Wednesday, October 29, 2014

O pen : October 13 -- more ekphrasis... with a bit of soap...

Next Day - by Randall Jarrell
Angel Surrounded by Paysans – by Wallace Stevens
Villanelle - Two de Chiricos - Mark Strand
Vermeer - Howard Nemerov
Breughel: Triumph of Time by Howard Nemerov
too long for discussion, but interesting to read: “The Painter Dreaming in the Scholar’s House” and “Drawing Lessons” by Nemerov and
Three for the Mona Lisa by John Stone

Continuing with Ekphrastics... except for Next Day...

How does the title prepare us -- and how do you read it? The first two poems of the bunch present two very different problems. "Next Day", a persona poem of a woman fearing the aging process, can lend itself to both a scene in a grocery store, admiring all the optimistic names of laundry detergents, which happens after the lady attends her friend's funeral, or after her reflection about her friend's in the poem, or as an invitation to a general sense of "next" to load onto "day". Perhaps more. The diction in the poem, the skillful line breaks, the flow of the stanzas is rather like skating up the aisles of a grocery store, getting to the parking lot,
and thinking about "next" and ending by the grave. The "box" in line two, refers to "Cheer", "Joy" and "All"
but as scrub-away coffins perhaps. And yet, the soap bubbles and illusions subside, leaving these last and wonderfully honest lines:

But really no one is exceptional,
No one has anything, I’m anybody,
I stand beside my grave
Confused with my life, that is commonplace and solitary.

How different the Modernist poems... and abstract art. In Longenbach's elegant and articulate volume, "The Resistance to Poetry" I found this reflection helpful: "We read poetry not to understand... but "to experience the sensation, the sound, of words leaping just beyond our capacity to know them certainly." Discovering in a poem something strange in what we thought familiar, we draw fresh wonder at the alien beauty of our own becoming in the world."
Let's start with the title of the Stevens' poem:
Angel Surrounded by Paysans --
English (singular) surrounded by French (plural) -- lofty by lower class... or maybe the Angel needs the French peasants to overturn the hierarchy of things and bring some francophone culture? Or...

We'll get back to the title, after we see where the lines go, what they net, or refuse..
At first, it looks like it will be a dialogue -- "One of the peasant "There is
A welcome at the door to which no one comes?"
as if we have dropped in media res on some conversation. We know from notes that this painting, Still Life by Pierre Tal-Coat (Courtesy Peter Hanchak). inspired the poem “Angel Surrounded by Paysans" . On October 5, 1949, Stevens wrote to Paule Vidal, who had purchased the painting for him:
I have even given it a title of my own: Angel Surrounded By Peasants. The angel is the Venetian glass bowl on the left with the little spray of leaves in it. The peasants are the terrines, bottles and the glasses that surround it. This title alone tames it as a lump of sugar might tame a lion.

That explains nothing to me, the reader, who cannot see the dark Venetian glass bowl as an Angel of Reality --
give me the creased white tablecloth, which looks as if the wings are clipped...
Stevens gives us beautifully seductive language, such as "liquid lingerings" which seem (to quote Longenbach's phrase) to privilege sound over sense. And the questions marks which end both the Angel's 10 couplets, as well as the broken line of the peasant, complicate matters. Is the Peasant inside, wondering who is outside the door or vice-versa?
If we believe the Angel, " I am one of you and being one of you
Is being and knowing what I am and know.
how do we know about being? He seems to intimate that the Angel, half-figure pointing to meanings, is poetry-- both not of this earth, yet what allows us to connect to what is "real".

Strand's responses to the bleak De Chirico paintings, give a similar unease of not understanding.
The Villanelle keeps turning the gaze.... but does it develop the thought?
Both paintings are disquieting... like the poem... Some of the responses:
A sense of sterility with none of us in it and no signs of life in poem... a sense of no entry as opposed to a sense of being crushed out of reality in the painting...
The first villanelle plays on the word "content" as noun or adjective -- is it stated that the Philosopher's content? or it announcing the content a Philosopher addresses? The second villanelle, The Disquieting Muses
embraces disquiet, which contrary to what one might hope a muse would inspire, reinforces boredom and despair.

