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I'd like to end this blog week with some fun--a few clips from readings. The Poetry Reading is a strange event, since most poets and writers aren't trained performers, and they don't always live up to the moment. But when poet and moment connect, it can be mesmerizing. After that, I'll sign off with a piece about poetry readings from Phantom Signs, called "That Lamp Is From the Tomb." A wonderful performance of a chapter of a very special memoir. I love the way that H.L.Hix incorporates the works of Gwendolyn Brooks and W.S. Merwin (spoken by heart) into his reading. One of the great poets of his generation, and a great performer and presence at the National Book Award ceremony. Sometimes a reading has no text. And sometimes, a reading has no words at all, and is transmogrified to movement. That Lamp Is from the Tomb Tonight I am not going to a movie. I have no Knicks tix. No backstage pass. I will not drift to a séance. Boogey to an orgy. No stumbling to an AA meeting for me. No rendezvous with a dark stranger. Tonight I’m going to a poetry reading. I love poetry. I have spent my life in its thrall. But tonight I’m going to a poetry reading, and I’m not pleased. And neither, probably, is the poet. Right now she is wedged in a Longhorn Steakhouse booth between a deanlet and a medievalist. She’s nodding and smiling, trying not to blurt, “Shut up, I’m thinking.” But no worries. Poets don’t prep. They sweat; they panic, but rehearsal? Not so much. In fact, practice just seems so . . . prosaic. Deep in the mammal brain lurks the notion that the poetry reading should be spontaneous—the public viewing of an ineffable act. The audience can’t be there at the moment of composition, when the Muse swoops in, but they can attend this re-creation. So, a junior geezer saunters to the podium, coughs up a joke about Yogi Berra’s cellphone, and unfolds an encomium in which the words “risk,” “sublime,” and “Whitman” figure. I am of course not talking about a particular geezer. Nor a particular poet. I don’t even remember who’s reading tonight. I’m not complaining about the tall one slouching or the short one vanishing. I’m not calling out the head-bobber, nor the mic popper, nor the dropout from the Charlton Heston acting school. This isn’t about the paper shuffling or thumb-licking; not about the digressions longer (and stronger) than the poems themselves. This doesn’t have to do with the “I don’t know what this poem means because my friends haven’t explained it to me yet” or the “I can’t say much about this poem except that I was there when it happened.” I’m not squeaking about the querulous upticks and appropriated drawls. I’m not even complaining about the “How much time do I have left” black hole, or the way the room’s eyes bend to the front row where the geezer’s countenance... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
For me, this is the end of an era. Of course, junior geezers like me know lots of era ends, and this is not the last, but perhaps (cue violin) the penultimate. Since 2007, Etruscan Press and the Youngstown State University Poetry Center Outreach Program has brought authors from around the country and around the world to local high schools, elementary schools, retirement homes, neighborhood gardens, libraries, community centers, and prisons. With generous grants and donations, we also distribute copies of their books to thousands of students. This year, we brought two Etruscan writers to Youngstown, Sheryl St. Germain and Jeff Talarigo. It’s amazing to see the interactions—but we all know this. We all remember school days when a“Fifty year old, smiling public man” (OK that was Yeats; we bring a rainbow of smiles) came to lecture and how dreamlike it felt. In those visits, I think of Gary Snyder recalling Zen talks by a Japanese Monk, “Remember those talks we didn’t hear, thirty years ago,” his friend asked? “I’m hearing them now.” We can’t change the test taking or administrations or apathy or violence or scanty resources. But sometimes I think, “thirty years from now…” And this community involvement will go on. But one door has been closed. For the last ten years, I've taught composition and literature and creative writing to incarcerated men and women at Trumbull Correctional Camp near Warren, Ohio, and the Northeast Ohio Pre-Release Center--right under the shadow of Jacob's Field in Cleveland. Over the years, twenty-two writers have visited these classes. For me and for them, it's been a transformative experience. It’s changed my teaching, my vision of society, and of our world. Unfortunately, YSU has discontinued its relationship with the Prison Program. I'm told that the reasons are financial. Never has anyone been sadder to end a prison sentence. Here’s an essay from Phantom Signs about teaching incarcerated students. The Warden of Dover Beach “The sea is calm tonight.” My arms glide over a sea of tranquil desks. “Arnold opens with a simple statement. The