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     
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. 

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.

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


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!!! 

Heron Tree

I have so enjoyed working as an editor for the Heron Tree volume 5 edition.  I learned so much from reading submitted poems!  And realized w...