To offset such depressing and glum thoughts, Vermeer and Nemerov cheer us on.
The assurance of the first stanza, at first glance is a comfort! That "is" is stated, first, as a complete and contained standpoint, and then repeated with a looser brushstroke -- gives an optimism of "reality" -- and does it matter how to read the last sentence? Is it beautiful that modesty is seductive or that the care for daily things is -- or it is both, and why the strange adverb "extremely"?

Taking what is, and seeing it as it is,
Pretending to no heroic stances or gestures,
Keeping it simple; being in love with light
And the marvelous things that light is able to do,
How beautiful a modesty which is
Seductive extremely, the care for daily things.

The seduction of the next stanza again reassures, with the marvelous "holy mathematic/
Plays out the cat's cradle of relation/Endlessly;even the inexorable/
Domesticates itself and becomes charm.

What is wrong with us -- or what is wrong with our words and understanding as Nemerov presents the next supposition: if you could feel what I feel, I think we could be happy...
If Vermeer could paint what he did...
"In the great reckoning of those little rooms
Where the weight of life has been lifted and made light,
As it was, under a wide and darkening sky."

Perhaps it suffices to know art exists, captured in little rooms of stanzas, paintings... allows us to deal with what we know will be coming

Nemerov and Breughel, leave us with quite a different feel. The difficult language agglutinates, two stanzas, both one sentence long ending with the Triumph of Time,
"which everything that is, with everything that isn't,
as Brueghel patiently puts it down, exemplifies."

It was a relief to end the session with the John Stone -- "3 for the Mona Lisa" --
We enjoyed discussing this famous painting... and overhearing people talking about it,
not knowing quite how to respond to her delightful concentration. How does one capture emotion, feelings?
capturing the difficult reaction to the painting...

The discussion ended with a mention of the novel "Headlong" by Michael Frayn --
The plot centres on the discovery of a long-lost painting from Pieter Bruegel's series The Months. The story is essentially a farce, but contains a large amount of scholarship about the painter. Frayn distinguishes between the iconology and iconography of the paintings and suggests that rather than simply being a series of pastoral images they symbolise a Dutch populace undergoing great suffering as a result of Spanish rule.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Poems for Lunch -- October 9

At the Coast by Peter Sears
My Dance Card Is Full by Vicki Snitzler
No Problem by Peter Sears
Night Fishing by Peter Sears
At the Old Cemetary Outside of Fossil by Peter Sears

The poems by Peter Sears are part of his "new and selected" entitled, "Small Talk". It's super special for me, as he was one of my advisors at Pacific U. I'm glad he was elected as Oregon's Poet Laureate and that this new book came out. My selections... somewhat haphazard, to give a "sense" of humble self-confidence that combines a certain lightheartedness with depth… Sears knows how to string us along, for instance, nodding with approval at the audacity of the speaker of the poem who is involved with being himself, as if not even aware he is SOP only to realize maybe he's more weird than we might like. I respect Sears because of his unique and inventive way of thinking.


“At the Coast” was also the last poem in his book, “Tour” — so even though he makes a comment that he's not sure it "coheres", he’s hanging on to it as. His comment, recently re-reading this poem written in 1970, in Lincoln City, OR where he first penned it: "Looking back now at the poem, I think it sounds better than it is. In the last stanza it opens into a love poem and then, in the last sentence, reverts to the "I". The question of the last sentence is asked of the "you."
Reading aloud, it comes alive… reminded Jim of “Suzanne takes you down” and Leonard Cohen… For me, it made me think of “aporia” — where Socrates gets you at a loss to say something to respond( especially to that last sentence…) I noticed you used “glaze” for a different poem — was curious if there were a connection with pottery. We tried different sorts of possible understandings of the “you" — all of them OK.)