evening’s weather report.” I smile at bucolic rows. “The poet lives seaside—so, ‘tonight.’” Projected text dapples the whiteboard. “But the next line,” my forefinger conducts, “is a musical phrase, introducing the tension between speech and song.” The ceiling fan whirrs. “So, rhythm.” An ocean of silence. “Not iambic,” I chop pentameter. “And rhymes don’t seem to fall regularly.” I pointer moony squiggles and recite, “The tide is full; the moon lies fair . . .” I might as well be on the moon. “It’s dualistic,” I peer down at earth. “Sung as measure—two beats, then three, with a strong caesura; or read as a sentence.” From a distant shore, my bluetooth hisses. “I don’t hear it.” “What?” I cup my tinnitus. “Rhythm,” the earbud hisses. “Sorry?” “Do Not Hear It, Man,” drawls the phantom voice. “Right,” I sigh. Most of this is happening in my head. Yes, I am in an empty classroom. I am in fact teaching... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
This is a whimsical piece about the ways that social media shapes identity. It's from Phantom Signs: The Muse in Universe City. Kith & Kin I hit my head. Whacked it good. I was parked in a Hertz garage, and as I squeezed out of the compact rental—pow—my skull smacked concrete: bald to wall. Next thing I remember is a hospital bed with a doctor leaning over me. “What happened?” I slurred. “Concussion,” said the doctor. “How do you feel?” “Ok, I guess.” I fingered the lump. “A bit touched.” The doctor checked his clipboard. “Who’s the president?” he asked. “Barack Obama.” The doctor frowned. “What pet meme just went viral?” “Dogs playing poker?” He scribbled. “What campus demonstration is trending?” “The Big Chill?” His eyebrows went up. “What’s your Twitter handle?” “Bluebird?” “Ok,” he unclicked his pen. “We’re going to run further tests, but I think that your hypofalsus,” he tapped my left temple, “has been compromised.” “Is it serious?” “The hypofalsus governs a very specific part of brain activity,” he said. “It processes short-term secondhand experience—anything immediate that you learn about but don’t apprehend firsthand. “Sounds bad.” “Eh,” he shrugged. “There’s still a lot we don’t know.” His palm drifted upward. “Why the hypofalsus doesn’t affect nuanced argument, or noncommercial verse, or anything painted by hand, or published in a limited edition, or performed in a minor key.” The doctor shook his head. “There’s been a sharp spike in incidents,” he said. “It’s not uncommon to see ruptures or even infarction independent of any external trauma.” “I feel OK, Doc.” “The FDA is useless.” He wiped his specs. “But the NEJM targets one cause: social media. Blogs, tweets, I.M.s, texts, and YouTube vids cause inflammation. In your case, the last eighteen months of Internet activity has been wiped clean.” “Will I recover?” “We can’t say if the hypofalsus will ever be fully restored—or as we say, ‘re-storied.’ But you can drive, work, operate machinery. There should be no effect on your daily life, except that you may find yourself confused at rallies.” He scratched out a prescription. “No more than twenty minutes a day on Facebook.” Pulling the curtain, he shot back, “And stay off Fox.” In the first weeks after the accident, a lot changed. The world no longer streamed through my devices. All my links were broken. I was unplugged. When someone mentioned ISIS, I nodded and smiled. Benghazi e-mail scandal drew a blank. I didn’t know where Ferguson was, or why Baltimore burned, or what “I Can’t Breathe” meant. It was disconcerting. Could cucumbers scare cats? Ice buckets cure ALS? Was Donald Trump really president? Then there was my own small quadrant of the noosphere—the lit racket. In po-biz, rumors swirled. A lawyer tweeted Gone with the Wind as conceptual art; a white guy masqueraded as Chinese to get into BAP; an L.A. editor did a walk of shame after a failed joke about cowboys and Indians. Mostly, it’s the police. Everywhere cops were armed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
H.L Hix's new book, Demonstrategy: Poetry: For and Against sheds new light on poetry's place in the world, bringing philosophical, political, economic, "ethopoetic," cultural, historical, and psychological models to a broad and fascinating discussion. Here's a brief excerpt. And below that, you'll find a behind-the scenes-look at the making of Demonstrategy with a heated (and comic) discussion between Etruscan editors and the author. Article 1: Make another world, make this world otherwise. 