What happens to pine needles?
They get wise and smell strongly
Of no place you have ever been.
Where do daffodil petals go?
They rely on the wind and spread news
To the beetles and river rats. Continue reading
Red fern found in Spring Valley, near Lost City, 2-24-13
If you don’t believe a story
Can stay with you in the background
Like a picturesque tree you pose before
For all of your life, witness this:
I loved the baking powder can
That Billy saved his money in to buy
Those two redbone coonhounds. Continue reading
On yet another February day late
in that month of unforgiving earth,
the irregular beating of junco wings,
I rest on a fallen rock, the slab electric
with the brutality of bone cold,
and the sun fights with clouds,
fights to spotlight me, and loses,
as I have been losing all of my life,
as I have been battling, element
against element with the best intentions. Continue reading
Edna St. Vincent Millay protesting the execution of Sacco & Vanzetti
I first encountered Edna St. Vincent Millay in an old high school literature textbook. Parked like a shiny convertible amongst the hearses of early twentieth century American literature, she called to me. Now granted “Renascence” wasn’t a horn-honking kind of poem, and it was certainly death-haunted, but it was written by a woman, one of only twenty at that, and it sang of possibilities.
High school textbooks, of course, would not publish some of Millay’s best works that came later, poems about sexuality, love, and longing, that were certainly ground-breaking topics for a female writer in the early twentieth century. She lived life on her own terms, had many affairs, was openly bi-sexual, went to jail for supporting Sacco and Vanzetti, and traveled extensively.
Today, February 22, in 1892, Millay was born. Her friends called her “Vincent.” Continue reading
What the world needs is another book of poems, huh? Yeah, right. Actually, YES, RIGHT! What the world needs is people stepping out of their monkey-brains long enough to listen to poetry. It may surprise you with what it has to offer. And if you aren’t surprised, if you are a poet yourself, you know what you need to do? Read other people’s poetry. It will make you a better poet . . . and person. Continue reading
Two friends of the museum, Johnny White and Brittanie Schneider (both excellent poets and artists–and I’m not biased, just because they are former students from my lost teaching years) made the latest poet chair for the museum. I love it, and I think you will, too.
We tried to capture the ordinary madness that Bukowski wrote of: the pounding of keys against the page until the ink is gone and it is nothing but a glorified hole puncher, the violence and drunk insanity, and aspirations of greatness cuckolded by reality.–Johnny White