Hold steady . . . find your still point . . . get used to letting go . . .
I was pleased to by honored recently by the Hamden Arts Commission and the Hamden Symphony Orchestra for my poem “Circumstance.” The poem won second place in the first ever poetry award co-sponsored by both organizations. Also featured during the orchestra’s spring concert were fellow poets Meri Haray and Laura Alshul and the winners of the Young Musicians Concerto Competition. Listen:
I’m also trying out my new voice, mostly recovered from vocal cord paralysis. Work in progress.
At Musée d’Art Moderne
I notice the construct of silhouetted
stick figures juxtaposed above a door;
one’s triangular body tells me
to go into a different salle. There,
I find another version of graffiti
on the door in front of me as I sit down.
This is not art someone has written.
My bladder agrees, but against this angst
and all treachery of the world’s turmoil
another has revolted: Yes it is—
Art is what you make of it. Such words
delight me at first; they affect such openness,
pretend pluralism, and compel acceptance
of every sapling of discontent that arises
at seeing paint spread like entrails on the floor.
What you make of it . . . as if anyone could
wake and slither into anarchy and come out
with the paraphrase of a quail egg. I go out
and back to the exhibits, back to the violence
and spectacle of color and form. Seeking out
other dimensions, I walk into a room wrapped
in giant spools of gray, industrial felt.
At the end of one hall, a sculpture in straw
creates the illusion of an airplane; a thousand
pairs of scissors spear its shape. Art is
what you make of it? I need to go back:
digging into my bag and finding a pen
I scratch the last two words into blackness.
The poem is featured in Reconnaissance, published by Homebound Publications. For a signed copy (and free shipping), click the side menu and find “Purchase Signed Copies.”
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“A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses [her] feeling through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t.”
E.E. Cummings (or e.e. cummings as he preferred) wrote this advice to a young poet, and my poetry teacher shared it with me when I first started writing. After 27 years, it’s still not easy, but I can’t stop, and starting next week, I will write one poem a day for 30 days.
I’ll be participating in Tupelo Press’s 30/30 project, and joining over 175 poets who’ve committed to writing 30 poems in 30 days. Four poets will join me for March, and I’m excited to get started.
We’re all inviting family, friends, and colleagues to sponsor us. It’s not a competition, but we’re all raising money for Tupelo Press, one of the best independent publishers in the country, and a great supporter of poetry. But I need a little more than a retweet or Facebook Like. Support my efforts with a donation.
I’m excited to be part of Tupelo Press’s 30/30 project. I will be joining 173 poets who committed to this daily practice of shaping words on the page. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I look forward to pushing myself. I start March 1st.
If you write or read or just want to try to make the world a better place through art, please support my efforts. Fundraising supports Tupelo Press and helps me stay motivated. Writers need readers: make poetry a part of your March.