Wednesday, May 30, 2007

garden of going

The sea pinks leap up at my feet today—
sprightly pink, blossom puffs.

The sea pinks, the cowslips,
the candytuft are saying, Home, home.

Even the flax, in all its grey
swaying, says, Staying, staying—

But I think of the untamable
flame-red hibiscus that said, Roam, roam,

And the forget-me-nots bend
their tiny blue heads—
leaving. Leaving.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Bird came down the Walk—

1. Emily Dickinson Attends a Poetry Workshop

Who is the “I” anyway? There are way too many I’s. Very self absorbed. Also, all the rest of the pronouns are ambiguous. Is he a lover? A father? God? Is she your sister? You’ve thrown a bunch of unnecessary they’s into your writing as if everyone else is a faceless, nameless pronoun, and you alone possess some superior contexts. You should have been more careful about clearing up those deficiencies in revision. Your readers have no idea what to make of a passage with no clear characters or even a hint of any concrete subject. And by the way, who is “it”? What laps up the miles? As for mechanics, you should really read over the rules for comma usage—all those dashes are terribly distracting. And I’m not sure if anyone has told you, but rhyme is out. So is personification of animals and inanimate objects. Maybe you should just stick to writing letters, hack.

2. Emily Dickinson Stays Home

Emily Dickinson is hailed as one of America’s greatest poets. Since the nineteenth century, her poetry has been read, studied, and admired by generations of adoring fans. Her verse is both enigmatic and psychologically penetrating, and it is rendered with unparalleled grace and wit. Dickinson’s poetic imagination knew no boundaries as she fearlessly charted unmapped intellectual territories. Her piercing observations of humanity and the natural world continue to inform and inspire her audience today. Dickinson’s technically adventurous poems were unprecedented when they were published and her stylistic trademarks—odd punctuation, noun capitalization, elusive characters—remain forever imprinted in the poetic cannon as a hallmark of her undeniable genius.

Friday, May 11, 2007

putting myself on: a study in creative ambiguity

She put on her raincoat and went north. “Going to see,” she said.

She had meant to say, “I’m leaving this dry-cracked earth, this red desert full of sun-scorched allegories, this perennial prison with prickly windows, the heat, you.”

She had meant to say that she no longer lived inside of herself and that she wanted to marry a birch tree instead, or a poem. But she didn’t. She had only thought about it.

She didn’t fill the locks or break up the ice trays. She meant to just after she tore down the yellow walls and painted them with sand to remind her of thirst. But she forgot.

Snowdrops don’t bloom here, she remembered as she lifted her head for the first time since she remembered. How long had it been now? A blazing noon? A suffocating century? One white enfolding? She had no way of knowing, only clocks kept time.

“This time,” she meant to say and turned away, burning.

She had meant to pull up the hot floor with her hands before she left, uproot the foundation, quake the heart, and heave the undone allocations into the sky. She thought for a moment it might look like rain. So she put on her raincoat and went north.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

been very busy fighting for poetic justice, here's one that's sure to appall some people I know

Me in Haiku

Sing long silly songs
eat fudge, French fries, fried wontons
happy hedonist

poems not Prozac

Never talk to god
I claim to be atheist
but she talks to me

small boat sailing on the sea

Roots hang on to hope
after rains wash home away
tenacious seedling

Pretty porcupine
seeks soft-shelled crab with complex
for joint tax filing

You: carry the bags,
put spiders outside, love cats
Me: iambic ink

*obsessive compulsive disorder, clinical depression,
acute social anxiety disorder, personality disorder