I am reading She Walks Into the Sea, poems by Patricia Clark.
This is a book that fits my "categories of existence" so well my heart might burst.
Yesterday morning, I wrote about the blue hibiscus. Then, in the afternoon, I read about the red hibiscus in Clark's poem "Tawny Light." It begins:
If I could be carried back to this, the just-before-dark peach explosion of light touching the trees, and then the tips and serrated leaves on the wasteland chicory,
if I could be lifted back to this before I die,…
And then the poem is one long sentence, suspended, sustained, as is the sunset, but inevitably dropping into night. And in it is "a red, tissue-thin shred / of hibiscus."
Also the "wasteland chicory" I love, which is blooming now beside cornfields and in median strips in my town, and Queen Anne's lace.
Not so random, since RHINO sent me the book, in a box with others, "Tawny Light" was first published in RHINO 2009 (where I was an editor, reviewer, and advisor in the past). Yesterday, I opened the box again, and it was like Christmas! And that is the paradox of...
I'm behind on my attention to these books because I cleaned up! That is, to protect and keep them safe, I stacked them neatly in a box in my closet and got distracted by my life, other tasks and duties and reading. If I had, in a more slatternly fashion, left them to collect dust in a stack on the floor, I would have read this book sooner. But, given the synchronicity of chicory, lace, and red hibiscus, this was the perfect time.
But I do want to keep reading and reviewing or drawing attention to RHINO poets and their books, as the magazine used to have a review section at the rear, RHINO Reads, now a reading series in Evanston. You can follow news and events in RHINO's Big Horn Blog.
See above! But also, for poets, remember that RHINO has been reading submissions since April 1, and their reading period ends October 1. So, if you haven't already, send them something soon, as you gather packets to send the journals just beginning to read in fall!
To get a copy of She Walks Into the Sea, go here or here! To get that red hibiscus, go here.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited a literary magazine, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and taught college English courses. Now I write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, and listen to birdsong.