Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The other new poem mentioned in my previous post. It incorporates two recent "fragments" and may add more.

Cloud Suite

One small cloud floats over
white smudge on otherwise
perfect sky I watch it
drift beyond sight
edges fraying.

Lightning nibbles around
the edges of sky above
the buildings but farther
down the street the moon
glows faint behind
a shred of clouds.

I seem to have developed an obsession with clouds. Though perhaps not as great as these people:
The Cloud Appreciation Society.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009



I laid it out for you
like tiles black and white
on the bathroom floor
and you still wouldn’t see
it you kept adding
yellow or red and
it’s such a simple pattern
I can replicate
until it hits the wall.

This poem is new. I have another new one as well, but I'm especially happy with this one. I was at a very fine musical event the other night and the phrase "black and white" was used in a song in more or less the same sense as here. It got me thinking and I wrote this poem in the train on the way home.

I'll post the other new work soon.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Do Something Else

"I have always believed in Jean Cocteau's dictum that the artist should find out what he can do and then do something else. The poet should always be venturing, trying out new things. One doesn't want experimentation for its own sake, the sense of the freakish doctor surrounded by retorts in the laboratory, but one does want the poet who is willing time after time to risk everything and play for the highest stakes. The poet must be constantly exploring, going out on a limb. This does not mean the continual development of wholly new styles, but rather the enlargement and expansion of one's basic style. It means putting out new shoots, growing as a tree grows up and out, feeding more and more on light and air."—William Jay Smith

My friend Bernadette Geyer posted this excerpt from Poets on Poetry (ed. Howard Nemerov) and I liked it so much I decided to pass it along. I find it inspiring as I grapple with the Hopkins-inspired poem I mentioned in the previous post.

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