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Instead of writing about poems, I thought I’d talk about the poems. Here’s a little more about Damariscotta, and Celebration. I was going to do What To Do In Athens On A Monday Night, but it’s a little too big for WordPress to host.
In the videos I read the poem and talk a about them. And psst – don’t you just love that the light fixture in the office vaguely resembles a kinda dull crown 😉
What To Do In Athens On A Monday Night
This is a timeline of the poems by decade. I could probably pinpoint year on some of them, but there’s no way I’m digging through all of my journals.
I was in high school in the 70s, and both poems were written during that time. Solitaire first, in about 9th grade? On Time, which didn’ t have a title until recently, was written in ’79 or ’80, my senior year in high school. There are a couple of other poems from this time that I remember, and that possibly might have made the cut for The Wordstorm, but I can’t find them.
- On Time
This decade was college and my first explorations of the world around me as an adult. There was a lot of writing, mostly in journals, and not that much poetry. Or rather, not much poetry that would get into this collection: too much 20-something angsty ranting.
- Peak of Me
- Symphony of Now
From 1994-1998 I lived in Athens, Georgia, and was active in the poetry scene, even co-hosting an open mic with incomparable David Oates. I heard slam poetry for the first time, and – if you’re familiar with slam – you can hear the influence in 2Kewl, Drive, and Spadaro.
This is where I truly learned to stick a sharp pointy knife into the jugular of the poem and let it bleed. If you want to write, you’ve got to learn to use sharp objects on your words. The pain of the knife only makes the writing better.
Also at this time, I collaborated with artist Wendy Giminski (here’s her Etsy store.) Wendy read some of my poems and made paintings while I looked at some of her paintings and made poems. We even exhibited the poems and paintings side-by-side in an exhibit where, sadly, the painting that inspired Twilight Screaming was stolen.
The other key thing happening at this time was finding an amazing spiritual family that I am in touch with to this day. This is where those spiritual things really started to show up in poetry – Be/Learn/Know is an excellent example.
- At Hand
- Candy Corn Crosses
- Good Girls
- How To Express Yourself More Clearly
- I Am Becoming One
- I Am Becoming One, Undone
- Luna’s Lending Library
- On Shooting Trees
- The Call Building
- The One
- The Sunday Park
- This Morning Watching The Sun Rise
- Transposing Worlds
- Twilight Screaming
In the 2000s there was love, marriage, death, weather – life. There were offices, of course, and the absurd mundanity of that world. Eventually, I got both a divorce and bankruptcy then moved back to my home state of Michigan.
In the school year of 2006-2007 I took two classes towards a master’s in English with a concentration in poetry at my undergrad alma mater Central Michigan University. I quickly remembered just how much I don’t like academic writing, ran low on money, got yet another job in an office, and decided I didn’t really need the degree.
The workshop with Eric Torgeson in fall 2006 was, however, a true highlight. The philosophy of life as a poet at the back of the book is his: “Be a craftsman, not a critic.” This was a prolific time for me as well, and the ‘newest’ of the poems come from then: Try Metta For Title and Write A Poem And Call Me In The Morning.
- Alpha, Omega, and Me
- Another Office
- Barbie Says Kill The Psychic
- Concert For The Garden
- Converging Memories
- Dissolution of the Heart
- House of Milligan
- Metta For Title
- Monarch Song
- No Title Needed
- Tincture of Benzoin
- What To Do In Athens On Monday Night
- Why I Don’t Read Esoteric Books Anymore
- Wise Woman’s Guide To Getting There
- Write A Poem And Call Me In The Morning
Poetry is how I see the world, how I express the experience of the world. As such, I will probably always be writing a poem – even though my attention going forward is more on fiction.
Still, once a poet, always a poet.