Virginia Woolf wrote that it was her “shock-receiving capacity” that made her a writer. I think writers, particularly poets, have a perpetual déjà vu, remembering bits and pieces of experiences, usually nondescript, that harbor images that repeatedly cry out to be cast upon paper. Continue reading
I had an old man, a child, a cat, and a dog.
Lost them in the middle of a country song,
when a hill came rolling down,
soft, but tearing up the ground.
Now my head is rolling ’round,
zigzagging away at any sound. Continue reading
A teacher friend of mine loves Walt Whitman’s work just like I do. She and her students regularly sound their “barbaric yawp” around the classroom and hallways. Unfortunately, as is the case in many schools, the administration does not appreciate nor understand poetic expression. She recently received this email from her principal: Continue reading
My grandmother (Gangy) kept a diary most years on a drugstore calendar. In the date blocks she wrote the high and low temperatures. On the back of each page, she wrote a brief entry for the highlight of most days. Most of the comments are about people who came to see her and how long they stayed, food she canned, weather observations.
This is where poetry lives: Continue reading
Here is what I bring to you, Day:
A restlessness haunting the hours,
Like the moon behind the trees—here,
And here, now here. A belief
In the core, the place of origin,
Creek water walked in as a child,
The dirt tracks toy Corvettes made,
My son’s laughter exploding
From a pile of leaves we never
Gathered in fall. I give this all up Continue reading
She scattered the seeds wide, far from her, to the edge of the furrowed land,
beyond garden, beyond home and the human notion of property,
Into the land of other and the stories she did not shape
Yet had a hand in the telling because
We all have a hand in the telling
Of our lives,
The lie to pass on, Continue reading
Once I was walking around Boston and stopped at a brick building that had some chalked words written on it. The words were “The Writing.” I kept walking and then I got it. I laughed out loud. What is the writing on your wall? Continue reading
We stopped the white Chevy with the rusted tailgate,
Half in the ditch, and walked up the hillside,
Through the pine trees and scrub oak, fall leaves
Like letters in an abandoned apartment cracking
Under our feet. There was nothing and everything
To see in the woods, the snake skin, coyote scat,
Half-hidden killdeer nest, muddy water of the hollow.
He pointed these things out to me, a child learning
to see from her father. We all learn
To see from the people who came before us. Continue reading
Another display we’ll have in the museum, besides Marginalia, Doors, and Poet Products, is an interactive one where people can record themselves saying a poem. I just bought 100 blank cassettes off of ebay for this purpose. My other tools are an outdated cassette player gangked from some school in my past and an old karaoke machine that has a cassette player on it (I don’t have one of these yet). Continue reading
I’m just trying to meet you where you are at.
Let’s make it happen. But avert your eyes. Continue reading