05 February 2022
Jonathan Minton at Word For/Word has added a complete Mourning & Melancholia run-through, "We Warned You," in issue 38 and I'm glad.
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...?
09 June 2021
I'm pretty happy that Juked make a space for this poem which probably has a very limited audience....
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
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 https://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
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:
13 August 2020
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
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.
07 July 2020
14 May 2020
30 January 2019
29 November 2018
Linked here, the poem is called, "A few of the words," and it begins: