Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Christmas Card to You




Caritas
(St Andrews Cathedral)
 


These stones speak a level language
murmured word by word,
a speech pocked and porous with loss,
and the slow hungers of weathering.

And there, in the broken choir, children
are all raised voice, loving the play of outline
and absence where the dissembled god
has shared his shape and homed us.

At the end of the nave, the east front stands
both altered and unchanged,
its arch like a glottal stop.

And what comes across, half-said
into all that space, is that it's enough
to love the air we move through.


Rachael Boast

Pilgrim's Flower
Picador

Friday, December 20, 2013

That Obvious Loss

Image of the Day:  Fog obscuring the Rocky Mountains--the whole world in a white-out.


I'm going to apologize right up front for the following blog post as it will not be exactly full of good holiday cheer but my father-in-law died a few days ago so I'm thinking about people's reactions to death--how we cry or don't cry, become angry or tense--not tense exactly but that obvious loss of control and the effort we make to regain control of our life spinning  out before us with our own death one thread whipping outward and then curling in toward us and that feeling of being spun by something unseen and mostly unfelt, except times like this.  Our whole being concentrating on reaching out to steady ourselves, to grab hold of that thread but...
--But I think this is when a death is closer to you, crushes you harder than others around you and you're shattered trying to hold some semblance of self together because other people are able to but there's this hole this fragile sharp hole that's continually and quietly fragmenting splintering and it's hard to catch your breath really but breath is all you can think about because right now you ARE breathing and someone else isn't and how is that possible when just minutes ago they were? And how will it be for you? That one last breath, filling your body for one last time, feeling your self your insides known and not known that emptying out beginning, and how long will it take to end?



A History of Mourning



It's odd that evening is so speckled with grief.
Birds start singing when the branch reddens.
But we write our poems when the sun goes down.

Our ancestors knew how to cry at death; but they
Had enough to do finding big stones to cover
The dead, and begetting new souls to replace them.

We slept on the limestone plains, and woke
Night after night, tracing the route the dead take
Through holes in limestone and on into the stars.

Some hands outlined with blown powder
On the walls of the cave have missing fingers.
We drew maps of the night sky in the dust.

How slowly it all went! One day a woman wept
When she saw a bone reddened with ochre.
A thousand years later, we put a bead in a grave.

Some graves stand among woods. We still don't
Understand why a pine coffin is so beautiful.
We are still brooding over why the sun rises.


Robert Bly

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Delicious, Argumentative

Image of the Day:  How the white throated nuthatches and grey tufted tit-mice fly into the feeder on my window, all sharp speed and grace. 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Mine was delicious, argumentative, happy, painful and quick.

I have a poem here at Lyre Lyre.  I do not have a glass eyeball but I did have something, well, to me something similar that made me feel self-conscious and less than, if you know what I  mean.  It is weird how our bodies reveal stuff about ourselves, and yet sometimes it's our flaws that are the most revealing things of beauty.  (Of course here I am thinking of your flaws, not my flaws.)

From an interview with Valzhyna Mort:
                I always write in response to what I read. If I'm not reading anything, I won't be able to write anything. I've said that certain poets wound you, and so you keep on going after them, and because they have hurt you, only they have the power of healing you, and in that conversation, I think, you're able to find yourself, to restore yourself again.


From The Imagination, Drunk with Prohibitions by Joy Katz

Womanhood is more embarrassing than manhood.
If the woman is old, breakfast is hopeless.
If breakfast is brioche, it becomes less frightening.
Insouciant is more French than nuance,
disappointment more French than matinee,
London more suave than Paris.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Review of Donna Vorreyer's A House of Many Windows


In the recent issue of American Poetry Review, an article titled “Baby Poetics” ignited a fascinating discussion on Wom-po, the on-line list-serve for all things women and poetry.  Much of the conversation was an attempt at figuring out what the author, Joy Katz, was actually up to with her essay:  decrying poems that actually attempt to write about babies in them or pointing out the fear that women poets have in writing about such topics?  A complicated essay about a complicated subject.

Donna Vorreyer’s fascinating first collection of poetry, A House of Many Windows, addresses this important subject matter.  What is a woman in relationship to motherhood?  When does a mother become a mother?  How are we as women allowed to write about, or allowed to feel as mothers or as women who can’t or don’t become mothers?  And why exactly are these questions so deeply important?

One of my favorite of Vorreyer’s poems, “Billy Gets the Analogy All Wrong” speaks exactly to the necessity of asking these questions.  Billy Collins:  Poet Laureate, filler of poetry bookshelves in book stores across the country. Billy Collins, an actual name people can associate with poetry.  And here is what Billy Collins has written about women without children:  “a woman without children, a gate through which no one had entered the world.”  In her poem, Vorreyer closely examines that analogy and picks it apart, the idea that a woman is just some door to a hip bar or event, where “children / [are] waving twenties and straining / to catch their names on the list.”  But Vorreyer doesn’t just show us what we aren’t—more importantly, she shows us what we are:  “not the shuttered womb, / but the unlatched heart, wide open.” 

            The first section of Vorreyer’s book describes the attempts and failures of a woman trying to get pregnant and to stay pregnant, likening her body to a city, “waiting for the scaffolding to rise.”  Many of the titles are heartbreaking, alerting the reader to what occurs with an unflinching accuracy:  “Upon the Second Attempt, Whole Foods,” “After the Third Failure, Silence,”  “After the Sixth Failure, IKEA.”  Notice this movement of language from what are at first “attempts” to what becomes to be perceived as “failures.”  

            Throughout the book, the relationship between the woman and her husband are also detailed, and how this relationship is effected by the effort at pregnancy, which causes silence and strain between them, such as in the poem, “When I Don’t Love You Anymore is a Wasp.”  Here the speaker is struggling with quick momentary spurts of feelings that could be released through angry language, compared to a wasp, but is held back:  “She wants me to spit her with wild / velocity, stinger first, straight into your patient face.”  That word “patient” adds such an honesty to the speaker’s complexity of emotions in this poem. 

            Another, thoroughly heartbreaking poem, is “Still Tending Each Garden.”  Here, the speaker addresses her “tiny truth, my traveler.”  Having a miscarriage is such an emotionally challenging situation, where one is grieving for something unseen but yet known in a most intimate way. This poem is partly a list of things the speaker compares to her unborn child:

                       

                        My grace note, my disembodied echo,

                        your hum rumbles through my limbs,

                        a melody unfinished, without a refrain.

