Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Secret Knowledge

"All civilization is held together by a series of suggestions made by an invisible hypnotist, artificially created illusions. The knowledge of reality is always by some means or other a secret knowledge. It is a kind of death."—W. B. Yeats, Journal

Sunday was the 100th birthday of the great American poet Theodore Roethke. His hometown of Saginaw, Michigan held a celebration. His home is now a museum that can be visited online as well as in person. Here's an excerpt from one of his finest poems; the entire poem and others can be read at the museum website:

In a Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.
What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!

Monday, May 12, 2008


A new poem is always a surprise, but in fact that's the title of my latest. It may still get a bit of fine-tuning, but it's mostly done:


All that day the wind
blew me along but
gently and the gray
clouds came and went
but left no rain
and in the intervals
the sunlight glittered
in the puddles I
slogged through
the day before.

The latest issue of The Scrambler with two of my poems is now online. In addition to the poems, you can listen to sound files of me reading them. It's one of the best online journals I've seen—and I thought that before the editor accepted my work. It's worth bookmarking and I've added a link to the sidebar.

Breaking news, 5/13: I've had another poem accepted for publication by a journal in Sacramento, CA, called Rattlesnake Review. It's due out in mid-June. This one's a print 'zine, but you can follow the link and probably get a copy.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Lightning & Water

NaPoMo and NaPoWriMo may be over, but I'm still writing of course. Here's a new poem, accompanied by the usual thanks to Naomi for her usual insightful and incisive comments:

Lightning in a Bottle, Water in a Net

Dozens of interlaced
nerves branch out
like ant pathways
in all directions
crackling like a hundred
tiny electrical fires if
I could find the switch
I could sleep.

I grasp for words
that slip like tiny
fish through fingers
the thoughts behind
the words trickle into
tiny streams and sink
below ground if
I could collect them
you would stay.

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