Monday, December 26, 2011

I love this poem from today's American Life in Poetry:

The Art of Being

The fern in the rain breathes the silver message.
Stay, lie low. Play your dark reeds
and relearn the beauty of absorption.
There is nothing beyond the rotten log
covered with leaves and needles.
Forget the light emerging with its golden wick.
Raise your face to the water-laden frond.
A thousand blossoms will fall into your arms.


 Anne Coray is an Alaskan, and in this beautiful meditation on the stillness of nature she shows us how closely she’s studied something that others might simply step over.

   American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2011 by Anne Coray from her most recent book of poetry, A Measure’s Hush, Boreal Books, 2011. Poem reprinted by permission of Anne Coray and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2011 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.


Great little memorial article for Ruth Stone, written by Philip Levine, in the NY Times yesterday:

"Ruth lived in the only world of poetry that matters, the one without publishers, awards, prestige, competition, jealousy, money — the one  
we might call “poetry eternal,” the same world the great poems live in. Now she is there forever."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Geospatial Poetry Is Here!

Check out this terrific new collaborative poetry project. It is so cool to log on to Google Earth, and zoom in on a location (currently WA state is featured), and find a poem there! Some of the featured poets include Allen Braden, Kathleen Flenniken, Derrick Sheffield, Susan Rich, James Bertolino, and Kathryn Hunt. Visit Katharine Whitcomb's website for more details:

The Center for Geospatial Poetry at Central Washington University. A Sense of Place: The Washington State Geospatial Poetry Anthology, edited by Professor Katharine Whitcomb, Dr. Robert Hickey, and Marco Thompson, is ready for readers and distribution. They are also now accepting submissions for a 2nd edition. Click on the above links and check it out.

Also: A Sense of Place has its first gig at the Cascadia Poetry Festival, March 25, 2012, 4 p.m. Be *there* (no pun intended).


Friday, December 16, 2011

Love this poem from today's Verse Daily:
White Stork
                                         —Ciconia ciconia

Such jazzy arrhythmia,
                                     the white storks'
Plosive and gorgeous leave-takings suggest
Oracular utterance where the blurred
Danube disperses its silts.
                                         Then the red-
Billed, red-legged creatures begin to spiral,
To float among thermals like the souls, wrote
Pythagoras, praising the expansive
Grandeur of black-tipped wings, of dead poets.
Most Eastern cultures would not allow them
To be struck, not with slung stone or arrow
Or, later, lead bullet—
                                   birds who have learned,
While living, to keep their songs to themselves,
Who return to nests used for centuries,
Nests built on rooftops, haystacks, telegraph
Poles, on wooden wagon wheels placed on cold
Chimneys by peasants who hoped to draw down
Upon plague-struck villages such winged luck.

If the body in its failure remains
A nest, if the soul chooses to return...

Yet not one stork has been born in Britain
Since 1416, the last nest renounced
When Julian of Norwich, anchoress,
Having exhausted all revelations,
Took earthly dispensation, that final
Stork assuring, even while vanishing,
"Sin is behovely, but all shall be well."

Copyright © 2011 Michael Waters All rights reserved
from Gospel Night
BOA Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission


And this one from a few days ago on Poem-A-Day

The Gardenia
by Cornelius Eady

The trouble is, you can never take
That flower from Billie's hair.
She is always walking too fast
and try as we might,

there's no talking her into slowing.
Don't go down into that basement,
we'd like to scream. What will it take
to bargain her blues,

To retire that term when it comes
to her? But the grain and the cigarettes,
the narcs and the fancy-dressed boys,
the sediment in her throat.

That's the soil those petals spring from,
Like a fist, if a fist could sing.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Poetry Housewives of the University

This poetry kerfuffle has sure generated a lot of hype. I wonder if the publisher (Penguin) set it all up as a way to sell more copies of the anthology? Doesn't it all seem like a bad episode of reality TV? All this calling names and pulling hair and scratching over number of pages and who is in and who is out -- or am I just being cynical? You decide.

Poetry Knockdown: Harvard Prof Disses Poetry Anthology.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where are those "millionaire job creators?"

Dean and I are back from a lovely week-plus in PV. So hard to come back to 30's and frost on the back porch, but it is good to be home. And, strangely enough, I really don't mind getting back to work, except that with call and admin duties I will be working the next 12 (yes twelve) days in a row. Yikes!

I had somewhat of a news holiday while out on the beach, except what was available on line (Thank god for HuffPo!). This particular article caught my eye. It really gets me going, those ignorant lying Republicans, and their BS about millionaire job creators:

"We wanted to talk to business owners who would be affected . So NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.
So we went to the business groups that have been lobbying against the surtax. Again, three days after putting in a request, none of them was able to find someone for us to talk to. A group called the Tax Relief Coalition said the problem was finding someone willing to talk about their personal taxes on national radio.
So next we put a query on Facebook. And several business owners who said they would be affected by the "millionaires surtax" responded."

-- Jody Gorran, chairman of Aquatherm Industries: "This mantra that every dollar in tax increases is a dollar away from job creation -- give me a break. ... It's not taxes that affects job creation, it's demand."
-- Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite Associates: "I don't decide to hire or buy equipment based on tax policy. ... We know how to make shit out of wood."
-- Debra Ruh, owner of TecAccess: "We need to hire people, but we don't have the cash or the credit to do it. ... I don't mind paying taxes. ... I like living in the United States and having the opportunities here. I don't understand why running a business has to be about avoiding paying taxes."
-- Michael Teahan, owner of Espresso Resource: "What we do in business, how we spend our money, how we allocate our resources -- that has very little to do with tax policy. ... I map my business based on my customers and what my customers want to buy and what they can afford to buy."
-- Rick Poore, owner of Designwear Inc.: "If you drive more people to my business, I will hire more people. It's as simple as that. If you give me a tax break, I'll just take the wife to the Bahamas."
-- Lew Prince, owner of Vintage Vinyl: "The economic premise that people won't hire because they might have to pay more taxes if they make more money is beyond laughable. ... You hire when you think there's a way you can make more money with that hire. The percentage the government takes out of it has almost nothing to do with it."