Friday, February 21, 2014

Now I'm Not Sure

Image of the Day:  Icicles dripping spheres of light.

So it's tweak your manuscript time again:  renaming, revising, and rearranging. I've changed some titles of poems (thank you Ruth!) and just been trying to listen to myself when something about a poem bothers me, even just a teeny tiny amount. Lots of contests coming up. 

Jenn Monroe has excerpted some of my poems from Her Vena Amoris, which you can read here and which you probably want to buy for some Very Important Reason, such as someone's birthday or because, you know, you should have it.  For your very own self. Link at right.  ----->

And I finished Bluets and that is an amazing book. But now I'm not sure what to read.  Any suggestions?

The Joins
       Kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending precious pottery with gold.

What's between us
often seems flexible as the webbing
between forefinger and thumb.

Seems flexible, but it's not;
what's between us
is made of clay,

like any cup on the shelf.
It shatters easily. Repair
becomes the task.

We glue the wounded edges
with tentative fingers.
Scar tissue is visible history,

the cup more precious to us
we saved it.

In the art of kintsugi,
a potter repairing a broken cup
would sprinkle the resin

with powdered gold.
Sometimes the joins
are so exquisite

they say the potter
may have broken the cup
just so he could mend it.

Chana Bloch

The Southern Review
Winter 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Image of the Day:  A grey world wearing ice's whitest slip.

Happy Valentine's Day!  I have a poem here at the always gorgeous Escape Into Life.  I'm always so happy to be part of Kathleen Kirk's special poetry features, as I know I will be in fabulous poetry company. Today's is no exception.

It's been seriously snowy here in New England with snow days and late openings for school.  I've already got packets of sweet peas to plant and thinking how quickly and slowly February moves, sometimes. 

I hope your day is filled with fragrance.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In General

Image of the Day:  Sparrow Hawk lifting off the snow holding a squealing small bird.

I think it was a junco.  Poor thing.  That happened this morning as I was taking the puppy out.  Well, everyone has to eat, I guess.  Still--it happened under my birdfeeder.

Snowy walk this morning.  I had a fabulous time also at the reading last night--a friend I hadn't expected showed up with her gorgeous daughter--yay for Shoney!  And the reading went well and it was so much fun to meet people and hear their poems as well.  Thank you so much to Jenn Monroe for inviting me.  If  you get a chance,  you should go to Gloucester and check out their series and just the town in general.  And thank you to Diane for coming with me and showing me some great new places!!  Here's a picture of me reading.

I've gotten a few rejections lately, big surprise there, and some good news as well.  Still reading Bluets.

Becoming a Book
"When writers die they become books, which is, after all,
not too bad an incarnation."

                                          —Jorge Luis Borges

           for Ben Furnish

All these years,
without knowing it,
I've been preparing for my rebirth
as a book.

Each day
I try to condense
light and darkness
into one more page.

At night
I count the pages left
before it's time
to come back.

Now that my destiny is known,
we need not say goodbye.
I'll be there guarding you
from a shelf.

Howard Schwartz

The Library of Dreams: New & Selected Poems 1965-2013
BkMk Press

Monday, February 3, 2014

Become More Urgent

Image of the Day:  Spring-songs the birds are making now, in particular the cardinal and the tufted tit-mice.  Even the thudding of the woodpeckers has changed, become more urgent.

So I won the lottery last Thursday while I was at work!!  No, not really, what really happened was I was a finalist for a Massachusetts Cultural Council poetry grant, which comes with a monetary prize.  I am so excited!!!  It makes me feel like I won a million dollars, or that my poems did.  It was nice to get outside validation on my poetry even though I shouldn't really need it. 

Also, I got an acceptance to a journal I've been trying to get into since 2009.  That was sugar on the icing.  And, she writes, looking outside at the small snowflakes coming down, much needed cheery news.

I'm counting Poetry Monday a success, both last week and today.  I've gotten some poetry stuff done that needed getting done and tried to focus on the busy work of poetry that isn't as fun as writing is.  Or as fun as reading is, for that matter.

And for reading, I'm getting back into Bluets by Maggie Nelson.  It's a fascinating exploration into the color blue.  I'm certainly learning a lot about it.  For example, that "Epicurus, proposed...that objects themselves project a kind of ray that reaches out toward the eye, as if they were looking at us" (21). 

To Sea
 Jocelyn Casey-Whiteman 

I am a brilliant animal
but when the world unfurls
the black hallway

of its appetite, I shut myself
inside, inside
this self, a shock

of Russian Dolls shellacked and shelved
among the men who wear the winning suits.
Some hands

were so warm it took time
to feel them find my throat.
I have all these halves

to look after. They give people ideas.
My eyes, carved sharp and wide,
have had to multiply;

it's wild how much they see.
Dear Monsters, keep your Old Brain
games far from me.

I edge fire with heed.
Not for ash, nor smoke
but truth, a better way to breathe,

Inside me, something found has its beat.
I drive myselves to sea.
I drive myselves to sea.

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...