Tape and other poems

Lately, I have been writing more poetry than prose. Working at the National Humanities Center, I had the opportunity to meet and be influenced by some extraordinary poets, like Piotr Sommer, Mary Kinze, and Rachel Blau DuPlessis. In the years since meeting each of them, the impression they left me with is that poetry is more accessible than I used to think it. And more meaningful. The opportunity to meditate on a moment, to express an idea in only as many words as necessary – these are gifts of language, and lately I have been finding satisfaction writing such meditations in verse.

I’m still looking for my own poetry community, but the recent (and excellent) interview with Gary Snyder in BOOM helps me narrow my search a little. If his categories even hint at accuracy, admittedly painted in broad strokes, then I see myself as more a west coast poet than east coast poet. Still, writing poems is one thing; subjecting them to the judgment of editors of poetry journals is another. And having some withstand that scrutiny, well, that is something humbling.

I have a poem — “Tape” — in the new issue of The Yolo Crow. If you pick up a copy in Davis or online (Vol. 23), please tell me what you think. And in the last few months I also published another in two parts in two separate places. “Sisyphean S-curve” appears in both The Scrambler (Part I) and Hinchas de Poesia (Part II). Check out the rest of the fine writing and art work while you’re visiting these two spaces.

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