Monday, December 29, 2014

A Sea Full

Image of the Day:  The cold Earth steady and still beneath my feet.

I've been on a cruise ship for the past week.  I walked up a waterfall with fast streaming water flowing downward, holding the hands of complete strangers helping me not fall onto slippery rocks.
I've seen goats running around the Jamaica green jungle.  A very controlled and well-trained dolphin kissed me on the cheek and let me kiss it.  A very thick-lipped and sunburnt-skinned Australian captain let me jump into a sea full of large wild sting-rays while a woman screamed.  They streamed through the water like huge, black capes, their width the length of me.  I did not stay long in that water, even though it was gorgeous tourmalined in color.  My skin got so burned there were little raised bumps all over my chest.  The ocean was a constant motion, small waves combining with themselves to form bigger waves that rolled and rolled.  Small nearly see-through flying fish rode above the waves far longer than I thought possible.  And at 2:30 in the  morning, the ship would cavitate and my whole body felt like it was threaded through some giant hook, streaming underneath the water.  It was nice to go away and it is nice to be back. 

I have a poem here in the whimsical Arsenic Lobster Poetry Review.  I'm sharing poetry space with some of my favorite poets, all incredibly talented, such as D.M. Aderibigbe, Karen J Weyant, Jill Khoury and others. 

I finished reading State of Wonder which was quite fitting for a cruise.  Lots of surprises.  Today I'm just blah, doing loads of laundry and wandering aimlessly around the house. 

Siberian Spring

      Tomsk, Siberia

A moment for a painting: crisp, clean
snow sparking over hill and hollow,
barest green halo hovering above branches.
Taiga: the word smells fresh, unstained.
Gone are the long nights—woman, bottle, knife,
each good company in her own way—
swept clear by green noise.

Up front the driver tightens a wire in the engine.
Satisfying, these small victories:
the engine's rev, the road's drag,
the marking of another spring—
as if it were an easy thing.
As if any of it were easy.
Just ask the river ice, keening now
over the carcass of her rank,
disemboweled self.

Katherine E. Young

Friday, December 12, 2014

Such a Jolt

Image of the Day:  The slow and graceful deer shaking their big ears at my dog, barking at them behind the back door.

So this blog is kind of a weird thing for me.  Yesterday, for reasons I can't figure out, this blog had 112 hits or pageviews.  I have no idea why, unless my namesake in fiction, the other Carol Berg, had some news and people were confused.  I had visitors from China, France, the Ukraine, Brazil and South Korea stop by.  Normally, I get like maybe 7-12 visitors unless I'm writing about someone else's poetry, like Amorak Huey, and then I might get 60 or so.  Which is nice, since this blog is all about promoting poetry and writing in general, but still.  So, anyway, just wanted to say thanks for stopping by! (And hey, feel free to buy a book or two of mine while you're here.  They make great presents!  And if mine don't work for you, visit the presses and browse around.  You're sure to find something for someone!)

And I'm officially on break from my other job for about a month, which is nice.  But my boss has retired and yesterday was our last day working together which made me enormously sad.  I love my boss and try and learn as much from her as I can.  I know not a lot of people can say that which is why I also love my job.  And it's so hard to have someone that has been in your life for almost 15 years suddenly not be in your life so much.  Or hardly at all.  I know people come in and out of our lives all the time and it can be such a jolt.  It's been also very emotional for me and now I think I'm sick.  With a cold. Or just a huge emotional hangover.  Last night I was in bed by eight reading my book, State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett.  It's a good read so far.

So here's a beautiful poem from the gorgeous DMQ Review that you should read from beginning poem to last poem.  Nothing like an ode to a punctuation mark to get you rolling. 


Not lips but the opening of lips, the kiss that fits
    a mouth, moistens a tongue with a lungful
of mimosa. Two dots offer aromas of oleander,
    pine, sweet plum. They numb the funk of the manuscript
locked in a trunk. Two dots open to mercy
    in Minneapolis or the middle of Muscatine,
two eyes watching swaths of brush tumble
    in the wind. After a colon, you can wake up as a reptile
or a gilt chandelier in France or ants in a manse
    passing on the left carrying crumbs from the kitchen
while the pastor pens a sermon on olive blossoms
    then fingers his earring. Not a period, a colon
is an open church: Muslims, Jews, dragonflies
    dampened by fog. The rivers of day and night return
in currents of fish. They swim through two dots
    to open the floodgates of silence and sound:
for the mist frozen in its moment, for the green
    alone in its moss, for the bee buzzing above
the pond scum, for the baby laughing
    in her bassinet while the ground shakes.
John Davis
Copyright © 2014  

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...