1.1: Poetry Against Growth "One take on contemporary life sees technology as having displaced poetry, rendering it irrelevant or at best compensatory. On this view, we live in the information age, under the sign of Moore’s Law, and poetry, as Wittgenstein observed even before digital supplanted analog, “is not used in the language game of giving information.” Absence from popular culture confirms poetry’s reduction to insignificance. Gaming and film and television reach billions worldwide, and generate billions in revenue; poetry reaches a tiny, tenuous, negligible audience, and operates at a loss, propped up by patronage, burdening rather than bolstering economic growth. Consider, though, this contrary view: technology’s influence makes poetry more urgent than ever, so urgent that it conditions the continued survival of the human species. Exclusion of poetry from popular culture symptomatizes not poetry’s illness but culture’s. Poetry is not dying for want of an audience; humanity is dying for want of poetry. In Charles Bernstein’s words, we suffer “not the lack of mass audience for any particular poet but the lack of poetic thinking as an activated potential for all people.” In fulfillment of that contrarian understanding, as a response to our want of poetry, I propose ethopoesis. The ethopoetic would recognize the urgency, even the necessity, of poetry, and envision a poetry adequate to this cultural need. Technology and economy now enmesh the globe in ways, and to a degree, beyond precedent. Transportation has overcome regional limitations to the movement of goods; digital technology has overcome the limits distance once imposed on communication; corporations now enjoy worldwide market reach; resources from any region are accessible to exploitation by entities in distant regions; and so on. The economy has raced toward total globalization, but cultures and concepts of citizenship have lagged, remaining local and sectarian. Corporations have become thoroughly multinational, but political institutions remain stubbornly national; natural resources and manufactured products move easily from one place to another, but movement of humans is tightly restricted by national boundaries; those with capital find safety and security for their money more readily than those without capital can find safety and security for their persons; and so on. This disparity between a global economy and local cultural and civic values has as one upshot structural violence: violence, as Paul Farmer puts it, perpetrated “by the strong against the weak, in complex social fields” in which “historically given” and “economically driven” conditions guarantee “that violent acts will ensue.” Political democracy cannot be had without economic democracy; cultural and civic values must also check, not only be checked by, economic forces.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
I want to start this week of blogging with an interview, and a poem, by Dante Di Stephano, who is no stranger to the BAP blog. His new book, Ill Angels,is available from Etruscan Press. And here's a link to another recent conversation with Dante at Adroit Journal Approaching All Art With Unchecked Enthusiasm: An Interview with Dante Di Stefano by Pamela Turchin Dante Di Stefano always knew he wanted to write: he loved reading and listening to stories; as a kid, he read the dictionary daily and drew comic strips, wrote stories, and weekly letters to his grandparents from fourth grade until the end of ninth grade; he kept a journal throughout adolescence. He says, “My mother was a prolific reader; she read everything from the Bible to romance novels; she might finish a novel by Thomas Mann and start one by Danielle Steele. My grandmother and great grandmother were accomplished storytellers; I loved learning family lore from them and hearing about Binghamton, New York in the first half of the twentieth century. In high school, I read all of the Russians I could find: Gogol, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Lermontov. I also read Kafka, Melville, and Conrad extensively. I wanted to be a novelist.” When Di Stefano was nineteen, he read “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg, “The Wreck of the Deutschland” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo.” He knew then there was no question about what he would do with the rest of his life. He devoted himself to loving and reading poetry: “Writing poetry became a means to understand poetry in all of its mystery, contradictions, and terrible beauty. For me, the act of writing poetry remains a form of critical engagement with, a love letter to, the art I admire.” Literary citizenship is a term we often hear; Di Stefano has valuable words on this subject: “E.M. Forster begins Howard’s End with perhaps the greatest epigraph in all of literature: ‘Only connect.’ Those two words embody the categorical imperative binding together all great literature. As readers and writers, we are about the business of deep listening, sustained attention, lasting connection forged by empathy. Being a good literary citizen is an extension of the shared vocation of all writers; it’s about remaining radically open to the work of others and championing that work in any way we can. Good literary citizens create opportunities for other writers to be heard and read. All writers do this in one way or another. There are as many different ways to be a good literary citizen as there are different writers. Solipsism is the death of good writing, and being an active literary citizen provides one antidote to the many diseases of egocentrism one must guard against as an artist.” Some ways to be a good literary citizen according to Di Stefano include: writing book reviews; editing an anthology; volunteering for a literary journal, website, or press; starting a journal or website;... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2019 at The Best American Poetry
