No Great Revelation, Thank You

I finished reading Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse” last week. Apart from some fifty experimental-ish pages toward the middle, it was stunning. Especially the closing. In fact, if anyone is interested in reading it but doesn’t have time, the last chapter is fifty pages and gives an ample taste of the complete work. Above is […]

The World’s End

Polish Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska hangs out at a Colombian truck stop. Read Casanare 2014

Poetry on the Run

I owe a new-found obsession with off-road rallies to my husband’s passion for cars. Once our baby was born he exchanged the race track for the dirt track and brought me along. Last weekend we traversed more than 600 kilometers of Colombian wilderness on a dirt buggy. Because road trips are better taken in good […]

The Being and the Doing

A passage from Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse.” Classic Woolf treatment of the eternal battle of inside vs out. Read Casanare 2014

Woodshop: Where I Live and Work

I have to admit I am thrilled that CutBank Literary Magazine published my piece in their “Woodshop” series. The series is dedicated to showing where various writers live and work. So, this means they consider me a “writer.” Thrilling. CutBank has been around for 40 years as Montana’s foremost literary magazine. The poetry and other […]

What Nietzsche Meant by “God is Dead”

I’m thoroughly enjoying my first Coursera course. It’s on philosophy since The Enlightenment and last week we did Friedrich Nietzsche.  Of course, I’d heard Nietzsche’s infamous phrase “God is dead” before, but I did not know exactly what was behind it. Now that I know, I wanted to share my class notes, because what Nietzsche […]

The Right Word

Sometimes a word is all it takes to build a poem. Such is the case in Tomas Tranströmer’s “To Friends behind a Border,” translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly. For me, the poem is constructed around the uncommon word “trilobite,” which refers to a fossil group of extinct marine animals possessing an exoskeleton. Here […]

Good Night

  I sit down slightly drunk   Not enough to be great But perhaps enough to be good   Let’s see   The sky is clear My husband sleeps   I am a wife a woman grown I shall never taste the soup I cook   Tonight I traced The city clean I approach my […]

If Only, the Hippogriff

It’s the rainy season in Bogotá, Colombia, where I live. This can mean cold rain and overhanging black clouds for three months straight. But today the sun is out, and I am taking my baby to the park. So in honor of this critical event, I am posting a poem by playful children’s poet X. […]

Cuarto de hotel moderno

  En veinte años tendré las tetas Mejores que tu corazón Tela madura piso alquilado   Te presento la línea presente De Mi Cintura Tus manos cansadas   La pueden tocar Cinturón caro Regalo de hombre mayor   Pídeme algo Al cuarto Que lo traigan ya   Mientras tengo Un poco de Antojo   Una […]

Feet to the Stars

One of my favorite Sylvia Plath poems is actually short and sweet. It’s called ”You’re,” and it is basically a silly love poem. Here are the entire two stanzas of the poem, in case the image above is not clear enough: Clownlike, happiest on your hands, Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled, Gilled like a fish. […]

Who With

  The greatest thing about not loving you Is not giving time   Leaving the view alone Lingering never   The thought almost well Crafted   It was a moment of smallness It can be described   Written 2005

Book Burning with Madame Bovary

I am taking my first Coursera class called The Modern and The Post-Modern, taught by Wesleyan University President Michael Roth. To all those interested in casual or even serious learning, I truly recommend getting started on Coursera. As part of the course, I had to read Gustave Flaubert’s classic soap opera “Madame Bovary.” Regardless of what […]