09 February 2022

GLINT : 2 poems in Glint

 In a gorgeous Winter issue, Brenda Mann Hammack and Glint Literary Journal published one of my fave and oft-rejected lapsed-Catholic poems, "Parable of the Talents," along with "Rite." I am grateful. 

17 September 2021


Saturn is everything, but I snagged a little corner of him in a poem that Ekphrastic Review ran last week:

        They would dub his the Golden Age
        which he'd predicted and molded
        but didn't contemplate.
        Even gods can’t quite imagine their ends.

Even now, as usual, I can't help but re-write:

    They would dub his age Golden / as he'd predicted and molded / but didn't see whole...


    / but never saw whole 

    / but didn't fathom...? 

Good afternoon. 

09 June 2021

My poem on adjunct teaching, medieval nuns, and finance is up on Juked

I'm pretty happy that Juked make a space for this poem which probably has a very limited audience....

 When summer approaches, adjunct teachers worry about money


imagine this (or at least consider) I’m Clare of Assisi & I’ve got a little convent

in 1227 so petitioning Greg 9 (pope) for “the one thing that is necessary”:

privilege of a possession-free world

pope’s opposed since such a world is bad for consumer capitalism kidding!

fears empty-bellied women doing good will upset soup carts then there’s Francis

already in Assisi

famed for his hunger games 

24 April 2021

Solastalgia on Refuse: A Journal of Iconoclasms

My "poem" mixes a little #solastalgia (distress caused by degradation of one’s environment) into a lesson plan on strip vs. deep mining designed for Kentucky 3rd-graders  refusejournal.com/solastalgia/ 

The whole Refuse journal is fab-thanks @marginatalia Natalia Smirnov who writes:

Is the Refusal Turn something different than the previous turns, something that refuses to pay tribute to the canon and beat its many dead horses? Could this turn, rather than branching fractally off of the original DNA, instead turn on itself, begin to eat and metabolize and decompose its own material, like a cancer, an ouroboros, an auto-cannibal? 

27 September 2020

Motherland on What Rough Beast

A poem about the family politics has been up on Indolent Books' What Rough Beast for a while. When I say "family politics," I mean mother's politics, and the poem is called "Motherland." I don't think she'd have survived the last few years. I'm awfully hard on her here, as I often was. No doubt that's why it took me so long to post. It's linked here and begins:


Mother was a party girl—volunteered
for Dems, loved her U.S. history—and
I’m sort of a party girl, and yesterday
at a get-out-the-vote phone bank
I spotted her across the room for a split—
just a quick—the old ugliness dropped
away. She must’ve rotted by now, the witch,
but this year friends bring her up. How
she drew us near to argue, debate,
to rap on her principles, her America.
But any fine idea can veer off the path,
a child astray, blue-white disappointment....

13 August 2020

Lyn Hejinian on workshops and being "better than I am" and not falling back

Listen to Lyn Hejinian giving a Harvard Woodberry Lecture called Reinventing the Workshop. This occurred in 2014, and she clarifies that she isn't interested in workshops for the poet who speaks from his or her heart, though "profound experience" and "astute observation" are favorably mentioned. In contrast, she spends a lot of time on so-called procedural methods of making poems. These are poems in which the author function gets pushed out of primacy. (My heart!) (We are late to all the parties.) 

On Harvard's site, she is quoted on this philosophy of a communal poesis--or the questioning of authorship--that constitutes the reinvention of the workshop in her lecture. Somewhere else, apparently, she has written,

"The elements of expertise and inspiration that writers seek, whether in solitude or in the contexts of a workshop, are largely assumed to be requisite tools of an individual who can acquire and use them: the author. This workshop will query that assumption, and offer terms for imagining modes of composition in which authorship becomes a dubious proposition, and the grounds for establishing an aesthetic event become communal."

In the lecture, she says about the same thing, but differently. 

After she has run through the Jackson Mac Low, Clark Coolidge and Caroline Bergvall work and created a group assignment for the audience--all recommended--the audience wants to pin her down to her own work. How does she, Lyn Hejinian, "establish" "an aesthetic event"?

Naturally she is most interesting here. A little hemming and hawing. A discussion of one collaboration (with a visual artist) that didn't work, and of one with a poet that did. Finally she says (admits), "I have various ways of pushing myself out of the way in order to make work that's better than I am."

A student asks the million-dollar question: what is her "criteria" for recognizing that betterness?

A brief glance heavenward, then: "That I don't fall back on motifs where I'm just repeating myself or echoing what I was raised to think of like mellifluous sounds." 

Aha. Of course, it's hard not to fall back on the old sounds, our ideas of sounds, not to mention our ideas of ideas.  But okay. 

13 July 2020

Stephanie Strickland's collection "How the Universe Is Made"

After a lot of reading, a lot of researching, and a lot of googling, I wrote a review of Stephanie Strickland's How the Universe Is Made: Poems new and selected 1985-2019. The more I learned about the poems, the more impressed I grew with the entire project, which I construe as hyper-feminist. Though Stephanie is also a digital writer/artist, and though she often says that a work that is in book form and electronic form thereby contains both--that is, the one or the other is not the entire work of art--this book is a fantastic stand-alone piece.

In a style that is often witty and always humblingly erudite, Stephanie Strickland pits poetry against the wave patterns of our world. She battles our mental, physical and spiritual incarceration in culture—the “ferocious / self-completing / sentences / exerting control.”

My review, "On Slipping Code," is up at Heavy Feather Review. 

14 May 2020

Review of Sarah Sarai's Book: That Strapless Bra in Heaven

I loved reviewing Sarah Sarai's new book, That Strapless Bra in Heaven. The review is on Heavy Feather Review and you can buy the book here

"Delphi" recorded for the magicians at Missing Witches.

I sent my old poem "Delphi," about Vestal Virgins, to Risa and Amy at Missing Witches and they clapped it on the end of their Beltane May Day episode. (That's the very very very end.) Nice to have it in a magic feminist realm, though it was published long ago on a poetry site.... The poetry site seems to have disappeared my poem, sadly. Check out the episode here--and visit the podcasters' fantastic back catalog. Missing Witches are definitely doing the goddess' work. 

30 January 2019

Wicked Stepmother Poem up on Mom Egg Review

The Stepdaughters Are the Wicked Ones

Scalding sand kicked to cool, cruel clouds
roll past, white on light and happy
giddy girls, volleyball reddening wrists.
Spike it, one cries. To the side, new wife...

29 November 2018

Poem on Indolent Books' What Rough Beast

Got a poem published on Indolent Books' What Rough Beast, and I'm happy about that. Even though I didn't know until just now and it was up in September.

Linked here, the poem is called, "A few of the words," and it begins:

A few of the words
Here’s some language: sweet land, liberty.
Here’s a location we call mine. The mind.
Here’s a famous river in the back of the lot
just past the original song. Rocky banks
risky slope. Follow it north, pilgrim,
to where it runs at a trickle. Keep
going. The philosopher calls nationalism
irrational – sweet land sweet song –
but they made a word for it.

10 July 2018