Remember diagramming sentences? I never liked the clinical way grammar teachers used to hack off parts and slash lines though thoughts, turning them into something eerily similar to algebraic equations. I recall even then a physical urge to run up and rescue bold adverbs from the discomfiture of diagonal dangling off of rump predicates. These, the warrior souls of our language!

Verily yes, I today maintain that adverbs are life’s love handles. Sure, you can grope a noun, flirt with clauses, pretend that the preposition is actually doing it for you, but let’s set fakery aside. It’s the how that makes the howl. It’s the way an action is executed or approached that gives it style, mystery, and lingering appeal. Some things just need to be felt to be understood. Scratch that. I’d happily abstain from greater understanding in exchange for a bit more feeling in — and out — of this world.

Roll me around in: suddenly; always; bravely; brightly; fast; first; clearly; daily; defiantly; only; often; now; gracefully; happily; fiercely; fast; shyly; unexpectedly; madly; more.

Sip the wine and cork the adjectives. Rain down adverbs! Tell me what the taste did to your tongue, not what was sitting in the soil when grapes were picked. Tell me what happened to you on the way to holding that glass in your hand. Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship.

Give forth the Gonzo Report. Vividly told tales inspire and explain the wildness inside us all. This is the free spirit of America, – tall tales of Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind – reclaiming the vast undiscovered territories of our own interiors. Going “On the Road” speaks to something we hadn’t realized we’d lost. But when we find ourselves again in the open spaces and slower corners of this land, we begin to yearn and sense and see anew.

I am winding up the Pacific Coast through the eyes of two friends of mine and a dog called Boots. These modern pioneers are exploring the bountiful nooks of California and Washington State, tasting the dust and salt of a crazed journey, along with unparalleled delicacies. They will introduce voyeurs like me to sustainable aquaculture farms, biodynamic wineries, local farmers markets, and the characters they meet along the way at Video, photos, and plenty of viticultural insights abound. But I also seek to feel the adjectives of adventuring amongst people who love the range. Climb aboard their magic swirling ship with me. This land is your land; this land is my land. Earth Day anon and on…

Translucence: An Assay
By Jane Hirshfield

A dog implausibly large,
with fur the color of rose-quartz, slipped through my sleep

I have never seen roses that color,
or a vein of quartz move through its fissure on soft-padded feet.
This was sure, though: what she wanted was for me to follow.

She did not look back.
A shadow opened then folded behind her.
I followed as if past a gate latch
sliding closed on its own silent weight.

It was not so very different, really
More as if the narrator had turned and departed,
abandoned the story,
and each tree, each stone, stood clear in its own full fate.

The dream, like the dog, went on, travelled elsewhere.
Passed by the moment when everything might have been changed.
Passed by the moment of knowing I wanted everything changed.

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