I am a sucker for those baseball stadium marriage proposals. The private moment gloriously public. The fan cam. The mock-embarrassment. The roar of the crowd. So, I thought I'd give it a try here, on the Best American Poetry Blog. Last night, I spoke on the phone with a man I'd never met, D. M. Spitzer. He had submitted his manuscript, "A Heaven Wrought of Iron" to Etruscan for consideration. It's a long poem that is also a poetic reading of The Odyssey. Not criticism, or commentary, or pastiche. A companion, perhaps. A new rendering, in the mode of Alice Oswald's Memorial and Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey and Chris Logue's War Music. I loved it. It felt immediate, yet arrived from a far place--maybe an ancient blog excavated near Hisarlik, Anatonia. I told Mr. Spitzer that Etruscan was very interested, and that I'd be in touch again very soon with a decision. Mr. Spitzer said that he hadn't published sections of the manuscript in periodicals, because the work depended on the accretion of the voice, the lapping rhythms of an idiom that seem familiar yet strange, like dream echoes. So I'll refrain from quoting passages here. Bad marketing, perhaps, but this is my first public proposal. Still, I make my plea before the assembled audience of BAP from the box seats of the blogosphere, in the knowledge that I will have departed the field before a response can be registered, and that the stadium will have to hold its breath until the publication date in the Spring of 2016, though of course they can check updates at D.M. Spitzer, will you accept my proposal of publication of "A Heaven Wrought of Iron"? I promise to take good care of it. Please call or write at your earliest convenience. Later this morning.... D.M. Spitzer has accepted my proposal. I'm thrilled. The crowd roars. Here's a cutting from "A Heaven Wrought of Iron" forthcoming from Etruscan in 2016. odyssey i: turning What is man but turning out of himself towards a beyond of difference, into the region where risk swarms in the wreckage and buries the vast reflectivity of air down into dust? Who but a god might sing this flotsam and jetsam creature, the turning already into otherness, the othering itself? “What I will say is bent and wanders because it knows its course” [Od. 1.179] “You are the child of suffering. Upon your face, in your eyes beauty lingers for an instant, then it takes you with it. Remember all those beautiful ones who once stormed and raised the dust in their lengthening shadows? They ran with your father and they have gone beyond the sea. You are the same.” Now muster the only human reply, son of pain, filled with the clear breath of divinity: “I do not know myself.” At the end of speech a grey shimmer shakes the air and is already gone. Behind you and above in the thin square of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
A Pilgrimage to Ancient MFA's On the westernmost ledge of Europe near Slea Head in the Kingdom of Kerry, huts of corbelled stone cluster by the Atlantic. Clocháns, they are called, quarried from native rock and hefted into place a thousand years ago, though a thousand years means little to these sea-sprayed fields. If not for the hand-printed sign advertising, “Dunbeg Stone Fort—Beehive Huts Ahead,” I might have trundled past, having my hands full keeping my rental from careening into gorgeous oblivion. I unfold my Yankee length from the sedan and rattle the chain until a pensioner in burdocked overalls shambles down the path to unlock the gate and collect the two Euro admission. As we climb gorse hillocks he keeps up a hum of badinage about Skellig Michael and the Book of the Dun Cow; Kevin and Colmcille and the Blind O’Driscolls, as if raillery could coax them back to life. “Where’s home?” he asks; then mulls “Ohio” knowingly, as if to seal the secret. At the crest of a mound, he stiffens a finger at the dense, silent city of beehive huts. They are eight flint humps rising from packed clay. I circle them, then lean against the largest, patting its warty flank. Somehow, with no moldings or wood supports, the makers have executed a mousehole-shaped doorway. I peer into the thigh-high portal, then bend deeper to enter the dark. Inside, moss and clay close in. As my eyes adjust, flecks of daylight pierce the unmortared stone. Re-emerging into light that now seems brilliant, I wonder who lived here. I don’t know much about 8th century architecture, but it’s clear that more commodious hovels could have been dug, even out of straw. And there was wood here