The Snitzler gave us different impressions from the poem title — is it a sense of elation — MY dance card is FULL! Yippee—
Or sorry— no room for anything else… just going to join the square dance and keep dancing home…
Flavors of dance, and a sense of the different partners — how we change flavors because of the music, the partner…

“No Problem” came from Green Diver, last poem in the first section…
(we LOVED the surprise at the end — the inventiveness which corrects assumptions!)

At the Old Cemetery Outside of Fossil. : (so good, we just oohed and continued reading more.7 sentences. 3 lines, 3 lines, 2 lines, 2 lines -- (which imitate the feel "a little snaky/as if I'm trespassing) ... the double mention of whirl,(about "my size" and leaning to left/right... and the surprise ending of the wind wanting to dance with the SOP, alone there in the cemetery ). Brilliant.

The Old Woods: (The setting balances dream, childhood,the memory of the kid; the halloweenish spookishness twitching without saying the word “witch” or spell, or magic; the aliveness of the interplay w/ present.)

Night Fishing: from his book, "The Brink" in the section called "Night Fishing"... Love the teddy-bearish feel of loneliness. How great to know it breathes easily… love the mystery of rain blurring… )

Long After I’m Gone: made us all choke up, the metaphor, the feel of time from long ago with a kerplunk like Sal's blueberries... Jim decided this poem should be posted in Laundromats...
Father/daughter... how a memory will rise up like toast... ornery blue jeans spinning until "dry as crackers"...
The daughter's comment, "this is taking// a lot longer, dad, than you said it would"... how that helps
against "each day falling faster and faster away".

7. Dear Giant Squid #2. I had to read the other one in his chapbook, "Luge" too we loved it so much.
This first letter starts out, "This is a fan letter. I don't care what the Japanese scientists say, I saw them on TV getting all excited about how they have photos of you....etc.

Part of the fun was reading the poems in different ways: one person/one stanza; one person/one line — then repeat — one person one sentence — so a short sentence really stands out. Like “The Old Woods” - 4th line: “I’m small.”

I love doing this — so people really notice the pull of syntax against line break, pay attention to the choices.

We left feeling we had spent a valuable hour with a man who produces good work, revitalized, appreciative of the power of imagination,
Feeling Just a little more connected to our human realities.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ekphrastic poems for October 6

The Starry Night by Anne Sexton
Rembrandt's Late Self-Portraits, Elizabeth Jennings (1975)
The Self-Portrait of Ivan Generalic by Gjertrud Schnackenberg
The Village of the Mermaids by Lisel Mueller
On Seeing Larry Rivers' "Washington Crossing the Delaware" at the Museum of Modern Art by Frank O'Hara
Washington Crossing the Delaware by David Shulman
Monet Refuses the Operation- Lisel Mueller

Ekphrastic responses:

For the Anne Sexton: ( how different from Hopkins’ “Terrible Sonnets” filled with elves and dazzle ).
Note how she repeats” “This is how/I want to die. “ But the second time she continues with a colon— in the final stanza — the pull of the “into that rushing beast of the night” — the vital energy to which to abandon oneself. I found it interesting that her 8th collection of poetry, “The Awful Rowing Towards God” derived the title from her meeting with a Roman Catholic priest who, although unwilling to administer last rites, told her "God is in your typewriter.”

I feel in Sexton’s ekphrastic response, she captures Van Gogh’s energy — understands his manic affliction there in St. Rémy, which is shared with the reader by the epigram. She has put herself into the painting, feeling the aliveness, where her identity can only interfere.