 

                        Some days, I hear you, calling from

                        an unseen place in umbilical code,

                        my confidante, my secret semaphore.

 

Such tender grief. 

            The last section concerns itself with the adoption and subsequent trials and errors of becoming a mother. And in the prose poem, “How You Become A Mother,” it is clear that each way of becoming a mother is fraught with its own challenges and emotional difficulties:

 

You sit in the social worker’s office, and she asks you what sort of

child you would like to adopt.  The only answer you can think of

is human.  You have to write about your whole life, the

therapist’s foot tapping in time with her pen as she grills you

about  your parents, your childhood, your definition of family.

You have to circle yes or no on checklists:  would you adopt a

child without a limb?  With a heart condition?  You are a monster

whenever you circle no.

 

This first book of poems is a wonderful, truthful look at what issues are at stake for women and mothers.  It is an attempt to define what those words mean in the most honest way.  We need more books like this, written by women in the attempt to define ourselves since, as Vorreyer says in her poem, “Anatomy of A Day,” the miracle of our ourselves is “what our bodies hold.”

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In The Quiet

Image of the Day:  Three large white swans flying low in the wild sky this morning.


On my commute today, I saw a deer in someone's back yard and slowed and the deer saw me and started running for the road and so I moved on but noticed a car behind me so I stopped so the car would stop but it just slowed and then the deer came flying across the road and I yelped but I think the one car didn't hit the deer. 

From Mary Ruefle's essay, "On Erasure":  "art--it is a private journey; we can be inspired and we can be influenced, but the predominant note of any journey must be found in the quiet unfolding of our own time on earth."

Poetry books I have purchased recently:  Canticle of the Night Path by Jennifer Atkinson
Hot Flash Sonnets by Moira Egan

I am also reading Donna Vorreyer's A House of Many Windows and getting ready to write a review of this fabulous book. 

A couple of acceptances recently. 


From Toad, by Diane Seuss


Do you ever 
 

wonder, in your heart of hearts, 

if God loves you, if the angels love you, 

scowling, holding their fiery swords, 

radiating green light? If your father 

 

loved you, if he had room to love you, 

given his poverty and suffering, or if 

a coldness had set in
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




Monday, November 4, 2013

Taken Aback

Image of the Day: The leaves are falling so slowly today, languidly, in this crystal cold air. 

The reading of The Mom Egg Review had a great turn-out.  Lots of people and lots of readers.  It was such a gorgeous day as well--with sunshine and warmth.  My friend Diane and I ate lunch at the little café at the Arts Armory and enjoyed a reading of "Titus Andronicus" from a local theater group called  the Dead Actors or something like that.  When we first walked in we were a bit taken aback from the reading, but then it was really fun to listen to.  Titus is one of those Shakespeare plays I've heard about but never read. 

This is the week that my mom died seven years ago.  Hard to believe it's been seven years...and it's strange how one year it'll hit me much harder than other years.  Well, maybe not that strange. 

Anyway, one of my Lascaux poems got published recently and I thought I'd share it here, since it has my mother in it.  Sort of.


A Field Guide to Sorrows:  The Lascaux Woman

What else with my endless time but the gnarled naming.  I dislike this job sometimes so many sorrows in my mouth.  Little blue darlings.  I burst their skin under my canine teeth. He is so eager with his gifts of habitat of range.  Description:  Crunch of Eyes Turning Away.  Description:  just one more Slip on the Slick Ice of Remembering.  Description:  combination of the Sorrow of Sedum and the Sweet Smell of Damp Grass.  Description:  His Eyes become Small Sharp Flies.

Footprints from someone else and I was not well-furred for it.  The path was silent.  What did I think I would find, my dead mother asks me always from the caves of Lascaux she running with the  moon-soaked reindeer.  I sew my sorrows with needles carved from brittle bones of stars. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reading for The Mom Egg Review

                             Please join us for

                            Mass Mayhem!

                          Mom Egg Review

            Reading at Červená Barva Press Studio

                 Saturday, November 2 at 1:30 PM
             The Center For The Arts At The Armory
                           Basement Room B8
                          191 Highland Avenue
                             Somerville, MA

                             Featured readers:
                                Carol   Berg
                               Louise Berliner
                               DebbieBlicher
                                 Fay Chiang
                               Lori Desrosiers
                              Kathy   Handley
                               Jennifer Jean
                           Danielle Jones-Pruett
                            Dorian Kotsiopoulos
                                Aparna Mani
                                Tara    Masih
                              Colleen Michaels
                               Jaqui   Morton
                             January G. O'Neill
                               Eve     Packer
                                Kyle    Potvin
                               Denise Provost
                               Laura   Rodley
                            Rosie   Rosensweig
                                Nancy Vona
                            mc Marjorie Tesser

Friday, October 11, 2013

To Take In

Image of the Day:  Geese straggling together like tails of kites fluttering in the October sky.

I finally have an afternoon where I can just veg--no deadlines or meetings or nothing.  Just time to sit and read and think.  Possibly poeming, but we'll see about that.  The poems come, taper off, and leave.  I've been rejected a gazillion times it seems lately, but I've still got a few more out there and a few poems that I haven't even gotten in any kind of submission order, which is actually a good thing. 

The fall weather has been gorgeous and the birds are changing--as noted above, the geese are practicing their flying formations and the juncos have come back (and I have an old poem here about that) and the woodpeckers are changing their thudding sounds.  Time to hang the suet and to take in the hummingbird feeder. 

My schedule has changed too in that I'm working longer hours now at my tutoring gig. And things have gotten much more busy there as well--so little down time to write.  The only writing time it seems I can squeeze in is sitting in stopped traffic or endless traffic lights and dig out my notebook and scratch around for some images.  I tell myself it's practice nonetheless.  But I do need some new poetry books.  I have been reading some journals--The Journal and Crab Orchard Review, but my subscriptions seem to have run out and I haven't had the time or money to renew.  Hopefully, that'll change soon. 



Battering Robin Syndrome
       

He has split his beak on my view.
He has left his selfprint, almost art.
My window is torturing him.
My hubcaps incense him.

The robin wants my spring yard
to himself. Each reflection's
a rival and must be fought full force.
Each reflection is harder than his skull.

