Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Strewn All Over

Image of the Day:  The mugginess felt on my skin and the cicada's metallic whine, like a hot wire searing my brain.

Happy July--it's hot and humid and the bugs are fierce--especially the black flies in the woods where we take our dog for her daily walk.  I haven't posted in a while--summer is particularly difficult to do so. 

But I won a scholarship to the Poets on the Coast writing retreat and I'm thrilled!! This is my very first writing retreat and I'm excited about going.  It will be quite a journey, both physically and mentally I'm sure.  I keep thinking of all the things I want to bring and how I want to write every second I'm there.  I know that's not possible and I have no idea what I am going to write, but at least I'll have time to explore. 

And I also purchased my very own (another first!) writing desk and know exactly where I want to put it in my house.  I have been using the kitchen island as my spot to write, but that's not exactly working.  I'm excited to have a place to put all my tools together--books and journals and computer--and have them not strewn all over the house. 

I've gotten some rejections recently:  from Adroit journal, but they at least singled out a poem they particularly liked; from Apple Valley Review, which had no commentary at all about my poems; and Outlook Springs, which included an amazing amount of nice things said about my submission.  So that was nice.  I got an acceptance from an anthology so we'll see how that comes along.

I've also signed up for a MOOC class on Whitman and Writing about War.  I haven't had a chance to finish viewing the first class, but what I've seen so far seems interesting.  Also I signed up for an on-line class at the Poetry Barn which starts in August and I hope I get a few poems from that. 

by Gregory Kimbrell
Nocturne (Tremors of the Earth)
       
Dear shadow, electric lights burn once more
throughout this remote valley, though night
arrived hours ago. Darkness will be restored
shortly. My only photograph of my brother
fell from the bedroom mantel and woke me
from the dream in which I visited his grave.
I always wanted to believe that the dead lay
in undisturbed sleep. You, shadow, become
still, listening to the footsteps and blunders
of the fearful who retire one after the other
in their homes above you. In the plane tree,
the owl straightens its feathers, compacting
its prey into a sphere of bone and gray hair.





Saturday, June 4, 2016

Just Yet

Image of the Day:  The large white swans in a nearby town's pond, sailing about like small white skiffs.


I received my contributor's copies from Zone 3, where I have my poem, "Abandoned Girl is Full of Words" and read a marvelous poem by Alyse Bensel about Plate 18 of Marie Sibylla Merian's .  So I sent her a fan letter via Facebook.  There's also a fabulous poem, "Bone Woman" by Aimee Baker that knocked my socks off.  I really love poetry and finding new poets.


Today I wrote another poem, sent of a packet of poems (coincidentally, three poems about Marie Sibylla Merian) for an anthology, and revised some of my other poems.  No rejections just yet.




Some Glad Morning





One day, something very old
happened again. The green
came back to the branches,
settling like leafy birds
on the highest twigs;
the ground broke open
as dark as coffee beans.


The clouds took up their
positions in the deep stadium
of the sky, gloving the
bright orb of the sun
before they pitched it
over the horizon.


It was as good as ever:
the air was filled
with the scent of lilacs
and cherry blossoms
sounded their long
whistle down the track.
It was some glad morning.





Thursday, June 2, 2016

Keeping Track

Image of the Day:  Buds of the Japanese purple irises, unopened and blade-like.


I'm trying to keep track of things I do (especially in the summer) to keep my poetry in motion, so to speak, on a day to day basis.  I do this in another area of my life, my karate, that helps me keep confident I'm working on my stuff while I learn new things and get tested on it. Otherwise, I'd feel overwhelmed and out of focus. So I'm hoping this makes me accountable to the poetry part of my life. 


Today I wrote in my daily journal, wrote a poem, sent out a book submission, a chapbook submission, and poetry subs to four journals, and commented (very briefly) on two other poems.  I also revised my poems while submitting.  I need to read some poems, next. Oh and last night, I got rejected from Sugar House Review.