The next poem is a marvelous contemporary response by a woman to an old master from 400 years ago! In today’s discussion, it came up that Rembrandt did the most self-portraits of any artist — over 40! Perhaps he loved painting so much, he used the subject best at hand (himself)… Jennings captures both a poem addressed to any “you” who reads the poem, as well as the “you” of Rembrandt who captured life in paint, in an excitement of portraying a breath of truth! She addresses Rembrandt, the self, and also the bonus old age adds to a self-portrait.
Sadness, joy, what to reckon with… Would this message have worked as well with a different painting? Can we look at this painting in quite the same way having read her words?

The self-portrait of Ivan Generalić is a hard poem. The portrait from 1975 was the one in the powerpoint which showed the bald man against a turquoise background. No villages, hills, animals. The complex rhyme scheme seems to clatter as religious references in the tercets build, build, to the final squares of black.

The Larry Rivers’ painting with O’Hara’s response. Note how O’Hara includes the title, the artist and where the painting is… the tongue-in-cheek tone of a poem written in the McCarthy era, challenging some of the clichés (don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes… and the whole idea of truth — George Washington and the Cherry Tree) in a sort of irresponsible use of language with a ? and ! interrupting the flow of a sentence as if telling you how to read it… General Fear as persona… or the General who fears… or just fear, general…
Both painting and poem unnerve, create a different feel to the “myth” .

By contrast, the Shulman poem to the realistic almost iconic view of George Washington crossing the Delaware, gives an energy to the crazy idea of his campaign. Each line is an anagram of the title! And it’s a rhymed sonnet… so perhaps the unimaginable form belies the unimaginable feat which set in motion our country. In my book, a lot of fun!

The Monet Refuses the Operation is a wonderful dramatic monologue where a woman takes up Monet’s voice… and sums up impressionism, and takes the physicality of painting and his serial paintings to metaphysical realms.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Poems for Oct. 2

Late September by Charles Simic
The Something by Charles Simic
A Sense of Place by Billy Collins
In the Room of a Thousand Miles By Billy Collins
Memorizing “The Sun Rising” by John Donne by Billy Collins
The Sun Rising by John Donne (1572–1631)

Poems for Lunch – follow-up to our discussion 10/3 – contrasts –
between two poet laureates, work of a contemporary poet with one 4 centuries ago... style and content...
As ever, I am grateful for the contributions and comments in our discussions~
As if on cue, this morning, sent this poem by Michael Broder:

Last night,

I dreamt of making sense,
parts of speech caught up in sheets
and blankets, long strips of fabric
wrapped loosely around shoulders,
goblets, urns, cups with unmatched saucers.

You were there, and the past seemed important,
what was said, what was done,
feelings felt but maybe not expressed,
signs randomly connected
yet vital to what comes next,
to a coming season,
next year’s trip to Nauset Beach.

I woke up wanting to read a poem by that name,
and I found one with a lifeguard’s chair,
a broken shell, gulls watching egrets,
home an ocean away.
Poem-a-day follows with a statement from the poet:
“I wanted the poem to enact the dream it purports to recount. If dreams are wish fulfillment, then this dreamer yearns for some kind of cognitive coherence. The sense the dreamer seeks turns out to be nonsense, and yet poetry finds a way of making it sensible after all.”
—Michael Broder

I had noted in the flyleaf of my copy of “The Voice at 3 am”(published 2006) from an article about his appointment as National Poet Laureate in August 2007,
“what you encounter in dreams that does not correspond to reality we perceive with eyes and ears ... faith in the miracle of imagination” and “you won’t like most of what you read, but whatever you like, read that.”

Late September, the final poem in “The Voice” creates a dreamworld which starts by stating “The mail truck goes down the coast/Carrying a single letter.” and then continues by personnifying a seagull as bored, forgetful juxtaposed with the foreboding of tragedies in the making. The next stanza leaps into the past and what you thought you heard... Who is “you”? And how does he know what this “you” is thinking? Is it himself? And why is the sea weary?
He taps into a universal fear: pretending to be rushing off somewhere/and never getting anywhere loosely connected with the sea’s “many lifetimes”. Finally he ends up with
the feeling of Sunday, which for him involves heavens “casting no shadow...” and tombstones which huddle “as if they, too, had the shivers”.

As opposed to whacking the reader over the head with “Last night I dreamt”, he seems to start in the middle of a dream... wakes up to a memory and ends with setting his feet in dawn. Which poem works for you, and why?

a few thoughts on Simic and Collins:
Both poets take a stance, creating their own “film”, sharing their imagination—inviting us to consider our own landscapes, and what we think we see, have seen.

The Collins “A sense of Place” has a passing bird, which makes us think of Simic’s mail truck,
accidents of weather, and surprising adjectives such as “snarling” for the drawing of the fish; shrouded for the cove on the coastline... alarming for the green (approaching tornado?) The “if”, repetition of “might have” sets up a beautiful contrast with the actual landscape...

To contrast the staccato feel of Simic with the flow of Collins blending an easy-going vernacular with erudite overtones:
“There is a menace in the air/of the tragedies in the making.”

“But as it is, the only thing that gives me/a sense of place is this upholstered chair/with its dark brown covers,/ angled into a room near a corner window.”

The contrast between “Memorizing ‘The Sun Rising’ by John Donne with the original is also fun as a deft commentary for what is involved with spending time with something to value it... lines such as the metaphor or “walk three times around this hidden lake”, the plank of every line, the personification of the poem as walking by his side, the pun on the word stanza, which is Italian for room.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

poems for September 29

Speaking Is – by Cara Benson
To an Old Square Piano by Robinson Jeffers
A Gift by Amy Lowell
An Ending—Howard Nemerov
Solitudes by Margaret Gibson
Theme for English B by Langston Hughes
They Sit Together on the Porch by Wendell Berry
A Rune, Interminable by Marie Ponsot

A full slate of poems which started with "speaking" -- and how we speak up, or voice, and ending with listening to Eileen Aroon as "A Rune" reminded paul of "Aroon" which means "a loved one".

Ending of a season, a time, and what is lost along the way, what remains true within us.

The first poem felt delightfully cubist -- geometry (including the comment speaking is a "trap -- e void") and odd assortments of objects, where a chamber pot and helmet fit side by side; the conundrum of the witty reversal of "not customs— accounting" in what is declared or not.
What is our custom, what do we account for general customs we don't speak out about,etc.
Associations included Frost's "Out- Out..." the fatigue at the end of the day and survival vs. "those that lifted eyes could see";
lay-out... If you take the title and last word: Speaking is... accounting...
Judith was reminded of the Cocteau film, Orphée – l’oiseau chante avec ses doigts deux fois...what comes out of radio...
I can't remember who said “I hope whatever team you’re playing on, wins...” or why...

but however it is -- most of us agreed, Benson's poem was worth reading again.

Jeffers poem felt more dated (remember he was born in 1887!) old-fashioned but not treacly...
a sense of wearing down... the piano respected for its own history...with lovely deep O
sounds and end-rhyme ABC ACB.

Lowell's "gift" felt like anything but if the expectation was something not sludgy. Self-centered creepiness? a bad joke? Amy-gist as imagist, an epithet Judith said people applied to her.

Nemerov provided relief...
subtle use of rhythm...the pleasure of the sound texture, diction...
language is tough... intensely thoughtful, external/internal.
We discussed weather/mood... exhausting to be always sunny...

The next poem, posted on Writer's Almanac Sept. 11, has a few "cutesy" line breaks which detracted from a sense of waiting-- perhaps Gibson's idea of reinforcing separation, and Solitude.

How satisfying then, to read the terrific Langston Hughes -- although the poem was published in the 1959, probably written earlier. The separation between white and black, a lot more powerful than the waiting loneliness in the Gibson. Hughes poem walks you into a deeper daring to say I, just like you...have my truth to say. We discussed the idea of writing as being "black ink on white paper" black on white... and the "somewhat more" that comes before "free" -- both about race, but also implying censorship of what is written.

