After careful consideration--wait for it!--I've decided that waiting is bad for me. Why am I always waiting? And why am I sometimes unaware of what exactly I'm waiting for? As a poet, my waiting habit has been fed and nurtured. I write a first draft, second, third, and on up the abacus of practice until … Continue reading What Are We Waiting For?
Sometimes you're in a mood for moody poetry. Like in the last week of summer (not officially, but selfishly for a teacher about to return to the brick structure), reading about winter. I found this in Jane Hirschfield's lovely collection of essays, Nine Gates. The Winter After Your Death by Sharon Olds The long bands … Continue reading Sharon Olds’ “The Winter After Your Death”
My mother-in-law famously said that the brain is a marvelous thing. It is also a pain in the ass. In fact, I often yearn for the days comma good old when I was a kid and didn't think too much. Thinking too much, like the Internet, is both a wonderful and horrible thing. The … Continue reading The Hazards of Thinking Too Much
Simplicity. In poetry, it's tough to embrace and get away with. You read something as simple as Galway Kinnell's "Blackberry Eating" and say, "How easy. I can do that!" And then you try. It's like those foolhardy fiction writers who make the terrible mistake of imitating Ernest Hemingway. Seems simple enough. Only the emulating stylists … Continue reading Eating Poetic Fruit–and Words
In the "Things I Never Thought I'd Write" Department, we have this: Today Garrison Keillor read one of my poems on his nationally-syndicated program, The Writer's Almanac. Yep. The very same Writer's Almanac I've listened to on the radio and read on-line countless times. The poem, "Snapper," tells the simple story of a snapping turtle … Continue reading Garrison Keillor Reads One of My Poems