Thursday, March 27, 2008

No reference to you-know-what

Here's a poem of mine that was just purchased by Sigurd Magazine:


Because I doubt my being
I drape you in words
like papier mache'
that when you withdraw
I have a hollow to inhabit.
Everyone is Jesus to me,
everyone who leaves
a space to occupy.
Notice how many hollows
letters contain
and the spaces between words--
I dare you to find me.

They had a submission policy of twelve lines or less for poetry, which made submitting a challenge. Glad I found something they liked.

I just found out from Cider Press that my poetry ms. did not even make the finalists, and Tony Hoagland chose a book by Stacey Lynn Brown as the winner. If you google her you'll find very few online references, nothing like mine.... but I never do well in contests, though magazine editors seem to like me. And of course, she is married to a poet and has an MFA, so is probably better connected with the poetry world.

(My poetry has always striven for depth, for meaning, and much of today's poetry seems chatty and trivial to me. But I have no MFA, so I speak out of turn.)

I bought a huge vegetarian cookbook today (World Vegetarian Classics) at Kathleen's urging, since the one I was using was limited. Even so, she wanted pork for dinner! (Should go well with my vegetarian chile.)

Now, Norm, I'll conclude this brief note with no reference to...youknowwhat.




  1. Craig, speaking of Norm...have you seen this?

    Incredible! I keep playing it over and over.

    Have fun with your new cookbook. I'll have pork with Kathleen. : )


  2. I like this poem very much. Reminds me of all that French-ish talk about absence and presence, but you have managed to find a local habitation
    and a name for their airy nothings.

    I do have an MFA --- and I am bitterly aware that those three letters have nothing to do with the quality of one's writing. They do, you're right, have a lot to do with networking and connections, things I've never managed to be any good at, despite the MFA...

    And so I loiter palely at the margins....

  3. Anonymous11:31 AM PDT

    Didn't mean to go hard on you CE. I concede depression is a peculiar disease, perhaps the most insidious disease of all.

    Thanks Pat for the kind plug. But I'm afraid I'd sent it to CE a week or so ago and he detested it. Lol! There's just no accounting for taste.


  4. Pat, Norm's lying--I did like "Bones"-- just per usual I had some suggestions, and his artistic hypersensitivity remembers only the negative.

    Thanks, Anhaga. That whole negative space thing I learned from Strand. I did not mean to put an MFA down; I wish I were young and had the advantages of a good program, where teachers are prominent writers.

    I'm at a zero point in my writing; can't write a poem, can't even say what poetry is. What is it? I always thought it was rendering the ordinary extraordinary, universalizing the particular and particularizing the universal. It's a long way down from Donne to O'Hara; I, of course, prefer Donne. Nowadays I see such a proliferation of words (famously, Jorie Graham) without enough attendant sense to weight them. Poetry is compression; too much discursive poetry nowadays. I still think the eternal verities are worth repeating in a new context; much of the poetry world has passed on verities in favor of Williams' "moment." I could go on, but I'll stop here. And maybe you could provide us with some links to your work?

  5. " .. can't even say what poetry is .."

    Poetry is an annoying habit.


  6. Beau, I don't think it annoys as much as it nags ...says take care of me when we are too busy to. It's not unlike art or music, multi-media, things all of us must do to stay sane.

    I have never understood why poetry and pottery are labeled crafts when other forms of art are considered art...we, here, I suspect, know all forms, collaborations of creative expression are art.

    I feel among the lucky to recognize that, foster it when I can. Don't you?

    I hope so because you do it daily.

    Just you wait, you'll be proud when Craig and I surpise Mendocino, give a bit of fresh air to a dying art center. It needs it.

    I am only half-kidding, Craig...I would love the collaboration.


  7. Beau, did you leave a phone message with me recently? Maybe I'm hallucinating. My recording efforts have not gone well.

    Pat, if only I could invade the sanctity of your studio and learn something about the visual arts. But that would be time stolen from you and your muse. Maybe sometime....

  8. How's this for starters? : )



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