We thorough enjoyed the Wendell Berry -- the conversation an old couple can't bear to voice... We talked about different ways of avoiding saying “die”: – he steps out of the picture...
goes first... gone to your reward... laid down w/ Jesus...
kicks the bucket... bites th dust... called home...
you have two days to go...

A satisfying session -- because of the discussion, bringing to life through words, a liveliness about closure.

Poems for lunch -- September 25

The Persona Poem... what lies between the lines...
Sampling from Mo ’ Joe Anthology, compiled by John Roche, RIT
“There are many Joes throughout the galaxies of Poetry”
Cup a Joe – John Roche
Joeness is -- Carol Moscrip
Joe Wrote a Poem -- Dane R. Gordon
Joe becoming – Paulette Swartzfager
Joe the Photographer – Kitty Jospé
Joe’s “March of Time” -- Larry Belle
Post-Gas Wells, Post-Nuclear Missile Silos -- Karla Linn Merrifield
Siren Song -- Margaret Atwood
Strugnell's Haiku by Wendy Cope
+ links to two others.
A Rune Interminable -- Marie Ponsot

I explained how John Roche's anthology "Mo' Joe" came about -- the fun of the reading at BYQE bookshop..
Mike shared a "joe story" about superstar Joe Montana from work where there are a lot of Buffalo Bill Fans...
in his words:
" when a game is coming up there is usually a flurry of e-mails discussing the game, mostly good-natured kidding like “our team is going to demolish your team;” “Oh yeah?! Your team is so bad that [fill in the blanks]” and the like. Once, Buffalo was hosting a team led by an acclaimed superstar named Joe Montana. He was so well-known that people didn’t need to say the full name, they would just say things like “Joe is going to storm into town and take apart your team.” It was all Joe this, Joe that.

One of my friends responded with a short poem that he made up on the spot as he was responding to an e-mail:

Here comes Joe
The Bills welcome Joe
Joe now sad

The response was overwhelming. All these guys who never gave a thought to poetry were suddenly analyzing and deconstructing this poem:

“The symmetry!”

“It starts small, builds up, then fades into an anticlimax.”

“The first line says it all: ‘Joe.’ That’s what the buzz is, the popular sentiment: Joe can do it all, ‘Joe’ is all you need to say. Then, Joe is coming to your town! Watch out! Everybody go hide!! Then the Bills’ response to the hype: Yeah, so he’s coming to our town; big deal. We welcome him. We’re up to the challenge. Bring it on. We’ll give him our brand of ‘welcoming.’ Then: Joe now sad. Three little words that sum up the outcome of the game: Joe’s team lost. He’s sad. His team and their fans are in mourning. Finally: ‘Joe’ again. A single word summing up the disposition of all the sound and fury. Look at Joe now; see what became of the mighty Ozymandias Joe.”

It was just a funny, interesting little interlude that we still remember and kid each other about."

Indeed -- we enjoyed hearing the story!
We discussed what made Joe special.. the humor of Joe who misspells, his journey, the nature of "joeness"how maybe "Joan" the poet would pick up on the O of hope and pOet.
I appreciated that people like Joe the Photographer... his unflinching desire to capture and convey what he sees in spite of the danger.

In contrast, Atwood's siren song, which repeats the word "song" as it wraps around the secret of the ego... and co-dependence, draws us in with the first line:
"This is the song everyone would like to learn..." the voice is universal, seductive... only you-- only you can help-- coupled with "you are unique" -- aren't those two things we'd love to believe? Boring song... and darn it, it does work every time (to our unspoken down fall).

We had fun imagining Strugnell... we read it line by line and played around with reading only the first lines together, the second and the third to see if that might help out his Haiku... a fun teaching non-haiku poem,
rather Falstaffian.

The Rune, Interminable -- people picked up the key of "unhurrying", the timing of time, both as first forms of life, in seed, the winter/spring of wintergreen as the poem's rich rhyme, the O's of first word "low" and last word "lost" against the tick of the I.