He slides down, hobbles, tries again.
What business do I have holding mirrors
to nature? It revolts. It suicides.
My love of flat, clear and shining surfaces,

flatter, clearer, shinier than lakes,
than anything in nature, is unnatural.
And if nature held mirrors to me,
showed me someone I thought would steal

my truelove, or showed me how I'm doing,
what would I do, would I learn,
or beat my head against her skull,
or try to smash myself against the news?



Copyright © 2013 Tina Kelley All rights reserved
from Precise
Word Poetry

 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ambling Alone

Image of the Day:  Fat raccoon furtively checking behind it as it ambles alone along the road in the dark. 

Dreams:  I'm dying and wandering around outside and the light is so bright but I'm waiting for my vision to fail.  I tell him not to put me in the coffin until my eyes close.  Feelings inside the me in the dream of something totally un-understandable approaching.  Something darker and larger than I can image.  I wake up.

I know what my mind is doing there in that dream, trying to process certain experiences, but I wish it wouldn't do it quite so vividly, if you know what I mean.  On my way to work, I noticed wires across the road and a box on the railing which said it was Traffic Data Collecting.  How the brain is one big data collecting box with coiling wires/tentacles, searching out information all over the place. 

Poetry News:  Rejections.  Writing a poem a day using Diane Lockward's The Crafty Poet.  I'm getting together some questions for an interview with Diane that I'm very excited about.  Waiting on submissions.


Consciousness

A massive shadow of hubris
crashes through a universe of thorns

having no feathers but smooth skin
and wingflaps of nearly transparent

lugubrious membrane
there's lightning by firing of eyes

thunder by flapping of wings
cowboys leaving a trail of moonshine

fire at the heart of it
while the legend disappears

rumors persist of a big dead bird
nailed to a barn with a mighty span unfurled

and several men posed under it for scale


Jane Miller

Thunderbird
Copper Canyon Press


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Read Here

Image of the Day:  Dappled sunlight checkerboarding the asphalt on a side road in Boston.

Lots of rejections lately.  Lots.  And I'm pretty sure more to come!  But I've been trying to just shove those rejections right back out the door, so to speak, to different places.  At least plenty of journals are open and available to submissions. 

But on a very happy note, Kathleen Kirk, editor at Escape Into Life, has a very nice review of my chapbook, Her Vena Amoris, that you can read here

Also, I have some poems here at IthacaLit you can read, if you'd like. 



The Performance
         by Sarah Rose Nordgren

It's not right that she should do this
to her body as she speaks,


but it's the only way we can understand her.
We who weren't raised on sand


and cherry-pits. Whose stepfathers
held their tempers.


The South is a mean place
we forget about. The windows


boarded up all over town. She says,
dogs chased her down the tar-


soaked road like devils. Each dog with three
heads, three tails. She says,


we might've mocked her story,
but never now. First, she strikes nails


against her chest like matches.
Then, when we think we can't


take more from her, she eats
her own hands. Who are we now


to say that art should not destroy us?

From Verse Daily

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Renewed Energy

Image of the Day:  Man working in a bucket truck high over Route 9 on telephone wires, running the thick black ropes through his bare hands. 

Laura Davis, over at Dear Outer Space, has an interview with me on my writing process.  She asks some very unique questions!  Laura is the editor at Weave Magazine, a fabulous journal with great art.  Go check it out here.

I found out recently that my poetry manuscript was a finalist in a contest!  Very exciting.  It's still out at a few places so I'm crossing my fingers with renewed energy. 

Also, if you're interested in finding out more about chapbooks and what they are, this article has all your answers. 


The Heart of a Woman
 
by Georgia Douglas Johnson                                                                   
The heart of a woman goes forth with the dawn,
As a lone bird, soft winging, so restlessly on,
Afar o'er life's turrets and vales does it roam
In the wake of those echoes the heart calls home.

The heart of a woman falls back with the night,
And enters some alien cage in its plight,
And tries to forget it has dreamed of the stars
While it breaks, breaks, breaks on the sheltering bars.

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Writer Friendly

Image of the day:  Early morning fog lingering over the threshed meadow. 

So last month, or maybe it was in July--what month are we in again?-- we went to the Shedd Museum in Chicago.  One of the exhibits was of the Lascaux paintings.  They had built up the rooms so that it resembled the caves and it was darkly lit and just fascinating.  I actually became rather emotional in there which I hate when in public.  I mean, I held it all in, but I was surprised at myself.  Anyway, I managed to get some poems out about that--well, more like self-portrait poems of the Lascaux Woman.  One of them has been accepted which I am very pleased about and others are in the submissions process.  I wish I could have gotten more but that's how the writing goes, I guess.

And we are in yet again a poem a day thingy.  I've been using Diane Lockward's book, The Crafty Poet, and managed to get two poems just today from her book.  I just started the month today, as things haven't been writer-friendly before.  Diane's book is so helpful--I highly recommend you purchasing it. 

Also, since it's September, submissions are open for many many journals.  Go submit something to, say, Heron Tree.  And speaking of which, the print volume of Heron Tree is now available.  Go help out this journal and buy it here.  It's only like five bucks and worth every penny. 

It's a bit longer than I usually post, but you should read this poem.  I wish I had written it!!!

Diagnosis: Birds in the Blood

The hummingbird's nervous embroidery
through beach fog by our back

patio's potato vine
reminds me of my mother's southern

drawl from the kitchen: She's flying,
flying like a bird!
I've heard that

as a child I involuntarily flapped my hands
at my side during moments

of intense concentration. I'd flutter
over a drawing, a doll, a blond hamster

in a shoebox maze. There are ways
to keep from breaking

apart. My guardians. My avian
blood. I believed

birds bubbled inside me—my own
diagnosis—though the doctors called it

something else: a harmless
twitch. A body's

crossed wires. The lost
birds of my childhood

nerves have never
returned. But when you held

my elbow as we walked the four
blocks to the boardwalk,

we saw the brief
dazzle of a black-

chinned hummingbird—the first
I'd ever seen. It sheened

and tried to sip
from my sizzled wrists'

vanilla perfume. I knew
a single one

from the magic
flock had finally found me.


Anna Journey

Vulgar Remedies
Louisiana State University Press



Monday, August 19, 2013

Listing

Image of the Day:  Golden-rod just beginning their yellow spidery blooming.

