Mushroom Identification

by Rachel Kiel

The first thing I did when I got outside
was to bang a part of the tree stump,
the part that had fallen off,  against
the other part of the tree stump, the part
that was still there.  It looked like a tuna
steak and I was trying to tell what pitch it made.

Next thing I did was try to identify
some mushrooms.  I picked them, but
when I took them inside, the website told me
I suppose now is not the best time to tell you
so I washed my hands, threw the mushrooms away.

Then you called me and we talked,
it seemed good, but you never know.
I went back outside and banged on
the tree stump.  This time the pitch
was different.  But pitch is just the
way they told me it was with mushrooms:
identification is difficult, often technical,
sometimes impossible.

Musical Contribution: “Television Waltz”

In Their Own Words

“I sing the lead vocal on this recording, which was made at the Rubber Room Studio in Chapel Hill, NC.  It features my friends and bandmates Patrick Dyer-Wolf on guitar and organ, Omar Ruiz-Lopez on viola, and Catherine Steele on acoustic bass. ‘Television Waltz’ will most likely be the title track on my second album, which will be released in the fall of 2011.”


Rachel Kiel grew up listening extensively to her parents’ record collection in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  She studied poetry and music at Wesleyan University, and after college worked on farms in Maine and in offices in Boston. Rachel currently lives in Carrboro, NC, where she teaches rhythm tap dancing and plays locally in several bands. She has released one album of original songs, Table Manners, and is working on another, tentatively titled Television Waltz.

%d bloggers like this: