I meant to post this on The Morning After but got waylaid by my workweek, and then everything seemed saturated with the rawness of reaction so I put it off. Is it safe now? I hope so. Or maybe I don’t …
This is Andrew C. Ferguson reading his poem “Scotland As an Xbox Game” with a teeny contribution from me. Tell us what you think in the comments.
So I’m drifting on a sea of sadness and the only way I know how to get out of it is to shove this “too busy for [thing I like to do]” stupidity off the raft.
Last year I didn’t read many books or see many films, so this year I’m aiming to consume 50 of each. Throw your favourites at me in the comments.
And today I decided to add another goal onto that: I want 50 rejection letters for my writing. I’d rather get 50 acceptances, of course, but rejection means I’m submitting stories which means I’m writing stories which means I’m doing what I love. I’ll be tallying it up on my fiction page if you want to follow along.
Yesterday I finished the first draft of my story for Bloc’s show in the Edinburgh International Science Festival. As per usual, my first idea completely morphed into something else. It’s become a pattern: the first idea is the cocoon that turns into the butterfly. Or, in my case, the slipstream moth.
My Bloc pal Bram a/k/a Texture is always creating interesting, evocative stuff. He announced his new poetry video a few weeks ago but I just made the mental space to sit down and appreciate it. I was mesmerised. Tell me what you think. And please share it if you enjoy it.
You genuflected outside the gothic cathedral
the day after I got officially old.
My nose was running and cold and
I turned from the great grey edifice
to see the only familiar face
for miles. On that face,
the expression I tried to capture:
irreverent yet strangely penitent,
maybe just tired from walking
or overwhelmed by unfamiliar vowels
or musing how new it feels to feel this old.
It wasn’t what she said, but how she said it.
Not an unkind word, but the way the letters
like soldiers with pikes
were ready to do damage
and could wait to do it.
She could wait.
She was ready.
Sometimes it is enough
to know without thinking where the milk is,
or the bread, or how to sidestep
with a ducked head,
“sorry” under the breath
to anyone, or to half-unpacked boxes.
What a luxury it is to be thoughtless,
to grow into the cracks of a place
like a weed
and not a wildflower.
Tonight, in the bed we insist
we must replace,
I wake from a dream of high school, all
high-tops and jean shorts and hairspray.
You are still storming the beach
or shopping for Harris tweed
or grasping an old lover’s hand.
A shift, eyes open, a sigh: we meet
grinning lopsidedly at each other
as we shrug into new costumes.
I would like to give a shout-out to The Paperie for their excellent customer service and speedy, free delivery. My new Rhodia dot-grid A6 notebook arrived today, and I am happy to announce that it is even lovelier than I anticipated. The paper is creamy 90g/m² Clairefontaine, and takes fountain pen ink perfectly. And The Paperie gave me a 10% discount!
My dad sent a link the other day that contained a remarkable quote I wanted to share with you:
Poetry does not, with its meanings and messages, defeat trauma; it does not argue it away with its countervailing sense of purpose. Nothing so simple: Poetry works on a deeper level. Because it mobilizes such a concentration of devices, such an intensification of language via rhythm, syntax, image and metaphor, reading it, the best of it, can create another, very different kind of perpetual present, an awareness that can be as ongoing in the soul as the stop-time of trauma.
Now I am off to write in my new journal. It probably won’t be poetry, at least not today.
Call Heather Christle at (413) 570-3077
Poems read aloud over the phone, by the poet! Via HTML Giant:
On the occasion of the release of her second book of poems, The Trees The Trees, which just came out from Octopus, and is indeed mazelike, Heather Christle has secured a phone number that you can call her at, through which she will read to you a poem. This begins today and will continue through July 14th.
This is such a magnificent idea. I cannot wait to call.
This has been roiling around in my head, a moment years ago that I wish I had done differently.
fist wrapped around stem
bubble spit laid on lip
elbow crumpled menu
you called me
while I anagrammed
each step out the door
— Halsted M. Bernard
Poetry.com has closed
Lulu shut it down last Thursday. Did you notice?