I finally got it, got Zen, thanks to Matsuo Basho, Haiku master of and for all time. Zen is the eternal captured in the moment. The simple conveyed by the complex. It is the power by which haiku, that uninterruptible conscientious brief burst of words, implies all forms, all poems. Basho was a wonderer and […]
Sunday morning considerations courtesy of Mary Oliver
Such an honor to see my review of Luis Panini’s book The Destruction of the Lover published in Tupelo Quarterly. My review seeks to articulate Lawrence Schimel’s translation of Panini’s original Spanish text, a translation that forms part of the Pleiades Press Series in Translation. Tupelo is a journal I’ve admired for so long. One […]
Sometimes, a lot of the times, when I read Sharon Olds it is a small, non-central phrase that does me in. Seldom is it the grand finale. Often, it is a line tucked into the middle, like a “last drop of something,” that makes me come back to it, come back to the poem, in […]
The Poetry Foundation’s site come in mighty handy while waiting in line. Example on this is brief, perfect poem above. Other photo in this post is the internal patio of the Poetry Foundation’s Chicago headquarters, which I recently had the chance to visit. More on that later. Later like when I am waiting again in […]
The Orange Patch in the Center of the Quilt: Lessons of Survival via Self-Love and Community in the Writings of Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison
When Baby Suggs, ultimate matriarch and sorceress in Toni Morrison’s masterpiece “Beloved,” is unable to protect her own kin, to deadly consequence, she retreats from the world to her room to stare at her quilt and lie in “bed to think about the colors of things” (Morrison, Beloved, p208).This quilt is remarkable, not only in […]
Scenes from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds’ first book of poems “Satan Says.” In the background, Paola Pivi’s solo exhibit at the Miami Beach Bass Museum.
“Mimetic” is my Word of the Day. Synonymous (yes, at once!) with “echoic,” “apish,” “slavish” and “canned.” From John D’Agata’s genre-bending, lyrical, US-centered tour of the essay’s recent history: “The Next American Essay.”
A “zorse” is the word to use when speaking of the offspring between a zebra and a horse. Also, say this out-loud: Kanye is half cannon, half ballet. Half canonical, half prey. From Sarah Blake’s “Mr. West”
The fascinating thing about fascination is fascination itself. Obsession works in similar ways. An obsession, a swallowing up of will by all encompassing drive, takes over in inexplicable ways. Callings exist beyond a mere sense of purpose. Why else would there be an entire book of poems on Kanye? Poem “God Created Night and It […]
If you, too, were wondering, this is what forty exclamation marks look like: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! From Sarah Blake’s “Mr. West”.
Quick! Read this before the year is over. From Sarah Blake’s high-low masterpiece “Mr. West.”
From “The Book of Endings” by Leslie Harrison.
My way into KiKi Petrosino’s latest collection Witch Wifewas through the poem “Afterlife.” Thanks to this poem, I realized the book was about getting dumped. And dumped. And dumped. But also about rising above the heart carnage to transform hurt into a magical handbook for survival. Petrosino is a witch whose wand is language, and who waves it deftly […]
Good morning, from Audre Lorde.
I don’t know who “Jonno” is. Maybe I missed it. Maybe it’s no one, maybe everyone. But poet Audre Lorde wrote him, wrote her a beautiful poem. From Lorde’s collected works.
From “The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde.”
Kiki Petrosino wrote one of the most haunting books of poetry I’ve read in a while. It’s called “Witch Wife” and contains many off-set poems, such as the one pictured above. Domesticity and its domesticized discontents. Books have been written about it, and they are good.
As quoted by Helen Macdonald in “H is for Hawk.” I think loneliness is an invention of urbanity, of History’s suddenly crowded core. There is no lonesomeness on the grassy plain, or, for that matter, in the dark concrete city heart, so long as singleness is read as the manifestation of singularity of setting, of […]
Feels good to read. Especially this. From Colette Bryce’s “Selected Poems.”