What I'm reading:  Darling Hands, Darling Tongue by Sally Rosen Kindred

What I've done today:  Mopped floors.  Jumped rope.  Cleaned toilets.  Hung laundry on line.

What I did yesterday:  Baked whole wheat bread and granola bars.  Ran but really walked the path. 

What I will do tomorrow:  Aquarium. 

What I'm getting in email:  We're sorry we can't use your poems, please try again.

What I'm writing:  Revising rejected poems. 




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Etiquette For Poets

Image of the Day:  Markedly cooler morning air and the crickets shocked mute.

Holy cow:  we're in the middle of August.  I've been busy freaking out about my son who has been having a very good time in Boston at a day camp.  Typical.  Also, there have been three or four happily lost pigs routing in the muck on the path that I run on during the weekends.  I think there is some kind of connection there. 

What I am (and am going to be) reading:  The Crafty Poet, by Diane Lockward, is zooming through the mail.  You can read all about it right here and then buy it cause you are gonna want all those fabulous prompts and discussions about writing poetry. 

I'm also reading In The Dojo, by Dave Lowry, about the etiquette in the martial arts programs.  In particular, the chapter about being a student in martial arts is so relevant for poets, at least in my opinion.

For example, Lowry writes that sometimes when practicing with someone who is more senior than you, it's tempting to think too much.  Instead, the student should try and "simply learn" (178).  Just work on your craft.  I'm working right now on yet another iteration of my manuscript, trying to polish it up, and one of my poetry friends, the fabulous Ruth Foley, has generously agreed to switch manuscripts so we can get feedback on each other's work.  So I was able to put my head down and get that manuscript together to send to her.  I knew it needed work, but actually doing it can be daunting. 

Another thing Lowry says is that all students of martial arts "run into periods when they don't seem to be able to improve"  (179).  All of us poets have felt that, either from a discouraging rejection, not being able to write a poem when other poets are blogging about how they've written so many poems, or whatever.  I think we need to remember that there are those fallow periods and that we keep practicing and will eventually find a way to write a good poem again. 

So anyway, these things have been helpful for me to read and to remind myself to practice and keep polishing  my writing skills.  Maybe someone should write an etiquette book for poets--and naming it so would help place ourselves in healthier perspectives.  (And then we wouldn't have to worry about lists and such.)


557
One step outside the gate
and I too am a traveller
in the autumn evening




Yosa Buson
translated from the Japanese by W. S. Merwin and Takako Lento

Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson
Copper Canyon Press


Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Bursting and Crush"

Image of the Day:  the snap of blueberry skin under my teeth this cool July morning.

I bought a pint of fresh blueberries from a local farm stand and have practically eaten the whole thing myself.  Small blue darlings.  I saw two of the fox kits near the shed the other day--but I can't tell if they're all back or what since I haven't seen anything of them since then.  Big green grasshoppers have been exploring the windows of my house and the sides of my garage and a green dragonfly buzzes the backyard.

I'm so pleased and happy that the wonderful editor Kathleen Kirk over at Escape Into Life has nominated one of my poems, "The Wife's Mid-Life Crisis While Dusting the Bathroom Cabinet," for the 2013 Best of the Net Awards!   You can read that poem here as well as the other fabulous poets that Kathleen nominated as well--I am in terrific company!  Thank you Kathleen for all you do! 

Also, in other poetry news, this year I decided to enter some poems into poetry contests.  Normally, I shy away from those things for various reasons, including, mostly, monetary.  But this year, I chose three contests with journals that I really admire.  (The entrance fee included subscriptions, so I can get on board with that, I reasoned to myself.)  One contest I haven't heard back from yet, and one contest was an absolute no, but one journal accepted a poem!  So although I didn't win the contest, they did say that I came very close at the end and that Aimee Nezhukumatathil, who I just love love love, admired my poem!!!  Well, that was pretty nifty in my book and worth the expense. 

I'm hoping to make it to the farmer's market this Friday--I really need some vine-ripened tomatoes.  We have a few plants, but the chipmunks are biting into them and then just dropping them on the ground to rot.  Annoying!  But until then, I'm enjoying this.  I hope you do, too.


Cherry Tomatoes by Moonlight


Skintight virgins in a rush
their red on red sashay
through vines, so plush
their seeds and flesh
all bite-size blush
your very own stash
ripening in the raw, oh lush
that you are for a good flourish
of bursting and crush.
 


Kate Sontag

Court Green
Issue 10 - Winter 2013


Thursday, July 18, 2013

And The Chapbook Giveaway Winner Is....

Kathleen!!! 

Hey Kathleen, if you could send me your address at bergcaro at gmail dot com I will send you a copy.

Thanks everyone for playing!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chapbook Giveaway!

I just got five of my chapbooks today in the mail and decided to give one away.  Please comment below if you'd like a chance to enter or email me at bergcaro at gmail dot com.  I'll choose a winner on July 17 (or thereabouts) and mail it off.

Friday, July 5, 2013

If you need something to read for the summer...



That is one gorgeous cover, isn't it?  So my chapbook is now available from Red Bird Chapbooks, and I couldn't be happier with it and with working with them.  Thank you so much to the editors, Dana and Sarah!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Made-up Words

Yesterday we had a tornado warning so my son and I got to spend some quality time on the stairs to our basement.  That was fun.  Thank heavens for small hand-held electronics so we could pass the time watching exactly where it was and how much longer we actually had to be on the stairs, cause really, that wasn't the funnest (my favorite made up word) place to be.  One of our cats knocked off the screen door to the porch hurtling toward a chipmunk and as I was eating my breakfast this morning, a big ole spider was exploring my hand.  I'm pretty sure I had felt him jump up on my ankle, take a bite, and move up my pants.  Now I feel all buggy.

Jeannine is writing some very interesting stuff on her blog.  She says, "I hate to say this, but very few of the young men (literally, maybe only one or two) I’ve worked with have struggled with any of the above, regardless of the quality of their writing. Therefore, those guys have several books and a tenure-track teaching job now. Just think of that, ladies, and let it motivate you to not stand in the way of your own writing. Send it out, be proud, take the time to work on it and make it the best it can be but then for God’s sake send it out and when it gets published then promote it without feeling ashamed."  I have really been feeling the promotion shame lately.  That feeling of why on earth would anybody be interested in reading these poems and why should I point anyone in their direction?  Not to mention how, if I thought anyone WAS reading my poems, that they would think I'm a horrible person.  As if they would think, how can she write those things, what does her family think of her???  In other words, shame.  And the poems I am writing now?...I'm all like, these are so unimportant.  I should be writing about the big political stuff.  But that's not what I write or how I write.  And I have to just let that kind of wasteful thinking go. 

