BY LI-YOUNG LEE From blossoms comes this brown paper bag of peaches
Li-Young Lee’s poem is a luscious poem. It moves from the “bite into/ the round jubilance of peach” to joy and death then circles back to the beginning, or the blossoms of the peach. Check it out here.
Here’s another “peach” poem:
BY DEAN YOUNG I’m thinking it’s time to go back to the peach farm or rather the peach farm seems to be wanting me back
Actually, I could go on and on with “peach” poems and “peach” art. The peach seems to be inspirational. But, instead, I’ll end with this photo of a peach-bourbon (yep, some bourbon for a bit of a kick!) pie baked yesterday by Baker John at the Casa 300 Bakery & Literary Salon in Mano Prieto, a few miles north of Marfa, TX.
As I drew nearer to the end of all desire, I brought my longing’s ardor to a final height, Just as I ought. My vision, becoming pure,
Although I’m good at establishing deadlines and deliverables in my work, I tend to fall apart when it comes to personal goal setting. Perhaps, you are like this too. So—instead of bemoaning my failure as a human being, I decided to be bold and dynamic. I find short-term goals are more doable than long so here are this month’s goals:
1. Work up to running (jogging?) the 3 mile loop in my hood. I’m a walker not a runner so vamos a ver on this one.
2. Memorize a stanza from Paradiso each morning–in English and Italian. As Caroline Kennedy explains, “If we learn poems by heart, we will always have their wisdom to draw on, and we gain an understanding that no one can take away.”
I’ll be reading from the Paradiso each morning at 7 am at the Post before my walk/run. Come join me!
The day ended badly with a broken ankle, a jinxed printer, and a dead car. The dry yellow grass against the sunset saved me…
Here’s my latest roundup of the news on the Trans-Pecos Pipeline. This is not an exhaustive list—but a start.
I have found little from the Mexico side of the border and what I have is mainly a summary of what’s going on in Brewster/Presidio County. If you find other news reports—especially national or international, please feel free to add them to this list. (Updated, June 11, 2015)
Ganesha, Ganopathi, Gannanata The Elephant Head, the Ivory Tusked, the Fat,
the Long-Nosed and the Rider on the Rat;
As the god of new beginnings, Ganesha is my favorite of the five Hindu deities. From time to time, we all need to begin again or at least refresh our inner selves so when a call when out to bring back a Hindu god from India for The Well in Marfa, TX, I knew which one it would be.
I found this Ganehsa in Jaipur where he was lovingly packaged in bubble wrap for his long trip via Dubai toTexas. Gracias a Dios! Ganesha arrived safely and is now serenely installed in his new place of honor.
If you happen to be out in Marfa and are looking for some wisdom and inspiration, come to The Well. It’s a great space. Check it out.
How Ganesha got the head of an elephant is a mystery although the most familiar legend is the one where Shiva cuts off Ganesha’s head to gain access to Parvati. Then, to soothe poor distraught Parvati, who had created Ganesha out of her own body, Shiva had to find a replacement head for Ganesha. Volia! An elephant. You can read more here.
But who was R. N. Currey, our featured poet for today? Born in South Africa, Currey was a schoolmaster at the Royal Grammar School, Colchester, for 40 years, yet he was still regarded as more a South African poet than an English one.
I had the good fortune last night to be at the Marfa Book Co for a reading by poet Michael Morse, which was prescient as today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a “review poem.”
Instead, of writing a review of the reading (which was terrific) or Morse’s new book Void and Compensation (Don’t you just want to read the book for its title?), I decided to assemble a modified cento poem—a poem composed entirely of the words of other authors arranged in a new form or way.
For me, Morse’s lovingly haunting lines stand as their own review.
Void and Compensation* —After Michael Morse
So you are related to the iris, in and of its family. April, the meadowlark back on his post, I led wayward bees to open windows.
We had put our hearts down on paper. Since when did keeping things to ourselves help us to better remember them?
The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa,* as translated by Sawako Nakayasu
Today I was stumped so I did not write a poem for NAPOWRIMO—or 30 poems in 30 days. My work around was to participate instead in the Twitter Poetry Club.
“What’s that? Well, it’s a sort of loose project in which, on selected days, people take photos of poems (from books or printouts or what-have-you) and post them to twitter with the hashtag #twitterpoetryclub…if you search twitter for the #twitterpoetryclub tag, you’ll find oodles of new poems.
While in Minneapolis last week for #AWP15, I stopped by Canarium Books’ booth and picked up a copy of The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa. Chika Sagawa? Who was she? As I learned from the book’s introduction, Sagawa is considered to be Japan’s first female Modernist poet who tragically died in 1936 at the age of 24. As translator Sawako Nakayasu points out, she has been referred to as “everything from a ‘minor Modernist’ to ‘everybody’s favorite unknown poet.'” So, what would I think?
Back from the crush of AWP and settled in my studio outside Marfa, Texas, I have had some quiet time to read and reflect on Sagawa’s poetry. Its sparseness and space complements the full emptiness of this remote area of the country. A lovely and profound work by someone so young—an old soul, perhaps.
Canarium Books is offering TheCollected Poems of Chika Sagawa for only $8—now through April 16th. Get your copy today!
Over a cup of coffee or sitting on a park bench or
walking the dog, he would recall…
Monday morning I invited a friend for coffee at “Coffee + Toast+ Magic.”
The coffee I wanted. The magic I needed.
Marfa, Texas is a place that exists on its own time.
Like the Marfa Lights, sometimes things are there and sometimes they are not.
There was a handwritten note posted to the C+T+M’s metal door. Be back on September 25th.
We headed to my friend’s casita instead. In a some ways, that was better.
In someone’s home, you can move around.
Coffee in the living area then at a table.
You can linger and allow the conversation to meander
to Taos and to Denver and across to Budapest and Berlin.
…how he had left long ago to try his luck in
Argentina or Australia.
You dawdle in the present,
imagine the future. You are not rushed.
The time over coffee becomes a journey…
although he had no sense of being on a journey,
such memories made him realize how far he had