Tuesday, October 24, 2006


You stand in the cold like a graveyard monument,
letting wind and rain rip at that pretty yellow
dress and peel it off, shred by shred.

Clearly drawn to winter, you yearn
for the cleansing anti-fire of ice on skin
while snow falls and rises about your delicate waist.

Spindly fingers wave at me, playful and accusing,
shaming me to venture outside and lean my cheek
against your frozen face for one last hour.

Though I ache with the thought of you,
I stay inside, rotting in this dark room,
cool and damp, lit dimly by a December fire.

Spring will be here soon, I tell myself, knowing,
like a forest knows fire, that it will be too late,
that green will clothe your body by then.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Insignificance complex

Lately I've been having a hard time writing poetry. I wouldn't say I'm blocked so much as I'm feeling like anything of any significance has already been written. I know in my heart that's not true, but sometimes it's hard to convince yourself.

I have also been listening the the podcast of Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac lately, and on Tuesday, he read a poem that so perfectly expressed how I've been feeling that I am overlooking my normal abhorrence of poems about poetry and linking to it. The poem is called "Rereading Frost", by Linda Pastan.

You can subscribe to the Writer's Almanac podcast via or in

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My friend Bud Bloom has just put up a fascinating post on Donald Hall, current U.S. poet laureate and husband of the great Jane Kenyon. His post starts with a touching poem by Hall called "Retriever," written in memory of his wife.

Which reminded me that last year I wrote one in her memory too, though I of course never met her except through her poetry.

Dust Jacket Photograph II (in memoriam J.K.)

Photons touched you once then died
on film—-a worthy sacrifice, now fossils
set in printer’s ink and hard stock.

Eyes left a daydream to focus
on the lens, lids held open by dark
irises, the corners of your mouth
only just north of indifference.

What a presumption to read you,
though life is one long presumption,
the search for meaning in other faces.

Your head, heavy in your hands, the secret
bee ring on your finger climbing
toward the flower of a face
that never really opened into the sunlight.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hiromi Uehara - Kung-Fu World Champion

I'm ripping off this idea from a friend, but this is what I'm listening to tonight. I came across this incredible jazz pianist through the magic of Pandora.

Rarely has a young musician blown me away like this. This tune is just one example. Check out her website for more. If this tune is too funky for you, she does more traditional style jazz too. Search for her on YouTube and check out the great duet on "Spain" she does with Chick Corea.

Now that I've heard her music, I'm dying to see her in concert.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A friend reminded me...

...that it is Wallace Stevens' birthday today.

I think we owe it to ourselves to take a half-hour out of our busy lives and reread Stevens' great poem Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction.

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