And on a different note, Susan Rich has a beautiful note on the gift of poetry editors.  We should definitely praise them and thank them, because, as she so correctly states:  1. Poetry Editors are almost always poets themselves. They take time away from their own work to promote other writers and allow new work entry into the world.2. No one gets rich or becomes famous as a poetry editor. They do work for free or little money.  We poets are so lucky to have such generous editors.  My editors over at Red Bird Chapbook were working hard this weekend to correct the proofs of my, and I'm sure other poets', chapbook. 

And so I would like to point you in the direction of three poems I have in the latest Rufous City Review and to thank those editors for taking a lot of time and energy and creating a beautiful journal full of art.  And I'm gonna try really hard not to go bang my head against some invisible stupid wall of shame.  Wish me luck.


Epicene


Always covering myself
in clothes or cloaks of words
which only dogs hear: in truth
                    I was nude and didn't know
which parts to cover or if
I could finally uncover it all.
And what a relief to move
my hands, formally, from
my breasts, testes and labia,
to show myself, for what I am—
a worm or perhaps just a cell
which may birth and split from itself
                    and I wish you could see
all my secret hairs
revealed like words
or the meanings of words
which always seem concrete
in dreams but never when I awake
                    and quickly cover.
 


Ryan Van Winkle

American Poetry Review
July / August 2013


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Whammed Again

The fox kits and Mama Fox have moved elsewhere. 

I had the twenty-four hour stomach-flu yesterday.  I hate that feeling where the body is sick but the mind isn't so you're just laying there in bed, itching to do anything else.  I'd not move for awhile, feel better and roll over to get outta bed and get whammed again.  Today, it is such a joy not to feel the rumblings in my stomach and to actually eat something.

I'm reading Poetry As Survival by Gregory Orr, well, more accurately, I've picked it back up again.  There are so many things he writes that I agree with / feel strongly about, such as:

The jeopardy of poetry-making is deeply connected to the jeopardy of life itself (48)

...language itself is a form of sight (31) 

The essential point is that for a poem to move us it must bring us near our own threshold.  We must feel genuinely threatened or destabilized by the poem's vision of disordering, even as we are simultaneously reassured and convinced by its orderings (55 my italics)

But I'm not sure I agree with this statement:  "...poets have a higher threshold for psychic disorder than the average population, just as professional dancers have higher pain thresholds"  (57-58).

I think poets watch their mind and listen to it closely and try and tap into their emotions as honestly as they can.  Or at least some poets.  But this seems to me to be so close to saying poets are crazy and are comfortable with it. That just seems like such a cliché to me.  But at the same time, I know when my mom died, and we had to go back to the house and talk about when to hold the funeral, I totally mentally just checked out.  My sister even said to me, "You weren't there."  But I also was able to translate this into a poem--this mental check-out that I had. 

But I don't know now, maybe this is just confirming what he's saying. 

***Reviewing/Rethinking this at four in the morning:  maybe he's actually saying that poets can handle more challenging mental stuff and NOT go crazy.  I like that idea much better. 

What do you think?  Do  you agree with his statement?


The Major Subjects

Death is easier
than love. And true feeling, as someone said,
leaves no memory. Or else memory
replaces the past, which we know
never promised to be true.

Consider the sea cucumber:
when attacked it divides, sacrificing half
so that half
won't get eaten. Can the part left undevoured
figure out what to do?

The natural world is always instructive,
mysterious as well, but often
hard to praise. Love
is also difficult—the way it slides into
so many other subjects,

like murder, deceit,
and the moon. As my mother used to say
about anything
we couldn't find: If it had been
a snake it would have bitten you.

Fellow poets, we must
learn again to copy from nature,
see for ourselves
how steadfastly even its beauty
refuses to care or console.


Lawrence Raab

The Common
Issue 5

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

At Least A Curiosity

It is a regular menagerie around our house right now.  We  have three (nope, just saw another one--so four!!!) grey fox kits playing out around our shed.  They are so cute to watch--I positively squeal when I see them.  Hopefully, Mama Fox is somewhere nearby, although we haven't seen her and I'm getting worried.  Also, three baby red squirrels were tearing up my birdfeeders, doing all sorts of gymnastics to get to the seed.  They are a noisy group but very cute as well.  I've had to honk at little finches trying to get whatever on the road that's apparently fit to eat, or at least a curiosity and yesterday on my run I scared Mama Duck and her ten or so ducklings right next to the path. 

I have two more Wife with her Mid-life crisis poems up at Noctua Review you can read here.  I also got my proof copy of my chapbook Her Vena Amoris with the most exquisite cover--I'm very thrilled with the book. 

But I've  been getting my fair share of rejections as well.  Bleck.  And I've got about 14 poems for this month but these past two days have not produced anything.  I could blame it on a thousand things, but it's possible I'm just done for right now.  We'll see. 



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reminiscences Of My Father


Happy Father's Day!  So what made your dad your dad?  My dad used to be a hunter and a general out-doors man.  We grew up hearing about all kinds of hunting adventures he had.  He was tri-state area champion in target shooting and there were always guns around our house, although usually locked up.  I went skeet-shooting a few times with him and enjoyed shooting guns.  My dad was also an excellent fisherman and my favorite memories are being out on the boat with him and my mom and sisters fighting the stripped bass.  Those are fun fish because when they hit the bait they go deep and you really have to work at getting them on the boat.  Anyway, L. L. Bean would ask him to take certain clients out on his boat to show them where the best fishing was on the Kennebec.  Many of our summer vacations as young kids involved going to the Battenkill River in Vermont watching my dad catch trout with his Orvis fly rods.  We would always have to visit that store, or at least drive by.  I also learned to bird-watch from him and now that he can't get out as much, we chat about what interesting birds are around.  Here's a poem of mine about all of this sort of thing:


Fishing

 

I don’t know what to cast toward today

to catch whatever’s swimming

inside my tide-turning mind.

The diving terns and skimming seagulls

have no need for rod and reel.

 

The Battenkill River holding my

childhood in its swirls and eddies:

Little girl listening to lectures on

nymphs and pupa chasing spotted

salamanders and her father’s attention

in shallow ponds. 