All this is kind of rare for me.  But I am trying to follow Entropy's list of where to submit on a monthly basis. And I'm trying to send out my work to more places, more often.  I feel that I haven't been doing a very good job at that.  Also, I'm following Jac Jemc's blog which is all about where she gets rejected and that has made me feel better.  Other people get rejected all the time, and better writers, so I just need to suck it up. 


Another thing I'd like to be doing is applying for writing residencies, but that whole artist statement and reference part of it makes me hesitant.  But I'm going to set my sights on that in July and work towards getting to one of those.  We'll see how it goes. 




Maybe; maybe not


When I was a child I spoke as a thrush, I
thought as a clod, I understood as a stone,
but when I became a man I put away
plain things for lustrous, yet to this day
squat under hooves for kindness where
fetlocks stream with mud—shall I never
get it clear, down in the soily waters.


Denise Riley

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Poetry Today

Image of the Day:  Little red squirrel in my Asian Dogwood tree, squeaking continually. 


I joined another on-line poetry group today, but have not been able to write a poem of the day.  Trying to think of what I want to write about. 


Read some prompts from various books:  Wingbeats and The Daily Poet.  Read some poems from a Crab Orchard Review. 


Got an acceptance to Pittsburgh Poetry Review.  This week, I've gotten rejected from Tahoma Literary Review and Devil's Lake.


Submitted my manuscript to Black Lawrence Press's Open reading period. 


Checked on Duotrope--who's open and who's accepting/rejecting.  Was interested in one press, but bothered by some of their requirements about telling them how I am a poet.  The beginning of the month is always a good time to review what's going on.


Watched my submissions on Submishmash.  Slowly, slowly. 


Feeling that I need to be writing in my daily journal much more often than I am.  Feeling that I need to read much more poetry than I am.  Finding inspiration.






We Return Sparkling
 by Felicia Zamora
       
Spun                this tendency to whirl, tendency to fall
gossamer. Thread what must pull back: my muscle mimics
your muscle gorges energy & loves nothing, loves nothing.
Axis of spine, gravity possesses                              imprints
Brief on lungs, vocal cords, belly: a charcoal sketch
against the light                              silhouette wipes
in the turn.        We burn out of & skin another universe
encases this                headache inching outside the head. Our
once watery lungs                      the revolving lure of sea
brine in our nails, ocean of aortic sack—feel us beating: waves.
A sky is a sky is blue veins. We return                sparkling
& out of breath              tethered to gorgeous rules.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Last Day of April Last Day of Poetry Month

Unfinished
 by Sharon Olinka
        
Your dream voice emerges.
I'm getting ready, love. Warmth
of your mouth. Sunlit orange
butterfly wings. And weight
of your belly against mine.
As if you never fell.
Your cane, painkillers.
Finally, talk of a wheelchair.



Years later, I fell
on my face and hands.
Permanent damage.
Weakened left hand.
Somewhere, if you still breathe,
your mane of hair
white now. Almost eighty.



In this city of dust
my plants drink, never get enough.
With my good hand,
I do what needs to be done.
Carefully lift a cup of water
to each plant on my patio.
Caterpillars ate
my passion flower vine.
There was one
butterfly. I never saw it.




Thursday, April 14, 2016

Poetry Poetry Poetry

April in MaineMay Sarton

The days are cold and brown,
Brown fields, no sign of green,
Brown twigs, not even swelling,
And dirty snow in the woods.

But as the dark flows in
The tree frogs begin
Their shrill sweet singing,
And we lie on our beds
Through the ecstatic night,
Wide awake, cracked open.

There will be no going back.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Poetry Swoon

One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

By Pablo Neruda 1904–1973 Pablo Neruda
Translated By Mark Eisner
    
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries   
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,   
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose   
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,   
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.


Pablo Neruda, “One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII” from The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, edited by Mark Eisner. Copyright © 2004 City Lights Books.

Source: The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights Books, 2004)

from the Poetry Foundation