poetry feature at Escape Into Life, up now with fabulous photographs by Katinka Matson (that are actual flowers reproduced by scanner!). This one is called Spiders.
I hate "swagger" in myself and am uncomfortable around it in others, and so often, yes, it is accompanied by remorse. Or followed by it, often quickly, as in the shaking of salt & pepper onto one's food.
Am having Coke & meatloaf:
everything is too salty--
there is such salt
to make everything
taste like something:
does taste like something:
tastes like salt
I remember some of the poems in this book from their appearance first in journals: "Medusa/Superman" in Court Green, "There were multiple things we did in all the wrong order" (a line that might describe my own life!) in Diagram, and "Cinderella" which we took when I was at RHINO, so I probably also recognize others from that particular submission, too.
If your house is on a hill, it's because someone decided it would be.
If your body feels tense, then it is.
You leaned for so long against your hall locker that your grade school principal said
You holding that wall up
You wanted to talk to me, but could not find the time;
looked for the vanishing point & saw none.
I am getting ready now to age.
Everything is fearless in the wind.
Thanks to you, I have never walked into the same room twice.
This is a gorgeous book, melancholy, precise, and wise. It feels like a sustained elegy, and is indeed a book-length series of meditations and observations, some titled and some simply beginning. The table of contents is a poem in itself, therefore.
I might quote anything from the book to show you its beauty and melancholy, but I will quote one last poem in full, choosing it because I once wrote a poem to my son with the phrase "Choose happiness" in it, so this resonates in that personal way with me and, I hope, in a personal-that-is-universal way with you.
So, another by Richard Fox, from Swagger & Remorse, a Tebot Bach book:
Happiness is in the smallest hands.
Where could you be when the air smells of boxwood;
the new-mown lawn of watermelon.
What could it be when sweat bands your shirt
before clouds genuflect in front of the sun.
What turns happily large & luminous, suffers the little ones
to touch the skin of others,
rises & falls in the happy atmosphere.