 

Listen:  the mayflies are hatching even now

their curved backs like elegant commas

and my father hunched over in his blue

leather chair all alone in what was once his

fairy tale house of forty five years.

 

 
If I strain, could I hear the practiced

back and forth swish of my father’s fishing rod flying

in our backyard? Only the small incandescent insects

dance in this late afternoon light. 


 

 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Gathering of Words

Today is a thick-leaved day.  Quiet day.  A sleep in for as long as you can day. 

Memorial Day was for cleaning and talking with my dad about his army days.  He worked in the burn unit and told me the story of how some lieutenant was explaining about a phosphorescent bomb in some hole in the ground and one of the soldiers accidently dropped it and the lieutenant jumped on it, yelling, "Get out of here you guys!"  Apparently he was so burned my dad couldn't find a vein to draw blood and the guy told my dad to try his earlobe, which worked.  Talk about heartbreaking. 

So I'm reading this wonderful book about Joseph Cornell (thanks to Kathleen Kirk, who was reading a different JC book, but I got this one) called Joseph Cornell:  Master of Dreams which is this slightly oversized glossy book with gorgeous art-work and not too boring details about his early life, but sort of sinks right into the art.  I like that.  I'm also trying to work through some of the journals I grabbed at this year's AWP:  right now I'm reading Lee Ann Roripaugh's very inspiring essay "Bodies, Rest, and Motion," from the 2011 South Dakota Review and her time at the Sandhill Crane Migration Literary Retreat.  She moved me to actually start writing a poem, which is what you want good writing to do, if at all possible. 

I'm also trying to get back into writing in my journal because I need that practice and also need that  if I'm ever gonna write more poems than just one or two a month.  Not that I'm complaining about getting any poems, obviously, but the gathering of words and images is something that needs to be done first.  And it takes a long time.  At least for  me....



The Secret Lives of Maps
         Yvette Christiansë 

On occasion, the animals
curl into themselves, their skins,
and we—not knowing why—
put our faces to the wind
and sniff. We believe,
we carry ourselves
as believers and our progress
is high and our foreheads
are high, our voices tell us
we are good and the winds
give back to our hopes
the scent of rewards that rose
and stacked themselves
to the bases of clouds,
as if the clouds themselves were
the sails of our dreams.



From Verse Daily

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Loud and Playful

Maybe I'll get a run in today.  It may not be raining today...but I don't want to jinx us, now, do I?  So we'll see. The birds around my house, particularly the phoebes, are loud and playful today.  There was a fat hawk up in the pine trees around my house yesterday and the robins were quite upset about it--yelling at it and dive bombing it.  I went outside to see what in the world was going on and it flew into the backyard, the robins still chasing after it. 

I had a great time at the Crackskulls reading Thursday night.  Let me tell you, Newmarket is a cute little town!  I took my friend from work, Diane, with me out to dinner beforehand at a place called Popper's At The Mill and it was fabulous.  I eat meat, so for those vegetarians out there you may want to skip this part.  But we had pate that was so delicious with their homemade mustard and a pickled egg with crusty French bread--yum!  Then we had a duck confit Panini and a duck confit quinoa salad.  I'd never had quinoa before but it was really good, especially with that duck. 

It's funny but while we driving in the rain, looking for a place to park, I inadvertently took an illegal left out of the Mill's parking lot and got stopped by the police!  But the officer was very nice and kindly pointed out where I could park for free.  I only got a warning--phew!

There were a handful of people who braved the rain to come out to the reading.  And most of them read their own or other's gorgeous poems beforehand.  Then I read.  I didn't have to explain my bird references about who Audubon was or what a birder's life list is as they all seemed to be birders themselves.  So that was nice.  But I highly recommend going into Newmarket some time this summer and walking around the town.  Very cute.  On my way home, I saw a red fox darting across the street.  We stopped and looked at each other briefly. 

Oops!   I almost forgot to say thank you to Jenn Monroe for inviting me!  Thanks Jenn!

So I think that I can now tell you that my chapbook, Her Vena Amoris, has been accepted by Red Bird Chapbooks and will soon be published!!!  I'm so happy with them--they are great people to work with and their books are just gorgeous.  Go buy one (such as Donna Vorreyer's The Imaginary Life of the Pioneer Wife) and see!

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend and the sun, if it really does still shine. 




Saturday, May 18, 2013

Come On

The cherry tree blossoms are already gone.  Lilacs, though, are everywhere and I'm trying to inhale as much of their scent as is possible.  Baltimore Orioles are back at the path and the grass is still sprinkled with white and purple violets. 

I will be reading in New Hampshire this Thursday at 8:00 at the Crackskull's Coffee and Bookstore.  Come on out and here me read some of my poems.  Bring a friend. 

Also, you should swing by Dancing Girl Press and pick up Kristin LaTour's chapbook Agoraphobia here.  I'm sure you could find a few others to round out the 5 for 25 mix-tape offer Kristy Bowen has going on there.

New word for me today:  capacitance.     Also? This title is awesome in its double negativity-ness. 



I Cannot Say That When I Saw You You Did Not Look Like a Lover

 
Chloë Joan López     
  
I.
But I fear our
palms, held
distant, hold more than
palms pressed
close. Desire is capacitance. Usually. In my case


it is needlework and pain—that
is capacitance—with a glowing
pinpoint that threatens
to defect, desire mere field
lines gathered alongside.


Wafers of distrust wedged between. 

II.
Between
the planetarium and its dome, I have
finally learned.
 

Learned to savor. Learned to dwell. Learned to live
on the nourishment of glass
beads and air that leave
only texture on the tongue. To leave the skin
an unfurred cloth that weeps
its charge. To harbor only untried faiths.
 

III.
Poised above the star-
gazers' stiffening
necks, amid dialects


and loss, I am reckoned
 45 as among the supergiants: We decay,
or arc to ground.

Verse Daily


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Such A Beginner

It is truly glorious around here of late--the weeping cherry tree in pink bloom, pretty little white and purple violets sprinkled on our un-mown lawn, and the birds are in high song mode.  Just last night I was listening to a wood thrush in the woods out back trilling that magnificent almost metallic melody he or she has...utterly gorgeous. 

