Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Poetry Tarot

I love these poetry tarot cards created by Susan Yount, up now at Escape Into Life in a new poems-about-poetry feature in the ongoing celebration of National Poetry Month in April. Walt Whitman is gorgeous as The Sun. And look how the golden orb transforms into the moon with Lucille Clifton as The Empress and a sort of halo around Federico Garcia Lorca as The High Priest.
More cards here, with captions. Just keep clicking "Older Posts" and eventually you'll find Charles Bukowski as the Devil. And so on. And Emily Dickinson as Death, of course, here.

With butterflies.

I've called this mini-anthology "Joy in Transgression" to honor Yount's duende process, from Lorca, her personal "high priest" in art, using the word "transgress" to mean "crossing a boundary," as well as the idea of "transgression" as disobedience or sin, as we poets are so often told not to write poems about poetry.

But we do! I hope you'll enjoy the poems. You can click on each poet's name to find more of her or his work at EIL. There's even a poem by me, a further transgression. But, hey, I was a contributing poet at Escape Into Life before I was an editor there, so I guess it's not so bad. But it does cross a boundary!

Hey, I think that's me in the background, leaning on my elbow.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I have a poem, "Clothesline," in the new issue of Waccamaw, a magazine I've admired for quite some time. Glad to be in it, after trying several times! Enjoying the poems so far, and will move on to the prose next.

I also had a poem on the air today, at Poetry Radio, WGLT: "Too Late," which was published in the Animals issue of YB.

So it was a good Shakespeare's Birthday for me.

Sending out pretty diligently, not hearing much back lately, a few things forthcoming. My attempt at a poem a day in April this year flopped miserably.

Thanks to Michael Jastremski & Wikimedia for the clothesline.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blue Earth

It's Earth Day 2013. Here's the beautiful blue earth hanging in space. Greg Something, the astronaut hanging in space in Middletown, the play by Will Eno, gets to see this, and fall in love with it all over again, in case he had forgotten his childhood joy in it. Environmental writer and activist Sandra Steingraber is writing from jail, as did Martin Luther King, Jr., from Birmingham Jail, to remind us of our shared civil rights, in her letter about our shared human rights, as well as our responsibilities to this beautiful blue planet. Hang in there, Earth. Hang in there, us.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Metre Maids

Background music: "Get Happy!" as sung by Judy Garland, and, of course, "Lovely Rita" by the Beatles, which begins, "Lovely Rita, metre maid." And then "Blue Skies," as sung by Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, in reprise, or Lyle Lovett. Take your pick.

The skies look like this here today, though it snowed last night. ("April is the cruellest month.")

Today is Slattern Day in the blog, so I am letting the Metre Maids do all my work for me. (They are "[s]ome ladies and these dudes [who] blog about poetry.") Jessy Randall blogs about "To Run," the poem by Scott Poole that I posted here and at Escape Into Life, and Sherry O'Keefe, writing on "laundering imagery," reminded me to take my laundry out of the dryer and fold it. So I did.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pulitzer Remix + Cephalopod

This collage by Gavin Lavelle is called Eden. I’m musing on that during this sad, scary manhunt in Boston. 

It’s one of the illustrations for this EIL Blog post on the Pulitzer Remix project for National Poetry Month, mentioned earlier here in my blog. I’m sharing the news at Escape Into Life because two of our EIL poets are participating, Sarah J. Sloat and Daniel M. Shapiro. They are among 85 poets writing poems by collaging words from Pulitzer-Prize winning fiction.

And this one is Madonna and the Cephalopod. As I understand it, cephalopods are way smarter than humans. We need one now.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poem with a Hammer In It

It's Poem for Your Pocket Day. Here's a good one for our times, our mood, our immediate circumstances. You can hear it here, at WBUR, the NPR station in Boston, on the Here & Now show.

The poet, Scott Poole, is one of our EIL poets, so I also posted this news over at Escape Into Life in the EIL Blog, where you can also click on his solo feature.

My brother and sister-in-law ran in the Boston Marathon in a past year, and my niece went to grad school in Boston, so I was in touch with them about this sad thing. They are aware that their running time would have had them crossing the finish line at the time of the explosions, so their empathy is intense, as is the poignancy of their sweet, lucky lives.

It's Thor's Day in the blog. This poem has a hammer in it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Speaking in Tongues

Thank you for the love you sent yesterday, as I walked down The Avenue in the Rain.

