Wednesday
Aug152018

Is This A Poem?


You have your own oceans 

Your mind is quick and sharp and strange.

You don’t have to be afraid of the oceans inside you.
Let the tides do their work. The moon grows
bright then dark, and then bright again. 
Do not dwell in too much darkness.
Do not make a home in deep caves of loss.

Tell yourself.

If there’s no way to predict the thing that comes next,
what freedom would it give you to imagine this week and next?

Your ambition doesn’t
have to be greedy to hold its own wild energy.
It doesn’t have to be noisy to change
the world around you. Embrace the messy. 
Remember to pay attention to where
sorrow lives inside you, and where in
your body you store love. 

You don’t have to think your body into clarity.
You might feel the change roaring in the distance
and the change rumbling under your feet. What urgency
has held you tight and what are the words you want to hear?
You’ve traveled a long way through a world that is not your own. 

Push your way back.

You have your own landscape, mountains and forests
and plains full of life. You have your own oceans
uncharted and blue and wild. You know the shape
of the world you move through. 

Show up and just be you.


— a mash-up by Drew Myron of horoscope lines
from Madame Clairevoyant and Holiday Mathis

 

I'm in a quandary: Is this found poetry, a cut-up poem? Is attribution enough? My mind runs and reels. To borrow, to take, to remake — is this moral, correct, kind? If assembly is required, is it art or is it theft? 

Dear Reader, is this a poem and can I call it mine? 

 

 

Tuesday
Aug072018

Love that line!

 



So, wherever you came from, whichever way you swing,

whatever is standing in your way, just remember:

You’re bigger than that. Like the man said:

You contain multitudes.


— from Lawn Boy
a novel by Jonathan Evison


This semi-autobiographical story is packed with angst, anger, and the ingredients of real life: race, class, snark and smiles.

“What I wanted was a book written by a guy who worked as a landscaper or a cannery grunt or a guy who installed heating vents," says Mike Muñoz, the 22-year-old protagonist who mows lawns and imagines his life as an author. "Something about modern class struggle in the trenches. Something plainspoken, without all the shiver-thin coverlets of snow and all the rest of that luminous prose. Something that didn’t have a pretentious quote at the beginning from some old geezer poet that gave away the whole point of the book. Something that didn’t employ the ‘fishbowl lens’ or a ‘prismatic narrative structure’ or any of that crap they teach rich kids out in the cornfields.”

Thankfully, Lawn Boy cuts a fresh tale, true to life with hints of hope. 

 

Thursday
Jul192018

Feel Good Friday

weightlessness 

 
is to want

nothing

is to have

everything

is to hold 

a certainty 

you will 

outgrow

and forget 

you ever 

owned 

 

to want 

the weightlessness

of age 10 is

to want to crest

a hill on a bike 

alone for the 

first time on 

a road you 

don’t know

with nothing

but strong 

legs and 


fearlessness

 

— Drew Myron

 


The world is wracked and wrecked, frantic and full. It's Friday, let's finally, for a moment, set aside worry and slip into something more comfortable.

What's your Feel Good Friday? 

 


Thursday
Jul122018

Waiting for the stewardess

I Have Good News by Tony Hoagland

1.
Just as gin is more potent at 30,000 feet, so are poems. I'm reading a book on a late flight home when every line shakes me, and the quiet man sharing our armrest senses my tears and without saying a word I think he wishes me well. 

2.
In the pool, my sister and I float, holding hands in hot summer sun, as if we always have. 

3.
The other day I could not remember if the sun rose in the west and set in the east, or rose in the east and set in the west. I know the answer, but some days I question everything I think I know and realize I know so very little.

4.
At the nursing home, I ask the quiet elderly man, “Can I get you anything?”

“No,” he replies, “I’m just waiting for the stewardess.”

 

 

Thursday
Jun282018

Thankful Thursday: Amens

Because the world is big and our troubles too, it's time for rest and perspective. Please join me for Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause to express appreciation for things large and small, from the puny to the profound. 

On this Thankful Thursday, I am grateful for: 

1.
Misread as message
In reading my horoscope the other day, this is what I saw:

"Reading the amens is a specialty of yours."

This is what it actually said:

"Reading the omens . . ."

I prefer the amens. 

2.
Just for you
A friend sent me — by old fashioned mail, which is a gratitude in itself — a batch of handmade notecards. The cards are beautifully crafted, with matching, repurposed envelopes too. I'm impressed with her artful design and skill, and moved by the gift. With a single unexpected kindness, I felt a real attitude shift. 

3. 
Poems, here and gone
For more than 15 years, I've collected my favorite poems and placed them in one single, growing Word document. Kindness was in there, along with Praying, and pages of known and lesser-known poems that I stumbled across and then held close. Until last week, when I lost the 100-page file and over a decade of beloved lines — poof! gone!

I thought about reassembling the collection. But maybe not. Maybe it's time for new stock, reflecting my tastes and perspectives today. Some of the old standards will still be there but it's time now to find fresh favorites.

And you, dear reader and friend, what's in your collection? what are your favorite poems?