lisa Jarnot

I’ve always been a list-maker, self-help junky, and lover of vision statements. When my husband composed an affirmation list called “50 Things” for the New Year, I couldn’t resist following suit. (“Owls” and “Defiant Lightness” are borrowed from him.)

1. domesticity (a house in the Bronx)

2. hiking and farming (land in the catskills)

3. relaxation (a sauna)

4. family (adopt a kid)

5. more family (a kitten)

6. more family (a dog)

7. friendships (‘staying in touch’)

8. friendships (an unschooling community)

9. community (conversational Spanish)

10. community (conversational French)

11. activism (fight the death penalty)

12. activism (feed the homeless)

13. activism (anti-war/knitting one hundred hats)

14. self-sufficient farming and localvorianism (keeping bees)

15. self-sufficient farming (summer vegetable gardening)

16. fermented food

17. baking bread

18. knitting sweaters and scarves

19. a sewing machine

20. mushrooms

21. conifers

22. grasses, sedges, and rushes

23. bulbs

24. owls and other birds

25. butterflies and moths

26. chess

27. piano

28. old english

29. british history

30. shakespeare’s plays

31. english pastoral metaphysicals (andrew marvell)

32. ancient greek

33. translate the iliad

34. freud’s collected works

35. freud’s house, london

36. dublin

37. madrid

38. paris

39. madagascar

40. poland

41. rangoon

42. eucalyptus scented san francisco

43. train trip through the deep south

44. yoga

45. black belt in seido karate

46. another marathon at fifty

47. finnegans wake

48. movies with bea

49. night sky

50. defiant lightness

Piece crossposted with Lisa Jarnot’s website

About the Author:

Lisa Jarnot is a poet based in New York. She has edited two small magazines (No Trees, 1987-1990, and Troubled Surfer, 1991-1992) as well as The Poetry Project Newsletter and An Anthology of New (American) Poetry (Talisman House Publishers, 1997).

She is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: Some Other Kind of Mission (Burning Deck Press, 1996), Ring of Fire (Zoland Books, 2001 and Salt Publishers, 2003), Black Dog Songs (Flood Editions, 2003) and Night Scenes (Flood Editions, 2008). Her biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan is forthcoming in 2012 and a Selected Poems will be published by City Lights in 2013.