And speaking of gorgeous, check out the new Escape Into Life May Flowers feature here, which includes my poem, "Self-Portrait As Farmer's Market."  The artwork is, as always, fabulously stunning and I'm so proud to be in the company of poets whose work I very much respect and love, such as Kelly Russel Agodon and Martha Silano and Risa Denenberg.   And great to find new poets, too, to fall in love with.

I am taking a karate class, just starting in my very white uniform (or gi).  Working the different muscles, punching and kicking the heavy swinging bags--well, it's just been amazingly refreshing and awakening to start at something new, to be such a beginner at something.  Which is also why I haven't done much blogging here.  But I hope this beginning at something so challenging will benefit my poetry, too.

Which, speaking of poetry, I signed on for a write a day in May which, ummmm, I've done like two or three poems.  It's that constant starting and stopping and I feel I'm using the same words over and over in my poems.  It's the opposite of feeling like a brand new beginner with lots of opportunities to learn.   Clearly, I need to get out of my poetry habits and put myself in a new place with poetry.  I just have to figure out how. 

Although I do have a bit of good news I can't quite share yet but will hopefully very soon. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Winner!!!

And the winner of the 2013 Big Poetry Giveaway is......(drum roll please):

Sarah Jane--of The Rain in My Purse!!!

Congratulations Sarah!  Please email me your address at bergcaro at gmail dot com and I'll send those two books to you right away.

Thank you all for participating and be sure to visit again next year.  Or just visit, as I may have other poetry giveaways, before next year's poetry month.   


And Happy May!!! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Tiny Jittery

Wood ducks with their gorgeous face markings, fabulous red-headed pileated woodpeckers,  a tiny jittery brown wren.  The cherry tree just beginning to bud and in Boston, the magnolia trees in their white and purple magnificence.  This is today.

My son was on school vacation this week so yesterday we took a very long walk along the river and watched the high schoolers practice their sculling--at least that's what I think it's called.  We saw teeny tiny fish and bugs out and luckily no tics.  We met some very friendly little dogs.

Just a reminder that I'm giving out free poetry books--just comment here

The poems are, well, not daily but sporadically happening.  It's always a joy just to write, even when I absolutely hate them afterward. 


And Having Broken Into Blossom
        after James Wright

there is no against 

just to and fro 

and where before I wondered 

what and why now 

I shyly bend and blend

into the sensible breeze


if there were anything
 
more to say 

this pink of pink of pink 

that I am 

would be answer 

enough


Copyright © 2013 Eloise Klein Healy All rights reserved
from A Wild Surmise
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Full Of Curves

On my run today, there were ducks flying over head, loudly squawking and splash-landing into the pond rather joyously, it seemed to me.  There is a place in the pond where a pipe passes water from one side of the path to the other and five or six beautiful dark fish were undulating back and forth.  I want to say they were trout, but then I want all the fish I see to be trout and I'm not sure these were.  But they were darkly gorgeous.  I heard an owl singing about how it would cook for you, really, and a large meeting of red-wing blackbirds creating some random chorus but still full throatily singing.  Also, some sort of may-fly has hatched and unfortunately dying on my front door.  They are such interesting looking insects, with their back full of curves.  I just went out to take another look and picked it up and it flew away!  So apparently, it was just sleeping off the cold.

So I am writing a poem a day this month.  Shhhhhhh, though.  Don't tell anyone because I'm feeling very gingerly about writing these days.  I'm pretty sure poetry is quite ready to slip right out my front door and leave me forever. 

(I do have a topic, an argument really, but that's all I'm gonna say about that.  I am really pleased though because I actually wrote an abecedarian for the first time ever today!)

I got the anthology Women Write Resistance from Hyacinth Girl Press yesterday in the mail and know that the critical introduction is worth the price of the book alone.  This is gonna be fabulous, and I can't wait till May when I might actually have time to read it! 

What books are you reading?


Bricolage
        

Go every day a little deeper
into the woods, collect acorns,
twigs, thorns, fallen leaves,
pine needles, a fern's curl,
a bird's nest, a lost feather,
spring air, hot, humid air, a raindrop,
a touch of blue, a ripple,
and why not the hush
of your steps over moss,
the trembling of leaves
at dusk against black bark?


Put it all in a bag and shake it:
you will retrace your steps
within the clearing, hear frightened
flights, watch the rain darken the deck,
flatten oak leaves, answer the root's mute prayer.
 


Hedy Habra
Verse Daily


Friday, April 5, 2013

Past The Rocky Part

The world along the path is waking up: today the peepers were peeping, the birds singing, woodpeckers thrumming, and the snakes, well, coiling.  I had been expecting them to be coming out of whatever den they hibernate in here soon and today as I was running past the rocky part I heard them. The sound of unusual hissing. I stopped and sure enough, there was this roiling coil of small snakes.  These two women walking opposite came up to watch and we stood there fascinating, trying to come up with the name of this--I kept wanting to say "coven" but that's not right.  One of them said "gaggle" but no.  Dr. Google says a bed or nest, but that seems pretty tame.  One of the women said it sounded like fire.  What a great image, no? 

The other day I saw a muskrat in the water and then a small bundle of brown fur went shooting from one side to the other.  I caught up to it to see it was a mink.  So beautiful.  My father used to trap mink.  He was quite the hunter back in his day--mink was his favorite.  I couldn't wait to tell him what I'd saw, knowing how much he'd enjoy it, now that he can't get out much at all.  Also that the great blue heron are back flying so heavily overhead.

April is moving right along and poetry is happening in many and various places.  I hope poetry is finding you or you are finding poetry.  I know I'm trying....


Abyss



You and I, when we sleep, we're like whales
because fish swim out of my mouth
and you dishevel the seaweed.

We hear the scent of seashells, the oranges of Sóller:
drifting, taken;
without earth that belongs to us belonging to the Earth.

Two Moroccans inhale glue
and the vapor climbs to our bedchamber;
the city throws its lights against the ceiling,

and perhaps there are cops, and perhaps sirens,
and the air is full of ash,
but our night, our night is submarined.


Melcion Mateu
translated from the Catalan by Rowan Ricardo Phillips

The Paris Review
Spring 2013





Friday, March 29, 2013

The Big Poetry Giveaway 2013





Hey All,

I'm participating in the big poetry giveaway.  I am giving away my chapbook, Ophelia Unraveling, as well as Sarah Hannah's Longing Distance.  Sarah Hannah reminds me often of Sylvia Plath, which is pretty much the highest compliment I can give.

