Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Memoriam - Muffy Dog

We said good-bye to our beloved lab Muffy yesterday.
She was a great dog who loved swimming in Lake Superior.

Sometime next summer we'll scatter her ashes on the lake shore.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The 2010 Suggested - Dorianne Laux

Quite by accident, I seem to have fallen into a routine: The almost-weekly glimpse of a female poet. So be it. This week I'm reaching back to 1994 and What We Carry by Dorianne Laux.

Laux is a tender/tough poet, sensual and yet sensible enough to be restrained. Two poems set side by side in What We Carry perhaps will illustrate what I mean.

Enough Music

Sometimes, when we're on a long drive,
and we've talked enough and listened
to enough music and stopped twice,
once to eat, once to see the view,
we fall into this rhythm of silence.
It swings back and forth between us
like a rope over a lake.
Maybe it's what we don't say
that saves us.


I remember sex before my husband
as a vague, vagrant landscape
of taller, darker men, all thick hair
and hands, the full lips of the rich past.
And sometimes, when I'm taking a sidewalk
full tilt, my heels chipping
the glittering cement, I feel their eyes,
their sweet lost fingers
tugging at my clothes -- the one
who fell behind just to watch me walk,
to see me as a stranger might,
then caught up to catch
a handful of my hair, turn me around,
pull me back into his bodies deep folds.
They all come back, tenacious
as angels, to lean against me
at the movies, the beach -- a shoulder
or a thigh pressed to mine, lashes
black and matted, and always
naked, clean and pure as souls slipped
glistening from the body's warm wick,
like my husband's fingers when he dips
into me, then lifts them
to his face, heavy with glaze, the leaves
crowded against our window, shivering.

Thanks again to Liza for a great poet recommendation!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Friends, the long haul of winter is upon us. If you live someplace sunny and/or warm, I don't want to know. Someday I will join your ranks. Unfortunately, today is not that day. Today I will build a fire and get back to writing. I might wear fingerless gloves. I will definitely complain.

Tonight is our last night with Jocelyn. Tomorrow we take her back to O'Hare where she'll fly out to California. It's fair to say we're all jealous and proud. We'll see her again during spring break, but over the holidays she applied for 30 different conservation internships for the summer, hoping that something will come through. Her top choice: working with the sled dogs at Denali National Park in Alaska. More than likely we'll have to do the traveling if we want to see her. Jealous and proud.

Tom is back in school again, too. This time next year he should be a college graduate! With the future staring him in the face, Gene helped him polish up his resume over Christmas break. It looks great. He's hoping to work a cruise ship musician gig for his last summer break. We're jealous and proud and are probably real empty nesters starting...Now.

Now is the time, I imagine, to find some words.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 Suggested - Kate Greenstreet

Kate Greenstreet's name has been floating around between my brain synapses for awhile, so I added her to the 2010 Suggested. I'm glad I did. She's the sort of author that makes me want to write, the sort of person I'd love to be in poetic conversation with. She speaks a language that is relevant and comprehensible to my ears. Reading her poetry is like hearing half of a conversation that a person is having with herself, and so there is mystery and subtlety and room for the reader to be a part of the dialogue.

I just finished The Last 4 Things. I'm going to read it again, just because. I could open it to any page and find something I would want to share. Although share is an odd, kindergarten word.

Anyway, from p. 51:

What you feel watching someone be lost for a while.
To bear a light for a person on a dark street.
To set one's dog on a stranger.

you see,
I am very old.

And there were eyes
in the wall.

I am not
a magnetic. Surely not. For my sight

If we haven't beauty
or wealth
or even goodness to save us...

Be brave but--
say there was a fire.

We should not shamelessly trample
upon one another.
I said, "He's my brother"?

I don't know why I would have said that.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

FGWC - At Last

It's been a long time, been a long time, been a long...

Okay. Let's have a workshop, FGWC. Saturday, January 23rd, 2010, 1:00 p.m., at The Chicory Cafe.

Bring words, oral & written.

See you there.