Reading at Brockport -- " A Different Path Gallery" September 27, 2014 : post-reading ruminations

I love readings... it's more than a birthing process, bringing a poem to its audible life to sit in the light of an audience...after the gestation period in which each poem grows...
there is also the "nursing period" where often another layer of revision takes place...

Dream Lens: one of the Borderliner poems shared-- I'm not sure "madeleines and mad lenses" worked... but realize how much importance I attach to "The Joy of Cooking" -- as poems such as "Butter Butter" (to be published) and "In Mother's Kitchen" (Gathering Lines) also come from there. Dream Lens, unlike the other two, one recounting a slant memory of my mother's madness, the other the processed foods which had nothing to do with the recipes from scratch, deals with the mystery of a dream -- combined with Proust's memory triggered by a Madeleine dipped in Tilleul. Does the poem do justice to the conceit of "attending to what is before us?" with its feet in the hopes and dreams of a 14 year old girl? The point isn't "what to make of the mystery of hidden messages" in a dream 50 years later. The Poem isn't ready yet... goes into the "to work on" pile.

On Spells : interesting concept of "wordless charcoal" that's in my poem "Golden Smoke", and section of a new book I put together in June of that title. R: came up as a letter when I first started writing poetry -- the tool for Regret. This time, it is for "Rise" -- the lower case r speaking: "hold up your corps" -- the verbal match for "are" connected to "we, you, they" -- the little i rolling a head of wonder... s snaking into a mobius strip emphasized by e for ease of silence... OK for sound and spell in a reading, but not publishable.

The ekphrastic poems worked: the Lewis Hine photo -- already per for

I love cleave poems. I had read "On silk road" at Litsplosion, but here read "An Old Japanese Mask" -- that will be a good one for Valley Manor 10/15...

I also read Madonna and Child -- in the section of Golden Smoke I call "color for burnt land" -- it was OK, but revised it, and realized "In Cappadocia" is stronger.. both have the spirit of "there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground"

I thoroughly revised "Stealing a Line" -- going back to think about what "wailing under aboutness" meant in an interview with Lucia Perillo. It's now called "wailing" -- my friend Linda says my first ending in response
to my mother's "All I want is a little white pill to end this all" of "I told her, go ahead" might be alienating to the reader. She's right -- much better to include the reader and ask "what would you have said" -- and allow such a thought to be one of the many one shuffles in one's head witnessing someone else's despair.

The "Evening Thief in the Storefront Window" I revised to be a "Joe the Evening Thief" -- in the spirit of
Joe the photographer... which I read. I am so grateful to John for having put together this anthology.

Grateful to the 2013 Fringe poetry chain which provided "Next" which turned into Golden Smoke, title poem for the ms I put together in June which needs re-submitting after revising.

I did read the Cummings' inspired "Sea of faces" -- little face dots like iiiiii's which I had read better at Litsplosion -- and in the second half of the reading, following a Q&A, explained the process of composing like Cummings, but combining musical settings which use his poetry as with the background of his paintings as lyric.

The fun of reading the Lord's Prayer backwards in a new, "selected" Backwards activity. Good for certain readings.
Not sure this would work in a book -- inspired by Robert Marx -- and I wouldn't have known about him without photographer friends...

the story of my roommate (also a poem workshopped by JP in August) in "No Orioles Sing in the Willows" seemed to work, as did "Real, tailing" -- a kind of prosy way of visiting the rice terraces near Guilin, prompted by the sign "do not climb the tailings" -- what is real following, or what tails "real"... not a bad question...

Walk-Stitch seems to work -- inspired by the plants in Centennial Sculpture Park at the MAG -- another one that will work at Valley Manor...

Van Gogh's boots from Cadences... a good one for readings and one of my favorites...
Word of the Day -- fun poem for readings, also done at Litsplosion...

I am so grateful for all who came... so grateful for such an opportunity...