Thursday, January 22, 2009

W.D. Snodgrass (1926 - 2009)

April Inventory

The green catalpa tree has turned
All white; the cherry blooms once more.
In one whole year I haven't learned
A blessed thing they pay you for.
The blossoms snow down in my hair;
The trees and I will soon be bare.

The trees have more than I to spare.
The sleek, expensive girls I teach,
Younger and pinker every year,
Bloom gradually out of reach.
The pear tree lets its petals drop
Like dandruff on a tabletop.

The girls have grown so young by now
I have to nudge myself to stare.
This year they smile and mind me how
My teeth are falling with my hair.
In thirty years I may not get
Younger, shrewder, or out of debt.

The tenth time, just a year ago,
I made myself a little list
Of all the things I'd ought to know,
Then told my parents, analyst,
And everyone who's trusted me
I'd be substantial, presently.

I haven't read one book about
A book or memorized one plot.
Or found a mind I did not doubt.
I learned one date. And then forgot.
And one by one the solid scholars
Get the degrees, the jobs, the dollars.

And smile above their starchy collars.
I taught my classes Whitehead's notions;
One lovely girl, a song of Mahler's.
Lacking a source-book or promotions,
I showed one child the colors of
A luna moth and how to love.

I taught myself to name my name,
To bark back, loosen love and crying;
To ease my woman so she came,
To ease an old man who was dying.
I have not learned how often I
Can win, can love, but choose to die.

I have not learned there is a lie
Love shall be blonder, slimmer, younger;
That my equivocating eye
Loves only by my body's hunger;
That I have forces true to feel,
Or that the lovely world is real.

While scholars speak authority
And wear their ulcers on their sleeves,
My eyes in spectacles shall see
These trees procure and spend their leaves.
There is a value underneath
The gold and silver in my teeth.

Though trees turn bare and girls turn wives,
We shall afford our costly seasons;
There is a gentleness survives
That will outspeak and has its reasons.
There is a loveliness exists,
Preserves us, not for specialists.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quotes & Quotables

“We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------Henry James

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Liminal Poet

It's no secret that I have not been writing & publishing much poetry lately. However, I'm glad to announce that my poem "My Father's Hand" which has held a special place in my heart regardless of my poetic sensibilities has found a home. Darryl Salach, editor of The Toronto Quarterly has graciously agreed to publish it in the next issue. It's a print journal that has just been started up. This is what issue one looks like:

The first issue of The Toronto Quarterly is now available through Please click on the link to order a copy of The Toronto Quarterly Issue 1:
There is a great interview with Hollace Metzger in our first issue. She is a talented poet/photographer and painter who left the United States, moving to Paris to find her true self. Also in this issue are poets such as John Dorsey, A.D. Winans, Penn Kemp, Geraldine Green, Desi Dinardo, R.D. Armstrong, Melanie Pierluigi, Jim Johnstone and many more. There are also music and book reviews along with samplings of photography from Tammy Hanlon and Kelly Hayner and more!
P.S.: My poem "My Father's Hand" should be appearing in Toronto Quarterly Issue 2

Friday, January 02, 2009

Poetry in Vitro - Vol 3, No. 12... (or)... Look at What my Muse Dragged in!

The Resident Poet Wears Prada

“Who is this woman with the feverish grin?”
--------------------------------------------------Unknown -- to Everyone But Me

She collects designer tissue boxes
and perfumed candle containers.
She knows Emily – fucking - Dickinson’s
Poem 54 ad verbatim and has spoken
at length on the agony of her art form.

She claims that anguish is good
medicine for the lack of creative juices.
But she wouldn’t know pathos if it came up
and bit her Pilates - perfected posterior.
Be still for her poetry is in all the right places...

The literary journal she edits is called:
The Fear of Open Spaces. Her Facebook
list of friends is a who’s who compendium
of literati – she’s well connected -
to the lack of the introspective.