If I Compare a Summer’s Day

If comparison is a fundamental human – in fact, primate – activity, then how do I want to employ it? If I have learned anything from E.’s overflowing toolboxes, there is an appropriate tool for every job, but not every tool is appropriate for the job. What’s to compare?

Running East

towards the west coast of England. We’re running castle to castle again come February. But still a long way to go before that. The dog is staring at me. We’ve both grown soft on this side of summer and I believe he feels a similar ambivalence facing the prospect of leaving this warm little library…

The Wisdom of Old Men, And

After a glass of wine, my inner critic no longer tells me I need to get the answers right.

After a glass of wine, she actually sounds a lot like Dorothy Parker – ’cause when she’s tipsy she sides with me, and turns on everyone else.

Poets Who Get Lonely

I am the imaginative version of Emilie Dickinson – shouting from the top of the stairs. Genuinely happy for any company, desperately suspicious. Scared.

Winter’s Syncopation

I guess things don’t always come as cleanly as the seasons on the calendar. The goddesses keep their own schedules. Rhythms. Deliberately syncopated.

Poetry is the Unknown Guest in the House

I feel as though I have fallen into a post-Absurdist rabbit hole of inclusion addiction.  The thought of being irrelevant and untethered in this international, intercultural, intergenerational buzz of avatars is terrifying.

Taking Off The Bear Suit

I have been walking so softly – for almost half my life now – that I am a brittle presence in the world. So obsessed with belonging, with not belonging, that I’ve sprouted protection. “Don’t touch me.” All the while sending little coded messages into the world, in the form of poems. In books that no one can find.  I have competing desires. (If fear isn’t a form of desire, self-protection is.)

This Choice: Amy MacLennan

This Choice is Who You Are has been my mantra these past years: a mantra for becoming the person I want to be. I believe that choosing to live with the attention that poetry demands is a good start. In the podcasts, I look to other artists to learn from their experiences. I ask poets how their work with poetry influences…

This Choice: Marion Cohen

This Choice is Who You Are has been my mantra these past years: a mantra for becoming the person I want to be. I believe that choosing to live with the attention that poetry demands is a good start. In the podcasts, I look to other artists to learn from their experiences. I ask poets how their work with poetry influences…

Stuff I Dug Out of the Mud

Dear Richard,  That you should quote Dylan Thomas! Last night I watched Set Fire to the Stars. In it, Thomas says something about liking humanity more when it sleeps. I don’t know if he really said that, but I’ve been thinking about it since then: before bed last night, on this morning’s run. It’s too late now…

Tree of Life: Redux

This lover, that lover. I read that women retain the DNA fragments of every man she has been with. Chimeras. Would be nice to think our bodies might be redemptive of those who have done us wrong. Might renew what is good. A kind of homeopathic remedy for the species.

Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

This is why I need running, too. The warrior-poet me moves (and does not think). Like you, she gets out of her head, presses against the earth – gives and takes in a space of quiet. It is time-out from self-analysis, conversation, and the mental struggling I do too often with other people. A rock is a rock, and it has no intention that I feel necessary to root out and interpret. The patch of snow, slick instead of crusty, had no intention to make me fall on my ass. I should probably learn to treat people as I do nature.

A Second, Brief Hike & Mixed Metaphors

It’s kind of like a second date. We took the same route as last weekend. And this time the veil of fog was gone. A steady, small gale blew over the stretches of open landscape. Catching us from side, front or pushing us as we made the circle of the trail. The sun had half-set:…

A New Year’s Letter to Theodora

This is a season of quiet. I want to retreat to a cabin in the valley for a few weeks. I want to pull away, and observe. Morning runs through the rustling, frozen underbrush.

Not to be talked to. Talked at. Fixed.

I want to reemerge into a world of details that have worked out their individual spats, sighed with relief, and gotten on with it all.
Without my well-intentioned interference.

This Choice: Nicole Rollender

This Choice is Who You Are has been my mantra these past years: a mantra for becoming the person I want to be. I believe that choosing to live with the attention that poetry demands is a good start. In the podcasts, I look to other artists to learn from their experiences. I ask poets how their work with poetry influences…

Post Script

(And my apology to email subscribers for the premature publishing of a draft yesterday.)   Carolee, Last night I read the day’s poem from A Year With Rilke before bed. Since your letter last week, I’ve been reading them aloud. This poem was actually a letter: [..N]ow at last I can breathe. Now everything is…

Owning Up to Beauty

There is a thickness to the dark. Sometimes the lake will freeze over and in the early morning I can hear the ice churn, as though some invisible hand has thumbed the string of a huge instrument. Cold can catch the wind itself along the shore. There’s no way to take a good photo of the ice-encased shining in the dark, but it’s a haunting image.

Considering a Seance

It is funny how memories are connected to places. Though sometimes inaccurately. They are free-floating, but put down roots. Like weeds, they will find a way. They will break through the concrete, they will travel over oceans. They tether themselves to whatever they can grab hold of. And will not be excised.