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Poetry: I read it, write it, teach it, edit it, review it, publish it; Etc.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Some Odd Afternoon

Doesn't every day feel like some odd afternoon? This is the title of my book forthcoming from BlazeVOX press. I took the name from a line in an Emily Dickinson poem, #80, which I first used as the title of a poem. "Some Odd Afternoon" will appear in the winter issue of Dos Passos Review. I discovered Dickinson's poem after reading somewhere how she was taken with armchair voyages and by the idea of Italy as an imaginative place--So am I! Many of her poems reflect these voyages, but I will copy her #80 here.

Our lives are Swiss--
So still--so Cool
Till some odd afternoon
The Alps neglect their Curtains
And we look farther on!

Italy stands the other side!
While like a guard between--
The solemn Alps--
The siren Alps
Forever intervene!

Armchair travel is the ability to look farther on beyond the curtains of an ordinary day, or over an entire mountain range that stands between here and desire. Poetry provides just such a journey for the lucky traveler, a door to another world.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just Back

I just got back from reading at the San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival last night. What a treat. First California reading for Juanita-as-a-book, and cool to be back in the town where I first attended college as a bright-eyed 17 yr old. Yes, crop science was my major and I was going to get back to the land and set my soul free. Somehow. Too bad I wasn't interested in science. But I took beekeeping, soil science, and row crops, learned some interesting vocabulary including apical meristem and friable. I learned when to shoot the nitrogen and the various cultivation shoes used for planting and weeding. Beta vulgaris is the latin name for sugar beet. In the 70's they had no use for organics.

So I earned C's, got A's in Spanish and Music Theory and Harmony and Life Drawing. Duh. I think I did okay in beekeeping.

The drive down 101 was amazing. If you have the chance to take it this week, do. The landscape is an unfolding miracle, ablaze with the vineyards turning colors now that the grapes are in.

It was such a pleasure to be included in the festival. Many thanks to Kevin Patrick Sullivan, most excellent and animated poetry series host. I was impressed by the SLO poetry community, its audience and its readers. Good times. Also thanks to George and Alyn Burns whose gracious hospitality and friendship made the trip.

It's about 5:30pm now, the sky already dark, fall winding down.