Where are You Going, Where Have I Been?

While I haven’t been posting here (or at Poetic Idealism) lately, that’s not to say things haven’t been very busy.

One thing I’m very proud of is the state of the new issue of Barely South Review, which has taken up most of my time these past two weeks. It’s turned out beautifully, with no small thanks to the contributors who sent us wonderful materials to work with, and the staff who put in many long hours.

On the other hand, this workload also means my thesis has taken somewhat of a back seat recently. I’ve written a couple of new things, but still feel about fifteen poems short. These are in me somewhere, and now I have time to go mining for them.

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Left Turn Approaching

For those of you who’ve been following the project here, you know I’ve been writing a lot of poems based around science, and specifically the disciplines of astrophysics and particle physics. They have tended to ask the reader to shift his/her viewpoint and maybe become uncomfortable with the poem. In particular, this stems from the poems’ atheistic / agnostic viewpoint, which is in conflict with the majority of (at least) American sense of order. A lot of them have also been a lot less grounded in the human experience, and more so in the explanation of how I see the universe.

Some may even categorize these poems as Romantic.

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Poem Challenge #1

At the Juniper Summer Writing Institute, a group of us poets decided to challenge each other with writing prompts for the rest of the summer. I’m going to include the prompts and my responses here on the blog, and I invite you to play along. Continue reading

Notes: On Juniper – #1

Aside

– If you have to do a Q&A, be wary of giving high schoolers the inadvertent right wrong idea.

– Mermaids are a deep well of interestingness. Also, fantastic option for the body, image, and the guy nodding in-and-out at the bar.

– Clear articulation of workshop processes is good stuff (also known as pedagogy).

– If you only have a week, don’t expect to get everything done. (personal and educational)

– Everyone is here because they earned it, including me.

– Everyone is full of self-doubt in this profession.

– Australians are everywhere.

– Intensity.

– The rule is to avoid politics & religion. But you can’t really in this environment.

– There are lots of books and authors I don’t know about (and the same for you).

The Raising and Care of Poems – Some Ideas

It begins, often, as a sort of unspeakable knowingness. The kind of inability to articulate that drives one mad. How to convey the love? For lack of a better word, love stands in for that need. And it is a sort of love, a desire to share. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on The Measured Word

This collection of essays edited by Kurt Brown[1] offers an interesting collection of writers, from those dealing in both poetry and science (Miroslav Holub), to poets intrigued by what science both unveils to and hides from us as people (just about everyone else). I have found a lot of interesting quotes in most of these essays (read here), and a lot that doesn’t quite fit inside the quotation format. Some ephemeral knowledge building that won’t quite fit into language right now.

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The Pain Body

In Kim Addonizio‘s Ordinary Genius, she writes about the “pain body,” a concept borrowed from a book called The Power of Now, which I’ve never read. But the exercises discussed in this chapter (18, pp.148-155) look interesting enough to give it a go. And here is where I record that experiment. I invite you to follow along and conduct your own…

I’m going to do this live, so check back on the post and I will be sure to note when it’s ended.

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A Few Thoughts on Poetry, Reading, and Writing

I’ve been reading a lot of great books lately… Some, I’ve read through and am going back to spend more time with, and some are new for me. As I work through them, I’m posting a lot of quotes up here on the blog, and not really offering a whole lot of analysis to go along. I’m trying to get volume taken care of, I suppose.

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Time Lapse of the Stars

This video has been making the rounds lately, put together by photographer Daniel López, and recently featured at NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day site. It’s one of those things which creates wonder about the universe we find ourselves in, and at the same time, influences our cosmology.

I could watch this over and over. Even though it seems like we stand at the center of all those stars, we know it’s an illusion. Even though we feel like we’re alone, many of the stars shown have their own planets, many possibly harbor life. It’s amazing.

Can this be captured in words? Maybe… Maybe some facets, maybe elements. Maybe hints.

If we know the known universe does not center on our tiny little planet and our tiny little existences, can we also realize that for our spiritual lives? Might we not value each other, our humanity and individuality and worth, if we know we’re in this together? That we’re stuck with each other somewhere in this vastness? Questions that continually move through my brain…

More on Wallace Stevens’ Concept of the Pressure of History

As I previously wrote here, I intend to follow up on the ideas I wrote about in the Introduction to Wallace Stevens Encounters. This is that post.

In that post, I mentioned that Pattiann Rogers expands Stevens’ ideas in her essay “Cosmology and the Soul’s Habitation”; however, although her ideas line up and extend Stevens’, she does not specifically mention his name. Perhaps Stevens’ theory has become so ingrained as to be an accepted part of the modern condition of humanity; in Rogers’ words, a piece of our contemporary cosmology. Continue reading