two poems in it! One responds to Winslow Homer's painting At the Window, and is a poem that went through many revisions before coming to rest at YB #4: Windows.
The other, "Naked Dance," is based on true life experience that also connects to a previous poem, "Danse Russe," by William Carlos Williams, which is easy to see if you read the poems side by side, but also doesn't matter, if you read them separately.
I am tickled by stuff like this and always like to know about a poet's process, so I hope you don't mind if I sometimes tell you about mine. I really did wake up at 3:03 a.m. one morning in winter and sit up for a while in the front room, pulling the curtains closed so I wouldn't scare the paperboy, or paperwoman, as it might have been at that time. (Now I read the paper online, so I don't keep track of the delivery patterns in our neighborhood.)
I really did have mini lights on the windows all year round at that point. Well, in fact, they are still there, or a different couple of strands, but they are multi-colored now, and one strand doesn't work, so I seldom turn them on--mostly just to guide someone to my house at night or to the light up the wine rack, around which a third strand is tangled.
Those are details that have nothing to do with the poem. I hope the details that do matter are the ones in the poem that connect my personal experience to other people's personal, even intimate, experience of life and help illuminate it: vulnerability (naked or nearly naked), loneliness or a joyous solitude, concern for others (not waking, not frightening), noting the time (for the reason mentioned...and other reasons) and, for poets, the connection to "Danse Russe," and all the layers of that, including his reference to a Kathleen!
And the not Kathleen of my own poem's conclusion. No one's looking, no one cares, and that doesn't matter. Nothing to see here, carry on with your own lives!
Anyhoo, I hope you will read this whole issue, and think about this kind of thing in response to all the poems there, and look at and through all the window images gathered for you here by editors Rose Hunter, Sherry O'Keefe, and John Riley. They've done a wonderful job, and I've so enjoyed reading and gazing at these Windows!
On the Street…Shades of Grey, Milan
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