I call this walking off a cliff, knowing that a helicopter is right there to catch you. Knowing, but not seeing it in your conscious mind. Some of us write ourselves off the cliff and in that moment of falling, catch the void in a turn of phrase, in a poetic twist, or a sudden … Continue reading Writing the present
Try to get to the poem underneath a day, and the words just float on the surface sometimes. Then, it's better for me to revise and read and wonder. I'm thinking of my teen students who are sending their final submissions to Scholastic Art & Writing Awards today--our regional deadline. Those hours over the line breaks, word choices, image... … Continue reading Unfiltered
We dismembered poetry and created some Franken-verse, as a little break today from revising work for the end of winter session at Writopia Lab. Reminding them (and myself) that cutting up the writing is still fun, startling, and rewarding.
I hardly remember this---photo of a recent high school graduate and her younger sisters, visiting India in 1992. A past life, it seems. I've been reading high school seniors' writing portfolios as a volunteer juror in the Scholastic Art & Writing awards this week. I'm remembering, and happy to support those purer ideals growing into the future, … Continue reading To judge
Investigating the ice on Rockland Lake this weekend, we concluded that walking on water is the coolest. The shadows we cast illuminated the strangeness of the surface: opaquely reflective and permeable at the same time. Lately I've been investigating my children's understanding of poetry. Though my older two don't engage with me in writing anymore … Continue reading Surface
More than a flurry of books, lit mags, and papers cover my desk right now, making the dining table a happy option. I'm starting work on a new set of poem translations this week---waking my vocabulary skills, and piercing the language for something sweet.
The house gets transparent, a flower sneaks in, and the sun rhymes with itself. As in this photo of my daughter's artwork, overlaps occur as a matter of accident and curiosity in the poems I like most.
Tissue and construction paper collaboration with my four-year-old daughter reveals that I sometimes need to do unrevisable artwork. Poetry involves a lot of revision and even rewriting, and that's been most of it for the past few weeks. But I also began teaching my first poetry workshop this week, revealing what I already knew about inspiration … Continue reading Space
Of course, light always follows that darkness, of frightening storms and power outages, of the end-of-daylight-savings-time, of the anxious elections. Sometimes we can make some right in the middle of it, of course. Tissue paper and wallpaper paste, molded on balloons, of course.
Sometimes watching the dark and the great burning sky every day are all the poetry I'd ever want. My children are off to school this week after a long, sweet summer. This photograph is at the beach in St. Joseph, Michigan.