once, before the forests were cleared. “Twas the poets,” crows our host, with a look that seems to mock an age that mistakes height for stature. As he expounds on the annals of this desolate place, rhapsodizing about bards who memorized thousands of lines and fili who encoded the esoteric ‘rosc’ poetry—“the like of which wasn’t heard again until that Joyce fella”—it dawns on me that these were early MFA’s. Our guide doesn’t know the exact requirements, but the curriculum, he says, took between twelve and twenty years to complete, depending on the degree. There were brehons, a class of poet-lawyers who could splice royal lineages as far back as Finn MacCumhal, and monks who cribbed a hunk of western civ on moldy vellum. Behind the monks lurked the specter of druids, whose secret examinations were so perilous that only one in three survived. Well, between the ritual deaths and the frigid dorms, the registrar wouldn’t have been too busy. It’s commonplace to say that MFA programs produce too many writers. Asked if writing programs didn’t wind up discouraging young writers, Flannery O’Connor famously replied, “not nearly enough.” But it seems an odd complaint. After all, what’s wrong with breeding talent? Ancient cultures set aside resources for artistic training; why shouldn’t... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
I’ve been happy these days, moment by moment, and the mind that once roiled with lust and rage is tranquil. The big questions have all been answered. How will I do? Whom will I love? What will I untimely suffer? What dread fire? But that’s not all. I feel a presence. Not too close, not imminent. An impending shadow, out there in the zone of tinnitus or climate change. Age. I am on the verge of withering into truth. Yet, at noon on Mondays and Fridays, I spread my leaves, grab my gym bag and trot to the rec center. I am playing basketball again. It’s been so long since I suited up that I don’t know what to do with my bifocals or wedding ring. The shorts are bloomers, the jersey is an ad banner, and the clown-big sneakers swoosh. The nets are distant as Joyce’s God; the floor is hospital parquet. There’s even a three-point line (three is two in a game to eleven by ones). But I’m back. Nothing has changed. And everything. I don’t feel old. If I woke alone in a strange bed, I’d have no notion if I were thirty or sixty. Pull the blinds and my prana could lounge through any of ten thousand mornings, teaching or biking or bavading or banging the bodhran sans calendar. I’ve lost no bandwidth of memory, no inch of height. I was already bald. I have no children or corporate ladder to notch years. My job is stagnant, my town timeless as Brigadoon. But change is coming. By fall or slide or decrepitude or aphasia, in some nearly foreseeable season it will come. Age. The vestibule of empty. I expect it, as I once anticipated manhood. And like manhood, it will arrive all at once. But for now, I am ageless. Everywhere but here. Of course, I’m not really playing, if playing means being in the game. Most basketball activities are no longer available to me. I can’t sprint, or box, or shoot. I have no hops. Good thing I’m lefty, since I can barely lift my right arm above my shoulder. My eyes seem ok, and from wrist to fingertip I’m unimpaired. And in this pick-up game I’m still tall. I can slouch my ass down to Bethlehem and post up. Who are these lunchtime hoopsters? They are the quick. Neither moribund nor slow. For the quick, the future is a distant rim, the past a no-look turnover. What transpires here and now—on the court, on earth—is all that counts: How good? How long? Always? Anyone else? For the quick I am not ageless. I am a portent. I look the part. Bald helps, but I bring so much more: bypass scar, droop eye, liver spots, cabbage knees. I jog as if through swamp. I am my own slow-mo replay. My countenance bears witness to campaigns beneath rusted rims. I am six degrees from Dr. Naismith. The quick take heed. They profer no trash. Both sides... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
And another thing about The Other Sky. Aron Wiesenfeld's images will appear on two new book covers this Spring: Nin Andrews' Why God Is A Woman from BOA and Joseph P. Wood's YOU. from Etruscan I look forward to seeing these books from two of my favorite poets.They have something in common besides the images: Nin tells us why God is a woman, and Joseph explains why man is sumpin else. Meanwhile, here's an address given by H.L. Hix at the Wilkes University Low-Residency Creative Writing graduation banquet. I do not take lightly the privilege of speaking within a community of writers committed to their craft, led by a distinguished and dedicated faculty, so let me reiterate my thanks to Bonnie Culver for the opportunity to join your work in this way. Her vision and her tireless labor have created an environment in which we all of us here may flourish as writers. Wilkes University is an institution of higher learning, and