Most of the others in my writing workshop took a lit class in “the uncanny.” When we read stories, they always see that. They see the blurring of dreams and reality; they see the Gothic. I, on the other hand, watch a lot of detective shows. I read, seeing crime. Get out the yellow tape.
At Kim Stafford’s poetry workshop I accidentally wrote a poem that told a secret even though I wasn’t thinking of the secret and when it came time to share what we had written I read something else. Is this what poems do—make you say things you want to keep hidden? It is ok to keep … More the secretive mind
First of all, I don’t like Gertrude Stein’s writing. Conceptually what she is doing might be interesting, and I appreciate the fact that she was brave and that she wrote what she wanted to write even if she had to publish it herself, but her writing is awful to read. I was sitting in the … More why is a feel oyster an egg stir
Taha Muhammad Ali (1931-2011): Palestinian poet, author of “So What; New and Selected Poems, 1971-2005” pub.2006, Copper Canyon Press And so it has taken me all of 60 years to understand that water is the finest drink, and bread the most delicious food, and that art is worthless unless it plants a measure of splendor … More Taha Muhammad Ali
Our Sunday poem. This is by my friend, Peter Sears. I think it’s a good one for today. 9/11. The poem is taken from Peter’s book, Green Diver. Cover art by Rick Bartow. Purchase Peter’s book here, and if you are ever lucky enough to get a chance to hear him read, do it. The … More The Iraqi Women
The plums are ripe and summer is over. I am back at work. Chuck has made a studio for me, a room in the back yard near the garden, so I have a place to write. I would rather write about my life than live it. That is a terrible thing to admit. Oh, today … More just for saying: Plum
In The Art of Fiction David Lodge talks about the refusal of Paul Eluard, then one of the world’s most renowned Communist poets, to intervene on behalf of his friend, Zavis Kalandra, a surrealist who was executed by the new, revolutionary Czech government. Lodge tells about Milan Kundera describing a day in June of 1950 … More Zavis Kalandra
Is it pathetic that, aside from two older women at the table next to me (who are talking about poetry), every single person in this coffeehouse is on a laptop? Or are the rest of them, like me, tired of working alone in their houses and simply wishing for some semblance of companionship?
It’s Sunday, poetry day. This is from Sara Backer. INMATES I heard there was a fat skunk, all white, who waddled in the yard followed by two kits the men called babies. I heard about a pair of chipmunks and raccoons that hung around the kitchen. A hummingbird appeared one morning, a gray-tailed hawk at … More Inmates
I was reading about lyric essays. I think my essays are lyric essays and not just because they are disorganized. I only learned the term when I went back to school. People do things and don’t even know those things have names, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t know what we’re doing. I kept … More taught by nuns