Here's just a snippet from "Rumination":

Were my mouth to find yours in the gloom
Of dying promises--canted, mid-sentence,
Mid-phrase or quotation--were I on a lark
To marry wood, the hard pine panels
Of this room, your lips, the rivulet
Tips of your lingering sweats,
Who would I be then?

So, yeah.  You want this book. Leave a comment between now and April 30 and I'll pull a name out of the hat and contact you.  That's it! 

If you want to participate as a blogger, please check out Susan Rich's info here

A little bit about me:

In addition to Ophelia Unraveling, I will also have a chapbook, The Ornithologist Poems, coming out from Dancing Girl Press this next year.  I blog about poetry stuff that's on my mind as well as birds I see out on my daily (-ish) walk.  I'm a writing tutor who lives in Massachusetts and travels occasionally, most recently to Australia. 
 

Good luck and Happy National Poetry Month!






Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To Read Speckily

I haven't been taking my walk/run/thingy lately, preferring to stay indoors and jump rope.  So the bird watching has been limited to my front yard:  downy woodpeckers, juncos, tufted titmice.  The occasional bluebird that love the suet. 

I have way too many books.  Just yesterday, three books came in the mail and I'm expecting more.  I find myself having a difficult time reading through books or journals--although that's not completely true, but I do feel that right now, I'm trying to read/juggle read at least, what, four or five books simultaneously.  What happens is, a book is mentioned somewhere on the internet and I go to Amazon to take a peek.  If they have a "Look Inside!" I generally do and then decide if I need it.  If I have to have it.  Way too often, I think I do.  But then, the book comes in the mail, I open it, dive in so to speak and then another book comes along.

Today, for example, at work I'm trying to get through the introduction to Lisa Russ Spaar's The Hide-And-Seek Muse.  I love the things she is saying and there are poet in this anthology that I haven't spent time with and think I need to.  But:

I'm also trying to read Poetry As Survival by Gregory Orr.  This I do really feel I need to read...so why aren't I reading it?  Also, in my bag that I bring to work with my stuff, I found Uncanny Valley by Jon Woodward that I totally forgot I bought and that I'm really looking forward to reading because 1.  Jon was my former teacher and a very good one and 2.  I think this will be innovative poetry that hopefully will help mine.  But I haven't even cracked the book to peek inside. 

That's not even mentioning the books that I re-read at bedtime--last night, I was trying to read The Golden Compass, but I read a few paragraphs and plunked it down.

I feel like my reading habits are becoming specky, which isn't a word, I know, but feels right.  Like I'm picking at books like some bird at seeds.  I know that the internet is having a profound impact on the way I read or don't read or read speckily.  Rebecca Loudon asked this before on Facebook and I think it's true, that Facebook and the internet are interrupting the fundamental way in which I read.  Or don't read.   

For example, I think I'm able to access more books than I need or can possibly get through.  Amazon's one click makes it super easy to buy, rather than, say, stand in a long line at Borders and debate internally with myself whether I really need this journal.  The quick hit of Facebook or checking my email for the five hundredth time is an inter rupture  as well. 

But then again, I think that maybe the internet is helpful with finding these books, finding all these poets I want to read, all these journals.  For example, that yellow issue of Fairy Tale Review (you should get that) is fabulous and while I didn't read the complete issue, found amazing poems and got ideas about writing poetry that I never would have thought of on my own and even if I didn't read the complete issue, who cares?

Even if I'm reading sporadically, is it such a bad thing?   Or reading voraciously sporadically? 

What are your thoughts about how you read?  Have you found your reading habits changing?  Does the internet bother your reading skills? Do you read speckily, too?


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stealing Poetry--Update and Other Notes

I found my Fairy Tale Review!!!  A friend realized I had left it somewhere and picked it up for me.  So yay! 


Also, Happy St. Patrick's Day! 


And soon April will be upon us with National Poetry Month.  There will probably be poetry book give-aways here and elsewhere.  And hopefully some poems will be written.  (Please let some poems come, O Poetry-Giver!)








Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stealing Poetry

On my walk yesterday I saw a pileated woodpecker!  Ah!  As you know, that's one of my very favorite birds to see because they aren't around all that much and when they open their wings to fly, the pattern on their wings is gorgeous.

So I left my copy of the yellow issue of Fairy Tale Review somewhere and now, when I want to use it, can't find it.  Inside there was a fabulous poem called "Cinder" (I think I'm remembering correctly) which was so clever and I wanted to write it out and steal from it.  I had even written inside the cover that I wanted to do so.  Now that I can't find my copy, I wonder what someone glancing around inside might wonder about that.  About stealing from it.  If they think poets are all a bunch of thieves.   How do you tell people about T.S. Eliot's injunction that good poets borrow, great poets steal?  What I take that to mean, from my own poetry experience, is that I steal the character of Ophelia and run away with her and take her to a river and devise my own story.  Or that I discover a new form, like Natasha Trethewey's Myth poem, and want to use that form for my own poems.  Or take words from a poem or bird book and riff off of them.

So I'm curious:  Is that what you take Eliot to mean?  How do you steal in your poetry? 

I'm also wondering about this because a new press, in their submission guidelines states that no plagiarism will be tolerated and that "all quotes will be checked for copyright issues." (I feel I should quote them!) Of course, one should document one's borrowings, but for some reason this seems, I don't know, obvious and therefore unnecessary to state so in their guidelines.  That it should be understood.  Is plagiarism as much a problem in poetry as it is in college comp classes these days?

Shoplifting Poetry
      by
Martin Steingesser

We're in the bookstore stealing poems,
lifting the best lines--
You cop one from Williams,
I stick my hand into Pound.
No one's looking...
I throw you a line from The Cantos--
It disappears in your ear like spaghetti.
We stuff ourselves with Crane,
cummings, Lowell, Voznesensky--
Neruda, Rilke, Yeats!
The goods dissolve in our brain.
Now we move from the shelves with caution.
The cashier's watching. Can she tell?
Fat! We've overeaten.
You giggle. End-rhymes leak at your lips like bubbles.
I clap a hand on your mouth.
You are holding my ears
as we fall out the door.

      ©1977, Martin Steingesser, all rights reserved

My "Self-Portrait as Tide Pool" is up at a very new journal, The Curve .  I'm super excited to be the first featured poet!  Ho...