the creative writing M.A. and M.F.A. programs are advanced degrees. To live up to such a context, I should offer you something august and effete, something profound and magisterial. Instead, the title of my talk is: I Took My Writer’s Block Out Back and Shot That Sucker Dead My claim is simple: there is no good reason to endure writer’s block, ever. My argument, too, is simple: the very concept of “writer’s block” congeals out of a number of misconceptions, and correcting those misconceptions clears the way to eliminating the problem. My methodology will be equally simple: I’ll identify two of the relevant misconceptions, propose alternative conceptions, and derive from those alternatives practical techniques that guarantee you need never give in to writer’s block. Then I’ll hint at other misconceptions and solutions we could pursue in a longer talk than this one will be. Here’s a place to start. The field of psychology has a guidebook known by the acronym DSM, short for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, that attempts to identify, describe, and classify mental disorders. Its aim is to guide professionals in their diagnosis and treatment of mental issues. But suppose a major entry, one often consulted, such as the entry on depression, were anachronistic and misleading. Suppose it described depression as the direct result of childhood sexual trauma, rather than as a symptom of particular variations in brain chemistry. The result would be a lot of unnecessary suffering by a lot of people. A lot of patients would spend a lot of hours talking out their sexual histories with a lot of bored therapists, while their serotonin levels just kept right on being low. If there were a DSM for writers, a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Writing Disorders, surely Writer’s Block would be a frequently consulted entry. The DSM for writers I’m imagining here currently describes Writer’s Block as a debility that one suffers, and for which there is no cure except waiting it out: sitting passively at one’s desk, staring at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
Here it is—my first word of Blog. Wait, that was it. There. Now, no. Slithery little beggar, that first word. Well, I guess there is no word, and no here. When I read blogs, I always thought the blogger was right there—typing away. “Sunny day, scalp itches, kettle’s whistling.” That’s the point, no? Web Log. Date stamped. Drafty. Provisional. The Blogger Is In— or as much as could be downloaded—which turns out, by fantastical coincidence, to be the same dosage found in non-blog writing. Writing, says I, takes time. No, not takes: Consumes. Lays Waste to. It is to time as Kong is to a banana. And the worst is poetry. In a poem the poet situates themselves. In a blog, the reader does so. You peruse this on a certain morning, (or 17.5 seconds of it—the average blog read) munching your cereal and banana, and I attest it was composed close to that day. We agree to breakfast contemporaneously, to the extent that our shared fruit deprives you and I of the same natural light. But beyond that, no guarantees for the week. For all I know, what we are reading on Monday, December 8, 2014, may have been dunked in Styx, not Trix. But whenever it takes place, I'd like us to join a dialogue among genres. Here's the cover of a new book coming out this Spring from Etruscan, a dialogue between Bruce Bond, a poet, and Aron Wiesenfeld, an artist. It’s called The Other Sky. In his introduction to The Other Sky, Stephen Dunn writes, "Aron Wiesenfeld’s paintings have a haunting clarity and odd beauty, and Bruce Bond is a gifted lyric poet. Between the two artists is a kind of call and response. The paintings invite speculation, and thus the lyric poet is driven to imagine and tell the stories that are behind them. In other words, Wiesenfeld activates in Bond the narrative poet. The result is a rare collaboration of sensibilities. Both artists seemingly hide nothing from us, one with a kind of photographic sureness, the other with syntactical precision. Both like to be clear about the mysterious." Here is a paired image by Aron Weisenfeld and poem by Bruce Bond from The Other Sky. The Delta If you are going there by foot, prepare to get wet. You are not you anymore. You are a girl standing in a pool of clouds as they catch fire in the distance. There are laws of heaven and those of place and those who see the sky in the water, angels in ashes that are the delta’s now. They say if you sweep the trash from your house after dark, you sweep away your luck. If you are going by foot, bring a stick, a third leg, and honor the great disorder, the great broom of waterfowl and songbirds. Prepare to voodoo your way, best you can, knowing there is a little water in things you take for granted, a little charity and squalor for the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2014 at The Best American Poetry
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Dec 4, 2014