My middle-school homeschool students had a pool party today to celebrate the end of our year reading The Odyssey together. It was epic. They stood in the water scream-laughing about the crushes they dramatically recounted for each other from their pre-Covid schooldays. I was kicking myself: it never occurred to me to ask them to … Continue reading Eat well, write well
So you're already lying on a patio chaise or, better yet, a hammock, reading something with which you're planning to torture undergraduates in the fall? Yes, me too. I hadn't read The Wild Iris by Louise Gluck, though I know that's the favorite among her collections. So, I'm reading it now, educating myself on the … Continue reading Summer is for reading
Sometimes a song does it. I'll suddenly remember being together with a group of people, playing a game or writing some poems, sharing food and drink. We've been watching some classic musical films at my house for that very reason: nostalgia for the simple joy of just being together. Today, not one but TWO in-person … Continue reading Local water
When a poem is about to be, keep your hands ready. It might have words, but sometimes instead it has sounds, flashes of light and color, pressure like an April gale, a lift of wing. I always thought it strange that such fragile things as bird eggs are laid high in tree boughs. There’s that … Continue reading Careful, as with eggs
pi day song - Observing sometimes means counting. How many times over, or how many iterations, repetitions in a pattern—these details are necessary to an act of keen artistic understanding. Time spent observing, letting the eye circle its shrine while interiorly circumambulating the heart’s concerns, isn’t counted. In fact, it puts time back into your … Continue reading Beautiful numbers
While walking around and talking with writers and poets for a few days, I could see the silky new dreams rolling out. This is just to say to you: keep watching, keep loving, keep singing your poems, friends. It will work. So grateful for everyone I met at AWP's annual conference in Washington, D.C. All of … Continue reading Re-dream
It had not acquired one permanent wrinkle after all its ripples. ---Henry David Thoreau In poetry, circumambulating an object is the same as walking into the center of it. These two---poetry and walking near water---are my favorite ways into the deeps. And keeping a poetry notebook next to my busy life has become that necessary shortcut to serenity.
Way up in the rigging, near the sails, high above deck and swinging out over water. I recently rejoined the masthead at Numéro Cinq Magazine, where I've contributed poetry, reviews, essays, and translations over the past two years. Grateful for my post in the literary winds with this smart and clear-sighted group of editors and writers.
After I water the garden and walk the day's iridescent heat, night teases with thunder. The stacks of books at Pickwick didn't tease for long today---I found what I was looking for pretty quickly. Melville's tale of the whale is my self-assigned summer reading, along with something that's been waiting on my own bookshelf for … Continue reading Summer-lit
Sunrise, as reflected in the mansard roof's windows, is the most glorious part of these winter days. I don't want to finish reading the Divine Comedy--enjoying paradise! So I've set it aside and picked up Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, another journey that will take me a while.