It helped, as did re-reading the Franny section of Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger, and launching right into the Zooey section and talking to my sister and going to rehearsal and listening to the Prologue and the Tour Guide on the backstage monitor, where a tv screen shows the set, dimly, and all the people of Middletown as glowing, ghostly figures but somehow so very real.

Here is a new poetry feature, up today at Escape Into Life--poetry in translation, with installation art by Cedric le Borgne.

Tomorrow is Poem in Your Pocket Day, so find a poem to put in your pocket. And here is a man flying.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Avenue in the Rain

I'm sad. I'm sure we all are. Here is The Avenue in the Rain, by Childe Hassam, posted by Facebook friend and fellow Kenyon College alum Mark Rennie. I found it to express my sadness, our shared sadness, over yesterday's terribly Blue Monday in Boston, on Patriots Day, at what was to be a joyful, celebratory event, the Boston Marathon. I'm going through some personal sadness, too, for which I would appreciate your help, your good thoughts & vibes & light, whatever moral support you can send me. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Head Above Water

Very busy these days, on various things, including keeping my head (barely) above water. And the new Parks & Rec catalog is out, so soon I can actually sign up for lap swimming! Wooee!

Today's swimmers are by Eric Zener, a photorealist painter; his works accompany poems by Graciela Reyes, translated by Jackie K. White, in the new poetry-in-translation feature up at Escape Into Life today. My husband's mother's name was Graciela, though when she came to the USA from Cuba, they switched the order of her first and middle names, so she was called Lorenza all her working life in the USA. It's also a lovely name, but it's hard to lose your own, along with your country, and your husband.

Hmm. I did not mean to plunge us into despair. I'm glad the actual title of this painting is Safety Net. Look how the water itself creates the appearance of a net. Trusting buoyancy, she'll come right back up. "Buoyancy" is a word I have to look up every single time in order to spell it correctly. Now I'm done.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Poetry Schmoetry

OMG, it's Day 6 of National Poetry Month, and, like many poets all across America, I am writing a poem a day. Today's prompt is "pick-up sticks," from the nursery rhyme, and I brought it on myself, in that I am in the habit of providing 30 random prompts for my in-person poetry workshop (now defunct) and an online forum I host, where I am a bit of a slattern.

This year I posted the exact same prompts in the serious, "good" poetry forum and the silly, "bad" poetry forum, for ultimate release. In both cases, a bunch of the poems will be truly bad. Others will simply be messy and need severe tidying up. Sigh...

Good thing it's Slattern Day in the blog. And have I mentioned my untidy house? (I also have play practice this afternoon, and a photo shoot, which will reveal my messy, ever-whitening hair.) One, two, buckle my shoe...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Sunny & warm enough to walk into town today, to do banking & go to the post office. Florida stamps! I sent off a Christmas gift, utterly delayed... Yes, I am behind in many things, but I am indeed writing a poem a day this April. A few will last.

I just realized my otherwise unpublished poem "Unpaid Leave" was on Poetry Radio, WGLT, and here it is for you to listen to, with music by Danny Gotham and Glenn Mehrbach, "A Child is Born" from Sundays Two. The poem first aired March 28. I may have been preoccupied with snow. But it's a summery poem, if you need to warm up. For some reason, it makes me cry.

Also, it has tomato soup in it, as does the play Middletown, which I'm rehearsing tonight. The tomato soup scene. And the scene in which a child is born. Synchronicity again.

Please go read some short, wonderful poems by Lawrence Arancio over at Escape Into Life, with weird, wonderful family wamily photos by Julie Blackmon.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Just in case you found yesterday's post a tad confusing, I'm back to encourage you to read 3 poems from How the Potato Chip was Invented, by Daniel M. Shapiro, over at Escape Into Life, translated by Jessy Randall. Translated? Mhm.

Jessy & Daniel are frequent collaborators, but these poems are from his forthcoming book, by him. Art by Igor & Marina, also collaborators, there and here. (And I just realized by clicking on Daniel's blog that he and I found the same public domain image of potato chips!!)

And look at this cool poem, created by erasure, by Sarah J. Sloat, in the Pulitzer Remix project sponsored by Found Poetry Review. So many neat ways to celebrate National Poetry Month!

Monday, April 1, 2013


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