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Amy Holman
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Today, I set my torch aglow on my hillfort, but not in warning to the next guest blogger, rather to signal welcome to this fine community before I go off to forage. I have not been "heaping up," lately, and this task of composing prose posts on what informs my poetry has informed me of some poems to write. (Aside from the Greek and Latin origins to "poet" that sound similar and define as "make," poet also derives from the Sanskrit word "cinoti," meaning "he heaps up.") It is mating season in the northern hemisphere, and that means the gentleman... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Great distinctions made here. Not so obsessive sounding. The equivalents, as you say, have to be in the biz a long time, and the outsider has to attach that young. I felt close to Tatum O'Neal when I saw her in Paper Moon, but she didn't really have a career in movies as much as a wild social life way too young. I wanted to be her friend, I wanted her to slow down. I do defend her in her adult troubles, but I don't worship her. Elizabeth Taylor was a part of the old model of movie making and that model is long gone. It's hard to find equivalents to that.
In the twelfth grade when I felt trapped by other girls, school, shyness, New Jersey, and being seventeen, there was at least some poetry. I could write it, sort of, and I could read and memorize it, recite it to my few friends, and write about it. I was not quite able to see myself in it, only see that I liked making it. Not until years later did I note that when given an assignment in English class to write a paper comparing two poems we hadn't covered in class by two of the poets we had, I wrote... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
This picture I took today, a few days into spring, is part of what passes for pastoral in my Brooklyn neighborhood--a barn-shaped birdhouse visible through a vine-wrapped chicken wire fence at the Recreation Center on 1st Street. I like to take photographs of juxtaposed environments, especially where nature reclaims the urban landscape, or when individuals living here impose their notion of the country life on the city. I read a beautiful essay by Barry Lopez once, perhaps in DoubleTake magazine, that addressed his interests in photography and writing, and which he wrote to accompany artwork by an unfamiliar, deceased artist... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Here is an odd little Elizabeth Taylor mixed media piece left over from an Etsy page that no longer exists. I suppose that poems will be wanted now that she has died. Maybe a 140-character Twitter poem by a big poetry star will be the appropriate pop cultural memorial. I like the witty 53 characters she said once in response to what should be written on her gravestone: "Here lies Elizabeth. She hated being called Liz. But she lived." Elizabeth had a personally difficult life as backdrop to her professionally fortunate, glamorous life. I am surprised that she broke her... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
I was reading an article about a messaging test recently completed in Northern Wales with torches in old Iron Age forts, and it made me think about why whales sing when they migrate, and also, about the transitional fossil find that links whales to wolves, The Blessing of the Animals at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the recent conclusion that Mayan civilization collapsed because of human destruction. This may not be a natural progression to you, but in writing, I like to find connections among things seemingly without correspondence to prove that we can be close and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
That's a coincidence, antfaber. So, what usufruct rights are there? Who doesn't mind use and enjoyment without destruction? Well, I mean, I get the "without destruction" part, but that may be hard to define.
It is highly debatable whether graffiti falls under the definition of today's Wordsmith word "usufruct" but I took this picture this morning and afterwards, saw my word-a-day email. Close enough. From the Latin usus et fructus, use and enjoyment, the definition is "the right to use and enjoy another person's property without destroying it." I like the expression of satisfaction on this face, freshly sprayed on the side of an empty warehouse for sale nearby. I think of drawings I've seen by Ben Shahn, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso with just a few strokes of pen or brush. Last weekend,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Here are the kaleidoscope windows of The Ethical Society of St. Louis in yesterday's early afternoon light in the midst of a celebration of the late George Hitchcock, editor of an influential literary journal, Kayak, that ran 64 issues from 1964 to 1984. I had many wonderful conversations and eavesdrops at "Kayak at the Confluence" and a funny coincidence in a workshop I taught. My friend, Liz Hughes Wiley, a former student of George's, put together this festival and brought in past contributors, ex-students, friends, an archivist, local actors, and his long-time love to share their experiences, perform his play,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Mar 18, 2011