Category Archives: Poetry

Amber Tamblyn – Poet, Actor, Director – And Activist – So Done With Not Being Believed

I have been a fan of Amber Tamblyn since I read her 2012 poetry collection Bang Ditto. Her razor sharp eye combined with a wizardry for image and metaphor. But I took her even more seriously after reading Dark Sparkler her brutal poetic expose of the imagined inner lives of female actors who died far […]

Irreverent, Ribald, Irrepressible and Grief Struck and Stuck – The Wild Heart of Sherman Alexie

Hunger Games I crave grief for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sweet grief, salted grief, I want so much To swallow you whole. I’m a damn sinner Who can only be saved by your fingers. Hurry, place the sacred grief on my tongue And consecrate breakfast, lunch and dinner— Or maybe not. I wish I were […]

Not an Elegy – A Tribute to John Ashbery (1927-2017)

What Is Poetry The medieval town, with frieze Of boy scouts from Nagoya? The snow That came when we wanted it to snow? Beautiful images? Trying to avoid Ideas, as in this poem? But we Go back to them as to a wife, leaving The mistress we desire? Now they Will have to believe it […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #32 in a Series – The Indefatigable Lorna Crozier – Three Poems

WHAT THE SOUL WANTS  A horse made out of rain (it doesn’t need a blacksmith). A fret of dragonflies, the thin gloss of their wings. A yellow bicycle. Outside the door a tall coffee can full of sand for the soul’s gritty habits. A place where trees are happy. How can you tell? It’s the […]

A Flood of Words – The Seriousness of Things Beyond our Understanding – A Poem by Al Purdy

from ON THE FLOOD PLAIN People have told us we built too near the lake “The flood plain is dangerous they said and no doubt they know more about it than we do — but here wind pressed down on new-formed ice trembles it like some just-invented musical instrument and that shrieking obligato to winter […]

Maylor Again – A Poem for 45 to Read – If He Could Stop Watching Cable News

If you gaze at the stars, they turn their fiery irises towards our wet/dirty planet and watch the tidal motion of person piercing person with penis, and gladius, and bullet. A supergiant’s own combustion sparks light, honesty. We merely chalk compassion on blackboards, speak it from pulpits without much purchase for permanence. If you speak, […]

What Accidental Loveliness Are You Missing Today? – Thoughts on a Poem by Robert Cording

from Massachusetts Audubon Chart No. 1, 1898 I’ve come to think that what we know of our lives often has nothing to do with understanding, but with some accidental loveliness we put our hopes in, the excess, say, of a thrush fluting its elongated ee — oo – lay; or the way a flock of […]

Poetry La Romita, 2017 – We Discovered a Wider (Wilder) Eye

Oh, the world, the world, What eye is wide enough? What pupil sufficiently diligent.  —  Greg Orr ………………………I want to go howl in the city, or smash windows, or make my life sheer shine in this miracle ache of the world. — Dennis Lee Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.  — […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #31 in a Series – Different Takes on Old Men – Maylor, Cummings, Owen

Three dogs and an old man Out of orchard they tumble. Dog over dog, an undulation. Playful, brown. First two, then another tail, exclamation, punctuation. A man, a silhouette, Zeus-like, wielding his walking staff. Creator of all things joyful and strong, all beings four-legged and two, he’s here to say, jubilance is a stick, go […]

The Bigness of Small Poems – #30 in a Series – Christian Wiman’s Heart Cry

Writing poetry is a much more powerful and destabilizing experience for me than is writing prose. The former plays hell and havoc with my life and mind. The latter is an exercise in sanity. That said, there are certainly areas of experience to which prose gives me access that poetry does not. I can plan […]