Esmé Wonders How She’ll Die
– for Lisa
…perspective is a lie. If I know a pond is round then why should I draw it oval? I will draw it round because round is true. Why should my brush lie to you just because my eyes lie to me? – Terry Pratchett
I shot the boy
whose piano chanted
in the monastery of rain. Read more
Well, part self-promotion and part shout-out to a worthy online literary journal. I recently retired from writing poetry, but I still have things in submission and will likely continue trying to find homes for the things I have already written.
I’m pleased to direct everyone to Poetry Pacific, where three of the poems from my latest book (“Photo Album: Venezia, 1562,” “Kitsune’s Wedding” and “Coderain”) appear today. Poetry Pacific is a new literary e-zine edited by the immensely talented Dr. Changming Yuan, a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose work we were honored to feature in the lit journal back in January. As I have said before, small, innovative literary outlets, many of them Web-based, are the future of poetry, and I was really struck when I first visited Poetry Pacific last year by the quality of what Yuan was publishing.
So wander on over and have a look, if you would, and take the time to work through some of the other authors presented there. You may find a new favorite.
I have recently added “A Journal of Sound & Light,” the cornerstone of my 1989 book The Rainwater Chronicles, to the library here at the Pit. Enjoy. A Journal of Sound and Light (pdf)
I’m exceedingly proud to announce that two of my previous published poems, “Eleven Fables” and “To Be Continued (Ars Poetica)” (both in last year’s Pemmican) have been included in the Western State Colorado University Press anthology, Manifest West. This is a great new series and the quality of the work, which focuses on humor and the West, is outstanding.
You can read the poems themselves over at Pemmican (no point in duplicating things).
The Summer 2012 issue of Amethyst Arsenic, a great online poetry and art journal, is now available, featuring poetry from Cassandra de Alba, Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, James Caroline, Meaghan Ford, Hannah Galvin, Casey Rocheteau, Rene Schwiesow, Steve Subrizi and many more. Plus, art from Pauline Lim, Ivan de Monbrison and Jessica Pinsky. Also, yes, I have three pieces in it: “1638,” “Wedding Song,” and “Meditation: Monarch Mountain.” Here’s a taste:
Meditation: Monarch Mountain
Aspens white-barked, gold.
Winter is coming, early
snow on Monarch Pass.
In 2005 my friend and colleague, Lars Bjuvberg, committed suicide in Stockholm. Lars and I weren’t all that close, but his death hit me in a way that I still don’t fully understand. Perhaps it was as simple as the fact that someone so very talented had escorted himself off this mortal stage.
Or perhaps it was more complicated – as I learned more about the story, I found myself empathizing with him and understanding his decision. I had written about suicide before, and in ways that perhaps suggested something about my own relationship with what many regard as the gravest of human sins. Read more
I’ve been ecstatic to have some of my poetry accepted in recent months (after the usual stream of rejections that typify the life of the not-yet-famous poet). In this case, the publication in question is Pemmican, an outstanding online journal that’s been around since the early 1990s. They pride themselves on publishing work that is “outside the mainstream of its day.” In acknowledging their debt to the journals that helped shape their vision, the editors say this:
That poetry might be characterized as not only differing from the stylistic and structural conventions of its time but in its use of imagery and language, its sense of “place” (or lack of place in some cases), and, perhaps most important of all, its embrace of the political as a proper subject for poetry. Read more
I am haunted by numberless islands... - WB Yeats
Walking by the shore at dusk, air
leaden with a faith in words.
William looks up, says
Maud, the sky is full of dragonflies.
She stares beyond the sea.
That's nice, Bill. But I've a kingdom to burn.
Your bugs will be dead by morning.
Words are a piper, he says. Read more
- Imbolc 2011, 2:17am MST
Old Ethan like a walking stick, daylong shadow:
sets him after a halfway pole
fifty mile through a
October throwed his scarecoat down.
November framed those woods a house of smoke.
December painted the black days white.
Come January, the ringnecks froze in place.
Treelocked they'll sit 'til April
flumes their melted songs to the sea.
a milepost on a swerving road,
a weed in a tombyard.
Turns him 'round and marks for home.
Never know home until you get there,
never know halfways at all.
OLD FLORIDA, GIVEN BACK
This song is a canopy road,
as much between times
as place to place,
and spanish moss, ghost waters,
slinking like alligator eyes
through the trees.
Here’s a draft of something I’m working on.
To Be Continued (Ars Poetica) Read more
In 2003 I was fortunate enough to have a collection of my poems published as the featured chapbook in The Dead Mule, one of the finest publications of Southern literature in the country. Since then TDM has undergone some changes and my chapbook is no longer available in their archive. So I thought I’d pull it all together and make it available to those of you who’d like a copy.
The text includes poems from my first and second books, The Rainwater Chronicles and The Love Song of Ethan Brand. Given that this was for TDM, the collection draws heavily my earlier, more “Southern” work. You might like that, you might not.
In any case, here is, and I hope you enjoy it.
He is nearly finished, bella. They want it
erected in the Piazza della Signoria. Already
some are calling him a masterwork.
That’s nice, dear.
Can you move your things?
Lucia is stopping by. Read more
– for Angela
The spirit country is too vast to string with wire,
to arc into a blade-sharp wind
and stand tar-soaked poles across the bottomless miles. Read more