Alison Clement

observations from a novelist who sometimes wants to say something small and see it published immediately


the secretive mind

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 some things hidden which just means private as long as you know what they are. […]

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why is a feel oyster an egg stir

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 train station this morning reading Tender Buttons and a young man was pacing up and […]

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Taha Muhammad Ali

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 in people’s hearts. Thanks, Roger Weaver, for sending this.

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The Iraqi Women

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 Iraqi Women From an article in “The Oregonian,” 07/05/06, A-5 The parking lot is filling […]

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just for saying: Plum

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 is Tuesday already. What happened to Sunday, poetry day on my blog? I am trying […]

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Zavis Kalandra

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 when the ‘streets of Prague were once again ‘crowded with young people dancing….’ The day […]

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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 noon, and at night, feeding on mosquitoes, bats carved dark curves in the darker sky. […]

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