poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)

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An Old Sonnet, for my Daughter Lee

Old Songs

 

When I got home my wife was gone, and so

I bought a mandolin—eight more strings

To tie me to a world I didn’t know,

In which my daughter’s fenced from me by rings

Of law and fear. Almost the only things

Her mother let us share before the end

Were meals and music. Maybe she still sings

“I’ll Meet You in the Morning” with a friend,

And thinks of me, and remembers how we’d spend

Our Wednesdays with a funny jugband song,

A round, a Scottish air. I could depend

On her to get them right when I was wrong—

Her ear was better. She was eight years old.

What songs we sang when she was mine to hold!

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April 17, 2015   No Comments

Happy Birthday, Lee!

Wherever you are, I hope you’re doing good work and feeling good about yourself.

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April 17, 2015   No Comments

Nothing’s Changed—Nothing’s New

Higgledy-piggledy
Speaker John Boehner must
Kneel to his masters, his
Pants at his knees—

Tea Party hooligans,
Corporate money men,
Bankers and plutocrats
Do as they please.

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November 9, 2014   2 Comments

Hoopla!

I’ve got two poems, an older sonnet and a brand-new sestina up at Halvard Johnson’s Truck. Be sure to check out some of the other poetry there. Anny Ballardini is guest curator for today’s work, and she’s done a great job, if I do say so myself.

Update: I didn’t notice until I saw the sestina posted, but there’s an extra foot in the first line of the last sestet. This fixes it: “Whoever’s there that day to kill the lights,”

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November 3, 2014   1 Comment

I want this book …

Austin Allen’s review of George Green’s Lord Byron’s Foot  is fabulous. Allen has the guts to write that “Literary gossip is the final, whispered retort to New Criticism!,”  and the quoted passages from Green’s book damn near prove it.

And here’s what else I want: some of Allen’s own poetry. Unfortunately all I can find is his Big Think blog.

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April 27, 2014   No Comments

The Wall Street Journal, Poetry, and Pig Tails

I’m not kidding: look here.

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April 25, 2014   No Comments

Happy birthday, Lee!

Hope you’re well and happy and doing good work.

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April 17, 2014   No Comments

This makes me absurdly happy …

We were looking for beer to accompany our Indian takeout tonight, and were disappointed that the liquor store we visited, run by Indian immigrants, had no Indian beers in stock. But they assured us that they would have some very soon, and they did have chocolate peanut butter porter from DuClaw, named Sweet Baby Jesus. We bought it, though we’ll probably find some other place to get some Kingfisher or Taj Mahal for tonight’s meal.

Sweet Baby Jesus!

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March 22, 2014   No Comments

Maxine Kumin, 6/6/1925—2/6/2014

I was very lucky, back in the 1970’s, to be able to work with Ms Kumin in workshops arranged by Sena Jeter Naslund at the University of Louisville. She had a tremendous influence on me at the time, and I’ve never stopped reading her work.

I’ve always particularly loved her book The Retrieval System. When I learned of her death I immediately thought of that book’s title poem and, especially, “The Excrement Poem,” which ends 

 

I think of what drops from us and must then
be moved to make way for the next and the next.
However much we stain the world, spatter

it with out leavings, make stenches, defile
the great formal oceans with what leaks down
trundling off today’s last barrow-full
I honor shit for saying: We go on.

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February 8, 2014   No Comments

True Colors Revealed

Higgledy-piggledy

Speaker John Boehner now

Bows to his masters, his

Pants at his knees—

 

Tea Party hooligans,

Corporate money men,

Bankers and plutocrats

Do as they please.

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September 28, 2013   No Comments